War Diary of AA Laporte Payne Nov 1915

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne


Extracted from


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






November 3, 1915.


“Last Sunday I spent with S.E. Swann at Shirehampton near Bristol.

We are having a Route March on Friday for the whole Division. The artillery takes up six miles of road alone plus 270 yards.  The whole Division 15 miles.  I spent some time making out a road space table for the Division.


November 8 1915.


“The Staff Captain is away and I am doing his job. He is ill.


The General is leaving the Division, and that means I loose this job. I do not want to go with the General, as he is not going to France, so I shall probably apply to be posted to a Brigade going overseas soon, as I am tired of being in England.

Unfortunately one has to go where one is sent in the army.


November 8 1915.


Elm Lodge, Sutton Veny.


“The Staff Captain is away ill, and I have to try and do his job as well as my own.

I was on duty over the week end but I managed to get a good long ride on Sunday morning, also a lunch and tea out with friends near here. My mare has been recognised as an animal that has done something or other before the war.  She has nearly broken my neck twice already.



25th November, 1915



The 34th Brown Division moving in a hostile country via FROMENSUTTON VENY on WYLYE is marching on the 25th November as left flank guard to the 12th Corps which is marching via MAIDEN BRADLEYNMONKTON DEVERILLNHINTON on FORFINGBRIDGE.

A White Force, strength estimated to be about 2 Inf. Brigades and 1 F.A. Brigade, the advanced guard of a White Corps moving south from SWINDON, is reported to have spent the night of 24/25th November in Billets at LITTLE CHEVERILL and WEST LAVINGTON.






The object of this Exercise is (1.) to practice the Division in deploying rapidly to a flank and attacking an enemy who has just moved into position: (2) to practice intercommunication and the rapid transmission of information to Report Centres: (3) to practice the supply of ammunition and the handling of casualties.



(Brown Force)

At 9.50 a.m. on the 25th November, 1915 the 34th Division marching S.E. is disposed as follows,

  1. Advanced Guard. Head of Main Guard at Railway Station Bridge SHERRINGTON.
  2. Main Body. Head at the Road Junction at Boyton marching on the LONGBRIDGE DEVERELL-SUTTON VENY-SHERRINGTON-WYLYE Road.
  3. Flank Guard. Head at N of Upton Lovell marching on the HEYTESBURY-CODFORD ST. MARY ROAD.



1 Bn. 103rd Inf. Bde.

Motor Machine Gun Battery.



Div. H.Q.

103rd Inf. Bde. (less 1 Bn.)

160th F.A. Bde. (less 1 Batt)

209th Field Co.

Bearer Div. 103rd Fd. Ambul.

102nd Inf. Bde.

175th F.A. Bde.

208th Fd. Co.

Bearer Div. 102nd Fd. Ambul.

176th F.A. Bde.

Div. AMM. Col.




  1. Sqn. N. Irish Horse.

34th Div. Cyclist Co.

101st Inf. Bde.

152nd F.A. Bde.

207th Field Co. (less Pontoon and Trestle wagons).

Bearer Div. 104th Fd. Amb.


At 9, a.m. the G.O.C. 34th Division receives the following reports:-

  • 21-25th Nov. Aerial Reconnaissance report the head of a hostile force, estimated at two Divisions, marching on POTTERNE ROAD left DEVIZES at 8.30 a.m. today and a small hostile force, estimated ar 2 Inf. Bdes. And 1 F.A. Bdes left IMBER marching south at 8 a.m. A.A.A.  From 3rd Corps 8.55 a.m.
  • 10-25th Nov. Following report just received from “C” Sqn. Div. Cav: – Have located some hostile infantry and artillery on the line 575-484.  they appear to be starting to entrench themselves.  I cannot work round their flanks as the ground West of Pt. 575 and east of point 484 is marshy and impassable.  From Flank Guard 8.50 a.m.


(SD) N.G. Cameron.

Lieut. Colonel.

General Staff.


Sunday November 28 1915.



“We have had several Field Days lately, and we have been very busy. This week has been a round of Brigade Inspections on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, on Thursday a Divisional Field Day.  It was very cold too.  Waller is away, so the General and I are alone.


On Thursday we go to the Ranges for firing practice. Headquarters have taken Tilshead House with stabling for 22 horses for a fortnight.  We have to get our provisions from Devizes, ten miles away.


Next Tuesday there is to be a Divisional Route March, and on Thursday we move to Tilshead.

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