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Equipment of RGA Batteries summer 1916


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#1 bmac

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 02:36 PM

Wonder if anyone can help with the details of the guns employed by the following batteries:

59th Siege Battery
67th Siege Battery
97th Siege Battery
21st Siege Battery

Also, I am trying to complete the details of the heavy artillery arrangements for 1st July 1916 and I believe I have them sorted for the III, VIII, X (most) and XIII Corps. XV Corps is still somewhat confused though and any help with these details would be much appreciated.

3rd Heavy Artillery Group
42nd Siege Battery 2 x 9.2 in howitzers
78th Siege Battery, 4 x 8 in howitzers
58th Siege Battery 4 x 6 in MK VII guns Maj Leo Victor Roche
59th Siege Battery Capt C P J Layard
18th Heavy Artillery Group
121st Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pdr guns Capt H W Goldney
21st Heavy Artillery Group
34th Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 in guns
38th Siege Battery 4 x 6 in howitzers 30 cwt
67th Siege Battery Maj Lyster Robert Edward Walter Taylor
97th Siege Battery
23rd Heavy Artillery Group
44th Siege Battery 2 x 12 in railway howitzers Capt Kenneth Forsyth Angus
51st Siege Battery 4 x 6 in howitzers 26 cwt
130th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
125th Heavy Battery, 4 x 60 pounders
21st Siege Battery Capt D P Gilbert
1/2nd Lancashire Heavy Battery 4 x 4.7 in guns
A/149 Battery 4 x 18 pdrs (attached)
6eme Groupe French artillery 75 mm guns

I also have a reference to the 14th Heavy Artillery Group but I cannot currently place them.

Lastly, for X Corps, altough I have (I think) the complete list of batteries by Group the HAGs are not numbered (except for one). If anyone can put a number to the HAGS I'd be grateful as I plan a trip to the NA this Thursdsay to look at the last remaining 30 RGA files for 1st July and it would be good to get the last HAG Diaries as well.

Currently, the details below are as I have them for X Corps HA:
40th Heavy Artillery Group (Northern Heavy Group) Lt Col A F S Scott DSO
No 4 Battery RMA
No 2 RMA 15 inch howitzer
No 8 RMA 15 inch howitzer Capt A D Godfray
62nd Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 inch howitzer
33rd Siege Battery 4 x 8 inch howitzers
70th Siege Battery 4 x 8 inch howitzers
72nd (South African) Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers
17th Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers 30 cwt Maj W R Thompson
108th Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers
8th Siege Battery (Right section) 2 x 6 inch MK VII Capt Charles Peter Gwydyn Cameron
Southern Heavy Group Lt Col C W Clarke
80th Siege Battery 2 x 12 inch howitzers
76th Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 inch howitzer
13th Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 inch howitzers
20th Siege Battery 4 x 8 inch howitzers
41st Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers 26 cwt Capt M Sykes
27th Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers 30 cwt
8th Siege Battery (Left section) 2 x 6 inch MK VII Lt John Ireland Long
Northern Counter Battery Group Lt Col C H W Owen DSO
122nd Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
152nd Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
108th Heavy Battery (one section) 2 x 60 pounders
A, C and D/247 Batteries RFA (attached from 49th Divisional Artillery) 8 x 18 pdrs and 4 x 4.5 inch howitzers
Southern Counter Battery Group Lt Col R H Massie
114th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
14th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
24th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
108th Heavy Battery (one section) 2 x 60 pounders
119th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
West Riding Heavy Battery 4 x 4.7 inch guns Capt John Philip Scott

I also have a reference to a 2nd HAG which I cannot place.

Thanks in advance.


#2 ororkep

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 05:18 PM

BMAC,
Here is the answer to the easy part of your question as at 1-7-1916:

21 Sge Bty: 4 x 9.2 BL Hows
59 Sge Bty: 4 x 6 in Hows (30 cwt)
67 Sge Bty: 4 x 8 in Hows
97 Sge Bty: 4 x 9.2 in Hows

I can guess where the information of 42 Sge Bty came from, but I think it is incorrect. For the record they had 4 guns for the preparatory bombardment to the Battle of the Somme on 24 June (U day) under Mjr W N Budgen..

Rgds Paul
Edit: Source re 42 Sge Bty. i) The book Dick Flory mentions in #5
ii) Pages 38-40 of 42 Sge Bty War Diary.

#3 bmac

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:11 PM

Paul,

Cheers. Might I enquire about your source for the 42 SB item?

Bill

#4 rflory

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:32 PM

Some comments:

1. 42nd Siege Battery was commanded at that time by Maj W N Budgen.
2. According to Allocations of Siege Batteries, R. G. A. the Siege Batteries listed under 23rd Heavy Artillery Group in your posting were allocated as follows on 1 July 1916:
44th Siege Battery: XV Corps Heavy Artillery unallocated
51st Siege Battery: 21st HAG
130th Siege Battery: 23rd HAG
125th Siege Battery: 35th HAG
21st Siege Battery: 14th HAG
1/2nd Lancashire Heavy Battery: 18th HAG
3. 62nd Siege Battery was commanded at that time by Maj W J Stanbridge
4. Southern Heavy Group was composed of units from 25th HAG.
5. 76th Siege Battery was commanded at that time by Maj R H Brent Clark
6. 80th Siege Battery: the 12 inch howitzers were on road mountings.
7. Northern Counter Battery Group was composed of units from 9th HAG.
8. 122nd Heavy Battery was commanded at that time by Maj A G Haig.
9. Southern Counter Battery Group was composed of units from 2nd HAG.
10. 14th Heavy Battery was commanded at that time by Capt P S Wiltshire.
11. 24th Heavy Battery was commanded at that time by Maj E Miles.


Regards, Dick Flory


#5 rflory

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:38 PM

bmac wrote: Paul, Cheers. Might I enquire about your source for the 42 SB item? Bill

Not sure of Paul's source but Memoirs of 42 Siege Battery, RGA 1914-1918, page 48 indicates: "On the 30th May Buttanshaw arrived from England with two more guns and personnel from the right half of the Battery, so that when the bombardment preparatory to the Somme Battle opened on 24th June, we had four guns in action."

Regards, Dick Flory

#6 bmac

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:17 PM

QUOTE (rflory @ Jun 7 2009, 09:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Some comments:

2. According to Allocations of Siege Batteries, R. G. A. the Siege Batteries listed under 23rd Heavy Artillery Group in your posting were allocated as follows on 1 July 1916:
44th Siege Battery: XV Corps Heavy Artillery unallocated
125th Siege Battery: 35th HAG

4. Southern Heavy Group was composed of units from 25th HAG.
7. Northern Counter Battery Group was composed of units from 9th HAG.
9. Southern Counter Battery Group was composed of units from 2nd HAG.


Dick,

Thanks for this. The odd comment (beyond saying thanks a lot for the information)

44th Siege Battery WD makes no mention of their affiliation. I plan to look at XV Corps GOCRA and GOC HA files on Thursday which may help. I am guessing that 14 HAG looks a likely bet.
35 HAG (re: 125 th Heavy [not Siege] Battery) was part of VII Corps HA and I have the complete list of units for this and 125th Heavy Bty was not part of it in June/July. This was a heavy howitzer group then. There is no 125th Heavy Battery WD.
AFAIK there is no WD for either 25th or 2nd HAG either at all or for this period but there is one for 9th which I will try to see Thursday.

I still have GOCRA/GOCHA X and XV Corps to see (Thursday again!) which may clear up some of these points but thanks for the help. Very much appreciated.

I have a fair few other gaps for COs for batteries. I may yet come back to you. biggrin.gif

Cheers

Bill

#7 rflory

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:28 PM

Bill: Sorry for the error on 125th Heavy Battery. Allocations of Heavy Batteries RGA shows that it was attached to 23rd HAG from 20 May 16 to 22 Sept 16. Regards, Dick

#8 bmac

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:42 PM

Dick,

Cheers, BTW (and this applies to anyone else) in about two weeks' time I should have the existing War Diaries for all Siege and Heavy Batteries involved in 1st July 1916 transcribed as well as HAGs, GOCRA and GOCHA diaries (not yet all the Operation Orders, etc.). If anyone has a burning need to see what there is (and for some it is just a few lines) please let me know and I will try to oblige ASAP. At some point (quite a long way into the future) they will go on a new First Day of the Somme web site (though with a different name for obvious copyright reasons rolleyes.gif ).

Bill

#9 rflory

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:48 PM

Bill: I would love to see all of them if you are willing to send them to me. Regards, Dick

#10 essdee

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:51 PM

Bill

Have had a little play with your list and have made a few amendments for XV Corps HA

3rd Heavy Artillery Group

42nd Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 in howitzers
78th Siege Battery, 4 x 8 in howitzers
58th Siege Battery 4 x 6 in MK VII guns Maj Leo Victor Roche
59th Siege Battery 4 x 6 in howitzers 30 cwt Capt C P J Layard

14th Heavy Artillery Group

24th Siege Battery 4 x 6 in Hows 26 cwt
30th Siege Battery 4 x 8 in Hows
47th Siege Battery 4 x 8 in Hows.
21st Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 in Hows. Capt D P Gilbert

18th Heavy Artillery Group

121st Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pdr guns Capt H W Goldney
26th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
118th Heavy Battery 4 x 4.7 in guns
1/2nd Lancashire Heavy Battery 4 x 4.7 in guns

21st Heavy Artillery Group

34th Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 in Hows.
38th Siege Battery 4 x 6 in howitzers 30 cwt
67th Siege Battery 4 x 8 in howitzers Maj Lyster Robert Edward Walter Taylor
97th Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 in Hows.
51st Siege Battery 4 x 6 in howitzers 26 cwt

23rd Heavy Artillery Group

130th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
125th Heavy Battery, 4 x 60 pounders
1st Canadian Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
A/149 Battery 4 x 18 pdrs (attached)
6eme Groupe French artillery 75 mm guns

Un-allocated Heavy Artillery

44th Siege Battery 2 x 12 in railway howitzers Capt Kenneth Forsyth Angus



Stuart

#11 essdee

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:33 AM

Bill

40th Heavy Artillery Group

No 4 Battery RMA
No 2 RMA 15 inch howitzer
No 8 RMA 15 inch howitzer Capt A D Godfray
62nd Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 inch howitzer
33rd Siege Battery 4 x 8 inch howitzers
70th Siege Battery 4 x 8 inch howitzers
72nd (South African) Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers
17th Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers 30 cwt Maj W R Thompson
108th Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers
8th Siege Battery (Right section) 2 x 6 inch MK VII Capt Charles Peter Gwydyn Cameron *

25th Heavy Artillery Group

80th Siege Battery 2 x 12 inch howitzers
76th Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 inch howitzer
13th Siege Battery 4 x 9.2 inch howitzers
20th Siege Battery 4 x 8 inch howitzers
41st Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers 26 cwt Capt M Sykes
27th Siege Battery 4 x 6 inch howitzers 30 cwt
8th Siege Battery (Left section) 2 x 6 inch MK VII Lt John Ireland Long *

9th Heavy Artillery Group

122nd Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
152nd Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
108th Heavy Battery (one section) 2 x 60 pounders **
A, C and D/247 Batteries RFA (attached from 49th Divisional Artillery) 8 x 18 pdrs and 4 x 4.5 inch howitzers

2nd Heavy Artillery Group

114th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
14th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
24th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
108th Heavy Battery (one section) 2 x 60 pounders **
119th Heavy Battery 4 x 60 pounders
West Riding Heavy Battery 4 x 4.7 inch guns Capt John Philip Scott

* 8 Siege were allocated to the 25th HAG but may have had a section attached to the 40th HAG for tactical purposes

** 108 Heavy were allocated to the 9th HAG but may have had a section attached to the 2nd HAG for tactical purposes

If you PM me your email address I'll send you a 4th Army HA list for 28th June'16 listed by Corps which also includes attached AA batteries, French guns, RMA & RFA units


Stuart

#12 bmac

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:27 AM

Stuart,

Thanks a lot. PM with email on its way.

Terrific.

Cheers

Bill

QUOTE (rflory @ Jun 7 2009, 10:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bill: I would love to see all of them if you are willing to send them to me. Regards, Dick


Dick,

No problem. When they are done I'll let you know.

Bill

#13 Op-Ack

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:49 PM

QUOTE (bmac @ Jun 7 2009, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Dick,

Cheers, BTW (and this applies to anyone else) in about two weeks' time I should have the existing War Diaries for all Siege and Heavy Batteries involved in 1st July 1916 transcribed as well as HAGs, GOCRA and GOCHA diaries (not yet all the Operation Orders, etc.). If anyone has a burning need to see what there is (and for some it is just a few lines) please let me know and I will try to oblige ASAP. At some point (quite a long way into the future) they will go on a new First Day of the Somme web site (though with a different name for obvious copyright reasons rolleyes.gif ).

Bill



Bill

I would also love to have a look at them, it's amazing what little snippets of info you can glean from documents like these.

Phil

#14 bmac

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:31 PM

No problem. I may yet be posting sections of the more technical bits in the hope that someone might be able to explain them to an ordinary civilian like me!

#15 ALANJONES

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:34 PM

Just a note on the battery commander of 122nd HB. Major A G Haig was the OC until shortly after they arrived on the Somme. He had been detached to act as the X Corps Counter Battery Officer and he formed the first Corps Counter Battery Cell, which later became the norm. He did not return the 122nd and Capt F W Thicknesse commanded the 122nd in practice, later becoming the actual OC until he was killed in Oct 1917.

best wishes
Alan

#16 Charles Frater

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:21 AM

Dear Bill
I was interested in your ioffer "....Cheers, BTW (and this applies to anyone else) in about two weeks' time I should have the existing War Diaries for all Siege and Heavy Batteries involved in 1st July 1916 transcribed as well as HAGs, GOCRA and GOCHA diaries (not yet all the Operation Orders, etc.). If anyone has a burning need to see what there is (and for some it is just a few lines) please let me know and I will try to oblige ASAP. At some point (quite a long way into the future) they will go on a new First Day of the Somme web site (though with a different name for obvious copyright reasons ...."

I have been to the national archive (Kew) to find out about my Father who was in in the 125th Siege Battery from 16th September 1917 until he was repatriated to South Africa. I have all the letters (or most of them anyway) that he wrote home to his Mother in South Africa. Much of the information that I have about him for the annotations in the typed-up version of his letters comes from what I have been able to glean from the War Diaries of the 125th Siege Battery. However, some of the material, especially after March 1918 seems to be a summarisation of the entries. So I ask whether there are original entries extant?

His letters do sometimes give an indication of what was going on and his letters written while he was on leave seem to tell more than the censors at the front would allow. Because he didn't want to distress his Mother and because of the censors there is very little of substance about life at the front and more in reply to the content of the letters he received from home.

I would be grateful to know ifproper war diaries exist and not summaries.

Regards


Charles