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stu

B Bty, 87th Brigade RFA

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stu

Hello,

Can anyone please help me, I would like to know the activities of B Bty, 87th Brigade RFA from 20/3/1918 to 27/3/1918.

I've already looked on the LLT, I know they serving with the 19th Div and were engaged during the German Spring Offensive, but if possible I would like more detailed information for this period.

 

Many thanks for any help.

Stuart

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rflory

From the war diary of 87th Brigade, RFA from 20 Mar 18 to 27 Mar 18:

 

20 Mar 18 (Neuville Bourjonval): Ordinary brigade routine at the wagon lines. 

 

21 Mar 18 (Neuville Bourjonval); Commencing in the early morning the enemy delivered a very violent and prolonged preliminary bombardment. Back areas and villages received considerable attention during this period.

 

22 Mar 18 (Neuville Bourjonval): Headquarters on the alert since early morning, took up a forward position between Neuville and Metz in the afternoon but subsequently withdrew in the evening to the original HQ in Neuville.

 

23 Mar 18 (Le Mesnil): With the enemy pushing forward vigorously the Brigade was withdrawn in the afternoon to positions on the Le Mesnil road. Later in the evening the Brigade still further to positions near Le Transloy (via Rocquigny).

 

24 Mar 18 (Le Sars): In the morning the Germans continued to attack and batteries and HQ retired gradually to the vicinity of LeSars. The batteries being in action there in the evening with HQ near Courcelette.

 

25 Mar 18 (Pozieres-Aveluy): Next day, the entire Brigade moved along Courlcelette-Pozieres road, the batteries fighting within easy reach of Pozieres and again near La Boiselle. In the evening HQ Dres across the ridge to Aveluy, batteries following later.

 

26 Mar 18 (Martinsart): Next morning a further retirement was made on Martinsart, HQ remaining in the village while the batteries took up positions on the ridge behind. Here the Brigade remained until relief 

 

27 Mar 18 (Martinsart): the late afternoon of the 27th. Headed by HQ the Brigade moved to Marieux.

 

 

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stu

Hi Rflory,

Many thanks for the info, does there happen to be any mention of casualties ?

My great uncle was wounded on the 26th and subsequently died of wounds.

 

Many thanks for your help

Stuart

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charlie962

CWGC shows B/87Bde RFA:

 

1 death for 22/3/18

 

Driver Alexander McGillivray 47490

 

 

2 deaths for 27/3/18 for the Battery (not to say there weren't others)

 

Driver John Sealey 13059

 

2ndLt Cyril Harcourt Hemus (MC) DoW

 

Next deaths are April.

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charlie962

War Diary here on Ancestry and frree this weekend !

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charlie962

The CRA 19Div War Diary is here on Ancestry and adds this (courtesy Ancestry)

 

1424448001_GWF87BdeRFA21Mar1918.JPG.4710348c8cf46fd838224a85b23c6c67.JPG

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stu

Many thanks Charlie962.

My great uncle William Deal originally enlisted into 156 Brigade RFA, and he is listed as such with the CWGC.

He was wounded in 1916 and I suspect upon his return to active service was transferred, as he is stated as being with B Bty 87th Brigade on a casualty return for the 51st Field Ambulance, I assume that was correct as his original unit 156 Brigade, at the time of his wounding were int he vicinity of the Salient.

 

Many thanks

Stuart

 

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charlie962
52 minutes ago, stu said:

as he is stated as being with B Bty 87th Brigade on a casualty return for the 51st Field Ambulance, I

But the Soldiers Effects record on Ancestry shows him dying of wounds with 156 Brigade at 49 Casualty Clearing Station on 26/3/18.  Have you already seen this but decided it was incorrect ? Soldiers Effects is a pretty reliable record.

 

Charlie

 

edit:   War Diary 156 Bde RFA here. Not helpful !

 

Further edit- 33 Div Arty History here on Archive. org

Edited by charlie962

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stu

HI Charlie,

I've seen the Soldiers Effects record, however the casualty return for 51st FA shows him as B Bty 87th Brigade, and his service number is correct on the return too.

This unit were in the area at the time of his death, but his original unit, 156 Brigade were somewhere in the Salient. He is also buried in Puchevillers cemetery, if he was with his original unit he surely wouldn't have been in the area of the old Somme battlefield when he died.

I've been trying to get to the bottom of this for some time and have always thought that he was probably serving with another unit, but it wasn't until I recently saw the 51st FA return that I have concluded that he must have been serving with them, I can't think of any other explanation other than a clerical error regarding the unit he was serving with when he died.

Attached is the return for the 51st FA.

 

Many thanks for your help.

Stuart

William Deal, 51st Field Ambulance.jpg

Edited by stu

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charlie962
16 minutes ago, stu said:

if he was with his original unit he surely wouldn't have been in the area of the old Somme battlefield when he died.

I see what you mean about the B/87 record. The 49th CCS mentioned in the Effects record used Puchvillers in March 1918 per CWGC so Deal must have been sent from 51st FA to 49 CCS ? However the 51 FA record says sent to 3Can CCS ! All very confusing. If you hadn't found that record one would be merrily assuming that CWGC and Effects were correct with 156 Bde.

 

Puchvillers: Plot VII contains for the most part the graves of men who died in the German advance in 1918, many of whom were buried by the 49th Clearing Station in March 1918,

 

Charlie

 

 

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stu

This has baffled me for a number of years, I only saw the 51st FA return a few months ago, it makes sense to me that it must have been a clerical error, particularly when you consider the sheer number of casualties during the Spring Offensive.

I have also been trying for years to find out which RFA unit my Grandfather served in, all I know is he was a pre-war regular serving in India at the outbreak and subsequently served in Mespot and Palestine, hopefully one day I'll have similar luck as I did with his brother William.

Many thanks for your input and the various links etc.

 

Cheers

Stuart

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jay dubaya

Given that Deal is listed above Sgt Heath also 87th Bde on the same FA return (who appears to have been invalided out due to these wounds) the location of the burial and the 156th Bde being around a 100km to the north at the time of the incident it strongly suggests that Deal had been transferred to the 87th Bde on his return to active service after his earlier wounding, a case of the paperwork supplied by the army not being up to date when the casualty records were compiled.

 

J

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charlie962
6 hours ago, jay dubaya said:

Sgt Heath also 87th Bde on the same FA return (who appears to have been invalided out due to these wounds)

Heath was himself a transfer to 87 Bde from another Bde (not 156), perhaps also after his own earlier wounding,

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