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Sad Disaster D/312 Battery 26-May-1917

ianjonesncl

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Came accross an account from the War services of the 62nd West Riding Divisional Artillery whilst researching one of those remembered on Remembered Today.

In one incident D/312 battery lost two officers, all thier number ones and experienced soldiers. A tragic loss of life that removed many of the key elements for the running of an efficient battery.

Thanks to ororkep aka Paul the war diary entry has been recorded on another post:

http://1914-1918.inv...23

26/5/17, at St. Mein. Time 1.30pm.

Explosion at D Battery causing death of Capt.H. B. Gallimore and 10 other ranks. Lt. G Hardy and 3 others seriously wounded. (over written at later date- later died of his wounds) Fire caused by a spark from firing gun that ignited the overhead fishing net camouflage. It spread to the gun pit. Officers and NCO hurried to extinguish it with earth and spades. 3 minutes later the shells exploded. One gun destroyed and another damaged. Incident caused CRA order to be issued that if future fire occurs men are to evacuate and not try to extinguish it.

Mjr. F. H. Lister CO 312 Bde.

From War services of the 62nd West Riding Divisional Artillery

On the 26th May a sad disaster occurred in D/312 Howitzer Battery. The camouflage over one of the howitzers caught fire and blazed up. It was merely a question of a few moments when the flames should reach the ammunition and cause a terrible

explosion, but there was a slight chance of the fire being put out in time, and Capt. H. B. Gallimore, who was temporarily commanding the battery, with Lieut. G.Hardy and a party of N.C.O.'s and men, made a gallant attempt to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately their efforts were vain, and there was a tremendous explosion.

Poor Gallimore was killed, and also ten others (including all the six "Numbers One" of the battery), while Hardy was dangerously wounded, and also five gunners more or less severely. The loss of two such officers and six of the most valuable N.C.O.'s was a very serious blow to D/312, but the splendid act of devotion, in which they sacrificed their brave young lives, conferred a lustre not only on their own battery, but on the whole of the Divisional Artillery, and will not soon be forgotten. Hardy, unhappily, died of his wounds on the 28th.

:poppy: The gallant men of D Battery 312 Brigade RFA are burried in the H.A.C. CEMETERY, ECOUST-ST. MEIN

Gunner J BOYD grave ref III.B.26

Acting Bombardier GE BUCKNALL grave ref III.B25

Captain HB GALLIMORE grave ref III.B.24

Acting Bombardier F HARDAKER grave ref III.B.19

Serjeant JH JENKINS grave ref III.D.23

Driver J KEMPLAY grave ref III.B.30

Serjeant EJH KNIGHT grave ref III.D.21

Corporal BJ PEPPER grave ref III.B.27

Gunner H STOTT grave ref III.B.27

Gunner N VAUGHAN grave ref III.B.28

:poppy: Second Lieutenant G.Hardy was burried at ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

Second Lieutenant G HARDY grave ref I.A.14




2 Comments


robbie knight

Posted

that was my great uncles brigade E J KNIGHT,,, I WENT TO THE CEMETERY 2015 LAYED ROSES FOR THEM ALL I HAVE UPLOADED ALL PHOTOS OF THE HEAD STONES ON HERE  SAD STORY

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ilkley remembers

Posted

Contents of a letter sent by Lieutenant Harold H G Sharpe to the parents of A/Bomb. George Ernest Bucknall of Ilkley

 

 On behalf of the major and all the officers I write to express our deepest sympathy in this grievous loss that you have suffered. Your son was a favourite with us all. He was one of our brightest and best and had been in my section for over a year; being one of our most promising non commissioned officers. We all feel his loss most keenly. He was such a good boy and I can realise what a loss you must have suffered. I hope it may be a consolation to you in your grief to know that he died heroically doing his duty. A fire occurred in the gun pit caused by a German shell and thirteen others were trying to put it out when the ammunition exploded and all were killed or wounded. They all lie buried in a little valley. I am not allowed to tell you where. I can assure you that your son did not suffer. He was killed instantly. Assuring you once more of our deep sympathy and of our sense of loss that we have sustained.

Yours very truly Harold H G Sharpe. Lieut RFA June 2nd 1917

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