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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

53rd Fire Brigade RFA


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Hi all,

My Great Grandfather was listed in the absent voters register of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1919/1920. Thanks to this site I have found out a lot about him, however I can`t find anything relating to the entry in the mentioned register.

His name was Thomas O`Neill and in the register he is listed as 53rd Fire Brigade RFA Boiler Fitter.

I have found nothing, am I looking in the wrong place?

I have his medal card, his SWB card, and I would very much like to find this out



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Looks like it MAY be a transcription error to me... Never heard of a Royal Field Artillery FIRE BRIGADE! To my knowledge the Royal Engineers / Labour Corps were the only ones to get involved in army fire service affairs.

The word Fire has an obvious connection to the RFA and of course the word Brigade is an army structure.

Is it possible the RFA was added in error and that it should read Boiler Fitter - .... Fire Brigade which might indicate a civilian fire brigade. Perhaps he worked for the Fire Service before enlistment and the two were confused?

Good luck

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I note from the main site that 153 Brigade RFA was designated "Empire". Sounds a bit like Fire. Interestingly, once again according to the main site 53 Brigade RFA was disbanded in 1916, so he can't have been with them in 1918.....

Good hunting,


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