Title: History of the 1/1st Hants Royal Horse Artillery During the Great War 1914-1919
Editor: Capt P.C. D. Mundy
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2010
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 81 pages
Comments: The story of the 1/1st Hants Royal Horse Artillery During the Great War 1914-1919.
At the outbreak of war the Hampshire (Hants) Battery RHA, a Territorial unit, was stationed in Southampton, becoming 1/1st Hants when a second line unit was formed (2/1st Hants), also with HQ in Southampton.
In January 1916 the Battery joined with two other Territorial batteries RHA, Essex and West Riding, to form 1/5th Lowland Brigade RFA in Leicester. The brigade’s 13 pdrs were exchanged for 18 pdrs and in March it sailed for Egypt where it joined the 52nd (Lowland) Division which had returned from Gallipoli. In May 1916 the Brigade was re-designated 263rd Battery RFA with 1/1st Hants becoming ‘A’ Battery. It served with the division on the Suez Canal and at the Battle of Romani in the Sinai campaign and in the advance into Palestine and at First and Second Battles of Gaza, March/April 1917. In July the Brigade was withdrawn from the 52nd Division, re-organised as a Royal Horse Artillery brigade with 1/1st Hants, 1/1st Berks and 1/1st Leicester Batteries, re-equipped with 13 pdrs, re-designated XX Brigade RHA, and transferred to the Yeomanry Mounted Division which had just been formed in Palestine.
In April 1918 the division was reorganized, Indianized and named 1st Mounted Division and in July, in a further change, it became the 4th Cavalry Division. Throughout these designation changes the artillery remained intact and fought with the division to the end in Palestine.’The narrative describing the Battery’s experiences is based on the War Diary and on contributions from those who served with it. The story is a bit thin in places, virtually nothing for the period from mobilization to the departure overseas, but more detail describing operations in the desert, especially during the last year of the war.
There is a list of those who died, taken from Soldiers Died, amounting twelve in all; this is a remarkably low figure for a battery, with a strength of around 150, on active service for two and a half years (May 1916 to the armistice). There is also a list of Awards but no index. Many of the photos are too small and indistinct to be of real interest.’