Keith Grant: Summary of War Service 1914 — 1918
2 October 1914: Enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) at St Paul's Churchyard, London.
Initial training at No.2 Depot Preston, Aldershot, Salisbury Plain and Woolwich.
Posted to No. 305 Battery, the designation of which was changed in January 1915 to 'B' Battery, 98 Brigade. April 1915: Promoted to Corporal.
September 1915: Sailed with his Battery and their horses from Southampton to France to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).
November 1915: The Battery sailed from Marseilles to Salonika (Macedonia) in the SS Minneapolis..
January to March 1916: In camp at Salonika with the rest of the Division (22 Division, commanded by Maj Gen the Hon F Gordon CB DSO), and which included 98, 99,100 and 101 Batteries, RFA).
15 May 1916: 'B' Battery in action in an anti-aircraft role at Kukus (in Albania?).
August — September 1916: In action in various locations.
20/21 September 1916: Battery Diary recorded two killed and three (including Sgt Grant) wounded.
Possibly as a result of this action and other actions Sgt Grant was awarded the Military Medal (MM), which he received from General Gordon at Smol. The award was promulgated in the London Gazette on 21 December 1916.
December 1916: Sgt Grant became ill, reportedly with Malaria or Paratyphoid (or both). He was sent to the 4th Canadian Hospital and subsequently embarked as a "cot case" on the hospital ship Braemar Castle.
November 1916: SS Braemar Castle, on passage from Salonika through the Skopolis Channel (off Greece)„ struck a mine laid by a German submarine and ran aground on the island of Siros. All the patients and crew were rescued. Some of them (including Sgt Grant) were cared for by a French convent.
10 January1917: Repatriated to England; posted to 5C (or maybe 50) Reserve Battery.
22 April 1918: Posted to France and joined C Battery, 307 Brigade at Litres. In action 4-6 May.
June 1918: Uneventful, but an epidemic of influenza affected 60% of the personnel.
September 1918: Mostly taken up with following the German retreat. At Merville the Battery was in action with six guns. On 5 September they advanced to a position at which they were affected by gas, presumably from previous contamination of the ground. Sgt Grant reportedly blinded for a month; he was posted to Base Depot, BEF and subsequently returned to England on 12 November 1918. (Hostilities had ceased on 11 November 1918).
During this latter period Sgt Grant found a printed note in one of the vacated German trenches which said: "Dear Tommy, Thanks for the loan of this ground. It served its purpose. Now you are welcome to have it back. Fritz"