The Hampstead Heavies
138th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Foundation and Training
The Heavies, equipped with 60-pounder field guns, served in France and Belgium during the First World War, being on active service from April 1916 until November 1918. During 1916 the Battery was based mainly in the vicinity of Bully les Mines, south of Bèthune, and the following year was engaged in heavy fighting around Ypres and, later, on the Belgian coast near Nieuport Bains. In the last year of the war the Battery faced the final German offensive, from March 1918 onwards, and was then involved in the Allied offensive which lasted from 8 August until the Armistice on 11 November 1918.
The Battery on completion of training in 1916
Of the 200 officers and men who landed in France with the original Battery, only 1 officer and about 30 other ranks were left when the last round was fired. My father, Gunner Sydney W.H. Ridler, Driver C Sub-Section, Regimental Number 293142, was fortunate to be one of the 30.
A personal view of my father's service with the Hampstead Heavies and the development of the Hampstead Heavies website is given HERE