Somerset RHA

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Somerset RHA

Postby stevenbecker » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:22 am

Mates,

This bloke is after help.

"Sorry to contact you out of the blue. I know that you are both a member of the GWF and the NZMR forum. I've tried to get onto the latter without success. I am in the process of charting the history of Somerset RHA who fought in WW1 alongside the NZMR and Light Horse Brigades. I have been lucky enough to obtain some photos with permission to publish, however I need experienced eyes to give more detail from the ANZAC perspective.

I would like to send you some photos, have them put on the other forum for comments and use the extra information in some kind of published form (probably a book or CD). If you are not the best person to contact then can you point me in the right direction. Also if you or anybody else you know have any photos or info on Somerset RHA I'd be pleased to see if it is something new.

Kind Regards,

David Porter

Could you forward my request please and my email address: (note address removed by moderator to protect application process)
Thank you for your help."

Cheers

S.B
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby Steve_Butler » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:46 pm

David Porters registration has now been processed - and we welcome him to the NZMR.

I must say that there is still a lot of work needed to be done to cover the stories of the men of the NZMR - I look through a number of the webpages here and see the material is more than a little thin on the ground in some places! I keep promising myself I will get to this or that page later in the week - the weeks flash by, and the pages still need work.

As I ponder the work still not done I am more than a little embarrassed about subjects that have never seen the light of day here as yet.
One of those subjects that is a large part of the NZMR story is the "Somerset Battery" - this group of conscripted soldiers from England were the backbone of many of the NZMR attacks. The professionalism of these men with their horse drawn artillery saved many Kiwi lives - Especially remembered is the continued salvos provided by the Somersets at Tel el Saba which paved the way for a NZMR victory.
The rapport between these two groups was such that the men of Somerset considered themselves honourary New Zealanders - The men of NZMR agreed and were honoured that these young Englishmen thought that way.

To this end I especially welcome David to the site with his special interest with the history of the Somersets - I look forward to any information we can glean from him, and I hope we can help him in return.
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby David_Porter » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:52 pm

Thanks for the great welcome Steve.

I will correct you on one thing though. The great majority of the Somerset battery were volunteers, they were part of the Territorial Force which was instigated in 1908. Only later additions were conscripts. I have been lucky enough to obtain access to a couple of photo collections. One belonging to Capt. H. S. White who commanded the battery in 1918/19.

Below is a picture of a capured Turkish gun and H. S. White is in the centre with his arms behind his back.
I don't know who the others are and there was nothing written on the back.

Image
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby Jonsig » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:16 pm

The slouch hats on the two men appear to be British as is in the folded cloth puggaree type as on the Pith helmet. I no slouch hats were issued to some British units for use in Tropical areas.

Regards JP
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby David_Porter » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:34 pm

Thanks for the info JP.

Here is a nice sequence of 3 shots in the same place. I can give close ups if wanted.

Image
Image
Image

Regarding Tel el Saba mentioned above, I do have a photo of Turkish prisoners on the Tel which will follow
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby Steve_Butler » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:15 pm

These are great shots - certainly from a far better camera than the usual small frame pocket Kodaks carried by many of the soldiers during WW1.

Yes I would certainly like to have larger files of these - if you have trouble uploading, please send them to me direct (my email address is linked from the top of our Updates page at: http://www.nzmr.org/updates.htm) and I will post enlargements onto the site proper. I will of course acknowledge the Family H.S. White collection.
The troopers are just that too far away to accurately identify the units, a larger file size could do the trick. I can accept images 3 -4 megabytes in size and are able to compress through vextor graphics into PDF for manageable viewing.

We have one picture from the "Jack Baker Collection" which shows artillerymen that I suspect are members of the Somerset RHA - this photo was taken by an unknown member of the Baker family and only rediscovered in an old photo album in the late 1980's - written on the back is "Tommy Battery".

Image
All Camelier photographs of this collection may be viewed by entering our "Slideshow" section at:
http://www.nzmr.org/cameliers/index.html?g2_itemId=64
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby David_Porter » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:28 pm

That is a great posed shot - and it is most likely the Somerset Battery. However, it is sad that nobody is named as with many I have. The photo below needs no caption apart from it being taken at Gaza. I'm posting it as it is Armistice Day.
Andrew Mail has kindly sent me his grandfather's photo wallet. Charles Mail was a driver.

Image
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby greg » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:59 pm

Hi Steve,

Would we be able to get a large version of the second photo of the squadron on the move? :wink:

Will comment after looking at this :wink:

Note the officer reading the sign posted on the palm tree. Wish we could read it :(



regards
G.I. Bradley
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby Steve_Butler » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:30 pm

click on the BLUE TYPE for large image - should pop up in seperate window.
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby greg » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:43 pm

Note my previous post steve, the second photo please. :wink:
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby greg » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

With regards to the "Grey" horse Steve mentions on the updates page.

Here is a photo from Trooper J.H. Russell., with the caption, "watering at Tel el Dum.
watering at Tel el Dum_resize.jpg


Compare with this one from http://www.nzmr.org/images2/turk_horse.jpg

Could J.H. Russell's picture show a captured Turkish Horse??
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby Jonsig » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:24 pm

Hi

Looking at the pic... I can see 3 men with hats pinned up on the side
The hat bands I can see look like the dark green bands one strip of fabric type Australian
The tunics I can see appears to have the tight Button cuffs of the Australian Tunic.
Not meaning the officer at the front with officers SD.
I still can not get as close as I like.

The Field ambulance pic reminds me of the type on the AWM, would like to see that larger, and the other troop scene.

Regards JP
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby Steve_Butler » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:23 am

I must admit this first blow-up photo still seems a little too far away. So you think Aussies - sure why not but what about the location?
Well here is a request to David again :
You mentioned you could send me a larger file - Would you mind sending that to me please, and we will see just how close we can get to the mens uniforms.

I am intrigued that one man in the first rank seems to wear his hat in the NZ Infantry style, and although one or two have their hats pinned up on the side - although a continued Aussie tradition I have photos of members of the NZMR with their hats pinned up on the side (also front like Buffalo Bill of wild west fame)
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby David_Porter » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:03 am

I have sent Steve a full resolution scan of the SECOND picture for verification.
Love the discussion about which unit it might be.
Have added a photo from Andrew Mail that links with the subject immediately below this on the updates page.
Single pictures at the Sphinx - are there any more?

Image
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Re: Somerset RHA

Postby Jonsig » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:59 am

Hi Steve

As I said a closer zoom may help.
With the pointy hats I have a photograph in my collection of a small group of Aussies one has made his hat pointy, who knows why but it did happen.
I also have a group shot of British troops with felt hats 2 have shaped hats in the pointy fashion.
It looks like Australian hat bands and shirt sleeve style Tunics, close ups and the other pics will either confirm or deny :D

Thanks David for sharing the pics for us all to see.

Regards Jonathan
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