The Siege Batteries of the Royal Garrison Artillery

Siege artillery

The role of the Siege Battery

Siege Batteries RGA were equipped with heavy howitzers, sending large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory, plunging fire.The usual armaments were 6 inch, 8 inch and 9.2 inch howitzers, although some had huge railway- or road-mounted 12 inch howitzers. As British artillery tactics developed, the Siege Batteries were most often employed in destroying or neutralising the enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, store, roads and railways behind enemy lines. The armaments of each battery will be given as details are added.

The Regular and New Army Batteries

Siege Battery First overseas Remarks
1st Siege Battery France, 17 September 1914  
2nd France, 17 September 1914  
3rd France, 17 September 1914  
4th France, 17 September 1914  
5th France, 27 September 1914  
8th France, 14 October 1914  
9th France 21 April 1915  
10th France, 16 February 1915  
11th France, 21 April 1915  
12th France, 8 March 1915  
13th France, 23 April 1915  
14th Gallipoli, 1915 Later to France
15th France, 11 July 1915  
16th France, 20 July 1915  
17th Gallipoli, 11 July 1915 Later to France
18th France, 27 September and 17 October 1915 Two 12 inch railway guns
19th France, May 1915  
20th France, 19 June 1915  
21st France, 23 May and 16 July 1915  
22nd France, October 1915  
23rd France, 20 August 1915  
24th France, 20 August 1915  
25th France, 3 August 1915  
26th France, 3 August 1915  
27th France, 4 September 1915  
28th France, 4 September 1915  
29th France, 3 August 1915  
30th France, 27 August 1915  
31st France, 1 October 1915  
32nd France, 1 October 1915  
33rd France, 8 August 1915  
34th France, 18 August and 11 September 1915  
35th France, September 1915  
36th France, 27 September 1915  
37th Egypt, December 1915 Later to France
38th Egypt, 16 December 1915 Later to France
39th France, 2 November 1915  
40th France, 28 February 1916  
41st France, 9 December 1915  
42nd Gallipoli, 11 July 1915 Later to France
43rd Egypt, December 1915 Later to Salonika
44th France, 24 January 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
45th France, 31 August 1915 Two 9.2 inch railway guns
46th France, 20 October 1915  
47th France, 26 November 1915  
48th Egypt, January 1916 Later to France
49th France, 9 March 1916  
50th France, 2 October 1915  
51st France, 17 March 1916  
52nd France, 21 December 1915 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
53rd France, 26 October 1915 One 12 inch and one 9.2 inch railway gun
56th France, 22 February 1916  
57th France, 2 March 1916  
58th France, April 1916  
59th France, 5 March 1915  
60th France, 30 March 1916  
61st France, 9 March 1916  
62nd France, 9 March 1916  
63rd France, 2 March 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
64th France, 2 March 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
65th France, 19 January and 5 February 1916 Two 12 inch road howitzers
66th France, 18 March 1916  
67th France, 18 March 1916  
68th France, 31 March 1916  
69th France, 31 March 1916  
70th France, 26 March 1916  
76th France, 31 March 1916  
77th France, 27 March 1916  
78th France, 15 April 1916  
79th France, 26 April 1916  
80th France, 19 April 1916 Two 12 inch road howitzers
81st France, 4 March 1915  
82nd France, 31 March 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
83rd France, 4 April 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
84th Egypt, 16 December 1915 Later to Salonika
85th France, May 1916 Two 12 inch road howitzers
86th France, 2 May 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
87th France, 6 May 1916  
88th France, 20 May 1916  
89th France, 29 April 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
90th France, 14 June 1916  
91st France, 25 May 1916  
92nd France, 26 January and 7 July 1916 One 12 inch and one 9.2 inch railway gun
93rd France, 5 May 1916  
94th France, 30 May 1916  
95th France, May 1916  
96th France, 21 May 1916  
99th France, 18 May 1916  
100th France, 18 May 1916  
101st France, 20 May 1916  
102nd France, 18 May 1916  
103rd France, 29 May 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
104th France, 30 June 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
105th France, 17 May 1916 Later to Italy
106th France, 17 May 1916  
108th France, 7 June 1916  
109th France, 7 June 1916  
110th France, 17 May 1916  
111th France, 17 May 1916  
112th France, 11 June 1916  
113th France, 12 June 1916  
114th France, 14 June 1916  
115th France, 27 June 1916  
116th France, 18 June 1916  
117th France, June 1916  
118th France, 27 June 1916 War diary extract on this site
119th France, 2 July 1916  
120th France, 14 July 1916  
121st France, July 1916  
122nd France, 18 July 1916  
123rd France, 18 July 1916  
124th France, 20 July 1916  
126th France, 25 July 1916  
127th Salonika, July 1916  
128th France, 29 July 1916 Two 12 inch railway howitzers
129th France, July 1916  
130th Salonika, August 1916  
132nd Salonika, August 1916  
133rd France, August 1916  
134th Salonika, August 1916  
135th France, August 1916  
136th France, August 1916  
137th France, 13 August 1916  
138th Salonika, August 1916  
139th France, 1 August 1916  
140th France, 1 August 1916  
141st France, 9 August 1916  
142nd France, 9 August 1916  
143rd France, August 1916  
144th France, August 1916  
145th France, August 1916  
146th France, 16 August 1916  
147th France, 21 August 1916  
148th France, August 1916  
149th France, 21 August 1916  
150th France, 26 August 1916  
151st France, August 1916  
152nd France, 28 August 1916  
153rd France, 29 August 1916  
154th France, 30 August 1916  
155th France, 29 August 1916  
156th France, 9 September 1916  
157th France, 30 November 1916  
158th France, 9 September 1916  
159th Mesopotamia, 10 October 1916  
160th France, 18 September 1916  
161st France, September 1916  
162nd France, 4 September 1916  
163rd France, 22 September 1916  
164th France, 4 September 1916  
166th France, 12 September 1916  
168th France, 22 September 1916  
169th France, 4 October 1916  
170th France, 15 September 1916  
171st France, 16 September 1916 Later to Italy
172nd France, 12 September 1916  
173rd France, 3 October 1916  
174th France, October 1916  
175th France, October 1916  
176th France, 25 September 1916  
177th France, 25 September 1916  
178th France, 8 October 1916  
179th France, 8 October 1916  
180th France, 12 October 1916  
181st France, 12 October 1916  
182nd France, 28 September 1916  
183rd France, October 1916  
184th France, October 1916  
185th France, 18 October 1916  
186th France, 24 October 1916  
187th France, November 1916  
188th France, 30 October 1916  
189th France, 17 November 1916  
190th France, 13 November 1916  
191st France, November 1916  
192nd France, 16 November 1916  
193rd France, 23 November 1916  
194th France, November or December 1916  
195th France, 28 November 1916  
196th France, 28 November 1916  
197th France, 3 November 1916 Later to Italy
198th France, 25 November 1916  
199th France, 25 November 1916  
200th France, 2 November 1916  
201st Egypt, 25 December 1916  
202nd France, 3 December 1916  
203rd France, December 1916  
204th France, 2 November 1916  
205th Salonika, 18 December 1916 Later to Palestine
206th France, 18 October 1916  
207th France, 18 October 1916  
208th France, 14 December 1916  
209th Salonika, 18 December 1916 Later to Palestine
210th France, 10 November 1916  
211th France, 30 November 1916  
212th France, 6 December 1916  
213th France, 30 December 1916  
214th France, 23 January 1917  
215th France, 2 January 1917  
216th France, 21 December 1916  
217th France, 20 January 1917  
218th France, 17 January 1917  
219th France, 2 December 1916  
220th France, 25 December 1916  
221st France, 11 January 1917  
22nd France, 5 February 1917  
223rd France, 2 December 1916  
224th France, 10 January 1917  
225th France, 11 January 1917  
226rd France, 6 December 1916  
227th France, 17 January 1917  
228th France, 14 January 1917  
229th France, 14 December 1916 Later to Italy
230th France, 18 January 1917  
231st France, 25 December 1916  
232nd France, 18 January 1917  
233rd France, 22 December 1916  
234th France, 25 January 1917  
235th France, 22 December 1916  
236th France, 29 January 1917  
237th France, 23 January 1917  
238th France, 22 December 1916  
239th France, January 1917  
240th France, 4 January 1917  
241st France, 10 January 1917  
242nd France, 25 January 1917  
243rd France, 20 April 1917 Two 12 inch road howitzers
244th France, 29 January 1917  
245th France, 29 January 1917  
246th Mesopotamia, 23 May 1917  
247th France, 30 December 1916 Later to Italy
248th France, 16 February 1917  
249th France, 23 March1917  
250th France, 30 December 1916  
251st France, 4 January 1917  
252nd France, 3 February 1917  
253rd France, January 1917  
254th France, 3 February 1917  
255th France, 18 January 1917  
256th France, 8 February 1917  
257th Mesopotamia, by June 1917  
258th France, February 1917  
283rd France, 28 March 1917 War diary extract on this site
520th France Formed by Household Cavalry

The Territorial Batteries

Siege Battery First overseas Remarks
None formed    

The Australian, Canadian and South African Batteries

Siege Battery First overseas Remarks
54th (Australian) France, 27 February 1916 1918 renamed 1st Australian
55th (Australian) France, February 1916 1918 renamed 2nd Australian
71st France, 15 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
72nd France, 20 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
73rd France, 30 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
74th France, 30 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
75th France, 23 April 1916 Subtitled South African Heavy Artillery
97th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 1st Canadian
98th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 2nd Canadian
107th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 3rd Canadian
125th (South African) France, 20 July 1916  
131st (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 4th Canadian
165th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 5th Canadian
167th (Canadian) France 1917 renamed 6th Canadian

Source: Allocation of Heavy Batteries RGA. National Archives WO95/5494

A note on titles

Once there were enough to require a higher organisation, the Heavy batteries were organised into Heavy Artillery Brigades. This title was altered to Heavy Artillery groups on 2 April 1916, but was changed back to Brigades on 17 December 1917. Having said that the two terms do seem to have been used quite interchangeably.

Siege artillery