The battery whose story is briefly chronicled in this book, was fortunate in one respect, possibly even unique. From its formation in October 1914 till demobilised in 1919 it had only one commander, the author of this book, Major Grant, who, as a young subaltern, was given command of a hundred Kitchener volunteers and told to make a battery of them. So the 262nd Battery RFA came into being; three months later it became ‘A’ Battery of the 84th Brigade, RFA. Another piece of good fortune was the division to which it was allocated – the 18th (Eastern) Division, then being formed as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army. Its GOC was Ivor Maxse, a Coldstreamer, an officer well known for his ability in training skills, and under his command the 18th Division was to become one of the best in the BEF. They went to France in July 1915 and moved into the Fricourt-Carnoy sector. During the next nineteen months the battery fought in all the battles of the 18th Division, right through the Somme offensive in which the division was engaged in nine battles and actions. At the beginning of 1917 a new type of artillery unit was created, the Army Brigade R.F.A. Most of these were formed by withdrawing an artillery brigade from each division and the 84th Brigade was selected from the 18th Division, assuming its new role on 22 Feb 1917. These brigades were available for attachment to any division, corps or army needing reinforcement in artillery, and by the end of the war the 84th Army Brigade RFA had served with twenty two different divisions, taking part in the Battles of Vimy Ridge, Messines, Flanders 1917, the March 1918 retreat and the counter-offensive of August. In all no less than 35 officers and 600 other ranks passed through this single battery of six guns during its four and a half years’ existence. At the end of the book is a list of the officers giving the period during which they were with the battery and the reason for leaving. There is also a list of awards but no roll of honour.
Keywords: history, war, wwi, first world war, world war one, world war 1, ww1, battalion, regiment, army, soldiers, battles, historical