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ralphjd

218th Seige Battery Royal Garrison Artillery

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Another of "my" men I am trying to trace place of death of died with the 218th Seige Battery RGA on the 30/31st October 1918 buried Premont British Cem any ideas where his Battery was situated at the time anyone? Regards Ralph.

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This battery is not mentioned in Farndale, RJD.

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Richard, Many thanks for the reply, much appreciated, can I ask if you have anything on "A" Battery 88th Bde Royal Field Artillery one of my men killed 21st March 1918 (German offensive day as we know) Regards Ralph.

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Yep. 88th Bde RFA were with 19th Division, mentioned only in Farndale in the order of battle. However 19th Div's History records that the wagon lines for the guns were at Ytres, south of Bertincourt. It has an extract from OC Wagon Lines' private diary.

"Thursday 21st March 1918: I was at the Wagon lines on this date, having been here since the 19th, viz., at Ytres. This place has been shelled now with high velocity guns for the last week. I woke up at 4.30 a.m. with a very heavy bombardment by the enemy. This Wagon line was shelled the whole day. The enemy continued this heavy firing along the whole front for eight hours, sending over 1,000 gas shells. Received an order at 10 p.m. to go up with the limbers to remove guns as the enemy was advancing in large number. Got them out and into a new position by midnight, and returned with the limbers to Wagon Line; got there at 4 a.m."

The divnl history states that the RFA Bde's war diary records only moves of their batteries, so you may be able to pin down battery positions from the Bde war diary.

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I checked the Order of Battle for 218 Battery. It was a 6" howitzer battery in 18 Bde RGA. In October it was attached to The American 2nd Corps in Fourth Army.

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Richard, Many thanks for all this information, it is really helpfull. Regards Ralph.

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Hello again Ralph

The War Diary for 218 Siege Battery RGA is in the National Archives at Kew, in file WO95/540. War Diaries rarely mention men by name other than officers, but the location of the unit and a description of its activities is given for each day.

Ron

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Ralph

218 Siege were about 1000 yards SW of Escaufort at map ref V6a 8.2. sheet 57b.

218 were allocated to 18th Brigade RGA who were in VII Corps HA but for October the VII Corps HA were attached to and acted as the HA for the 2nd US Corps.

From the 24th to the 31st October the HA are shown as at rest with the US Corps.

Stuart

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Stuart, Many thanks, just the thing, as is all the other info, really great. Ralph.

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Hello All

My first post.

My Great Uncle Clement Charles Riggs Gnr RA, 183840 is buried at Esquelbecq (Escaufort) Military Cemetery.

According to his Military Records he was attached to the 218th Siege Battery RA.

He died 10th May 1918.

I don't know how or why he died, questions I would like to know.

There was a 3rd Aust. CCS Esquelbecq camp (Casualty Clearing Station) at Esquelbecq in 1918.

This may be of some info to you.

If any one has more info. on the 218 I would be grateful.

My father and I are names after him.

Thanks in anticipation.

C. Alan Humphries

Clement Charles Riggs.docx

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Welcome Alan,

Unfortunately you may never learn how he died but you will get some idea of where exactly he was, and what he was doing, by viewing the Brigade war diary that the battery was attached to at that time. The diaries are held at the Nat. Archives at Kew and the reference you need is WO 95/540 for 18 Brigade. Hopefully it will become available on line in the not too distant future.

I would suggest he almost certainly enlisted with the RFA first and was transferred to the RGA around Aug. 1917. How and when he joined 218th Sge. Bty. is impossible to say ( he may have just been a re-enforcement from England after training) although the battery was slightly different to others in that it was broken up in Dec 1917 and then reformed with a section from 180 SB and 236 SB. It's possible that he joined it from one of these two batteries.

Kevin

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Thanks for the reply's

C. Alan Humphries

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