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Any Gunner historians out there?

#1
Chaps, I'm failing miserably to find any information about 24th Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery. CWGC records indicate that my Great Great Uncle James died on 08/04/1917 serving with them (buried at Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension) and I'm trying to find out more details of his service, including, if possible, information regarding in which battle he fell. Any direct information or pointers to potential source material would be greatly appreciated.
 
#2
DozyBint said:
Chaps, I'm failing miserably to find any information about 24th Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery. CWGC records indicate that my Great Great Uncle James died on 08/04/1917 serving with them (buried at Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension) and I'm trying to find out more details of his service, including, if possible, information regarding in which battle he fell. Any direct information or pointers to potential source material would be greatly appreciated.
Hello Dozy,

Given his date of death and location, I suspect your Great-Great Uncle was killed during the Battle of Arras. There is part of his unit War Diary in the National Archives at Kew, in file WO 95/470. See the tenth entry down here:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...arker=181&fldSearchNumber=172415&SearchInit=1

According to the Long, Long Trail WW1 website his Battery had four 60 Pounder guns, and was attached to the British 6th Division and later served with 84 Brigade RGA or possibly 21 Brigade RGA. See here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/rga.htm

For an idea of what his service involved this might give you an idea:

http://www.1914-1918.net/Diaries/wardiary-118siege.htm

hope this helps,

exMercian
 
#3
DozyBint said:
Chaps, I'm failing miserably to find any information about 24th Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery. CWGC records indicate that my Great Great Uncle James died on 08/04/1917 serving with them (buried at Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension) and I'm trying to find out more details of his service, including, if possible, information regarding in which battle he fell. Any direct information or pointers to potential source material would be greatly appreciated.
I am an ex Gunner

Is "Uncle James" by any chance ...

33445. Gunner MAYNARD James Charles 24th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA). Died Sunday 8th April 1917 aged 26 years and commemorated on ROLVENDEN WAR MEMORIAL in Kent as well as buriedin Achiet le Grand ?

24 Heavy Battery was a regular unit and based at Brighton in the 2nd Heavy Brigade, Eastern Command attached to the 6th Division. 6th Division landed in France in September 1914 and were at the First Battle of Ypres In Nov 1918 they were a 60pdr battery in 84th(Mixed)Brigade,R.G.A., 3rd Army.

He may have been with the unit when it was commended in Sir Douglas Haig's dispatch as being "specially brought to my notice for good work in carrying out or repelling local attacks and raids in 1916:-"

http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/haigsteloidespatch.htm

The date is interesting because its one day before the start of the Battle of Arras. The gunners played a very big part in the battle of Arras, flattening German defences so the first day was one of the more successful set piece battles.

From April 1917 to March 1918, the village of Achiet le Grand was occupied by the 45th and 49th Casualty Clearing Stations. Achiet station was an allied railhead. The communal cemetery and extension were used by Commonwealth medical units from April 1917 to March 1918.

My guess is that he was wounded in action and died either at the CCS or on the way there.

Do you know when he joined the Army? His medal record may tell you whether he wasa pre war regular.

Most battlefield tours of the Somme drive through Achiet-le-Grand on their way to Serre, the Northern extremity of the 1st July 1916 attack. I'll remember your uncle James the next time I pass through.
 
#4
Pteranadon said:
Is "Uncle James" by any chance ...

33445. Gunner MAYNARD James Charles 24th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA). Died Sunday 8th April 1917 aged 26 years and commemorated on ROLVENDEN WAR MEMORIAL in Kent as well as buriedin Achiet le Grand ?
Yes, that's him! Thanks for the additional info - I didn't know that he's also commemorated at Rolvenden - I'll take a drive down there some time soon. I've a photo of his grave with another soldier saluting behind it, though I have no idea whether the saluting soldier is family or a brother-in-arms. I'm hoping to scan some pictures this weekend and will upload any I think are of interest onto the Family Military Photos thread.

Pteranadon said:
Most battlefield tours of the Somme drive through Achiet-le-Grand on their way to Serre, the Northern extremity of the 1st July 1916 attack. I'll remember your uncle James the next time I pass through.
Thank you very much. I've been checking out the threads on battlefield tours as I'd very much like to get out there with some members of my family.

exMercian, thank you very much for those websites - I'm already engrossed!


[hr]Edit:

Pteranadon said:
Do you know when he joined the Army? His medal record may tell you whether he wasa pre war regular.
I'll find out as much as I can about him and post an update here.
 
#5
Dozy,

https://www.military-genealogy.com/ have the following listing for him:

Maynard James Charles J C Rolvenden, Kent Rolvenden

the details should include his regtl number which will make any further searches easier.

They are still showing the NOTW promotion of 1 free search, but not sure if it is still valid.
 
#6
Gremlin said:
Dozy,

https://www.military-genealogy.com/ have the following listing for him:

Maynard James Charles J C Rolvenden, Kent Rolvenden

the details should include his regtl number which will make any further searches easier.

They are still showing the NOTW promotion of 1 free search, but not sure if it is still valid.
Well it says the promotion ended on 19th November, but I've just signed up and it's still working! Cheers Grem - I owe you a drink! :wink:
 
#8
DozyBint said:
Gremlin said:
Dozy,

https://www.military-genealogy.com/ have the following listing for him:

Maynard James Charles J C Rolvenden, Kent Rolvenden

the details should include his regtl number which will make any further searches easier.

They are still showing the NOTW promotion of 1 free search, but not sure if it is still valid.
Well it says the promotion ended on 19th November, but I've just signed up and it's still working! Cheers Grem - I owe you a drink! :wink:
Actually its a free search per email address you reg with, I've had about 5 gos
 
#9
Also Dozy have you approached tthe Firepower museum at Woolwich I know a lot of historical records have been passed onto them for safe keeping and obviously displaying
 
#10
Dozy, that regimental number appears to be quite high. If he was in a Infantry regiment I'd say he was a Territorial. I'll try and find the the site that listed the different groups and post it.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#12
Do you have a picture of it Peter, we have a tour group going to Longueval in Oct.
 
#13
Yes I do somewhere I will try and locate it It is only a small cemetery but very peace full If you have got Google Earth and find the village of Longueval and follow the D197 Rue d en Haut towards Albert you will find it best regards Peter
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#14
Stayed in the village many times Peter.
 
#15
24th Siege Battery RGA, formed 1.2.15 Portsmouth, disbanded 11.10.19 Sandling (N of Maidstone).
11.11.18 part of 21st (Mobile) brigade RGA with 6 6in 26cwt howitzers.
The KIA date is, as already noted, a racing certainty for the Arras barrage.
 
#16
Thank you for that info, incidentally if any body on this site has any relations on the Sevenoaks Kent war memorial the town council are doing an article on the men honoured on it and want any relatives of names on it to attend on the 3rd of August 2014 to do a photo shoot
 

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