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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

65 Brigade RGA

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

I'm reading the diary entry  for March 21st 1918, for 65 Brigade RGA at the moment, and don't understand  one particular word-      XION.

Written in capitals each time, just like a place name, but .

 

Is it a place?

An abbreviation?

Short for 'Action'

A grid reference? (The guns I'm looking at are actually in square X.10  (62c.X.10.b) - But the entries are typed, and it's an I not a 1

 

The entries:

1) " 1:40pm. Division ordered 115 SB for XION to be withdrawn."

2) "5:40pm 2 FWDs were sent to 202SB for XION near ATTILLY and the guns withdrawn to......VILLEVEQUE.

3)" 10pm During the night, an attempt was made to withdraw 118SB for XION.

     ......The shelling during the dayas far as our batteries were concerned was slight. 202 and 118SBs forward sections were shelled during the day but more as an area, than counter battery work. This applied to 115 SB for XION."

 

I've had a look at the map (62cSE) and there doesn't seem to be a place with that name.

Any ideas what it means?

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

And what does this mean?

"31/3/1918            On 25th (March 1918), 118 Siege Battery went out to report under 18 Corps Heavy Artillery. During the retreat up to that date, the personnel was used for ammunition fatigues."

 

(On march 21st, 118SB, being a 9.2" Howitzer battery had no time to dismantle their guns before the German advance, all their guns were lost that day).

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Ron Clifton

You mention that the diary is typed but I'm inclined to believe this is a mis-transcription of an original draft, and should read "went out to refit" (or re-equip), noting that they had lost their guns on 21 March. Of course "to report" might simply be shorthand for "transfer of administrative supervision".

 

The diaries of XVIII Corps CCRA and CCHA are in file WO95/955 at Kew, and should now be available online, if you are happy with spending £3.50 on what could be a wild-goose chase!

 

Ron

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Thanks once again Mr. Clifton, I think your interpretation is almost certainly correct.

The monthly diary for March 1918 ends:

 

" (Signed) E.C. Frewhella, captain & adjt

for Lt. Col. RGA

Commanding 65th Bde. RGA"

 

That entry is not actually signed!

 

Below that , another entry:

"CERTIFIED TRUE COPY

then the signature of what looks like A.J.Kelmington

Captain

C. i/c War Diaries & Records 3rd echelon"

 

So I agree, it could be an incorrect transcription, and 're-equip' would perhaps make more sense although 're-fit' is more likely to be mis-transcribed as 'report'.

 

Looking at 886 MT Coy (18 Corps Siege Park) Diary for this period, the entry for April 6th states:

" 65th Bde.RGA, together with all batteries and all available transport transferred to III Corps. "

 

Thanks

Any thoughts on XION?

 

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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Ron Clifton

XION looks very much like another transcription error. Bearing in mind the dates involved I wonder if the transcription was made from a damaged original - a lot of War Diaries went missing or are incomplete for March 1918. However, the fact that XION occurs several times makes it rather unlikely that the same textual loss occurs in every case, and it makes one wonder how much care Captain Kelmington took in comparing the original with the typescript before "certifying" a true copy!

 

It could be an unofficial abbreviation for "action" but I don't think so. The grammar doesn't seem to fit. Similarly, it doesn't seem to work as a grid reference, given the number of repeated mentions in a single diary entry.

 

Ron

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Thanks Ron,

I'll look at the maps in more detail to see if I can figure it out.

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