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Hammerman75

Help - 346th Siege Battery RGA assistance required

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Hammerman75
Posted (edited)

The National Archives have referred me to the Long Long Trail seeking a possible Unit amalgamation - without success.

The National Archives also suggested I contact the Great War Forum - so here I am requesting your assistance/advice/redirection. 

 

I am hoping to attend Kew National Archives and I am seeking to request the war diaries for the 346th Siege Battery.

My Great Uncle; Gunner 326818 - Frederick William Fenton was originally based at Clyde Defence, Ardhallow Battery defending the Naval Fleet in Clyde, Scotland before they were shipped out to the Western Front due to the shortage of guns. 
Unfortunately I can't seem to find out much about them at all and my great Uncles service records must have been destroyed in the WW2 bombing.

I have located the 346th Siege Battery as being attached to 49th RGA, 5th Army Troops in WW1 and have downloaded the single digitised diary in August 1917 from National Archives.

I believe the 346th Siege Battery was also attached to 4th Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column, 179th Army Brigade Ammunition Column.

Does anyone know anything more?

Can anyone advise me upon how I may trace the records or acquire references to acquire more information relating to the 346th Siege battery please.

Many thanks

  

 

Edited by Hammerman75
spelling error

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ororkep

Welcome to the forum Hammerman,

if you purchase for a small sum the WD (from the NA website) for 15 Brigade RGA which 346 Sge came under its control from 7.10.17 to 1.12.17. You may find the entry for 13 Nov of interest in relation to your ancestor and his shell shock entry hospital admission to be found in FMP that followed. Did his war end then (Nov17) or do you know different?

NA Ref: WO95/216/3

Rgds Paul

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Hammerman75

Thanks for your warm welcome and advice Paul

I have purchased War Diary WO95/216/3 as advised.

Apologies for appearing stupid but upon reviewing Army Troops 15 Brigade RGA War Diary 1st Sep - 30 Nov 1917 I can not see anything on 13 Nov 1917 (jpeg70) Oostkerke referring to Private Fenton or the shell shock to which you refer (screen shot attached).

Please can you confirm abbreviation FMP? Only a Bombardment report follows the war diary?

Regards

Hammerman

 

13 Nov Screen Shot.JPG

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ororkep

Sorry I should have been clearer. FMP = Find My Past (subscription site) which holds the records of 34 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station). Ive attached a transcription of the relevant page for you where your man was admitted on the 14th suffering with shell shock.

The above page you loaded refers to movement of 346 SB the day before and bty casualties suffered during the operation from enemy bombardment. Although not named I think there is a good possibility Fenton was one of the 8 wounded ORs. The two fatalities are easily found on CWGC (326834 Braysher & 101577 Cook) and by perhaps tracing local papers from where they resided may proffer further information especially with the close service numbering of Bdr Braysher to yours.

Rgds Paul

346 Sge Fenton.pdf

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kevinrowlinson

I would agree with Paul that Gnr. Fenton is almost certainly one of the ORs mentioned as being wounded on the 13th. One man also died on the 14th who may have also been one of the 8.

 

Your relatives number would indicate someone who was transferred to the Clyde RGA after first being conscripted/mobilised at the end of Oct., beginning of Nov. 1916 and being told to report to No. 1 Depot, Rugeley. He would have been given a  "regular" number there (between 1249?? to 125???), but after his posting to the Clyde RGA he would have been renumbered from their TF numbering series. He almost certainly served with 1/2 Company before being posted to 346 SB on its formation at Portkil, Kilcreggan on the 18th January 1917. One of  the nearest men who he served with, and had a similar route, was 326823 William George Matthews, his records have survived.

 

Kevin 

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clk
Posted (edited)

Hi Hammerman75,

 

The FMP 'hospital' record that Paul found reads as:

 

First name(s): F W

Last name: Fenton

Service number: 326818

Rank: Bombardier

Unit: 346 Siege Battery RGA

Admitted to: 34 Casualty Clearing Station in/near Zuydcoote (age 21) from 1/1 East Lancashire Field Ambulance suffering ('wounded') from shell shock on 14.11.1917

Transferred to: 34 Ambulance Train on 15.11.1917

 

The war diary for 1/1 East Lancs FA is available from both the National Archives (here) and Ancestry (here). It is very highly unlikely to mention Frederick by name, but if you were to be interested in the likely initial evacuation chain, it would also be worth looking at the diary for the Assistant Director Medical Services, 42 Division (Ancestry here).

 

The war diary for 34 Casualty Clearing Station, probably wouldn't be worth getting as Frederick would probably just be rolled up in a number count of men passing through.

 

The war diary for 34 Ambulance Train might show you where his initial ongoing evacuation was to.

 

The FMP hospital record says that at the time of his admission, he had completed 14 months service - 5 months of which had been in the 'field force' - these can often be incorrect though, so it might be worth looking at men with near numbers who do have surviving papers, to see if any general inferences can be made. For example, 326817 Chalkley was mobilised 21.10.1916. NB numbers weren't allocated at the point of attestation, rather than when effectively they joined up (or shortly after). A slight twist in your case is 326818 is a 1917 TF renumber, and he likely served under another number when he was originally mobilised (prior to being posted to the Clyde RGA, where he was possibly renumbered to another number, which in itself was later converted to the 1917 TF renumber). Within a specific unit those 6 digit 1917 TF renumbers are usually based sequentially on the service number held previously immediately before the renumbering.

 

image.png.1a2d0707f1366c0c04f72bd8cde1c805.png

 

...and 326823 Matthews was mobilised 30.10.1916

image.png.ebd601f270550580101504468923bcae.png

Images sourced from Findmypast

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by clk

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Hammerman75

Makes sense now! Thank you Paul

Really pleased to have the war diary and thank you very much for the transcript - had no idea he had shell shock but can totally understand why.

Thankfully he survived the war and passed in 1960, albeit relatively young (aged 64).

I will also have a look on the local newspaper websites as you suggest.

I don't know anymore than this sadly - really appreciate all your help and the dates regarding the 346th Siege battery attachment to 15 Brigade.

I will have a look on the Canadian sites for the others.

Have a great weekend

Regards

Hammerman

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Hammerman75

Fantastic, thank you Chris.

This Territorial Force renumbering sits nicely with what I know of his involvements in Clyde (I have been in touch with a chap in inverclyde who provided some local newspaper clippings although not specific to Private Fenton).

The only cat amongst the pigeons is the  'Gunner F Fenton 125414, 1/2 Company, Clyde RGA, Ardhallow Fort, Dunoon' which I have from an old address book belonging to my grandmother who wrote to her brother 'Fred' there - which does not fit with the TF numbers for Clyde RGA. Subsequently the inverclyde historian could not trace him either.

We all hail from Essex so it's interesting to see his initial Clyde posting!???

I will certainly have a good dig around in the other war diary archives you have suggested though and much appreciated for the tips regarding other soldier either side numberings too.

Thank you - hope you also have a great weekend.

Regards

Hammerman

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Hammerman75

Big thank you to Kevin also - really appreciate all your help tonight chaps!

Numbering now makes sense 326818 - Clyde RGA TF and 125414 regular number for 346th Siege Battery.

Very happy - cheers!

 

 

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clk

Hi Hammerman,

 

24 minutes ago, Hammerman75 said:

The only cat amongst the pigeons is the  'Gunner F Fenton 125414, 1/2 Company, Clyde RGA, Ardhallow Fort, Dunoon'

 

I didn't post it, but there are service papers for a 326817 Chalkley which show he had a previous number of 125395.

 

Regards

Chris

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Hammerman75

Thanks Chris - I'm with Ancestry.com but thinking I may need to look at Find My Past down the local Library to improve my war records accessibility.

Useful

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clk

Hi,

 

To be fair, I didn't look completely through the files of 326817 Chalkley, and 326823 Matthews to see what their previous numbers were. Whilst slightly more difficult to find on Ancestry rather than FMP, they should be there though.

 

Regards

Chris

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Hammerman75

No worries, will take a good look from your leads - Thanks

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kevinrowlinson
10 hours ago, Hammerman75 said:

Numbering now makes sense 326818 - Clyde RGA TF and 125414 regular number for 346th Siege Battery.

 

Not quite. As I said in post #5 he was initially given 125414 on enlistment at Rugeley, and was given his TF number after posting to the Clyde RGA TF. He would have held his 326818 number for the rest of the war whilst serving with 346 SB, or any other battery if he had been posted to one.

 

Kevin

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Hammerman75

Understood - thanks Kevin

 

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