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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

John Partington, 268 Battery RGA


houstos

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Hi

My great uncle 114443 Gunner John E Partington lies in Coxyde Military Cemetery. He was a Gunner with the 268th Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery. He died on 23 September 1917 aged 24. I am trying to find out as much as I can about him and his unit. My mother, uncle and myself are planning to visit his grave this summer and it will be the first time that anyone form his family will have been to the grave. Before we visit I wanted to build up a picture of what he would have been doing in the weeks leading up to his death, and indeed how he may have died.

What kind of guns would he have worked on? and what were the typical tasks of a Gunner in the RGA.

I am trying to track down the reference for the relevant war diary and also any other information about his Battery or the 3rd Brigade RGA which I believe his Battery was attached to.

Any help at all would be greatly received.

Many thanks

Scott Houston

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Hi Scott and welcome to the forum.

You do not seem to be attracting much attention here but I suspect that if you alter your heading to "268th Battery RGA" and put it in the 'Units & Formations' section you will get some of our artillery experts dropping by to help you.

The RGA worked the heavier guns such as 8" howitzers and even the huge 15" howitzers. These were placed quite a way behind the front line and sent heavy shells to the enemy positions. These gunners would attract counter-battery fire so, although away from the front line, it was a dangerous occupation.

Good luck with your search.

Ian

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Hello Scott

Just to add to Ian's reply the 268th Seige Battery was part of the 3rd RGA Brigade.

A copy of the Battery's war diary for 1917-18 can be ordered from the National Archive at the following reference:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...2238639&j=1

The 3rd Brigade's war diary is also available.

Regards

Mel

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Scott,

If you have not already done so, you can download his medal index card at the following site of the National Archives (cost Pnds 3.50):

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...p;resultcount=8

+++

I am sure you have his CWGC details, but maybe someone will do a Soldiers Died lookup for you? Again just in case you have not already done this.

Otherwise good luck with the visit, and take plenty of tissues with you, it can be an emotional time.

Ian

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Scott,

The 3 Brigade is irrelevant to the time frame you are interested in as it is after his death, you require the 34 HAG ref WO95/222.

Gunner John Partington was part of a 10 man team that manned No 1 gun of the left section 268 SB, a 6 in 26 cwt Howitzer. The battery under the command of Major N B MacLean went out to the Western Front , arriving at Le Havre 28/2/1917. Six months later on the 23rd Sept they had dug in at the dunes in Oost Dunkerke when at 2.11 pm a bombardment of some 50 hostile 4.2 and 5.9 shells hit their vicinity. The very second round fell near No 1 gun pit, unfortunately killing him along with two more of the crew, Cpl W M Taylor and Gnr W G Reeves. They are all buried at Coxyde.

Rgds Paul

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Ian

We are redundant :P - although I was a little disappointed that ther was no information on what the crew had for tea.

regards

Mel

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Thank you so much for all your responses.

Ian A - I'll put a post in the Units and Formations section to try and get some more information about 268th Battery RGA.

ororkep - Thank you so much for this information. Very detailed - where did you get that from?? I've had a look on the National Archives website and can I just confirm that the ref I require is actually WO 95/297. WO 95/222 seems to be for the 278th Battery, not the 268th Battery? Is there anything else you can tell me about John Partington's team from when they arrived in Le Havre? Is all this info in the War Diary? I work quite close to Kew so am hoping to go after work one Thursday soon.

Thanks

Scott

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Scott,

Yes it is from the official 268 diary ref WO95/297, just a couple of pages I kept because I liked the CO’s level of detail (the Major) and thought they would come in useful one day……….and they have. You are quite lucky he is actually mentioned by name that late in the war rather than just ‘ 3 OR’s killed.

The 34 HAG reference WO92/222 applies to the Heavy Artillery Group they were part of at the time of his death and should not be overlooked if you want a more overall picture of what they were doing and who fighting along side. They joined this on the 3/9/17 until 25/10/17. It may or may not provide additional information, again it very much depended on who it was written by.

Regards Paul

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