Welcome to The Bay Museum Website

The Bay Museum is a friendly museum situated on Canvey Island. Based in a degaussing station, it now offers a wealth of artefacts, books and displays focussing on Military history. Open from 10am till 4pm, the museum also organises trips to France and Belgium to experience the battlefields first hand. The museum is run by volunteers who always warmly welcome visitors and are never short of a war story!

H.E. WITTY 26 Aug 1916

H.E. WITTY

18th SIEGE BATTERY R.G.A.

  1. Section

 

26th August 1916.  Saturday.  On lines in morning – Working ‘calculus’ in afternoon.  Teaching ’Barry’ elements of Trig in evening.  Showers but warm.  Letter R. ANS. 27th.

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 26 Aug 1916

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne

 

EXTRACTED FROM.

 

Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda &

Correspondence

—————–

R.P.

August 26th 1916.

We are out of the Battle of the Somme at last.  We are all, I think, tired out and a bit nervy.  Out of the original divisions that started the battle in June our Divisional Artillery were the last to come away.  And now we are within 500 yards of our old position in the line before we went to the Somme.  It is peace here in comparison.

 

What excellent work your Red Cross Committee has done for the past two years. I know how much has been due to you.  It is such quiet and unostentatious but hard work that is going on at home for no payment, reward or honour that reminds us that there are some, at least, at home who are worth fighting for out here.

 

At present I am a casualty, suffering from a severe wound! A mosquito bit me, and now I have a lump on my arm.  However the swelling is subsiding gradually, and I daresay I shall recover.

 

I am glad to hear that the Finchley Munition Factory is flourishing. We want all the Ammunition we can get.  The strain of the continual firing has told on the guns and the men.  We want new guns.  The bores are sadly worn.  But now we are out of the Somme we hope for a slacker time in which to recover.

 

We are still in the line of course and in action. I doubt whether the guns will ever be out of action again.

 

On August 16 I went up as F.O.O. and Liaison Officer with the infantry, two famous Scottish Regiments, who were ordered to take a certain trench in front of a place often mentioned in the papers. I was with them for two days, and I am glad to say that before I left we had taken the whole we set out to capture, but at a great cost.  I was lucky enough to keep my wire going to Brigade Headquarters most of the time.  I was actually turned on to interrogate prisoners that were captured.

 

When I got back to the battery, rather tired as I had practically no sleep for two days, I found everything upside down preparatory to moving. We got safely out, and so we left the Somme behind us, travelling by road and rail.

 

But our departure was a sad one for me. The man I knew perhaps better than anyone else in the Brigade, an awfully good chap, one Haydon, was up in the Front trench during a Boche barrage, and was never heard of again.  I am sure he would not allow himself to be taken prisoner.  He was not that sort.

 

I am sorry my letter is a bit gloomy. I had to mention poor old Haydon.  Otherwise I am cheerful and quite well, bar the mosquito lump, and perhaps, we may get leave – before next year!

 

Today I am up at the O.P. It is very different from any I have had before.  Now it is pouring with rain, so I can not see much.  We have just had a thunderstorm, which has cleared the air a bit.

 

This place is a very much as it used to be. A little more damaged, of course.

 

I have come away from the Somme without any souvenirs.  The people who collect such things are usually the wagon line inhabitants or the A.S.C. who never go near the front line.  They buy them off tommies on their way back from the trenches.  Fancy carting home a bought Boche helmet!

 

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 26 August 1916

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 26 August 1916

 

A                     A.X.

Receipts                                  Issues

A         AX                              A       AX

 

Saturday 26th August 1916:                300        100                            300      100

342        114                            B/247 3 am

6 pm.

 

A is 18-pdr Shrapnel shell and AX is 18-pdr High Explosive shell.

 

H.E. WITTY 25 Aug 1916

H.E. WITTY

18th SIEGE BATTERY R.G.A.

  1. Section

 

25th August 1916.  Friday.  Off duty 9 a.m.  Reeling wire during the morning and doing Calculus in the afternoon – very fine.  Letters from Miss Road & Mrs. R.  Also ”Calculus” from Mr. Road.  Field card from Fred.  ANS.

ORBIE 4p.m.

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 25 August 1916

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 25 August 1916

 

 

Receipts                                  Issues

A         AX                              A       AX

Friday 25th August 1916:                    440                                         440      117

100         11                             100        44

 

A is 18-pdr Shrapnel shell and AX is 18-pdr High Explosive shell.

 

H.E. WITTY 24 Aug 1916

H.E. WITTY

18th SIEGE BATTERY R.G.A.

  1. Section

 

24th August 1916.  Thursday.  On telephone and night duty.  Nothing to report.  Weather fine and windy.  Letters N.T. and home.  Also books from home.  ANS.  Heard a good address at Y.M.C.A. on ”Faith”.

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 24 August 1916

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 24 August 1916

 

 

Receipts                                  Issues

A         AX                              A       AX

Thursday 24th August 1916:               228       76                               283

55                              at 9 pm to A/248

 

A is 18-pdr Shrapnel shell and AX is 18-pdr High Explosive shell.