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Chasemuseum
Posted (edited)

I have no idea if what I am seeking is possible but would appreciate any help that can be provided. I have a field artillery driver's legging often called a "leg iron", a leather gaiter with an iron strip, worn by the driver of the wheeler in team of 6 horses to protect the right leg from being crushed by the pole of the pole draught. This legging has been stamped with the names of the members of a troop and the names of the horses.  There is no indication as to which unit they belonged. If possible it would be great to have any information as to what unit they belonged to, the division their brigade was attached to and where they served. Again any help would be appreciated. The soldiers named on the legging are:

      Sgt Harnett

      Bdr Gascoyne

     LBdr Hobbs

     LBdr Elliott

      Gnr Day  

     Gnr Collings

     Gnr Clarkson

     Gnr Mayhew

    Gnr Hay

    Gnr Coupar

   Gnr Williams

   Gnr Hodgkinson

   Gnr Hubbard

 

Cheers

RossIMG_4354.JPG.1f2b7a437e00909bfb21e00fcacc666b.JPG

Edited by Chasemuseum
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David26

Ross,

 

That's a nice piece you have there!

 

A quick look in Ancestry for the MICs for 'Harnett' and 'Royal Field Artillery' reveals 11 men with that surname.  Of those, 10 appear never to have progressed beyond Gunner or Driver.  One though qualified for the 1914 Star as a Bombardier, 41383 James Harnett who was serving in 38th Bde RFA when he went to France on 11 Sep 1914.

 

His pension record survives which shows that he attested on 22 Jan 1906 and joined 93 Battery as a Driver.  He transferred to the Reserve after 3 years' service and was mobilised on 6 Aug 1914.  He was posted to 24 Battery two days later.  On 10 Mar 1916 he was posted to 38 Bde AC and transferred to 6 DAC 12 May 1916.  He returned to the UK two months later and was posted to 99 Bde in Salonika on 18 Dec 1916.  He was appointed A/Bdr on 29 Sep 1917, promoted to Bdr on 18 Jan 1918, appointed A/Cpl on 5 Dec 1918.  Although the record suggests he progressed no further, the 'Initial Award' sheet has him as A/Sgt. 

 

So it's very far from conclusive, but you may wish to see if you can link any of the others to service with 99 Bde in Salonika?

 

All the best,

 

David.

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GWF1967
Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, David26 said:

 Ross,

 

That's a nice piece you have there!

 

A quick look in Ancestry for the MICs for 'Harnett' and 'Royal Field Artillery' reveals 11 men with that surname.  Of those, 10 appear never to have progressed beyond Gunner or Driver.  One though qualified for the 1914 Star as a Bombardier, 41383 James Harnett who was serving in 38th Bde RFA when he went to France on 11 Sep 1914.

 

His pension record survives which shows that he attested on 22 Jan 1906 and joined 93 Battery as a Driver.  He transferred to the Reserve after 3 years' service and was mobilised on 6 Aug 1914.  He was posted to 24 Battery two days later.  On 10 Mar 1916 he was posted to 38 Bde AC and transferred to 6 DAC 12 May 1916.  He returned to the UK two months later and was posted to 99 Bde in Salonika on 18 Dec 1916.  He was appointed A/Bdr on 29 Sep 1917, promoted to Bdr on 18 Jan 1918, appointed A/Cpl on 5 Dec 1918.  Although the record suggests he progressed no further, the 'Initial Award' sheet has him as A/Sgt. 

 

So it's very far from conclusive, but you may wish to see if you can link any of the others to service with 99 Bde in Salonika?

 

All the best,

 

David.

FMP also has  records for A/Sgt James Harnett, a medical record has him with 60th Divisional Ammunition Column in Salonica. His BW+VM roll on Ancestry has him as Bdr/ A/Sgt. 

On your leg guard, does it say RFA Col? 

Edited by GWF1967

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Chasemuseum
59 minutes ago, GWF1967 said:

RFA Col

no RHA CDL

 

CDL means nothing to me.

 

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battiscombe

I note there are only 3 gunner Coupars in MIC lists.. 2 with similar numbers in 6462xx range and likely to be a Scottish TF Brigade or 51 or 66 DAC I believe.??. the other David Coupar 288834 - whose records survive [does not look to be the man..]

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David26

I hadn't spotted that the leg guard said RHA … so, paging through the MICs for all of the Harnetts, there were two who had RHA as a unit.  Neither appeared to progress beyond Gunner/Driver.   And doing the same for all the Coupars, none had RHA as a unit. 

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Chasemuseum

The RHA stamp is from a different set of stamps, so it is not part of the marking up when this team of men chose to commemorate their time together.

 

As an item of equipment a leg iron is an "all arms" piece of kit, issued to all horse drawn artillery, Royal Engineers, Army Service Corps, RAMC and any other group using teams of horses with postillion riders as drivers.  

 

RHA CDL indicated "ownership" by a unit at one time, but I have no idea what CDL means. If it where RHA COL I would suspect that it was the ammunition column of a cavalry division. But that stamp is definitely a "D".

 

Anyway during the course of the war, equipment like this moved around a lot, in and out of stores, salvage etc.

 

Its a very great pity that they did not include the soldiers initials, this is why I have suspected for so long that it may be impossible to identify the men.

 

The identification of an Acting/Sergeant Harnett is a great find as this seems most likely to be the man. 

 

I do not know about the British Army in WW1, in the 1970s the Australian Army had a formal ruling that a soldier holding an acting rank could only hold that rank for 6months, they either must then be confirmed or revert to their former rank. The rule was a definitive regulation but certainly in my unit, people frequently waited extended periods for promotions to be confirmed in  standing orders.

 

Cheers

Ross

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