British Artillery 1914-19: Field Army Artillery by Dale Clarke

By Dale Clarke

In 1914 the artillery of Britain's 'Field military' encompassed these guns judged to have adequate mobility to take care of with troops within the box. This publication describes all significant variations, from the 60-pdr weapons of the heavy box batteries, perched just a little uncomfortably at the cusp among box artillery and siege artillery, to the 2.75in. weapons of the mountain batteries, nearly toy-like compared. among those extremes lay the majority of the artillery of the sphere military: the 13-pdr weapons of the Royal Horse Artillery, and the 18-pdr weapons and 4.5in. howitzers of the Royal box Artillery batteries.

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After tea and a cigarette, he set off to return to his horse, back at the gun lines a half mile away. I had scarcely left the Staffordshires’ bomb-proof when a shrapnel burst just behind me and on my right, the bullets striking some ten yards to my right. Ten seconds later the second shell of the pair arrived, and burst ten or twenty yards to my left. Had I been ten yards to the right or to the left, one or other would have got me. Lieutenant Hindson, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, noted: During the night there were several violent outbursts of fire, lasting some time, but nothing followed.

The Worcesters’ history notes: Belgian refugees All that day a distant thunder of gunfire had been heard to the southward. As evening came on, the French territorials withdrew behind the line of the British brigades and an ever-increasing swarm of refugees came thronging westward through the entrenched position. A chilling drizzle ushered in a dark, wet night, which passed without incident save for the intermittent flash and rumble of gunfire on the Menin Road. General Victor d’Urbal, commander of Le Détachement d’Armée de Belgique (DAB).

Situation map, evening of 18 October. I Corps. This, the principal major British formation covered in this book, had taken considerable casualties during the Aisne fighting. It is instructive to look at what a fairly typical battalion which formed part of it, 1/South Wales Borderers, 3 Brigade, 1st Division, had endured since it left the UK on 12 August. When the battalion went overseas it had 977 men, including twenty six officers, a warrant officer, forty nine sergeants and 911 men. It also had a ‘10%’ reserve to act as first reinforcements, which came out to France a week later.

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