The Siege Batteries of the Royal Garrison Artillery

Siege artillery

The role of the Siege Battery

Siege Batteries RGA were equipped with heavy howitzers, sending large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory, plunging fire.The usual armaments were 6 inch, 8 inch and 9.2 inch howitzers, although some had huge railway- or road-mounted 12 inch howitzers. As British artillery tactics developed, the Siege Batteries were most often employed in destroying or neutralising the enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, store, roads and railways behind enemy lines. The armaments of each battery will be given as details are added.

The Regular and New Army Batteries

Siege Battery First overseas Remarks
1st Siege Battery France, 17 September 1914
2nd France, 17 September 1914
3rd France, 17 September 1914
4th France, 17 September 1914
5th France, 27 September 1914
8th France, 14 October 1914
9th France 21 April 1915
10th France, 16 February 1915
11th France, 21 April 1915
12th France, 8 March 1915
13th France, 23 April 1915
14th Gallipoli, 1915 Later to France
15th France, 11 July 1915
16th France, 20 July 1915
17th Gallipoli, 11 July 1915 Later to France
18th France, 27 September and 17 October 1915 Two 12 inch railway guns
19th France, May 1915
20th France, 19 June 1915
21st France, 23 May and 16 July 1915
22nd France, October 1915
23rd France, 20 August 1915
24th France, 20 August 1915
25th France, 3 August 1915
26th France, 3 August 1915
27th France, 4 September 1915
28th France, 4 September 1915
29th France, 3 August 1915
30th France, 27 August 1915
31st France, 1 October 1915
32nd France, 1 October 1915
33rd France, 8 August 1915
34th France, 18 August and 11 September 1915
35th France, September 1915
36th France, 27 September 1915
37th Egypt, December 1915 Later to France
38th Egypt, 16 December 1915 Later to France
39th France, 2 November 1915
40th France, 28 February 1916
41st France, 9 December 1915
42nd Gallipoli, 11 July 1915 Later to France
43rd Egypt, December 1915 Later to Salonika
44th France, 24 January 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
45th France, 31 August 1915 Two 9.2 inch railway guns
46th France, 20 October 1915
47th France, 26 November 1915
48th Egypt, January 1916 Later to France
49th France, 9 March 1916
50th France, 2 October 1915
51st France, 17 March 1916
52nd France, 21 December 1915 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
53rd France, 26 October 1915 One 12 inch and one 9.2 inch railway gun
56th France, 22 February 1916
57th France, 2 March 1916
58th France, April 1916
59th France, 5 March 1915
60th France, 30 March 1916
61st France, 9 March 1916
62nd France, 9 March 1916
63rd France, 2 March 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
64th France, 2 March 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
65th France, 19 January and 5 February 1916 Two 12 inch road howitzers
66th France, 18 March 1916
67th France, 18 March 1916
68th France, 31 March 1916
69th France, 31 March 1916
70th France, 26 March 1916
76th France, 31 March 1916
77th France, 27 March 1916
78th France, 15 April 1916
79th France, 26 April 1916
80th France, 19 April 1916 Two 12 inch road howitzers
81st France, 4 March 1915
82nd France, 31 March 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
83rd France, 4 April 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
84th Egypt, 16 December 1915 Later to Salonika
85th France, May 1916 Two 12 inch road howitzers
86th France, 2 May 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
87th France, 6 May 1916
88th France, 20 May 1916
89th France, 29 April 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
90th France, 14 June 1916
91st France, 25 May 1916
92nd France, 26 January and 7 July 1916 One 12 inch and one 9.2 inch railway gun
93rd France, 5 May 1916
94th France, 30 May 1916
95th France, May 1916
96th France, 21 May 1916
99th France, 18 May 1916
100th France, 18 May 1916
101st France, 20 May 1916
102nd France, 18 May 1916
103rd France, 29 May 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
104th France, 30 June 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
105th France, 17 May 1916 Later to Italy
106th France, 17 May 1916
108th France, 7 June 1916
109th France, 7 June 1916
110th France, 17 May 1916
111th France, 17 May 1916
112th France, 11 June 1916
113th France, 12 June 1916
114th France, 14 June 1916
115th France, 27 June 1916
116th France, 18 June 1916
117th France, June 1916
118th France, 27 June 1916
119th France, 2 July 1916
120th France, 14 July 1916
121st France, July 1916
122nd France, 18 July 1916
123rd France, 18 July 1916
124th France, 20 July 1916
126th France, 25 July 1916
127th Salonika, July 1916
128th France, 29 July 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
129th France, July 1916
130th Salonika, August 1916
132nd Salonika, August 1916
133rd France, August 1916
134th Salonika, August 1916
135th France, August 1916
136th France, August 1916
137th France, 13 August 1916
138th Salonika, August 1916
139th France, 1 August 1916
140th France, 1 August 1916
141st France, 9 August 1916
142nd France, 9 August 1916
143rd France, August 1916
144th France, August 1916
145th France, August 1916
146th France, 16 August 1916
147th France, 21 August 1916
148th France, August 1916
149th France, 21 August 1916
150th France, 26 August 1916
151st France, August 1916
152nd France, 28 August 1916
153rd France, 29 August 1916
154th France, 30 August 1916
155th France, 29 August 1916
156th France, 9 September 1916
157th France, 30 November 1916
158th France, 9 September 1916
159th Mesopotamia, 10 October 1916
160th France, 18 September 1916
161st France, September 1916
162nd France, 4 September 1916
163rd France, 22 September 1916
164th France, 4 September 1916
166th France, 12 September 1916
168th France, 22 September 1916
169th France, 4 October 1916
170th France, 15 September 1916
171st France, 16 September 1916 Later to Italy
172nd France, 12 September 1916
173rd France, 3 October 1916
174th France, October 1916
175th France, October 1916
176th France, 25 September 1916
177th France, 25 September 1916
178th France, 8 October 1916
179th France, 8 October 1916
180th France, 12 October 1916
181st France, 12 October 1916
182nd France, 28 September 1916
183rd France, October 1916
184th France, October 1916
185th France, 18 October 1916
186th France, 24 October 1916
187th France, November 1916
188th France, 30 October 1916
189th France, 17 November 1916
190th France, 13 November 1916
191st France, November 1916
192nd France, 16 November 1916
193rd France, 23 November 1916
194th France, November or December 1916
195th France, 28 November 1916
196th France, 28 November 1916
197th France, 3 November 1916 Later to Italy
198th France, 25 November 1916
199th France, 25 November 1916
200th France, 2 November 1916
201st Egypt, 25 December 1916
202nd France, 3 December 1916
203rd France, December 1916
204th France, 2 November 1916
205th Salonika, 18 December 1916 Later to Palestine
206th France, 18 October 1916
207th France, 18 October 1916
208th France, 14 December 1916
209th Salonika, 18 December 1916 Later to Palestine
210th France, 10 November 1916
211th France, 30 November 1916
212th France, 6 December 1916
213th France, 30 December 1916
214th France, 23 January 1917
215th France, 2 January 1917
216th France, 21 December 1916
217th France, 20 January 1917
218th France, 17 January 1917
219th France, 2 December 1916
220th France, 25 December 1916
221st France, 11 January 1917
22nd France, 5 February 1917
223rd France, 2 December 1916
224th France, 10 January 1917
225th France, 11 January 1917
226rd France, 6 December 1916
227th France, 17 January 1917
228th France, 14 January 1917
229th France, 14 December 1916 Later to Italy
230th France, 18 January 1917
231st France, 25 December 1916
232nd France, 18 January 1917
233rd France, 22 December 1916
234th France, 25 January 1917
235th France, 22 December 1916
236th France, 29 January 1917
237th France, 23 January 1917
238th France, 22 December 1916
239th France, January 1917
240th France, 4 January 1917
241st France, 10 January 1917
242nd France, 25 January 1917
243rd France, 20 April 1917 Two 12 inch road howitzers
244th France, 29 January 1917
245th France, 29 January 1917
246th Mesopotamia, 23 May 1917
247th France, 30 December 1916 Later to Italy
248th France, 16 February 1917
249th France, 23 March1917
250th France, 30 December 1916
251st France, 4 January 1917
252nd France, 3 February 1917
253rd France, January 1917
254th France, 3 February 1917
255th France, 18 January 1917
256th France, 8 February 1917
257th Mesopotamia, by June 1917
258th France, February 1917
283rd France, 28 March 1917
520th France Formed by Household Cavalry

The Territorial Batteries

Siege Battery First overseas Remarks
None formed

The Australian, Canadian and South African Batteries

Siege Battery First overseas Remarks
54th (Australian) France, 27 February 1916 1918 renamed 1st Australian
55th (Australian) France, February 1916 1918 renamed 2nd Australian
71st France, 15 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
72nd France, 20 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
73rd France, 30 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
74th France, 30 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
75th France, 23 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
97th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 1st Canadian
98th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 2nd Canadian
107th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 3rd Canadian
125th (South African) France, 20 July 1916
131st (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 4th Canadian
165th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 5th Canadian
167th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 6th Canadian

Source: Allocation of Heavy Batteries RGA. National Archives WO95/5494

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.

Siege artillery

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The Royal Artillery

What was a Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery?