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Royal Field Artillery - photos


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#1 harshmallow

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:48 PM

Hello there forum people.

A nice chap on one of the other forums suggested I posted this here. I had previously put it in the 'other' category...but I'll see if I can delete that post now that I've posted it here. Didn't see a move option.

I wasn't 100% sure which sub-forum to put this in as altho I mention a specific soldier, I'm not necessarily asking anyone to help me find him, but help me figure out where/when these a few photos might have been taken smile.gif

SO, I was wondering if those anyone with military history knowledge might be able to help me out.

I have a few photos and have managed to narrow down a few facts, but there are still a few things I'm not clear on.

The first two photos are of Arthur Wilson. Obviously, in the first, he is much younger.

From what I've worked out, I think his rank is Lance Bombardier?

Haven't managed to narrow down a Medal card. Thought I had, but when I viewed Ancestry's version of the medal card, there was info that made it unlikely to be him.
Taken in Dover:
http://farm3.static....eb6c8cfc1_b.jpg

Taken in Singapore:
http://farm4.static....9ed80e743_b.jpg

Although I know he served in the great war, I'm not actually sure if any of these photos were taken at that time - perhaps those more familiar with uniforms, etc, might now.

The next photo is a group photo - think a few people have been cropped out. Judging from the chairs, I want to say that they're likely to be in SE Asia - but that's just a guess. They don't have their hats or weapons and every other group photo I've seen online has everyone looking fairly formal. Also their pockets are triangular rather than straight? Does this look familiar to anyone? Ideas? (Arthur Wilson is on the back row, second from right).

Group photo:
http://farm4.static....7c748fd0c_b.jpg

Thanks in advance for any help

Kind regards
tasha

#2 Old Tom

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:22 PM

Hello,

The 2nd picture is certainly of a lance bombardier in the RA. The badge on his cuff is unknown to me, others will know. As he was in Singapore he was possibly in the RGA - Royal Garrison Artillery - who manned large guns used for the defence of ports and the like.

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#3 squirrel

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:25 PM

The badge is for "the most efficient gunners in each Battery or Company of artillery" the King's crown would date it post 1902 and it is a first class badge. Unable to see the badge above his chevron.

The first picture is prior to the Broderick cap being introduced as he is wearing a pill box cap IIRC before 1905 (?).

The third picture shows a group of what looks like all NCO's - perhaps all the NCO's of a Battery? From the traingular pocket flaps I would say that the picture is pre WW1 as are the other two.

#4 harshmallow

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:01 PM

Hi guys

Thanks for the responses!

Old Tom - Thanks for that. I'll look into the RGA - so many little offshoots I've never heard of!

Squirrel - Cheers. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what's an NCO? I was curious about the triangular pockets as all other photos I've seen, people tend to have square ones.

Is it normal for in a group photo for them not to have their hats/weapons?

Thanks again! smile.gif
tasha

#5 Joe Sweeney

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:02 PM

Tasha,

NCO= Non Commissioned Officer

There is a correction:

All photos appear to be pre-war.

He would actually be either a Bombardier or Acting Bombardier prior to and during the Great War a Bombardier or acting only had one chevron.

The use of the term Lance Bombardier replaced acting in around 1918.

It was after the Great War that a Bombardier had two chevrons and a Lance one chevron.

The group photo is not that unusual particularly for tropical areas.

Joe Sweeney

#6 Old Tom

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 07:03 PM

Hello, Harshmallow,

I stand corrected about the different grades of bombadier. You should not think of the RGA as a little offshoot. During the war the RGA manned the heavy artillery. When the BEF went to France there were not many heavy pieces - that means guns and howitzers - but as the war proceded the numbers increased greatly and there were very many RGA units.

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#7 harshmallow

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:18 PM

Sorry Old Tom! Poor choice of words of words on my part. Meant no offence smile.gif I'm busy reading up on them.

Thanks Joe Sweeney.

I'd no idea they were pre-WW1 photos, so you guys have been a great help smile.gif

#8 tony paley

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 08:34 PM

Tasha'
A guess would be that the group photo may well have been taken at Changi camp. It was the base for the large coastal guns guarding the Naval Base at Singapore. Famously facing the wrong way ( probably a myth) Post WW2 it became RAF Changi using the old barracks. Now Singapore International Airport'
Tony P P.S the offshoot of the Royal Artillery formed probably a third of over 500,000 men in WW1 they are very proud these gunners.

#9 tony paley

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 08:48 PM

Tasha,
Further to my previous on a closer check of the fascinating photo, my Grandad was in Garrison Artillery and I have several similar examples,I would say that it was a semi formal photograph of the Corporals/Bombardiers Mess. Also although difficult to make out the ribbons, I do not think the medaql ribbons are WW1. So it could date it just before or in the early days of the Great War. The pillbox earlier photo could be taken in the 1890s. One of the perks during peacetime service for Garrison Gunners was that most postings tended to be rather exotic. Grandad seemed to spend years in Malta,Bermuda (twice),Vancouver,Nova Scotia and Cork Harbour. Went downhill after 1916, as Old Tom pointed out heavy Artillery expanded dramatically. For Granda it became Vimy, Messine and Ypres etc.
Tony P

#10 Rockdoc

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:13 PM

QUOTE (tony paley @ Aug 21 2009, 09:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Famously facing the wrong way ( probably a myth)

Tony, the perceived threat was from the water so the guns were mounted in fixed positions to fire out to sea. The Japanese invasion came overland so the guns did indeed face the wrong way. The originals were scrapped but replica guns have been placed in the old positions so that the tourists, like Ruth and I, can see how the best laid plans may not work.

Keith

#11 tony paley

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 07:54 PM

Keith,
I was stationed in north Malaya in the 50s and completed a course at RAF Changi and two short spells in transit block. The barracks in use was the old artillery buildings with the old regimental badges still on the buildings, no guns though. I don,t know what's left but the portion of the building posted by Tasha were vey much like those still in use in the 50s. My father was with 25 Field Bty RFA at Jullunder, India in the Lahore XII Brigade 1924-1930. Unable to explain further re guns, wrong forum
Tony P

#12 harshmallow

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 11:11 AM

Thanks Tony. Have been to Changi a few times now since it became an airport smile.gif