250, 251, 252 and 253 (Howitzer) Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery (50th Divisional Artillery)

These units were formed in 1908 for the new Territorial Force. They were originally known as I, II, III and IV (Howitzer) Northumbrian Brigades RFA and came under orders of teh Northumbrian Division, later named the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. They went to France with the division in April 1915.

From January 1917 the divisional artillery only consisted of 250 and 251 Brigades and the Divisional Ammunition Column. After the fighting againt three German offensives in the spring of 1918 the division was reorganised and reconstituted. On 1 August the divisional artillery went into action under temporary command of 18th (Eastern) Division; on 6 August it moved to 58th (2/1st London) Division; and on 13 August 1918 went to 47th (2nd London) Division; on 25 August it went to 3rd Australian Division; 5 October 1918 saw it with 11th (Northern) Division; 22 September 1918 it went to 4th Candian Division and 56th (London) Division; on 6 October it came under 12th (Eastern) Division. It finally rejoined its own division on 20 October 1918.

CCL (I Northumbrian) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, numbers 1, 2 and 3 Northumbrian Batteries and Brigade Ammunition Column. All were based at Barrack Road, Newcastle-on-Tyne
  • Each battery was equipped with four Mark I 15-pounder field guns
  • After mobilising in August 1914 the brigade assembled at Newcastle-on-Tyne
  • 23-25 November 1915: re-armed with 18-pounder field guns
  • 9 May 1916: D Battery was formed
  • 10 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 16 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCL (250) and the batteries lettered A, B and C
  • Same date: D Battery left to go to 253 Brigade and became its A Battery
  • Same date: 4 Durham (Howitzer) Battery joined from 253 Brigade and was renamed as D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 16 November 1916: A Battery and half of C Battery joined from 253 Brigade and were broken up to bring A, B and C Batteries up to six guns each
  • 16 January 1917: a two-howitzer section joined from D (Howitzer) Battery of 252 Brigade was merged into D (Howitzer) Battery to bring it up to six howitzers.

CCLI (II Northumbrian) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, 1 and 2 East Riding Batteries (all based at Anlaby Road, Hull), North Riding Battery (Scarborough and Whitby) and Brigade Ammunition Column (Park Street, Hull)
  • 23 November 1915: re-armed with 18-pounder field guns
  • 11 May 1916: D Battery was formed
  • 10 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 16 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCLI (251) and the batteries lettered A, B and C
  • Same date: D Battery left to go to 253 Brigade and became its B Battery
  • Same date: 5 Durham (Howitzer) Battery joined from 253 Brigade and was renamed as D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 16 November 1916: B Battery and half of C Battery joined from 253 Brigade and were broken up to bring A, B and C Batteries up to six guns each
  • 16 January 1917: a two-howitzer section joined from D (Howitzer) Battery of 252 Brigade was merged into D (Howitzer) Battery to bring it up to six howitzers.

CCLII (III Northumbrian) (County of Durham) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, 1 Durham Battery (both at Seaham Harbour), 2 Durham Battery (Durham and Silksworth), 3 Durham Battery (West Hartlepool) and Brigade Ammunition Column (Seaham Harbour)
  • 25 November 1915: re-armed with 18-pounder field guns
  • By 30 April 1916: D Battery joined or formed (first mentioned in orders attached to war diary dated 30 April)
  • 10 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 16 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCLII (252) and the batteries lettered A, B and C
  • Same date: D Battery left to go to 253 Brigade and became its C Battery
  • Same date: the former D (Howitzer) Battery of 61 Brigade joined from 253 Brigade and was renamed as D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 16 November 1916: half of B Battery joined A to bring it up to six guns; C Battery joined B to bring it up to six guns
  • 16 January 1917: D (Howitzer) Battery was broken up, with half going to 250 and the other half to 251 Brigade as described above
  • 20 January 1917: brigade broken up and ceased to exist. A Battery went to 242 Brigade as its C Battery; B went to 72 Brigade as its C Battery.

CCLIII (IV Northumbrian) (County of Durham) (Howitzer) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, 4 Durham (Howitzer) Battery (both at South Shields), 5 Durham (Howitzer) Battery (Hebburn-on-Tyne) and Brigade Ammunition Column (South Shields)
  • Each battery was equipped with four 5-inch howitzers
  • 17 January 1916: re-armed with 4.5-inch howitzers
  • 21 February 1916: D (Howitzer) Battery joined from 61 Brigade
  • 10 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 16 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCLIII (252)
  • Same date: 4 Durham (Howitzer) Battery moved to 250 Brigade and 5 Durham (Howitzer) Battery went to 251 Brigade
  • Same date: the D Batteries joined from 250, 251 and 252 Brigades and were reamed as A, B and C Batteries (the word howitzer now disappeared from brigade name)
  • 16 November 1916: brigade broken up and ceased to exist, with half going to 250 and the other half to 251 Brigade as described above.

50th Divisional Ammunition Column

  • 20 November 1914: formed at Seaham Harbour from the second line units of III and IV (Northumbrian) Brigades
  • 10 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Columns merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column

Other units

  • Northumbrian (North Riding) Heavy Battery, Royal Garrsion Artillery. Served with the division until 6 May 1915 when it left to join XIII Brigade RGA.

Links

50th (Northumbrian) Division

Other batteries and brigades of the Royal Field Artillery

The Royal Artillery