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25th Battery, RFA


Phil Wood
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I am researching a chap who served for many years with the 25th Battery, RFA and am trying to work out what was happening to the Battery in 1913/14.

In 1911 it was in Lahore and remained there for some time there - my chap's son being born in Lahore in Dec '13.

According to the Long Long Trail it was based in Woolwich in Aug '14 as a part of 35th Brigade RFA.

35th Brigade was then attached to 7th Division and crossed to France in Oct '14 (my chap landed there 6 Oct).

So - is the Woolwich bit right? Did the 25th Battery return to England in 1913, early 1914? Or was it still in Lahore in Aug '14 and returned home along with many of the other units that made up the 7th Division?

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Hello Phil

In August 1914 35 Brigade RFA, with 12th, 25th and 58 Batteries, was based at Woolwich so it had probably returned from India a few months earlier (the "trooping season" was around May) and it did not form part of the original BEF. However, you are right in saying that it joined the newly formed 7th Division, mostly made up of units brought back from overseas.

Ron

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June 1913 army list 25th Bty was in Lahore cantonment in 46th Brigade - and listed as heading for Woolwich. Late 1913 this Brigade was dissolved and batteries reallocated [there was already a 35th Bde.. but then with 27-36-60 Btys ].

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The Battery left Newport, Wales - where my Grandfather joined 25 Battery after his basic training - in late 1909 and had a few months in Ireland. It then travelled to India in early 1910. From postcards he sent home to his girlfriend - who became my Grandmother - I believe it moved several times within the north of the sub-Continent and it definitely ended the tour in the Lahore Cantonment. I have a posed photo of F Sub-Section of 25 Battery taken in Lahore Barracks in 1913 but, apart from my Grandfather, I have no names for the soldiers.

They returned to England in January 1914 and were definitely based at Woolwich. My Grandfather was enormously proud to have been stationed at HQ and saw it as a real compliment to his Brigade. They did some training on Salisbury Plain before war broke out and I have a couple of photos taken there. The Brigade left for Belgium on 5th October 1914.

Keith

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Brilliant!

So the move to England would be late 1913? I had been wondering if my chap's wife was left behind until the baby was born.

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The Battery left Newport, Wales - where my Grandfather joined 25 Battery after his basic training - in late 1909 and had a few months in Ireland. It then travelled to India in early 1910. From postcards he sent home to his girlfriend - who became my Grandmother - I believe it moved several times within the north of the sub-Continent and it definitely ended the tour in the Lahore Cantonment. I have a posed photo of F Sub-Section of 25 Battery taken in Lahore Barracks in 1913 but, apart from my Grandfather, I have no names for the soldiers.

I have a problem with this - my chap was married in Kamptee in India in 1907 and had a child baptised there in 1908 - when he gives his unit as 25th Battery. In fact the 1904 Army List has the 25th Battery in Bangalore. I suspect your grandfather was posted to join the Battery in India after his training.

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The 25th Battery was in India for many years; not in Ireland. August 1903 Bellary [brigade at Bangalore]; July 1905 in Bellary -Madras {Brigade HQ at Bangalore]. Feb 1909 Brigade was at Nasirabad, 25th Bty at Neemuch..; By Dec 1909 Brigade was at Nasirabad, 25th Bty at Neemuch.. June 1910. Brigade was at Nasirabad, 25th Bty at Neemuch..- listed as about to transfer to Lahore

as for the other post : there seems to be some confusion: in Feb 1909 the only RFA I can see in Newport was 2nd Brigade, 21st, 42nd and 53rd Batteries.... this moved to Ireland by Dec 1909 and was at Fermoy... still in Ireland in 1912.. at Cahir 1913-1914. As drafts were sent to India each year that man must have been posted to India.. and was not originally in 25th Battery.. He travelled to India, not the Battery

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Just to mention that in August 1913 there were several swaps of title between RFA brigades and batteries. As a consequence 46 Bde was redesignated 35 Bde, retaining its three batteries, 12, 25 and 58.

The reason for the renumbering was to disband three batteries and to take the Reserve Brigades into a separate sequence, without leaving gaps in the main number sequences.

Ron

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Interesting Ron - thanks.

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