Author Topic: gunner John Henry Cowham 141738 WW1  (Read 254 times)

Offline Drelly

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gunner John Henry Cowham 141738 WW1
« on: Tuesday 06 November 18 21:54 GMT (UK) »
 am  trying to trace my fathers movements within a siege battery at  the 3rd battle of Ypres on about july/august 1917.It was either Siege Battery number 30 or268 or368 .
Like many others he made no mention of the war I recall only 2 references,one was Arras and a hospital he was in at Blanckenberge.

I would be grateful for any assistance.


By  the way the regiment is Royal Garrison Artillery

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Offline MaxD

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Re: gunner John Henry Cowham 141738 WW1
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 07 November 18 09:47 GMT (UK) »
May I ask where the battery numbers came from?  The only record of his service is his medal roll entry which has 388 Siege Battery although this may simply be his last unit.

Of the batteries you list, only one has a war diary for 1917, that is 268 SB which can be downloaded for £3.50 from the National Archives : http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/5b72417a1abd41d29f22f5d277c6997e

Siege Batteries, with other heavy artillery, were at that time grouped together in Heavy Artillery Groups (also called at one time Brigades) and more often than not didn't keep their own diaries.  The problem therefore is to find which HAG(s) were deployed in 3rd Ypres.  They sometimes are listed under the HAG/Brigade diaries but I found only 30 SB but in 1915.

So a difficult one.  3rd Ypres involved 2nd and 5th British Armies, vast organisations with a multitude of artillery allocated.  Where the batteries you named fitted in  - have to try to find out.

MaxD
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Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

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Offline Drelly

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Re: gunner John Henry Cowham 141738 WW1
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 07 November 18 15:20 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for your prompt reply. I have my fathers original forms :demob form Z21”unit &  regt.” 30          S/B RGA 07/03/1919 also  form Z11  Protection & ID cert. “rest. Unit “ 30 S/B .    08/02/1919 these are the only evidential forms.                                                                                                       The other siege battalion numbers  I mentioned were just trying to trace anything which I thought may bring something to the surface (but obviously worthless).                                                          It may be a difficult task in this case.  Incidentally he enlisted in Hull.                                                 

Thanks once again for your assistance,     David cowham

Offline MaxD

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Re: gunner John Henry Cowham 141738 WW1
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 07 November 18 15:29 GMT (UK) »
I've found a resource that may help.  More in due course.

MaxD
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Offline MaxD

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Re: gunner John Henry Cowham 141738 WW1
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 07 November 18 17:11 GMT (UK) »
This is the progress of 30 Siege Battery:
Went to the front 27 August 1915 with 28 Heavy Artillery Brigade (there is a mismatch with two National Archive references which have them in 59 Brigade in 1915)
to 14 Heavy Artillery Group (HAG) 9 Jun 1916
to 35 HAG 12 Sep 1916
to 40 HAG 18 Oct 1916
to 10 HAG 16 Dec 1916
to 40 HAG 2 Feb 1917
to 2 HAG 1 Mar 1917
to 30 HAG 9 Jul 1917
to 22 HAG 9 Jul 1917
Personnel moved to II Anzac HA 3 Nov 1917
to X Corps HA 7 Nov 1917
to 59 HAG and remained.

The bold dates are the outside dates for 3rd Ypres. 

This is to illustrate the needle in a haystack problem with Siege batteries!  The next step would be to search the National Archives for diaries.  The HAGs were commanded at a level up by a Commander Heavy Artillery which would be another line of research which would take some serious application to a difficult task!

268 SB which you mentioned comes up with 388 in that part of 388 went to 268 in July 1917, another part to 305.

And if he was not in 30 SB throughout (and his medal roll has only 338 SB) it would hardly help at all.
I'm not sure I can offer anything more except to say look at 268's war diary.  It does at least exist and the dates would cover 3rd Ypres.


MaxD
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Offline Drelly

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Re: gunner John Henry Cowham 141738 WW1
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 08 November 18 17:57 GMT (UK) »
It appears we may have come to a full-stoop with the search. I have downloaded 268 war diary frm NA so i can wade through it !       I much appreciate    thank you      david cowham