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Explaination needed of D Battery, No 7 Res. Bde Arty (TF)!

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Explaination needed of D Battery, No 7 Res. Bde Arty (TF)!

Postby phsvm » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:56 pm

I'm researching a soldier from WW1 and his papers state he joined D Battery, No 7 Res. Bde Arty (TF) in Winchester in September 1916.

I'm a complete novice when it comes to understanding batteries, brigades etc. I know TF means territorial force, in other words not a 'regular' but other than that I'm at a loss.

My man enlisted under the Derby Scheme which I know about and managed to avoid being conscripted with the rest of his group on 20 Jan 1916. He appeared before the local tribunal 2 or 3 times but I have no idea what the role of "D Battery, No 7 Res. Bde Arty (TF)" would have been. Can any one explain please?

My solider went to Basra but never actually saw action as he was taken ill on the journey out and was shipped home again having spent the whole of his time abroad in various hospitals.
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Re: Explaination needed of D Battery, No 7 Res. Bde Arty (TF

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:44 pm

Well, you made a good start by correctly referring to the Territorial Force, not the Territorial Army (which was the later version).

Bde - Brigade - generally the major organisational unit within the Royal Field Artillery. Anywhere between 700 - 1000 men. Usually.

D Battery - Artillery Brigades were split into (in later years) 4 Batteries. Sounds like these were just lettered A, B, C, D. Earlier Batteries were numbered and had an independent life, swapping between Brigades. I think the need to take things a little more carefully as the artillery expanded massively lead to a simpler organisation of smaller batteries with a fairly fixed organisation, so each battery was just lettered A, B, C, D within its parent brigade.

No 7 Res. Bde Arty (TF) - No 7 Reserve Brigade TF
It's listed in the Long Long Trail - http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-royal-artillery-in-the-first-world-war/royal-artillery-depots-training-and-home-defence-units/. That page gives various roles - I'm guessing that this one sounds like a depot or training unit. It was UK based, so your guy should have been transferred for service in Mesopotamia. However, I'm not sure at what point the transfer was done - he might have remained on 7's books until he reached his active service unit. Except, as you say, he didn't. Have a close look at the papers to see if there is a transfer.

Caveat for anyone else reading - Artillery organisation is probably more confusing than any other. Everything I say above about the hierarchy is aimed at this precise instance. "Your mileage may vary". For instance, the big guns of the Royal Garrison Artillery were pretty much organised by battery with artillery Brigades nowhere to be seen. Battery and brigade sizes changed depending on what the guns were but in very vague terms I think 200 men is sort of, vaguely, roughly about the typical size of a battery. Generally. And the number of guns altered - early field gun units of the Regulars were, I think, 6 gun batteries, whereas later units of the New Army became smaller at 4 gun batteries to keep things simpler. And the really, really, really big guns in the RGA were in 1 or 2-gun batteries.

And don't confuse artillery brigades with brigades of infantry. :?
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