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JimE

X Ammunition Column RHA

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JimE

I am researching our local war memorial (North Holmwood, near Dorking). Harry Edward Hankinson is listed as RFA

He died 15 June 1915

 

CWGC shows dow X Ammunition Column buried Aire Cemetery

SDGW on Ancestry shows died (incorrectly) India Artillery

Soldiers Effects has X Ammunition Column dow Meerut CCS 

 

So clearly died in Meerut CCS, which although from India originally was in France, but what is unit supposed to be?

He is the only casualty shown in CWGC as X Ammunition Column

 

Any help appreciated

Jim

 

 

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sotonmate

Meerut Casualty Clearing Station, a part of 1st Army. There is a War Diary at Kew under WO95/257/1 running from Aug 1914 to Dec 1915.

Downloadable for £3.50. There might be some detail on casualties treated, some Diaries have name and number of casualty, most do not.

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jay dubaya

Jim, have you read here on the mother site?

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Ron Clifton

The RHA batteries deployed in India before the war had separate Ammunition Columns, "numbered" upwards from I. I think X Ammunition Column was one of those.

 

Ron

 

Edited by Ron Clifton

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JimE

Thanks for the replies

Jay - I had looked at the LLT but was unable to find any reference to X Ammunition Column that made sense to me. Have I missed something?

Sotonmate - I had not thought of looking at the War Diary for Meerut Casualty Clearing station. Although it would be unlikely to have names it should give a better indication of location, which might help. I will download it from Kew. I assume that it is not on Ancestry.

Ron - Harry died in June 1915 so we are looking at earlier arrangements of supply and ammunition columns, but I cannot make any correspond to X Ammunition Column.

Jim

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David Porter

Well, it is either the Ammunition Column of "X" battery RHA or 10th Ammunition Column RFA. I think only "X" Battery RHA left India and there are references to an Ammunition Column in their War Diary. See - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351744 or on Ancestry. I did have a quick look and he is not mentioned by name despite others being named going to and coming back from hospital. The placing of Meerut CCS may hold a key and as you suspect that diary is not on Ancestry.

 

In addition, his medal card gives an entry date in France of December 16, 1914 and this coincides (roughly) with "X" Battery RHA arriving at Marseilles. He could easily have been a reinforcement from England to the arriving battery. If you have access to the British Newspaper Archive or Findmypast, there is a report of his death in the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser for July 3, 1915.

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JimE

David

Many thanks for this.

Harry joining X battery RHA in a draft makes sense. I had seen his medal card giving an entry to France in December 1914 but could not work out how he had joined a battery that had started in India. I have also seen the Dorking Advertiser article, but unfortunately it gives little information directly. He is listed as RHA meaning X battery is more likely - I was confused by our memorial which shows RFA. (However the memorial has several other mistakes even about country!). I will have to look at the War Diary for X battery (I have an Ancestry subscription) and compare it with the  Meerut CCS diary. 

Jim

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JimE

I have now looked at the war diaries mentioned.

X battery RHA diary does mention X Ammunition Column but only that both were billeted in the same town on one occasion. The battery diary unusually lists all who joined and left the actual battery but the Ammunition Column must be included in a separate diary somewhere.

Surprisingly the Meerut CCS diary does mention Hankinson in some detail, probably because he was their only fatality that month. "10.6.15 Aire. Gr Hankinson X Ammunition Column RHA was admitted with concussion due to a fall from his horse... He died in a few hours. Post mortem revealed a fracture of vault & base of skull."

So the circumstances are clear ( a tragic accident rather than direct enemy action) but I have not found the unit diary that might show what he was doing.

Many thanks for all the responses, particularly Sotonmate who enabled me to find the reference in an unexpected place

 

Jim

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David Porter
1 hour ago, JimE said:

The battery diary unusually lists all who joined and left the actual battery but the Ammunition Column must be included in a separate diary somewhere.

 

Yes there is, actually it is the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division Ammunition Column, one section of which (Mhow then Ambala) was supplying X Battery RHA. Have a look on Ancestry under piece 1182: Divisional Troops and scroll to page 204. Rare to have an OR mentioned in one diary let alone two to substantiate the story.

Edited by David Porter
correction

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JimE

David

Thank you for finding this and giving me the page. Ancestry does not make it easy to find the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division!

Extraordinary to see such detail given for an OR when I was just expecting to see numbers of casualties. The entries together give a very clear picture.

I will add it to my booklet on the local memorial.

Jim

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