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A/298th North Midlands Brigade RFA

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page400

I am looking for information on the A/298th North Midlands Brigade RFA (TF). Does anyone know where they were deployed? Which Division they were attached to. Also how could I find out what BSM Harry Brittain did to be awarded a mentioned in despatches?

Any information around which Battery he was with and what areas they could have been engaged in . As far as I know BSM Brittain survived the war.

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rflory

298th (N. Midland) Bde, RFA (TF) was initially part of the 59th (2nd N. Midland) Division, but on 4 April 1917 it was re-designated as 298th Army Brigade, RFA. The brigade's war diary for the period January 1916 to February 1916 can be found at The National Archives under WO95/3016. Its war diary from March 1917 to February 1918 can be find under WO95/456. Citations for mentions in despatches are not normally published but can some times be found in the unit's war diary. I have gone through my copy of the war diary of the Brigade from March 1917 to February 1918 and could find no mention of BSM Brittain. Regards, Dick Flory

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David Porter

From July 19, 1916, A/298th Bde RFA was essentially 2/1st Hampshire RHA TF which replaced that originally designated battery on re-organisation. If BSM Harry Brittain was with this battery I would expect him to have a three figure number followed by six figure number starting with 618. However, I can only find Harry S Brittain, Royal Field Artillery, 592, 915218 and these numbers put him in 27th Division Ammunition Column. Do you know his number(s) and date of MID?

For more information on the movements of 59th Division see http://www.1914-1918.net/59div.htm

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page400

298th (N. Midland) Bde, RFA (TF) was initially part of the 59th (2nd N. Midland) Division, but on 4 April 1917 it was re-designated as 298th Army Brigade, RFA. The brigade's war diary for the period January 1916 to February 1916 can be found at The National Archives under WO95/3016. Its war diary from March 1917 to February 1918 can be find under WO95/456. Citations for mentions in despatches are not normally published but can some times be found in the unit's war diary. I have gone through my copy of the war diary of the Brigade from March 1917 to February 1918 and could find no mention of BSM Brittain. Regards, Dick Flory

Hi Dick thanks for the information It good to have a starting place. It looks like Harry had a busy war!

Hi David

Harry S Brittain's number was indeed 915218 and his mid was dated July 1919. The London Gazette of 7th July 1919 only gives his name and rank

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David Porter

A picture is emerging but it is complicated. I should have spotted that his number also ties him to 1/4th Home Counties (Howitzer) Brigade RFA TF which was raised in Erith, Kent. After the spell overseas with 27th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA, I have them going again from Southampton to Havre on March 9, 1916 as A/223. They were eventually attached as a Howitzer brigade to 318th Brigade RFA in Royal Naval Division on July 18, 1916 which immediately changed to 225th Brigade RFA. After just 2 weeks the whole brigade number changed again to 223rd (that old brigade now broken up) on July 31, 1916 - so 1/4th Home Counties (Howitzer) Brigade became D/223 for the rest of the war.

I can only guess what happened to Harry Brittain from this point on. As the rest of 223rd Brigade (i.e A, B and C batteries) were formed from second line territorial RHA batteries he might have, at some point, returned to No. 8 Reserve Brigade RHA in the UK. This was based at Bulford and supplied all RHA TF batteries with reinforcements. I think this is one way he could have ended up joining 2/1st Hants RHA (A/298th) later in the war. His 6 figure number would have been given to him in D/223rd Brigade in early 1917, so the move would be after that.

Hope you can follow all that. Regards, David

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page400

Hi David

yes you are right it is a bit of a trail, the Artillery units are harder to follow than the infantry! what is the best way to find out what battles they took part in or should I try and view the war diary.

Thanks for all your help it must have taken sometime to get this information together.

kind regard

Steve

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David Porter

Steve,

It helps if you can refer to a copy of the actual War Diary.

post-7172-0-36311400-1314719311.jpg

The 223rd Brigade stayed at AIX NOULETTE until September 19, 1916 when their guns were handed over to 124th Brigade RFA. They moved to the Divisional Training Area at LA COMTE. Then they went to COLINCAMPS on October 8, 1916 but withdrew to FORCEVILLE on October 16, 1916 and the next day moved to new gun positions at MESNIL. An attack on a line from BEAUMONT HAMEL to BEAUCOURT was postponed several times allowing time for registration and wire cutting. But they supported attacks by Royal Naval Division, from November 12th to 14th, who reached BEAUCOURT STATION and the edge of BEAUCOURT itself but suffered large casualties. By November 19, 1916 the batteries were able to move their positions forward to fire on "Artillery Alley" and "Puisieux Road". On November 30, 1916, Sgt Thomas H. Hudson (1122) and Sgt. Frank A. Morris (917) both of "D" battery died, probably from the effects of enemy gas shelling.

The Brigade was taken out of line for over a month and moved as follows:

01-12-16 (0800) Left FORCEVILLE for AMPLIER arriving at 1500

02-12-16 (0745) Left AMPLIER for BEALCOURT arriving at 1400. All billets occupied by Yorkshire Dragoons, men slept in tents

03-12-16 (0800) Left BEALCOURT for GRAND LAVIERS arriving at 1200. All ranks accommodated in tents

04-12-16 (0800) Left GRAND LAVIERS for BONNELLES arriving at 1200. All ranks accommodated in tents

05-12-16 Ordinary camp routine until 11th. Church Parade on 10th

12-12-16 (1000) Brigade moved to MORLAY

16-12-16 Training commenced at training ground, PONTHOILE

02-01-17 (0930) Brigade moved to PORT-LE-GRAND arriving at 1130

03-01-17 (0815) Brigade moved to WAVANS and BEAUVOIRE RIVIERE arriving at 1900. All men in billets.

04-01-17 (0845) Brigade moved to OUTREBOIS arriving at 1400. All men in billets

05-01-17 (0900) Brigade moved to AMPLIER arriving 1200. All men in billets and tents

06-01-17 (0830) Brigade moved to ENGLEBELMER arriving at 1800. No billets men accommodated in tents

07-01-17 Batteries moved up to positions near THIEPVAL with HQ at AUTHUILLE. Registration commenced

I don't want to take it beyond this point as Harry could have left anytime after and would not be part of the group.

As you can see the main action up to this point was in November 1916 at BEAUCOURT.

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page400

Hi David

Thanks for this information it is fantastic thanks for going to so much effort to help me, its most welcome.

kind regards

Steve

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page400

Hi David

Thanks for this information it is fantastic thanks for going to so much effort to help me, its most welcome.

kind regards

Steve

Hi David

please see attached picture of Harry's MiD

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catzhome

HI Page400 I have just joined this Forum yesterday and I see you are researching for BSM Harry Brittain No. 592,915218. This is the same serial no. my grandfather had.

I have researched him on Ancestry and have got his war records but some of them are ineligible. I am also wondering why he was mentioned in Despatches and cannot find out anything. I think some of his records were destroyed in a fire in 1940, I also have a copy of the record of his war medals.

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David Porter

Hi Brittain,

Welcome to the Forum and thank you for pointing me in the direction of Harry's Service Record.

Ancestry have indexed him as "Hary" so up until now he has been missed, I changed the search criteria and up he popped.

Steve (page400) has kindly sent me this picture of the MID which says it is for "services rendered".

post-7172-0-22301900-1328026281.jpg

He also has a picture of the man himself - hopefully he will be in touch to tell you the connection.

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catzhome

David did you ever find the above photograph if you did I would love to see it please,

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David Porter

Sorry for not posting it earlier, I thought Steve would reply instead. Here he is.

post-7172-0-22349200-1398530170_thumb.jp

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tinlizzy

I'm new to this forum so not sure if I am posting in the right place.

We had a family picture of a wooden cross with no idea who it belonged to.  I researched the names on the crosses behind and was able to find it was my grandfathers grave.

I would love to know where he was when he died on April 18th 1918.  Not being familiar with the battles, I have narrowed it down to 'Georgette' 'Kemmel' (although there are also references to Armantiers for that date)

Is anyone able to give me any information about his Brigade on that date or even information about my grandad?

Wondering if my grandmother named the cottage Poppy Cottage as it is still called to this day.  My mother was 4 years old when my grandad died.

Prior to posting in a forum I tried hard to find the info, but am now at the point I could use some help.

Thank you.

WILLIAM WALLIS GRAVES800.jpg

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David Porter

Welcome to the Forum tinlizzy,

 

From the database called "Soldiers died in the Great War" your grandfather is shown as "Died of Wounds". As this could have happened a long time after an engagement with the enemy (or indeed an accident) it is difficult to pinpoint where he was wounded. What you do know is that he was buried at St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, and he was most likely at 42nd Stationary Hospital when he died. From April 7 - 17, 1918 the brigade he was part of were in the action near VILLERS BRETONNEUX, but their positions in the area were moved several times due to shelling from gas and heavy artillery. Prior to this they were out of line but the wounding could have happened during the German Spring Offensive in March 1918. I suggest you download the War Diary for the period (WO 95/456/7) from the National Archives by following the link.

 

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/2850fedff740489f8a424156a6240367 

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tinlizzy

Oh my...Thank you so much for that!  I will continue to try to find out more about him.  I REALLY appreciate your help.

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David Porter

He is also part of this list (date unknown)

 

Wallis.jpg

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clk

Hi tinlizzy,

 

His Soldiers' Effects record shows that he died whilst in the care of 55 Field Ambulance. That would indicate that he received his fatal wound on, or very near to, the day on which he died. An overview of the evacuation chain for wounded men can be seen on the Long, Long Trail here. The record shows his outstanding pay, and war gratuity were paid to his wife - Sarah. The size of the war gratuity payment is indicative of someone whose eligible war service counted from the start of the war in August 1914. The records show that he was entitled to the 14/15 Star Medal having entered France on !7th July 1915. 59 Division (of which 298/CCXCVIII Brigade RFA was originally a part) didn't go overseas until 1917 (see the LLT). That makes me wonder if he had some kind of pre war service as a regular/territorial, going abroad in 1915 with another unit, and being transferred to 298 Brigade at a later date.

 

Unfortunately he doesn't appear to have a surviving service record.

 

Good luck with your research.

 

Regards

Chri

 

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tinlizzy

I am so appreciative of your help.  I'm in Canada and don't have a visa available to join ancestry or any of the websites that require payment.  I'll try to sort that but thank you so much for your input..

Mum was 4 when he died April 18 1918 and so was never able to give me any details...  Her mum married again and lost their daughter of 18 months 10 years to the day my grandfather died.  Mum never got over that and in 1984  I lost a son on the same day.  Until I found all the records and death dates I had no idea.

It's time...and with Nov 11th looming, I really wanted to find out about my grandad.

I did this video a few years ago... Now I want to try to understand what my grandad went through even more...

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xur9qo_powerful-ww1-ww2-footage-remembrance-day-lest-we-forget_news

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tinlizzy

A family photo that noone knew anything about has now become so important.

William Wallis Grave1.jpg

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tinlizzy
6 hours ago, David Porter said:

He is also part of this list (date unknown)

 

Wallis.jpg

Thanks David. Would these have been the men that served alongside him?

 

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David Porter

The names on the list are men who were called up from reserves at the start of the war. So despite being undated it should be August 5, 1914 or shortly thereafter. He would have signed up to serve part of his 12 years as a reservist and be liable for call up. The number 28866 would have been issued in late 1902 or early 1903 so he was just still eligible for call up. As Chris has pointed out he went to France on July 17, 1915, which could mean he was with 19th Divisional Artillery but it is by no means certain. The other names, whilst called up at the same time, are unlikely to have served alongside him. However, they may have retrained together in one of the reserve brigades prior to being allocated a battery and going to France. If I get some time I'll look to see if any service files exist for the others.

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tinlizzy

On the one hand I feel bad using your time but on the other hand I really want to find information that puts his 'life' together as well as what he went through in the war.  I could never have learned so much on my own. Thank you :)

What I am seeing here is that my mum was born in January 1914 and he was called up 7 months later.  She also had a younger brother.

Would he have had 'leave' during that time before he went to France?

So sad to know they didn't have much time as a family before he was sent to France.

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David Porter

Yes, embarkation leave was usually granted prior to going overseas.

One year was added to the 12 years when war broke out, so he would not be eligible for discharge until around the end of 1915.

It looks like he re-engaged immediately the option was available.

 

26238 Albert Seebright mobilized at Athlone on August 5, 1914
27985 Frederick Wanley mobilized at Glasgow on August 5, 1914
28835 Arthur Price mobilized at Glasgow on August 6, 1914
29005 John Twomey mobilized at Glasgow on August 5, 1914

 

Of those above only Wanley took his discharge after 13 years

 

 

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clk

Hi,

 

Based in Amiens at the time, the war diary for 55 Field Ambulance records:

55FA_2.jpg

 

The CWGC database shows 3 other men (826644 Alford, 69487 Fido, and 826582 Sutcliffe) from D/298 as having died on the same day. They are all buried in Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux. Their Soldiers' Effects records have them as died in action.

 

Regards

Chris

 
 

 

 

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