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Remembered Today:

14th (XIV) Brigade RFA


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Can anyone help me please with information regading this RFA Brigade. I know that they existed before the Great War as a Regular unit and that they were part of the 4th Division but after the reorganisation of units, in January 1917, I can find little or no information about them.

I am researching a Lieutenant who served with their "A" Battery who was awarded an MC for his actions at Clery sur Somme in early September 1918 but I would greatly like to know where they served in 1917 and up to the end of the war.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Welcome to the Forum,

The answer is that they became an Army Brigade and were removed from 4th Division on January 13, 1917.
You will find the War Diary under Army Troops - https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/5dd87c782b444b40b093c9918c569401 

A/14 was previously A/188 in 40th Division and joined in the reorganization of January 1917.

 

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Thank you so much David. I have now dowloaded the War Diary and have everything I need. Absolutely Brilliant.

 

 

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Hello again David,

I wonder if I could ask you another question regarding my research into the XIV Brigade RFA. With your help I have been through their 1917-18 War Diary which I found to be most informative. As far as I can tell the Brigade consisted of four batteries in mid 1918 namely the 68th, 88th, A/14 and 402nd (which joined on 10th April 1918). I believe that the first two and the last were 16 or 18 pounder batteries whereas A/14 was a 4.5 inch howitzer battery.

              My puzzle is that I am researching a young man who joined the Brigade in March 1917 as a 2nd Lt. having been posted from an Officer Training School, which I think was maybe Woolwich, and he went on to win a Military Cross on 2nd September 1918. His citation states that he was an RFA Special Reserve Officer attached to A/14th Brigade.

Can you explain what this means please as I assume that it does not mean that he was directly associated with the A/14 element of his unit or perhaps it does ?

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Many thanks,

Tony

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Tony,

I know that at least one source gives A/14 as a 4.5" Howitzer battery but that is not the case. 14th Army Brigade RFA ended up as 4 x 18 pdr batteries. As for the MC citation, being attached to A/14 would indicate that was the unit he was serving in when the medal was won. There were a few Officer Training Schools but none were based at Woolwich. If you can give the name of the person you are researching I might have a better idea where his training took place. Also, have you found his file at the National Archives? 

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Hello David,

Many thanks for your response. The man that I am researching is Lt. John Arthur Rawlings RFA. John was born in Hull in 1885 and between 1908 and 1914 he served, for four years, in the ASC (TF) and reached the rank of CSM. He went to France in early 1915 with the 4th Division and remained with his unit until September 1916 at which point he was sent for Officer training. He was commisioned on 19th March 1917 as a 2nd Lt. (Special Reserve) and was posted to France to join 14th Brigade RFA. He remained with the 14th Brigade until early 1919 when he finally returned home to continue his Tailoring business. Thanks to your initial guidance towards the unit War Diaries I read through them and found an entry detailing that he, along with several other officers, were being discharged from his unit to return home.

He was awarded his MC for his actions on 2nd September 1918 at Clery sur Somme during the last 100 days campaign.

I did look in the National Archives but all I could find was his Medal Card data but I have located his MC Citation elsewhere and relevant London Gazette entries although I could not find any entry or data regarding his promotion to Lieutenant.

Any guidance you can give will be much appreciated.

Tony

 

 

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Thanks for the details. It is interesting that his rank service papers are available to view on Ancestry of Findmypast and were not carried forward to his officer file. His officer file is still with the MOD, or in the process of being transferred to the National Archives. His file (service) number is P97542 with a date of birth given as August 10, 1885. I think only direct relatives can apply to the MOD for the file details so there may be a wait for it to appear in the NA catalogue.

As you say it was a commission from CSM, in as much that he was still regarded as ASC when on attachment to the Artillery Training School. Frustratingly, his surviving pages on Ancestry do not say where the school was. Some cadets were given number from the RH and RFA regular series, whereas John retained his old ASC number until being commissioned. Looking at the dates it was likely to be No. 1 RFA Officer Cadet School at St. John's Wood or No. 2 RFA Officer Cadet School at Topsham Barracks, Exeter, as the others didn't take cadets until early 1917 by which time he had almost completed the course.

Rawlings1.jpg.64eca500d503a71016410fef0cad681d.jpg

Rawlings2.jpg.08466466b3e9d8b49df0daef2d12909e.jpg

Images from National Archives (WO 338/16) and MOD dataset (Service Personnel born before 1901)

 

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Thank you again David for this useful information - your subject knowledge is exceptional.

Best regards,

Tony

 

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