4th Division Ammunition Column

From Our Contribution

4th Div AC.jpg
4th Division battery under German shelling. AWM 00650
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Shoulder patch

Brief History

Each Division had an Ammunition Column to keep ammunition up to the guns by moving it from "Third line" storage up to the Front ("First Line"). It was a mammoth task involving motor and horse drawn transport, heavy and light rail and tramways. Ammunition dumps and transport near the Front Line were high priority targets of the enemy's guns , and later, aircraft. Horse drawn transport laden with ammunition is a doubly risky business. Horses are vulnerable to all forms of small arms and artillery and the cargo is such that a hit is generally catastrophic. It is not for nothing that many drivers received bravery awards.

Formed in February 1916 in Egypt, the assembly of men and materials began slowly with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Divisions given priority. However they were able to depart for France \after June 1916 . At that time a Division Ammunition Column comprised 16 officers and 800 men. Following further training they moved to France in December 1916.

The unit supported the 4th Division artillery units until after hostilities had ceased, participating in the Battles of Pozieres and Mouquet Farm in 1916; 1st Bullecourt (11 April 1917), Messines (7-10 June 1917); Menin Road (20 - 25 September); Polygon Wood (26 September - 3 October 1917); 1st Passchendaele (12 October 1917); 1st Arras (28 Mar 1918); Ancre (5 April 1918); Villers-Bretonneux (24 - 25 April 1918); Hamel (4 July 1918); Amiens (8 - 11 August 1918) and Albert (21 - 23 August 1918).. Forty four men lost their life while posted to this unit.

Unit Personnel

Individual Honours

  • 1 x Distinguished Service Order
  • 1 x Military Cross
  • 13 x Military Medal
  • 1 x Bar to Military Medal
  • 2 x Meritorious Service Medal
  • 8 x Mentioned in Despatches
  • 2 x Belgium Croix de Guerre


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