The Artillery

The photo shows the (11th (Hull) Heavy Battery in East Africa. They were formed from the 1st Hull Heavy Battery in 1916. They had trained with 11th (Northern) Division, but left the Division in June 1915 to join 30th Division. In February 1916 they transferred to 38th Brigade RGA and were deployed in the East African Campaign, arriving at Kilindini on the 16th of March 1916. In a largely forgotten campaign in a forgotten theatre, the 11th Hull Heavy Battery arrived at Kondoa Irangi in German East Africa to support General J. L. Van DeVenter’s South African 2nd Division who had become beleaguered there. The 11th Hull Heavy Battery were led by Captain Orde Brown to relieve Van Deventer’s forces at Kondoa.
Today we remember the lads from Hull in their epic traverse of the Massai Steppe from Himo Bridge Camp, ridden with disease and weakened by hardship taking 17 days to trek the 200 miles from Himo to Kondoa. They took up position on Battery Hill at Kondoa on the night of 3rd June 1916. Their timely arrival opposed the German East African forces led by General Von Lettow Vorbeck.

THE CAMPAIGN IN GERMAN EAST AFRICA DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR. German East African Campaign. 5′ howitzer firing at Chiramaka, near Mtama, in action on Lindi Line in October 1917. This gun belonged to 11th Hull Battery. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
2nd East Riding Bty., RFA

In addition, Hull recruited 3 Heavy Batteries of Artillery. These were

  • The East Riding Royal Garrison Artillery, was formed by Lt Col, Robert Hall to defend the City and Humber Estuary. It was based at Spurn Point.
  • The East Riding Fortress Engineers, was formed and commanded by Lt Col E M Newell.
  • The 2nd Northumbrian Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, was led by Lt Col, J B Moss, DSO. It was formed in Hull in April 1916. In August 1917 it was converted into 8th Battalion of Royal Defence Corps.

Hull also formed its own 32nd Divisional Ammunition Column, from members of the City Police Force and Tramways. This was commanded by Lt Col, James Walker. The original artillery of the 32nd Division moved to France to join the 31st Division on 8 December 1915.

Cap Badge of the 1st Hull Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery,_Royal_Garrison_Artillery


A German 77 mm field gun – the most common German artillery piece of World War I. One of ten guns given to Hull in January 1919 in recognition of the City’s contribution to the War. Four of the guns had been captured by the East Yorkshire Regiment on 2nd September 1918. People paid to see them and the proceeds were given to Hull’s VAD Hospitals. This gun stood outside an Antiques shop on Beverley Road (opposite the Dorchester Hotel)  until the 1970’s.,_Royal_Garrison_Artillery

First part of six sections of a recording of a long interview with L.J. Ounsworth, Royal Artillery (interviewer unknown). Length 30 mins approx, includes: training at Hedon Race Course, Hull after joining up as a signaller. They completed two years of peace time cavalry training within six months. Continues directly into the second part.


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