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Remembered Today:

113th Heavy Battery RGA


tomfoster1985
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I am doing research for the TV series 'Who Do You Think You Are? on behalf of a production company looking into a celebrity family tree. currently I'm after Frederick Charles Crouch (regimental no. - 28003) - a career soldier who was born on 23/7/1881, enlisted on 26/5/1898 and was commissioned as an officer (2nd lieutenant) we assume in the RGA, although we are unsure as to whether he entered the 113th Heavy Battery RGA immediately - for example we know that on the 29/15/1915 he was serving in the 130th HB RGA @ Woolwich - could this be the territoral alternative to the 113th HA RGA abroad? Following this, he was recorded in various reliable sources as a Temporary Captain / Acting Major when he died from wounds received in the field on the 2/11/1917 - 4 days away from the effective completion of the Battle of Passchendale and the resolution of the Battle of Ypres.

I understand that the war diary held in the National Archives for the 113th HB RGA ends in September 1917 - I'm looking for information as to what the 113th Heavy Battery RGA was doing from Sept 1917 over the date of Fred's death (2/11/1917). I understand from your collective posts that the 113th HB RGA was attatched to the 76th Heavy Artillery Brigade from September until the Armistice.

Also can anybody confirm as to whether it is possible that Frederick Crouch could have been mentioned as temporary captain / acting major in the relevant war diary, or indeed if he could have written some of the entries himself?

He died in the 14th Field Hospital which I understand by educated guess may have been located near to or in the former Château Rosendal, now known as Bedford House Cemetery (aka Woodcote House) in which he is now buried. Does anybody know anything of this field hospital or if there would be any records that would be worth checking?

Finally, in various family letters and descriptions it is implied that Frederick - known as 'Charles Frederick Crouch' may have suffered from 'Shellshock' or 'Confusion' - does anybody know anything of the treatment of this condition at the time? Also, what hospitals would have dealt with such cases and how could I go about checking if he was treated for such a condition anywhere? His medical records in his military service file end abruptly in 1914 when he was commissioned for the final time, where would these have been kept after this - or is it likely that they wouldn't have been noted at all?

If anybody does know of any information that would advance my knowledge of the 113 HB RGA and it's activities, or any personal diaries or information that may mention him and therefore make telling his story as complete as possible then I would be very very happy to hear from you, please get in touch ASAP!

Also if anybody has any photo's they'd be terrific as well!

Sorry for all the questions - all fascinating stuff.

tom.foster@walltowall.co.uk

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I think you need 11 HAG for the actual time of his death, NA ref WO95/539

August Position vicinity Battery Valley near Feuchy Arras, wagon lines near St Nicholas. By sept they were down to 4 guns (from 6) and Bty was 17 men understrength. Plus 2 Officers and 20 men were sent on leave in Sept.

Rgds Paul

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Hello Tom

"Yemporary captain, acting major" suggests that he may actually have been in command of the battery at the time of his death. I do not have a copy of the 11 Heavy Artillery Group War Diary but I would certainly expect his name to be mentioned. It will certainly give the battery's location.

130 Heavy Battery was not a TF unit, but a fairly early wartime formation - as indeed was 113 HB, as the RGA unit numbers only went up to 108 before the war. Both 113 and 130 were equipped with the 4,7-inch gun, which had been superseded in Regular service by the more modern 60-pounder. By late 1917, virtually all of the 4.7s had been replaced by 60-pdrs.

Ron

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Quote “we are unsure as to whether he entered the 113 Heavy Battery immediately….”

….Lieut F C Crouch commanded the left section 130 HB, left Woolwich to Sounthampton arriving 7/2/16 and embarked on the HT Knight Templar for service with the MEF.

Arrived Alexandria on the 20/2/16.

130 HB were back in Marseilles 14/4/16, and later were heavily involved in action at the Somme. I do not know when he moved on, but his MIC shows him as a Lieut & Mjr with 113 HB..

Rgds Paul

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I take it you have his 2 MIDs http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...mp;mediaarray=* .

Some of his mentions in the LG;

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...p;exact=charles crouch&atleast=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...p;exact=charles &atleast=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...ll=&exact=f. c. crouch&atleast=&similar=

Are these his records that only go up to 1914 ? http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...;accessmethod=0 .

5 gunners who possibly served with him in the 113 HB and whose pension records are available;

69943 Bagnald, Aubrey

126282 Bungey, George

74886 Bridgewater, William

56164 Fannan, John

64406 Winterton, William

Certainly Gunner Bridgewater was hospitalised a couple of times in Nov.1917 suffering from the effects of gas.

Are you saying that the celebs do not do their own research in a couple of minutes on their laptops, while sitting in the back of a Merc.?

Regards Kevin

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'for example we know that on the 29/15/1915 he was serving in the 130th HB RGA @ Woolwich'

Do you mean 29/5/1915? 130th was not the territorial part of 113 - the two batteries are unrelated.

Presumably the 130th was at Woolwich forming up and training as a newly created battery - probably with 4.7s

Alan

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Hi Paul, would you mind letting me know your sources for the above information. sorry to be a pain.

Do you know roughly how many men were in the battery in total for the 113th HB RGA - as compared against the 11th HAG?

Also, why would this have happened? Could it be that both were significanlty depleted and so were merged, or would it have been for strategic purposes?

Finally, does anybody know a good source for telling me reliably which units where where over the final period of the battle of passchendale - specifically over the few days between when the town was captured on the 30th Oct and when it was relieved by 2 British divisions on the 6th November. It must have been a horrific week.

Many thanks again

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You haven't mentioned whether you have consulted his officer correspondence file. If not it seems to be:

WO 339/15712 CROUCH F C, Capt 1898-1920

They are of course quite variable in content, especially so with the men's time as officers, but it does seem to contain his OR records.

Kev,

Your links are suffering from IE7 disease. I find I need to click through to the previous pager and then go back to my original page and then copy and paste the link.

Steve.

EDIT: I've just noticed that Kev has already posted the National Archive officers papers reference. Sorry.

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Hi Ron,

thanks for this.

typically, do you know what rank of soldier would have led a unit such as the HB RGA?

also, would the 113th HB RGA still have existed as a unit in its own right if it was listed under the 11th Heavy Artillery group War Diary?

I mean would the the soldier in command of the 113th HB RGA (if it was Fred Crouch) have been in charge of writing the war diaries himself or would that responsibility have fallen to another more senior soldier?

Thanks very much

Hello Tom

"Yemporary captain, acting major" suggests that he may actually have been in command of the battery at the time of his death. I do not have a copy of the 11 Heavy Artillery Group War Diary but I would certainly expect his name to be mentioned. It will certainly give the battery's location.

130 Heavy Battery was not a TF unit, but a fairly early wartime formation - as indeed was 113 HB, as the RGA unit numbers only went up to 108 before the war. Both 113 and 130 were equipped with the 4,7-inch gun, which had been superseded in Regular service by the more modern 60-pounder. By late 1917, virtually all of the 4.7s had been replaced by 60-pdrs.

Ron

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Tom,

While you are here, here the broken links reposted:

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

Heavy Artillery Groups were the higher command structure for Heavy Artillery Batteries, in a similar manner to Divisions for Infantry battalions (though the Artillery structure was considerably different).

Steve.

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He died in the 14th Field Hospital which I understand by educated guess may have been located near to or in the former Château Rosendal, now known as Bedford House Cemetery (aka Woodcote House) in which he is now buried. Does anybody know anything of this field hospital or if there would be any records that would be worth checking?

I think you must mean 14th Field Ambulance, as Field Hospitals did not operate that close to the front. The château on this site was certainly used by Field Ambulances, and Woodcote House, which was a little further up the road towards Ypres, was also used. You would need to check 14 FA War Diary to see where they were precisely.

The remains of the château form part of this cemetery, which is laid out around the old château grounds.

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Hi steve,

that's fantastic, many thanks.

I'v not consulted this, as I wasn't aware it existed! What sort of information would this contain? Do you know if there's a source for personal correspondence letters? I've heard that the Imperial war museum hold personal diaries for many soldiers, however, on his lists of personal effects contained in his military records, it does not state that a diary was held. Presumably this would have been returned to his wife and children? How about letters and photo's. have you any idea where they would be kept if they were not contained in his personal effects?

Aside from this do you know if it would be worth searching for any other sources of info? I know that due to the nature of his promotions to major/captain and possibly to do with any medical conditions that he could have suffered, at various points there were disputes over the pension that was awarded to his wife and kids.

whilst some pension info is available in his service records, i'm not convinced that this is all there is to it. would there be a further file for his pension records.

Also i understand that there is as muster roll and pay list in WO10, what would this contain?

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Sorry Paul,

thanks for that. you're absolutely correct. it's the 14th field ambulance. what info do you imagine this will contain? would I be likely to find a name mention or more?

Great stuff.

I think you must mean 14th Field Ambulance, as Field Hospitals did not operate that close to the front. The château on this site was certainly used by Field Ambulances, and Woodcote House, which was a little further up the road towards Ypres, was also used. You would need to check 14 FA War Diary to see where they were precisely.

The remains of the château form part of this cemetery, which is laid out around the old château grounds.

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Hi Paul

That's great. What's your source for this? just so I know.

thanks very much.

Quote "we are unsure as to whether he entered the 113 Heavy Battery immediately…."

….Lieut F C Crouch commanded the left section 130 HB, left Woolwich to Sounthampton arriving 7/2/16 and embarked on the HT Knight Templar for service with the MEF.

Arrived Alexandria on the 20/2/16.

130 HB were back in Marseilles 14/4/16, and later were heavily involved in action at the Somme. I do not know when he moved on, but his MIC shows him as a Lieut & Mjr with 113 HB..

Rgds Paul

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Officers files are a bit of a mix match, Tom.

If a man had previously served as an OR, then his OR record (often the full record) would be appended to his file. This seems to be the case with Fred, since the start date for the file is 1898 when we know he enlisted.

The finish date is 1920, the end date for correspondence, not the end of the man's service, which promises more information on file.

Unfortunately officers files don't have the consistency of OR files. You will usually find his record of enlistment and an index of correspondence. The remainder of the file depends on two things 1) what unusual things happened during his officer career (e.g. wounding, sickness, etc.) and 2) how badly the file was weeded in later years.

I have found that in general if a man was wounded then his Medical Board records are likely to be on the file, which, if they are, should cast some light on his time at hospital. Fingers crossed!

If he was "shell-shocked" then there were several specialist officers hospitals that dealt with the effects, the most famous being Craiglockart (of Sassoon/Owen/Regeneration film fame).

I started to post a breakdown of officers research and files here:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...=84095&st=0

It has been on temporary hiatus while I research in other ndirections, but I can post some medical board report examples at the weekend if that would help.

Steve.

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Finally, in various family letters and descriptions it is implied that Frederick - known as 'Charles Frederick Crouch' may have suffered from 'Shellshock' or 'Confusion' - does anybody know anything of the treatment of this condition at the time? Also, what hospitals would have dealt with such cases and how could I go about checking if he was treated for such a condition anywhere? His medical records in his military service file end abruptly in 1914 when he was commissioned for the final time, where would these have been kept after this - or is it likely that they wouldn't have been noted at all?

Tom,

For background on the shell-shocked British soldier in World War I, including their treatment at hospitals and asylums and which hospitals were involved, check out Forgotten Lunatics of the Great War by Peter Barham, published by Yale University Press in 2004 [iSBN: 0-300-10379-4].

ciao,

GAC

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Hi kevin,

fraid the celebs don't have much of a hand in this research, it's all me (and you lot!)

Yeah I think that's his service record. in which case I've got a copy to hand. Can you think of any other places where I could have a look for information on him.

Ulitmately I'm aiming to build as complete a picture as possible of him so any ideas to trace personal documents would be great.

Do you have a personal link with the 113th or the 130th - if so do you have any inside info concerning Fred Crouch - what's your link with Bridgewater.

Incidentaly can you explain to me the strategic purpose of the Heavy Batteries in general, how would they have operated in conjunction with the other units. I understand they were usually attached. In particular, how would it have worked during the final stages of the battle of passchendale. would they have remained at the back and bombarded from a distance? Or would they have been required to supplement the depleted forces at the front?

I need to build an image of the battle at this stage, what would the scale of this battle have been ie how big an area would this fighting have been taking place in? looking at aerial photos of the town, it seems absolutely tiny. Can you point me in the direction of any images?

cheers mate.

I take it you have his 2 MIDs http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...mp;mediaarray=* .

Some of his mentions in the LG;

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...p;exact=charles crouch&atleast=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...p;exact=charles &atleast=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...t=&similar=

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...ll=&exact=f. c. crouch&atleast=&similar=

Are these his records that only go up to 1914 ? http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...;accessmethod=0 .

5 gunners who possibly served with him in the 113 HB and whose pension records are available;

69943 Bagnald, Aubrey

126282 Bungey, George

74886 Bridgewater, William

56164 Fannan, John

64406 Winterton, William

Certainly Gunner Bridgewater was hospitalised a couple of times in Nov.1917 suffering from the effects of gas.

Are you saying that the celebs do not do their own research in a couple of minutes on their laptops, while sitting in the back of a Merc.?

Regards Kevin

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That would be absolutely fantastic thanks very much steve.

Do you know if shell-shock victims would have information of such psychological conditions on their standard medical records, or could there be another source?

Do you know if any of the mentioned specialist hospitals would have more extensive personal records?

Sorry to bombard you!

Do you know anything of the treatment etc?

I'll take a look at your research, I'm sure it will be most helpful.

many thanks

Officers files are a bit of a mix match, Tom.

If a man had previously served as an OR, then his OR record (often the full record) would be appended to his file. This seems to be the case with Fred, since the start date for the file is 1898 when we know he enlisted.

The finish date is 1920, the end date for correspondence, not the end of the man's service, which promises more information on file.

Unfortunately officers files don't have the consistency of OR files. You will usually find his record of enlistment and an index of correspondence. The remainder of the file depends on two things 1) what unusual things happened during his officer career (e.g. wounding, sickness, etc.) and 2) how badly the file was weeded in later years.

I have found that in general if a man was wounded then his Medical Board records are likely to be on the file, which, if they are, should cast some light on his time at hospital. Fingers crossed!

If he was "shell-shocked" then there were several specialist officers hospitals that dealt with the effects, the most famous being Craiglockart (of Sassoon/Owen/Regeneration film fame).

I started to post a breakdown of officers research and files here:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...=84095&st=0

It has been on temporary hiatus while I research in other ndirections, but I can post some medical board report examples at the weekend if that would help.

Steve.

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Sorry Paul,

thanks for that. you're absolutely correct. it's the 14th field ambulance. what info do you imagine this will contain? would I be likely to find a name mention or more?

Great stuff.

It would give location, and possibly number of cases admitted, but it won't mention him. There were separate Admission and Discharge books but 95% of them were burnt by MOD in the early 1980s. :angry: Only a sample survive at TNA in class MH106.

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Tom

113 Heavy came from the 3rd Army area, 68th HAG (Heavy Artillery Group), into the 5th Army area joining the 88th HAG on the 1 Oct’17. The southern end of the 5th Army front was taken over by the 2nd Army and 113 Heavy, along with the rest of the Heavy Artillery, were taken over on the 8th Oct’17 by the 2nd Army. 113 Heavy were then placed under the command of 11th HAG, X Corps Heavy Artillery, 2nd Army.

X Corps HA covered a front roughly stretching just north of Polygon Wood down to the Gheluvelt/Hooge road.

I have the diary pages for X Corps Heavy Artillery for Oct/Nov but cannot summarise it all easily for you. I will email the pages from 24th Oct to early Nov over. They are a bit fuzzy but readable, I hope Santa will bring me a new camera.

You will see from these extracts the Heavy Artillery were under constant and quite accurate Counter Battery fire mixing HE and gas. Without the Location List it’s not possible to say where 113 Heavy were exactly, but it would not be unusual for a heavy battery to be in a forward position, sometimes they were the most forward guns of the Heavy Artillery shelling back areas, wagon lines, enemy long range guns etc. The diary also gives a quite good account of the battle during the later part of Oct. from an Artillery point of view.

Stuart

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I think you need 11 HAG for the actual time of his death, NA ref WO95/539

August Position vicinity Battery Valley near Feuchy Arras, wagon lines near St Nicholas. By sept they were down to 4 guns (from 6) and Bty was 17 men understrength. Plus 2 Officers and 20 men were sent on leave in Sept.

Rgds Paul

Does your source say the names of the 2 officers sent on leave - have just discovered a family letter that says that he had been on leave back home in Oxford only 3 weeks before he was killed on the 2/11/17 - apparently he was not well, but 'desperate to get back'.

Apparently another officer was standing beside him when he was killed by 'shrapnel wounds in the chest' according to the letter. I wonder if it's too tenuous to think that this officer could have been a 'Major Atkins' a godfather to one of Frederick Crouch's children.

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I have no connection with either 130 HB or 113 HB. I have just made a note of which Battery a man was in while viewing service records. I wondered whether they may give some background information, especially if they were hospitalised around the date of his death.

Do you have all his MICs? The two for "Mentioned in Despatches" ( I assume they are MIDs, as Steve above would have found any other medals listed in the LG) would be worth a mention. The time line is interesting as it would appear he was made Act.Major a few weeks before his death and possibly while on leave. The other link on the LG was for when he was made Captain, while still Act. Major.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...mp;exact=crouch

I don't guarentee it will work though.

What does The Times say about him I wonder.

Regards Kevin

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Oh this is so much more interesting an escape than having the wife monopolise the TV with Come Dancing…..! :lol:

The names appear to be a Cox and Bagott, and the previous snippet I mentioned was written as late as the 31st Sept, in which I would of expected to have his return mentioned. Numerous other comings and goings are, including all replacements etc. The majority of the men had had no leave for 14 months.

In fact having read the diaries my first impression was that I cannot understand why he did not get another mention after recorded going out with 130 HB. Both diaries are particularly good for Officers names and up to Sept 1917 virtually all other Lieutenants, Captains and Majors, visiting Lt Cols are mentioned more than once. Ive double checked but can find nothing on him and given that he must have being promoted over the existing Captain who had previously taken command of 113 HB for a spell in the absence of the Major, I was beginning to wonder if he did not transfer on the First/ Second Nov from another battery completely. There are no pages written by him and I cannot see his signature.

Equally the other two Officer MIC’s for a F C Crouch (MID’s). You do need to download them and see what is the date on them as again I can see no mention in these two diaries. I might easily have missed them as the writing is very, very small, faded and difficult to read but I doubt it. I may be completely off track but I’m afraid for accuracy you do need to see the actual originals, and you do need to view the 11 HAG diary, along with what is hopefully the link to his service record.

Rgds

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Here is a link to the announcement of one of his Mentions in Despatches:

London Gazette 4-1-1917

War Office,

2nd January, 1917.

The following despatch has been received by the Secretary of State for War from General Sir Douglas Haig, G.C.B., Cbmmander-in-Chief of the British Armies in France:

General Headquarters,

13th November, 1916.

Sir,

I have the honour to submit a list of names of those officers, ladies, non-commissioned officers and men, serving, or who have served, under my command, whose distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty I consider deserving of special mention.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

D. HAIG,

General.

Commander-in-Chief,

The British Armies in France

ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY

Crouch, Lt. (temp. Capt.) F. C.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...dSupplementPage

Steve.

Steve.

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