CCXL, CCXLI, CCXLII and CCXLIII (Howitzer) Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery (48th Divisional Artillery)

These units were formed in 1908 for the new Territorial Force. They were originally known as I (Gloucestershire), II, III and IV (Howitzer) South Midland Brigades RFA.

CCXL (I South Midland) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, numbers 1, 2 and 3 Gloucestershire Batteries and I South Midland Brigade Ammunition Column. All were based at the artillery drill hall at Clifton, Bristol, except for 3 Gloucestershire Battery which was at Gloucester Barracks.
  • Each battery was equipped with four 15-pounder field guns.
  • Re-armed with 18-pounder field guns 21 July 1915
  • 3-6 April 1916: D Battery had been added
  • 15 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 18 May 1916: D Battery transferred to CCXLIII Brigade and became its A Battery
  • 18 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCXL and the batteries lettered A, B and C
  • 18 May 1916: 4 Warwickshire (Howitzer) Battery joined from CCXLIII Brigade and was renamed D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 18 October 1916: A Battery and a two-gun section of C Battery, both from CCXLII Brigade, joined 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 C (Howitzer) Battery of CCXLII Brigade was merged into D (Howitzer) Battery to bring it up to six howitzers.

CCXLI (II South Midland) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, numbers 1, 2 and 3 Worcestershire Batteries and II South Midland Brigade Ammunition Column. They were based as follows: HQ and 1 Worcestershire Battery at 24 Southfield Street, Worcester; 2 Worcestershire Battery at George Street, Kidderminster and an outlying station at Malvern (with the Ammunition Column); 3 Worcestershire Battery Easemore Road, Redditch; Ammunition Column at Clarence Road, Malvern.
  • Each battery was equipped with four 15-pounder field guns.
  • Re-armed with 18-pounder field guns 21 July 1915
  • 3 April 1916: D Battery added
  • 15 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 18 May 1916: D Battery transferred to CCXLIII Brigade and became its B Battery
  • 18 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCXLI and the batteries lettered A, B and C
  • 18 May 1916: 5 Warwickshire (Howitzer) Battery joined from CCXLIII Brigade and was renamed D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 18 October 1916: B Battery and a two-gun section of C Battery, both from CCXLII Brigade, joined and were broken up to bring A, B and C Batteries up to six guns each
  • 18 January 1917: a two-howitzer section joined from C (Howitzer) Battery of CCXLII Brigade was merged into D (Howitzer) Battery to bring it up to six howitzers.

CCXLII (III South Midland) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, numbers 1, 2 and 3 Warwickshire Batteries and III South Midland Brigade Ammunition Column. All based at the artillery drill hall on Stoney Lane in Birmingham.
  • Each battery was equipped with four 15-pounder field guns.
  • Re-armed with 18-pounder field guns 21 July 1915
  • 5 May 1916: D Battery added
  • 15 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 18 May 1916: D Battery transferred to CCXLIII Brigade and became its C Battery
  • 18 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCXLII and the batteries lettered A, B and C
  • 18 May 1916: D (Howitzer) Battery joined from CCXLIII Brigade and became this brigade’s D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 19 October 1916: C Battery was broken up to bring A and B Batteries up to six guns each
  • 28 October 1916: 531 (Howitzer) Battery joined from England and was renamed as C (Howitzer) Battery
  • 16 January 1917: C (Howitzer) Battery was broken up and transferred to bring it up the D (Howitzer) Batteries of CCXL and CCXLI Brigades up to six howitzers each
  • 16 January 1917: a section of two howitzers joined from C (Howitzer) Battery of CLXXXVIII Brigade (40th Division) to bring D (Howitzer) Battery up to six howitzers
  • 20 January 1917: A Battery joined from CCLII (50th Division) and was renamed as this brigade’s C Battery
  • 20 January 1917: brigade left the division to become an Army Field Artillery Brigade.

From the “Birmingham Daily Gazette” of  Thursday 28 December 1916. With thanks to the British Newspaper Archive for the use of this image.

CCXLIII (IV South Midland) (Howitzer) Brigade

  • Comprised of Brigade Headquarters, numbers 4 and 5 Warwickshire (Howitzer) Batteries and IV South Midland Brigade Ammunition Column. HQ, 4 Battery and Ammunition Column at the artillery drill hall at Quinton Road in Coventry; 5 Battery at Caldecott Park, Rugby.
  • Each battery was equipped with four 5-inch howitzers.
  • 6 January 1916: re-armed with 4.5-inch howitzers
  • 7 February 1916: D (Howitzer) Battery joined from CCXVI Brigade (37th Division) and became this brigade’s D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 18 May 1916: 4 Warwickshire (Howitzer) Battery left to join CCXL Brigade as its D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 18 May 1916: 5 Warwickshire (Howitzer) Battery left to join CCXLI Brigade as its D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 18 May 1916: D (Howitzer) Battery left to join CCXLII Brigade as its D (Howitzer) Battery
  • 18 May 1916: the brigade was renamed to CCXLIII
  • 18 May 1916: the D Batteries of CCXL, CCXLI and CCXLII Brigades joined and were renamed as this brigade’s A, B and C Batteries respectively
  • 15-20 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Column left to be merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column
  • 18 October 1916: the brigade was broken up. A and half of C Batteries transferred to CCXL Brigade and B and the other half of C went to CCXLI.

The site of the former Coventry territorial artillery drill hall on Quinton Road is now occupied by modern buildings of the Department of Education. With thanks to National Library of Scotland for use of this image.

48th Divisional Ammunition Column

  • This unit did not form until after mobilisation.
  • 15-20 May 1916: the Brigade Ammunition Columns merged into the Divisional Ammunition Column

Other

  • South Midland (Warwickshire) Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery served with the division until going to Second Army on 16 April 1915. It was based at the Metropolitan Works at Saltley in Birmingham and had an Ammunition Column based at Wednesbury in Staffordshire.

Links

48th (South Midland) Division

Other batteries and brigades of the Royal Field Artillery

The Royal Artillery

My grandfather Frank Hubert Wilson (who served with D/CCXLII Brigade in 1916)

Books