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Royal Field Artillery



The Royal Artillery can be traced back to the 16th sixteenth century. On 1 July 1899, the Royal Artillery was divided into two groups: the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery comprised one group, The Royal Garrison Artillery, being the other. In effect the three operated as separate corps until they were amalganated in 1924.

The RFA was organised into Brigades, attached to Divisions or higher formations and was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers deployed close to the front line, being reasonably mobile.



Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of this unit on a particular day? Which battles they took part in? Or any other interesting snipts?







Those known to have served with Royal Field Artillery during the Great War.

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Mar 2014

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 215485, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

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705

Dvr. Leonard Le Doux Royal Field Artillery

My Grandfather Leonard Le Doux was a driver, and was then 'promoted' to the guns, which casued him to suffer deafness and be invalided out of service, as was his brother Wiliam. His other brother James was killed in January 1917 leaving a young wife and baby son.



765

Dvr. Richard Latimer Sutton 46th Divisional Training Battery Royal Field Artillery

I am tring to find anything on my great grandfather's military career. His name was Richard Latimer Sutton, he was a driver with the 46th Divisional Training Battery, Royal Field Artillery. This is all I know of him really from his sons birth certificate in June 1916.



142115

Serjeant James Mullett M.M. A Bty, 82nd Brigade Royal Field Artillery (d.10th Nov 1918)

James Mullet was a serjeant with A Battery, 82nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. I just wondered if there were any photographs of this brigade or if anyone could tell how I find out why he was awarded the military medal.



859

Dvr. Charles Simmonds 271 Bde. A Bty Royal Field Artillery

This is a picture of my great uncle Charles Simmonds taken in 1915, when he was 20 years of age. He was a driver in the The 54th (East Anglian) Division.

The Divisional Artillery remained in England when the Division moved to Gallipoli. It moved independently to France in November 1915 coming under the command of 33rd Division. Officers and men were attached to the Divisional Artillery of the 2nd, 7th and 12th Divisions. It moved to Egypt and rejoined the Division in Egypt in February 1916.

I don't know too much about him, other than he lived to a ripe old age.



143813

Edwin Walter Howe MM. Royal Artilery

I am new 67 and I never knew my Dad, Edwin Howe. I am the youngest of 5 children and I know only know what what I have been told , Dad came out to Australia married mum ,and had 5 children, he died as a result of injury many years later. When he migrated to Australia, they lived in Moorabbin Victoria Australia where he worked as a storeman at the Moornabbin council as a storeman, he served with the Royal Artillary in the Great War and I was told was awarded the military medal. Any information would be just great.



191147

Gunner George Henry Saunders 4053 1st Division Royal Field Artillery

Trying to find out where he was in the war for a friend of mine who has not got the internet.



201435

Charles "Skin" Jackson Royal Artillery

I am trying to find more info on my grandfather Charles Jackson. He was gassed and sent back to England to get better which he duly did. However after a night in the pub and a scuffle with 2 policemen who whilst he was drunk insisted my grandfather rode his bike home. As in the day it was illegal to walk a bike on the pavement. Anyway he was charged and given a choice 4 months in jail or go back to the front line. He went back and served in the Royal Artilery. A shell went off and he back again in hospital. He survived the war and lived till he was 80. I am trying to find his hospital records. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to give. Kind regards Alan



191620

Driver Peter McGuiggan C Btty, 78 Bde. Royal Field Artillery (d.19th Apr. 1917)

TWO GEORDIES AND A WELSHMAN. Lying in the military cemetery at Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines are three headstones of soldiers of "C" Battery of the 78th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, all members of the same gun team, who were killed outright on the night of the 19th April 1917. In the middle is Driver Peter McGuiggan, aged 26 and on either side of him are Gunner James E. Martin, aged 34 and Gunner Albert Seymour Lloyd MM, aged 23 The War Diary of the 78th Brigade records that the Brigade was positioned at Monchy in foul weather and under constant barrage. All three were killed instantly when their gun recieved a direct hit from enemy shelling during the night of the 19th April 1917. Driver Peter McGuiggan had been a miner in Gateshead. In fact a putter and was therefore accoustomed to working with horses. In the RFA he became a driver (of horses) and would have ridden one of the pair of horses making up the six horse team that carried the guns into action. He was married and had two small boys. Gunner James E. Martin came from Chester-le-stret in County Durham and I unfortunately know little of his pre-war life or occupation. Gunner Albert Seymour Lloyd was prior to the war an apprentice in Pembroke Dockyard. His father was an Alderman of that town. The lie togethe these three comrades, two geordies and a welsheman.



500651

Gnr. Albert Seymour Lloyd MM. C Btty. 78th Bde Royal Field Artillery (d.19th Apr 1917)

Lying in the military cemetery at Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines are three headstones of soldiers of "C" Battery of the 78th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, all members of the same gun team, who were killed outright on the night of the 19th April 1917. In the middle is Driver Peter McGuiggan, aged 26 and on either side of him are Gunner James E. Martin, aged 34 and Gunner Albert Seymour Lloyd MM, aged 23 The War Diary of the 78th Brigade records that the Brigade was positioned at Monchy in foul weather and under constant barrage. All three were killed instantly when their gun recieved a direct hit from enemy shelling during the night of the 19th April 1917.

GGunner Albert Seymour Lloyd was prior to the war an apprentice in Pembroke Dockyard. His father was an Alderman of that town

They lie together these three comrades, two geordies and a welsheman.



500650

Gnr. James E. Martin C Btty. 78th Bde Royal Field Artillery (d.19th Apr 1917)

Lying in the military cemetery at Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines are three headstones of soldiers of "C" Battery of the 78th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, all members of the same gun team, who were killed outright on the night of the 19th April 1917. In the middle is Driver Peter McGuiggan, aged 26 and on either side of him are Gunner James E. Martin, aged 34 and Gunner Albert Seymour Lloyd MM, aged 23 The War Diary of the 78th Brigade records that the Brigade was positioned at Monchy in foul weather and under constant barrage. All three were killed instantly when their gun recieved a direct hit from enemy shelling during the night of the 19th April 1917.

Gunner James E. Martin came from Chester-le-street in County Durham and I unfortunately know little of his pre-war life or occupation. They lie together these three comrades, two geordies and a welsheman.



988

Thomas Armstrong Royal Artillery

Thomas Armstrong

My grandad Thomas Armstrong from Kibblesworth Newcastle upon Tyne (on the right in photo) served in the Royal Artillery during the 1914-18 war. I don't know much else about his army time, but believe this photo was taken in France. He survived the war and worked in the pits for several years, then moved to Gateshead to run a pub.



996

William Webster Royal Field Artillery

My grandfather, William Webster, was a Driver, later a Bombardier, in the Royal Field Artillery. He survived the war and received the 1914/15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. I have attached a photo of him in uniform with an unknown colleague (he is seated, on the left).



1006

Sjt. William Edmund Pittaway 242 Brigade, A bty. Royal Field Artillery (d.24th Mar 1917)

I have a copper bracelet that is handmade and engraved by, I assume, Mr Pittaway. It has been engraved with his name and various battles that took place in the Somme which, again I assume, that Mr Pittaway took part in. These are "Somme", "Albert", "Hebuterne", "Poizieres", "Ovilliers", "Arras", "Mesnil", "Le Sars", "Martinpuich", "Thiepval" and "Au Bois". I have checked on a map and all these places are located just south of Arras. One or two of the place names have been spelt incorrectly and I have spelt them above as they appear on the bracelet in case the names or spelling has changed in the last 95 years.

Above his name Mr Pittaway has engraved the following: 2335 R.F.A. A-Battery 242 Brigade and either side of his name are the dates 1914 and 1916, these are the dates, I believe, during which 242 Brigade was in existence.

I would like to try and find out more about Mr Pittaway.

Update: Information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Serjeant William Edmund Pittaway, who served under the name of Thompson, was killed on the 24th of March 1917, age 33. At his death he was a Sergeant with the King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), 'A' Company, 1st Battalion. He was the son of William Edmund and Maria Pittaway and also served in the South African War. He is buried in Birmingham's Witton Cemetery.



1017

Farrell Royal Artillery

This is a photo of one of the Farrell family in the Royal Artillery, taken in Liverpool.



204861

Gnr. John Rudiger 7th Divisional Amunition Column Royal Field Artillery

I am the youngest son of John "Jack" Rudiger who went off to war with his two brothers, Harry and Ernie. I have a cutting of the three of them from the Hackney Gazette, at the time. All three returned although my Father sustained a head wound.

You may find a certain irony in the fact that my Grandfather was of German origin, hence the name! He came to this country as a young lad, and the fact that he sent his three sons off to war against his native country showed how he had integrated in the UK.

Dad never spoke too much about the WW1, he was an ARP Warden in WW2. I have my Father's 'Pip Squeak & Wilfred' but have no further details of his military career or where he fought. You would think with an unusual surname name like ours it would pose no problems, but all internet searches show no trace! I do not know his Battalion or Brigade, so if anyone out there can offer any help or assistance, it would be most gratefully received. I am endeavouring to get something together for my Grandchildren.

UPDATE: Jack's medal card has now been located on Ancestry.co.uk and it shows he served with the 7th Divisional Ammunition Column.



204851

Dvr. James Hughes 2nd Battery Royal Field Artillery

James Hughes, RFA in 1919

James Hughes was born on 23 September 1893 at Joicey’s Cottages, Hill Top, Dipton, Co.Durham, the eldest son of Thomas and Catherine Hughes. He was educated at Flint Hill National School, before working in the colliery as a Pony Putter(1911 census).

Three years later in Newcastle on 28th December 1914 he enlisted for six years in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA). The Royal Regiment of Artillery combined the RFA and RHA and as the war progressed a recruit could expect to be moved between the two depending on service demands.

This photograph c.1915 shows James in combat uniform posing with ‘E Sub’. This would be a Sub Section of E Battery in the RFA. The Batteries were designated by the letters A to F; each battery had six guns, one gun for each sub section manned by 20 men. James appears to have started with the 2nd Battery RFA on 12/01/1915.

The description of James on enlistment gives us a snapshot in time. He was 21 years and 3 months, height 5’ 6”, weight 124 lbs, chest expanded 37”, complexion ruddy, eyes brown, hair auburn. He was passed fit for the Army based on medical examination and his own declaration that he did not suffer from anything that would be an impediment to him.

He was part of the British Expeditionary Force that was sent to fight in France. He alternated the duration of the war between France and home leave. In total spending 5 years and 86 days in the service up to the time of his discharge on 22/03/1920. He spent 2 years and 29 days in France.

The record stated that he was wounded on 29/08/1918 and sent to Queen Mary’s Military Hospital in Whalley, Lancs on 29/08/1918 By his discharge he had suffered deafness and defective vision, enough to merit his discharge from the Army as being ‘no longer Physically Fit for War Service’. One record stated he was awarded a single man’s pension of 12/- per week. At the end of the war he was awarded the ‘Star Medal 1914-1915’, the ‘British War Medal(1914-1920) and ‘Victory Medal’, awarded in 1919 and affectionately known as ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’.

A photo of James(c.1920) wearing military khaki plus medal stripes and what appears to by a lance-corporal’s cord but his left arm is out of view which would have shown a single stripe.

There is another photo of him in the full dress jacket of the RHA taken at Aldershot (c.1920). So it seems likely after the war ended he was briefly in the RHA.

On 14 May 1921 James Hughes was married to Isabella Smith at St. Joseph’s RC church in Stanley, Co.Durham. He had survived the carnage of WWI and went back to being a coal miner, raising his family in the colliery villages near Stanley.



204824

Gnr. Keneth Stiling (d.June 1918)

I am trying to trace Gunner Keneth Stiler, he is on a plaque in Plymtree church but I cannot find any military records.



207835

Pte. Joseph Samual Hollands 541st Battery Royal Field Artillery

My Great Grandfather Joseph was 22 years old when he joined the army. He was 5 feet 5 inches and was married to my Grandmother Florence Avery Hunt. I would love to see if I could find anyone who may have heard of him or knew him. He lived a long life and had many children.



204792

Dvr. George Thomas Hawkins 14th Bde Ammunition Col. (d.8th June 1918)

I recently found George Hawkins's death details via Ancestry. His only child, Theresa, was my grandmother. George's wife Edith Dane died 6 months later in December 1918, and Theresa was adopted by Edith's sister Emma Lufkin.

I have not been able to locate George's war records, I suspect they were destroyed like so many others in WW2, so have no evidence that he ever saw his daughter Theresa.

George was listed as a driver in RFA 14th Bde Ammunition Col. I would like to know where and what the 14th Bde was up to around the time of George's death.



204782

Dvr. Ernest Bradley 33 Brigade, 8th Division Royal Field Artillery

I have been searching for a photograph of my Grandfather, Ernest Bradley for over 40 years. He was born in Skipton Yorkshire and in 1913 he moved to South Elmsall, Pontefract, West Yorkshire where he married my grandmother Mary Jane Crofts in 1914, and where my father was born in 1916. My Grandfather was a hairdresser and owned his own shop in the village, prior to joining the Royal Field Artillery at Newcastle upon Tyne on the 19th December 1915.

On 13th January 1916 he was posted to No1 Reserve Brigade and later appointed Acting Bombardier.

On 17th January 1917 he was posted with the British Expeditionary Forces to France where he served with the 33 Brigade RFA part of the 8th Division and to part in the 3rd Battle of Ypres 1917, 1st Battle of the Somme 1918 and 2nd Battle of Arras 1918 and at some point suffered injuries from mustard gas, he received treatment and reverted back to driver. Finally discharged on Demobilization 9th August 1919. He returned home and continued he hairdressing career in South Elmsall and Leeds, where he died 10 years later 31st December 1929.

I would be very grateful if anyone could provide me more information regarding the 33rd Brigade and 8th Division and if possible any photographs.



204781

Cpl. Oliver Bennett 12th Battery (d.21st Oct 1914)

HOLT, St ANDREW THE APOSTLE, WAR MEMORIAL

We pray you remember before God, Charles Henry Steer and Oliver Bennett former members of the choir who lost their lives fighting for King & Country in the Great War 1914. RJ.D.

BENNETT, Oliver Corporal 32124. 12th Battery Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action in France & Flanders on 21st October 1914. Aged 25. Born at North Walsham. Enlisted Norwich. Son of William and Rebecca Bennett, of Holt, Norfolk, Norwich, Norfolk. One of two choir members commemorated on the stain glass window in St Andrew the Aposlte church. Buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Ref. XVI. A. 8.

If anyone has more information on Oliver or his family please email me.



204761

Gnr. George William Miller 50th Brigade, A Bty. (d.15th Nov 1917)

George William Miller is one of 3 brothers to died in WW1 he was the eldest born 1889. He died in Nov 1917 whilst serving with the RFA, his brothers Edwin John Miller born 1891 died Nov 1917 and Horace Philip Miller born 1895 died July 1918, both were in the Middx regt. Their brother Frederick Harry Miller born 1892 died in 1928 having been gassed 3 times in the trenches. Their father had predeceased them aged 35 in 1906. Their mother lived to 1956 but was never a happy woman. God bless them all.



204723

Dvr. Walter Joseph Stevens (d.2nd Jul 1916)

Walter Joseph Stevens was my grandfather on my father's side. My family know very little about him except that he died in the UK, aged 37, after being gassed whilst in the Royal Field Artillery on the Continent.

He was married to Florence Lucy (nee Savage) who had three children by him - William, Percy (Jim) and Charles (my Dad). The information we have about him is taken from the cross on his grave in West Clandon Churchyard, Surrey, where the Cenotaph there records his name as Joseph Stevens. So I am unsure which is his first name - Walter (as on his grave) or Joseph (on the Cenotaph). We believe he was a gardener before the war, possibly at Clandon Park. During WW1 his wife (my grandmother) worked as a "postie" in the village, living in a small cottage owned by the Onslows Family who lived in Clandon Park.



204687

Gnr. Matthew Baxendale 9th Reserve Royal Field Artillery

I am currently tracing my family tree and have come across a great grand father, Matthew Baxendale, who served as a Gn. in the RFA. I have his pay books, which show that my grand father enlisted at the age of 25 yrs. and 6 months on 9th December 1915. He was paid 1 shilling tuppence ha'penny from 15/6/1917 and had 6 pence per day taking off, under the heading "Deduct Voluntary allotment/compulsory stoppage". The lines for Voluntary and compulsory are one and the same so I do not know the actual reason for the stoppage.

A new page was pasted in over the original which shows he was then paid 1 shilling 6 pence per day from 3/1/1918, with no stoppages; this includes three pence for proficiency pay and also ha'penny to make up the minimum up the Army Order. On the new page there are separate lines and entries for deductions.

I can only trace records via the pay book to show that my grandfather disembarked to France on 5/7/1917, he was paid, on average 10 francs per week. He appears to have had leave to the UK for 15 days from 21/12/1917 though three subsequent entries suggest that he may still be in England on the 25th February 1918 as two rail warrants were issued.

The next entry 27/4/1918 shows a Field payment at No 13 Convalescent Depot. He continues to receive his pay in the field up to 16/8/1918 when he receives 20 francs. For some reason the next entry is dated one month later and is stamped 15 Oct 1918 admitted to No 7 Convalescent Depot. From this date he receives regular field payments; again there is a rubber stamped entry which is a little smudged. From this stamp all that I can decipher is that my grand father was sent "To Rest Camp 08 Nov". The last payment shown in the pay book is dated 13/12/1918 for 50 Francs.

I would like help in locating the area/towns where two convalescent Depots were located, namely number 13 and no 7 Convalescent Depots.



204666

Gunner Thomas Curtin Royal Field Artillery

I recently found this site when looking for images of the RFA in WW1. I found the picture of George Uren added by his great granddaughter Denise Chapplow. The man sitting to his right is my great grandfather Thomas Curtin.



204516

Shoeing Smith Gunner Robert Wallett 112th Brigade. "A" Battery Royal Field Artillery (d.19th Sept 1918)

I am trying to find a bit more about this particular relative of mine, Robert Wallett. I know when he was born and when he died but little of the short life in between other than he obviously took up the family trait of "Smithying" and this skill was utilised by the Army. This is probably a stab in the dark but the usual avenues of enquiry have proved fruitless, I have been researching my family tree for some time, as is probably the case with tens of thousands of people everywhere there is more than one or two sad endings to young live's attributed to the various conflicts of the 20th Century and none more so than "World War One". Any help would be appreciated.



204499

Dvr. William Robert Harvie 28th Highland (Howitzer) Division Royal Field Artillery

I am attempting to trace my family tree. My paternal grandfather, William Harvie, was a Driver with the 28th Highland (Howitzer) Division, RFA in WW1 and was injured on a number of occasions, finally being critically injured just before Armistice Day. Following amputation, he was apparently transferred to Stobhill and remained there for quite some time. I am very keen to find out information regarding his posting in France and his subsequent injuries for two reasons. I am taking my father to France to visit the Western Front at the end of June and would love to know where he was posted but have absolutely no idea where to start.

Secondly, I am a Registered Nurse who trained at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and became a serving Officer within the RAF. On leaving the forces I worked at Stobhill for at least a decade and knew my Grandpa had been admitted at some point but was never able to find any information. I would dearly love to know the true extent of his injuries, suffering and subsequent treatment.

He did not talk of this when I was younger but his injuries were extremely evident and he must have suffered greatly. He was issued, on one occasion, with Army Form B104-80A for receipt of gunshot wound to left thigh and left hand (severe). His final injury necessitated a Right Above Knee Amputation, plastic surgery to his face and ear, the surgeon was, apparently, Mr McIndoe. He was sent to Stobhill following his amputation - although due to his critical injury, the operation had to be delayed for 3 days. (This was learnt via a letter to his mother).

He was a loving and caring man who suffered greatly, initially and chronically, as did so many hundreds of thousands, too few nowadays do not always appreciate. I would be grateful for any advice.



204625

Sgt Mjr. Andrew Bell Moffat 4th Low Bde Royal Field Artillery

Please can you tell ME the abbreviations of the units he was in Joined as TA in 1911 and left 11/4/1930 with a presentation of a Gold pocket watch inscribed as follows:- 312 Bty Sgts Mess On occasion of leaving the battery 11/04/1930 I believe he went to Egypt....and if your information can confirm I would be grateful Will try and attach documents I got of the web but unfortunately as I have no knowledge of army procedures I do not understand them all Hope you can help Thank you Avril Anderson ...grandaughter p.s. not able to attach files ....please send me an e-mail address to forward them to you Avril



204577

Sergeant Horace Charles Ernest Knightly 15th Brigade, "A" Battery Royal Field Artillery (d.22nd Mar 1918)

I am trying to find any information on my great uncle Horace Knightly, who died in WW1. I have no idea when he joined the army and cannot find him in the 1911 Census when he would have been about 28 (born 1883). He registered his mother's death in 1914 from an address in Hackney where he lived when he married in London in 1917.

Any help in finding out anything at all would be greatly appreciated.



157805

Gnr. George Orr 82nd Brigade, D Battery Royal Field Artillery (d.28 May 1917)

I am trying to find some information on George Orr, the Uncle of my father, now aged 84, who would love to know where his uncle fought, where he died etc. I am hoping to take my Dad to see his uncle's grave in Bucquoy Road Cemetery near Arras.



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