Jump to content


Remembered Today:

Photo

44th Brigade Royal Field Artillery

44 Brigade RFA Wishart 1914

19 replies to this topic

#1 wishartmilitary

wishartmilitary

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:01 AM

Hello,

I was at Kew yesterday hoping to see the war diaries for the 44 Brigade RFA (amongst others), however they were unfortunately unavailable and out for scanning. I'm looking into a Gnr. George Wishart (56951) who I'm guessing enlisted before the war and went oversees with the 44th on 16 August 1914. He died of wounds on 7 October 1914 and I'm wondering if anyone might have some kind of summary as to what this particular Brigade was doing between these dates and perhaps what was going on about the 7th October when he was wounded?

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer.

Scott

#2 sotonmate

sotonmate

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 11,061 posts

Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:00 PM

Scott

According to the Long Long Trail at top left of this page 44Bde RFA,made up of 47/56 and 60 Howitzer Batteries and with the 2nd Division,were involved at Mons,the Marne and the Aisne between Aug and early Oct 1914.The action on the Aisne Heights occurred on 20 September 1914 and I deduce that the Division would likely have been in that area for some time prior to moving off to the Battles of 1st Ypres later in the year. You might like to read Gen French's Despatch from around this time,here:
http://www.1914-1918...d_despatch.html
as he covers the actions in his account.
For your interest my notes for 2 Division's initial deployment as part of the BEF in Aug 1914 show that the Bde was at Brighton from mobilisation on the 4th August (it's Ammo Col was elsewhere,Preston I think)but all were together at Southampton on the 17th when they shipped out on three vessels (Armenian,Welshman and Merchant)to Boulogne.20th entrained for the front and on the 23rd were in action at GIVRY and HARVENG.

Sotonmate

#3 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:14 PM

Gnr George Wishart was in 56th Battery I seem to have noted , and a prewar regular. The war diary is a bit 'thin' although Battery diaries also exist for a few months at least.. I have some of 60th Bty but not 56th Bty I am afraid. They left the Aisne front 13th/14th October I believe. 44th Bde was listed [in 2nd Div returns] as having 2 men wounded on 7th oct.. as George is listed as died of wounds, he may be one of them; hospital for casualties of 2nd Div at this time was in Braisne I believe.
in fact these are casualties I have for them on Aisne
19th September: 19th Sept – 60 Battery just N of Soupir, 47th and 56th Batteries just south of Tilleul. OR 2 wounded
20th September: OR 1 wounded
21st September: OR 1 killed, 2 wounded
23rd September: OR 1 killed
25th September: OR 1 wounded
26th September: OR 1 killed, 5 wounded
27th September: OR 1 wounded
28th September: OR 1 wounded
2nd October: OR 3 wounded
7th October: OR 2 wounded

#4 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:24 PM

that number suggests George Wishart enlisted c. April 1909 I would reckon

#5 wishartmilitary

wishartmilitary

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:31 PM

Dear Sotonmate & Battiscombe,

Thank you both so much for taking the time to reply to my post, it is greatly appreciated. From what you've noted, it sounds as if George was 'in the thick of it' from the off. Curiously he doesn't appear in the Scottish Service Return death indexes, although is recorded in the general army index returns. Although originally from Arbroath, his family moved to Dundee (where George apparently enlisted) and are enumerated there in the 1911 Census, although George doesn't appear at all in the census for that year. I've noticed that issues of the Dundee Courier from 1914 are slowly being uploaded to the British Newspaper Library website and I'm hoping there may be mention of him in those.

I shall take a good look at French's despatch in the morning.

Kind regards,

Scott

#6 wishartmilitary

wishartmilitary

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:37 PM

Dear Battiscombe,

I just posted a message and saw that you'd done similarly! If he enlisted in 1909 that might explain his absence from the 1911 census in Scotland. From what I know, George was born in 1892 which would make him about 17 in 1909.

Best wishes,

Scott

#7 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:57 PM

As he does not register on the 1911 census he may have been in a unit in Ireland where many units recorded men only by initials. 56th Bty was then in 50th Brigade but he does not appear to be with them then.. but 50th Brigade [by 1913] was later disbanded and while many men went to 44th Bde there was much reshuffling amongst batteries.He could have been on a 3 year term or 6 year term I think if enlisting in 1909, so may or may not have been mobilised from the reserves. My GF was also in 2nd Division artillery as it happens.. and was badly wounded on the 5th October 1914 on the Aisne..

#8 wishartmilitary

wishartmilitary

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:39 AM

Dear Battiscombe,
Good thought on the Irish census, I hadn't thought to check that. I'm pretty sure thats him at the Military Barracks in Dundalk with what appears to be the 30th Brigade R.F.A. The age is one year out (perhaps he said he was eighteen when he enlisted) but everything else checks out. Perhaps he was one of those who was involved in the shuffling about?

Best wishes and thanks,

Scott

#9 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

Yes indeed! I can't spot any other link between 130th Bty and 56th Bty though... so no large-scale transfers between brigades as far as I can see. .. but both were Howitzer Brigades. ..

The age difference may relate to his birth date - before or after the census date (April??). The dates often appear at variance with supposed ages in my experience. there are others with similar numbers to him.. in 128th Bty Trumpeter Alfred W Guttridge 56648 also 30th Bde in 1914

#10 Gingerfreak

Gingerfreak

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Yorkshire
  • Interests:Military History
    Genealogy
    Writing
    Photography
    Military Engineering

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:49 PM

My Great Grandfather, Leonard Tennant joined the 44th Bty in early 1914. He was one of 22 members of his family that enlisted into the army during the Great War. Len and 4 of his brothers joined the RFA or the RGA. One brother enlisted with the Kings Liverpool Regt. A majority of the military records have been destroyed, however using ancestry databases I've created a spreadsheet that lists the men who served with the unit in 1914 and embarked for France on 16 Aug 14. I've tried to make the document as complete as I can but as with all documents there will be mistakes and some people will be missing. The document is a 'live' document and if people let me know any information I will update the document accordingly.

The spreadsheet is also a database for the 94 & 96th Field Ambulance. All of the men enlisted in Liverpool. I am busy continuing my research on this unit.

If anyone would like me to add any information on the units feel free to ask.
The Units I am researching are:
11th Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment
12th Battalion Manchester Regiment
96th Field Ambulance
44th & 36th Battery RFA (2nd Division)
RGA
54,55,56 Battery RFA (10th Irish division)

For whatever reason the forum will not allow me to attach the file, however I'm happy to share the information I have.

#11 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:20 PM

perhaps check if 44th and 36th batteries, or 44th and 36th Brigades RFA.. the brigades were indeed in 2nd Division. I see a Driver Leonard Tennant [75012] was in 44th Brigade [47th, 56th and 60th batteries]- i don't know which battery in 1914... *but* some men of 56th Battery later joined 36th brigade and became D Battery 36th Brigade after 44th Brigade was broken up and dispersed... ... so if you know he joined 36th Bde that seem likely to be his original battery. does that make sense?

#12 Gingerfreak

Gingerfreak

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Yorkshire
  • Interests:Military History
    Genealogy
    Writing
    Photography
    Military Engineering

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:08 PM

Len joined the RFA as a Driver on 13 Dec 1913. He left Wigan and went to Fulwood Barracks in Preston and joined 2 RFA Depot. I presume he either completed basic training at Preston and then went to woolich to learn to ride or he did everything at Preston. He joined 44th Battery at Louisberg Barracks,Bordon in Hampshire in early 1914. He then deployed with the 44th to France. I have his medal card and his original booklet. I know he was a driver in the Howitzer battery & I narrowed to down to either the 56th or 47th. I have copies of several silk postcards, one of which has a message from Len saying he was now in the 36th Battery. So I've guessed he was in D battery. I also have pictures sent between the brothers. There are pictures of Len and other drivers with the horses,( i think they are taken in training before the war). There is also a picture of all the farriers of the 9th battery in Fulwood Barracks in 1917, we've only got the picture because Len is having a crafty fag in the background.

The spreadsheet has over 900 officers and men that served with the 44th Battery. I've also gathered address', the rank they had when the war started and what they had when it ended. I've also gathered all the SWB badge numbers and from that database the date they enlisted. I've also designed the Brigade Orbat, So who served where, this is a work in progress. if more people send in information the more accurate the plot will be.

#13 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

I think you mean he joined 44th Brigade at Bordon .?? .. as 44th Battery was in India in 1914 I believe. Just to avoid confusion.

44th Brigade - and its 3 batteries - was indeed a howitzer brigade. so yes probably 56th Bty.

as for the silks is this 36th Battery or 36th Brigade ? - as quite different things. That this could well be D battery 36th Brigade (if 1916-1917) ... but if at Fulwood in 1917 that is with a reserve battery and he would have no longer been with 36th Brigade [as it was in France]. 9th Reserve Battery was part of 2A Reserve Brigade - in Preston.

#14 nigelfe

nigelfe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,298 posts

Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:32 AM

There seems to be a bit of confusion around brigades and batteries.

44 Howitzer Bde RFA contained 47, 56 and 60 Howitzer btys.

#15 Gingerfreak

Gingerfreak

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Yorkshire
  • Interests:Military History
    Genealogy
    Writing
    Photography
    Military Engineering

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:43 PM

Sorry...I'm causing the confusion, Len was in 44th Howitzer Brigade not Battery as I posted. he joined either 47 or 56, I'm summising that as he was in a howitzer Battery he formed D Battery in 36 Brigade. The postcard was sent from Coblenz in 1918. The postcard is an image of the Brigade Shield containing all of the Battery emblems. I've spoken to Artillery Museum about the emblems, D Battery has a Stag's head. I took photographs of the images and I'm busy cleaning them up. I also have photographs of the barracks at Bordon and the battery football team.

#16 nigelfe

nigelfe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,298 posts

Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:00 AM

Have you eliminated 60 (H) bty based on knowing where 60 bty went in the 1916 reorg into bdes of 3 gun and 1 how btys?

This reorg wasn't always a tidy and logical arrangement, not least due to the creation of the army field bdes. Are you sure he was never posted to another battery at some point in the war?

#17 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:25 AM

It would be very interesting to see the battery/brigade emblems. I have seen a photo of 71st Bty/36th Bde in Germany .. holding a shield with some form of 'rampant lion' design. is that familiar?

#18 Gingerfreak

Gingerfreak

    Sergeant

  • Members2
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Yorkshire
  • Interests:Military History
    Genealogy
    Writing
    Photography
    Military Engineering

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:39 PM

The image needs to be cleaned up and it is too large to be pasted into this forum.

The image is a shield divided into 4 equal parts. In the upper left part there is an image of a dragon, in the upper right there's an image of a stags head, this has a cross above it in pencil which may denote 'D' battery. In the lower left is a rampant lion and in the lower right an elephant. I spoke to one of the researchers at the artillery museum his reply was:

"The battery crest of 15th Battery RFA was the elephant, 48th the Dragon, we have no record of an animal emblem for 71st, it should have been a “Broken wheel” but the cross above the stag does suggest that’s the badge your relative associated himself with, which in all probability is D (Howitzer) battery."

So I would think that the rampant lion is indeed 71st Battery's emblem.

#19 battiscombe

battiscombe

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:47 PM

I see that 171 Battery is/was known as the 'broken wheel' Battery but perhaps not 71st bty - which i cannot trace in any current RA unit

#20 Rod Poustie

Rod Poustie

    Private

  • Members2
  • 3 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hampshire
  • Interests:Royal Field Artillery, 9th Brigade, 44th Brigade, 20th Battery, 60th Battery, 52nd Lowland Division Signals Company.

Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:15 AM

Have you eliminated 60 (H) bty based on knowing where 60 bty went in the 1916 reorg into bdes of 3 gun and 1 how btys?

This reorg wasn't always a tidy and logical arrangement, not least due to the creation of the army field bdes. Are you sure he was never posted to another battery at some point in the war?

60th (Howitzer) Battery transferred from 44th Brigade to the Meerut Division 23rd June 1915.  In December 1915 the battery left France for Mesopotamia.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 44 Brigade, RFA, Wishart, 1914