Jump to content


Remembered Today:

Photo

British unit war diaries missing from Kew


24 replies to this topic

#1 Chris_Baker

Chris_Baker

    General

  • Old Sweat
  • 13,987 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warwickshire UK

Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:12 PM

Not all of the war diaries of British units are held at the National Archives at Kew. Some are missing having never been filed and perhaps others have been lost over time. I know that in a few cases the Royal Artillery archive at Woolwich has copies of diaries that are not at Kew. Is anyone aware of the existence of copies of any other "missing" war diaries?

#2 von Smallhausen

von Smallhausen

    Captain

  • Old Sweats
  • 314 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South West- Flanders
  • Interests:WWI in general. Collector of Orders, medals. Continually researching WWI in South West Flanders

Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:22 PM

Not all of the war diaries of British units are held at the National Archives at Kew. Some are missing having never been filed and perhaps others have been lost over time. I know that in a few cases the Royal Artillery archive at Woolwich has copies of diaries that are not at Kew. Is anyone aware of the existence of copies of any other "missing" war diaries?


Hello Chris,
In most cases the RHQ have typed duplicates.
Jef

#3 Chris_Baker

Chris_Baker

    General

  • Old Sweat
  • 13,987 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warwickshire UK

Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:46 PM

I know that, Jef, but it is not duplicates of available diaries that are of interest to me for this discussion. What I seek are copies (or transcripts) of those war diaries that are not held at Kew. As I said, I know the RA have some ... question is, are there any more?

#4 Joe Sweeney

Joe Sweeney

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweat
  • 2,132 posts

Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:45 PM

Chris,


I don't know what is missing and what is not--but have you tried the Canadian archives?

http://www.collectio...02015202_e.html

There are quite a few War Diaries from British units also included that served as part of the Canadian Corps etc.


Joe Sweeney

#5 mebu

mebu

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,244 posts

Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:18 PM

Chris, for the REs, the Corps Library at Brompton has t'other copy.....most are identical, but there are some bits which are not in PRO sorry NA. Also, many have inserts and appendixes not in Kew copies.

Peter

#6 Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan

    Sergeant-Major

  • Members2
  • 55 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:moose jaw, sk., canada

Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:51 PM

The KSLI diaries are missing. They are held by the Shrosphire Archives.
Chris Carter

#7 Angrybudgie

Angrybudgie

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 136 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Adelaide, South Australia
  • Interests:History, Genealogy

Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:27 AM

Hi Chris,

If any of the units worked closely with or near Australian units you could try the following:

AWM45 Copies of British war diaries and other records, 1914-18 War ("Heyes papers")

Apparently copies of various british records were made after the war for use in writing the official history. I don't know exactly what they have, apart from the fact that there is apparently 7metres of it, but I understand there is an index of the units involved. Hope this is a help...


Elizabeth

#8 rflory

rflory

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,804 posts
  • Location:California
  • Interests:Twentieth Century Royal Artillery officers, especially for the Great War

Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:49 PM

While not War Diaries such as are at TNA, there are numerous RA unit histories published in book form or in manuscript form that in most cases are as good (or better) in describing the day-to-day activities of the battery or brigade as are the war diaries. Some examples:

1. RA: 326 Siege Battery day to day activities of the battery from 28 Dec 16 to 7 Jan 19 (TNA: no trace of war diary).

2. 332 Siege Battery RGA covers from formation to the end of the war (TNA: no trace of war diary).

3. With a Siege Battery in France: 303 Siege Battery 1916-1919 (TNA has only Apr 17 to Oct 17).

4. Two Eleven: Being a History of 211 Siege Battery, RGA on the Western Front (TNA has only Sep 16 to Mar 17)

5. 283 Siege Battery, RGA 1916-1919 (TNA covers only Feb 17 to Jan 18).

6. A Battery in France: 178 Siege Battery RGA 1916-1918 (TNA covers only Oct 16 to Jun 17).

7. A History of 154 Siege Battery RGA France 1916-19 (TNA covers only April 17 to Jan 18)

These are just an example of the unit histories available for Siege Batteries and Heavy Batteries, RGA and Field Brigades, RFA.

Regards, Dick Flory

#9 shootdown1

shootdown1

    Second Lieutenant

  • Members3
  • 91 posts
  • Interests:1/6th and 2/6nd Manchester Regement<br />NZ Machine gun corps

Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:34 AM

Not all of the war diaries of British units are held at the National Archives at Kew. Some are missing having never been filed and perhaps others have been lost over time. I know that in a few cases the Royal Artillery archive at Woolwich has copies of diaries that are not at Kew. Is anyone aware of the existence of copies of any other "missing" war diaries?

I wonder how many are actually missing or merely incorrectly indexed. I found a Diary (WW11)that was misspelled in the N.A. index,I pointed out the error and the index was changed a week later; another problem is for example, 8Th Manchester WW11 war diaries,some listed as 8Th Manchester Regiment while others are listed as 8Th Manch
Which diaries are you looking for?

#10 Chris_Baker

Chris_Baker

    General

  • Old Sweat
  • 13,987 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warwickshire UK

Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

None in particular. My question was of a general nature.

#11 Teddie

Teddie

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 41 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Summerset

Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:38 PM

There is another side to this question, that of sections missing from diaries, a friend has downloaded the 500+ pages of the diaries for the 11th Bn Royal Fusiliers from the NA, her uncle was killed on the 7th Aug 1918, and having read through them in the hope of finding out something about that date, she came across a message "pages for 1st Aug-21st Aug are missing" to say that she was gutted is an understatement.
Does any one know of possible duplicates/copies of these missing pages?

Teddie

#12 tony paley

tony paley

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 656 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:malvern,worcestershire
  • Interests:all aspects of WW1 in particulary Heavy Artillery and Irish Units.

Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:48 PM

Dick,
Where are these histories 'available'? I have been searching for a copy of 'With the Heavies in Flanders' a history of 152 Heavy Bty. RGA. by H F Berdinner. I would dearly love to have a copy of this book, or at least a copy of the last chapter.
tony P

#13 Keith Roberts

Keith Roberts

    Lieut-General

  • Admin
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth Hants
  • Interests:Researching the war of Greengates, those who served, and the community behind them. Yorkshire regiments, Belgian and other beers.

Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:01 PM

Currently available through ABE books for £125, or Amazon UK for almost £300. I don't think its been digitised as yet by anyone.

It should be possible to borrow a copy through an inter library loan.

Keith

#14 Ron Clifton

Ron Clifton

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,718 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cambridge

Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:02 AM

Dick,
Where are these histories 'available'? I have been searching for a copy of 'With the Heavies in Flanders' a history of 152 Heavy Bty. RGA. by H F Berdinner. I would dearly love to have a copy of this book, or at least a copy of the last chapter.
tony P

Hello Tony

Do you (or a friend) have access to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, or the British Library in London? If so, they should have a copy which you may be able to consult.( Or the National Library of Wales, if Aberystwth is nearer!)

Good hunting!

Ron

#15 Keith Roberts

Keith Roberts

    Lieut-General

  • Admin
  • 5,998 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portsmouth Hants
  • Interests:Researching the war of Greengates, those who served, and the community behind them. Yorkshire regiments, Belgian and other beers.

Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:05 AM

There is definitely a copy in the Bodleian, so I suspect that all six copyright libraries will have the book.

Keith

#16 ororkep

ororkep

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,219 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:15 PM

Tony,

'With the Heavies' concerns 24 HB, not 152......?

Rgds
Paul

#17 rflory

rflory

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,804 posts
  • Location:California
  • Interests:Twentieth Century Royal Artillery officers, especially for the Great War

Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:23 AM

Paul (orokep) is correct the full title of the book is: 'With the Heavies in Flanders 1914-'15-'16-'17-'18'-'19: A Record of the Active Servicee of the 24th Heavy Battery, R.G.A.' I have the book and the only reference to 152nd Heavy Battery in the final chapter (titled: '1918') are:

1. Page 120: 'On January 20th [1918] we beat a local A.S.C. unit by five goals to three [in football] and on the 27th drew four-four with 152nd Heavy Battery in an exciting and enjoyable game. Mention must be made of 152nd Heavies because we had met them on our right in the mud of Zillebeke, and the two batteries were destined to to fight side by side till the end of the war. There was a keen and good natured rivalry between the two units on subsequent occasions.'

2. Page 120: 'Our officers and sergeants also beat a similarly representative team from 152nd H.B. by four goals to nil.'

3. Page 130: [Douchy-les-Ayette, 21 August 1918] 'Within a small area were crowded four batteries; 152 heavies and 276 siege on our left and 336 siege on the right.'

4. Page 130: 'At night - a glorious night - both sides were busy with their bombing machines. The enemy hovered over the artillery, ready to dive down should a gun be audacious enough to fire. A spell of silence followed the whistles of warning till "152," becoming impatient, opened on our left, thereby incurring the raider's anger to the extent of four bombs, uncomfortably near.'

5. Page 135: [Ocotber 1918, Rumilly] 'The Rumilly position proved a rather lively one, and served to remind us that the retreating forces could still show sting. The 152nd Heavies on our right were severely strafed, and the Germans showed more enterprise in the air.'

Regards, Dick Flory

#18 andy pugh

andy pugh

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 959 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:mildenhall suffolk

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:19 PM

Hi Chris.

I asked the National Archives for some information from the 5th Brigade War diary for March 1918, and was told that it was a very large diary ( document ) and was not in any kind of order. My question is why hasnt someone at the N/A ever put it in the proper order of events,so anybody wanting information from this diary will miss out just like me.

Regards Andy

#19 tony paley

tony paley

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 656 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:malvern,worcestershire
  • Interests:all aspects of WW1 in particulary Heavy Artillery and Irish Units.

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:58 PM

Oops!
Of course 24 HB, there is a copy at firepower, I was confused as both 24 HB and 152 HB RGA. were in 84 Heavy Brigade during 1918. It is the last achapter that i am interested in as it relates to the period 24 HB was with 84 Heavy brigade RGA.
Tony P

#20 David Underdown

David Underdown

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 2,611 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London
  • Interests:The Rolls of Honour of the Central Council for Church Bell Ringers, and the Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers.

    Also remembering my Great-Great-Uncle Pte 30649 Frederick John Holbrook, 2nd Bn, Welsh Regiment, Died of Wounds 26 July 1916, buried Heilly Station Cemetery, II D 11 aged 19 according to CWGC, but born 5 May 1898. Entered France 12 May 1915. (Avatar)

    Staff member (Digital Preservation) at The National Archives, but here in a personal capacity.

Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:45 PM

Andy, the total holdings of TNA amount to about 180km of shelving - sorting one war diary would usually be a pretty low priority - some things are barely catalogued at all

However, all the war diaries for units in France and Flanders are currently being, conserved, sorted and scanned in preparation for the centenary of the war

#21 E Wilcock

E Wilcock

    Captain

  • Old Sweats
  • 281 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:London
  • Interests:4th South Midland Brigade RFA and other family participation in World War 1

Posted 23 June 2012 - 02:31 PM

Are you collecting notes on "missing" unit diaries?
My husband recently went to Kew PRO and read the Unit War diaries for 240 and 241 Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery.

He reports that in both cases the diaries for July, Aug and Sept 1917 were missing from the box.

His main interest was in the period in Italy and he did not enquire further, either at the PRO or Woolwich.
These brigades are of interest to us only as South Midland RFA Brigades to which some men and officers from 243 Howitzer Brigade were transferred in the artillery reorganisation of May 1916, or when 243 was wound up the following autumn.

We dont go to Woolwich even though we research and commemorate an artillery brigade. We give our time free, have no funding and one must pay to read there.

#22 Martin G

Martin G

    Major-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 3,970 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:War Diaries.
    Original published unit histories.

    BEF in 1914
    Gallipoli
    Yeomanry 1902-1922
    Indian Army

Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:03 PM

Not all of the war diaries of British units are held at the National Archives at Kew. Some are missing having never been filed and perhaps others have been lost over time. I know that in a few cases the Royal Artillery archive at Woolwich has copies of diaries that are not at Kew. Is anyone aware of the existence of copies of any other "missing" war diaries?


Chris - I assume you mean the Official War Diary as per Army Form C 2118. My area of interest is largely limited to Gallipoli where there are a number of missing War Diaries (completely missing and parts missing). A few have been supplemented by a survivor's personal diaries (usually one of the senior surviving Officers as you probably already know). If you are interested in these types of 'war diaries I have catalogued all the available material at the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum and the Liddle Collection for units who fought at Gallipoli and in particular Suvla Bay - there are over 200 documents of which 111 are the private papers (including diaries) of men who served there. Particularly useful for the units where large parts of the Official War Diaries are missing

Ones that spring to mind for example are Lt Col Jourdain's diaries which cover the actions of 5th Connaught Rangers for a large part of the War (held at the NAM). Similarly Lt Col A Weston Jarvis' diaries when commanding the Sharpshooters and held at the Sharpshooters RHQ in Croydon is regarded as the most detailed War Diary. In both cases the C 2118 War Diaries exist, however the detail given by these two greatly enhances the official War Diaries and in the case of the Sharpshooters parts are missing of the C 2118.

Let me know if the catalogue is of any use. If your research takes you into Gallipoli feel free to PM me as I have tracked down and transcribed many dozen personal diaries for the Gallipoli campaign and I have a fairly detailed knowledge of the available material., especially the Div HQ diaries that are not digitised. As you will know, TNA's catalogue is not always the best of guides..... 10 years of research and counting.... Similarly I have quite a few of the published histories of the units who served there which are sometimes quite difficult (and expensive) to get hold of. The combination of the published histories, War Diaries and personal diaries is often a case of 1+1+1=4 in my experience as one often fills in the blanks of the others.

Regards MG

#23 WilliamRev

WilliamRev

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 928 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East Preston, West Sussex, UK
  • Interests:5th Scottish Rifles 1914-15 and 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers: currently writing a book on my grandfather, Captain S. Revels (avatar shows him in 1916, a 2/Lieut., aged 22).

Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:41 PM

I asked the National Archives for some information from the 5th Brigade War diary for March 1918, and was told that it was a very large diary ( document ) and was not in any kind of order. My question is why hasnt someone at the N/A ever put it in the proper order of events,so anybody wanting information from this diary will miss out just like me.


The same happened with me when I enquired about the 8th Brigade War Diary - but when I went to Kew and saw it I realised why the National Archives can't spare their scarce man-power to sort the brigade diaries out - it was vast, and the only bits that were neatly in order were the Somme and Ypres sections that I know Nigel Cave (and possibly others) consulted when writing the Battlefield Europe books.

Other than that a number of the (very fat) cardboard envelopes were glued closed with ancient ribbon round them - I had to get one of the NA archivists to open them for me, which took them a while - perhaps they haven't been looked at since they were used to write The Official History.

But it was very exciting to see documents that hadn't been viewed in modern times, and if other Brigade diaries are like 8th Brigade's then there may be tens of thousands of pages of WW1 documents at Kew that have yet to yield up new information.

William

#24 6th Shropshires

6th Shropshires

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 2,832 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire
  • Interests:Shropshire L.I. during Great War
    Great War in General
    Hockey
    Drawing Great War Soldiers
    Motorcross
    History of Clee Hill

Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:28 PM

The KSLI diaries are missing. They are held by the Shrosphire Archives.
Chris Carter


Hi Chris I am not sure if Kew do or do not have K.S.L.I. war diaries but the ones at the Shropshire Archives are only transcripts (except for the 7th Battalions diary which is I think orginal going by the look of it).

Annette

#25 DesK161

DesK161

    Sergeant-Major

  • Members3
  • 58 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bingley, West Yorkshire
  • Interests:Officers of the Royal Fusiliers

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:46 PM

1st Royal Fusiliers Jan - Jun 1916 is missing.

Des