CCLXXV, CCLXXVI, CCLXXVII and CCLXXVIII (Howitzer) Brigades (55th Divisional Artillery)

These units was formed in 1908 for the new Territorial Force. They were originally known as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th West Lancashire Brigades RFA and later as 275, 276, 277 and 278 Brigades RFA.

CCLXXV (1/1st West Lancashire)

  • The 1st West Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at Windsor Barracks, Spekeland Street, Liverpool. It comprised a headquarters, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Lancashire Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was embodied when the army was mobilised on 4-5 August 1914.
  • The brigade came under orders of the West Lancashire Division. The division was in effect broken up when most of its infantry battalions were ordered independently to France in late 1914.
  • The divisional artillery including this brigade was placed under orders of the 2nd Canadian Division and crossed to France, landing at Le Havre on 1 October 1915. Before sailing, its old 15-pounder field guns were replaced by modern 18-pounders.
  • The West Lancashire Division, now titled as the 55th (West Lancashire) Division, was ordered to re-form in France and the artillery rejoined it at Hallencourt between 2 and 4 January 1916.
  • A new “D” Battery was formed for the brigade on 7 May 1916.
  • On 15 May 1916 the brigade was given the number 275 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Lancashire Batteries became “A”, “B” and “C” Batteries.
  • “D” Battery left to join 278 Brigade (and became its “A” Battery) on 23 May 1916. At the same time, “B” (Howitzer) Battery joined from 278 Brigade and became “D” Battery.
  • On 5 October 1916 “B” Battery was broken up, with sections going to “A” and “C” Batteries. Next day “A” Battery of 278 Brigade joined and became “B” Battery.
  • “D” Battery grew from four to six howitzers on 18 January 1917 when joined by a section from “C” (Howitzer) Battery of 277 Brigade.

CCLXXVI (1/2nd West Lancashire)

  • The 2nd West Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at the Drill Hall on Stanley Street, Preston. It comprised a headquarters, the 9th, 10th and 11th Lancashire Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. The 9th Battery and Ammunition Column were also at Preston; the 10th Battery was at Lancaster, the 11th at Blackpool and Bamber Bridge. It was embodied when the army was mobilised on 4-5 August 1914.
  • The brigade came under orders of the West Lancashire Division. The division was in effect broken up when most of its infantry battalions were ordered independently to France in late 1914.
  • The divisional artillery including this brigade was placed under orders of the 2nd Canadian Division and crossed to France, landing at Le Havre on 1 October 1915. Before sailing, its 15-pounder field guns were replaced by modern 18-pounders.
  • The West Lancashire Division, now titled as the 55th (West Lancashire) Division, was ordered to re-form in France and the artillery rejoined it at Hallencourt between 2 and 4 January 1916.
  • A new “D” Battery was formed for the brigade on 7 May 1916.
  • On 15 May 1916 the brigade was given the number 276 and the 9th, 10th and 11th Lancashire Batteries became “A”, “B” and “C” Batteries.
  • “D” Battery left to join 278 Brigade (and became its “B” Battery) on 23 May 1916. At the same time, “D” (Howitzer) Battery joined from 278 Brigade and became “D” Battery.
  • On 4 October 1916 “C” Battery was broken up, with sections going to “A” and “B” Batteries. On 8 October 1916 530 (Howitzer) Battery joined from England and became “C” Battery.

CCLXXVII (1/3rd West Lancashire)

  • The 3rd West Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at 65 Admiral Street, Liverpool. It comprised a headquarters, the 12th, 13th and 14th Lancashire Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. 13th Battery was based at Garston and 14th at Widnes. It was embodied when the army was mobilised on 4-5 August 1914.
  • The brigade came under orders of the West Lancashire Division. The division was in effect broken up when most of its infantry battalions were ordered independently to France in late 1914.
  • The divisional artillery including this brigade was placed under orders of the 2nd Canadian Division and crossed to France, landing at Le Havre on 1 October 1915. Before sailing, its 15-pounder field guns were replaced by modern 18-pounders.
  • The West Lancashire Division, now titled as the 55th (West Lancashire) Division, was ordered to re-form in France and the artillery rejoined it at Hallencourt between 2 and 4 January 1916.
  • A new “D” Battery was formed for the brigade on 5 May 1916.
  • On 15 May 1916 the brigade was given the number 277 and the 12th, 13th and 14th Lancashire Batteries became “A”, “B” and “C” Batteries.
  • “D” Battery left to join 278 Brigade (and became its “C” Battery) on 23 May 1916. At the same time, “C” (Howitzer) Battery joined from 278 Brigade and became “D” Battery.
  • On 4 October 1916 “A” Battery was broken up, with sections going to “B” and “C” Batteries. On 7 October 1916 “B” (Howitzer) Battery joined from 278 Brigade and became “A” Battery.
  • On 18 January 1917 “A” Battery left to join 276 Brigade. It was replaced by “A” Battery joining from 179 Brigade. On the same date, a section came from “D” Batterty of 179 Brigade and made “D” Battery up to six howitzers.
  • Also on 18 January 277 Brigade left 55th (West Lancashire) Division and became an Army Field Artillery Brigade.

CCLXXVIII (1/4th West Lancashire) (Howitzer)

  • The 4th West Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at Edge Lane, Liverpool. It comprised a headquarters, the 7th and 8th Lancashire (Howitzer) Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was embodied when the army was mobilised on 4-5 August 1914.
  • The brigade came under orders of the West Lancashire Division. The division was in effect broken up when most of its infantry battalions were ordered independently to France in late 1914.
  • The divisional artillery including this brigade was placed under orders of the 2nd Canadian Division and crossed to France, landing at Le Havre on 1 October 1915. Before sailing,the batteries’ old 5-inch howitzers were replaced by modern 4.5-inch howitzers.
  • The West Lancashire Division, now titled as the 55th (West Lancashire) Division, was ordered to re-form in France and the artillery rejoined it at Hallencourt between 2 and 4 January 1916.
  • On 9 February 1916 “B” Battery of 85 (Howitzer) Brigade joined and became “C” Battery.
  • On 15 May 1916 the brigade was given the number 278 and the 7th and 8th Lancashire Batteries became “A” and, “B” Batteries.
  • The brigade was reorganised on 23 May 1916. “B” went to 275 Brigade as its “D” Battery; “A” went to 276 Brigade as its “D” Battery, and “C” went to 277 Brigade as its “D” Battery. They were replaced by the D” Batteries arriving from 275, 276 and 277 and becoming new “A”, “B” and “C” Batteries.
  • On 4 October 1916 “C” Battery was broken up and its sections went to “A” and “B” Batteries.
  • The brigade was broken up on 19 October 1916 and ceased to exist. “A” Battery went to 275 Brigade on 6 October and became its B” Battery; and “B” went to 277 Brigade on 7 October, becoming its “A” Battery.

Links

The Batteries and Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery

55th (West Lancashire) Division

Order of Battle of Divisions