CCX, CCXI, CCXII and CCXIII (Howitzer) Brigades (42nd Divisional Artillery)

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

Each of the units raised a “second line” in September 1914 which were organised into the 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division.

Manchester Evening News 28 April 1915

CCX (1/1st East Lancashire)

  • The 1st East Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at 50 King Street in Blackburn. It comprised a headquarters, the 4th, 5th and 6th East Lancashire Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. The 5th Battery was based at Church and the 6th at Burnley. Each battery was armed with four obsolescent 15-pounder field guns.
  • The brigade came under orders of the East Lancashire Division and went to Egypt with the division in September 1914. The batteries went to Gallipoli, landing at Cape Helles in May 1915; the Ammunition Column remained in Egypt. The brigade later returned to Egypt when the division was withdrawn when the Gallipoli campaign was abandoned.
  • The brigade was re-equipped with the modern 18-pounder field gun on 22 February 1916.
  • On 6 May 1916 the brigade was renamed as 210 Brigade RFA TF and the batteries were renamed as A, B and C.
  • The brigade was reorganised on 26 December 1916: Two-gun sections of A Battery went to B and C to bring them up to six guns each. B was then renamed as A Battery and C was renamed as B. B (Howitzer) Battery joined from 213 (Howitzer) Brigade and became this brigade’s C (Howitzer) Battery.
  • Another reorganisation took place on 11 February 1917: C (Howitzer) Battery was renamed as D (Howitzer) Battery. A Battery joined from 212 Brigade and became this brigade’s C Battery.
  • The brigade moved with the division to France in March 1917.
  • The Ammunition Column left on 19 March 1917 to become No. 1 Section of the new 42nd Divisional Ammunition Column.
  • A two-howitzer section joined D (Howitzer) Battery from C (Howitzer) Battery of 332 Brigade RFA TF, bringing it up to six, on 23 June 1917.

CCXI (1/2nd East Lancashire) (The Manchester Artillery)

  • The 2nd East Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at Hyde Road in Manchester. It comprised a headquarters, the 15th, 16th and 17th East Lancashire Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. Each battery was armed with four obsolescent 15-pounder field guns.
  • The brigade came under orders of the East Lancashire Division but did not go to Egypt with the division in September 1914. It reached Egypt on 14 June 1915 and did not proceed to Gallipoli.
  • The brigade was re-equipped with the modern 18-pounder field gun on 22 February 1916.
  • On 29 May 1916 the brigade was renamed as 211 Brigade RFA TF and the batteries were renamed as A, B and C.
  • The brigade was reorganised and renamed as 212 Brigade on 26 December 1916: Two-gun sections of B Battery went to A and C to bring them up to six guns each. C was then renamed as B Battery.
  • On 21 February 1917 the brigade was broken up: A Battery went to 210 Brigade as its C Battery; B went to 211 and its C Battery. The Ammunition Column remained and moved to France with the division in March 1917, where it formed No. 2 Section of the new Divisional Ammunition Column.

CCXII (1/3rd East Lancashire) (The Bolton Artillery)

  • The 3rd East Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at the drill hall on Silverton Street in Bolton. It comprised a headquarters, the 18th, 19th and 20th East Lancashire Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. Each battery was armed with four obsolescent 15-pounder field guns.
  • The brigade came under orders of the East Lancashire Division and went to Egypt with the division in September 1914. The batteries went to Gallipoli, with 18th Battery landing at Cape Helles on 25 July 1915 and the others on 24 September 1915. The brigade later returned to Egypt when the division was withdrawn when the Gallipoli campaign was abandoned.
  • The brigade was re-equipped with the modern 18-pounder field gun on 27 February 1916.
  • On 31 May 1916 the brigade was renamed as 212 Brigade RFA TF and the batteries were renamed as A, B and C.
  • The brigade was reorganised and renamed as 211 Brigade on 25 December 1916: Two-gun sections of C Battery went to A and B to bring them up to six guns each. A (Howitzer) Battery joined from 213 (Howitzer) Brigade and became this brigade’s C (Howitzer) Battery.
  • Another reorganisation took place on 10 February 1917: C (Howitzer) Battery was renamed as D (Howitzer) Battery. B Battery joined from 212 Brigade and became this brigade’s C Battery.
  • The brigade moved with the division to France in March 1917.
  • The Ammunition Column left on 19 March 1917 to become No. 3 Section of the new 42nd Divisional Ammunition Column.
  • A two-howitzer section joined D (Howitzer) Battery from C (Howitzer) Battery of 296 Brigade RFA TF (of 59th Division), bringing it up to six, on 19 June 1917.

CCXIV (1/4th East Lancashire) (Howitzer) (The Cumberland Artillery)

  • The 4th East Lancashire Brigade RFA TF was based at Workington. It comprised a headquarters, the 1st and 2nd Cumberland (Howitzer) Batteries and the Brigade Ammunition Column. The 1st Battery was based at Carlisle. Each battery was armed with four obsolescent 5-inch howitzers.
  • The brigade came under orders of the East Lancashire Division but did not go to Egypt with the division in September 1914. It reached Egypt on 14 June 1915 and proceeded to Gallipoli, landing at Cape Helles on 9-11 July 1915.
  • The brigade was re-equipped with the modern 4.5-inch howitzer in early 1916.
  • On 31 May 1916 the brigade was renamed as 213 (Howitzer) Brigade RFA TF and the batteries were renamed as A and B.
  • The brigade was broken up on 26 December 1916: A (Howitzer) Battery went to 211 as its C (Howitzer) Battery and B (Howitzer) Battery went to 210 as its C (Howitzer) Battery.

East Lancashire Division Ammunition Column

  • The column was formed after the war had begun and went to join the division in Egypt, landing on 6 June 1915.
  • On 31 January 1917 it left the division (which had been ordered to France) and remained in Egypt.
  • A new column was formed on 19 March 1917 by the transfer of the columns from 210, 211 and 212 Brigades.

Books

Not easy to find now, but “The Long March: the story of the “Devil’s Own” B/210 Burnley Battery Royal Field Artillery, 1914-19” by my old friend Jack Horsfall is a splendid history of the battery based on the experiences of his gunner father. Well worth tracking down.

Links

Other Royal Field Artillery units

42nd (East Lancashire) Division

66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division

Order of Battle of Divisions

Territorial Force