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Remembered Today:

296th BDE (7th Royal Artillery Training School, Winchester(


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Hello, 

 

I was wondering if someone could help piece together some information I am gathering on a great-grandfather (Willam George Beck) who served in WW1. Due to the state of his service records on ancestry (looks like charred edges/damage), I was unable to locate exactly where my ancestor was sent. He was wounded around 7th Dec 1917 and survived, spending 23 days in hospital with a GSW to the right thigh before being sent back to action. Though, no information is supplied on where the convalescence took place.

 

On his enlistment documents I can make out roughly: D Battery RFA, this also shows on some of his medal records as well as 296 BDE on his demob on 11/1/1919. However, the assumption is that he was not assigned to 296 BDE from the offset. I am also unsure of when he first enlisted as this is also cut off on the records, but from age of sign-up (37 years old) and DOB (1881) it may be around July 1917.  He was originally from Hampshire and went to training school in Winchester with the 7th Artillery. 

 

His service numbers are: 

 

Royal Field Artillery  TF/651035  Gunner
Royal Field Artillery 153159 Gunner

 

His TF number does not seem to correspond with 296 BDE though I suppose this could have been a reworking later on in the war. 

 

I have found out lots of useful information so far, but I am currently at a loss with the brigade and regiment assignments. This is the piece that I am interested in as I would like to be able to roughly pinpoint where he may have been injured overseas.  One medal card shows 268bde and I assume this could also be a regiment he was with? 

 

Any help with this would be great.

 

Thanks all.

 

 

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2 hours ago, beckjesse said:

 (looks like charred edges/damage)

Hi and welcome to the forum

If you were not aware

In September 1940, as the result of a fire caused by an incendiary bomb at the War Office Record Store in Arnside Street, London, approximately two thirds of 6.5 million soldiers' documents for the First World War were destroyed.

 

I'm sure some members will be along with info soon

regards

Jon

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Welcome to the Forum beckjesse,

 

I've spent a long time looking at the six figure numbers for the RFA. The fact he has two helps quite a lot. The first number he had was 153159 which was issued at No. 7 Artillery Training School, Avington Park, Winchester around July 31, 1916. This was later known as No. 7 Reserve Brigade RFA TF. His second number of 651035 is indicative of being posted to 325th Brigade RFA on September 19, 1916, but he would not have been issued with that until the TF were renumbered in January 1917 and should have had a four figure number in the interim (probably 5396).  I'll now see if I can find his records to give an idea of what happened next. The 268 is likely to be a Medal Index reference and not an artillery unit.

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A quick look at what is left of his records reveals he was posted to 383rd Battery, 179th Brigade RFA. This brigade was formed at Ewshott in early 1917 and went to France on May 12, 1917. His thigh wound happened on November 30, 1917 (or at least that is when it was reported) and he was returned to England. His last unit is A Battery, 296th Brigade RFA which he left "in the field" on January 11, 1919 for demobilization. However, there are no posting dates from after his wounding, so we don't know if he served elsewhere.

 

Going back to his earlier service, you might like to look at 153152 Henry Joseph Wild who was renumbered 651034 as a result of his posting to 325th Brigade RFA, which at the time was in the Chelmsford area. 

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1 hour ago, jonbem said:

Hi and welcome to the forum

If you were not aware

In September 1940, as the result of a fire caused by an incendiary bomb at the War Office Record Store in Arnside Street, London, approximately two thirds of 6.5 million soldiers' documents for the First World War were destroyed.

 

I'm sure some members will be along with info soon

regards

Jon

 

I had come across this in passing and my assumption was that his records were a part of this bombing, and very, very  fortunate to have survived in that case. Thank you for the confirmation I wasn't exactly sure where this had happened. It all seems to knit together quite well though. 

 

 

1 hour ago, David Porter said:

A quick look at what is left of his records reveals he was posted to 383rd Battery, 179th Brigade RFA. This brigade was formed at Ewshott in early 1917 and went to France on May 12, 1917. His thigh wound happened on November 30, 1917 (or at least that is when it was reported) and he was returned to England. His last unit is A Battery, 296th Brigade RFA which he left "in the field" on January 11, 1919 for demobilization. However, there are no posting dates from after his wounding, so we don't know if he served elsewhere.

 

Going back to his earlier service, you might like to look at 153152 Henry Joseph Wild who was renumbered 651034 as a result of his posting to 325th Brigade RFA, which at the time was in the Chelmsford area. 

 

David, I am incredibly thankful for the research you have been able to provide me with. I have been searching myself, but as a complete amateur the medal indexes were definitely leading me astray. 

 

I have a lot more to work with from the battery and brigades you were able to find. I do wonder if he was sent out for further action after his wounding and that may be something that is left a mystery, but it's a much better start than I had before your help. 

 

From the war diaries of the 179th Brigade RFA (WO95/538) the information is startling: 30th Nov for William's GSW aligns exactly with the German counter-attack at Cambrai on the same day. I will need to research more but this is promising. 

 

Once again, thank you for your time, effort and guidance.

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