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Remembered Today:

A/58 Mobile Field Battery - First RFA motor towed field gun battery ?


ianjonesncl
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Pals

 

I came across a First Army Order (First Army G.S. 1376/25 26/8/18 ) which created a mobile force to operate with the Cavalry Coprs "in order to support offensive action" The force would consist of a lorry borne infantry brigade (34th Infantry Brigade of 11th (Northern) Division), a composite cavalry brigade of motor machine guns and cyclists, and a mobile field battery.

 

A little research with the help of @David26  and his  History of 58th Brigade Royal Field Artillery  revealed the mobile battery was A/58.

 

A/58 Mobile Field Battery RFA - Northumbrian Gunner meanderings - Great War Forum

 

I know that the RGA used gun towers, however is this the first instance of a motor towed field gun battery ?

 

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Ian,

 

Thanks for finding this. It is certainly something I hadn't come across before. An interesting departure from the normal. I've added a note about it in my book. Just wondering who drove the lorries, as I doubt very much that the artillery ORs had the necessary training?

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David

 

I am also thinking that the lorries came with their drivers. Like you, I can not see that the Gunners having the necessary training, the men in the RFA were essentially horsemen. As far as I am aware the RGA gun movers were in the main the responsibility of the ASC, so assume this was extended to an ad hoc RFA Battery.

 

I looked at the Battery from the Gunners perspective, however I suddenly thought that further information may be found by looking at what the MT Companies were tasked to do. I had another look the First Army A&Q war diary and found the Unit Movements Table which I had previously missed. This gives the ORBAT of the Special Mobile Force

 

image.png.db32c100e7446274e4184466a30e48ae.png

 

 The Motor Transport Companies  allocated were -  No 1 G.H.Q Reserve M.T. Coy  and No 12 G.H.Q Reserve M.T. Coy (less 3 Sections.  

 

The information on the ASC on the Long Long Trail -  

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-army-service-corps-in-the-first-world-war/army-service-corps-mechanical-transport-companies/

 

 

ASC Company

Remarks

45

Pre-war. 1st Cavalry Division and later GHQ Troops, as 12 Reserve Park MT.

68

Pre-war. Ammunition Park for 3rd (Lahore) Division.. When Indian Corps left France, became 1 GHQ Ammunition Park.

 

However I am not sure if these are the right units, the GHQ and numbers tie up, but not the unit names. 

 

I will have a look at the 45 and 68 Company ASC war diaries and see if that reveals anything, though it may be one for the ASC experts.

 

Ian

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

In addition to this, I've just found there is a War Diary for a "Motor Section Royal Field Artillery Hejaz Operations"

It will be intriguing to find out more - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4557568

From what is said here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Revolt - it was two 10-pdr guns on Talbot lorries.

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David

 

Not sure if you have seen the blog entry on TE Lawrence - 10 (Motor Section) RFA - Northumbrian Gunner meanderings - Great War Forum

 

It is a shame the war diary has not been digitised, I had to piece the time line of the sections activities from various sources.

 

There are references to the section being made up to six guns. I t would also be nice to know where the manpower came from.

 

Ian

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12 hours ago, ianjonesncl said:

Not sure if you have seen the blog entry

 

Note to self - must look the blogs more regularly. That is an amazing coincidence you posting this brilliant research (with pictures) less than two weeks beforehand. I just stumbled upon the War Diary listing. It is yet another unit I had not seen before. Not sure why it is numbered 10 (as if there were at least another 9 like it). Like you, I want to know who manned these guns and, as they were mountain guns, why not designated RGA? 

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54 minutes ago, David Porter said:

Not sure why it is numbered 10 (as if there were at least another 9 like it). 

 

I wonder if it was one of those where it decided to call it number 10 to give the impression there was another nine sections. An easy deception to execute. 

 

59 minutes ago, David Porter said:

I want to know who manned these guns and, as they were mountain guns, why not designated RGA? 

 

One though was the  section may have been formed from who was available, which happened to be RFA Gunners. It would have been easier to take over guns and stores than sort out the paperwork to transfer men from RFA to RGA. 

 

The mountain gunners in theatre look to have been the Hong Kong and Singapore RGA who were supporting Alenby's advance along the coastal belt, so may have had limited ability to supply manpower.

Camel Artillery - Mountain Battery HKS-RGA - Northumbrian Gunner meanderings - Great War Forum 

 

 

 

 

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