War Diary of AA Laporte Payne
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
16th November 1917
R.P. November 16, 1917.
Yesterday I arrived safe and sound, but completely disgruntled, and found everything as I expected. The Major is still away sick, and being in command I shall be responsible for the move. You can guess where to.
Things are in a great mess, but no doubt they will straighten out in time.
On the boat coming over I met Sidney Swann and Ted Collins and also two of our subalterns returning, having been recalled also. I met Reg at the Officers’ Club in Boulogne, and dined with him and Swann and Collins. I saw him again the next morning.
I managed to get a car to take me all the way to the wagon lines, so I was very lucky.
That night we had a Brigade dinner and I was vice chairman, and had to make a speech.
I am so sorry I had to leave so early. Thank you for getting up to see me off. I hope you were not very tired.
The course served me well as I was able to see you all before I go far away where no leave can be expected for a long while.
November 16, 1917.
Yesterday I arrived quite safely here, and found everything in a great commotion, as I expected. The import of the wire which brought the Colonel and myself back here was as I thought. So now you know where we are bound. Everything is upside down. The course at Shoeburyness which should have given us six weeks at home, just enabled up to get two days in England. Well! The best laid plans of mice and men…. And we are but mice now.
I had two hours in Folkestone. On board I met Sidney Swann, the Cambridge, now a chaplain, and Ted Collins, a very old friend from Bath, who is in the Cavalry, also two of our subalterns in the same plight as the Colonel and myself.
At Boulogne I met Reg, at the Club, and he, and Swann, Collins and I had dinner together. That night I stayed in Boulogne, and in the morning got a lift in a car with our two subalterns to the wagon lines. That night we had a Brigade dinner. I had to make a speech! Jock Amour toasted the ladies. Very appropriate, wasn’t it?
As the Major seems to be permanently sick, and is still away, I am again in command of the Battery, and short-handed. It involves a great deal of work when we have a long move. Having had a pleasant stay in Blighty snatched away in that fashion, I am a bit disgruntled, not unnaturally.
You will have to procure some very different maps now if you still take an interest in our movements. The Colonel is very pleased with the move and himself. He thinks he is going to win “great honour and glory” where we are going. I doubt it. we shall probably find ourselves in a horrible mess.
Well! Well! Au Revoir.
175th ARMY BRIGADE R.F.A. ORDER No 1.
- The Brigade will entrain at LOON-PLAGE for MODANE.
- Units will be at the entraining station 3 hours prior to the time fixed for departure.
- Distance to LOON-PLAGE from here is 15 miles.
- SUPPLIES. 14 days supplies will be in lorries at LOON-PLAGE on the morning of the 18th inst. Units will send one officer, one N.C.O., and a small party to meet the Adjutant at that hour and that place for the purpose of dividing the supplies.
- Headquarters will leave the wagon line at GHYVELDE at 4 p.m. on the 17th inst.
POSTING Captain W.V. Greetham, 15th Hussars, is posted to the 175th Brigade, R.F.A. as Advisor in Horsemastership with effect from todays date.
2/Lieut. H. Griffiths C/175 Bde. R.F.A. is posted to B/175, Bde. R.F.A. with effect from todays date.