Jump to content


Remembered Today:

Photo

N Z Field Artillery - Somme - 6/09/1912-27/10/1916


18 replies to this topic

#1 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:09 AM

Just starting out on this great journey having visited my uncle's grave at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery Mametz.

2/1223 Gunner
Arnold John WRIGHT
N.Z. Field Artillery
9th October 1916 Age 27

What an honour to visit him. I believe I am the only family member to have done so.

I have downloaded and been reading New Zealand Artillery in the Field 1914-1918 and see that N Z 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigades of Artillery were in the Somme 6th Sept 1916 to 27 Oct 1916. Pages 232-260 detail the movement of the Brigades and Batteries. By the 9th October, the N Z Infantry had been relieved by the 41st Division and the Artillery remained on the line, all four Brigades being attached to the 21st Divisional Artillery. This may explain why my uncle is buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, rather than the New Zealand one at Longueval.

Did each Brigade number their Batteries from 1 to x or was each Battery number unique? If so, where would I find a list of which Batteries were associated with which Brigade? How many Batteries would each Brigade have?

I am about to get my uncle's Service Record which obviously is the next vital step. As usual, I continue to be amazed at the quantity and quality of information available on the internet and the enthusiasm of participants such as shown on this forum.

Regards

Dennis, Melbourne

#2 Dudley

Dudley

    Lance-Corporal

  • Members2
  • 11 posts

Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:32 AM

Just starting out on this great journey having visited my uncle's grave at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery Mametz.

2/1223 Gunner
Arnold John WRIGHT
N.Z. Field Artillery
9th October 1916 Age 27

What an honour to visit him. I believe I am the only family member to have done so.

I have downloaded and been reading New Zealand Artillery in the Field 1914-1918 and see that N Z 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigades of Artillery were in the Somme 6th Sept 1916 to 27 Oct 1916. Pages 232-260 detail the movement of the Brigades and Batteries. By the 9th October, the N Z Infantry had been relieved by the 41st Division and the Artillery remained on the line, all four Brigades being attached to the 21st Divisional Artillery. This may explain why my uncle is buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, rather than the New Zealand one at Longueval.

Did each Brigade number their Batteries from 1 to x or was each Battery number unique? If so, where would I find a list of which Batteries were associated with which Brigade? How many Batteries would each Brigade have?

I am about to get my uncle's Service Record which obviously is the next vital step. As usual, I continue to be amazed at the quantity and quality of information available on the internet and the enthusiasm of participants such as shown on this forum.

Regards

Dennis, Melbourne



Dennis you may well have all of this but he appears on the Auckland Cenotaph site
http://muse.auckland...r i, 1914-1918"

Regards Dudley

#3 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:13 AM

Dennis you may well have all of this but he appears on the Auckland Cenotaph site
http://muse.auckland...i,+1914-1918%22

Regards Dudley


Thanks Dudley,
Yes I had discovered the Cenotaph site, as noted on another 'Great War Forum" thread, and from that I have found his Military Personnel File details which I intend using to obtain copies. Hopefully from there I will find his Brigade and Battery and perhaps a detail or two on the circumstances of his death.

Regards, Dennis

#4 Wendy Mac...

Wendy Mac...

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 805 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:42 AM

Dennis

Hows it all going

I'm going to be at the New Zealand Archives tomorrow and can get Arnold John WRIGHT's file digitised for you free of charge. Over the counter applications for war service files are free, however if you order online in New Zealand they are $25NZD.
http://www.archway.a...o?code=22022503 Would you like me to get the file digitised for you? Reply here if you want me to.


Bit of a tip when using the forum, always check the 'view new content' each time you come on board. You'll find view new content up the top right hand side of page each page.

Wendy

#5 RogerShephard

RogerShephard

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 460 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Auckland New Zealand
  • Interests:Researching the NZEF on the Western Front for research guide book.

Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:46 AM

Hi Dennis

Only plot 1 is the original part of the cemetery, your bloke is in plot 3, so he was moved from somewhere else to get here.
it maybe on his military file. The Artiltery guys were mostly located around High and Delville Woods with their billets back further around Mametz Wood.

probably still in that rough area after the Kiwi infantry left and the Artillery stayed on

cheers roger

#6 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

Dennis

Hows it all going

I'm going to be at the New Zealand Archives tomorrow and can get Arnold John WRIGHT's file digitised for you free of charge. Over the counter applications for war service files are free, however if you order online in New Zealand they are $25NZD.
http://www.archway.a...o?code=22022503 Would you like me to get the file digitised for you? Reply here if you want me to.


Bit of a tip when using the forum, always check the 'view new content' each time you come on board. You'll find view new content up the top right hand side of page each page.

Wendy


Oh Wendy, would you please? I would be enormously grateful :rolleyes:
Thank you so much

Dennis in Melbourne

#7 RogerShephard

RogerShephard

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 460 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Auckland New Zealand
  • Interests:Researching the NZEF on the Western Front for research guide book.

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:22 AM

Hi Dennis
Just had a quick look at what i have written up on the Kiwis at Dantzig cemetery.

The following artillery guys were transfered here from Fricourt Wood Cemetery, this cemetery no longer exists.
WREFORD-REED, CLEMENT grave III.J.7. died 9/10/16 same day as Wright. he was from 5Bty 2Bde.
TURNER, EUSTACE HENRY HADDON grave III.F.1 died 11/10/16 Turner was 4th Reinforcements like your uncle. and like Wreford-Reed from 5Bty 2Bde. Turner served at Gallipoli, so it may work out your uncle was a Gallipoli Vet as well.

- both sailed on the same ship to France.
- turners serial number is 2/1211 close to your uncles and i see both enlisted in the Waikato.

It may be a long shot, but it could be that your uncle and Wreford-Reed were killed together, it would be a pretty good guess that your uncle knew both men and that he probably served together with Turner.
It will be interesting to see what his military files show... i hope he is 5Bty 2Bde it would parcel it all up very nicely and give you a good but of cross reference between the three of them and what their military files say.

Cheers Roger

#8 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:46 AM

Hi Dennis
Just had a quick look at what i have written up on the Kiwis at Dantzig cemetery.

The following artillery guys were transfered here from Fricourt Wood Cemetery, this cemetery no longer exists.
WREFORD-REED, CLEMENT grave III.J.7. died 9/10/16 same day as Wright. he was from 5Bty 2Bde.
TURNER, EUSTACE HENRY HADDON grave III.F.1 died 11/10/16 Turner was 4th Reinforcements like your uncle. and like Wreford-Reed from 5Bty 2Bde. Turner served at Gallipoli, so it may work out your uncle was a Gallipoli Vet as well.

- both sailed on the same ship to France.
- turners serial number is 2/1211 close to your uncles and i see both enlisted in the Waikato.

It may be a long shot, but it could be that your uncle and Wreford-Reed were killed together, it would be a pretty good guess that your uncle knew both men and that he probably served together with Turner.
It will be interesting to see what his military files show... i hope he is 5Bty 2Bde it would parcel it all up very nicely and give you a good but of cross reference between the three of them and what their military files say.

Cheers Roger


There is a fourth man in the Dantzig Alley Cemetery that I believe was involved:-
GARTH, SAMUEL EDWARD grave III.J.10 died 12/10/16 Driver 2/1291A New Zealand Field Artillery. Was he 5Bty 2Bde too?
I was thinking 2 killed outright and 2 from wounds.

Thank you for the 5Bty 2Bde info. This is new to me and very useful in following the description of events.

Looking at the CWGC site I see the following Cemeteries were consolidated at Dantzig Alley:-

AEROPLANE CEMETERY, FRICOURT, on the old German front line to the south of Fricourt village. It contained the graves of 24 N.C.Os. and men of the 20th Manchesters who died on 1 July 1916.

BOTTOM WOOD CEMETERY, FRICOURT, on the south edge of a small wood between Mametz and Fricourt Woods. This was a field ambulance station for some months from July 1916, and the cemetery contained 104 graves.

BULGAR ALLEY CEMETERY, MAMETZ, 230 metres east of the village, named from a trench. It contained the graves of 24 soldiers who died on 1 July 1916, and all but one of whom belonged to the 22nd Manchesters.

HARE LANE CEMETERY, FRICOURT, at the north-west corner of the village, named from a trench. It contained the graves of 54 soldiers who died on 1 and 2 July 1916, and of whom 49 belonged to the 10th West Yorks.

MAMETZ GERMAN CEMETERY, in which 12 soldiers were buried by their comrades in July and August 1916. This cemetery was near the crossing of the Fricourt-Maricourt and Mametz-Bray roads.

MANSEL COPSE CEMETERY, MAMETZ, on the Fricourt-Maricourt road, near the present Devonshire Cemetery: and MANSEL COPSE WEST CEMETERY, MAMETZ, 460 metres further west. These contained the graves of 51 men of the 2nd Border Regiment, who died on 1 July 1916.

MONTAUBAN ROAD CEMETERY, CARNOY, which contained the graves of 25 soldiers (almost all of the 18th Division) who died on 1 July 1916.

VERNON STREET CEMETERY, CARNOY, in the valley between Carnoy and Maricourt, at a place called "Squeak Forward Position". 110 soldiers who died in July-October 1916 were buried here by the 21st Infantry Brigade and other units.

Bottom Wood Cemetery, Fricourt is certainly there and used from July 1916 onwards. The plot thickens!

Thanks very much for your interest. - Dennis

#9 RogerShephard

RogerShephard

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 460 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Auckland New Zealand
  • Interests:Researching the NZEF on the Western Front for research guide book.

Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:02 AM

yeah i thought about Turner being involved in the same incident - if indeed there was one - but his military file states KIA rather than DOW, also his photo in the Auckland Weekly states KIA rather than DOW. Mind you, these military files sometimes just stated KIA as that was the quick answer when you have 100s of casualties each day.

Both Turners and Wreford-Reeds military files can be viewed via AWM cenotaph site.

Garths file is not free to view at present, it would be interesting to know if he was 5Bty as well, i see he is listed as 'Driver'.

'White Cross Touring Atlas of the Western Battlefields' is an old touring map book and will pin point where Fricourt Wood Cemetery was
maybe ask on the Cemetery & memorials section of this site if someone can load up a map of the area showing Fricourt Wood?
Bmac has a copy of this book and is alway been very helpful to me

Roger

#10 (nzef)

(nzef)

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 517 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:New Zealand and WW1

Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:12 AM

Hi Dennis,

Are you aware of the papers past web site?

Here's one article which mentions Arnold was involved in the dairy industry - http://paperspast.na...d John Wright--

I'm sure you can find a bit more information using various search permutations

Cheers
Grant

#11 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:13 PM

Hi Dennis,

Are you aware of the papers past web site?

Here's one article which mentions Arnold was involved in the dairy industry - http://paperspast.na...d+John+Wright--

I'm sure you can find a bit more information using various search permutations

Cheers
Grant


Thank you Grant,

Yes I had found that newspaper report and Mercer also appears as his address on enlistment on the Cenotaph site and so ties in.

Dennis

#12 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 03 June 2012 - 03:47 AM

Thanks to Wendy Mac for applying to have 2/1223 Arnold John WRIGHT's service record digitised. From his record I have found:

He was in 5th Battery 2nd Brigade, the same as WREFORD-REED, CLEMENT and TURNER, EUSTACE HENRY HADDON so probably they were a unit that were killed in the same action.

My uncle was buried in Fricourt Wood Cemetery 3¼ miles East of Albert. So now we know from which cemetery he was in before being relocated to
Danzig Alley.

#13 RogerShephard

RogerShephard

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 460 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Auckland New Zealand
  • Interests:Researching the NZEF on the Western Front for research guide book.

Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:41 PM

Now we just need to find where Fricourt Wood Cemetery was
I was down at the National archive last week and was going to have a look at the War diaries for the Artillery, but they were unavailiable as they were being 'reboxed'
But next time i am down i will get out 2 Artillery and see if it give the map loctations of 5th Battery

Cheers Roger

#14 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:33 AM

Now we just need to find where Fricourt Wood Cemetery was
I was down at the National archive last week and was going to have a look at the War diaries for the Artillery, but they were unavailiable as they were being 'reboxed'
But next time i am down i will get out 2 Artillery and see if it give the map loctations of 5th Battery

Cheers Roger


I am suspecting Fricourt Wood Cemetery is "BOTTOM WOOD CEMETERY, FRICOURT, on the south edge of a small wood between Mametz and Fricourt Woods. This was a field ambulance station for some months from July 1916, and the cemetery contained 104 graves."
This was one of the cemeteries that was consolidated in Danzig Alley.

Any info on the exact location of 5th battery on the day would be most welcome. "New Zealand Artillery in the Field 1914-1918" gives a pretty good account of the movements around that time.

"On September 29th (1916) batteries of the 1st and 2nd Brigades commenced preparing new positions which had been reconnoitered on the outskirts of Flers, to the west and north-west. On this occasion the 18-pr batteries of the 2nd Brigade resumed their formations as four-gun batteries."

It appears that 5th battery was still in that position on 9th October when my uncle was killed.

Hope you can get something more on map locations from the National Archives.

Cheers, Dennis

#15 Wendy Mac...

Wendy Mac...

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 805 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:31 AM

Thanks to Wendy Mac for applying to have 2/1223 Arnold John WRIGHT's service record digitised. From his record I have found:

He was in 5th Battery 2nd Brigade, the same as WREFORD-REED, CLEMENT and TURNER, EUSTACE HENRY HADDON so probably they were a unit that were killed in the same action.

My uncle was buried in Fricourt Wood Cemetery 3¼ miles East of Albert. So now we know from which cemetery he was in before being relocated to
Danzig Alley.


Fantastic news that you are making progress with your research :) :)

#16 nigelfe

nigelfe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,227 posts

Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:36 AM

Re battery numbering, without looking at either the WW1 RNZA history or the recent 'complete' history. It appears that batteries were not numbered sequentially in brigades, at least for 1st and 2nd bdes. Eventually the forced was 3 brigades with 12 btys. One brigade became an Army Field Brigade under corps or higher command. This probably happened in the second half of 1916. Its possible that originally there were 4 brigades but one was disbanded and its btys spread across the other 3 bdes. This 4th brigade may have been a howitzer brigade, if it wasn't then there would have been a game of musical batteries to reorganise the batteries to provide 3 brigades each with 3 field and 1 howitzer batteries.

#17 RogerShephard

RogerShephard

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 460 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Auckland New Zealand
  • Interests:Researching the NZEF on the Western Front for research guide book.

Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:33 PM

There was a number of reorganisations done as the division grew, thats why its a bit miss matched as branches were added and moved around the tree as it were.
I read this week about the reorganisation done in 1916 on arrival in France - The howitzer bdg was spread across the other bdgs. NZR was changed to 3rd NZR Bdg. there was another change around at the start of 1917.
i'll hunt it out after work tonight
Roger

#18 Scorpion

Scorpion

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 32 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests:Classic Motorbikes,
    Genetic Genealogy, DNA

Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:38 AM

There was a number of reorganisations done as the division grew, thats why its a bit miss matched as branches were added and moved around the tree as it were.
I read this week about the reorganisation done in 1916 on arrival in France - The howitzer bdg was spread across the other bdgs. NZR was changed to 3rd NZR Bdg. there was another change around at the start of 1917.
i'll hunt it out after work tonight
Roger


I did find http://rnza.co.nz/ar...02_WWI-1916.htm this site which shows the re-organisation year by year.

Cheers
Dennis

#19 RogerShephard

RogerShephard

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 460 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Auckland New Zealand
  • Interests:Researching the NZEF on the Western Front for research guide book.

Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:20 AM

Hi
well that web site sums up what i was going to say anyway and more.
thanks roger