WAR DIARY Of Headquarters 31st Divisional Artillery
June 1st 1916 – To June 30th 1916
O.C. 170 Bde 24.6. 8.25 am Enemy retaliated from 6.20 am to 7.0 am with heavy shells probably 5.9s. Some 20 rounds fired over K.33.c.76, at 7. am lengthened their range reaching cross roads at the SUCRERIE 7. and 8 am all Batteries report no casualties, no O.P. shelled, no retaliation on any battery.
O.C. 171 Bde 24.6 12.30pm LA SIGNY FARM shelled 11.0 am by 77 mm.s support trenches K.34.a., K.29.a., at 10.30 am 77 mm.s SUCRERIE, AVENUE, 6.30 am, 77 mms, PYLON TRENCH, 9.0 am to 11.30 am, Heavy shell COLINCAMPS 9.50 am, no blinds observed. Trench Mortars inactive.
O.C. 170 Bde 24.6. 12.45 am 11.45 am, 3rd & 4th lines wire cut. Lanes 10 yards broad, second line partly cut (A/170)
B/170, 11.55 am, 3rd & 4th lines considerably damaged, appears to be a lane cut through third. C/170, 11.55 a.m. 3rd & 4th lines considerably damaged, lane in 3rd 15 yards broad. C/171, 11.25 am, lane 15 yards broad extending each side of SERRE ROAD on edge of SERRE VILLAGE. Casualties nil. One Breech Block burred, All communications intact.
O.C. Left Group. 24.6. 12 noon Progress Report. Wire-cutting A/171 2nd line wire cut, 3rd partly cut, A/165 wire-cutting fairly satisfactory, observation difficult owing to drifting smoke across front. Communication to F.O.O. failed owing during first half hour – not yet re-established. B/165 2nd line wire seems to have been cut, little effect on front line, 3rd & 4th lines, too misty to report. C/165, Wire-cutting progress satisfactory, fire of Brigades was opened at 6.0 am as per programme.
O.C. Left Group. 24.6. 12.30 Hostile Artillery report. A/171 position shelled lightly by 5.9s, no damage done. Following areas also shelled by 5.9s. PYLON AVENUE, K.32a. & b. valley from K.33.a.15.73 to K.27.a.12.48. Also COLINCAMPS K.25, & K.31, calibre unknown, position of hostile batteries unknown.
On the whole, enemy artillery quiet.
O.C. Left Group. 24.6. 3 pm Hostile artillery fired on following area, with 5.9. K.27.b.85, LA SIGNY FARM, AVENUE, K.22.a. with salvo 3.50 pm enemy bracketed these Headquarters with apparently 4.2s. Wrong for line. Still firing. Wireless report hostile artillery to be firing in L.22.a.27. No other hostile battery located.
O.C. Left Group. 24.6. 4.55 pm Wire-cutting report. A/165 report good lane in 2nd line, lane in 3rd line not yet completed B/165 report 2nd line cut, and 3rd line half cut. C/165 report 2nd & 3rd lines satisfactory. 4th line doubtful. Observation difficult. A/171 report 2nd & 3rd lines cut, 4th damaged.
O.C. 170 Bde 24.6. 6 pm A/170 between 12 noon and 2.0 pm, the wire on 2nd line trench appears to have been cut – Pending aeroplane report. 3 – 4 pm A/170, there appears to be no wire on the 5th line lane. Has cut some 40 yards to right of this point. B/170 lane through 3rd line wire, 4th & 5th lines damaged, but not cut through. C/170 lane in 3rd line, 4th line severely damaged, but requires improving. Another effective shoot on narrow lane already cut in 5th line.
O.C. 169 Bde 24.6. 5.15 pm B/169, no wire-cutting since last report, B/171, progress poor, A/169 wire cut at K.30.c.16.65 and 15.50, also K.35.b.60.85. and 55.75. Hostile fire heavier than in previous periods, becoming intense 3.0 to 3.30 pm round SIGNY FARM and TAUPIN HEDGE shelled at random with 77 mms and few 15 cms. AVENUE and SUCERIE shelled with 15 cms.
O.C. 171 Bde 24.6. 5.25 pm Hostile artillery shelled SUCERIE 11.30 to 2.30 pm, 10 rds 15 cm, K.34.a.5.5. at 1.0 pm, 10 rds 10.5 cm k.29.c.2.0 pm to 2.30 p.m., 10 rds 77 mm EUSTON 2. pm, 3 rds 10.5 cm TAUPIN TRENCH 2.30 pm, 7 rds 15 cm GENERAL. – Enemy artillery usually quiet, six blinds from 10.5 cm.
O.C. 171 Bde 24.6. 6.35 pm 15 yds lane cut in 3rd & 4th line wires, at points K.29.d.56.82., and K.30.c.10.70., lane in 5th line wire WEST of SERRE, and right of SERRE ROAD widened about 20 yds.
O.C. Left Group 24.6. 8.50 pm Hostile fire report- Following areas shelled by 5.9s AVENUE, K.32.a. EUSTON, K.33.a. and K.27.a., PYLON AVENUE shelled fairly persistently with 5.9s – no further particulars available.
O.C. Left Group 24.6. 8.55 pm Wire cutting- A/165 report 2nd & 3rd line lanes satisfactory, now cutting 4th, light bad. B/165 report 2nd line well cut, 3rd line needs few more rds, 4th line not visible now. C/165 report 2nd line lane quite satisfactory, 3rd & 4th not finished, A/171 report 2nd & 3rd lines lane cut, 4th damaged, but no lane cut yet.
O.C. 169 Bde 24.6. 9.30 pm Progress report 9.0 pm. A/169 wire cut at K.30.c.16.65., and 15.50, also K.35.b.60.85., and 55.75. B/169 two lanes cut in wire 1st NORTH of point 24, 2nd 100 yds N of Pt. 65, width 12 ft. C/169 nothing to report since 4.0 pm. B/171 nothing more to report.
O.C. 165 Bde 24.6. 11.48 pm Selected targets. Some of the selected targets were difficult to see from O.P.s but the effect on those fired at was good. A fair number of direct hits obtained mostly on M.G. emplacements.
31 Div G. 24.6. 11.35 pm Recd 12.15 am. Code message. If BERLIN between now and 1 am, DRESDEN if HANOVER at this hour knock off for night.
O.C. 171 Bde 24.6. 10.30 pm 9. pm report “U” day. D/165 engaged trenches, 34 to 3rd line, 71 to 4th line, Point 74 and 52 damage effected, both trenches shew signs of being knocked about, effect not visible. D/165 engaged Points 68 and 29, damage done not visible. D/170 engaged 3rd & 4th line trenches, Points 76 and 28, some damage caused to trenches, but owing to soft nature of ground there were too many blinds. D/171 Point 18 & 79 trench 18 to 79, K.30.c.5.9. K.30.d.6.2. fire was accurate, but damage does not appear very noticeable. General information – 5.15 pm, two hostile balloons visible true bearings from K.34.a.56.47 53o and 89 point 30. Hostile artillery activity, SUCRERIE and CEMETARY shelled with 15 cm from 5.15 to 6.30 pm. EUSTON and AVENUE shelled continuously, TAUPIN shelled with 15 cm at 5.30 pm.
O.C. 169 Bde 24.6. 11.25 pm Ten minutes ago a dense cloud of smoke was seen near JOHN COPSE.
O.C. 170 Bde 25.6. 12.35 pm Progress 4 pm to 7.30 pm, 24.6.16, A/170 subsidiary lane cut K.30.c.10.35 including K.29.d.97. New lane cut at K.29.d.28.48, subsidiary lane cut 15 yds at K.29.d.42.65. B/170, lane cut in 3rd line wire, and wire cut in 4th, 5th, and 6th lines. C/170, 3rd & 4th lines considerably damaged, lane in 3rd now passable for about 15 yds. C/171, 5 yds lane cut in 3rd & 4th line wire, WEST of SERRE, and right of SERRE ROAD widened to about 20 yds.
O.C. 170 Bde 25.6. 4.35 pm Progress 4 pm. A/165, no more wire cut to-day. Lanes cut yesterday are still open. B/165 further progress has been made with the 5th line wire. The Infantry liaison officer is of opinion that lanes are cut in 3rd, 4th and 5th line wire. C/171, lane on 3rd line wire again fired at and widened. 8.0 am, target 11 fired on 10.30 am, target 17, 2.0 pm, target 16. C/170, lanes on 4th and 5th line wires improved. Wire in front of both 2nd line trenches has been cut.
O.C. 169 Bde 25.6. 4.55 pm Progress report. A/169 lanes increased at K.30.a.5.00, B/169 gap completed K.30.c.20.00., and at 24. C/169, progress nil. B/171wire cutting fair. Enemy artillery more active. Shelled TAUPIN and SIGNY FARM, also SUCRERIE and COLINCAMPS latter 4”.
O.C. Left Group 25.6. 5.15 pm Hostile fire very quiet now. Enemy shelled SAILLY fairly heavily with apparently 8” for a short time this afternoon. Hostile balloon has gone back four or five miles. Needs confirmation.
O.C. Left Group 25.6. 5.15 pm Wire-cutting report. A/165 report 2nd & 3rd lines on “Y” lane cut, 4th line hard to see, but appears nearly finished, now cutting 3 lines on lane 4. B/165 report 2nd and 4th lines in “Z” lane cut, 3rd line requires little more, but good work being done on it in present good light. C/165 report 2nd line on “W” lane apparently satisfactory, 3rd line effect uncertain owing to target being very difficult to see. Effect on 4th line appears fairly good at present, assistance will probably be needed on line 3. A/171 report further progress on lane “X” but 4th line not quite finished. 2nd and 4th lines of lane 4 cut.
O.C. 170 Bde 25.6. 9. pm 9 p.m. report (6 am to 9 pm) “V” day, 6-7.30 am misty. All light guns very quiet on both sides. 7.35 am to 8.45 am SUCRERIE heavily shelled from L.20.a & c 21. A.00 – mostly 8” & 9” SUCRERIE water tanks, and Railway material dump appear to be chief targets, also two batteries 18 pdr 4th Div E of SUCRERIE. 10.20 am, flight of 8 to 10 enemy planes going E over HEBUTERNE. 10.40 to 11.40 am, communication with 31st D.A. broken. 12 noon casualties in 170 Bde Group, Nil. 12.15 pm COLINCAMPS under heavy bombardment. 12.30 to 1.30 pm, inspection of wire cut lanes. A.B.C./170 all done to satisfaction of liaison officers. C/171 all cut except 1st and 2nd lines (to be left for T.M.s). No liaison officer has been present during the two days – a matter for regret. 2.15 to 3.30 pm, SUCRERIE again subjected to similar bombardment as before (see above) Something heavy L.22.a. 7.30 pm heavy smoke seen rising from SERRE – all white. 8.15 pm investigation into smoke shewed more smoke in direction of COURCELLETTE from O.P. at K.33.c.7.7. Enemy would appear to be screening some movement by employment of smoke. What appeared to be flashes of gun through the smoke were clearly seen, but flashes of the burst of time shrapnel, were seen as well, and the former might have quite well been low bursting shrapnel. Evidently guns to SOUTHWARD of the THIEPVAL front were searching this SOUTHERN smoke cloud. If guns were in position they were 1o 15 mins left of the tall chimney visible over BEAUMONT HAMEL from G.H.C. O.P. at K.33.c.7.7. which chimney I take to be in the direction of COURCELLETTE. I hope to locate it to-morrow.
- 169 Bde 25.6 12.55 pm A/169, no wire cut yet, light too bad. B/169 lane cut just N of Pt. 18, also line below 24 widened, and cutting commenced at 24, and small lane cut K.30.c.20.65. Wire 05 to 18 fired on. C/169 Nil. B/171 progress poor, light very bad. Enemy shelled LA SIGNY FARM K.32.c. and COLINCAMPS.
- 170 Bde 26.6 11.30 pm Watched 9.40 – 10.20 am, bombardment from my H.Q. O.P. at 10.19 am, a yellow – green cloud went up from about K.30.d.2.1. in PENDANT ALLEY WEST. It might have been an enemy gas cylinder explosion. Our smoke barrage if launched, was far too thin and local. SERRE, PENDANT COPSE, and BEAUMONT HAMEL could be seen through all light smoke the entire time (except where heavy shell bursts threw up dust). No enemy could have been led to believe an Infantry attack was intended. His view was not obscured. My A & B Batteries report enemy’s gas reached TALLADE near FREDDY STREET and GREEN STREET. The O.P.s at 3.50 and 3.52 am this morning – no casualties up to date.
- 170 Bde 25.6 1.33 pm Progress 12 noon. A/170, only night barrage fired. B/170, there are lanes through 3rd & 4th line wire, 5th & 6th lines, have also been cut. C/170 complete lane cut in 3rd line. Lane in 4th improved. Shooting in latter proceeded. C/171, four lanes cut in 3rd, 4th, 2nd and 5th lines all sufficiently wide for Infantry to pass.
- Left Group 25.6 ?26 1.50 pm Wire-cutting. A/165 report lane nearly completed, 4th line difficult to observe, and cannot guarantee lane at that point; line 3 in lane 4 now being started. A/171 report 2nd & 3rd lines cut in yesterdays lane. 2nd & 4th line in lane 4 cut. B/165 report cannot communicate with F.O.P. but lane apparently progressing well. C/165 report 2nd line wires appear to be cut. Third line difficult to see owing to communication trench being in the way. Range found and shells bursting correctly. Cannot see actual effects. 4th line wire partially cut.
- 170 Bde 26.6 4. pm Daily report ”W” day. A/170, wire on 2nd and 3rd line lane improved. B/170 wire 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th lines, lanes already cut. C/170, wire-cutting continued, other lanes have been swept. Lane in 4th line continued. C/171 lanes in wire at K.29.d.55.85., and K.30.c.10.70., further widening of lanes already cut. General information – 10 German balloons visible at a point 165o true bearing from K.27.a.06, Batteries report enemy’s gas in TAUPIN TRENCH and GREEN ST. at 3.50, and 3.52 am conveyed in gas shells. Hostile artillery activity, five 5.9.s fell into COLINCAMPS between 2.45 and 3.20 pm. HEBUTERNE also shelled by heavy.
- A/169 Bde 26.6 4.25 pm Progress report. A/169 wire cut K.29.d.55.25., and 45.50., and K.30.c.50.90. Smoke hindered observation. B/169 lane completed midway between 24 and 28. Lane started between 73 – SERRE VILLAGE where there seems to be a strong point. C/169 wire damaged MUNICH TRENCH. B/171 wire at ridge WEST of SERRE damaged. Enemy shelled SUCRERIE, SIGNY FARM, EUSTON, CHEAPSIDE and FLAG, COLINCAMPS 3. to 4. pm. Enemy replied to special bombardment with T.M.s on front line. Heavy bombardment proceeding 4.20 pm, on K.28.b.& d. and K.29.a. & c. with 15 cm and 10.5 cm.
- 169 Bde 26.6 4.30 pm O.C. B/169, reports enemy trench mortars exceedingly active on left sector – our heavies do nothing. Special report.
- Left Group 26.6 4.45 pm A/165 report no attempt to repair by enemy on ”Y” lane. Further improvements of No 4 alternative lane. B/165 report mist too thick for shooting at 6 am. During morning registered enemy’s communication trenches. C/165 report lane improved and widened where possible to observe. A/171 report machine gun emplacements, 1629 b 5220 engaged. Two direct hits, one shell inside emplacement. Back wire of enemy third line at 16.29.b. 35.35 cut. All Batteries joined in special bombardment this morning. Observation hidden by smoke.
- Left Group 26.6 5.20 pm Hostile artillery report. Enemy retaliated during special bombardment on ROBROY, JORDAN, NAIRN, and 48th Divl front, mostly 5.9.s, 4.2.s Four flashes observed at bush in front of house in SERRE, K.30.b.25.30. COLINCAMPS shelled at 3.30 pm with 5.9. otherwise not much hostile fire.
- How Group 26.6 9.25 pm Hostile artillery report. Area shelled – K.34.b.10AX, 77 mm, 4.30 pm, K.33, 40 BX, 15cm 5.30 pm MAILLY, 7, 15 cm, 8.10 am 4.30 to 6.30 pm, a heavy bombardment of front and support trenches by all sizes of guns and mortars.
- Left Group 26.6 9.35 pm A/165 report target engaged during bombardment, communication trench K.29.b.60.75., and K.29.b.95.68., this was effective. Wire at Pt 64, result believed to be satisfactory. M.G. emplacement K.29.b.50.30., two direct hits obtained. B/165 report 2nd line of path ”Z” 15 yds wide cut, 3rd line practically cut, 4th line difficult to observe, but no posts or wire to be seen. C/165, report target engaged to-day, 2nd & 3rd & 4th line wires; also special point on front line. Effect good. A/171 report special bombardment, no visible result. M.G. emplacement K.29.b.52.25., front knocked about, and one round through loop-hole. Wire cutting, lanes in track 5, junction 2nd & 3rd lines widened, and parapet in former destroyed. Wire being cut at K.29.b.35.35.
- Left Group 26.6 9.45 pm Hostile artillery report. From 4 – 5.30 heavy bombardment in front trenches. CAMPION received attention from 5.9.s during that time. Enemy guns sweeping along the line of trenches to NAIRN and back again. From 6.O’clock, 5.9 and trench mortars were shelling TOUVENT till 8 pm. No firing on our batteries.
- Reserve Group 26.6 9.50 pm A/169, nothing to report since 4 pm, B/169 wire near 73 much damaged, attention paid to K.30.c.60.85., which requires further firing at. C/169 engages SERRE – PUISIEUX ROAD and ORCHARD. Damage effected unobserved. B/171, wire at trench WEST edge of SERRE damaged up to 7 am. Enemy shelled LA SIGNY FARM severely knocking down wall which shelters water carrying party.
- Reserve Group 27.6 4.55 pm Progress Report. – A/169, progress continues, B/169, gap between K.30.c.50.85., and 50.95., completed. C/169, wire-cutting good at MUNICH TRENCH, C/171 wire edge in front SERRE progress good. MATTHEW COPSE shelled occasionally. TAUPIN RIDGE and AVENUE RIDGES shelled 11.5 pm to 11.55 pm, last night. Our trench mortars seldom active.
- How Group 27.6 9.25 pm Hostile artillery report. – MAILLY shelled 6. to 7 pm, 5 77 mms, SUCURERIE shelled 4.30 to 6 pm, 3 – 5.9.s, K.34.a & b, 10. to 11. am 60 A – 77 mms, heavy barrage on our front, and support trenches doing considerable damage 2.45 pm. This report was ready at 8.45 pm delay occurred at COURCELLES.
- Left Group 27.6 8.50 pm Hostile fire quiet till 5.30 pm. From then onwards, ROBROY and front line heavily shelled. Little else to report.
- Left Group 27.6 3.50 pm A/165 report narrow lane almost through first line of lane ”Y”. Few parts remain in other lines on same lane. These will be removed. B/165 report cutting lines 2 & 3 in lane one alternative. C/165 report lane cut first line of lane ”W”. Are still widening this area. A/171 report lane cut yesterday at K.29.b.30.25., being widened. At 2.45 pm enemy 1st line was shelled for ten minutes by all batteries at fairly quick rate of fire. Communication trench shelled at 5.10 a.m. as instructed.
- How Group 27.6 4.35 pm D/170 Point 29 to K.24.d.80.25., 3rd line from Point 44 and K.29.d, effect of fire, considerable damage has been done to these points. D/171 earthworks at K.20.d.5.2. seriously damaged to-day. Heavy hows. are necessary to blot out this trench. 2nd line, 40 – 44 many direct hits, parapet damaged in places. 4th line Pt 24 – K.39.c.22.15, fire on this has been satisfactory. D/165, gaps in parapet, many direct hits, parapet visibly damaged on 4th line. 34 to 18, K.36. 18.05, K30. 21.88., D/169, trench 37 to 29, slight damage effected, trench 29 L.24.d.8.3., parapet damaged in places. General – Percentage of blinds up to average, but shells have been better detonated than yesterday.
- Left Group 27.6 3.55 pm Our trenches NAIRNE to CATEAU, between front and CAMPION, heavily shelled between 5 am and 5.30 am. These trenches were again bombarded at 10.25 am, and 2 pm with 5.9, and 4.2, otherwise not much activity – very little T.M. fire on enemy front wire, and all that was well over enemy trench. No enemy balloons up to-day.
- Right Group 27.6 5.0 pm A/170, 1st line wire, good progress has been made on this target, 1st line wire K.29.d.12.35. much thinned, C/170 1st line wire lane now being widened.
- Right Group 28.6 9. pm C/171, 1st line wire, right and left of Pt. 10, gaps cut 50 yds wide. A/170, 1st line wire between these points (K.29.d.25 and K.29.d.13). Wire almost entirely cut.
B/170, further progress on wire, and lane widened. C/170, improvement on wire already cut. K.29.c.90.05. to K.35.a.8.8. C/171 gap in wire cut yesterday, and to-day, all passable between K.29.d.10.80., and K.29.d.10.90., and also at K.29.d.10.80. Hostile fire, some 4.2 on PYLON, EUSTON, and LA SIGNY FARM.
- Left Group 28.6 9. pm A/165 report not able to do much as guns very unsteady – they will be right by to-morrow. B/165 report progress on 1st line wire not very rapid this afternoon. C/165 still cutting wire on 1st line. A/171 have damaged wire for 200 yds SOUTH of Pt. 46, but no lane cut. – Hostile Artillery very inactive.
- How Group 28.6 8.35 pm “Y” Day. Less active than yesterday or any preceding day. Our front line SOUTH of MATTHEW COPSE shelled by 5.9.s at intervals during the day. MAILLY and SUCRERIE shelled with 5.9 at 12.30 pm.
- Left Group 28.6 4.25 pm Hostile fire, not very active. 1.15 pm A/171 position shelled for ¼ hour, with 77 mm shrapnel. At 2. pm K.27.a.& c shelled with 4.2 for ¾ hour. Infantryman killed in PYLON, by premature from Battery on plain.
- Reserve Group 28.6 7. pm Front line, Point 10 to K.29.d.28 very thin. Six lanes K.30.a.75 completely gone. K.30.a.50.85 – very thin. One lane 28 – 24 fairly thin. – 3 lanes Point 52- 74 very ragged – – 7 lanes. No further progress in wire-cutting since 4.0 pm, except by C/169 clearing lane strands away at K.29.d.17. Enemy barraged MODEL FARM 9 – 9.15, with 5.9 shrapnel.
- Right Group 28.6 5.21 pm A/170. Lane cut in front of line already enlarged this morning at K.29.d25, K.29.d.13.
B/170. Front line wire, good lane cut on this bty section. Also heavy damage by big guns.
C/170. Wire-cutting continues, and lane enlarged in front line.
C/171. The whole of the wire in front of Point 10 has been destroyed on a front of about 80 yards. Also gaps cleared at K.29.d.10.90; cutting at K.29.d.10.80 still proceeding. Hostile fire about 25 – 77 mm came into C/171 position about 2. pm 25% duds, and no damage.
- Reserve Group 28.6 12.30 pm Wire round point 10, 3 lanes visible and wire thin. K.29.d.15.80 to Point 25 thin and much damaged. K.29.d.15.65. still about 2 yards thick. Wire now being engaged. Trench mortars and heavy guns co-operation. Enemy trench mortars inactive.
- Right Group 28.6 12.30 pm A/Bty. Enemy wire cut, and various points engaged after that in special bombardment area. Most of shell went into trenches. B/170. Enemy’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th line wire lanes enlarged. C/170. Bombardment area chiefly on trenches. Wire-cutting area, all lanes improved; special objective engaged. C/171.- Gaps in wire widened.
- Reserve Group 28.6 4.15 pm Progress report. – A/169 out of action for present. B/169 gap from Point 10. to K.29.d.28 continued, and nearer completion; some repairing appears to have been done during night. C/169, wire in their area nearly all cut; only cross stakes being visible. B/171 out of action. Hostile artillery, few 15 cms at long range on TAUPIN RIDGE & MATTHEW COPSE.
- Left Group 28.6 1.32 pm Report on front line wire. – A/165 report narrow gap through at K.29.b.50.72; wire badly damaged 35 yds. B/165. – report from K.29.b.60.87 to K.29.b.77.97, uncut. From K.29.b.77.97 to K.23.d.33.31, much cut, and knocked about, but very thick, so not blown away. From K.23.d.31.03 to K.23.d.70.09, uncut. C/165 report two complete lanes 20 yds wide at K.29.b.20.15; wire badly damaged for 35 yds on either side of this. A/171 report lanes as follows:- 20 yds wide at K.29.b.30.29, 10 yards wide at K.29.b.32.30, and 10 yds wide at K.29.b.32.50, otherwise wire uncut between lane 4 (alternative). At lane X lane at K.29.b.32.50 has cheveaux de fries still standing on its right which is not yet knocked over.
- Left Group 28.6 4.20 pm A/165, report widening lane ”Y”, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line, progress satisfactory. B/165 report front line wire in Battery zone engaged; except for gaps already reported in this line requires great deal of hammering. C/165 report widening 2nd, 3rd & 4th line of lane ”W”. Infantry report 1st line wire in this zone satisfactory. A/171 report engaged1st line wire in zone. Lane 10 yds wide cut 100 yds South of Pt. 46. Wire badly damaged for 100 yds further South. All Batteries joined in special bombardment 6.40 am. Bursts all obscured by mist.
- How Group 28.6 4.15 pm D/165, 4th line trench, Pt 34 – 18, parapet damaged in many places, and portion blocked between Points 24 – 18. D/169, trench front 19 – 71 pounded all along with some success. D/170 2nd line from Pt 40 to SERRE ROAD considerable damage appears to have been done. S.W. side of SERRE seems very little damaged, and has the appearance of being very strong. It is reported that the S.W. side of SERRE, especially Point 73 is very strong; both O.C. D/170, and O.C. D/171 state that whenever this point is fired on, instant retaliation is made.
- Left Group 29.6 12.35 pm Hostile artillery inactive. Few shrapnel of AVENUE at 11.45 am, and few on K.20.c. at same time. Direct hit on C/165 emplacement. Pit damaged; no further information.
- Left Group 29.6 12.40 pm A/165 reports still cutting between ”Y” and lane 4 at K.29.b.50.64. good progress. B/165 reports wire on front line considerably reduced, but only one patch if 15 yds completely cut. C/165 report steady progress on front line. A/171 reports lane in front wire as follows:- K.29.b.30.20, 50 yds South Pt 46, and two similar ones about 100 yds S. of Pt. 46.
- 169 Bde 29.6 4.30 pm Progress reports. – A/169. Wire cut at K.29.d.25.50 and 20.60 and 15.80. B/169 cutting wire near K.29.d52.72 at present untouched; needs attention from big guns. Also cutting near K.29.d.20.75, but hindered by 170th cutting at same point. C/169 engaged 1st line wire between (t.25 and K.29.d.10.80; renewed during night, damaged to-day, but not yet cut. One lane cut 2nd line wire between these points; remainder damaged. Enemy shelled SUCRERIE 10 am and COURCELLES – BERTRANCOURT ROAD 1.30 p.m. Enemy wire third line still strong.
- 171 Bde 29.6 4.35 pm D/165. A great deal of damage has been done to enemy front line between K.29.b.35.36 and point 25, particularly at Pt 10. The junction of trenches at K.29.d.52.72 considerably damaged. D/169, K.29.b.3.5 to Point 10, front line K.29.b.3.5 to Point 46 – very well battered. Wire is still visible in front of this trench. Some damage effected. D/170. K.29.d.10.25 to Point 25, Point 44 – 76 and K.29.d.55.80, Some damage done, but some points, especially between Points 25 & 10, needs further attention.
- 170 Bde 29.6 5.15 pm A/170 registering lifts for ”Z” day. B/170, front line trenches K.29.d.05.20 to K.29.c.95.00; a lane is cut N. of this area, and forty yards further South wire has been thinned. C/170, wire cutting continued on 1st line; some results obtained, but the wire cannot be satisfactorily dealt with. C/171, gaps cut in 1st line widened at Pt. K.29.d.10.90, K.29.d.10.85, K.29.d.10.80, K.29.d.10.75; gap in last named place not more than 5 yds wide.
Hostile fire. – Enemy registered new road from COLINCAMPS – EUSTON, with 5.9; this by balloon over L.35.b. which was fired on and promptly descended.
- 170 Bde 29.6 8.6 pm The bridge over LEEDS STREET, and the road to front line trenches broken by hostile fire this afternoon.
- Left Group 29.6 8.55 pm A/165 report gaps 25 yds wide; left of this badly damaged for 10 yds. Left of this gap of 5 yds. Wires between these two gaps can be cut to-morrow giving clear 40 yds gap. Left and right of this is damaged wire. B/165 report pile of wire and knife-rests on right of zone at K.29.b.60.81; these have been lifted several times, but fall back into place. At left of zone, 25 yards from K.29.b.69.57 to K.29.b.62.77 remain uncut. C/165 report, with exception of 3 very small patches, front wire appears to be completely cut from K.29.b.23.23 to K.29.b.15.10. A/171 report further lane 5yards wide cut through wire at K.29.b.33.40; much trouble with springs running out has hindered to-days work very much.
31 Div 29.6 1.15 pm Point selected K.29.d.02.15; requirements of heavy artillery to-night will be counter-battery work on batteries in ARTILLERY LANE and near PUISIEUX.
To 31 Div from VIII Corps 29.6 12.20 pm This afternoons bombardment will last for forty mins. Commencing at 4.40. last ten minutes will be intense. Bombardment will be directed on the points selected by Division for tonights raids. Divisions to wire Corps H.Q. at once the points selected repeating Heavy Arty. Also to include in telegram their requirements in respect of heavy artillery for to-night. In view of possibility of further postponements, raids must be arranged for to-morrow night parties to enter trenches at 12 midnight.
31 Div 29.6 1.25 pm Heavy bombardment this afternoon will last for 40 mins. Commencing at 4.40. the last ten minutes will be intense. Bombardment will be directed on Point of entry of raid, K.29.d.02.15.
31 Div 29.6 1.30 pm You will be prepared to carry out a raid to-night 30/1 in case one is ordered.
31 Div 29.6 3.5 pm Observed in Division O.P. WAGRAM reports seeing at 2.0 pm, 4 lots of gun limbers each consisting of four limbers moving from ACHIET – LE – PETIT towards GREYVILLERS. At 2.30 pm gun seen at G.29.b.08 and shortly afterwards it fired five rounds.
31 Div 29.6 7.10 pm Gun at G.29.b.08 mounted on heavy motor lorry on road, and is anti-craft gun. Shells watched bursting below aeroplane on our extreme right.
VIII Corps R.A. 29.6 10.45 pm Reference conversation, and R.A. 395/87 of 28th, para 3. Time to-morrow is 8.40 am to 9.20 am. Same conditions apply as in R.A. 395/89 dated 29th except that another 600 yds be taken as objective. Notify Heavy artillery. Addssd all concerned.
31 Div 29.6 Reference this office G.B. 50, and G.B. 52 of even date. Divisional observers now report gun to be anti-aircraft mounted on heavy motor lorry.
- Left Group 29.6 9 pm A/169 wire-cutting 8.30 to 4.0 pm, wire cut at K.29.d.25.50, 20.60; 4 – 9 p.m. 15.18.
C/169 wire-cutting Point 25 and K.29.d.10.80, front line. This wire was renewed during night, has now been re-cut in several places. 2nd line E. of latter points considerable damage done. General intelligence nil. Hostile artillery generally quiet, SUCRERIE and MODEL FARM shelled with 5.9 in morning and 77 shrapnel in valley S of COLINCAMPS.
- 170 Bde 29.6 9 pm A/170, lane cut at K.29.d.10.75, and K.29.d.45.65 widened; fresh lane cut at K.29.d.13.40 and K.29.d.15.42. B/170 large lane cut on N side of this Battery’s area (K.29.d.02.25 to K.29.c.95.50). 40 yds further South, line is much thinned. C/170, wire on front line cut with fair success. C/171 further work done on wires between Pt. 10 and K.29.d.10.75.
- Left Group 29.6 9 pm Hostile fire, following area shelled, 3.5 – to 3.30 pm. K.27.d. with 5.9, 4.40 pm, K.21.a to with 5.9, 4.30 pm K.15.d.17.15. all wires to B/165 O.P. cut during enemy retaliation with 5.9.
- 171 Bde 29.6 9.20 pm “Y” Day. Hostile artillery fire less active than usual. 1st and 2nd line trenches at K.29.a. to K.34.b. shelled with 77 mm and 15 cm between 5 & 7 pm, 75 cm fired 35 shells into vicinity of SUCRERIE. MAILLY ROAD with 77 mm at intervals during the day.
T.M.O. 30.6 12.10 pm 5.9 Battery in line MATTHEW COPSE to ROSSIGNOL WOOD has put LUKE COPSE guns out of action and is enfilading MATTHEW COPSE and other guns Believe this battery to be responsible for most T.M. Casualties.
- 170 BDE 30.6 4 pm A/170. Wire cut last night at K.29.d.28.70 does not appear to be any more wire here at present. Cutting going on steadily at K.29.d.25 – K.29.d.13. Gap cut at K.29.d.18.48. is about 15 yds wide, and absolutely cleared away. B/170 Target 3rd line wire. Damage done. A lane has been cut in 3rd line wire at K.29.d.55.20 just N of SERRE ROAD.
C/170, wire-cutting. 1st 3rd 4th and 5th line continued. 2nd line, no wire left by Heavies on my line cut. Some good hits obtained, and improvement made. C/171 Wire-cutting front and 2nd lines proceeding satisfactorily on the front K.29.d.10.90 to K.29.d.10.75. A passable gap 15 yds wide will, it is expected, be cleared at K.29.d.10.80 by evening. Hostile fire: about 20 77 mm shells fell round C/170 position – no damage done.
- 171 Bde 30.6 4.10 pm Progress report. D/169 objective Point 80 to K.29.b.89.75, Point 37 to Point 34 much damage has been done to this trench. High mounds of earth that were there are now demolished. D/165, K.29.d.35.62 2nd line, K.29.d.46.48. 3rd line, K.30.a.35.55 several hits were made on the parapet and in the wire at these points.
- 165 Bde 30.6 4.30 pm A/169 resting since raid last night. B/169 lines widened at K.29.d.25.85., and K.30.c.50.82. C/169, lane widened K.29.d.10.75 and 12.73. B/171 resting. Gun firing from L.33. central 10 pm. Flashes from 5.9 battery visible at 10.30 pm from about L.14.a.80.25, 5.9s active to-day on MATTHEW COPSE, LA SIGNY, TAUPIN RIDGE, otherwise little activity.
- 171 Bde 30.6 9.15 pm Hostile artillery report. Enemy artillery more active than usual. Our 2nd and 3rd line in K.35.a. shelled heavily between 10 a.m. and 11.35 a.m. SUCRERIE & EUSTON shelled as usual.
- Left Group 30.6 9 pm Wire cutting report, same as reported by C.O. this afternoon. All batteries have widened the 2nd, 3rd and 4th line lanes. Hostile artillery very quiet.
From C.R.E. 48Div 30.6 9.31 pm Arrange demolition of PYLONS in Divisional area to-night between 10.30 p.m. and 1.30 a.m.
- 169 Bde 30.6 9 pm Nothing to report since 4 p.m. Intelligence. – Battery on ACHIET – BUCQUOY Road already reported. Eight D emplacements L.32.a. PUISIEUX TRENCH. 7.40 pm two more guns ACHIET to BUCQUOY. 7.42 pm 20 mounted men, 4 guns, 6 wagons out of LOGEAST WOOD and outwards, BUCQUOY on ACHIET – BUCQUOY Road. Wagons and cyclists on GREVILLERS – ACHIET Road 5 pm to 8 pm.
- 170 Bde 30.6 10.30 pm A/170 wire cut last night at K.29.d.28.70 there does not appear to be any more wire there at present. Cutting going on steadily at K.29.d.25 toK.29.d.13; gap being made. The gap cut at K.29.d.18.45 is about 15 yds wide and absolutely cleared away. Wire at K.29.a.25 to d.15.40 large gap cut. No wire visible in 2nd line; Lane improved in wire cutting area K.29.d.34. – 20 bombardment. B/170 target 1st line wire, damage done – lane cut in 1st line wire at K.29.d.55.20 just north of SERRE Road has been improved. C/170 wire cutting continued. Lane in 3rd, 4th & 5th line widened and improved, registration verified. C/171 wire cutting on front K.29.d.10.75 up to pt. 10 has produced following results. K.29.d.10.90 to pt 10 and 50 yds further North passable anywhere. K.29.d.10.88 a clear 15 yards gap in front and second line. K.29.d.10.85 a gap 10 yards wide in front line. Second line badly smashed and probably passable. K.29.d.10.80 a 20 yds gap with some stakes and a few strands of wire left which however form no barrier.
General information – some heavy guns firing on K.29.c.79 at 8.30 a.m. Part of ROMAN Road has been shelled during the day; EUSTON Road K.33.a.39 was rather more vigorously shelled last night. Hostile Artillery – comparatively quiet except during bombardment when they shelled VALLADE vigorously for 15 minutes at 1.0 p.m.