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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Indian Royal Garrison Artillery


stephen binks

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I am writing up notes from our Pilgrimage to Gorre British and Indian cemetery, back in July 2012. I made a note concerning the high level of Driver burials in the plot. What I didn't notice at the time was that they are all dated 8th January 1915; twenty four graves, all 7th Mountain battery. Anybody have any further details of what befell these men?

 

Thank you

 

Steve and Nancy Binks

SomeKindHand

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Although the 7th Mountain Battery had been in India prior to the war, it was actually part of the Royal Garrison Artillery, a British Army Unit, not an Indian Unit.

 See the previous topic Mountain Batteries, 1914 and 1915

 

The Indian Mountain Batteries had a different series of numbering and did not serve on the Western Front.

However, if the deaths are Indian, they could be Indians employed with the British Mountain Battery from the time that battery was in India. but officially  would be in the British Army, not the Indian Army.

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

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Filtering CWGC results for Gorre and 8/1/1915, brings those 24 men up as a group https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-war-dead/results?cemetery=Gorre%2BBritish%2Band%2BIndian%2BCemetery&dateFrom=08-01-1915&dateTo=08-01-1915&exactDate=08-01-1915

This stating they were all Indian nationals, and Royal Garrison Artillery, Indian Army, and all with 3 digit service numbers.

Not having seen any further information yet to state if they "died" or were killed. 24 all on the one day at the same place seems a lot to suggest died of disease - hints at a catastrophic event - possibly  ammunition column being shelled  or an ammunition detonation.

This old thread may be of interest. 

 

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Thank you,

I followed the above link and there was some information regarding shelling of Gorre Wood in the 113HB RGA war diary

 

"GORRE Wood shelled in the afternoon and several casualties among the Mountain Battery drivers billetted there".

 

Thank you again

 

Steve & Nancy

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"Jan.8th A high explosive shell burst at the door of the ?????? ??? billet. Killed 24, wounded 21 (7 died in hospital) forward detachment relieved". From diary.

 

Kevin

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28 minutes ago, kevinrowlinson said:

"Jan.8th A high explosive shell burst at the door of the ?????? ??? billet. Killed 24, wounded 21 (7 died in hospital) forward detachment relieved". From diary.

 

Kevin

That would make sense  -shell hitting billet and taking out a group in one go.

 

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The CWGC has classified these men as Royal Garrison Artillery, Indian Army. However, to my knowledge there is no such entity of this name, in India or on the Western Front. I believe it is a name made up by some Army Clerk or someone in the CWGC to refer to men recruited in India to a Mountain Battery in the Royal Garrison Artillery, part of the British Army.

 

If someone has information that there was an entity officially titled  "Royal Garrison Artillery, Indian Army", could they please advise details.

 

I know in India there were Indian Mountain Artillery, and perhaps a few units of coastal artillery, but I have not seen that they were part of "Royal Garrison Artillery, Indian Army"

 

 Cheers

Maureen

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Hello Maureen

 

You are right. The only artillery units in the Indian Army in 1914 were twelve mountain batteries (numbered 21 to 32) and something called the "Frontier Garrison Artillery."

 

The mountain batteries of the RGA were part of the British Army in India (although one battery was in Cairo, and I think the depot was in Newport, Monmouthshire). They used mule transport and most of the mule-drivers seem to have been Indian.

 

Ron

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