War Diary of AA Laporte Payne
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda & Correspondence
Sunday February 14th 1915
“I am Divisional Orderly Officer tonight, and have to sleep in the General’s Office near the entrance to the barracks. I am the only officer left in the Battery, as the others are away on courses, one at Aldershot, and the other at Woolwich. Part of the Divisional Artillery have moved to huts at Ipswich, the Dexters with them. I do not envy them in this weather, which is awful. The Saturday’s half-holiday has been cancelled now, and the work has been stiffened up a lot.
Tuesday February 24 1915. (?)
“The scare here now is German air ships. I am on duty every forth night as Divisional Orderly Officer, and there has been a lot of night work lately. One day I went by road to Ipswich with six guns and full teams. Another day we had night trench digging. Other days our time is occupied in gun drill, ranging practices, and reconnaissance rides.
My routine for the last few hours has been: last night in the General’s office, when some business turned up which kept me occupied till after midnight. Next morning at 6.30 am stables, breakfast at 8, a.m. Parade 8.40 a.m. Brigade ride to various battery positions with Colonel Lushington from 9 to 12 noon. Demonstration Section Gun Drill noon to 1, p.m. Lunch at 1, p.m. Battery Parade at 1.40 p.m. Officer’s Standing Gun Drill from 2 to 3, p.m. Men’s rifle and marching drill 3 to 4.30 p.m. Stables 5 to 6 p.m. Battery accounts at 7 p.m. Dinner 7.30 p.m. After dinner I read Battery, Brigade, Divisional, Eastern Command and War Office Daily Orders.
On Sunday we had Church Parade. Then the Colonel found some dirty harness, and he ordered harness cleaning from 6 to 8 p.m.
Then at a late hour we had the excitement of the bomb bursting near by, which we may consider our baptism of fire.
It was quite a good shot for our barracks. The bomb fell just between the lower corner of the Artillery Barracks where our Battery has its quarters and the road in which I am billeted. A portion of the bomb was found in this road, and mine host declares that a portion of lead from his roof came down. I was not in my billet at the time, but was in another part of the town, so I did not hear much of the noise.
To night there is not a light to be seen anywhere. I hear a rumour that there are seven airships over Ipswich, but I have my doubts.
The other morning in the dim light of dawn I had to go down to the station to detrain a large number of kicking horses, which made me tear my hair until I managed to see the funny side of it, but my sense of humour took a long time to operate. Now we have a lot of vicious mules for the Ammunition Column, and some of the Battery wagons.
I expect leave will be hard to get now in case of emergency parades.
The 10th Fusiliers move tomorrow to Andover.