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Saturday afternoon Soldiers War
Mr Andrew Scott

19th November 2009

When our speaker Andrew Scott was a boy his grandfather told him about his membership of the 10th Otley Battery of the 4th West Riding(Howitzer) Brigade RFA. This provoked a life long interest in this subject of local history and the results of his research were presented to us today.

The 10th Otley and 11th Ilkley Batteries were established as a result of the formation of the Territorial Army in 1907. After the Methodist Chapel on Nelson Street was bought by the Dawson family and renamed The Drill Hall it became the home of the 10th Otley Battery. They remained there until they moved to Doncaster , in combination with the 11th Ilkley Battery and the 4th Burley WR Ammunition Column, when mobilised for the First World War in August 1914.

Doncaster was the concentration area for the 49th (West Riding) Division of the British Army.

The 4th West Riding(Howitzer) Brigade of  9 officers and 180 other ranks equipped with 5in BL Howitzer’s was part of that Division.

In 1915 they were sent to fight and arrived in Le Havre in April from where they moved by train to Ypres . In May they fought their first action and continued to fight as the 4th WR Brigade RFA until 1916 when they were renamed and re-equipped. Both batteries received 4.5in Howitzers. The 10th became “D” Battery 246th Brigade RFA and 11th became “D” Battery 255th Brigade RFA.

This talk raised many questions about local history and “The Great War” for which answers may be seen for computer users on “The Great War Forum” and “The Long Long Trail”.

Transport is the subject of our next talk when Mark Redgard will tell us about “The future at Leeds/Bradford Airport” at 10-00 am in Otley Civic Centre on Thursday 3rd December.

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