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Remembered Today:

Which RFA Brigade


bdmurphy

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Good evening again,

I have taken advice from the forum on my grandfarthers service and have downloaded his MIC (attached) trouble is I don't speak the language, does this card indicate which RFA unit he was in?

If it helps I have 1915 diary entries as follows:-

"Wednesday 14 April 1915 Left Doncaster at 10.15

Thursday 15th Passed through London 6.30 am Southampton 10.15 Detrained and embarked horses and guns. About 1000 other troops and 800 horses on board the Rosetta. A fine night and a pleasant voyage. Three destroyers escorted us. Left 7 pm."

Many thanks in advance

Dave Murphy

post-20615-1178651307.jpg

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Based on the 785373 number, it will be one from

785001-790000 247th Brigade, RFA TF (previously 1/3 West Riding Brigade)

Per LLT,

"CCXLVII Territorial Force 1st Line 49th Division from pre-war, broken up by 28 February 1917. Redesignated from III West Riding Brigade May 1916. Batteries from Sheffield. "

or

785001-790000 312th Brigade, RFA TF (previously 2/3 West Riding Brigade)

Per LLT,

"CCCXII Territorial Force 2nd Line 62nd Division from formation in February 1915 until November 1918. Originally designated 2/III West Riding Brigade."

49th Division crossed to France from 12th to 19th April 1915, so almost definitely the former.

http://www.1914-1918.net/49div.htm

Steve.

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Link to his commission:

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...;selHonourType=

Whilst I can't yet prove this is referring to him he may have served with the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade after his commission:

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...;selHonourType=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...;selHonourType=

His officers service file could be any of these (or none!)

WO 339/11869 MURPHY B, Capt 1914-1919

WO 339/50382 MURPHY B [1914-1922]

WO 339/64129 MURPHY B [1914-1922]

WO 339/69905 MURPHY B [1914-1922]

WO 374/49690 MURPHY, Lieut B 1914-1919

I often find territorials files are in WO374, so the last one might be best place to start. These files are physical files at the National Archives.

Officers files are paradoxically often useless for his career as an officer but will often have his complete OR papers attached.

Steve.

Steve.

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Steve,

Many thanks, I am taking a little bit of time getting used to the procedures and language of researching the various resources. I have personal diaries for my grandfather for 1915 (Quite detailed) and 1918 and 1919 (both very sketchy)

In 1915 whilst he was in the ranks he was based in the Artois for most of the year moving to Belgium later in the year. I am just deciphering 1918 and 1919 at which time he was an officer.

Appreciate you taking the time to help

Regards

Dave

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He will have concentrated with the rest of the 49th Division in Doncaster in 1915 - if you are able to post up a couple of extracts from his time on Doncaster race-course (or billeted in the town) I am sure many forum members would be very glad to hear them.

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Good day Simon

Have attached extracts from January and February 1915

Not a great deal of detail but interesting all the same.

there's more if you would like it.

all the best

Dave

Jan_Feb_15.doc

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Naughty boy!

"Saturday 23rd Up at 6 Exercise 6.45, had Charlie, great fun passing cars, horse rearing. Went to Sheffield at 1.40, had a good afternoon, left to catch 8.18 for Doncaster, missed train, caught 10.05, scaled wall of barracks, got to bed without anyone knowing."

Sounds definite for 247th Brigade RFA, then.

The lull before the storm....

Steve.

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Steve the link on LLT lists many areas that Grandfather certainly wasn't near in 1915

He arrived in le Havre 16th April and travelled through Abbeyville on to St Omer and Neuf Berquin on the 22nd April.

He mentions Fleurbaix, Armentiesin during May, Poperigne Boezinge Proven during July.

Would he have trained with 247th but been assigned after arriving in France?

regards

Dave

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His diary makes very interesting reading, and I note with interest his record of the events of 20th January 1915.

'Big route march, enjoyed it, one gunner killed and driver injured'

These two casualties, the first of the 4th West Riding Howitzer brigade, are Gunner 690 George Lawson of the 1/10th West Riding Howitzer brigade RFA (TF) who was crushed underneath a gun limber sadly losing his life and Driver Walter Atikinson, also of the 10th battery, who was badly injured.

The Wharfedale and Airedale Observor for Jan 22nd 1915 reported:

'The sad affair took place at Melton about five or six miles from Doncaster. The battery was on a route march and orders had been given to turn into a field. It was whilst this movement was being executed that the limber of one of the guns overturned. It is said that the wheels passed over the stump of a tree and this was responsible for the mishap.

It is alleged that Lawson was riding on the gun at the time. He was thrown violently off and a wheel passed over him. His injuries were such that he expired shortly afterwards'

More to follow.

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The series of numbers around his would suggest that he didn't move Brigades. The 6-digit numbers were assigned in 1917 in the same order as the old numbers in general. As the following shows, Bernards number fits exactly into this series, suggesting that his early number and later number were issued by the same Brigade (or pair of Brigades).

785370 -

785371 1395

785372 1396

785373 1397

785374 1401

785375 1402

785376 1403

785377 1406 MM (London Gazette 19-11-1917)

785378 1408

785379 1410

The gaps would be men who had been discharged/killed.

Finding his Service File would probably shed a lot of light on his Other Ranks career. The files usually have an extensive set of OR papers.

The 49th Division web-page only picks up from the start of the Divisions first major actions at the Somme in 1916. During 1915 they could have been anywhere. They would have in fact been more likely to be near Ypres than the Somme since in 1915 the Somme was a relatively quiet area.

Steve.

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He didn't train with the 247th bde. because it didn't actually exist until later in the war as Stebie points out!

Territorial artillery brigades were re-numbered as were the men.

In Doncaster he would be serving with the 3rd West Riding Brigade RFA (TF) which later became 247th bde. as detailed above.

re: Saturday 30th Jan. 1915, he was 'warned for guard at station' - if you were 'warned' for something it meant that you were being told in advance it was your turn to do something, in this case guard the guns in the gun-park at the station.

You sometimes find 'was told off for guard at x/y/z' which means exactly the same thing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Steve, Simon

Many thanks for the very interesting posts.

My apologies for the delay in replying. I travel the Far East a lot for work and don't get to the Internet much when I'm away.

I have a few days of access and will try to give some more effort to this fantastic story.

regards

Dave

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Good day Folks,

I have received considerable, polite advice within this forum and have discovered, strangely enough that my family have been totally wrong regarding the service of my grandfather.

I now know that he served with the 3rd West Riding RFA (TF) and have been transcribing a diary for 1915.

Attached are his entries for April 1915, more to come later.

Thanks to all who have advised recently.

regards

Dave

April.doc

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Great stuff, please keep it coming

Thanks

Andy

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Thanks Andy,

Just finished June where they leave Fleubaix area for Ypres.

May be a bit of a break as work is taking me out of the country again.

But there is more.

Dave

June.doc

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As I look through the diaries that I am transcribing It occurred to me that there may be some sensitivities regarding printing details of injured/killed personnel especially if they are named.

What is the general feeling within the forum of posting diary details which may be sensitive?

Just like to know before I go too far

regards

Dave

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Hello Dave

Good question, details of many men can be found nowadays- so I would not think that this would be an issue unless the comments in the diary were personal about a certain individual . As to what I have read so far seems to be a short diary report for each day and nothing that indicates indepth thoughts or opinions from the writer.

Before "you go too far", you could edit names or anything that might be sensitive to others.

Andy

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Many thanks Andy,

I am begining to get to occasional entries where some nasty injuries and worse are mentioned including names, alarm bells then came into the grey matter.

There doesn't appear to be any Political element or personal comment into why he may have been there in the first place.

Regards

Dave

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  • 4 weeks later...

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