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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Grand-Dad was a Gunner - But Which Branch/Battery?


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Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is a subject, aspects of which, I've brought up in other sections of this site.

My Grandfather joined the Royal Artillery at or about the begining of the Great War (his marriage certificate - Nov 1914 - show his occupation as 'Gunner, Royal Artillery').

He is shown on the certificate as being of (what appears to be) "Ramparts Battery - Portsmouth"

We have no further record of his service in the Artillery, but he next appears, under a slightly different name in a pension grant document, giving his service as 10th Queen's and 16th Labour Bn.

There is a family story that, unable to get compassionate leave from his battery, to deal with a family problem, he 'went absent' and then, to avoid facing discilpinery action, he went to the local recruiters and joined his local Infantry Bn (10th Queen's Bn) in Battersea.

There is another suggestion that he was discharged unfit for further service in the artillery and then joined the Infantry under a different name (although I can't see the physical standards for the Artillery being any higher than those for the Infantry).

In an attempt to sort this out (from fairly minimal information) I'm trying to chase up a number of possible threads .

Other forum members have identified "Ramparts Battery" as possibly being Hilsea Lines Portsmouth.

Can anyone suggest where I might find a list of Artillery units (and possibly their locations) within the Portsmouth area?

Does anyone know of any Artillery units stationed at 'The Ramparts' or Hilsea barracks/Hilsea lines?


Tom the Walrus

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Did you read the Artillery page in the Long Long Trail ? If not:


There were two local Coastal Fire Commands in the Portsmouth area:

No 8 at Horse Sands Fort (at sea off Southsea) and, No 9 in Portsmouth.

If he was in either of these he would have been unlikely to be based at Hilsea Lines for gun crew activity as this is not sea defence territory. If he was shooting guns from Hilsea then his attacker would have passed through the main dockyard area already ! Perhaps his gun position(s) could have been the coastal defences from the old RMB at Eastney,or at Sally Port Old Portsmouth,or down to past Alverstoke on the Gosport side and Fort Gilkicker.

He could of course have been barracked at Hilsea as there were Army barracks there for quite a few years. I am not sure whether they are completely gone now.

There were also Artillery Depots in the area. No 3 Depot RFA WAS at Hilsea,and No 2 Depot,for both Coastal and Heavy/Siege was at Gosport,just over the water to the west. I get the impression that these Depots were for assisiting in training and drafting new and replacement gunners to front line batteries.

As I have missed your other postings you could tell me his name and service details and I will take a look at the NA next Tuesday and see what I can find,time permitting.

Best wishes


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