5 September 2009

3rd Highland Howitzer Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

The 3rd Highland Howitzer Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery was a Territorial Force unit comprising the 1st and 2nd Renfrewshire Batteries and the 3rd Highland Ammunition Column. Along with the Clyde RGA (which comprised one company) it was administered by the Renfrew County Association and all had their origins in the pre-1908 Renfrewshire and Dumbartonshire RGA.

The headquarters of the Brigade and the two Renfrewshire batteries was at Greenock, and those of the ammunition column at Cathcart. This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the 1st and 2nd Renfrewshire Batteries between April 1908 and November 1915, albeit with noticeable gaps for some months.

Service records for all of the following numbers survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. Also view these on-line as part of a FREE 14 day trial with Ancestry.co.uk.

1 joined on 6th April 1908
291 joined on 8th February 1909
463 joined on 11th May 1910
516 joined on 2nd March 1911
587 joined on 24th January 1912
696 joined on 1st February 1913
906 joined on 17th March 1914
967 joined on 11th September 1914
1124 joined on 15th October 1914
1251 joined on 8th April 1915
1318 joined on 17th May 1915
1413 joined on 19th July 1915
1479 joined on 11th August 1915
1576 joined on 28th October 1915
1585 joined on 4th November 1915

If anybody can help me fill in any of the gaps above, or add anything about this unit, please contact me. An artilleryman serving with Clyde RGA is commemorated on my Chailey 1914-1918 website. Read John Wilson's all-too-brief biography HERE.

The photograph shows unknown Scottish artillerymen from my WW1 postcard collection.

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.


Mark said...

Hi Paul,
Wondered if you knew anything about another RFA unit the 2/E.Lancs Brigade ( Manchester Artillery), renamed 211 Brigade in May 1916.
I have a 1914/15 trio to a Bombardier of this unit Service No 1495.At some stage (before the TF re-numbering in 1917 I assume) he transferred to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders becoming number S/29663.Any idea when he might have transferred or which battalion he may have belonged to?
Many Thanks

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Mark

1495 for the RFA dates to September 1914, whilst S/29663 looks as though it dates to post June 1918. I can't tell the battlion, I'm afraid, but maybe the medal rolls might give further information. Worth checking at Kew.


Mark said...

Hi Paul, Thank you so much for your help. I have viewed the medal rolls at Kew but unfortunately they didn't help, I've seen the roll for the BWM & VM of the Argyll's (couldn't find the 1914/15 Star roll on the reference given on the MIC) but it doesn't state his battalion ,that's were I was able to identify his RFA regt. Other soldiers with numbers near his seem to have been in different battalions (No.26926 -2nd Bn,No.29679- 1/7 Bn, No. 30080-14th Bn)If he didn't transfer to the Argyll's until mid 1918 would he have kept a 4 digit number as his RFA unit was a TF unit?
Thanks again for your help.

Paul Nixon said...

Good point re the absence of a 6-digit number. I checked my db again but have no evidence that 29663 dates to earlier than June 1918. You appear to have followed all the logical paths that I would have done if I were checking for this man. What you really need to do is now find a service record fro someone with a number close to your man's and see if that sheds any further light.

Unknown said...

Just tried to leave a comment/request and not sure if it succeeded in reaching you! I was basically requesting any info on an RFA brigade service number 83712 with no L prefix. My grand father was recruited in London during late 1914/15 and went to France on 27/12/15.

Any help with service number would be much appreciated.

Paul Nixon said...

Philip, I believe the number dates to February 1915 although I'm not as confident about my RFA numbers as I am with some other regiments.


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