340 (Howitzer), 341, 342 and 343 Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery (68th Divisional Artillery)

These units were raised when the Territorial Force received an instruction on 31 August 1914 for each existing brigade and unit to form a reserve, “second line”. They were originally known as the 2/1st and 2/2nd Welsh Brigades, 2/1st Cheshire and 2/4th Welsh Brigades RFA and later as 340, 341, 342 and 343 Brigades RFA.

CCCXL (2/1st Welsh)(Howitzer)

  • Raised as the “second line” to the 1st Welsh Brigade RFA.
  • It was headquartered at Swansea and comprised the 2/1st and 2/2nd Glamorgan (Howitzer) Batteries and a Brigade Ammunition Column.
  • The brigade came under orders of the 2nd Welsh Division, which in May 1916 renamed as the 68th (2nd Welsh) Division. The rest of the order of battle of the division and its relatively brief history can be seen via the link below.
  • Moved to Northampton in April 1915; went to Reigate in August 1915; then to St. Neots 2 November 1915.
  • On 7 November 1915 took over eight obsolescent 5-inch howitzers from 1/1st Welsh (Howitzer) Brigade.
  • May 1916: batteries were renamed as A and B (Howitzer) Batteries.
  • Later 1916: brigade broken up. The batteries went to 342 and 343 Brigades respectively and were renamed as their D (Howitzer) Batteries.

CCCXLI (2/2nd Welsh)

  • Raised as the “second line” to the 2nd Welsh Brigade RFA on 14 September 1914.
  • It was headquartered at Cardiff and comprised the 2/3rd and 2/4th Glamorgan Batteries, the 2/1st Cardigan Battery (Aberystwyth) and a Brigade Ammunition Column.
  • The brigade came under orders of the 2nd Welsh Division, which in May 1916 renamed as the 68th (2nd Welsh) Division. The rest of the order of battle of the division and its relatively brief history can be seen via the link below.
  • Moved to Northampton in late April 1915; went to Earlswood in early August 1915; then to Bedford 2 November 1915.
  • Took over twelve obsolescent 15-pounder field guns.
  • Between 4 and 21 December 1915 was re-equipped with twelve 18-pounder field guns.
  • May 1916: batteries were renamed as A, B and C Batteries.

CCCXLII (2/1st Cheshire)

  • Raised as the “second line” to the 1st Cheshire Brigade RFA in September 1914.
  • It was headquartered at Chester and comprised the 2/1st, 2/2nd and 2/3rd Cheshire Batteries and a Brigade Ammunition Column.
  • The brigade came under orders of the 2nd Welsh Division, which in May 1916 renamed as the 68th (2nd Welsh) Division. The rest of the order of battle of the division and its relatively brief history can be seen via the link below.
  • Moved to Northampton in late April 1915; went to Redhill in early August 1915; then to Bedford 3 November 1915.
  • Took over twelve obsolescent 15-pounder field guns.
  • Moved to Elstow 21 November 1915.
  • Between 11 and 15 December 1915 was re-equipped with twelve 18-pounder field guns.
  • May 1916: batteries were renamed as A, B and C Batteries.
  • Late 1916: A (Howitzer) Battery joined from 340 Brigade and was renamed as D (Howitzer) Battery.

CCCXLIII (2/4th Welsh)

  • Raised as the “second line” to the 4th Welsh Brigade RFA on 14 September 1914.
  • It was headquartered at Newport and comprised the 2/1st, 2/2nd and 2/3rd Monmouthshire Batteries and a Brigade Ammunition Column.
  • The brigade came under orders of the 2nd Welsh Division, which in May 1916 renamed as the 68th (2nd Welsh) Division. The rest of the order of battle of the division and its relatively brief history can be seen via the link below.
  • Moved to Northampton in late April 1915; went to Redhill in early August 1915; then to Bedford 3 November 1915.
  • Took over twelve obsolescent 15-pounder field guns.
  • By 20 December 1915 was re-equipped with twelve 18-pounder field guns.
  • May 1916: batteries were renamed as A, B and C Batteries.
  • Late 1916: B (Howitzer) Battery joined from 340 Brigade and was renamed as D (Howitzer) Battery.

2/1st Welsh (Caernarvonshire) Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery

  • Raised as the “second line” to the 1/1st Welsh (Caernarvonshire) Heavy Battery RGA  in September 1914.
  • Left to join 227th Mixed Brigade in May 1918.

Divisional Ammunition Column

  • Formed 8 January 1915.

Notes

  • When the 53rd (Welsh) Division left for Gallipoli in July 1915 it did not take its artillery. It remained at Bedford and was attached to 68th (2nd Welsh) Division until 19 October 1915 and left for the Mediterranean on 20 November 1915. The re-arming of this artillery allowed it to hand over its obsolescent armaments to the 68th Divisional Artillery.
  • The 53rd (Welsh) Division also left behind 1/1st Welsh (Caernarvonshire) Heavy Battery RGA, which was attached to 68th Divisional Artillery until 16 February 1916.
  • 1128 Battery RFA was attached the 68th Divisional Artillery in May to August 1917.

Links

The Batteries and Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery

68th (2nd Welsh) Division

Order of Battle of Divisions