War Diary of AA Laporte Payne Oct 1915

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne


Extracted from


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







October 5 1915.


Royal Artillery Headquarters,

34th Division,

Elm Lodge,

Sutton Veny

Nr. Warminster.



“We have just completed two days move in the rain, on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday I went back to see that the old camp was cleared up.

The Brigade Major and I reside here alone, but the office is on the ground floor. The camp itself is about three miles away, where the troops are in huts.


October 7 1915.


R.A.H.Q. 34th Div.

Elm Lodge

Sutton Veny


“We moved here on Saturday and Sunday last in the wet. We got soaked to the skin.  It did not stop raining once.


Luckily I travelled by car, but the troops got horribly wet, poor wretches. My housekeeping duties are not so oppressive now, partly because I am more accustomed to them, and partly because the General is not living with us now.  He has a house in Warminster, and a wife to cater for him.  Our mess has therefore dwindled to two, the B.M. and myself.  Unfortunately our H.Q. Office and Mess are fully 3 miles away from the camp which is now of hutments; but it does not take long in the new car, a 30/60 horse power 6 cylinder Sheffield-Simplex.


Last night we went into Bath.  The B.M. with his people, and had dinner at the Empire Hotel and went to the Dollar Princess afterwards, returning about 12.30 a.m.


The floors of the mess were polished today, and we are to have rugs. The house was in a filthy state when we came in, but I am learning the use of Zog, Bluebell and soda.



October 18 1915.


I motored to Bath on Saturday afternoon, called on some friends, and then went to the Pump Room Concert.  This week the Brigades are cooperating with the “feet” in night operations.  Wednesday night is the only one off, and we make an expedition to the Theatre at Bath.  Sutton Veny is enough to provide a suicide’s grave.


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.

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