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charlie962

17791 Gnr William Roberts RGA 32 Siege Battery

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charlie962

One of those impossible artillerymen to research with nothing to go on but the single 1914/15 Star that I have had for many years.

 

The MIC says 15Star, BWM,VM, France 1.10.15, To ZARes 13/3/19   17791 Gnr W Roberts RGA

Medal Roll BWM VM says 32 SB RGA

 

No Service record but one of those chance casualty sheets on FMP:

                    17791 dvr Roberts W, RGA  32 Sge Bty  NYD I   Admitted 5Sty H Abbeville 12.7.16  (not sure if the 'I' after 'notyetdiagnosed' means anything?)

 

So two bits of confirmation that he did time with 32SB. Since LLT tells me the Bty went to France 1.10.15 which agrees with his MIC can I assume he went with them? How long might he have remained with them?

 

There are some interesting threads around 32 SB giving me background info, including some started by member Paul Dorrell. He even put up a list of some of the battery members but Roberts is not amongst them.

 

Looking at similar Service Numbers in the SWB Roll and Service Papers I find that those numbers near to him joined at Plymouth, No3 Depot, early Jan 1904 on a 3/9 basis. Can I assume he did the same?  There didn't seem to be any noticable regional indications for origin.

 

Would it be reasonable to assume he was 18 in 1904 thus born 1886+/- ?

 

I've no idea where he came from and it is a very common name. Not sure how to get any further.

Any help, particularly with my questions in italics, would be much appreciated.

Charlie962

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rflory

The war diary of 32 Siege Battery, RGA indicates that at Boitschooke at 4.00pm 'the battery was heavily shelled with 5.9's, about 250 rounds being fired.  Two men wounded and No. 2 gun put out of action with a damaged trail.'

 

It is possible that Roberts was one of those wounded.

 

 

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kevinrowlinson
11 hours ago, charlie962 said:

 

So two bits of confirmation that he did time with 32SB. Since LLT tells me the Bty went to France 1.10.15 which agrees with his MIC can I assume he went with them? How long might he have remained with them?

 

Looking at similar Service Numbers in the SWB Roll and Service Papers I find that those numbers near to him joined at Plymouth, No3 Depot, early Jan 1904 on a 3/9 basis. Can I assume he did the same?  There didn't seem to be any noticable regional indications for origin.

 

Would it be reasonable to assume he was 18 in 1904 thus born 1886+/- ?

 

 

Without his service records it would be impossible to prove his likely career during the war, but the chances are;

 

He probably was an original member of the battery, and was probably posted to 32 SB around the 12 Feb 1915 from a Company to which he had been posted after mobilisation. 

HIs number would imply enlisting during Jan 1904 and assuming he was 18 years is a good a starting point as any.

If you subscribe to FMP you could view some of the service records that have survived who served with 32 SB. Just put "32nd Siege Battery" in the Optional Keywords box. Included in these will be other casualty forms and you may note 40555 S H Walters who was admitted to a Birmingham Hospital on the 13th July 1916. If Gnr. Roberts did not return to England but returned to the battery within 3 weeks from 5 SH then he would have carried on serving with 32 SB.

 

Kevin

 

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charlie962

rflory, thanks for the war diary extract. If he was 'wounded' would it be shown as NYD ?What was the date of the war diary entry please?

 

kevin, I have FMP so will do as you suggest. I'd already looked at service records for 1904 RGA recruits with numbers close to his. The surviving files seem mostly to be for soldiers discharged early as bad material! I assume their files were stored seperately at Arnside and escaped the fire. Is the 3 weeks limit on going back to the same battery a standard?

 

Thank you both for your replies

Charlie962

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rflory

charlie962 wrote: 'What was the date of the war diary entry please?'

 

Sorry, it was 11 July 1917 at 4.00 pm.

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charlie962

Do you really mean 1917?

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rflory

Sorry, I was working on research for you and another person and the other was July 1917 and I somehow gave you the information for 1917 rather than 1916.  I have now gone through the war diary of 32 Siege Battery for all of July 1916 and while the diary is very detailed and appears to mention all other ranks who were wounded I can find no mention of Gnr Roberts being wounded, nor is there any information indicating that he entered or returned from the hospital.  From 10 July 1916 through 12 July 1916 the Battery was at Maricourt and while there is extensive mention of the Battery continually bombarding Trones, Guinchy and Delville there is no mention of any casualties from enemy fire during that period.

 

Regards, Dick Flory

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charlie962

Dick, no apologies please. Very kind of you to take the time to search and to reply.

Odd that Roberts is not mentioned but maybe it is connected with NYD which often means shellshock but could perhaps be an infection and thus not a wounding?

Charlie962

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charlie962

 

 

Having just recommended to someone else that its worth going back over old ground to see what new info comes up, I find 2 hits for this man  of an old thread of mine, on FWR Hospital Admissions:

         

            13/5/17 Pyrexia Unknown Origin Severe,  aged 33, 1yr 8m with Field Force,13 years service.  Unit shown as 123 SB but since he was sent back to UK on Hospital Ship 23/5/17 I assume he returned with a different unit. ie 32 SB as above Edit I'm confusing years. He must have come out of hospital after the July 1916 admission in the OP and been posted to 123 SB (which LLT tells me came to France 18/7/16).

 

            12/6/18 Scabies,       aged 35, 14yrs3m service  Catterick Camp Military Hospital. Discharged back to unit- 2 Siege Artillery Reserve Bde, 15/6/18

 

 

This confirms he must have joined originally Jan 1904 as we deduced above and he was born c1884.  So a couple more pieces placed in the jigsaw!

 

Charlie

          

         

Edited by charlie962

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ss002d6252
1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

 

 

Having just recommended to someone else that its worth going back over old ground to see what new info comes up, I find 2 hits for this man  of an old thread of mine, on FWR Hospital Admissions:

         

            13/5/17 Pyrexia Unknown Origin Severe,  aged 33, 1yr 8m with Field Force,13 years service.  Unit shown as 123 SB but since he was sent back to UK on Hospital Ship 23/5/17 I assume he returned with a different unit. ie 32 SB as above Edit I'm confusing years. He must have come out of hospital after the July 1916 admission in the OP and been posted to 123 SB (which LLT tells me came to France 18/7/16).

 

            12/6/18 Scabies,       aged 35, 14yrs3m service  Catterick Camp Military Hospital. Discharged back to unit- 2 Siege Artillery Reserve Bde, 15/6/18

 

 

This confirms he must have joined originally Jan 1904 as we deduced above and he was born c1884.  So a couple more pieces placed in the jigsaw!

 

Charlie

          

         

#17792 was allocated 2 Jan 1904
#17797 was allocated 6 Jan 1904

 

Craig

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