55th (West Lancs:) Divisional Artillery Appendix II


Appendix II

Copy No 14


55th (West Lancs:) Divisional Artillery

Order No 9



Ref Maps 1/20,000 sheet 51c S.E.

1/100,000 sheet 11 LENS


  1. In accordance with instructions from 7th Corps, the 4th North Midland F.A. Bde (How) will be withdrawn from the 55th Division, and will march to FREVENTto rejoin the 46th Division
  2. B/85th Battery (from 4th West Lancs How Bde R.F.A.) will replace it in the Left Group and will take over the positions occupied by the 1st and 2nd Derby Batteries as follows:-

On the night 5/6th March

One section B/85th Battery will relieve Right section 2nd Derby Battery at R9a9.3.

One section B/85th Battery will relieve Left Section 1st Derby Battery at R9b5.5.

Sections of 1st and 2nd Derby Batteries will on relief move to wagon lines.

On 6th March at 7 p.m. remaining sections 1st and 2nd Derby Batteries will vacate their positions and move to wagon lines.

No movement of vehicles from wagon lines at MONCHIET will be made before 5.45 p.m. on each night.

  1. O.C. B/85th Battery will take over command of his sections at new positions at 7 p.m. on 6th February (March) under the direct tactical control of the Left Group Commander.
  2. O.C. 4th North Midland (How) F.A. Bde will leave all telephone communications as they stand. The Left Group Commander will arrange for direct communication from B/85th Battery to Left Group H.Q.
  3. at and from 7 p.m. 6th March B/85th Battery will be under O.C. 14th Bde R.F.A. for administration and discipline. Section 85th Bde Ammn Column will be attached to 14th Bde Ammn Column at and from the same hour.
  4. On March 7th 4th North Midland (How) F.A. Bde will march under Brigade arrangements to new area. Route and destination will be notified later. Detachment 46th Div Ammn Column (attached 55th D.A.C.) will accompany it.


  1. Benson

Major R.A.

Brigade Major

55th Divisional Arty.



Issued at 8.30 p.m.

Copy no    1.  Right Group Comdr. 1st W.L. F.A. Bde.

  1. Centre Group Comdr 2nd W.L. F.A. Bde.
  2. Left Group Comdr 3rd W.L. F.A. Bde.
  3. 4th W.L. (How) F.A. Bde.
  4. 4th N. M. F.A. Bde.
  5. 14th Bde. R.F.A.
  6. 55th Div. Amm. Col.
  7. 55th Div (G)
  8. 7th Corps Artillery
  9. Staff Captain
  10. File
  11. Signals
  12. War Diary.
  13. War Diary.
  14. 164th Inf Bde.
  15. 165th Inf Bde.
  16. 166th Inf Bde.



Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Feb 1916

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary 1916



Tuesday 1st February 1916:     Went to ARNEKE at 7.30 for rations.  At H.Q. in aft.

Wednesday 2nd February 1916: Went to ARNEKE at 7.20 for rations.  Nothing doing otherwise.

Thursday 3rd February 1916:   Went to ARNEKE for rations.  Fine day.  At “Maxi’s” an aft.

Esquelbecq – Amiens – Crouy.

Friday 4th February 1916:       Rose at 7.30 am & had breakfast.  Spent our last moments with “Maxi”.  Busy packing up ready to move.  Left farm at 7 pm & went to Esquelbecq Station.  Went to see Maxi for last time at 9.50 pm.  Left station at 10.10 pm.  Destination unknown.  Slept with Cpl Clarkson.

Saturday 5th February 1916:   Travelled via Cassel, Calais, Boulogne & Abbeville to Amiens, where we arrived at 10 am.  Detrained & left by road.  Watered & fed 3 times on road.  Went via Picquigny to a village 17 k from Amiens, named Crouy.  Amiens nice place indeed.

Sunday 6th February 1916:      Rose at 6 am to go for rations.  Paraded at 9 am at the top of the village & went via Soues to dump 3 miles away.  Returned at 12 noon.  Afternoon resting.  At night, searched the village for coffee, but in vain.

Monday 7th February 1916:    Rose at 7.30 am & went for rations at 9 am via Soues.  Returned at 12 noon.  Afternoon playing gramophone.  At night, went to Hangest-sur-Somme.

Tuesday 8th February 1916:    Rose at 7.30 am had breakfast & went for rations via Soues.  Returned at 12 noon.  French aeroplane comes down at 9.30 am.  Had a good long chat with aviator. Guard at night.

Wednesday 9th February 1916: Snow falls from 3 – 11 am.  Went for rations 9 am – 12 noon.  Aviator leaves Crouy at 1 pm & makes a      ripping ascent.  Quite a decent chap.  Made great pals with him.  Chips at night.

Thursday 10th February 1916: Rose at 7.30 am, had breakfast & went for rations via Picquigny.  Returned at 1 pm.   Afternoon, playing gramophone.  Night having chips at a house.

Friday 11th February 1916:     Rose at 7.30 am, had breakfast.  Went for rations via Soues & returned by Picquigny at 1 pm.  Went to Hangest at night for pork chops & chips.

Saturday 12th February 1916: Rose 7.30 pm & went for rations near Picquigny.  Very wet day.  Spent aft listening to gramophone.

Sunday 13th February 1916:    Rose at 7.30 pm & went for rations.  Wet.  Aft writing & reading.  Out at Hangest at night.

Crouy – Villers Bocage.

Monday 14th February 1916:  Reveille 4.30 am.  Left Crouy at 7.30 am & went via Hangest-sur-Somme, Bourdon, Flesselles to Villers-    Bocage where we arrived 4 pm.  Drew rations 4.30.  Very wet indeed.  Saw Arnold & 11th Batt.  Had a good feed with him & mounted Guard.

Tuesday 15th February 1916:  Reveille 6.30 am.  Busy packing wagons up & left for Villers Bocage at 1.30 pm.  Very wet indeed, simply wretched weather.  Arrived Bavelincourt at 4.30 pm.  Drew rations straightaway.  Rotten billets.  Went to bed early to get warm.  Rats galore.  Received 176 frs from A.S.C.

Wednesday 16th February 1916: Rose at 6 am & went at 7.30 to Warloy-Baillon for rations.  Very wet.  Returned at 1 pm & spent aft drying myself.

Thursday 17th February 1916: Rose at 6 am & left at 7.30.  Went to Warloy-Baillon.  7 kilos away.  Saw Arnold & 11th Battery, who are billeted there. Very wet.

Friday 18th February 1916:    Rose at 6 am & left camp for rations at 7.30 am.  went to Warloy-Baillon & returned at 12.30 pm.  Wagon   again goes for coal but in vain. Very wet indeed.  Weather simply wretched.

Saturday 19th February 1916: Rose at 6.  Breakfast 7.15.  Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 7.30.  Visited E.F.C.  Saw Arnold & had a chat with him.  Returned at 1 pm.  Changed billets to a lovely farm at lower end of village. On Guard.  5 or 6 aeroplanes fly over us at 12 pm & ac shelled.

Sunday 20th February 1916:    It has been a beautiful moonlight night.  Gave Reveille at 6 am.  Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations & saw        Arnold again.  Visited E.F.C.  Returned at 1 pm.  In aft we “Arcadians” were busy fitting up new place with beds etc.  Out in village at night.  Received 100 frs from A.S.C.

Monday 21st February 1916:   Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 8 am.  Saw Arnold.  Returned 1 pm.  Went to H.Q. in aft.

Bavelincourt – Amiens.

Tuesday 22nd February 1916:  Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 8.  Saw Arnold.  Returned at 1 pm.  Listening to gramophone at night.

Wednesday 23rd February 1916: Set off with Dick Clarkson at 8.30 am on bicycles for AMIENS.  Excellent ride there, reaching place at 10 am.  Spent day shopping for Capt Walker & finding shop to exchange oats for linseed.  Went over Cathedral, Palais de Justice, etc, etc.  ripping day.  Snow commenced at 3 pm.  Terrible journey back – 5 – 8.30 pm.

Bavelincourt – Amiens.

Thursday 24th February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 10.30 pm.  Motor lorry traffic suspended owing to the heavy fall of snow.  Terribly treacherous roads for the horses.  Back at 3 pm.  Snow 6” deep.  Some fine fun snow balling.

Friday 25th February 1916:     Went to AMIENS again with H.Q. wagon & Harry Eagle to get linseed.  Roads very treacherous.  Reached there at 12 noon.  Fine fun with the snow in Amiens.  French kiddies delighted with it.  English soldiers greatly liked.  Again visited Cathedral etc.  Set off back at 5 pm.  At 10 pm, only gone 7 miles.  Horses done. Walked back 8 miles to camp & sent relief team.  Back 3.30 am.


Saturday 26th February 1916: Got up at 7 am.  Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations and returned at 1 pm.  On Guard!  Very tired.

Sunday 27th February 1916:    Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 10.30 am.  Dump starts 12 noon.  Returned at 3.30 pm.  Snow all cleared away.

Monday 28th February 1916: Went to Warloy-Baillon for rations at 10.30 am.     Visited E.F.C. & saw Arnold.  Back at 3.30.

Tuesday 29th February 1916:  Went to Warloy-Baillon at 10.30 am for rations.                                                      Returned at 3.30.  Gramophone in barn at night.

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Jan 1916

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Jan 1916

Inside front cover: – A.G. Richardson, Scarbro’ Dec 29 1915


317 Bombr A.G. Richardson, 4th Section 49th (W.R.) D.A.C.

B – E – F. Somewhere in Belgium.  Jan 2nd 1916.


Brought at Scarboro’ Dec 29th 1915.


On Memoranda from 1915.

Enlisted in 49 (WR) DAC Dec 9th 1914.

Went to France April 16th 1915.

Entered Ypres District July 3rd 1915.


Went on leave to Ben Rhydding Dec 25th Xmas day.


“Great Push” – opposite THIEPVAL July 1st 1916.



Ben Rhydding – Boulogne.

Saturday 1st January 1916:      Left Leeds 12.30 am & arrived London (St Pancras) 6.30 am.  Had good breakfast & dinner in London & left Victoria 12.55 pm.  Left Folkestone 4 pm & had a terrible & trying crossing.  Tremendous gale.  1½ hrs crossing 2½ hrs to enter harbour.  1 drowned, 2 legs broken, 12 scalp injuries.  Arrived Boulogne 8pm.  Marched up to St. Martin’s Camp 9.30 pm.

Sunday 2nd January 1916:       Rose at 7.30 am & spent day in St. Martin’s Camp Boulogne.  Two good meals at E.F.C.  Left Camp 5.30 pm & left Station at 7.30 pm.  Awful journey.  Terribly slow train and very uncomfortable carriages.  Practically impossible to sleep.


Monday 3rd January 1916:      Arrived Poperinghe Station 2.30 am.  Had a cup of coffee at Y.M.C.A. & along with Barber lugged 50 Gramophone Records up to D.A.C. where we arrived at 4.30 am.  Went to bed 5 am & slept till 3 pm.  Interview with Capt. P.H. Walker about my stay at Ben R.  On H.Q. Guard!  The Limit.

Tuesday 4th January 1916:      Left H.Q. guard at 6 am.  Left camp for rations at 8 am & went up the West Veeteren Road to the old 49th Div dump.  Attachd to 14th Div. A.S.C..  K’s army seem awfully jealous of us.  Corpl. A. Clarkson mentioned in            Sir John French’s Despatches for delivering amn on May 9th, 16th, & Dec 19th 1915.  Whole camp “pleased as Punch”.


Wednesday 5th January 1916: Set off 8 am on a mule with party from H.Q. to go & find new billets in next position.  Mule no good.  Came back & got an Australian horse named “Lion”.  Collided with a wagon & wrenched my ankle.  Very painful.  Saw Doctor.  Ordered to bed.  Sergt Casson goes with party.

Thursday 6th January 1916:     Ankle rather painful.  In bed all day.  Busy packing up ready to move away.  Saw Doctor.  Massaged my foot.  Spent day sleeping & reading.

Poperinghe – Esquelbecq.

Friday 7th January 1916:         In bed all day with my ankle, but greatly improving. Reading & playing games all day.  Packed up ready to leave our position.

Saturday 8th January 1916:     Reveille 4 am.  Left Poperinghe 7.30 am. – Pattinson comes to grief on his wagon, which upturned, but is            only badly shaken.  Long & cold journey through Watou, Wormhout, to Esquelbecq, where we arrived at 7 pm.  Good night’s sleep in barn.


Sunday 9th January 1916:        Resting my ankle all day.  Settling down in new quarters.  Lawson goes for rations.  Decent people in farm & a ripping barn to sleep in.  Gramophone at night.

Monday 10th January 1916:    Went to Arneke at 7.30 am 7 Kilom away.  Ripping place.  Market Day – plenty of mademoiselles about.  Delighted with dump.  Fine place in the square near the Church.  Grand scenery – Roads excellent.  Out in village at night.

Tuesday 11th January 1916:    Went to Arneke for rations at 7.30 am.   Arrived there at 9 am & left 10.30.  Plenty of estaminets on the way.  Arrived back at camp at 12 noon.  On Guard at night.  Sergt Casson dead drunk – Capt. Walker has row with him & asks my opinion of him.

Wednesday 12th January 1916: Went to Arneke for rations at 7.30 am   Exchanged my A.S.C. horses for two fine black mares of Brayshaw W.  Back in camp at noon.  Out in village with Harry Eagle in afternoon & at night.

Thursday 13th January 1916:   Rose at 5.30 am & went to ARNEKE for rations at 7.30.  Arrived there at 9 am & left 10.30.  Back at Esquelbecq at 12.30.  Went for letters with Eagle.  Out in aft at Maximillian’s.  Gramophone working

Friday 14th January 1916:       Rose at 5.30 am to go for rations to Arneke.  Fine weather.  Back at noon & called for letters.  In “A l’agriculture” at night with the gramophone.

Saturday 15th January 1916:   Rose at 5.30 am to go for rations & left at 7.30.  Afternoon holiday.  Played H.Q. at football & beat them 3 – 2 after a good match.  At “Maxi’s” at night.

Sunday 16th January 1916:      Rose at 5.30 am & went for rations at 7.30 am.  Back at noon.  Letters.  Afternoon holiday.  Beat 10th Battery 3 – 1 at football. Arnold & Ralph came over to see me.  Very pleasant at “Maxi’s” at night.

Monday 17th January 1916:    Rose at 5.30 am & went to ARNEKE for rations.   Back at noon.  Went to Baths at Begus-Cappel in aft.  Saw Peter & Clarence Borthame from Bolton Abbey.  Pleasant chat.  On Guard at night.

Tuesday 18th January 1916:    Rose at 6 am & went to Arneke for rations.  Returned at 12 noon.  At ”Maxi’s” at night.

Wednesday 19th January 1916: Rose at 6 am & went to Arneke for rations.  Called at “Pomme d’Or” & had rum & coffee.  Returned at noon.

Thursday 20th January 1916:   Went to Arneke for rations.  Writing letters in aft.

Friday 21st January 1916:        Went to Arneke for rations.  Returned at 12 noon & called for letters.  “Maxi’s” at night.

Saturday 22nd January 1916:   Rose at 6 & went to ARNEKE.  Had chips & steak at “Au Soleil”.  Had a feed in village at night.

Sunday 23rd January 1916:      Went to Arneke for rations at 7.30 & again in aft at 2.30. Arnold plays on the Church organ.  Enjoyable aft spent.  Nice organist.  Returned on bike & had 2 spills owing to greasy roads.

Monday 24th January 1916:    Went to Arneke for rations at 7.30.  Returned at 12. Letters at H.Q.  Went to H.Q. in afternoon.

Tuesday 25th January 1916:    Rose at 6.30 am & went to Arneke for rations.  Returned to Esquelbecq at 12.30 pm.  Called for letters.  Aft washing & cleaning up.  At “Maximillian’s” at night with arcadians.

Wednesday 26th January 1916: Rose at 6.30 am & went to Arneke.  Returned  12 noon & called for letters.  Aft spent at estaminet “L’Agriculture”.  Also at night there.

Thursday 27th January 1916:   Rose at 6.30 am & left for Arneke at 7.30 am.  Back at 12.30 pm.  Spent the afternoon at “L’Agriculture” – a very enjoyable aft.  On H.Q. guard at night with Cairns, Humphries & Turner.  Terribly cold.

Friday 28th January 1916:       Returned to camp at 6 am after a terrible & cold night. Had breakfast & went to Arneke at 7.30 am, arriving there at 9 am.  Left Arneke 10.45 & back at 12.30 pm.  All amm (old 5”) taken back & new 4.5” taken to 11th Battery.  At “Maxi’s” at night.

Saturday 29th January 1916:   Rose at 6.30 & went to ARNEKE for rations.  Visited “A la Pomme d’Or”.  Called for the mail.  Afternoon holiday spent playing football.  At “Maxi’s” at night

Sunday 30th January 1916:      Went to ARNEKE for rations at 7.30.  Beautiful fine morning.  Had chips at “Au Soleil”.  Returned at 12          noon & called for the mail.

Monday 31st January 1916:     Went to Arneke for rations.  Returned 12 noon.  In village in aft.