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A Battery 15 Brigade RFA

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WARFORUM

Are there any RFA experts who could point me in the right direction to find out where my Great Grandfather's Battery was located.  I think he was injured in Achiet-Le-Grand around 25th August 1918.  I would love to visit the area he would have been, but struggle finding information about artillery units.

Also, if anyone could tell me what sort of gun 'A' Battery would have used I would be very grateful.

Graham

   

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jonbem

Hi

War diary on the National Archives is HERE

 

or HERE on Ancestry

 

regards

Jon

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jonbem
WARFORUM

Hi Jon,

Many thanks for you replies.   I now have the WD and looking at it my great grandfathers battery may have been around the Bapaume to Achiet railway near Biefvillers.  Would you agree or have I got that completely wrong and they were located elsewhere? 

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MaxD

That's exactly what the diary for the day before says -  1000 yards west by south of Biefvillers south of the railway.

On the map/image at the link below, I'd put the batteries in square G 24 d to the west of the Rue de Grevillers.

 

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=15&lat=50.1184&lon=2.8197&layers=101465146&right=BingHyb

 

Max

Edited by MaxD

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WARFORUM

Thanks very much Max, this is great and more than I could have expected.

Graham

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Ron Clifton

Hello Graham

 

They were equipped with eighteen-pounders.

 

Ron

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WARFORUM

Thanks very much Ron

 

Have a good day

 

Graham

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WARFORUM

That's amazing, thanks Maz

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MaxD

Ron is too modest to cite his detailed explanations in an earlier thread:

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/228399-organisation-of-a-field-artillery-battery/?tab=comments#comment-2268739

which is worth a read.  It concentrates on the gun and the detachments, note that there were other men involved in signalling, calculating data for the gun, humping ammunition and stores and so on, not to forget the drivers who made up about half the battery (100 men approx.) whose prime responsibility was the horses (and mules).   Which job your G Grandfather did we don't know.

 

Max 

 

 

 

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WARFORUM

Hi Max,

This is really helpful and very interesting.  Embarrassingly I have been shying away from tracing my G grandfathers service as I found it a lot harder than the infantry relatives.  But all the help you guys have given me has started me off on a journey.

I am not sure he ever spoke about the war, but I will speak to other relatives in case they have a idea on what job her did.

Thanks very much,

Graham

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MaxD

As a matter of interest, what was his rank?  Driver Smith is almost certainly one the men employed with the horses Gunner Smith (who can probably still drive horses) is more closely associated with the gun element of the battery

 

Max

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WARFORUM

His service record etc say Gunner.

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MaxD

In that case likely to have been on the gun position in some capacity.

 

Max

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WARFORUM

Thanks very much, after getting everyone's help I am already finding out more about where my G Grandfather was.  I am really grateful for the help. 

Graham 

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WARFORUM

Sorry another question.  Can anyone tell me what ACQ Means in a WD?  It says, "C/300 left Maizieres for ACQ" then in the place column its recorded, 'Mingoval ACQ'.

Graham  

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WARFORUM

What with the meaning of ACQ, I am also stuck at July 1916, WD for 30/06/16 shows A/300 being attached to 51st Division for tactical purposes but I can't trace the WD.  In WO95-3027-3 there is a diary from 15/07/16 to 30/08/16 for 'A/300 F.A.B.' would that be the battery my G Grandfather was in, or is that something completely different?  I know from his letters that he moved to B302 at the beginning of September 1916 and I can pick him up there.

Any pointers would be much appreciated.

Graham

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MaxD

Acq is a small town in France 11 km from Arras.   The context seems to be a location where brigades were being concentrated as the organisation for the next phase of the battle was being carried out.  It makes sense looking at the movement tables for earlier in the month and the associated locations, all to the north west of Arras.

 

What seems to have happened with the 300 Bde diary is that after the attachment of the batteries and HQ to 51 Division, elements of the diary were submitted by individual batteries and you need to look at each set of entries in July to determine which battery is referred to.  Thus the first July page is the HQ diary, The next two pages which start on 15 July is A Battery, the one your ggrandfather was in.  Then come four pages of B Battery and so on.  Incidentally, B battery who were now in the same grouping as A Battery also didn't record the first two weeks of July which suggest they were both not doing a great deal apart from preparing for action in mid month.  I'll chase that a bit further later.

 

The two pages you are looking at are the ones you want.

 

Max

 

Addendum - looking at 51 Div HQRA diary it seems that the attachment referred to on 30 Jun 1916 didn't actually take place until 14/15 July hence the "gap" in the 300 Brigade diary entries

Edited by MaxD
addendum and Acq

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WARFORUM

This is great, thanks again for your help Max.

Shows I'm a novice.

Graham

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