LIV to LVII (Howitzer) Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery (10th Divisional Artillery)

These units were formed as part of the raising of the First New Army, K1. They are sometimes shown as 54 to 57 (Howitzer) Brigades RFA.

LIV

  • This brigade was originally comprised of numbers 172, 173 and 174 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 10th (Irish) Division.
    • In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D.
  • The brigade sailed from Devonport on 7 July 1915 for operations in the Mediterranean, and arrived at Alexandria in Egypt two weeks later. It moved to Mudros, the forward base for operations at Gallipoli, arriving on 11 September 1915 but did not proceed into that theatre of war. It left Mudros on 5 October 1915 and arrived at Salonika 10 October (the ammunition column followed a little later).
    • D Battery left on 20 July 1916 and became A Battery of LVII Brigade RFA.
  • The brigade was transferred to 28th Division on 29 August 1917.
  • It was merged into XCVIII Brigade RFA between 9 and 26 October 1919.

LV

  • This brigade was originally comprised of numbers 175, 176 and 177 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 10th (Irish) Division.
    • In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D.
  • The brigade sailed from Devonport on 7 July 1915 for operations in the Mediterranean, and arrived at Alexandria in Egypton 19 July. It moved to Mudros, the forward base for operations at Gallipoli, in 28 August 1915 and landed at Suvla Bay two days later.
  • The brigade was evacuated from Gallipoli via Mudros when the British force pulled out and arrived at Alexandria on 3 January 1916.
  • The brigade was now transferred to the 13th (Western) Division for operations in Mesopotamia and landed at Basra on 17 March 1916.
    • “A” Battery from LXIX (Howitzer) Brigade RFA joined on 23 November 1916, but left for 14th (Indian) Division on 15 June 1917.
  • On 15 June 1917 the brigade was reorganised into three six-gun batteries and “D” Battery was broken upm with one section going to “B” and one to “C”. “A” remained as four guns until it was joined by a section from 388 Battery RFA on 19 November 1917.
  • 60 (Howitzer) Battery RFA joined from III (Tigris) Corps Artillery on 19 November 1917, accompanied by a section from the ammunition column of CXXXIV Brigade RFA.

LVI

  • This brigade was originally comprised of numbers 178, 179 and 180 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 10th (Irish) Division.
    • In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D.
  • The brigade sailed from Devonport on 8 July 1915 for operations in the Mediterranean, and arrived at Alexandria in Egypt on 20 July. It moved to Mudros, the forward base for operations at Gallipoli, on 13 August 1915. C and D Batteries landed at Cape Helles on 23 August but A and B remained at Mudros and did not go to Gallipoli until 13 October 1915.
  • The brigade was evacuated from Gallipoli via Mudros when the British force pulled out and arrived at Alexandria on 14 January 1916. It moved on to Port Said, arriving on 30 January.
  • The brigade was now transferred to the 13th (Western) Division for operations in Mesopotamia and landed at Ashar between 7 and 10 March 1916.
  • On 2 July 1916 the brigade was transferred to the 7th (Meerut) Division and was now joined by 527 (Howitzer) Battery.
  • The brigade moved with thedivision from Mesopotamia to Palestine in early 1918.
  • On 1 April 1918 the brigade was transferred to the 52nd (Lowland) Division at Moascar and subsequently moved with the division to France. This gave it the distinction of being one of very few units to have seen service in four different theatres of war.

LVII (Howitzer)

  • This brigade was originally comprised of numbers 181, 182 and 183 (Howitzer) Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 10th (Irish) Division.
    • In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D.
  • The brigade sailed from Southampton on 2 August 1915 for operations in the Mediterranean although unusually it travelled through France to get there.
    • A and D Batteries landed at Suvla Bay on 16 August 1915. They remained in action there until they were moved to Cape Helles on 16 December 1915. At this point these batteries left the brigade. They were finally evacuated on 30-31 December 1915.
    • Brigade HQ, B and C Batteries and the Ammunition Column did not land on Gallipoli but remained at the forward base at Mudros.
  • The brigade, less A and D Batteries, moved with the division to Salonika in December 1915, arriving on 13 December.
    • The original A and D Batteries were evacuated from Gallipoli in January 1916 and moved to Egypt, where they formed the core of a new 132 Brigade RFA. This brigade was placed under orders of 29th Division before going to France in March 1916.
    • On 19 May 1916 “A” (Howitzer) Battery of 142 Brigade RFA (26th Division) joined the brigade and became its new “A” Battery.
    • Between 20 and 23 July 1916 “A” Battery left to join 67 Brigade RFA; “B” Battery left to join 68 Brigade RFA; and “C” Battery was ranemad as “D”. The four-gun “D” Batteries arrived from 54, 67 and 68 Brigades RFA and became this brigade’s new “A”, “B” and “C” Batteries.
    • On 27 December 1916 “C” Battery was broken up, with sections going to each of “A” and “B” to bring them up to six guns each.
  • The brigade left the division on 28 August 1917 and came under command of XII Corps. In the September it joined 26th Division.

Links

The Batteries and Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery

The Order of Battle of Divisions