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Leicestershire Battery RHA (TF)


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#1 Ravrick

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 01:26 PM

Hi,
I am trying to find out some information about the Leicestershire Battery, Royal Horse Artillery. Which Division and theatre of war did they serve in? If any publications were written about their war service? Also does anybody know how many of the battery members received the Territioral Force War Medal?
Can anybody point me in the right direction?

Cheers,
Rick

#2 Llew

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 02:42 PM

Hello Rick,

I've got part of the War diary for the 2/1st Leicestershire RHA, October 1914 - December 1915. There's not a great amount of information, but it does show information on recruitment strenght, officers and movement within England. It does state that they became the 223 Brigade RFA 01.07.1916 and arrived France 02.07.1916.

If this is of use and you would like the 11 images, then please pm your e mail address and I'll send them over this weekend.


Regards. Llew.

#3 David Porter

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:42 PM

Rick,

I have quite a bit on the RHA (TF) particularly Somerset Battery.
This comes from The Long Long Trail:

Battery HQ was at No.1 Magazine Square, Leicester and the unit was allocated as artillery support to the North Midland Mounted Brigade. The battery was duplicated in 1915 forming 1/1st and 2/1st Leicestershire Batteries.

1/1st served in the UK until 1916 when it went to the Middle East, forming 3rd Brigade RHA TF with the Somerset Battery
In 1917 it transferred to the 20th Brigade RHA TF. The battery remained in the Middle East until the end of the war.

2/1st served in the UK to 1916 as artillery support to the 1st Mounted Division, after which it served in France as part of the 223rd Brigade RFA.


The 1/1st were at Diss in Norfolk before sailing from Devonport on 12-02-16 and disembarking at Alexandria on 26-02-16. I have some details on their early movements there but not much on the 20th Bde RHA TF. The 2/1st were at 16 Camp, Larkhill in early 1916 if not before. I have most of the War Diary for 223rd Brigade RFA, where the 2/1st Leicester became "A" battery and the 2/1st Somerset became "B" battery. I have a short list of some of the Leicestershire men with enlistment dates.

Llew, I'd also be interested in seeing the war diary you have - PM on its way.

#4 Ravrick

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 03:44 AM

Hi ys,
thanks for the input.
Dave is 329/610234 Gnr E W TIDD mentioned in your list of Leicestershire men? Any idea which battery would have been entitled to the Territorial Force War medal? I have checked numerous MICs within the number block and they all show BWM/Victory pair only..

Cheers, Rick

#5 David Porter

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:41 AM

Rick,

No Gunner Tidd listed, but I do have George Scriven (302) as Enlisted 22-03-12 and Reginald George Alexander (365) as Enlisted 07-03-13. He falls somewhere in between. Also the fact he was renumbered means he was likely to still be with the battery on January 1, 1917. Unlike most RHA TF batteries the Leicester battery re-numbering did not mirror the earlier one of enlistment date. There is a hint of it being alphabetical but I haven't pinned it down yet. Unfortunately, I cannot say whether your man was in the 1/1st or 2/1st without further information.

Maybe they were asked too late to volunteer for overseas service (post September 30, 1914) so are not included in the TFWM roll.
Worth checking through some service records to see if the form E.624 is included and what date it was signed. Somerset battery had the forms from early September and a lot of men volunteered before the cutoff date. The medal is denoted on the MIC as RFA.TFM followed by a volume and page number. The volumes are in alphabetical order.

#6 David Porter

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 03:30 PM

Thanks Llew, the War Diary images have arrived.

It confirms that all 2nd line RHA (TF) Batteries were ordered to Larkill in mid December 1915 to form part of No.8 RHA (TF) Training School. The officers list includes Lt. + Adjt. Alexander Gordon Veitch who was killed in action on April 23, 1917.

Casualties from Wolverhampton Grammar School
ALEXANDER GORDON VEITCH, M.A., Lieutenant in the 2/1st Battery of the Leicestershire R.H.A was the son of the Rev. R. Veitch, of Leicester. He was educated at the Wyggeston School, Leicester, and at Queen’s College, Cambridge, of which College he was a scholar. At the University he sat for both the Mathematical and Nature Science Triposes with exceptional success. After spending two or three years as a Mathematical lecturer at Bristol University, he came to Wolverhampton Grammar School as Senior Mathematical Master in January 1914, and remained with us till March 1915, when the war claimed his services. His battery was engaged throughout last winter on the Somme, and was moved to the Vimy Ridge when the attack developed there in the spring of this year. He met his end while filling the dangerous position of forward observation officer in an artillery action at Gavrelle, south-east of the Ridge. His Captain wrote of him that he was absolutely fearless and that his loss to the battery was irreparable, so profound was his knowledge of gunnery.


223rd Brigade RFA was part of 63rd (Royal Naval) Division from July 1916 and the batteries contained remnants of the broken up 63rd(2nd Northumbrian) Division.

As for 1/1st Leicester RHA in Egypt. They were at Victoria Camp, Sidi Bishir, Alexandria until April 23, 1916, then the 240 men moved to Sohag by train. During early May 1916 a fire breaks out in the Orderly tent destroying Army Form B.122 (Conduct Sheet) for all ranks. On May 18, 1916 they arrive by train from Sohag, via Cairo, to Kantara to join Anzac Mounted Division. Two months later they moved to Hill 70 where they formed part of "No 3 Section Mounted Troops" under General Chaytor but this section was broken up on August 3, 1916 just prior to the Battle of Romani. One Leicester man was killed in the battle. Dvr. Thomas Henry Lapworth (736) got a bullet in the neck at Qatia on August 4, 1916 and died of his wounds two days later. They provided artillery support for the Australiam Light Horse brigades of Anzac Mounted Division. On July 14, 1917 they became part of 20th Brigade RHA, Yeomanry Mounted Division with the Berkshire and Hampshire batteries.

#7 nigelfe

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:37 AM

Mostly (there's bound to be exceptions if you dig around) RHA btys supported cavalry formations. from Farndale's 'History of the Royal Artillery - The Forgotten Fronts and Home Base, 1914-18'.

20 Bde RHA - second half 1917 - The Yeomanry Mounted Division (3 btys were Berkshire, Hants & Leics, total 12 13-pr). However, Leics weren't with the bde in April 1917. In summer 1918 they were still part of 20 Bde RHA, supporting either 4th or 5th Cav Div in the Desert Mounted Corps. During the final great advance to Aleppo the bde covered 56 miles 50 hrs non-stop over rough terrain.

#8 dave ricketts

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 10:55 AM

David,

"I have most of the War Diary for 223rd Brigade RFA, where the 2/1st Leicester became "A" battery and the 2/1st Somerset became "B" battery. I have a short list of some of the Leicestershire men with enlistment dates."


Can you have a look at the Diary and see what A/223 were up to (and where) on 13th October 1917, and whether they note the death of anyone on that date? My interest is in 743/610317 A/Bdr Maddock MM, who was killed in action on that day. (Ezra Maddock got his MM at Messines, when he was wounded - apparently no trace of any info on this in the Diary according to someone who looked for me some time ago.)

Thanks a lot,
Dave

#9 David Porter

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 01:52 PM

Dave,

This is my summary of the War Diary for the period:

10-10-17 223rd Bde entrained at SAVY-BERLETTE for POPERINGHE. Entraining state as follows:
HQ 6 Off 143 ORs
A/223 5 Off 194 ORs
B/223 4 Off 199 ORs
C/223 7 Off 191 ORs
D/223 4 Off 197 ORs (Total 27 Off 924 ORs)
11-10-17 After detraining Brigade HQ and batteries marched to Wagon lines
11-10-17 Wagon lines: A.28.c.5.7. (A/223 & B/223 east side of POPERINGHE-ELVERDINGHE road, HQ, C/223 & D/223 on west side)
12-10-17 Remained at Wagon Lines near De ZON CABERET
13-10-17 Units remain in Wagon Lines until 16th. Advance party of 10 men each from A/223 & B/223 to 64th & 73rd batteries respectively
16-10-17 Wagon lines moved forward to B.20.d.6.8. A/223 & B/223 take over positions of 64th & 73rd batteries respectively - part of the left Group of 9th Divisional Artillery. A, B & C/317 and A, B & D/291 also part of left Group
17-10-17 Positions taken over by A/223 & B/223 become untenable owing to severity of hostile shell fire. New positions selected:
C.12.b.6.8. and C.12.b.6.7. respectively. Group becomes No. 4 Group, 9th Division with 2 Bdes of 63rd RND.
Lieut T. E. MIDDLEMISS of B/223 - Killed in Action
18-10-17 Difficulty preparing battery positions nr. ST. JULIEN owing to wet state of the ground and shelling of roads and tracks by enemy.
There was also a lack of cover for personnel at the gun positions. In spite of this, very succesful efforts were made by the Batteries of the Groups to get up their full complement of guns, and sufficient ammunition for the Operations timed to take place on 22 October.


However I do note that Ezra Maddock is buried at New Irish Farm Cemetery whereas Lt. Middlemiss all the casualties from the 18-10-17 onwards are buried at Hospital Farm Cemetery. The War Diary fails to mention OR casualties until 31-10-17 when one was killed from aeroplanes bombing the Wagon Lines but is does go on to say that 4 ORs were KIA during the month (that appears to be an underestimate).
33 men were wounded and 7 horses killed in the aeroplane bombing. Perhaps Ezra was a casualty on 31st and not 13th as SDGW does says KIA.

#10 dave ricketts

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 04:48 PM

David,

Thanks for that - another mystery to follow up on. A/Bdr Maddock was a signaller, so I suppose he might hacve gone forward on the 13th to see the lie of the land and give the wires from the FOO positions the once over. I'll see if I can track down the KIA on the 31st using SDGW & CWGC.

Thanks once again.
Dave

#11 David Porter

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:08 PM

I'll see if I can track down the KIA on the 31st using SDGW & CWGC.


The nearest I've found is 620337 ARTHUR GRIFFITHS MOOTZ of "C" Bty. 223rd Bde who was KIA on 01-11-17

#12 dave ricketts

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 10:00 AM

David,

Does Mootz's death on the 1st accord with any information in the War Diary entry? (I note however your prior comment about lack of reference to OR casualties in October.)

Thanks,
Dave

#13 David Porter

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:04 PM

Does Mootz's death on the 1st accord with any information in the War Diary entry?


Nothing mentioned apart from registration, calibration and barrages for the first 5 days of November.
Casualties for whole month: Killed or died of wounds, 1 Officer & 3 ORs; Wounded, 4 Officers & 61 ORs.
Really frustrating not having the dates for most of these.

#14 John Sutton

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:29 PM

Hello

I'm reseaching my grandfather who is 610333 Gunner Alfred Sutton who was serving with A/233 BDE RFA on 9 April 1917. He was wounded and was awarded the MM for his role in support of Lt Veitch (who was a FOO).

I'm very interested to learn about two other soldiers who were part of the same action. The 223 BDE War Diary provides details of my grandfather's action and also two other soldiers, 610365 Driver A. Luke and 681097 Gunner J Houghton who were both supporting Lt Veitch and were awarded the MM.

I believe Gunner Luke is actually Willam Luke who was a footballer with Preston North End before WW1.
Does anybody have any further information about anybody mentioned? Any photos would be very much appreciated.

John

#15 David Porter

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:27 PM

John,

Alfred Sutton, Enlisted 23-02-15, Discharged 28-11-17 due to Wounds (SWB No. 276742).
William Luke, Enlisted 28-10-15 (as RFA 120729), Discharged 01-08-18 due to Wounds (SWB No. 379527).
William would have joined an RFA Training Depot then Leicestershire RHA in 1916, before they were renumbered.
James Houghton's previous number was 2963 before getting 681097 in 1917, the second number indicating 2nd West Lancs. Bde. RFA.
He obviously joined A/223rd during January to April 1917 otherwise he would have a different number.

I have a picture of the War Diary citations if you don't have it.

#16 John Sutton

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

David



Many thanks for your reply. The information you provided is very helpful indeed. I certainly woulld like a picture of the War Diary citations. I already have a copy but it is a scan of a poor quality photocopy.

Once again very many thanks.

I wou

John,

Alfred Sutton, Enlisted 23-02-15, Discharged 28-11-17 due to Wounds (SWB No. 276742).
William Luke, Enlisted 28-10-15 (as RFA 120729), Discharged 01-08-18 due to Wounds (SWB No. 379527).
William would have joined an RFA Training Depot then Leicestershire RHA in 1916, before they were renumbered.
James Houghton's previous number was 2963 before getting 681097 in 1917, the second number indicating 2nd West Lancs. Bde. RFA.
He obviously joined A/223rd during January to April 1917 otherwise he would have a different number.

I have a picture of the War Diary citations if you don't have it.



#17 clairrenee

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:56 PM

Hello All,
I am new to writing into forums, so I hope I do it right!
I am trying to research my great grandfathers WW1 service history, but, I really dont know what I am doing and therefore have found nothing much :(
All I know is his full name is William Alfred Johnson born about 1895 in Leicester and from family knowledge he was in the Royal Horse Artillery, serving in Egypt from 1916 for 4 years. I also know he had associations with Captain Reginald Henry Hughes Whitehead (a solicitor from cambridge??) I also have a couple of photos, both men survived the war. Is this all there is to learn or is there much more, as I cant find an awful lot on either men.
Any help/info or pointers in the right direction for both men would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thank-you
Clair x

#18 David Porter

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:35 PM

Clair,

Welcome to the Forum,

Once we can pin your great grandfather down to Leicester RHA there is quite a bit I can pass on. Service in Egypt and Palestine from 1916 is a good start.
He should have a six figure number in the form 610xxx. I have found Gunner Wm A. Johnson 252/610108 which I think must be him.
He would have enlisted in the battery in late 1911, so was with them quite a considerable time. He was awarded the rare Territorial Force War Medal.

Do you or any family members have his medals? A service number should be on the rim of the British War and Victory Medals.
Reginald Henry Hughes Whitehead was in Leicester RHA and only became a Captain late in the war.
There is a possibility your great grandfather could have been assigned duties as an officer's batman.

If you are able to post the pictures it may help a little, especially if anything is written on them.

#19 clairrenee

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:24 PM

Hi David
I think I have already replied to you somewhere on here, not sure where it went but will do it again on this bit lol!
Yes I think his service number was 610108 but I never found much with that. Pardon my ignorance but I dont know what an officer's batman is. I dont think there are any medals, well not that I have found anyway. How do I post photo's and I also have letters from R H H Whitehead to my grandfather in later years.
Thank you so much I feel all shivery that someone is helping me......hope thats not silly :)
I find this all abit bewildering this forum stuff lol
kind regards
Clair X

#20 David Porter

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:43 PM

How do I post photo's and I also have letters from R H H Whitehead to my grandfather in later years.


Hopefully you already have the photos scanned to computer. If high resolution (large file size) they need to be resized/reduced so they are not over the 250KB limit. When replying to a post there is a box below saying "More Reply Options". You will then get an "Attach files" option, click on "Browse..." to locate the picture to upload and click on the file name to select it. Once selected you click "Attach This File" and it will then be uploaded to a holding area. It is only posted once you click "Add to Post" where it will be placed where you last had the cursor. When finished "Add Reply" completes the process.

A batman was an officer's servant. See http://en.wikipedia....#United_Kingdom
The letters you have should indicate if there was this close bond which would not usually exist between an officer and a gunner.

#21 clairrenee

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:13 PM

hi david
i will have to do this tomorrow now as i have to reduce the size of photos and not sure how to do that, will do asap as i cant wait to find out more!!
thanks again
clair x

#22 clairrenee

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:39 AM

Attached File  war photo.jpg   82.19KB   0 downloadsHi David,
Hope this works. My grandfather is holding something blurry front row and i think R H H Whitehead is in the dark shirt and tie in centre.
Look forward to your reply
Regards
Clair X

#23 David Porter

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:00 AM

I really do like these informal photos taken at camp. I'll stick my neck out and say this is at Diss during 1915, around the Walcot Green area. I don't think R.H.H. Whitehead was with the battery for pre-war camps and by early 1916 they were in Egypt. The blurry something looks like a cat with white paws. You can just make out that your (great?) grandfather has a 3-tier shoulder title which should read T/RHA/LEICESTER, similar to my avatar. Is there anything on the back? A postmark or description?

#24 clairrenee

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:09 AM

Hi David,
Unfortunately the photo is stuck down in my great aunts scrap book. Diss is where my Great grandmother came from, Williams wife, so i guess that is how they met??? shall put a couple more photos on i have another of R H H Whitehead too. I think the photos are great too.

#25 clairrenee

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:29 AM

more pics
clair X

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