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    The information on Shipton resigning his RM commission and joining the Army (post 149 above) reminded me that some RM officers (RMA to be specific) did the the same thing during the Great War.  In August 1916, due to the large number of RGA siege batteries being formed for service in France there was a shortage of qualified officers to command these siege batteries so the War Office requested that Royal Marine Artillery officers be transferred to the Royal Garrison Artillery for service as officers commanding siege batteries.  One of these was Captain Hubert Richard, RMA who after almost 18 years of service as an officer was demoblized by the RMA on 21 August 1916 and accepted a commission as Temporary Captain in the Royal Garrison Artillery on the same day.  Two months later he went to France in command of 199th Siege Battery, RGA. He was later promoted Major, RGA and mentioned in despatches. His full story and an image of his 1914-15 Star trio are below.

    Major Hubert Richard Twiss, Royal Marine Artillery/Royal Garrison Artillery

    1914 - 1915 Star (Captain, R.M.A.)

    British War Medal (Major)

    WW1 Victory Medal with M. I. D. Emblem (Major)

    Twiss was born at Long Ditton, Surrey on 21 December 1880, the son of Arthur Edward Twiss, a clerk in the Secretary’s Office, General Post Office, London and Agnes Forbes Twiss (née Willis). He was educated at Felsted School from September 1895 to July 1898 where he was a Prefect and played on the Football XI in 1897. On 1 September 1898 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Marine Artillery.  He was on leave from 1 September 1898 to 29 September 1898 and then was a student at the Royal Naval College from 30 September 1898 until 15 August 1900, being promoted to Lieutenant on 1 July 1899.  From 16 August 1900 to 20 January1902 he served at the Headquarters, Royal Marine Artillery.

    He served in the Channel on H. M. S. “Magnificent” from 21 January 1902 until 21 January 1903 and then returned to service with the Royal Marine Artillery Division until 10 April 1903.  From 11 April 1903 to 12 February 1904 he served on H. M. S. “Repulse” and then with the Royal Marine Artillery Division until being posted to H. M. S. “Revenge” in home waters from 18 May 1904 to 31 August 1905. Up until this point Twiss had received very good reports that stated: “a promising young officer of good physique”; “Very good tact with men. Recommended for advancement;” and “able and zealous, good tempered and tactful.”

    Twiss served with the Royal Marine Artillery Division from 1 September 1905 to 18 April 1906 and then served on H. M. S. “Caesar” from 19 May 1906 until 25 May 1907.  From 26 May 1907 to 15 July 1907 he was posted to the Royal Marine Artillery Division and then served on H. M. S. “Good Hope” from 16 July 1907 to 17 August 1909.  He was promoted to Captain, Royal Marine Artillery on 10 December 1909 and served with the Royal Marine Artillery Division from 18 August 1909 to 26 September 1910. During this period his reports began to hint at some problems with his financial obligations: “capable and has good judgment, but is not entirely reliable for the command of a detachment afloat owing to his lack of self control and of his sense of pecuniary obligations;” “good ability and judgment but lacks zeal  and is careless with his pecuniary obligations;” “capable officer but careless in money matters.” These financial problems eventually caught up with him and he was tried by General Court Martial in the Officers’ Library at Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth on 18 July 1910 on two charges of “acting to the prejudice of good order and military discipline”. He was found guilty of the second charge and sentenced to be severely reprimanded. On 27 September 1910 he was posted to H. M. S. “Agamemnon” where he served until retiring at his own request with a gratuity of £1200 on 1 April 1911 and being appointed to the Reserve of Officers, Royal Marines on the same day. From 1911 to 1914 he was a planter in Ceylon.

    He was recalled to active service on 10 August 1914 and served in the Orkneys commanding the batteries at Hoxa and Stanger at Scapa Flow. Through his efforts “the batteries were brought to a state of efficiency, whilst they kept their personnel, consisting of mostly old men in a fit and efficient condition throughout the trying winter of 1914-1915.  The men were for a long time in tents. On boggy ground without even bottom boards, for the winter was well advanced before the huts were built; this was a high test of the stamina, discipline and courage of the Royal Marine Reservist, which triumphed over all difficulties and even over his rheumatism.”

    From 23 December 1914 until 7 June 1915 he served on H. M. S. “Cyclops” at Scapa Flow.  He was tried by naval court martial on board H.M.S. “Royal Arthur” on 7 June 1915, charged with being drunk on board “Royal Arthur.” He was found guilty and sentenced to be dismissed from “Royal Arthur” and to be severely reprimanded. From 8 June 1915 to 16 October 1915 he was posted to a 4-inch Royal Marine Artillery Battery in France.  In late October 1915 a battery of 4-inch guns on field carriages was formed at Eastney, with Major Harding in command and with Captain Twiss as Battery Captain.  They left headquarters for Plymouth on 15 October 1915 and embarked from there for Salonika.  On arrival at Malta the battery was diverted with its guns to Alexandria, which was being used as a base for the forthcoming Salonika expedition.  They arrived in Alexandria on 30 October 1915 and were added to the coastal defenses there.  Battery headquarters and two of the guns were established at Sil Silleh and the other two guns were sent to Mustapha under Captain Twiss.

    Meanwhile the Senassi were causing trouble on the northwest frontier of Egypt, supported by Turkish submarines.  When they captured Sollun in November 1915, Captain Twiss with 20 N.C.O.s and men and the two 4-inch guns from Mustapha were landed at Mersa Matruk on 26 December 1915.  The sand proved so soft that the guns sank in it up to their axles and so for the time being there was nothing that could be done until a general advance was possible.  On 29 November 1915 he was admitted to the 15th General Hospital at Alexandria with fever, but rejoined his unit on 13 December 1915. 

     In January and February 1916 there were various small engagements, and at the end of February a general advance was possible, but due to the ground conditions the guns remained in position.  In the early part of March Sollum was recaptured and Twiss was transferred to the Coast Defence, Sollum on 18 March 1916.   He embarked at Alexandria on 8 May 1916 and returned to England via Marseilles on 20 May 1916.  He served with the Royal Marine Artillery Division from 21 May 1916 to 21 August 1916.  On 24 May 1916 he was admitted to the Royal Naval Hospital at Haslar with an oriental sore on the calf of his left leg. He was re-surveyed on 11 August 1916 and found fit for active service. 

    In consequence of a request from the War Office to the Royal Marine Office for officers for Siege Artillery he was demobilized from the Royal Marine Artillery on 20 August 1916 and appointed as a Temporary Captain in the Royal Garrison Artillery on the same day.  He went to France on 15 November 1916 and was appointed as an Acting Major while commanding 199th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery from 21 November 1916 to 15 July 1917.  At Achiecourt, near Arras, on 8 April 1917 he was “struck on the back by falling debris and while resting, was later in the same day, thrown over by another shell striking the room he was in.”  In his own words: “as however, I was only badly shaken and bruised and at that time not sufficiently bad in my opinion to leave the line, I carried on.”   In July 1917 near Boesinghe “he was blown up by a shell” and spent a fortnight in the hospital, rejoining his battery at Passchendaele. On 15 August 1917 he was appointed an Acting Major while commanding a Siege Battery.                                  

    “Subsequently he complained of lumbar pain and sciatica on the right side which rendered him incapable of performing his duties and he was admitted to hospital on 30 March 1918.”  On 27 April 1918 he was evacuated from Boulogne to Dover on a Hospital Ship and admitted to a hospital in London where he remained for seven months.  He was mentioned in the 15 September 1917 despatches of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Commanding-in-Chief, the British Armies in France “for gallant service and devotion to duty” (in the London Gazette of 11 December 1917) and was appointed as a Temporary Major, Royal Garrison Artillery on 15 September 1918.

    In November 1918 he was posted to the 4th Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade at Ramillies Barracks, Aldershot, but in in December 1918 he was sent back to the hospital. He left the hospital on 6 March 1919 and returned to the 4th Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade on 30 April 1919. On 20 July 1919 he was “ informed that his services were of no further use and ordered to report back to the Admiralty. He relinquished his temporary commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 22 July 1919 and retained the rank of Major in the army.  The Admiralty denied responsibility for him, because they had demobilized him in 1916.  Their Lordships in 1920 approved Twiss being allowed to volunteer for the Royal Irish Constabulary.  In 1921 he engaged in a tour through Scotland delivering lectures “illustrated by a unique and beautiful series of colour and motion pictures, on the campaigns in Arabia and Palestine.”  On 17 April 1924 Twiss left Southampton, England on the SS Minnesota bound for Quebec, Canada to take up farming.  He died at The Vicarage, Bicester, Oxfordshire on 9 June 1945, leaving £49 5s 11d to his sister, Adelaide Ouchterlony Cowland-Cooper, wife of Charles Paul Cowland-Cooper. At the time of his death he lived at 1 Windsor Drive, Audenshaw, near Manchester.



    1. Army Lists
    2. London Gazette
    3. Medal Index Card
    4. Royal Marine Papers (ADM196/63
    5. RGA Officer’s Papers (WO339/68833)
    6. Globe and Laurel, September 1916
    7. Globe and Laurel, June 1921
    8. Globe and Laurel, November 1945
    9. Britain’s Sea Soldiers: History of Royal Marine Artillery, 1930
    10. Royal Marines in the War of 1914-1919
    11. Alumni Felstediensis 1852-1921.
    12. Alumni Felstediensis 1890-1950

    Twiss 200dpi.jpg

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    • 3 months later...
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    Leigh, just found this thread thanks to Mervyn. Thought I'd add a few photos from my archives.


    First, a photo showing both RMLI and RMA aboard HMS Superb. I love the blackboard inscription. 'THE BANANA BALANCERS!' Now there must be a story behind that one.


    banana balancer . An officer’s steward; a wardroom waiter.

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    • 1 year later...

    Hi Gents

    what an awesome thread....

    my contribution is an excerpt from the Admiralty Account of 39-43.


    This is from

    "The 'Winkle Barges' at Dieppe"

    'During the raid, and after the troops had been withdrawn, the flakships picked up a number of survivors from the water, many of them wounded. Some were from the Royal Marine Commando.

    "one marine still had his Bren gun," wrote the first officer quoted, "and he was no sooner on board than he demanded oil and flannel, and lighting a cigarette, began to clean his Bren."


    Gents, I don't know why but this gets me choked up every time....

    hope you like it too


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    • 2 months later...

    A nice card showing a group of Royal Marines outside the Chaplains Office


    Would imagine this to be World War 2 era with some of the Men wearing Great War medal ribbons.


    Here is a cabinet card showing a Man serving with the Royal Marine Artillery during World War 1.

    batch on 17.07.07 006.jpg

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