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Remembered Today:

101 HAG Mesopotamia


Michael B
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Hi I'm looking for information about my grandfather who was a gunner in the 3 Siege Brigade RGA. Was posted to Italy in July 1917 and then onwards to Mesopotamia in Oct-Nov 1917 as part of 101 HAG Mes. Ex. Force. He passed 1st class Signalling and Telephony while in Hipswell. Can anybody tell me about what he may have done in Italy and what did the 101 HAG do in the Mesopotamian Campaign? Thanks M

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Hello Michael and welcome to the forum. 

 

The war diary of 101 HAG, by then known as 101 Brigade RGA, for its time in Mesopotamia is free to download from the National Archives website. Go to its "Discovery" catalogue search, enter the term "101 brigade" and use the "advanced search" feature to restrict the search to within references WO95.

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15 hours ago, Michael B said:

Hi I'm looking for information about my grandfather who was a gunner in the 3 Siege Brigade RGA. Was posted to Italy in July 1917 and then onwards to Mesopotamia in Oct-Nov 1917 as part of 101 HAG Mes. Ex. Force.

Welcome to the Forum.

 

This raises a question to me:

Why would a HAG that had just arrived in Italy be posted on to Mesopotamia when large numbers of troops were being pulled out of France for reinforcement of Italy ? Was it a question of the wrong guns for the campaign ? I don't get the impression they were urgently needed in Mespot ?

 

Charlie

 

Edit I note at the time that 101 HAG included 394,395 and 396 Siege Batteries, all new formations to War Theatres in July 1917.

Edited by charlie962
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Hi Charlie 

Great question. I have no idea why either. It seems strange. Once they got there they were not involved in battle for months just calibration of the guns ?

Hi also wondering what was their role in the 11th battle of the Isonzo? Is around the time 101 HAG was in the vicinity.

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Hi I have war diary of 101 HAG once they leave Italy not sure about what is their role in Italy?? Is there war diary of their time in Italy? In National Archives?

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2 minutes ago, Michael B said:

Is there war diary of their time in Italy?

War Diaries for Italy (shamefully) have not been digitised.

 

There is a book by Hugh Dalton who was a Gunner Officer with the RGA in 1917 in Italy which is available online "With British Guns in Italy"

 

There was a lull at the end of Sept 1917, but it all blew up (!) again in Oct just after 101 HAG had left.

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20 hours ago, Michael B said:

They definitely got lucky to be en route to Iraq away from Caporetto!

That period July August 1917 seems rather glossed over in several accounts so it seems Dalton's account is particularly relevant as he was in one of the Siege Batteries sent to Italy in the Summer of 1917, followed closely by those of 101 HAG. Dalton emphasises that Britain (and France) sent just Heavy Artillery, no infantry at this stage, to show support. How unfortunate that Britain (according to Dalton) got nervous about the Turks and pulled their batteries just before the Austrians, aided by the Germans and using troops released from the Russian Front following the Revolution, launched their attacks.

 

Talk about bad timing!

 

Charlie

PS there is a very readable account on the whole Italian front called "The White War" by Mark Thompson. There is also the Official History of "Military Operations Italy 1915-1919".

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