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Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery, France Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery, France
First Name: Richard Alexander Last Name: HILL
Date of Death: 10/04/1917 Lived/Born In: Neasden
Rank: Lieutenant Unit: Royal Garrison Artillery 138th Heavy Battery
Memorial Site: Neasden, St Catherine

Current Information:


Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery, France


The Royal Garrison Artillery operated larger and less mobile guns than the Field Artillery. The most common weapon of the Heavy Batteries of the RGA was the 60 pounder (5 inch) guns which were mainly used to destroy the opposition’s artillery as well as targeting strong-points, dumps, stores, roads and railways behind enemy lines. The first heavy batteries to reach the Western Front were attached to infantry divisions but by the middle of 1915 they were being transferred to Heavy Brigades that operated under the orders of individual Army Corps.

Richard Hill was killed on 10th April, 1917, while serving with the 138th Heavy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery during the Battle of Arras but the exact circumstances of his death are not known. Artillery men faced many dangers and during the course of the war nearly 50,000 of them were killed. Their gun batteries were targeted by the enemy’s guns which accounted for many of their casualties. Others were sent forward to act as ‘spotters’ which meant going forward to the front line and signalling back to the guns necessary changes in target and other vital information. Keeping the batteries supplied with ammunition was a dangerous task as the enemy guns would target the known supply routes, especially at night. Battery Diaries rarely shine any light on casualties sustained, unless of course they were officers and even then information is sparse.

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