9th Brigade R.G.A (1921)?

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by Waddell, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member

    I have been researching a graduate of the RAMC Duntroon who spent his first year after graduation in 1921 with 9th Brigade R.G.A in England?

    Can anyone tell me about this artillery unit and where they were based?

  2. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I realise this is straying into the territory of the GWF, but as 1921 is just after WW1, I looked on the WW1 site Long Long Trail & it seems that the title of RGA units changed during the Great War:

    A note on titles
    Once there were enough to require a higher organisation, the Heavy and Siege Batteries were organised into Heavy Artillery Brigades. This title was altered to Heavy Artillery groups on 2 April 1916, but was changed back to Brigades on 17 December 1917. Having said that, the two terms do seem to have been used quite interchangeably.

    The RGA & RFA merged in 1924 to form the Royal Artillery.

    That site shows 9th/No 9 used at least four times as a title in WW1 by RGA:

    9th Heavy Battery in France 1915
    9th Siege Battery in France 1915
    No 9 Mountain Battery, India 1916 & 1919
    No 9 Company Northern Section, Gibraltar

  3. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member

    Hi Ian,

    I find the artillery nomenclature confusing and think a lot of those WW1 artillery units were disbanded or merged by that time.

    There is mention within this Wiki article of the West Riding Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery being combined with two heavy batteries from the North Midlands to form the 9th (West Riding & Staffordshire) Medium Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery in 1920

    West Riding Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery - Wikipedia

    1st East Riding Artillery Volunteers [UK]

    The problem being that they were a Territorial Unit and I can't see why a Duntroon graduate would go to a British Territorial unit to gain further experience?

  4. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    There were severe defence cuts in Australia in 1922, including reducing the OC's at Duntroon from company size to two platoons, and the retrenchment of most of the staff including the commander Lt-Gen James Gordon Legge. Maybe they knew the Australian Artillery would not going forward be able to provide an appropriate role for him.

    I have no knowledge of why he would have been sent to Uk and a territorial brigade, but maybe the technical experience he needed in particular guns/gunnery was best gained in the UK & this was maybe also an exchage programme of some kind.

    Although he could have been attached to 9th Brigade RGA as supernumery, my understanding of UK TA units pre WW1 is that they had a staff of permanent officers/Warrant Officers for admin, training & Drill duties.

  5. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ian.

    That gives me a few things to think about. It did seem to happen quite regularly with officers after graduation, though most I have come across seem to have spent time with British infantry regiments or regiments in India. The man in question returned to Australia the following year and was posted to the Australian Garrison Artillery, which ties in with the need for technical experience.

  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    You mention India, and I recall that British Officers (20th C I think) who trained at the RMC Sandhurst UK, to join the British Indian Army, had after graduation to serve a year in a British Army Regiment (stationed in India), before posting to their Indian Regiment. I assume this was "work experience" or a probationary period to further learn how to behave like an officer & lead troops, before commanding Indian troops.

    As Duntroon was modelled partly on Sandhurst & some of its initial staff had also served there, this practice as well as having the merit of technical training, may also have been considered a further & final probationary stage of the officer training to round off the Duntroon training. The australian troops though by 1921 well respected for their service, may well in terms of officer training etc still have been reguarded as "colonials".

  7. lostinspace

    lostinspace Junior Member

    For what it's worth. I have a copy of "Between the Wars, 1919-1939" edited by Maj. Gen. B.P. Hughes, a volume in the "History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery". In annex 1 there is something called the "Blue List" for July of 1920, which gives "details of the distribution of the Regiment's brigades and batteries, their officers and their stations." (p. 233). It shows IX Brigade, R.G.A. at Bordon commanded by Lt. Col. B.J.M. Luck, C.M.G., D.S.O. Batteries for this brigade are: 33,34,35 & 36. According to a note, the batteries are listed in the order: "60 Pdr. Horse-drawn Battery; 6" How. Horse-drawn Battery; 6" How. Tractor-drawn Battery; 6" How. Tractor-drawn Battery."
    Best of luck with your research.

  8. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member

    No doubt a Colonial and they seemed very proud of it. You are right about it being modelled on Sandhurst and like England many of the cadets came from wealthy Australian families with links to the wealthier schools. I have found mentions of old boys serving overseas in the school magazines as well as the Duntroon Journal.

    Thanks Dave for that information. It does look like he was gaining experience on the heavier artillery before returning.

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019

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