241 Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY capbadge

241 Brigade

Prior to October 1916, known as the 2nd. South Midland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

My grandfather, Albert Bell, was a volunteer gunner in the 1st. Worcester Battery, 2nd. South Midland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery during the First World War. During the course of my family history research, I became particularly interested in the Brigade and delved further into its activities and achievements. In collaboration with the present Royal Artillery Battery in Worcester, copies of the war diaries were purchased, and the information available on men and movements was eventually computerised in order to provide a ready source of reference for others researching their relatives who may have served with the brigade. The knowledge base was further enhanced in 2007 with the purchase of a copy of the official history of the brigade, written in 1921 by Captain A.C. Williams who served with the brigade.

The Brigade, equipped with 15 pounder field guns, were actually on exercise in October 1914 when they were recalled to mobilise for war. On 30th. March 1915 the Brigade embarked for France via Southampton and Le Havre where they formed part of the 48th. South Midland Division. In March 1916 a fourth field gun battery was formed. Two months later, in May, they changed their name to 241 Brigade R.F.A. and the new battery was exchanged with the warwickshire Brigade for a howitzer battery. The brigade now consisted of A/241, B/241 and C/241 Batteries (formerly the Worcester, Kidderminster and Redditch batteries respectively), together with the Warwickshire heavy howitzer battery which joined them as D/241 battery.

On 18th October 1916, the field gun batteries were "up-gunned" so that each now consisted of six 18 pounders and in this form took part in the attack on Beaumont Hamel on 13th. November, the last attack in the Battle of the Somme. Much of their time on the Somme was spent in the area of the Ancre Marshes and Aveluy Wood. They also served with distinction at 3rd. Ypres in August 1917 (where my grandfather received a wound serious enough to have him invalided out of the army) before being sent to Italy in November 1917. At the end of the war, their guns and equipment were sold in Italy and the Brigade returned home to be reduced to cadre strength.

In addition to the first draft of volunteers into the brigade, the Worcestershire artillery also raised a 2nd/2nd Brigade and later a 3rd/2nd Brigade. The 2nd/2nd was redesignated 306th Brigade with four batteries. It served in France and Flanders until after the armistice as part of the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. The movements of the 3rd/2nd Bde are not yet known - it is thought that they were used entirely as reinforcements or replacements for 241 and 306 brigades - but men of all units are included in the tribute pages here; in particular, you will find all of them that I have found listed in the alphabetical pages. Not all of them will be identified by the battery to which they belonged. In time it is hoped to find this information and publish it.

If you have an interest particularly in 241 Brigade or would be interested in obtaining information on a relative who served with the batteries see the following pages to determine whether I have any information on him and then please send us an e-mail. Whilst I hold some information on the men of 306 Brigade, it is at present limited and again, contributions would be most welcome.

I would like to hear from anybody with any further information on the men or the batteries. It is becoming clear that the Kidderminster Battery was actually closely associated with Malvern. Although Malvern was basically the Ammunition Column, they also had two field guns which, for operational purposes, were joined to Kidderminster. It would be interesting to know, therefore, if Kidderminster also had just two guns before the war started. Any information provided would be added to the base of information already held by myself and by the R.A. Battery in Worcester to make it available on a wider basis to researchers in the future.

I have been fortunate in obtaining copies of the personal diaries of three men in the Kidderminster (2nd or B Battery). and would be extremely pleased to hear from anyone whose relative in the Worcester, Redditch or Malvern batteries also kept a diary. Because of my grandfather's involvement with the Worcester battery, I am particularly interested to receive news on diaries from his close comrades.

Other South Midland Brigades The 48th Division consisted of four Royal Field Artillery brigades prior to the First World War, the 1st (Gloucestershire), 2nd (Worcestershire), 3rd (Birmingham) and 4th (Warwickshire Heavy) Brigades. The brigades were renumbered in 1916 and became 240, 241, 242 and 243 Brigades. The new brigades were not exactly the same as the old, but are near enough equivalents.

If you have an interest in the Gloucestershire (240) Brigade please visit Derek Driscoll's website where you are sure to find information of interest:Bristol Gunners

There is also some information on the web about the Birmingham (242) Brigade:

Evelyn Wilcock has a site which gives useful information on the Warwickshire Howitzer (Heavy) Brigade which later became 243 Brigade:

PLEASE NOTE: my field of knowledge is restricted to the Worcestershire Territorial Force artillery. I hold no records, nor do I have any information on the Worcestershire Regiment, who were infantry. The term "The Worcesters" almost invariably refers to the infantry regiments, so if your relative was in The Worcesters, I probably cannot help you. There is an excellent website dedicated to them at http://www.WorcestershireRegiment.com. If your relative was an artilleryman, however, you may find the guidelines below useful - Searching for Your Gunner Ancestor.

© The information contained in these pages is copyright. It may be used for the purpose of private research and may be linked to other websites, but must not be used for commercial purposes without my express permission.

Latest update 4th March 2018 to include five new men.

Tribute to Gunner Albert Bell
The Worcester Artillery - a Potted History
List of Names of Brigade Members in WW1
Officers' Group Photograph
The 1st (Worcester) Battery Photographs
The 2nd (Kidderminster) Battery Photographs
The 3rd (Redditch) Battery Photographs
The Malvern Battery Photograph
Individual Photo Gallery
241 Brigade Graves
Searching for YOUR Gunner Ancestor
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