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"B" Battery, 246th Brigade RFA Help Required Please


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Dear all,

 

I am currently researching a casualty (Driver 83736, John William Glover) who served with this unit. Unfortunately I have several problems because RFA are decidedly not my speciality. I am struggling with his unit at the moment though lots of other questions may emerge.

 

It seems fairly clear that he was a wartime enlistment though the SWB roll is not giving me many clues about his enlistment date. Having looked at a couple of numbers close to his, one dates from August 1914 whilst the other is January 1915. I can probably live with that, but any assistance in tying that down a bit more closely would be good. I presume his number represents a "regular" rather than TF enlistment - am I right to assume that?

 

The main problems I am having however are with his unit, and are as follows.....

 

Being a TF unit, was this a 4 gun battery?

Did they have 18 pounder guns or howitzers?

 

I have been through LLT which provides some useful detail but seems to fall short of giving me the answers to the above. If anyone can help it would be sincerely appreciated.

 

Regards,

Mike

 

 

Edited by Medaler
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Starting in the middle but the batteries of the West Riding Division's RFA didn't become lettered A B C etc  until May 1916 after a year in France.  B Battery 246 Brigade had formerly been 6th West Riding Battery, one of the three 2nd WR Brigade batteries.  .They started the war with 15 pounders received from 1st London Div Arty in UK I April 1915.  The brigade didn't get a howitzer battery until May 1916 and that took the usual D letter.

 

The 16 pounders were exchanged for twelve 18 pounders in October 1915 so at this time they were still four gun batteries.  Sources for all the above are the 264 Bde war diary and the CRA 49 Div diary.

 

Not sure how much that advances your researches?

 

Max

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The war diary of 246th Brigade RFA can be download at a small cost on The National Archives website under WO 95/2781.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, MaxD said:

Starting in the middle but the batteries of the West Riding Division's RFA didn't become lettered A B C etc  until May 1916 after a year in France.  B Battery 246 Brigade had formerly been 6th West Riding Battery, one of the three 2nd WR Brigade batteries.  .They started the war with 15 pounders received from 1st London Div Arty in UK I April 1915.  The brigade didn't get a howitzer battery until May 1916 and that took the usual D letter.

 

The 16 pounders were exchanged for twelve 18 pounders in October 1915 so at this time they were still four gun batteries.  Sources for all the above are the 264 Bde war diary and the CRA 49 Div diary.

 

Not sure how much that advances your researches?

 

Max

 

Many thanks Max, that actually helps quite a lot. My man didn't land in France until 10th September 1915, so he would have witnessed the change from 15 to 18 pounders. You have also confirmed my hunch (because that is all it was) about 4 guns rather than 6. The confirmation that they had formerly been the 6th West Riding Battery is also very useful along with the info that they had guns rather than howitzers.

 

So, a great help - and thanks very much.

 

Mike

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10 minutes ago, rflory said:

The war diary of 246th Brigade RFA can be download at a small cost on The National Archives website under WO 95/2781.

 

 

 

rflory,

 

Thanks for that reference. I will go and seek that out. I'm hoping that it might at least give me some clue about where my bloke was when he was wounded and perhaps let me approximate the date. From LLT I gather that his unit were involved in the advance towards the Selle at the time he died.

 

Regards,

Mike

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The number 83736 was issued on August 22, 1914, then, due to the overwhelming number of men joining the New Army, it was issued again on January 20, 1915. It appears the first one went to Raymond Tom Price who went to France on May 16, 1915. So I would say the second issue in January 1915 was to John William Glover. If John had joined a Territorial unit in 1915 or 1916 he would have been given a new number and then renumbered with six figures at the start of 1917. Therefore, the earliest he could have joined B/246 would be January 1917 and most probably later than that. He joined and is numbered as a Regular.

 

With an entry date in France of September 10, 1915 you might be looking at someone in 21st Divisional Artillery if not a general reinforcement draft.

Edited by David Porter
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42 minutes ago, David Porter said:

The number 83736 was issued on August 22, 1914, then, due to the overwhelming number of men joining the New Army, it was issued again on January 20, 1915. It appears the first one went to Raymond Tom Price who went to France on May 16, 1915. So I would say the second issue in January 1915 was to John William Glover. If John had joined a Territorial unit in 1915 or 1916 he would have been given a new number and then renumbered with six figures at the start of 1917. Therefore, the earliest he could have joined B/246 would be January 1917 and most probably later than that. He joined and is numbered as a Regular.

 

With an entry date in France of September 10, 1915 you might be looking at someone in 21st Divisional Artillery if not a general reinforcement draft.

 

And that David is very helpful indeed. What I had found via enlistment dates on the SWB roll had foxed me completely. You have also helped in another way too. It's fairly obvious that Glover wasn't an original member of the Battery, but by confirming that his number was from a "Regular" series, it seems likely that his original overseas service was with a "Regular" Battery. All I know (from CWGC) is that he was with 246th Brigade when he lost his life. His association with that particular unit may have been very short.

 

Thanks again. That has really helped me think things through.

 

Regards,

Mike

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His entry in the Register of Soldiers' Effects has a gratuity of £17 10s which, according to Craig's inimitable calculator, shows enlistment in the month from 16 Jan 1915 which David suggested.

 

Max

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The war diary records 11 wounded on the 11th but no more before the 15th.  At that time B/246 was located south of Avesnes (the diary has "about O 28") about to move forward to support an attack planned for 13th Oct.

As the Effects register and CWGC have "died" rather than "killed in action" or similar the presumption must be that he succumbed to his wounds nearer to the cemetery in which he now lies rather than one nearer to the battery location.   Map/image at 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=14&lat=50.2376&lon=3.3757&layers=101465044&right=BingHyb

 

A bit puzzling (perhaps).  The grave registration document for his CWGC entry records him as "2/44 RFA" which doesn't make a lot of sense in artillery unit terms.  Can anyone make anything out of that?

 

Max

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3 hours ago, MaxD said:

The war diary records 11 wounded on the 11th but no more before the 15th.  At that time B/246 was located south of Avesnes (the diary has "about O 28") about to move forward to support an attack planned for 13th Oct.

As the Effects register and CWGC have "died" rather than "killed in action" or similar the presumption must be that he succumbed to his wounds nearer to the cemetery in which he now lies rather than one nearer to the battery location.   Map/image at 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=14&lat=50.2376&lon=3.3757&layers=101465044&right=BingHyb

 

A bit puzzling (perhaps).  The grave registration document for his CWGC entry records him as "2/44 RFA" which doesn't make a lot of sense in artillery unit terms.  Can anyone make anything out of that?

 

Max

 

Hi Max,

Sorry for the delay - I've had unexpected visitors and been away from the laptop.

 

His obituary in the local press states "....have received news of the death of their son John W. Glover who died from wounds received in action...." and his entry in SDGW also describes him as DOW. I therefore think that the term "died" is being used as a blanket term in Soldiers Effects and CWGC.

 

As his burial sits amongst others with similar dates of death it doesn't look like he was initially buried elsewhere and then moved at some later date. On the other hand the notes on the history of the cemetery at Queant don't mention that it was being used by any medical services that were based in the area. As the evidence suggests that he was wounded on the 11th and died 4 days later it would have given plenty of time for him to have been moved from the Battery position to some kind of medical unit close to the cemetery. I will take a look at some of the other casualties buried in row E and see what SDGW says about their causes of death. If a good proportion of them also DOW then it would perhaps indicate that a CCS or similar were close by at the time.

 

As for the 2/44 RFA reference, I did wonder if it was supposed to be 244th (Brigade) though I can't see that one of those existed on LLT. For 2 of the other artillerymen mentioned on the same page the record states "189th", so it would seem that (if they were trying to be consistent) it should relate to a brigade number. It therefore makes no sense to me either!

 

Regards,

Mike

 

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Totally agree with your likely scenario.  I too thought of perhaps a nearby CCS or FA but no evidence.  

 

Max

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7 hours ago, MaxD said:

Totally agree with your likely scenario.  I too thought of perhaps a nearby CCS or FA but no evidence.  

 

Max

 

I have found a source amongst my archives which gives the No 2 CCS in the area between 12.10 - 15.11.18 and No 57 CCS likewise between 14.10 - 15.11.18. It does give the location as "Quevant" but I'm taking that for a typo - especially as a google maps search for that spelling brings no results. Given those dates it looks like No2 to me.

 

Regards,

Mike

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I'd go along with that Mike.  2/44 could itself be an interpretation of a scrawled 2 CCS - quien sabe?

 

Max

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25 minutes ago, MaxD said:

I'd go along with that Mike.  2/44 could itself be an interpretation of a scrawled 2 CCS - quien sabe?

 

Max

 

Again Max, sincere thanks for your help in getting this one sorted. Thanks particularly for checking the logic of some of my guesswork. I only rarely get exposed to Gunners and am afraid that my knowledge of them lags behind my more usual infantrymen. The help I've had from all on this thread has been invaluable.

 

Regards,

Mike

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1 hour ago, Medaler said:

I only rarely get exposed to Gunners

 

You should try it more often:D

 

Max (ex RA and RHA)

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