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StephenJohnRoberts1958
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Hello comrades: I have a soldier with RGA shoulder title with a "T"(Territorial?) and "Devon" on it. Questions:

 

1) The chap was from Plymouth - any suggestions about which unit he was likely to have been in and how I might find more out about him and his colleagues?

2) Later he joined "N" Anti-Aircraft Battery RGA. Any ideas about its parent unit? Was it a Brigade? I would like to find the relevant War diaries.

3) Any general advice on researching artillery men and their units. Is there a standard reference work?

 

Thank you.

Edited by StephenJohnRoberts1958
Grammatical mistakes
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Hello Stephen

 

N AA Battery RGA consisted of four sections (11, 50, 62 and 64), each with two 13-pounder guns. It first appears in the order of battle in January 1917 in Fourth Army, moving to Third Army during July 1917 and remaining there for the rest of the war.

 

Each Army had about four such batteries, under a Commander Anti-Aircraft Defences, who stood in much the same role as an RGA Brigade commander in relation to his batteries.

 

A good starting point is the article on The Long Long Trail:

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/development-of-british-anti-aircraft-artillery-in-the-first-world-war/

 

The RA's Official History has a volume on this subject, which is available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Royal-Regiment-Artillery-Anti-aircraft/dp/1857530993/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480372717&sr=1-5&keywords=anti+aircraft+artillery

 

Ian V Hogg, a prolific and expert writer on artillery, has produced this book, also available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anti-aircraft-Artillery-Ian-V-Hogg/dp/1861265026/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480372717&sr=1-1&keywords=anti+aircraft+artillery

 

Unfortunately, very few War Diaries for AA units seem to have survived, and those of N Battery, and its constituent sections, are not among them.

 

Ron

Edited by Ron Clifton
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Thanks very much Ron. That is a very crisp and informative answer. Just what I needed to know. I have looked at the Long Long Trail article which certainly is very helpful. Frustratingly the Official History by Edmonds mentions "M" Battery but no other. Thanks again.

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If you gave his name and number it may, or may not, indicate whether he went out as an original member with one of these sections. Especially if he had been renumbered with from the "regular" series.

 

Kevin

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Thanks Kevin. He was 168517 William Russell Roxburgh. No service records, but pay book exists and says attested 4/9/14 and begins 29/9/17 'in the field'; it also states that his previous book began on 1/7/16; medal card gives only one number and lists only British War and Victory Medals, so arrived in France after 1915. 

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Further to post #6:

 

I've found Uncle Sid's records. He Attested on 24 January 1916, and on his Attestation Form he declared his previous service - "Served 4 years in R.G.A."

 

His service no. was 128390. 

 

His papers show that he served "Egypt 9-1-17 to 3-5-18 France 11-5-18 to 12-12-18."

Edited by Uncle George
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5 hours ago, StephenJohnRoberts1958 said:

Thanks Kevin. He was 168517 William Russell Roxburgh. No service records, but pay book exists and says attested 4/9/14 and begins 29/9/17 'in the field'; it also states that his previous book began on 1/7/16; medal card gives only one number and lists only British War and Victory Medals, so arrived in France after 1915. 

 

I wondered whether he would fall within this batch of renumbered Devon RGA TF men. Obviously before this number he would have a TF number, and if he was embodied on the 4th Sept 1914 then it was probably around +/- 1000 number. You should check the medal roll though.

It is highly likely he was posted to 58th AA Sect. on formation. This left Southampton on the 1st July 1916 and disembarked Le Havre the next day. It went to 14th HQ AA Sect. for training on the 5th July, leaving behind a gun with a Vickers experimental buffer, with the 14th AA Sect, that they had taken out with them.

Together with 16 AA Sect. it was reorganised in to 16th AA Battery on the 10th July. On the 14th July it was reorganised again and became 62nd AA Sect which then joined 11th, 50th and 64th Sects to create "N" AA Bty.

 

Kevin

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He obviously ended with 68th AA Sect, "N" AA Bty., overseas as it would appear he tried to transfer to the RAF as an officer, but was eventually returned to the RGA and was at AA Reserve Brigade, Parkhurst IOW, on the 21st Dec. 1918. Records survive.

 

Kevin

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks very much Kevin. I am sending you a private message. Hope you don't mind.

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On 11/29/2016 at 15:38, Uncle George said:

Further to post #6:

 

I've found Uncle Sid's records. He Attested on 24 January 1916, and on his Attestation Form he declared his previous service - "Served 4 years in R.G.A."

 

His service no. was 128390. 

 

His papers show that he served "Egypt 9-1-17 to 3-5-18 France 11-5-18 to 12-12-18."

 

Thank you very much Uncle George. That was very kind of you to share your ancestral records. My biography of Sgt. Roxburgh is coming along nicely now due to the above help. All the best, Stephen

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