WW1 photo - Unit?

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
Hi Gunners,

I'm trying to identify the Unit these lads were serving in.
Gunner Jack Owens, RHA 1918.jpg


My mum's Uncle Jack front left . I'm just looking confirm if he was RHA or another (Service?) Bn.

Grateful for any knowledgable input from RA historians. Many thanks

Lee Shaver
 
#2
#3
Hi Gunners,

I'm trying to identify the Unit these lads were serving in.
View attachment 347210

My mum's Uncle Jack front left . I'm just looking confirm if he was RHA or another (Service?) Bn.

Grateful for any knowledgable input from RA historians. Many thanks

Lee Shaver

Well, he was definitely a Gunner, but whether he was RHA, RFA or RGA is almost impossible to tell from the photo - at that time the three branches of the artillery all wore the same uniform and badges.

If the photo had been taken "in the field", then the lack of puttees and riding boots might indicate that he was RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery, or heavy guns and howitzers during the war). Problem is, in camp the two mounted branches, RHA and RFA, often wore their trousers loose as in the photo!
 
#5
Great Uncle Jack seems to be the only one without shoulder titles - perhaps not yet a trained soldier? Given the vast disparity in ages and the sergeant (who doesn't seem to be the eldest) the only one with medals, are they a TF regiment? Perhaps just back from an exercise rather than at the Front?

Don't know, just trying to make sense from observations. Any idea where he lived?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
For context the photo is cropped from a wider pic:
Gnr Jack Owens, 1918 Troop - 2nd left.jpg


Looks to me like a training area , probably late in the war, I think he was conscripted, rather than a 1914 volunteer. Bloke top right has a swagger stick and an earlier pic also shows him with the same.

@putteesinmyhands - yeah, entire family came from Swansea, before that Carmarthen. His older brother was Royal Welch. Jack the lad was a bit more of a handful I think :)

Sergeant also has two wound stripes. Can't see anything that says much more than RA to be honest.
 
Last edited:
#7
For context the photo is cropped from a wider pic:
View attachment 347214

Looks to me like a training area , probably late in the war, I think he was conscripted, rather than a 1914 volunteer. Bloke top right has a swagger stick and an earlier pic also shows him with the same.

@putteesinmyhands - yeah, entire family came from Swansea, before that Carmarthen. His older brother was Royal Welch. Jack the lad was a bit more of a handful I think :)

Sergeant also has two wound stripes. Can't see anything that says much more than RA to be honest.
Swagger stick or whip (crop to the civvy)? If the latter, would argue RHA/RFA rather than RGA, as would, to some extent, the cross-belted pouches. They tended to work with riding boots and spurs. Though the opened-out shot shows the puttees, unfortunately not the boots, 'cos of the long grass.
 
#8
Notably, there seems to be no JNCOs. That suggests to me that they're in training.

But if conscripted, I would have expected that they'd all be wearing the same stuff. Instead, some don't look to have shoulder titles and only three have regimental lanyards. If they're all still in training but perhaps at different levels, that smacks to me of pre-war TF as I can't imagine Regular or conscripted soldiers not being at the same point in their training.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
Thanks for replies gents....I'll see if I can dig out any further info.
 
#11
Notably, there seems to be no JNCOs. That suggests to me that they're in training.

But if conscripted, I would have expected that they'd all be wearing the same stuff. Instead, some don't look to have shoulder titles and only three have regimental lanyards. If they're all still in training but perhaps at different levels, that smacks to me of pre-war TF as I can't imagine Regular or conscripted soldiers not being at the same point in their training.
There's a lot in what you say, but look at the Sergeant. He doesn't have a reggy white lanyard, but he does have a lanyard. Does the OP have any dates of service?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#12
Only that he was in Germany in the Occupation period 1919
 
#13
For context the photo is cropped from a wider pic:
View attachment 347214

Looks to me like a training area , probably late in the war, I think he was conscripted, rather than a 1914 volunteer. Bloke top right has a swagger stick and an earlier pic also shows him with the same.

@putteesinmyhands - yeah, entire family came from Swansea, before that Carmarthen. His older brother was Royal Welch. Jack the lad was a bit more of a handful I think :)

Sergeant also has two wound stripes. Can't see anything that says much more than RA to be honest.


That looks very much to me like a BQMS and his little empire.

You've got a senior sergeant and a mixed bag of old-but-unpromoted-sweats and nigs (New Intake of Gunners, before any of our resident SJWs gets all shrieky).

The mix of riding dress and camp dress would be entirely normal - e.g. some'd be running the hay wagons and water cart, some would be storing stores or knocking up range stew.

I'd bet that this was Larkhill or similar, early post-war.
 
#15
@Goatman - Access to Medal Index Cards on Ancestry is free: set up an account and enter his name in the search engine (ideally with any Service number that you may have). Once you have the MIC, it will be annotated RFA, RGA or RHA.

Failing that, pm his full name and I'll try and find him, as I have a full Ancestry account.
 
#16
That looks very much to me like a BQMS and his little empire.
Nice one. I was trying to account for the number present. I'm led to believe that gun crews generally comprised 10 men (6 on the gun and 4 on the ammo) so the number in the photo didn't tally with a crew or multiples thereof.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#18

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
1903 Pattern Bandolier points to Mounted (maybe RHA or could simply be mounted RFA).
Bearing in mind most RFA was mounted. At least up until very late in the war
 

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