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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

4th Field Artillery Brigade, AIF

Peter Beckett

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I have started research on my wife's grandfather who was in the above brigade as a gunner. I am looking for information or where to get it, on movements, locations etc so that I can start to get the large blank hole filled. I have all his records from the National Archives in Australia but profess total ignorance on the AIF.

Peter ;)

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Hi Peter

Does it mention what battery he was a part of within the 4th Brigade?

Unfortunately there aren't many unit histories of the artillery, and CEW Bean doesn't mention the artillery much in the official histories.

There is a book called 'Gunners' by David Horner which could help if you can get that through a library loan.

Otherwise when are you at the AWM next? They hold the unit diaries from WW1 which would provide you with the movements of the 4th Brigade Artillery.



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Message for Peter

For basic details on AFA try www.unsw.adfa.edu.au

Search for Artillery. Cross check shipping references etc to AWM Photo & records search.

For your local Light Horse & Artillery Museum, try www.oldcmp.net/dingle1.html

& say G'day to Bernie

Message ends

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I have summarised the following from David Horner's book with a bit from Bean for 1917 bits. As Andrew has already said the amount of info on artillery units (in all armies) is negligible given their importance (in my opinion).

The 4th FAB was part of the 2nd Division AIF artillery and consisted of Batteries 10, 11 & 12 (18 pounders).

The 2nd Division arrived in Gallipoli in August 1915 but without its artillery (lack of appropriate artillery, i.e. howitzers, was a major problem for the Allies in this campaign).

The 2nd Div artillery sailed from Australia in November 1915 and arrived in Egypt the following month under the command of Harold Grimwade.

They reached France at the end of March 1916 and started intensive training in the Armentieres area.

In July 1916 they were on the Somme relieving the 1st Division artillery towards the end of the month.

In September they were in Flanders but returned to the Somme in November.

In January there was a general reorganisation of AIF artillery but 4th FAB remained with 2nd Division.

Early April 1917 found them at Lagnicourt where the Brigade commander (Lt- Col Watts) was killed on 10 April.

Later in April 1917 they supported the attacks at Bullecourt where even Bean felt the AIF artillery work could have been better organised.

In July 1917 they moved to the Ieper area, supporting the Menin Road battle in September and Broodseinde in October. All Australian artillery units in the area suffered large casualties during this period.

In May 1918 they supported the attack on Ville-sur-Ancre.

In August they were involved in the attack on Amiens and then the attack on Mont St Quentin.

While the Australian infantry withdrew for a well earned rest in early October 1918 the artillery kept on working

I may have got bits of this slightly wrong but you get the idea - they were very busy - and it is evident from Horner's book how much the performance and tactics of the artillery had improved between 1915 and 1918.


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see thread "Artillery Cemetries Why Dickiebusch?"

Best way of starting is "signing on" to AWM collections search."Save" a very broad search such as "artillery" to your workarea, then prune it progressively. Using dates & locations from Grandpa's file you can usually get a pictorial & reference dossier. For about $100 pa you can also get the Wartime Mag, and personal help with research. I would suggest that you could do 99% of your research from the AWM site [including the great Links pages]

Orf veeder Seinne

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Thanks for all the help.

I have now in my possession a letter his cousin wrote on 1st Feb 1918 on Australian Red Cross paper from No 16 Command Depot, Sutton Vimy and at the end of the letter he gives my wifes grandfathers address as, 104 Howitzer Battery, AFA, AIF, France and that he was out of the Light Horse and now a driver in the Artillery


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  • 2 years later...

Progress Report :lol:

After a long time, I have restarted this one.

I sent a request to the AWM and received this reply today:

Thank you for your inquiry about records for the 104th Field Artillery and the 4th Field Artillery Brigade

Records held here for the Headquarters, 4th Field Artillery Brigade cover the period September 1915-May 1919. (Microfilm rolls 232-234).

These diaries will be digitised and envisaged to be available on our website in 2007.

We do not hold the unit diaries for the 104th Field Artillery nor for the other three artillery units which made up the 4th Field Artillery Brigade - 10th ,11th or 12th Batteries.

This is great news (the digitising bit, but not the date)

I can access the rolls either personally or by paying a researcher (unless there is a Pal in Canberra with plenty of spare time B) )

Next Question. Does anyone know if the unit diaries (especially the 104th) exit and where they may be?


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The late 1915 and early 1916 reinforcements to ALH were used to form the new units of the 4th and 5th Aust Infantry Divisions.

These included all units but particlarly the Artillary.

If you can give us his name we can track his movment into the 4 FAB as most of these FAB's of the 1st and 2nd Division's didn't get these new men untill the reoranization of all the Batteries in France.

As you may know the 104 Bty was a How Bty for the 4 FAB was formed after June 1916 in France from other batteries.



Edited by stevenbecker
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Hi Steve,

I am not tracking my soldier as I have his details. I am trying to pin down where the 104th was from Nov 1917 until Aug 1919. He transferred from LH on 18 Nov 1917 and stayed with them until 1 Aug 1919.

I know the 104th would have been in the push to Paschaendale but the details are hazy. CW Bean gives them a mention whilst they were in France at Noreuil but thats earlier. Which is why I am looking for the unit diaries or the 4th FAB diary

Peter B)

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  • 1 year later...
Guest VicBitter

Hi guys,

sorry to bring back an old topic but I am heading over to France & Belgium in Sept/Oct and came across this thread when doing research on my grandfather whom also served in the 4th Field Artillery Brigade 10th Battery. I am mostly looking for some more details so I can organise where I would be best to spend my time whilst there.

I was wondering Peter if you had any more luck in obtaining details about the location of the unit Diaries or any other information that may be of use.

At present I'm just going to run with what Neil Mackenzie posted earlier and details from www.unsw.adfa.edu.au but anything else that you or anybody else have stumbled across would be great.



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For 4 AFA Bde. This covers Nov 1917 - Jan 1918. I have the rest but I have to find it. The map references refere to location of HQ.

1 Nov in line Ypres under 1 Div

7 Nov tents/shelters H.23.b.9.1

10 Nov Ypres H.19.c.70.05

19 Nov in line under 49 Div

26 Nov in line under 49 Div A.30.c.4.2 Steenwerck

16 Dec no change

23 Dec T.21.d.20.10

30 Dec no change

14 Jan no change

21 Jan no change

Chris Henschke

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