LXIX (Howitzer) Brigade

This unit was formed as part of the raising of the First New Army, K1. It is also sometimes shown as 69 (Howitzer) Brigade RFA.

History

  • This brigade was originally comprised of numbers 217, 218 and 219 (Howitzer) Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 13th (Western) Division.
  • The brigade remained with 13th (Western) Division until May 1916 when it was broken up: you can see details of its battles and movements on the pages describing the divisions.
    • In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D.
  • The division moved to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force as part of the reinforcement of the Gallipoli theatre. 69 (Howitzer) Brigade RFA sailed from Avonmouth on 24 June 1915, and arrived at Alexandria (Egypt) on 6 July. The Ammunition Column, 50 men of each battery and all horses and wagons remained there while the rest of the brigade sailed for Mudros, arriving there 9-11 July 1915. From there the brigade landed at Anzac (Gallipoli) 15-19 July and went into action in the attack on the Sari Bair ridge on 21-22 August, A and C Batteries under temporary command of the 1st Australian Division and B and D under the Australian and New Zealand Division.
  • The brigade evcauted Gallipoli on 19 December and reassembled at Alexandria on 31 December 1915.
  • The division was now ordered to join Indian Expeditionary Force 'D' for operations in Mesopotamia. It left Alexandria on 18 February 1916 and arrived at Basra on 7-9 March. The brigade then proceeded up river and arrived at Ora on 4 April 1916.
    • By 3 May 1916 the brigade was broken up and ceased to exist.
      • A Battery remained with the division, was re-armed with howitzers and joined 60 Brigade RFA on 23 November 1916.
      • B Battery went to the 3rd (Lahore) Division and eventually to 4 Brigade RFA.
      • C Battery went to the 14th (Indian) Division and eventually to 13 Brigade RFA.
      • D Battery went to the 7th (Meerut) Division and eventually to 9 Brigade RFA. It later served in Palestine and France,

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