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Emmy

495th and 493rd Siege Battery RGA - Diary/Information

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Emmy

Hi there,

I'm trying to find out information about my great grandfather's time in WWI. I've just recently found his army record and was hopeful that someone could kindly offer me information on where he would have been and what his time in the war might have involved?

I have uploaded a record that shows all of his transfers to different batteries. I've written below the different units he was transferred to:

11-8-17 RGA 3 DEPOT (I understand this is in Plymouth?)

3-9-17 495 S.B. RGA (I'm unsure where this was based as I've struggled to find info)

11-3-18 493 S.B (I understand he travelled to Boulogne in January '18)

 

I was looking for information, extracts, timelines of what his unit would have been doing in France, specifically because it says he was a gunner but then says he was in the 'field', does that mean a soldier on foot? Also, it looks like he was transferred to a 'school' and then rejoined the unit? What would this be? Lastly, it says he was admitted to hospital but I can't read the writing properly...could anyone tell me if it is the name of the hospital or the injury? 

Apologies for my ignorance and lack of knowledge, I'd be really grateful for any help!

Thank you, 

Emma

 

 

 

 

BURROWSARMY6.jpg

BURROWSARMY7.jpg

Edited by Emmy

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ororkep

Welcome Emmy to the forum,

Unfortunately there is no surviving war diary for 495 Sge Bty; a very small one (one month only) does survive online at the NA discovery website for 493 SB reference WO95/221/11 and can be downloaded for a small fee. After that you can track the movements of 493 for another six months from the Army Brigade it joined on entering a theatre of war. This was 26 Army Brigade whose war diary reference is: WO95/218/3 on the same website, which 493 came under on 6.2.18. The battery had armament of 2 x 12 in Howitzers which were road mounted (as opposed to on rails).

‘In the field’ simply means the events referenced occurred in a field of war.

Rgds Paul

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Ron Clifton
12 hours ago, Emmy said:

Lastly, it says he was admitted to hospital but I can't read the writing properly...could anyone tell me if it is the name of the hospital or the injury? 

It looks like "GSW L Arm", or Gun Shot Wound Left Arm. Although that would usually be put in the Remarks column.

 

Ron

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rflory

As Ron indicates it states 'Adm. Hospital (GSW L Arm).  The name of the Casualty Clearing Station, Field Ambulance or hospital is usually given in the "From Whom Received" column, but in this case it states that the report was from "493 S.B."

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kevinrowlinson

I believe it reads ICT, Inflammation of Connective Tissue, not GSW. A search on the forum will probably show what may course this.

 

Kevin

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Emmy

Thank you all so much for your replies, I really appreciate it :)

ororkep, I've actually downloaded the war diaries you linked to and am having a read through them now. Thank you for the information about his unit joining 26th brigade, I think I would have been forever in finding that out for myself. I have indeed just read in the diary about 493 siege battery arriving and joining them in the February.

Also thank you all for the suggestions about his injury...I can see it looks 'arm L' now. I'll have a look out for anything popping up in the diary that might confirm for definite what happened.

Also, I've just came across entries of his unit 'firing' and there are some abbreviations that I was hoping someone could kindly explain to me. I've gave an example below of a typical entry I've came across:

493rd siege battery (N) fired 30 rounds on H.B. NX42 Results 10k 10y 9z 5a 1c 10w

 

Is there anywhere I can find out what these numbers and letters stand for?

Thanks again,

Emma

 

 

 

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Emmy

I've just seen that there's another board on interpreting documents so I've posted my question there. Thanks again!

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dave balcombe

Hi Emmy

My grandfather, Sergeant William Henry Balcombe was also in the 493rd siege battery in 1918 so I would be interested in sharing discoveries with you. I have his personal diary for 1918 so if there are any particular dates you are interested in let me know. One entry that may be of interest is Friday 17th May 1918 it reads

'On gun. Took No1 in action for first time on 12". Good shoot 9Y 11Z'

Where were you able to download the war diary from?

My grandfather was an artist so I have drawings and paintings from his service I will eventually get round to uploading some of them.

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ororkep

Welcome Dave to the forum,

There are many here who would be interested in seeing your diary entries and illustrations.

493 SB WD can be found and purchased for a small sum here:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/da2ebe105b434fa3af6b70055f4e1c81

26 Brigade WD here:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/7bb4a06bd78d4a4881bc9edd245946cb

and here

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/057fbe63cde941698172650030cf2fe8

Rgds Paul

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dave balcombe

Thanks Paul, I have downloaded the war diaries described above and read them alongside my grandfathers diary. It is clear that he was on the N battery which does not seem as active as the 493rd S battery. The shooting reports match up exactly. His diary is written in pencil and is not always easy to read and is a week to two pages so would be a big undertaking to scan in but if anyone is interested in a particular date I will make a copy for you. I have scanned in one week that ties in nicely with the WO95/221/11 war diary.

Thanks to those who provided the information above which has lead to greater understanding. I now need to track down the war diaries for the 122 siege battery which he was in previously but will also have to work out the dates for that. I do know that before the war from 1907 to 1914 he was a volunteer in the Sussex Royal Garrison Artillery on the coastal guns at Newhaven Fort. This became full time service for the first year or two of the war then he was moved to the front line when I believe it was realised hte Germans would not invade and the fit men could be moved to the front and replaced with those less fit.

I have attached a couple of his drawings but have many more.

Siege Battery RGA Christmas Card 1918.pdf

Diary entry 3-9th Feb 1918.pdf

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dave balcombe

Thanks for that, the diary was fascinating and I found him mentioned a couple of times, I will put together a list of places he was stationed at and will hopefully be able to work out his service history.

Yes you are correct that he did other Christmas cards, he also drew many cartoons but I am not sure where they would have been published was there a regimental newspaper and if so are there any copies on line? I have attached another Christmas card drawing and a couple of cartoons.

W H Balcombe drawings.pdf

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