Author Topic: James McEvoy RFA 681884  (Read 332 times)

Offline Dilly01

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James McEvoy RFA 681884
« on: Friday 17 August 18 12:42 BST (UK) »
A relative of James has asked if any information can be traced about his military service. I am coming from a very low starting point knowing only that he was a Driver and / or Gunner -

Trained at Bettisfield Army Camp
First went to France March 1916
Reg No. 681884  Rank Driver (not vehicles!)
Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity date February 2nd 1919
Certificate of Employment during the war Driver #681884 - states knowledge of horses and horse keeping
James was shot in the neck making him deaf in hiss left ear (I always thought that the deafness came from possibly being in charge of the big guns)
Certificate of Demobilization Reg 681884 Rank Gunner

James McEvoy in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
Name: James McEvoy
Regiment or Corps: Royal Field Artillery
Regimental Number: 4628, 681884
(T F) RFA / 114b Page 2751
Victory Medal and British Medal (not the 1914 - 1918 Star)

That's about it. No idea where he served or knowledge of any specific regiment / battalion etc. that might link to a War Diary.

ANY help / advice appreciated.

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Online jim1

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #1 on: Friday 17 August 18 13:00 BST (UK) »
Having a quick look he was in a Territorial Brigade.
Originally having a 4 digit number & then (in 1917) given a 6 digit number when the TF were re-organised.
There should be a list of number allocations so it's possible to home in on his Brigade.
I'll take a look later have to go out.
Someone more knowledgeable than me might come along & give you the answer.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

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Offline Dilly01

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #2 on: Friday 17 August 18 13:19 BST (UK) »
Thank you. I decided to look to see if I could find any further clues myself and found the following -

THE LONG, LONG TRAIL - THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE GREAT WAR OF 1914-1918
The raising of new Territorial Howitzer batteries in 1916 - Under the authority of Army Council Instruction 1298 of 1916 (29 June 1916), 41 new howitzer batteries were raised. A later instruction confirmed the numbers of these new batteries. This page gives details.
- Batteries of the Territorial Force
2 batteries were raised by Number 2 TF Artillery Training School at Bettisfield Park: numbered 529 and 530

I am not sure if that means that James McEvoy served in one of those two batteries or not or how I might go about tracing their activities in some way. The date in June is later than he was first said to have served in France and that confused a little. I guess I need to look at what the definition of a battery might have been and see whether he might have changed from a driver to a gunner or whether he had a multi-purpose role?

I clearly have a lot to learn! :-)

Offline MaxD

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #3 on: Friday 17 August 18 13:55 BST (UK) »
Following Jims' pointer shamelessly, we find his 1917 number is in the block allocated to 286 Brigade  Royal Field Artillery, original raised pre-war as 2/2 West Lancashire Brigade RFA.  it is likely that he served, at least initially in that brigade. 
A battery was one of the four (usually) sub-units of a brigade.  Finding which battery a man was in really needs his service record, his has not survived.  However, it was the brigade that had the diaries not the batteries but knowing (or hoping at least) that he belonged to 286 Brigade is a good start.
Both Driver and Gunner were ranks -  private soldiers.  Drivers were more concerned with the horses and mules (there were more animals in a battery than men), Gunners worked primarily on the guns. 

Thats for starters.  There is a lot elsewhere on 286 Brigade on another forum, I'll get back.

It's home station was Preston - would that add up?
MaxD

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Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

Offline MaxD

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #4 on: Friday 17 August 18 14:16 BST (UK) »
Not totally clear yet so I won't point yet to war diaries. 

286 Brigade didn't go to France until mid February 1917 so if he went in 1916 he was in another brigade (the ones you noted training is simply a coincidence of place, Bettisfield had an artillery training school).

More work needed.

MaxD
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Offline Dilly01

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #5 on: Friday 17 August 18 14:16 BST (UK) »
I am not sure if this helps, but he lived in Seacombe, Wallasey, Cheshire and trained at Bettisfield Army Camp, born on 6th October 1895 and died 11th September 1975. Whether Driver or Gunner seems to conflict in the couple of records I have seen, but "Certificate of Employment during the war Driver #681884 - states knowledge of horses and horse keeping" suggests Driver and the medal card suggests Gunner.

You already have us further forward by even coming up with a suggestion of a Brigade! So was a battery made up of a number of guns?

THANK YOU

Offline Dilly01

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #6 on: Friday 17 August 18 14:18 BST (UK) »
4628 was his earlier number - does that help?

Online jim1

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #7 on: Friday 17 August 18 14:30 BST (UK) »
How do you know he went to France in March 1916?
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Offline MaxD

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Re: James McEvoy RFA 681884
« Reply #8 on: Friday 17 August 18 15:26 BST (UK) »
Jim asks the vital question.

 The renumbering process was for most easy, if your new number is in the bracket given for a brigade then you were in that brigade. There were (too many) exceptions and complications though so it is not 100% the case that if he received a 286 Bde number that he was in 286 Bde. The Royal Artillery started to issue 6 figure numbers before 1917 which further complicates the issue.
I have found someone who has more detail of 286 Bde and am awaiting an answer.

The organisation of an  RFA brigade was not the same throughout the war.  The number of batteries was three or four at different times.  The number of guns in a battery also varied between four and six.  The type of guns in a battery was always the same  but a brigade could have had 3 batteries of 18 pounders and 1  battery of 4.5 inch Howitzers.  To be sure one has to take a particular brigade at a point in time.  Their designation also changed.  In 286 Bde for example at the start in 1914 the gun batteries were 2/9th, 2/10th, 2/11th (there was also 2/2 Ammunition Column), when they went to France in 1917 they had four gun batteries designated A B C and D.

My suggestion is that he was a Driver.  He may have re-trained as a Gunner or the card has his rank incorrect - they were both the same level.

MaxD

 
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Randle/Millington Warwicks
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