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Clint Fraser

Royal Garrison Artillery, 266th Siege Bty.

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Clint Fraser

Hello,

 

I have been scouring the internet to find more information about my great grandfather, Gunner Alexander Neish (Service No: 99231, RGA, 266th Siege Bty.). He died on the 21st of April 1917, I assume taking part in the Battle of Arras.

 

I've subscribed to ancestry.com and found most of his service records, and found his memorial with the CWGC.

 

I would love to find more information about his unit's location and activities when he died, but I am not having much luck searching war diaries, this site or others, for information during this period of time.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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clk

Hi Clint,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

It looks like there might be something bundled together in this download.

 

Regards

Chris

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

As CLK mentions, there is a War Diary for 266 SB available for download from The national Archive for £3.50 :

Here

although how detailed it is, I can't say.

One would hope it had frequent updates on locations and activity.

The diary covers the period  Sept 1916-Jan 1918 , and covers the period that your ancestor served with them.

 

You might get more information by dowloading the diaries of the Heavy Artillery Groups that the battery was part of following its arrival in France in February 1917 although a couple covering the time of his death  seem to be absent:

To 73 HAG 24/2/17     War diary at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/75dcd1dfac614eea9c18b401b79cbfcd

To 8 HAG 27/2/1917                           http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/99ba290e474e48ada3b1cd9321dd036c

To 85 HAG 6/3/191              Diary only after 1/5/1917                   http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/24f9518d34d1420faa8c4680d0d8d392

To 58 HAG 14/4/1917              Diary only from August 1917       http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/e6870b195d194ec4844a2624c71dab9a

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Clint Fraser

Thank you. I didn't expect such a rapid and comprehensive response. The first file linked had the information requested. I wonder if I'll be able to place this on a map?

RIP.png

Edited by Clint Fraser
Clarification.

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petwes

Clint

If you haven't already downloaded the diary I would certainly recommend you do.  It is one of the better kept records; although it doesn't mention your GGF by name it records casualties during the period and also the location of the battery.

 

Peter

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Excellent.

The diary also gives the exact location of the battery at 51b.N.33.a.3.4

If you input that figure into The Great War British Trench Map Converter, you can see where it is today on google Maps:

The Great War British Trench Map Converter,

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petwes

I've just checked my copy of 58 HAG diary.  The National Archives cataloguing is wrong; the diary starts in August 1916 so covers the period of interest.  Having said that it's fairly terse with only a couple of sentences for the period 14th to 22nd April.  It notes that along with 156 and 239 SB, 266 SB was "...engaged in counter-battery work. Shoots for destruction and neutralizing. "

At the next level of command 58 HAG were in VII Corps and the diary of interest would be filed under WO 95/813 at TNA. 

 

Peter 

 

 

Edited by petwes

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clk

Hi Clint,

 

Using the transparency slider on this website allows you to blend trench maps with the modern day aerial view, and with Google Earth you can do a kind of virtual walkabout.

 

Regards

Chris

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Clint Fraser

Does anyone have an idea of how to interpret the Place of Grave notes on this document?

PlaceofGrave.png

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Is this a page documenting what correspondence there has been between the Army/War Office and his family?

The first entry right column has B104 and N of K   (Next of Kin) in it. I suppose a letter telling NOK where his grave was located.

The bottom entry reads AFW 5080 which stands for Army Form W5080.

This was a form sent to the NOK asking for details of parents,, widows, children siblings, grandpaents, uncles aunts, half siblings etc, to establish inheritances.

 

EDIT:

Yes the form is an Inside Sheet in his records, to document correspondence about him (Army Form B104-53)

The columns from Left to right are:

Registry No (Presumably a reference number, indexed somewhere)-From Whom-Purport & Date-Action

The first entries are from the Officer In Charge, RGA Records.

This entry is from ?DGRE (Don't know who that is, but presumably Graves Registration unit).

Purport- Place of Grave

Action- Form B104-12? sent to N of K infd. (?=Informed )19/8/18

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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Moira Griffiths-Cunningham

Hello Clint

I am a resident of Helensburgh, your grandfather's home town.  Currently we are working on gathering all information possible on the men - and one woman - who appear on our War Memorial in the local park. I had just googled your Grandfather's name and saw this forum!

If you have any more information than that on CWGC we would be very grateful!

Kind regards

Moira 

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clk

Hi Moira,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

It looks like Clint hasn't been on the site for a couple of years. Hopefully though this alert @Clint Fraser might catch his eye if he still has the same email account. Have you seen the service file for Alexander? It is here on Findmypast, and here on Ancestry. It contains things like his physical description, his age, marriage details, children's names/DoBs, his occupation, and home address.

 

Regards

Chris

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