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A number of years ago (January 2010 to be precise) I posted a request regarding a row of graves in Choques Military Cemetery where 12 men from D Battery 251 Brigade were buried.

From <http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/140235-choques-military-cemetery-d-bty-251-bde-rfa/>


The origins of the Battery lie with the 5th Durham Battery, 4th Northumbrian (County of Durham) Howitzer Brigade. Prior to the War the Brigade was headquartered in South Shields, on the south side of the mouth of the River Tyne. The Hebburn Battery lay 5 miles upstream on the south bank of the Tyne.


The men were killed in a single incident on the evening of 18th April 1918. This evening it is exactly 100 years since they were killed, so I though it would be appropriate to leave a post to remember those men.


After many years I found what actually happened on that fateful evening from an account in Regimental Archives:


Gronnenhem April 1918

The morning brought sad news from our wagon lines. The bombardment which had provided us with a lively interlude had visited our comrades with disastrous results. A shell struck the barn in which they were sleeping, bursting amongst the sleepers with deadly effect. Many of the survivors rushed for the open, to be met by a second shell, adding materially to the already heavy list of dead and wounded.


The men are buried together in a single row in  Plot II Row A in the Choques Military Cemetery.


Grave - Killed 18th April 1918
1. Hillbeck A Driver MM 2555
2. Wilson F Driver 127301
3. Allcott H Driver MM 4678
4. Fewings RT Gunner 52505
5. Harris AS Gunner 10235
6. Hunt JAF Gunner 234324
7. Bennet H Gunner 10315
8. Jewell WS Driver 1288
9. Maidment A Driver 10318
10. Pearce EG Driver 82773
11. Rich WG Driver 4546


Grave - Died 25th April 1918
12. Richardson JH Driver 755887


In March 2018 I was able to visit the Graves of the men.

Northumbria Gunner Blog:   Lys - Choques Military Cemetery












15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun

As the end of the 19th century approached, the Royal Artillery was untested in general war. The focus of Army was colonial in nature, mainly waged against an enemy with practically no artillery. As a consequence the Royal Artillery was slow to realise changes in warfare over that century. The expanding empire saw the Royal Artillery engaged in many colonial actions.  Frequent small wars in Africa, Far East, India and other colonies occurred throughout the Victorian Era. The Army was engaged in active campaigning in one location or another every year of Queen Victoria’s reign except for 1883.  The Honour Titles of today's Royal Artillery bear testimony to those ubiquitous actions. 




In October 1899 the Right Honourable Sir Henry Brackenbury was appointed Director General of Ordnance. He undertook a review of artillery and concluded there were deficiencies in armament  and no reserve of guns. He came up with a series of papers to address the shortcomings including the replacement of obsolete guns.

The situation was highlighted in South Africa where the Boer Artillery outgunned the Royal Artillery. This raised serious concerns as to the ability of the Gunners to deal with threats from a more sophisticated enemy, notably Germany who had supplied the Boers with artillery.


To meet what would today be termed an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR), Brackenbury requested £15 million. The Mowat Committee was formed to consider Brackenbury's recommendations and as a result of the committee's  work, Parliament voted £10 million pounds for the purchase of guns from ….. Germany. The British would purchase the 76mm Quick Firing Ehrhardt gun.


The order was placed with the Rheinische Metallwaaren- und Maschinen-Fabrik for 108 guns, 275 limbers, 162 ammunition wagons, stores, and 54,000 rounds. These were delivered five months after the contract was signed. The Government expressed a wish that no further supply of guns would be made. This lead to the formation of Equipment Committees who called upon " the inventive genius of the country" to come up with new guns to meet the Army's requirements.


The guns Ehrhardt Guns  werereceived in secrecy at the Woolwich Arsenal and entered service with the Royal Field Artillery in 1901. The gun was termed the Ordnance 15 Pounder QF.




The efforts of the Equipment Committees led to the development and introduction of new equipment's. In 1906 the cavalry Division and Six divisions re-equipped with 13 pounder & 18 pounder. When the Territorial Force as formed in 1908, the Ordnance 15 Pounder QF was issued to the Royal Horse Artillery Batteries.







15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun - HAC Fargo Camp 1914


 The 15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt gun would see active service with the TF RHA in the Middle East.  A Battery HAC and the Nottinghamshire RHA were engaged in the Senussi Campaign in Egypt and Libya. In Aden B Battery HAC and the  Berkshire RHA were in action during July 1915 in the recapture of the Sheikh Othman District ( a key water supply to Aden) from the Turks.



15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun - HAC Sheikh Othman 1914


In 1916 the Territorial Force Royal Horse Artillery Batteries were equipped with the 13 pounder.


15 Pounder QF Ehrhardt Gun





3 in

76 mm

Shell Weight

14 lb

6.4 kg


6,400 yards



Rate of Fire

20 rounds per minute





UBIQUE - Thank God for the Guns






Rudyard Kipling


There is a word you often see, pronounce it as you may –
“You bike,” “you bykwee,” “ubbikwee” – alludin’ to R. A.
It serves ‘Orse, Field, an’ Garrison as motto for a crest;
An’ when you’ve found out all it means I’ll tell you ‘alf the rest.


Ubique means the long-range Krupp be’ind the long-range ‘ill –
Ubique means you’ll pick it up an’, while you do, stand still.
Ubique means you’ve caught the flash an’ timed it by the sound.
Ubique means five gunners’ ‘ash before you’ve loosed a round.


Ubique means Blue Fuse, an’ make the ‘ole to sink the trail.
Ubique means stand up an’ take the Mauser’s ‘alf-mile ‘ail.
Ubique means the crazy team not God nor man can ‘old.
Ubique means that ‘orse’s scream which turns your innards cold!


Ubique means “Bank, ‘Olborn, Bank – a penny all the way” –
The soothin’, jingle-bump-an’-clank from day to peaceful day.
Ubique means “They’ve caught De Wet, an’ now we shan’t be long.”
Ubique means “I much regret, the beggar’s goin’ strong!”


Ubique means the tearin’ drift where, breach-block jammed with mud,
The khaki muzzles duck an’ lift across the khaki flood.
Ubique means the dancing plain that changes rocks to Boers.
Ubique means mirage again an’ shellin’ all outdoors.


Ubique means “Entrain at once for Grootdefeatfontein.”
Ubique means “Of-load your guns” – at midnight in the rain!
Ubique means “More mounted men. Return all guns to store.”
Ubique means the R.A.M.R. Infantillery Corps.


Ubique means that warnin’ grunt the perished linesman knows,
When o’er ‘is strung an’ sufferin’ front the shrapnel sprays ‘is foes;
An’ as their firin’ dies away the ‘usky whisper runs
From lips that ‘aven’t drunk all day: “The Guns! Thank Gawd, the Guns!”


Extreme, depressed, point-blank or short, end-first or any’ow,
From Colesberg Kop to Quagga’s Poort – from Ninety-Nine till now –
By what I’ve ‘eard the others tell an’ I in spots ‘ave seen,
There’s nothin’ this side ‘Eaven or ‘Ell Ubique doesn’t mean!


Lesson on accuracy of artillery

An interesting extract from a letter sent by 2nd Lieut. Humphrey Arden (RGA) to his old school which was published in the school magazine.


Humphrey Arden attended the Dragon school, then   Radley and went on to Queens College Cambridge. He was about prepare for holy orders when war broke out. He was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1915. He died of wounds near Messines 6th June 1917 whilst serving with 156th Heavy Battery RGA. He is buried Bailleu Communal Cemetery Extension.

large.Arden-Humphrey.jpg CWGC Information: 2/Lt. Humphrey Warwick Arden      Dragon Portrait Gallery: 2nd Lt Humphrey Arden R.G.A.


2/Lt Arden obviously had a keen interest in Gunnery - So few think it worth while to understand guns, whereas really they are the most interesting things in the War.


2nd Lieutenant Arden outlines the lessons of Zone.

Source: The Skippers War 


“Those who are not gunners mostly have two delusions and if the same men rise to command without having learnt better, silly things will happen – but of that more presently.


A lesson that many Gunner has experienced over the subsequent years.


The two delusions are (i) that, when a gun is laid in such a way that the shell hits a particular spot, it will hit the same spot if it is laid in a similar way. With regards to the first, it is only necessary to remember that gunnery is a mechanical science and not a game of skill. Experts find out the laws of the science and the Royal Regiment follows the law. The personal element practically does not, or should not come into it.


With regard to (ii), it would take too long to explain the ‘error of the gun.’ But it is a fact that if a gun is laid in exactly the same way for a hundred rounds, the shells will cover an oblong some hundreds of yards long and several yards wide. This ‘zone’ varies according to the gun and the range – any gun being much more accurate for line than it is for range.


Royal Artillery Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations - Philip Jobson

Zone of the Gun - A series of shells from a gun firing at a given elevation will not fall in exactly the same spot but will be spread around the theoretical impact point....... It is impossible to guarantee to hit a precise spot and gunners need to be mindful of the zone of the gun when ranging onto a target.







2/Lt Arden outlines a situation where the gunners were mindful of the zone, however Those who are not gunners mostly have two delusions and if the same men rise to command without having learnt better


Take an example. 


Some months ago a cunning man thought unto himself a scheme. ‘We will bombard a piece of trench,’ said he, ‘and start at the outside ends together, gradually working in to the centre. The Boche will be forced to crowd in and finally will have to jump out of the trench and run for his life. Whereupon the Field and the Heavies (60 pdrs) shall slay him.’

Well, a Siege Battery was allotted some 200 rounds for the job and the trench selected was at right-angles to the line of fire, i.e the shells would have to drop at precisely the same range to a yard every time to hit the trench.


The Battery Commander calculated that 5 of the 200 might fall in the trench. That is to say. with the most perfect laying, ammunition and weather conditions, the gun itself could not put more than 2½ % of rounds in exactly the same spot at that range, and of course the ammunition, wind, temperature, barometer etc. never are perfect. So the Battery Commander did pretty well to get 3 of the 200 in the trench.


So if the desired effect requires 200 rounds on target. BC does well to get 3 in the trench, so taking account of zone, to get 200 in the trench , he would needed to have fired 13,333 rounds. As it was a Siege Battery it would be probably 4 guns, so 3,333 per gun. Imagine the logistical effort to achieve the effect !.


large.BritishAmmunitionDump.jpgTaking zone into to account If this lot of shells were fired around 15 would roughly hit the same spot.


It looks like the Field and Heavies may have realised that this was not aplan that was going to be successful.....and put a brew on:

The Field and the Heavies waited in vain, or realising the fatuousness  of the whole proceedings, did not wait at all.




Rather than being asking for excuse for being didactic, it is a valuable lesson still for Gunners and Those who are not gunners and delusional. = ARTILLERY IS AN AREA WEAPON


You must excuse this didactic letter. So few think it worth while to understand guns, whereas really they are the most interesting things in the War.”





Portuguese Independent Artillery Corps - CAPI



When World War One broke out in 1914, Portugal was a neutral country. However colonial clashes in Africa, in Angola,  and the effect of the German U-boats on Portuguese trade routes to the UK, her main partner, caused tensions with Germany. In February 1916, Portugal at Britain's request seized German and Austro-Hungarian shipping in Portuguese ports, and a month later Germany declared war on Portugal.

Portugal during World War One


In response to the declaration Portugal raised an expedition force of an infantry division of 55,000 men, The Portuguese Expeditionary Corps (Corpo Expedicionário Português or CEP). The CEP deployed to the Western Front in February 1917 and came under the command of the British Expeditionary Force.


Portuguese Expeditionary Corps (Corpo Expedicionário Português or CEP)


Portuguese Independent Artillery Corps


The French Army requested assistance from the Portuguese on 26th December 1916 for artillery personnel to man French heavy artillery batteries. In response an independent Heavy Artillery Corps (Corpo de Artilharia Pesada Independente or CAPI) was formed in January 1917. The CAPI would come  under French Army command and operate independently  of the Portuguese Expeditionary Force (CEP). The personnel would be recruited from the Army together with some Navy personnel.


Corpo de Artilharia Pesada Independente or CAPI


The advance party moved to France in May 1917 to await the arrival of the first gunners, under the command of Colonel John Climacus Man Teles.


Preparation of barracks and administration was complete by August. The main body from the 2nd Lisbon Coast Artillery and Naval personnel began arriving in September, being complete on 17th October 1917.  The total personnel from the CAPI consisted of 44 officers and 750 OR's.



Portuguese CAPI Soldiers


On 22nd October 1917, the Portuguese Gunners began training at  Bailleul-sur-Thérain, and Mailly , in conjunction with French Artillery units being rested from front line service.  Those at Bailleul- would be instructed of 320 mm rail guns, at  Mailly Paris 190mm rail guns.


Four 320mm rail guns that were at rest and were known by the names of "Bourrasque", "Tempête", "Simoun" and "Cyclone".



Portuguese Independent Artillery Corps 320 mm Rail Guns



Portuguese Independent Artillery Corps 190 mm Rail Gun


Training was completed on 4th November, equipment had been taken over, and the Corps was ready to fight.


The Corps was now absorbed into the French Order of Battle and designated Corps Artillerie Lourde Portugais. It was to consist of three Groups of 3 batteries and a Depot Battery.


A second contingent of Gunners arrived in January 1918 consisting of 26 officers and 500 OR's bringing the total CAPI personnel in theatre to 70 officers and 1,258 OR's.


Colonel Tristan da Câmara Pestana took over command from Colonel Man Teles on 15th January 1918.


Colonel Tristan da Câmara Pestana


In February, personnel from the the 2nd and 3rd Groups moved to Le Havre where in April they moved to the UK to train on British equipment. They trained at Horsham where there are references to problems of indiscipline, causing problems for the British. http://comum.rcaap.pt/handle/10400.26/6864


Corps Artillerie Lourde Portugais


The Corps Lo Artillerie  Lourde Portugais would consist of  three Groups, each consisting of three batteries of one rail gun.  In each Group, one Battery would operate  320-millimetre (12.6 in) railway guns the other two 240-mm (9.5in) or 190-mm (7.5 in) railway guns.  There was also a Depot Battery.



Group 1 - 1st / 2nd / 3rd Battery | Group 2 - 4th / 5th / 6th Battery | Group 3  - 7th / 8th / 9th Battery







Matériel de 194 mm

TAZ Modèle 1870/1893



194 mm

18,300 m

83 kg

Matériel de 240 mm

TAZ Modèle 1893/96 Colonies



240 mm


162 kg

Matériel de 320 mm à glissement

 Modéle 1870/80, 1870/84 et 1870/93


320 mm

20,500 m

387 kg


The establishment of the CAPI was:




3 x Group
























The batteries were single gun batteries. The Combat Train consisted of a single gun, ammunition wagons, gun stores wagon, and wagons with material for fixing tracks. There was  also  a  Cantonment Train  consisting of command cars , accommodation, dining room and kitchen, infirmary, and workshops.


Combat Actions


1st Battery - 320mm


12 March 1918 - 1st Battery under command of Captain Gonçalo Pinto moved to Vailly (15 km W of Soissons) in the Aisne Sector under the control of French 6th Corps awaiting orders.


16 March 1918 - Aerial photography identified German gun batteries hidden in woods and the Battery deployed to Soupir (5 km W of Vailly) south of the Plateau of Chemin des Dames. They engaged the target at a range of  18 km and  firing 60 rounds with observation conducted by air plane.  The mission was reported as being successful.


27 March 1918 - The next action was firing from the  Sommesous extensions, in the South of the Marne Sector. This was in support of a French  counteroffensive.



Portuguese Independent Artillery Corps 320 mm Rail Gun firing




2nd / 3rd  Battery - 240 mm


18 May 1918 the 2nd and 3rd battery deployed in the Hurlus (65 km W of Reims) network positions engaged targets at a range of 10 km.


Post Armistice

On 10th November an order was issued which disbanded the CAPI. At the end of November the personnel were informed they would remain in France to work on removal of trenches and barbed wire. They continued on this work until March 1919.  The men of the CAPI finally got to go home in April 1919, boarding an English steamer in Cherbourg on 3rd to return to Portugal.


A total of 1, 639 Portuguese served with the CAPI, five of whom died from accidents and other non combat incidents.


Portuguese National Cemetery Richebourg France




Gunner Edwin Henry WOODWARD

Remembered Today: Gunner Edwin Henry WOODWARD

1st South Midland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery who died on 25th December 1916, Gloucester Old Cemetery   


The Territorial 1st South Midland Brigade RFA formed part of the 48th Divisional Artillery. The Brigade consisted of the  1st Gloucestershire Battery  and  2nd Gloucestershire Battery (both based in Bristol) and the  3rd Gloucestershire Battery based Gloucester.


In 1914 the Brigade had departed for annual summer camp when they were recalled and mobilised, concentrating in Chelmsford.  The Division embarked  for France in March 1915, the Artillery travelling from Southampton to Le Harve, and concentrated near Cassel, 20km west of Ypres.


On Easter Sunday, 4th April,  1915, the Brigade saw it’s first action at Neuve Eglise, 6 miles NW Armentieres. During 1915 the Brigade was engaged in Messines, Festubert, and the Somme., remaining there for much of 1916. The 1st South Midland Brigade was renumbered 240th Brigade RFA in May 1916. As Gunner Woodward is listed under 1st South Midland Brigade by the CWGC, he may have sustained injuries that would ultimately lead to his death prior to May 1916.


1st South Midland Brigade Royal Field Artillery


Gunner Edwin Woodward died on Christmas Day 1916 and was buried in Gloucester Old Cemetery.



Rank:                         Gunner
Service No:                3221
Date of Death:           25/12/1916
Age                           :20
Regiment/Service:     Royal Field Artillery
                        1st South Midland Bde.
Grave Reference:      NG. 6488.
Cemetery:                  GLOUCESTER OLD CEMETERY
Additional Information:
Son of Frank and Emma Woodward, of 18, St. Paul's Rd., Gloucester

Edwin Woodward is remembered on the screen wall behind the Gloucester  Cenotaph.


Image result for gloucester war memorial
Image result for gloucester war memorial

2/Lt ER Hayward RFA

Remembered Today: Second Lieutenant Edward Ronald HAYWARD, 99th Battery Royal Field Artillery who died on 20th December 1916, Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria  


Edward Ronald Hayward was born at Salt Lake City, USA around 1897.

Source: http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex/CopthorneSchool.html


Second son of Robert Francis Hayward of Vancouver, British Columbia and Alfreda Hayward, daughter of the Reverend Frederick Toulmin. He had three brothers, two of whom also came to Kingsgate House – Gerald Baldwin Hayward (K 1918-1923) and Henry O’Brien Frederick Hayward (K 1926-1931) who died of polio whilst serving with the Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry in 1943. Edward Hayward came to Winchester from Copthorne School: he played for Lords in 1915 and was Captain of his House cricket team.


On leaving Winchester he passed into RMA Woolwich and then into the Royal Field Artillery, joining the British forces at Salonika where he was killed on December 20th 1916.


Source: http://www.winchestercollegeatwar.com/archive/edward-ronald-hayward/












US Navy 14 Inch Rail Guns firing in France 1918

When America entered the Great War in 1917, the UD Navy deployed five 14inch / 50 calibre rail guns into France, each gun being a separate battery.


The video of the rail guns in action shows the guns firing, use of aircraft for controlling fire, command post operations, and the administration of the battery





2nd Northumbrians Re-internment - Ypres

On the 24th May 1915 the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA were at Potijze, two miles NE of Ypres. The Brigade deployed one month earlier as part of the Northumbrian Division and was immediately engaged in the 2nd Battle of Ypres.


The Germans had released gas and tried to breakthrough the British lines, but were held by gallant actions.


The 50th Northumbrian Division were used to reinforce formations fighting in the Salient.

The 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA deployed in support of 28th Division.



2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA Location 24th May 1915


It was on the 24th May the Germans renewed their attack on this date in an attempt to
capture the Bellewaarde Ridge. The Brigade War Diary of records intensive artillery fire from the early morning.

At 7pm a German shell exploded on No. 1 gun killing 5 of the detachment and severely wounding the No 1. The war dairy records the loss of;

Corporal JA Carr and Gunners JW Clarke, G Robinson, JW Rowbottom, AW Venus.




At 08:30 Driver Wilson was killed.




The six men were buried at 11:20




 The Gunners remains were discovered  in 2013. They were identified from their shoulder titles which identified them as members of the North Riding Battery from the 2nd Northumbrian Brigade RFA.  Two of the six men could be identified; Gunners JW Rowbottom, AW Venus.


They were all reinterred on April 20th 2016 at a ceremony held in Ypres Town Cemetery Extension Cemetery. In the presence of the British Ambassador to Belgium and families, a burial party from 4th Regiment RA finally laid the men to rest.









Burial Party 4th Regiment RA





Burial Service Ypres












Ypres Town Cemetery Extension Cemetery


The opportunity was taken whilst in Ypres to visit the graves.




North Riding Battery Graves

Ypres Town Extension Cemetery

The six men are buried in Plot F II - Graves 33 to 38




F II Grave 33



Royal Field Artillery



F II Grave 34



Royal Field Artillery


 F II Grave 35


1308 Gunner


Royal Field Artillery



F II Grave 36



Royal Field Artillery



F II Grave 37



Royal Field Artillery



 F II Grave 38


1817 Gunner


Royal Field Artillery





Ovillers Military Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice

Ovillers Military Cemetery is situated 1 km north of La Boisselle. It originated as a battle cemetery behind a dressing station. After Armistice, it was expanded as the fallen from the battlefields of Pozieres, Ovillers, La Boisselle and Contalmaison were buried in the cemetery.




Ovillers Military Cemetery

The Cemetery contains 3,440 graves of which 2,480 are unidentified. Of the 960 identified casualties, 290 are recorded as bring killed on 1st July. The proximity to La Boisselle and lying on the top of  what was called Mash Valley the effect on the Tyneside Brigades who advanced can be seen, with 76 Tyneside Scottish and 27 Tyneside Irish graves. There are many unidentified Tyneside Scots, many of who would have probably lost their lives on 1st July 1916.


Whilst the infantry bore the brunt of the casualties on the first day of the Somme, the Gunners were firing in support and suffered counter battery fire. The Ovillers Cemetery contains one Gunner who was killed on the 1st July - Second Lieutenant William Christie Hickman, RFA.

2nd. Lieut. Hickman was serving with 'B' Battery175 (South Staffordshire) Brigade Royal Field Artillery, part of the 34th Divisional Artillery. Born in 1889/90, he was educated at Marlborough College, then proceeded to Caius College Cambridge, where hr gained a MA. After Cambridge he went to Canada, returning home on the outbreak of war.


After joining the Army he was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery 17th May 1916.


2nd Lieut. William Christie Hickman

Royal Field Artillery 

He joined the 175 (South Staffordshire) Brigade on the Somme in France.



The Brigade, as part of the 34th Divisional Artillery were deployed just outside Albert, north of the road to Bapaume.



On 2th June 1916 the start of what would be 6 days of bombardment commenced. The 175th Brigade's prime task was wire cutting in the area of the 102nd (Tyneside Scottish) Brigade.


On the 1st July the Brigade were firing a creeping barrage in support of the 4 Tyneside Scottish Battalions, the War Diary recording hearing their Pipers leading the men into Battle. The German artillery retaliated and shelled the gun lines. In the ensuring chaos, 2nd. Lieut. Hickman  was posted missing, but a statement from a wounded soldier in hospital confirmed he had been killed on the 1st July was killed by the first German shell to hit the gun position. William Christie's wife was informed of his death in a telegram she received on 15th July 1916.


Second Lieutenant William Christie Hickman is buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery.


2nd. Lieut. William Christie Hickman

KIA 1st July 1916











Bi-Centary Royal Artillery 1916

On the 26th May 2016 the Tri Centenary of the Royal Artillery was commemorated by a Queen's Review at Larkhill.


RA300 - Royal Artillery Tercentenary - Royal Review


To commemorate the  Bi-Centenary on 26th May 1916 a parade was held at Woolwich adjacent to St George's Garrison Church.




What of the Royal Regiment of May 1916……


The strength was over 408,000 officers and OR's, representing nearly 14% of the Army. Of the strength, 321,000 were manning the guns of the divisional artillery (RHA / RFA), and 87, 000 serving the Royal Garrison Artillery.


The Ubiquitous Royal Regiment was serving on all Fronts with the main concentration if France and Flanders.


In Sinai and Egypt the defence of the Suez Canal from Turkish disruption or capture was vital for shipping routes to India, and the British Empire . In Mesopotamia British Forces were trying to exert their force in that region having lost Kut in a long Siege at month earlier. Whilst in East Africa reinforcements were arriving to  counteract German forces. A garrison was still being maintained in India, whilst coastal stations and ports throughout the Empire were being protected by the Coastal Artillery of the RGA.


It should also be remembered that  in the UK many Gunners were undergoing training, particularly to man newly formed Siege Batteries. The Military Conscription Act became law in  January 1916, so the RA expansion included newly conscripted men.  There had been a number of zeppelin raids in northern and southern England in April 1916, so Anti-Aircraft defence was gaining in importance. In Ireland, tensions were still high following the Easter Rising in April when artillery was deployed onto the streets of Dublin.


In May 1916 there was a re-organisation of the RA taking place. Brigades were being re-organised to consist of three gun and one howitzer batteries, leading to the breakup of howitzer brigades. Units were to be numbered, the old Territorial Force tiles disappeared.


The British Army manned 90 miles of the Western Front, continuously from Boesinghe to Maricourt . The Second Army was in the Ypres Salient, with the First Army to its south in the Armentieres sector. Third Army covered the Arras sector, Fourth Army the Somme. The Fifth, Reserve Army, had been formed only a few days before the RA Bi-Centenary. 


The war on the Western Front had stagnated in an artillery war of attrition requiring vast amounts of ammunition and guns.  The failure of the attack on Aubers Ridge in March 1915 due to lack of ammunition had brought about a change of government and the establishment of the Ministry of Munitions. In the week of 26th May nearly 2. 5 million artillery rounds were produced, some in Woolwich Arsenal nearby to the Bi-Centenary parade.


In the month of May 1916, the number of guns of all calibres on the Western from rose from 3,700 to over 4,000. The number of rounds expended during the week of the Bi-Centenary the Western Front was 120,922 Rounds of all calibres.


The Fourth Army was preparing for the 'Big Push'.  On the 26th May Generals Foffre and de Castelnau held a conference with Sir Douglas Haig and Sir William Robertson at Montreuil to discuss the situation at Verdun and the necessity for the British to launch an attack in June to relieve the pressure on the French Army.  Over 1,000 guns and 1.6 million rounds were being readied for the Somme Offensive


Whilst commemorations took place in Woolwich, 7 Gunners would lose their lives that day.



4th Highland (Mountain) Brigade RGA - Pack Horses

Going back to the original posting (which I can't believe I missed!) the only British Army mountain gunners were the TF group, 4th Highland (Mountain) Brigade, RGA. Other mountain gunners were Indian Army gunners who used mules for transport. Before and after the brigade was mobilized they used Highland Ponies. When they were posted to the 29th Division for Gallipoli, they suffered losses and these lost ponies were replaced by mules. By the time they had fought in Egypt and moved to Salonika in August 1916, all of the animals were mules.

4th Highland Mountain Brigade, RGA


Source: A Mountain Battery's animals - each carried what?


From: Railway mounted 6 inch naval guns

Interesting post by RobL regarding rail mounted Anti-Aircraft guns in the NE. First time I have come across the use of rail for AA Guns

I've been trying to research these interesting anti-aircraft pieces, piecing together information from various sources, so far, i've found the following;


Firstly, here's a write-up i've done based on information from 'Baby Killers - German air raids on Britain in the First World War' by Thomas Fegan and 'Air Defence of Britain 1914-18' by Christopher Cole and EF Cheesman. The bit about them being mounted on wagons by the NER comes from 'Guns of the North East' and also a NER Magazine issue from 1919, I presume they're the same guns that Fegan describes as otherwise they are identical;

"At thirty minutes past midnight on 16th June 1915, Kapitanleutnant Hirsch arrived over Tyneside in Zeppelin L10. The industrial buildings along the Tyne were lit up and an inviting target, there was no searchlights and only ineffective fire from HMS Brilliant, an old cruiser that was guarding the Tyne. The first bombs were dropped over Wallsend on the Eastern Marine Engineering Works causing heavy damage. Palmers Shipyard at Jarrow was then bombed, killing seventeen workers and injuring seventy-two. Pochins Chemical Works was then hit, and housing at Willington, killing a policeman. After thirty destructive minutes, L10 left, dropping bombs over coal mines at South Shields. The glare from fires caused by the raid could be seen from the Zeppelin when it was thirty nautical miles away on the journey home. Five British home defence aircraft took off to intercept the raider including two BE2c aeroplanes from RNAS Whitley Bay, but none sighted the Zeppelin (although one aircraft was spotted by the Zeppelin crew). The lack of effective defence resulted in two 12 pounder anti-aircraft guns on mobile mountings being issued to Newcastle, and provoked the mounting of twelve 6 inch naval guns fitted for anti-aircraft use and mounted on railway wagons by the North Eastern Railway at Darlington"

According to 'The Guns of the North East', one was based at Port Clarence, and another at Saltburn (later sent to the Western Front). 'Railways of Teesside' by Ken Hoole describes a railway mounted anti-aircraft gun being mounted at Skinningrove, and although I don't have it, from a flick through 'Hartlepool Railways' by George Smith does I believe mention one being based at Hartlepool (I know it has a photo of one in it) - so that makes four so far, and presumably at least others were based further north in the Tyneside area. As for the guns and wagons themselves, I presume the guns are from the same stock that were used to make the 6 inch guns and 8 inch howitzers for the Royal Garrison Artillery - the wagons appear to be Great Western Railway 'Crocodile' wagons

I'd be very interested in learning the locations of the other guns, whether any were sent to the Western Front or elsewhere, and which units used them in the hope of sourcing war diaries with details of them firing on the further Zeppelin raids on the North East

Thanks, Rob

Source: Railway mounted 6 inch naval guns


Mountain Battery - How were the Guns carried ?

blog-0432007001455145109.jpgAlways fascinated by different types of Artillery and the Mountain Artillery and the use of mules is of particular interest.

A previous post looked at the Indian Mountain Artillery 1914 - 1918 after reading the book Indian Mountain Artillery by Brigadier CAL Graham.

RobL also pointed out that the 10 pounder also carried by highland pony by the three batteries of the 4th Highland Mountain Brigade, RGA both in the UK and in Gallipoli.

michaeldr asks an good question - A Mountain Battery's animals - each carried what?

Source: A Mountain Battery's animals - each carried what?

Many thanks to RobL who provided information from the manuals for the 10 pounder, 2.75 inch gun and 3.7 inch howitzer.

Rob also pointed out that the 10 pounder also carried by highland pony by the three batteries of the 4th Highland Mountain Brigade both in the UK and in Gallipoli.


10 pounder

Gun chase mule

Gun breech mule

Axle Mule

Wheel Mule

Carriage Mule

Then you have others, such as the ammunition mule, wheel and axle mule (spare wheel and spare axle tree etc)

10 Pdr Mule Team

10 Pounder Mule Team


10 Pounder Gun


2.75 inch gun

Wheel and axle mule

Trail, front part, mule

Trail, rear part, mule (would also carry the shield)

Recoil cradle mule

Breech mule

Chase mule

Plus ammunition mule, pioneer mule etc


2.75 in Mountain Gun


3.7 inch howitzer

Breech mule

Chase mule

Wheel and axle mule (carrying both wheels)

Trail, front part, mule

Trail, rear part, mule

Pivot mule

Cradle mule

Slipper mule (including two shields)

Then others, including ammunition mule, pioneer mule, ammunition shield mule (which also carried shields)



Also bear in mind that for all of these mules carrying gun/howitzer parts, there would be a duplicate 'relief' mule. Plus additional baggage and ammunition mules


Some interesting photographs provided by Pals

Indian Mountain Artillery mule with gun barrel



Tynemouth RGA - Siege Batteries

The Royal Naval dominance of the North Sea reduced the German threat on the coast and the requirement for coastal artillery. This coincided with increased demand for heavy artillery for the Western Front, and skilled RGA gunners to man those guns. Consequently RGA gunners from the coastal batteries were formed into siege batteries for deployment overseas.

The coastal units would also provide the basis for training and the raising of future RGA Batteries.

The following Siege Batteries were formed from the Tynemouth RGA (TF) personnel and or / at Tynemouth

Sources: Fredericks Lineage vol 2 page 702 to 708 / Siege Battery 94 1914-1918 / The History of the 135th Siege Battery RGA

  • 21 Siege Battery - formed 15th January 1915 at Tynemouth. Equipped with 9.2 in howitzers

  • 25 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 15th Feb 1915. Armed with four 8" Howitzers went out to the Western Front on 3 Aug 15

  • 35 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 15th Feb 1915

  • 44 Siege Battery - formed at Sheerness 12th July 1915. Formed from Tynemouth RGA (TF) and regulars from units in Gibraltar.

  • 46 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 30th July 1915 Nucleus from Cornwall RGA

  • 53 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 25th August 1915

  • 80 Siege Battery - formed Tynemouth 15 Nov 1915

  • 94 Siege Battery - formed 16th December 1915 at Tynemouth. Personnel 40 % New Army / Regulars from Tynemouth RGA & 60% Durham RGA. Deployed to France April 1916 with 4 x 9.2in Howitzer

  • 100 Siege Battery - formed 13th January 1916 Tynemouth Defences

  • 115 Siege Battery -- formed at Tynemouth 3rd March 1916

  • 128 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 8th April 1916

  • 135 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 3rd May 1916 - Nucleus from 12 & 47 Company's RGA (Tynemouth) and recruits from Derby

  • 169 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th June 1916

  • 186 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th July 1916

  • 217 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th July 1916 - Equipped with 4 x 6in howitzers (26cwt) Went to Western Front 2oth Jan 1917 Increased to 4 guns 10-Mar-1918

  • 223 siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 12th August 1916

  • 247 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 13th September 1916

  • 260 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 28th September 1916

  • 288 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 1st November 1916 - Went out to the Western Front 4th April 1917. Equipped with of 4 x 8in Howitzers

  • 302 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 17th January 1916

  • 339 Siege Battery - formed at Tynemouth 15th January 1917

A review of Soldiers who died in the Great War for the Tynemouth RGA details 18 soldiers who lost their lives. They served in the following Siege Batteries; 13, 44, 76, 100, 113, 132, 135, 199, 228, 286, 290, and 384. In addition one Tynemouth RGA gunner was lost with the 1st/1st (Essex) Heavy Battery. This shows the variety of batteries with which Tynemouth RGA gunners served, and includes service in Salonika and Mesopotamia.

Surname Initials Rank Unit

Baker IO BSM 228th Siege Bty.

Bennett W Gunner 286th Siege Bty.

Brown JE Bombardier 113th Siege Bty.

Chapman E Gunner Tynemouth

Daniel F Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery

Flett R Gunner 44th Siege Bty.

Gallon J Gunner Royal Garrison Artillery

Hills J Gunner 76th Siege Bty.

Howe HD Gunner 290th Siege Bty.

Kelly J Bombardier 132nd Siege Bty.

Levitt W Gunner 13th Siege Bty.

Lynch W Gunner 135th Siege Bty.

McDonald N

Moffatt AE Gunner 199th Siege Bty.

Mordue T Gunner 384th Siege Bty.

Neil A Gunner 1st/1st (Essex) Heavy Bty.

Richardson SG Bombadier 100th Siege Bty.

Todd G Gunner 384th Siege Bty.


Durham RGA - Siege Batteries

The Royal Naval dominance of the North Sea reduced the German threat on the coast and the requirement for coastal artillery. This coincided with increased demand for heavy artillery for the Western Front, and skilled RGA gunners to man those guns. Consequently RGA gunners from the coastal batteries were formed into siege batteries for deployment overseas.

The coastal units would also provide the basis for training and the raising of future RGA Batteries.

The following Siege Batteries were formed from Durham RGA (TF) personnel and or / at Hartelpool:

Sources: Fredericks Lineage vol 2 page 702 to 708 / Siege Battery 94 1914-1918 / The Hartlepool Gunners 190 Siege Battery / GWF Forum: kevroww /

  • 41 Siege Battery - formed 2nd July 1915. Half of the Battery were regulars from the Hong Kong and Singapore RGA, half Territorials from Durham RGA. The Battery was equipped with 6 in Howitzers and deployed to France 9th December 1915.

  • 94 Siege Battery - formed 16th December 1915 at Tynemouth. Personnel 40 % New Army / Regulars from Tynemouth RGA & 60% Durham RGA. Deployed to France April 1916 with 4 x 0.2in Howitzers

  • 149 Siege Battery - formed 22nd May 1915 with a nucleus of details form Durham RGA. and equipped with 6inch Howitzer (26 cwt)

  • 190 Siege Battery - formed 13th July 1916 at Hartlepool. The Battery history records that the gunners were mainly from the Durham RGA, the signallers joined the Battery at Bexhill. They were equipped with 6 inch Howitzers (26 cwt) and sailed to France 13th November 1916.

  • 230 Siege Battery - formed 12th August 1916 and equipped with 4 x 6 inch Howitzers (26 cwt)

  • 253 Siege Battery - formed 13th September 1916 and equipped with 4 x 6 inch Howitzers (26 cwt)

  • 265 Siege Battery - 28 Sept 1916 and equipped with 4 x 9.2 Howitzers

  • 295 Siege Battery - formed 1st November 1916 and equipped with 4 x 6 inch Howitzers (26 cwt)

  • 313 Siege Battery - formed 12th December 1916 and equipped with 4 x 8 inch Howitzers

  • 357 Siege Battery - formed 21st January 1917 and equipped with 4 x 8 inch Hows (armed on arrival in France)

  • 400 Siege Battery - formed 19th April 1917 Personnel only to France, one section to 270 SB, one section to 290 SB

An extract of the Durham RGA from Soldiers Who Died in the Great War shoes the variety of units to which the Durham Gunners were posted (excludes the 142nd Heavy Battery RGA which was formed from the Heavy battery of the Durham RGA).

Surname Inititials Rank Unit

Morgan J Gnr 116th Heavy Bty.

Dodd R Gnr 11th Siege Bty.

Davidson ADB Gnr 123rd Siege Bty.

Wallace JW Gnr 131st Heavy Bty.

Allsopp AE Gnr 133rd Heavy Bty.

Langley LJ Gnr 140th Siege Bty.

Harrison A Gnr 160th Siege Bty.

Taylor W Gnr 183rd Siege Bty.

Ross TW L/Bdr 202nd Siege Bty.

Liddell J Gnr 215th Siege Bty

Beedle FW L/Bdr 21st (Forth) Fire Command

Stephens R Cpl 229th Seige Bty.

Anderson HH Bdr 22nd Anti-Aircraft Coy.

Drage A Gnr 234th Siege Bty

Swan F Gnr 234th Siege Bty.

Welford J Gnr 239th Siege Bty.

Bray E Gnr 245th Siege Bty.

Cooper T Gnr 265th Siege Bty.

Wilson R L/Bdr 26th Heavy Bty.

Lynch H Gnr 270th Siege Bty.

Banks RC Gnr 284th Siege Bty.

Hollings P Sgt 286th Siege Bty.

Palmer JE Gnr 286th Siege Bty.

Street HJ Gnr 286th Siege Bty.

Claridge HJ Gnr 289th Siege Bty.

Smith HF Gnr 290th Siege Bty.

Proctor FJ 2nd/1st North Midland (Staffs.) Heavy Bty.

Holdsworth R Gnr 321st Siege Bty.

Hutchinson W Cpl 326th Siege Bty.

Gayler H Gnr 327th Siege Bty.

Hartley CE Bdr 332nd Siege Bty.

Ward A Gnr 351st Siege Bty.

Forsyth J L/Bdr 355th Siege Bty.

Hampton F Gnr 38th (Welsh) Heavy Bty.

Stephens GEW Gnr 38th (Welsh) Heavy Bty.

Aiston J Gnr 3rd Siege Bty.

Frankland JP Gnr 41st (Durham) Siege Bty.

Henderson JH Gnr 41st (Durham) Siege Bty.

Lee TW Gnr 41st (Durham) Siege Bty.

Sweeting J Gnr 41st (Durham) Siege Bty.

Broughton B Cpl 41st Siege Bty.

Clementson RS Gnr 41st Siege Bty.

O'Boyle J Gnr 41st Siege Bty.

Purchas AO A/Bdr 47th Heavy Artillery Group

Busfield S Gnr 48th Bty.

Bristow H Gnr 51st Siege Bty.

Jensen HW Cpl 94th (Durham) Siege Bty.

Barr JW Gnr 94th Siege Bty.

Eltringham T Gnr 94th Siege Bty.

Flewker H Gnr 94th Siege Bty.

Mayes E Gnr Whl 94th Siege Bty.

Hill N Gnr attd. "V" Heavy T.M. Bty.

Agar JR Gnr Durham Bde.

Horsley JW Gnr Durham Bde.

Houston WS Gnr Durham Bde.

Middlemass JG Gnr RGA

Spence R Gunner RGA

Diver F Gnr RGA


Trench Mortar Battery Orbat

Hello kildaremark

From research I did some years ago at Kew, the numbering of TMBs went up to 114, although there were some gaps, notably in the 50s and 70s. I'm inclined to agree with Kevin that numbers in the 300s and 400s were not sequential.

When the allocation of TMBs was formalised in mid-1916, brigade TMBs were ligt, equipped with the Stokes, and were manned predominantly by infantrymen. Medium and heavy TMBs, at divisional level, were regarded as units of the RFA and RGA respectively, though this did not mean that there was no mixture of RFA and RGA men among them - in fact, that seems to have been quite common. The heavy TMBs were generally cosolidated as Corps-level units in 1918.


Here are the original War Establishments for various types of TMB. There were only minor changes thereafter:

September 1915 Trench Mortar Battery (4 mortars of the same type)

2 Officers, 1 Serjeant, 4 Corporals or Lance-Corporals, 16 Privates, 2 Batmen.

August 1916 Light Trench Mortar Battery (2 sections, each 4 x 3" Stokes mortars)

Captain, 3 Subalterns, 2 Serjeants, 8 Corporals or Lance-Corporals, 32 Privates, 4 Batmen.

August 1916 Medium Trench Mortar Battery (4 x 2" mortars)

2 Officers, 1 Serjeant, 4 Corporals or Bombardiers, 16 Privates, 2 Batmen.

August 1916 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery (4 x 9.45" mortars)

Captain, 2 Subalterns, 3 Serjeants, 1 Fitter, 4 Corporals, 4 Bombardiers, 47 Gunners (incl 3 telephonists), 2 Orderlies, 1 Clerk, 1 Cook, 3 Batmen.


thank you very much Ron, appreciate it

Source: Trench mortar batteries


IWM - Nery Gun

Visited the Imperial War Museum London contains the Nery Gun which was engaged in the Action at Nery 1st September 1914 resulting in the awarding of 3 Victoria Crosses.

NeryGun.jpg Nery Gun Imperial War Museum

During the Retreat from Mons the 1st Cavalry Brigade were on the western flank of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). In support of the Brigade were III Brigade RHA (D & E Bty) and VII RHA (I & L Bty). On the night of the night of the 31st August 1914 the 1st Cavalry Brigade were billeted in the village of Nery, 65 km (40 miles) NE of Paris. In the early hours of 1st September, with mist as cover, the German 4th Cavalry Division attacked the British in Nery.

Nery1Sep1914.jpg Action at Nery

1st September 1914

L Battery RHA brought 3 guns into action to engage German Artillery. In the ensuing artillery duel, one of L Battery's guns was immediately destroyed, the second shortly after.

Captain Bradbury and Sergeant Nelson continued to fire from the third gun, when they were joined by BSM Dorrell as detachment members became casualties. Under heavy German artillery fire, Captain Bradbury was mortally wounded as he collected ammunition, whilst BSM Dorrell and Sgt Nelson continued firing until ammunition was expended. The action helped to hold the German advance, and causing them to withdraw.


L Battery RHA Nery 1st September 1914

For their gallantry, Captain Bradbury, BSM Dorrell and Sgt Nelson were awarded the Victoria Cross.


Nery VC's


IWM - Le Cateau VC's

On a recent visit to Imperial War Museum London took the opportunity to visit the Lord Ashcroft Gallery to view two of the three VC's awarded at Le Cateau.

Visited the battlefield in 2014 and saw the area from where the guns were saved: Le Cateau - Saving the Guns

During the battle, the 37th Howitzer Battery RFA had withdrawn 4 guns. Captain Douglas Reynolds found two horse teams when he retired to Remount, and decided to rescue the remaining two howitzers. He called for volunteers to assist him and amongst them were Driver Job Drain and Driver Fred Luke.

Under heavy fire Captain Reynolds, Driver Drain and Driver Luke were able to rescue one of the guns. For their bravery Captain Reynolds, Driver Drain and Driver Luke were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Le Cateau Saving the Guns

IWM - Le Cateau VCs

London Gazette, 25th November 1914

At Le Cateau on August 26th, 1914, as volunteers, these two drivers saved their guns from falling into the hands of the enemy, although it was at the time under heavy fire from hostile infantry, who were only 100 yards away.

Driver Drain VC

Driver Drain VC medals

Driver Luke VC

Driver Luke VC medals


From: RFA Battery Positions


Then, as now, the deployment of a battery was subject to numerous factors, perhaps the three most important of which were the ground, the threat and the requirements of artillery survey (which are almost infinitely technical and won't be gone into in detail here). A battery was deployed by the Battery Commander himself, who received orders from his (artillery) brigade as to the area in which he was to deploy the battery and the likely targets he should be able to achieve from that area. The BC then decided where each gun should go, the command post, the wagon lines, etc.

The type of position the battery established - i.e. in the open, in pits, with overhead protection, etc. - depended on the threat, which in turn depended largely on the 'stage of the campaign'. For example, from the war diary of the 35th (Howitzer) Battery RFA, we know that when they came down to the Somme a few days before the preliminary bombardment began, they occupied a position north of Bray, with targets in the vicinity of Mametz/Fricourt. As this position could not be directly observed by the Germans and so was judged to be relatively safe from a counter-battery threat, the guns were in the open 30-50 yards apart with narrow trenches dug to shelter the detachments in case of counter-battery fire. After Happy Valley (less than a mile away) was heavily shelled, it was decided to dig the guns in and improve the trenches. Interestingly, this was done with the assistance of some infantry, who also helped dig-in the telephone lines forward for the FOOs.

On 11 July, the batteries of 22 Bde RFA (which included 35th Bty) moved forward to positions in the vicinity of Bottom Wood, Queen's Nullah and Willow Avenue, a German communication trench which ran up the valley between Mametz and Fricourt Wood. 35th Battery was allocated the Willow Avenue position (as you'd expect, it being a howitzer battery - the 18-pdr batteries got the forward positions). Ammunition had been pre-dumped on the position and the guns came into action on 12 July, cutting the wire in front of the Second Position. As limited time had been available, the guns were once again in the open approximately 50 yards apart, but urgent work went on throughout the next few days to dig shelter trenches next to each gun to shelter the detachment and to dig the guns in. Full use was made of Willow Avenue to shelter the command post and accommodate the detachments. Willow Avenue ran NE/SW, with the guns deployed to the north of the trench on a line N/S.

So as you can see, the deployment of the battery was affected by the ground and the threat. In a low-threat area with no pre-existing trenches, the guns were in the open with the minimum protection for the detachments. This saved labour for the detachments and so prevented fatiguing them unnecessarily. As the threat went up, so extra measures were taken. When the battery went forward, work began on gun pits and trenches as soon as the guns came into action, use was made of pre-existing trenches and the guns were more widely dispersed due to the increased counter-battery threat.

The survey factor (i.e. where exactly is each gun and what direction is it pointing in) also affected deployment during the Somme offensive. The temptation for BCs was to keep the guns as tight together as possible and orientate them on a line a near as possible parallel to any linear features (i.e. trenches) that they were likely to engage. This was due to the difficulty of exactly plotting the location of each gun and producing firing data for each gun to hit the target. The same firing data could be given to each gun for speed and simplicity, which produced a fall of shot which mirrored the deployment of the guns. The fall of shot was therefore easier to adjust. However, the tighter the deployment, the greater the threat from counter-battery fire, so the BC had to find a balance between a deployment which allowed for accurate survey and one which preserved his guns and detachments from enemy indirect fire.

Source: RFA Battery Positions