Flag The Hampstead Heavies
138th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery


Bully les Mines
(04/16 - 05/17)

Ypres and the
Belgian Coast
(05/17 - 11/17)

N France and
(12/17 - 03/18)

German Offensive
and Amiens
(03/18 - 08/18)

Allied Offensive
(08/18 - 11/18)

Diary of Events: Training, July 1915 - April 1916

July 1915
Alderman O'Bryen, Mayor of Hampstead decides to raise a Battery of Heavy Artillery, the 138 Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (The Hampstead Heavies).

Captain Harold Graham Paris is posted from 131 Heavy Battery to take command of the new Battery.

July - September 1915
At first there are few volunteers but later an influx of recruits occurs. All recruitment is on a voluntary basis.

End-September 1915
The Battery reaches full strength. Horses are brought to Hampstead from all over London and other equipment is obtained.

October 1915 to March 1916
Training takes place on Hampstead Heath, on the Hampstead cricket ground, and at some spare ground near Lymington Road, Hampstead.

1 March 1916
The Battery completes training at Hampstead and marches to Charlton Park, Woolwich.

2-8 March 1916
Establishment and equipping, including drawing horses, is carried out at Charlton Park.

9-13 March 1916
The Battery marches from Charlton Park to Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, via Wimbledon, Guildford, Basingstoke and Andover.

14-22 March 1916
Further training takes place at Larkhill, including a firing test using live shells for the first time.

23-25 March 1916
The Battery marches from Larkhill to Bordon, via Andover and Basingstoke.

26 March - 12 April 1916
At Bordon, where establishment is completed and inoculations and vaccinations are received.

Major Arthur Mitchell DSO is posted to the Battery as Officer Commanding.

9 April 1916
Orders are received for the Battery to hold itself in readiness for service overseas.

12 April 1916
An advanced party from the Battery embarks at Southampton.

13 April 1916
The remainder of the Battery entrains during the morning for the journey to Southampton, which is reached at midday. Embarkation is completed by 4pm and the ship, the "City of Dunkirk", sails for Le Havre at 7pm.

14 April 1916
The Battery reaches Le Havre in the early morning after a rough crossing and camps overnight in the outskirts of Le Havre.

The strength of the Battery is recorded in its War Diary as:-

        6 Commissioned Officers
        1 Battery Sergeant-Major
        1 Battery Quartermaster Sergeant
        7 Sergeants
        198 Other Ranks

        30 Officers Chargers and Riding Horses
        138 Draught Horses

        4 60-pounder BL Guns and Limbers
        12 Ammunition Wagons
        8 General Service Wagons
        1 Water Cart

15 April 1916
The Battery leaves Le Havre at 7pm, travelling by train to "the firing line"

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