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West Lancashire Brigade RFA

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My late grandfather served in the 2/3 West Lancashire Brigade RFA from 1915 to 1919 as a driver (one of 3 per team of horses)

I understand the Medal Roll entry for him (John Large) will be available as of July 2004 and am trying to identify where he served!

I know the Brigades were organised as 3 (or 4) Batteries with 6 guns per battery. Family conversations indicate he served alongside the Canadian Division as he had a Canadian pen pal for many years

He must have taken the overseas service 'option' as the 2/3 did not go to France until 1917 and I know he was in France in 1915 therefore serving with 1/2 West Lancashire Brigade

I have his discharge papers but they give little information

I have been in touch with firepower who cannot be very specific

Any help would be appreciated.

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The West Lancashire RFA served in theg 2nd Canadian Division in the second half of 1915. The War Diary of this period is therefore available online through the Canadian Archives. This may be where your relative formed the relationship you mention.

In January 1916 the West Lancashire Division (T.F.) reformed as the 55th (West Lancashire) Division and the West Lancs RFA rejoined their parent division.

There is also a published history called "War Diary of the 1st West Lancashire Brigade, R.F.A." compiled by Capt. W. W. Wadsworth, M.C. It was published in Liverpool in 1923.

I have a copy of the book so if you need any specific look-ups let me know.

Regards,

Ken

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I forgot to ask - What was your grandfather's service number(s)?

Ken

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Name: John Large

Date of Enlistment: 6/4/1915

Army Number: 685759

Date of Discharge: 25/1/1919

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That service number confirms that he was issued the number as a member of the 3rd West Lancs Brigade. You probably already know that they were later retitled, 277 Brigade, RFA.

Ken

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Many thanks

Do you have any idea as to how I could identify which Battery he served with? I would like to get as much information as possible about his service records (Any information would be useful!!!)

Interestingly enough he was discharged A1 despite having spent some time in hospital in Eastbourne suffering from the effects of gas and shrapnel - apparently a way in which the War Department got round having to pay a pension!

Rgds

Mark

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Have you tried to find his service record at the National Archives, Kew? That would be the best source of personal information.

Ken

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Not yet, no.

The chances are that his records did not survive the blitz - apprently all surviving records were given over to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and are on their family search website. As his information is not present then it is safe to assume they are not in Kew either - other than the medal roll apparently which will be available on-line as of July.

Have you any other suggestions?

Regards

MArk

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I would not like to say whether your assumption regarding his service records is correct, but I would definitely not give up on the basis of that assumption. Did the LDS take all details of all records? Did they include the recently released 'burnt records'? I have no experience at all of the National Archives, but I'm sure someone else here will offer their thoughts on this.

Where did your Grandfather come from? Have you considered the local newspapers? They often contain details of men of the town/village which you wouldn't find anywhere else.

Ken

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He was Liverpool born and bred - I hadn't considered referring to local papers in all honesty.

Would they mention detail regarding units? or would that be confidential

Regards

Mark

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Mark,

At the beginning of the war, there wasn't too much secrecy, but this did become more strictly controlled as time went on. However, there is often sufficient detail to establish quite a few biographical details that you won't easily find elsewhere.

The Liverpool papers are archived at the Liverpool Record Office, above the central library.

Ken

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Mark,

At the beginning of the war, there wasn't too much secrecy, but this did become more strictly controlled as time went on. However, there is often sufficient detail to establish quite a few biographical details that you won't easily find elsewhere.

The Liverpool papers are archived at the Liverpool Record Office, above the central library.

Ken

Ken

It's been a while I know but I have obtained the medal role entry for my Grandfather but it has offered no further information - is there any way in which I could identify which battery he served in? I get to Liverpool infrequently (with wife and children in tow) so a trip there to spend hours poring over the Liverpool record office entries is 'unlikely' to say the least.

ANY information would be gratefully received

Regards

Mark

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Mark,

As far as I am aware, his number won't indicate which Battery, or even which Brigade he served in.

I can't think of anything else which might help, other than the National Archives, London, or the Liverpool Record Office.

Regards,

Ken

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