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Remembered Today:

Royal Field Artillery war diary


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I am researching a soldier called John Hebblethwaite , and I already have quite a bit about him he was a Warrant Officer, then sergeant 

He was awarded the Military Medal which was gazetted in March 1918 

his unit is given only as 4/Field Artillery 

Im not sure whether this means Battalion , although one transcription says 'Battery'

is there any hope of finding out how he got the MM , and where his unit was stationed in France in about September 1917

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51 minutes ago, clk said:

Do you know if your man had the service number 785284?


That's the man



Has service papers are on Ancestry  which will fill in a few details 


The best place to find out the citation  for the award of the MM would be the local paper

where he resided  as citations for the award rarely exist


I'm sure one of our Royal Field Artillery experts will be along shortly to add further info



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Yes this is my man and I have already found quite a few records 

searching newspapers didn’t bring up anything 

may have to accept there is no info on the circumstances of his medal 

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Th unit on his MM card is A Battery 312 Brigade RFA


Their war diary is at the National Archives :https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355369


The diary will have A/312


If you have Ancestry - https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/60779/43849_3075_2-00000?backurl=&ssrc=&backlabel=Return


You may not find specific mention unfortunately, detail of MMs is rare.

  A LG entry in March 1918 suggest events some 3 months previously although late entries were also common.




Rank - he was appointed Acting Warrant Officer Class II (from Sgt) and made Acting Battery sergeant Major but reverted after 3 months, the reason  is not given but reversion was usually at the man's own request.

Edited by MaxD
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He is noted in the diary entry of the 1st January 1918 where it lists new year honours awards, and awards "...for gallantry during the operations commencing on 25th November on the Cambrai front..." Unfortunately there is no specific citation in the diary.




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Good spot Chris

The Commander Royal Artillery's diary for November 1917 has a detailed description of the 62 Division's artillery support to the Battle of Cambrai.  https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/60779/43849_3075_2-00000?backurl=&ssrc=&backlabel=Return#?imageId=43849_3073_0-00398


The battle is well described on the LLT here:http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/battles/battles-of-the-western-front-in-france-and-flanders/the-cambrai-operations-1917-battle-of-cambrai/


A Battery 312 Brigade was one of 19 Royal Field Artillery batteries allocated along with other heavy artillery to 62 Division's part in the battle.  Map and image here:


The battery was in the north west quadrant of square E 29 near the junction of the Rue Dainville and the present day Route Nationale.

It was the sort of operation that required top performance by the artillerymen (and the infantry and others of course!) and after which battery commanders would be asked to nominate men whose conduct during the operation they thought worth of recognition.




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For the MCs/DCM gallantry awards in the diary


Lt John Boden was C/132


2/Lt Percy Furlong - unspecified Battery




2/Lt Edward Williams was D/132


BSM George Bowden was A/312




786499 Cpl Walter Jeffrey was C/312


All images sourced from The National Archives.






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