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Remembered Today:

'J' Battery Ammunition Column


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'J' Battery RHA went to France with the first wave of the BEF in September 1914, they went with their own Ammunition Column but I can't find the composition of said Unit, Does anyone have access to this information, or know where to get it?

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The detailed composition (from War Establishments) is as follows:

Captain, 3 Subalterns, BSM, BQMS, Farrier-Serjeant, 8 Serjeants, 7 Shoeing-Smiths (incl 1 Corporal), 4 Saddlers, 4 Fitters or Wheelers, 2 Trumpeters,6 Corporals, 7 Bombardiers, 44 Gunners, 133 Drivers, 5 Batmen.

 

Ron

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David Porter

The figures on the LLT and from Ron above do look rather high to me and were probably for the RHA Brigade Ammunition Column with HQ and two sections. As it was formed early on in the formation of the BEF there could have been single sections allotted to each battery. There don't seem to be any official figures for a Battery Ammunition Column at this point as they didn't exist before the war (only in the TF)

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As pointed out that establishment must be Brigade level. J Bty diary indicates that its own Bty AC was apparently formed with 2 officers [Capt Parsons and Lt Meade] and some drafts  from C and F Btys.... its own Bty strength at 5 officers +MO+AVC +216NCOs and men+ 241 horses, so the Bty AC will have been significantly less, one would think - approx half of Bde AC?. I have not seen any establishment figures in any RHA war diaries but I wonder if they might be found [or be reconstructed?] from Cavalry Bde/Div QM records/returns?

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Apologies - the breakdown I gave in post 3 does relate to a BRIGADE Ammunition Column.

 

The same source gives the following for a Battery Ammunition Column. It is, as battiscombe suggests, about half the size of a Brigade AC.

Subaltern, 4 Serjeants, 3 Shoeing-Smiths, 2 Saddlers, 2 Fitters or Wheelers, 1 Trumpeter, 3 Corporals, 3 Bombardiers, 21 Gunners, 66 Drivers, 1 Batman. 
 

Ron

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Thank you. It is not obvious on first glance in the FSR, but when you tot up the figures it does appear that the AC supports a brigade of three batteries. I've added a clarifying note on the LLT page.

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I seem to have lost an additional update - in that [1] Cavalry Div clearly expected to have 2 x 2 Bty RHA Brigades with HQ + 2 AC sections  and this is detail from a table used for train movements c.19 Aug 1914.. from WO95-1098-1-1 .. which does indeed match the 106 men + subaltern listed by Chris Baker. [last columns relate to horses + wagons + carts + bicycles]

358241620_CavDivAug1914.png.b221d7db345246b23ffdcac3d4428df0.png

Edited by battiscombe
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The four-brigade Cavalry Division of August 1914 did indeed have two two-battery RHA brigades. In September the divisional organisation was changed to three cavalry brigades, and the RHA brigades to three batteries and an amm column, but I have not been able to find whether the amm column was any bigger than the August version.

 

Ron

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Thanks to all. Most of these responses do indeed refer to Brigade ACs. The answer by Ron looks to be about right and will need a bit more research. I have friends at the NAM and the new RA Archives to see if there are any muster rolls or personal diaries anywhere.

 

Sandy

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