F Hammond letter 1st Aug 1916

The Somme 16

1st Aug 1916

Dear Will

Just a line to say I am A1 here.  Hope you will excuse me for not dropping you a line early.  We have done so much knocking about that I hadn’t much inclination to write but now I find letters accumulate.  So just take this opportunity before going on parade.  I suppose you’ve read all the news and noticed the part played by the S Africans & Highlanders which was no small part.  I met several **** men while in the battle line.  Sorry to say Harold Kemp was killed in the early stages of the offensive.  Our artillery was simply wonderful & it’s ** to the efficiency of the same what makes possible for the line to move forward.  I don’t think there’s much more to say about it as we have plenty of men to do that for us now.  There was a good article in the Times of July 25th worth reading.  I am now in rest doing fatigues but having a good time in between.  The weather is ideal here could just do with a week with you but still it may soon be over now as we have got top weight on them now.  So bye bye for present OM

Gussie

 

Original letter very heavily worn.

 

Field Service Post Card D.2. Au 5 16.  To E. Hammond, 9, Countess St. Stockport.  I am quite well.  I have received your parcel lately.  Letter follows at first opportunity Fred 5.8.16

War Diary of 8th Divisional Artillery July 1916

War Diary of 8th Divisional Artillery July 1916

 

 

HENENCOURT

  • At 6.25 a.m. the Bombardment for the 4th Army Operation commenced all along the line. The Right and Left Groups covering the whole 8 Dn front.  The Centre Group under Col. WILSON 86th Bde R.F.A standing fast owing to have been dug in well forward to support the further advance and unable to clear the crest at front line range.  The attack was launched at 7.30 a.m.  The Right and Left Bdes found in difficulty in closing but centre Bde was hung up by OVILLERS.  Little progress was made during the day.  The 70th Bde on left reached the third support line but had to withdraw later.  The Right and Centre being hung up by OVILLERS.  By evening the Division was back in its old front line the attack having failed.  The Batteries fired throughout the day mostly at a fairly rapid rate.  A good deal of trouble with Buffers and Springs. The Trench Mortars took an Active part in the Bombardment.  Also the Heavy Trench Mortars.

Casualties to Artillery practically nil.  1 Howitzer 57th Battery blown up caused by premature.

 

  • Night firing as appropriate and occasional rounds in front line.

During the day the 8th Division less the Artillery and R.E. were relieved by the 12th Division the relief being complete by midnight.  There was no infantry action during the day.  The Batteries kept up a continuous fire at a slow rate throughout the day.  At 10 p.m. 12th Division Operation Order was issued for an attack on OVILLERS to be launched at 3.15 a.m. preceded one hour’s bombardment by all natures.  The 57th Battery had one howitzer blown up by a premature.  18 Pdr Batteries experienced considerable Buffer trouble, elongation cylinders being the chief trouble.  Casualties LT WENHAM wounded while acting as Liaison Officer to Battle H.Q.

 

HENENCOURT

  • Night firing was continued on approaches up to 2-15 a.m. at which hour the Hows bombardment of OVILLERS started. The Div Artillery bombarding the whole front trench area especially the portion W of OVILLERS while the Heavy Artillery bombarded the village.

2 Trench Mortars firing on the front Line. At 3.15 a.m. fire was lifted off the front line and the attack launched by two Bdes.  Both attacks were partially successful, the right gaining the front line, the left the front two lines.  It was found to be impossible to hold the ground gained owing to the machine gun fire from the THIEPVAL SALIENT and from the outskirts of LA BOISELLE.

By 9.30 a.m. all our Infantry men were back in our old front line. Failure of the attack was due to well placed flank Machine Guns which had not been knocked out.  At 9.30 Batteries were put in to put a Barrage around OVILLERS in order to prevent movement in or out.  One Howitzer D/86 Battery received a direct hit fired by a 5.9 How which came in through the firing aperture.  The Howitzer was knocked out and three men killed and two wounded. – One section per Battery, excepting 5 Battery relieved during the night by one section per Battery 12 Divn.  Artillery.

Sections marching to wagon lines – HENENCOURT WOOD and BRESLE.

Operation Order No 12 marked APPENDIX OO/12 attached.

APPENDIX OO/12 and OO/13.

 

  • Night firing continued from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. No infantry action during the day was made by our infantry (12th Division). Guns continued firing on roads and approaches during the day.  The 55th Battery and 33rd Battery were used to assist the infantry (19th Div) bombing in LA BOISSELLE.  These two batteries on several occasions doing very useful work.

At 9 p.m. Batteries resumed night firing.

During the night the whole of the Divisional Artillery was relieved by the 12th Dn Artillery reliefs being completed  by 2.15 a.m.

Brigades marched to BEHENCOURT and FRECHENCOURT.

Operation Order No. 14 marked Appendix OO/14 attached.

APPENDIX OO/14.

HENENCOURT

  • Heavy firing by German Batteries on THIEPVAL followed by counter attack on trenches held by 32nd Batteries continued night firing on roads and approaches and Right flank Barrage at LA BOISELLE.

During the night Batteries were relieved by Batteries of 12 Dn Arty and withdrawn to BEHENCOURT and FRENCHCOURT.   Relief being completed in the line by 2.15 a.m.

R.A. H.Q. handed over responsibility to 12 Div Arty at 10 a.m. 5 July and proceeded to CAVILLON.

The Dn Artillery marched from BEHENCOURT and FRECHENCOURT at 12 Noon for Billets S of SOMME.

5th Bde and 35th Bde Billeted at LES MEAGES.

45th Bde MOULIENS VIDAMES.

D.A.C. at CROUY.

Arriving during the evening from 7 to 9 p.m.

Orders received same night that Dn Arty will entrain to PERNES Area.

Operation Order No. 15 dated 5 July marked OO/15 attached.

Weather Rain at night. Day fine.

APPENDIX OO/15.

 

CAVILLON

  • Div R.A. H.Q. at CAVILLON. Brigades at LE MEAGES, MOULIENS-VIDAMES. A.C. at CROUY.

Orders sent out to entrain at LONGUEAU and SALEUX starting at 5.30 A.M. 7th.

Weather fine though cloudy.  Warm.

 

BRUAY

  • Brigades entrained at LONGEAU and SALEUX starting at 5.30 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. Destination BRUAY Area (1st Corps Area LOOS Sector).

Brigades Detrained at PERNES-CAMBLAIN, DIEVAL, BRYAS and marched to Billets as under

 

5th Bde R.H.A. – LAPUGNOY.

33rd Bde R.F.A. – MARLES-LES-MINES.

46th Bde R.F.A. – LABEUVIERE.

Div. Amn. Column. – AUCHEL.

Div Artillery H.Q. – BRUAY

Weather Heavy rain all morning, clear in afternoon.

 

BRUAY

  • In Rest. The Division placed in Army reserve from now onwards. No restrictions as to number of hours notice to move.

Weather fine Warm.

 

 

MARLES LES MINES

  • In Army Reserve. Divisional Artillery H.Q. moved to MARLES-LES-MINES.

Officers of 5th and 33rd Brigades visited Left Sector 1st Corps Area (VERMELLES).

Weather fine Strong Wind.

 

Ditto   10-7-16   Reserve Area.

Brigade Commanders, B, C or Captains of 5th & 33rd Bdes visited Left Sector of 1st Corps Front (VERMELLES).

Weather fine Windy.

 

Ditto   11-7-16   Reserve Area.

Second party of officers visited Left Division Area.  G.O.C. inspected 5th Bde. R.H.A.

Weather fine.  Mounted parade.  Medals ribbons were presented to 8 N.C.O’s & men.

 

Ditto   12-7-16   Reserve Area.

The M.G. R.A. 1st Army inspected 45th Bde R.F.A. in their lines.

Weather fine.

 

Ditto   13-7-16   Reserve Area.

Inspection by G.O.C. 8 Division.  Dismounted Parades.

Orders received that Artillery of 8 Division will be transferred from 1st Corps to XI Corps as early as possible under arrangements to be made direct between Corps.

Weather fine.

 

ESTAIRES                                                          Ref 1/80,000 ST OMER, LILLE and ARRAS and FRANCE and BELGIUM 1/40,000.

 

  • At 1.30 a.m. orders received for 8 D.A. to join XI Corps at LACORGUE arriving at that place at 12 Noon. – Brigade Commanders, Battery Commanders and 1 Subaltern per Battery went on in advance to report to H.Q. 61stA. for orders. – Remainder of Artillery moved at 7.30 a.m. by route march to FOSSE (R.21.central) where they were met by guides who conducted batteries to Wagon Lines in LESTREM vicinity.

Positions for Batteries were selected in the RUE BACQUEROT between cross roads M.17.d. and RED HOUSE             (M.6.d.).   Positions are derelict positions and require rebuilding – order of occupation 33rd Bde on right, 5th Bde       Centre, 45th Bde on Left – H.Q.s of Brigades in LAVENTIE.

Operation Order No. 16 marked Appendix OO/16 attached.                                                                           APPENDIX OO/16.

 

Order for move of Wagon Lines marked A1/3 attached.

Div Artillery H.Q. established in the Square ESTAIRES.

Weather fine.                                                                                                                                           APPENDIX A1/3.

 

ESTAIRES

  • Brigades preparing positions and getting up Ammunition.

H.Q. 33rd Bde moved to RUE de PARADIS.  H.Q. 45th Bde to ROUGE de BOUT

Weather fine.

ESTAIRES

  • Brigades in Action in RUE BACQUEROT. All Batteries started wire cutting front line wire between FAQUISSART and SUGAR LOAF. Moving to the preparations being **** it was impossible to provide head cover for Gun Pits.  The 32nd & 36th Batteries were somewhat heavily shelled by the hostile guns and suffered considerably T/Captain POWELL being killed and Captain ARCHER HOUBLON wounded (at Duty).

Casualties were           5 Bde R.H.A.              1 Killed.  2 Wounded

33        R.F.A.            1 Officer Killed

1 Officer Wounded (Duty)

5 O.R. Killed

21 Wounded

45 Bde R.F.A.                        Wounded O.R. 2

D.A.C.                        Wounded O.R.s 2

Weather fine slight drizzle in evening.

 

ESTAIRES

  • The night was Quiet. 32nd and 36th Batteries moved from positions in RUE BACQUEROT to LAFLINQUE.

No action by our Artillery during the Day.

The Trench Mortar Officer and X, Y, Z/Trench Mortar Batteries rejoined the Div Artillery from ALBERT.  The           personnel of these three Batteries is to be used in the event of offensive action on this front.  All three Batteries spent          day in preparing Positions.

Weather fine though heavy clouds about all day.  Barometer 29.98.

ESTAIRES

  • The Enemy fired a certain number of rounds during the night at 32nd and 36th Batteries wounding 6 men of 32nd Battery.

Batteries resumed wire cutting between hours 10 a.m. to 12 Noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

32nd & 36th Batteries had to stop firing owing being heavily shelled.

O’ Battery R.H.A. did not wire cut its position being too exposed.

Casualties during day             CAPT M.H.D. PARSONS ‘O’ Bty   Killed.

MAJOR A.O. BOYD ‘O’ Bty Wounded.

CAPT ARCHER HOUBLON 32 Bty Wounded

Other Ranks 2 Killed 4 Wounded

Weather fine.

 

ESTAIRES

  • Night firing on approaches and cut wire. Zero hour for operations 11 a.m. Preliminary bombardment from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at which hour the Assault was launched.  Batteries lifting from the front line and forming barrage in rear of hostile support line.

Casualties during day.                        Killed – 2 O.R.s

Wounded – 2 O.R.s

Shell Shock – 2 O.R.s

Weather fine.

 

ESTAIRES

  • Batteries remained in Battle Positions. Operations broken off.

Orders received at 1.30 a.m. for 8 Dn Artillery to rejoin 8 Division marching on 21st.

Weather fine.

Ditto

  • Batteries remained in action all day but did not fire. During afternoon Batteries were withdrawn to Wagon Lines the withdrawal being carried out by single Guns. – At 7.30 p.m. the D.A.C. march to Billets at FOUQUEREIL.

The 33rd Bde plus ‘O’ Bty R.H.A. and D/5 Bty. Hows 5 Bde R.H.A. march at 9.45 p.m. to Billets at BETHUNE –                          BEUVRY road.  At 10.15 p.m. 45 Bde plus ’Z’ Bty marched to Billets at LE QUESNOY – H.Q. Div Arty remained at                             ESTAIRES.

ESTAIRES

  • Orders received for 8 Div Artillery to relieve the 8 Div Artillery Group in the QUINCHY Sector, and LEFT Group 15th Div Artillery on nights of 22nd/23rd and 23rd/24th July – Operation Order No. 17 dated 21st July 1916 issued. Marked APPENDIX OO/17 attached.

APPENDIX OO/17.

Instructions re relief of 8 Div Artillery Group and 15th D.A.      LEFT Group marked APPENDIX A1/6 attached.

APPENDIX A1/6.

Operation Order No. 18 dated 21st July 1916 March Table and detail of Relief marked APPENDIX OO/18 attached.

APPENDIX OO/18.

Weather fine.

ESTAIRES

  • Q. R.A. at ESTAIRES. RIGHT Group Billets BETHUNE – BEUVRY Road. LEFT Group Billets LE QUESNOY.  D.A.C. Billets FOUQUEREIL.

At 4 a.m. 7 18 Pdr guns from 33rd Bde sent up to action to replace 7 guns of 8 Dn Artillery Group sent to workshops.

Reliefs carried out in accordance with Operation Order No. 18 above.

Guns and Howitzers 16th and 40th Division Artillery forming part of 8 Div Artillery Group exchanged with 8 Div Artillery being 10 18 Pdr Guns and 8 4.5 Hows.

At 6 p.m. 8 D.A.C. relieved 15th D.A.C. at VERQUIGNEUL.

Weather fine.

CHATEAU DES PRES

  • Divisional Artillery H.Q. moved from ESTAIRES to SAILLY-LABOURSE opening at 12 Noon.

During the Day the relief of Batteries of 16th and 40th Divisions was carried out in Personnel only.  Guns having been       exchanged.  Reliefs completed by 4 p.m.

Relief of 15th D.A. Batteries carried out at 9.30 p.m. and completed by 11 p.m.  Guns of 15th D.A. being withdrawn and 8 D.A. guns put in.  This includes the whole of the right group and two Batteries 18 Pdr in Left Group.

SAILLY-        Group and Battery Commanders took over on completion of reliefs.

LABOURSE  H.Q. R.A. assumed responsibility for Artillery Defence of Line on completion of reliefs (11-15 p.m.)

During the Day five mines were blown.  3 by us and 2 by the Enemy.

Hostile Artillery activity was slight during the 24 hours.  Our advanced sections registered.  Weather fine though      cloudy.

  • A Quiet Day. Our Batteries continued registration and checking lines taken over. This provoked a certain amount of hostile fire which was mostly directed against the trenches in the HOHENZOLLERN Sector.  A few rounds from 5.9 How and 77 mm were fired into ANNEQUIN.  Shelling ceased on our retaliating.

Weather fine though cloudy.

 

 

CHATEAU DES PRES

  • The night was Quiet. Hostile Artillery very inactive. He used his Trench Mortars a little on the HOHENZOLLERN sector.  MAISON ROUGE and KINGSCLERE O.P. were shelled by 4.2 Hows considerable damage being done on the former.  Our guns retaliated on his O.P.s with successful results.  Registration and checking lines of fire taken over was continued at intervals during the day.

Weather fine though cloudy.  Rain expected.

 

SAILLY-LABOURSE

27-7-16            The night was Quiet.  During the day the enemy appeared to register a few points on our front probably in reply to our registration of various points.  No shelling of any importance took place.

Weather fine though dull with heavy cloud.

28-7-16            The night was Quiet.  During the day intermittent firing on both the CUINCHY and HOHENZOLLERN Sector to which we retaliated on his ‘Tender Spots’ and Support Line – KINGSCLERE O.P. was shelled but no damage done.  His Trench Mortars from the BRICK STACKS and LITTLE WILLIE TRENCH were fairly active.

At 11.0 p.m. the enemy fired both heavy & Medium Trench Mortars and 77 mm on Left Battalion HOHENZOLLERN Sector.  We replied vigorously.

Weather fine bright sunshine all day.  Misty in the Early morning.

 

29-7-16            The hostile Artillery of all natures including Trench Mortars were more active than on previous days.  Particular                      attention being paid to VALLEY OF DEATH, KINGSCLERE O.P. and CUINCHY CHURCH.  He also appeared to be CHATEAU       carefully registering our front line system opposite HOHERNZOLLERN.  Our Artillery retaliated on all occasions on DES PRES      his front line system and suspected O.P.s.  at 6.45 p.m. our 6” Hows engaged a Trench Mortar Emplacement in the                                     BRICK STACKS – At 9.0 p.m. his Artillery opened a lively fire on our trenches in the HOHENZOLLERN Sector SAILLY-         which increased in intensity till 11.30 p.m. when he raided our trenches in this Sector.  Between 11.30 p.m. and LABOURSE          2.30 a.m. he attempted three more raids with varying success.

Each attempt being preceded by an intense bombardment by all natures to which our Artillery replied with heavy                              Barrage fire.

Weather fine.

 

30-7-16            The night was Quiet.  Greatly reduced hostile Artillery activity during the Day.  A few rounds from 4.2” Hows and 77 mm being fired at odd points on our front Line system.  Our batteries fired at ’Tender Spots’ and continued a policy of continual annoyance.  Our Medium Trench Mortars fired about 80 rounds into the hostile front line wire and parapet doing Considerable Damage.

Weather fine.  Misty up to 9 a.m. rest of Day bright sunshine.

 

  • The night was Quiet.

The Enemy was very quiet during this period with his Artillery only firing some 15 rounds of 10.5 cm in the

CHATEAU     HOHENZOLLERN Sector.  His Trench Mortars were however fairly active along the whole front – our Batteries who DES PRES            had not finished their registration carried on with it during this period.  In addition several points on the hostile trenches SAILLY-      were subjected to bursts of fire in conjunction with our Trench Mortars.

LABOURSE  Weather fine.  Very warm.

 

 

Report on Casualties to Personnel for month ending 31st July marked APPENDIX A/16is attached.                                APPENDIX A/16

Appendices OO/12, OO/13, OO/14, OO/15, OO/16, A1/3, A1/6, OO/17, OO/18, N/1 are attached.

 

C.R. Gover Major

for        

B.G.R.A. 8 Division

2nd Aug 1916

War Diary of Headquarters 31st Divisional Artillery from JUNE 1st 1916 – To JUNE 30th 1916

War Diary of Headquarters 31st Divisional Artillery from JUNE 1st 1916 – To JUNE 30th 1916

 

VOLUME VI

 

1st June 1916                                                                           31st Div Artillery                                                         Ref Map 57 D N.E.

H.Q. BUS LES ARTOIS                               G.O.C. R.A. Brig Gen E.P. Lambert C.B., R.A.                   Infantry

Bde Major Capt H.O. Hutchison R.A.                       Right Sector

Right Group                                        Right Group                            A/170 Q.13.b.10.60                            93rd Inf Bde

H.Q. MAILLY-MAILLET                Lt. Col C.B. Simonds R.F.A. C/170  Q.2.c.50.25.                             Brig Gen Ingles

Cmdg 170th Bde                     D/171(How) Q.7.b.30.80.                   (1 Battalion in the line)

H.Q. COLINCAMPS

 

Left Group                                          Left Group                                C/165     K.27.a.13.13.                     Centre & left sectors

H.Q. COLINCAMPS                         Lt. Col W.S.D. Craven R.F.A. C/171     K.27.c.05.95.                      93rd Inf Bde

Cmdg 169th Bde.                      B/169      K.32.a.90.35.                     (2 Battalions in line)

C/169       K.32.b.15.15                     94th Bde less 1 Batt training

H/169       K.31.c.70.00.                    92nd Bde less 1 Batt in Div reserve,

D/170 (How) Q.2.b.10.25                   1 Batt 92nd & 1 Batt 93rd in Bde reserve.

 

A/171             K.27.a.05.70.          Attached to 48th Div.

D/169 (How) K.27.c.20.10.         Cover whole Div Front.  (Under tactical control of Col. Hon. H.W. Addington R.F.A. Cmdg 171st Bde)

 

 

In Reserve:-

 

1st June 1916

  • 165 Bde R.F.A. (less C Battery) Lt ColG. Henderson R.F.A.
  • 171 Bde Hdqtrs (and B/171 battery) Col Hon. H.W. Addington R.F.A.

 

Guns in Action   32 18pdrs, (4 18 pdrs lent to 48th Div)

12, 4.5 Hows

”In Reserve”      14 18 pdrs

3, 4.5 Hows

In Shop (for repairs) 2 18 pdrs

1 4.5 How

On LEFT FLANK         =          48th Division.

On Right FLANK         =          29th Division

 

1st June

Right Group Enemy was active with 5.9’s firing 90 rounds into Q.2.d. between 6 & 8 a.m.

Otherwise a quiet day.  A/170 fired at a battery in PENDANT COPSE with observation by Kite balloon.

Left Group   Enemy fired about 120 rounds into K.21.a. between 7.30 & 9 a.m.  He was also active with 77 mm.

2nd June

Right Group Normal day.  Snipers post located at Q.5.a20.80., also probably T.M. emplacement at K.35.b.0.5.

Left Group     Normal day.  Enemy shelled COURCELLES – COLINCAMPS road

3rd June

Right Group & Left Group Normal; enemy artillery quiet during the day, & up to 12 midnight, when the bombardment of the raid started.

Appendix I Raid scheme 48th D.A. orders & raid map (with “Original” copy of Diary)

Orders etc re the raid attached.

The artillery bombardment in conjunction with the 2 Trench mortars was accurate & effective, & the timing was punctual throughout. It was interesting to note that the enemy did not start retaliation to our bombardment till 12.20, their heavies did not open till 12.35.  Even then our trenches opposite the point of entry did not suffer very much, as most of the German fire was directed on our trenches opposite T.S. of the QUADRLATERAL.

The infantry were delayed in getting to their places and there was some delay in getting their Bangalore Torpedo into position – One of our own guns was afterwards reported by the raiding party to have been falling short on their left & caused some casualties. After the Bangalore torpedo was exploded, there was still some wire left uncut near the German parapet.  While cutting this wire some casualties were incurred, but an entry was made into the first line and 3 Germans are known to have been killed.  By this time the Officer in charge of the raiding party considered it time to withdraw & ordered the return to our own lines.  No prisoners were taken.

It was never discovered which gun was shooting short & it is quite possible that it was German fire & not our own.

The German artillery fire in reply was directed chiefly on the right & left of the front of entry and the heaviest retaliation was opposite the Quadrilateral where our casualties were somewhat heavy owing to lack of sufficient cover.

June 4th

Right Group  Hostile Artillery was much quieter than of late opposite both groups.  Transport was fairly active on PUISIEUX road between 5.30 & 7 p.m.

Left Group   Normal day.

June 5th

Right Group Normal day.

Left Group   Normal day.                     See Appendix V (with original Diary)

June 6th

Right Group & Left Group Normal day.  Enemy artillery rather quieter.

June 7th

Right Group Normal day.  Camouflage observed at Q.6.a.5.1. A 77 mm battery is suspected.  Work continues on K.35.a.40.00.

Left Group Snipers posts located at K.30.c.15.67, K.35.c.40.70, K.35.c.30.40.

June 8th

Right Group  Enemy fired about 90 5.9 shell at C/170, having previously ranged on it some hours before.  One man was wounded, one gun damaged.

Hostile battery was located at R.1.d.7.9 & engaged by 60 pdrs.

Ranging for instruction of Infantry Officers continues. Batteries starting dumping ammunition at the guns today for the forthcoming offensive.

Left Group Train movements observed rather above normal.

June 9th

Right Group Enemy artillery slightly more active.  Machine gun was located at K.29.b.4.0.

Left Group  Normal day.

June 10th

Right Group  Enemy artillery active with 77 mm & 4.2 cm.  Strong parties were working on the trenches in the QUADRILATERAL all night, probably repairing damage done by our 2” Trench mortars, who fired 20 rounds with good effect in the afternoon.  C/170, A/170, D/171 cooperated during this shoot with a large number of rounds.

Left Group Fired over 200 rounds in retaliation for hostile shelling, which was active on our front line in the morning in K.29.b.

June 11th

Right Group  Enemy artillery very quiet

Left Group

June 12th

Right Group & Left Group  Enemy artillery again below normal.  Weather, rainy & bad for observation.

June 13th

Right Group & Left Group  Slight enemy artillery activity confined to 77mm.  Large working party observed in afternoon at K.31.c.7.4.  Weather wet & misty.

June 14th

Both Groups  – Normal day – transports observed by Left Group slightly above normal.

June 15th

Both Groups – report Camouflage in Munich Trench at K36.a.71.82., this has been moved along the trench day by day; it is thought it may be a forward position.

 

June 16th       On night of 15/16 June 2 guns 134th Battery 4th Div relieved 2 guns C/170.  On night 16/17 remaining guns 134th battery relieved remaining guns C/170.  When this relief was completed C/170 were in their new positions at K.27.c.64.40 & A/170 also withdrew & moved into their new position at K.27.c.64.07.

At 6 p.m. on 16th the Left Group covered the front from North point of JOHN COPSE to K.35.a.4.7., covering both battalions in the line.  The left group was reinforced by D/171.

The batteries, therefore, till the 24th June, were grouped as follows.

Left Group. Lt. Col. W.S.D. Craven.                                                   H.Q. K.25c.23.28.

Cmdg 169 Bde R.F.A.

 

C/165              K.27.a.16.14.

C/171              K.27.c.05.95.

B/169              K.32.a.91.35.

C/169              K.32.b.20.15.

A/169             K.31.c.71.00.

D/170              Q2.b.10.25.

D/171              Q.7.b.30.80.

 

16th – 23rd June                                 Reinforcing batteries.

B/165              K.15.d.09.17.                                      During this week these batteries were

A/165              K.21.a.00.80.                                      gradually moved into their new positions

A/171              K.27.a.07.48.                                      by night.  They registered with a few rounds,

D/169              K.27.c.20.10.                                      but did not take part in the defence of the

A/170              K.27.c.64.07.                                      line, as it was not considered desirable to

B/170              K.27.c.22.68.                                      disclose their positions more than was

C/170              K.27.c.64.40.                                      absolutely necessary.

D/165              K.32.d.40.70.

B/171              K.32.c.83.73.

16th June

Right Group  Handed over tactical control to 4th Div Art & O.C. Left Group, 6.30 p.m. this evening.  A trench mortar at Q.5.a.35.45was silenced by our Artillery fire.

Left Group Transport heard during the night seemed much greater than usual.

The IV Division are now on our Right with the 29th Division on their right.

June 17th

Left Group B/169 was shelled with 5.9’s between 6.30 & 7 p.m., causing 7 casualties, 4 killed & 3wounded.  No damage to emplacements.  Enemy aeroplanes were active over our lines.

How. Group. (D171) Normal day.

 

June 18th

Both Groups  Enemy artillery very quiet.  Hostile aeroplanes again active.

June 19th

Both Groups  Hostile artillery shewed greater activity today, especially with 4.2’s & 5.9’s.  Left Group fired over 200 rounds in group retaliations.

June 20th

Both Groups Normal day.  Preliminary bombardment (wire cutting) to general attack, which should have started at 6 a.m. this morning, was postponed to the 24th.

June 21st

Both Groups  Hostile Artillery slightly more active.  Left Group fired over 150 rounds in retaliation.

June 22nd 23rd

Both Groups  Nothing of interest to report.

 

June 24th       For the grouping of the Divisional Artillery during the bombardment & attack see attached Appendix.    Appendix III

For reports from 24th June onwards see attached appendix IV.  (pp 24&25).                                                                                                              Appendix IV

Appendix V

Two inch Trench Mortars

T.M.O. Capt Horner 18th W. Yorks

Batteries

X31     Lieut Binns                                                     S31 was formed from the Div Arty by officers & men who Y31           Capt Kirk                                                        had one week’s course.  2nd Lt Axten was given command Z31            Lieut Alexander                                     of this battery.

 

V 31 Heavy T.M. Battery (Capt Haney R.F.A.) arrived from the Trench Mortar School on June 4th without guns.  Two mortar positions & ammunition dumps were built, pending the arrival of their guns which, however, were not eventually forthcoming.

Z 23 (Lieut George) with mortars complete was attached to 31 Div Arty from 23rd Div Arty & arrived on June 18th.

Capt Horner T.M.O. was relieved by 2nd Lieut Bates R.F.A. on June 8th.  2nd Lt Bates was given the local rank of captain while employed as T.M.O.   Captain Kirk, on going sick, was relieved in his command by 2nd Lieut Dann R.F.A. on the 2nd June.

Throughout June the personnel of the Trench Mortars assisted by 53 Pioneers (later increased to 100) prepared 18 T.M. positions & ammunition dumps to hold 6000 rounds of ammunition in the trenches.

Dumps of 1000 rounds each were situated in SACKVILLE St., OBSERVATION WOOD & MATTHEW COPSE.  Component parts for dump in OBSERVATION WOOD were stacked in a specially made dug-out off EXCEMA & behind HITTITE.  The remainder of the ammunition was stored in deep dug-outs between each pair of mortar positions.

The transport of 2” T.M. ammunition to the trenches was a heavy task. Lorries carried them to COLINCAMPS & thence by G.S. wagons to EUSTON DUMP – thence by hand to the various positions in the trenches.

The weather was wet & the trenches muddy & very heavy to walk through, & it was almost impossible to get the men carrying bombs to do more than one journey by night.

By the evening of          all the mortars were in position & the ammunition at the various dumps.  The Pioneers had to work day & night shifts during the last 10 days & the ammunition required actually 9000 men to carry it from first to last, including the replenishment of gun pits during the bombardment.

Month ending 31st July 1916

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – Headquarters ****

————————————————————————————

 

Month ending 31st July 1916

 

 

Nature of Casualty                  Officers                                               Other Ranks                            Remarks

 

Admitted

to Hospital.                             –                                                                       1                                            

 

Killed.                                     –                                                                       –

 

Wounded.                               –                                                                       –

 

Injured.                                   –                                                                       –

 

Missing.                                   –                                                                       –

 

Absentees.                               –                                                                       –

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return of Casualties to Personnel – 45th Brigade R.F.A. Month ending 31st July 1916

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – 45th Brigade R.F.A.  Month ending 31st July 1916

 

 

Nature of Casualty                  Officers                                               Other Ranks                            Remarks

 

Admitted

to Hospital.                             1                                                                      12x                                         x Does not include 5o wounded

 

Killed.                                     –                                                                       3

 

Injured.                                   –                                                                       –

 

Wounded.                               1                                                                      5o                                 o Includes 2 wounded “at duty”

 

Missing.                                   –                                                                       3

 

Absentees.                               –                                                                       –

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – 33rd Brigade R.F.A. Month ending 31st July 1916

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – 33rd Brigade R.F.A.  Month ending 31st July 1916

 

 

Nature of Casualty                  Officers                                               Other Ranks                            Remarks

 

Admitted

to Hospital.                             –                                                                       21                                           3 since rejoined unit

 

Killed.                                     1                                                                      9

 

Wounded.                               3x                                                                     47                                x 1 whilst detached from unit.

 

Missing.                                   –                                                                       –

 

Injured.                                   –                                                                       7x                                 x 1 since rejoined unit.

 

Absentees.                               –                                                                       –

 

Died of wounds                      –                                                                       2

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – 8th Divnl Ammn Column. Month ending 31st July 1916

 

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – 8th Divnl Ammn Column.  Month ending 31st July 1916

 

 

Nature of Casualty                  Officers                                               Other Ranks                            Remarks

 

Admitted

to Hospital.                             1                                                                      15                                          

 

Killed.                                     –                                                                       –

 

Injured.                                   –                                                                       1                                 at Bomb Depot

 

Wounded.                               1                                                                      5x                                 x wounded while on fatigues with Batteries

 

Missing.                                   –                                                                       –

 

Absentees.                               –                                                                       –

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – 5th Brigade R.H.A. Month ending 31st July 1916

Monthly Return of Casualties to Personnel – 5th Brigade R.H.A. Month ending 31st July 1916

 

 

Nature of Casualty                  Officers                                               Other Ranks                            Remarks

 

Admitted

to Hospital.                             –                                                                       5                                             2 since rejoined

 

Killed.                                     1                                                                     3

 

Injured.                                   –                                                                       3

 

Wounded.                               2                                                                      13                                1 Officer at  “duty”

 

Missing.                                   –                                                                       –

 

Absentees.                               –                                                                       –

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAR DIARY Of 30th Divisional Artillery from 1st July 1916 – To 31st July 1916

WAR DIARY Of 30th Divisional Artillery from 1st July 1916 – To 31st July 1916

 

 

 

RANGEE des nuits     1st July                       Lovely day.  Bombardment and attack as per programme – Events as per attached hourly

ARBRES                                                        report. – Many S.O.S. during the night mostly nothing – Aeroplane reports enemy massing at S.18.b.6.9 – Turned heavies onto them. – Heavy expenditure of Amn during the night.

 

2nd July                        Dull but fine.  A/151 in action in forward position OXFORD COPSE – all left Group

3.15 am           have to replenish Amn.

3.55 am           S.O.S. Mountauban – All guns got amn.  Apparently enemy attacked BRIQUIETERIE and got *** *** – ditto N.W. of MONTAUBAN – 18th D.A. cooperated – Too many S.O.S. sent result “wolf” – Proper attack at 5 am driven off by our fire.

8.35am            Arranged for heavies to shell Bernafay Wood so that our patrols can enter & clean up situation – Bernafay Wood found practically empty – Took 16 prisoners & found a lot of German dead – Intermittent shelling all day.

 

3rd July                         Fine – Looked for forward posn for batteries near Machine Gun Wood and the late “no mans ground” found 7 German trenches most awfully knocked about.

 

4th July                         Dull – Thundery – Quiet day on our front – French took ESTREES & BELLOI

15th Corps are taking S end of Mametz Wood Trench & QUADRANGLE Trench tonight at 12.45 am (They took all but S of Mametz Wood.

 

ETINEHEM               5th July                        Came out from Rangee D’ Arbres dugouts & handed over to 9th Div Arty – new scheme for attack on MALTZ HURN Farm – TRONES Wood for day after tomorrow 7th sprung on us at 1 pm.  Went tonight group & 9th D.A. & French 39th D.A. to try and arrange matters.  Find French leaving a gap between us – nothing yet settled by Corps.  Ordered 149th Bde complete to advanced positions S.W. of MACHINE GUN WOOD also B/157 to N. of Peronne Road to take ** above scheme – Batteries to move tonight. Scheme postponed 24 hours.

 

6th July                         Wet visited MONTAUBAN & BERNAFAY WOOD. Wonderful O.P. up a tree.  Slight alterations in lines 7.55 am as shell *** 8. am zero – 8.55 am Heavy Artillery lift off.                                

Fine Arranged scheme with Right Group & Sackville West.  Scheme postponed 24 hours.

 

7th July                         Wet visited MONTAUBAN & BERNAFAY WOOD.  Wonderful O.P. up a tree in Bernafay Wood.  Timings for tomorrows show 7.55 am gas shells stop – 8. am zero – 8.55 am Heavy Artillery lift off. S.30.a.5.4 & neighbourhood of Trones Wood – 9.35 lift off N & S part of MALTZ Horn trench 9.40 off NE & SW part of ditto.  9.55 am off Maltz Horn Farm.  9.35 am 2nd phase of attack commences  9.45 am Maltz Horn trenches to be occupied  10 am take Maltz Horn Farm.  Later take all TRONES WOOD – The French  will make a barrage E of TRONES WOOD if necessary.

 

8th July                         Dull – The attack on Trones Wood reached the Wood at 8 a.m. but failed owing to Machine Gun fire in the Wood.  Our bombardment ordered for 12-30 p.m. which was well carried out, very heavy barrage being put up by us on the East side of BOIS des TRONES.  The attack reached the BOIS des TRONES at the same time as a strong counter attack came down from the direction of GUILLEMONT which came into our barrage and was unable to get through it.  At 1-20 p.m. we held South Eastern end of TRONES WOOD and captured 130 prisoners.  Touch was gained with the French on MALTZ HORN RIDGE and Infantry were waiting for our barrage to lift so as to take the whole of TRONES WOOD.  Positions of batteries 148th Bde as for attack on 1st July covering 9th Div front – 149th Bde moved to MACHINE Gun Wood area – A/151 Oxford Copse B/151 S.E. of Germans Wood – Ground was too heavy to move it up further as desired C/151 as before – A/150N of Peronne Road next to B/153 as for night 1 / 2 July, B/150 as before C/150 Chateau Keep Maricourt where it moved on 1st July 10 a.m. D/150 alongside C/150 D.A.C. SAILLY LAURETTE miles too far back have asked for them to be sent further up – *** ***** to Bois D Athilles (5***)

9th July                         Fine – Visited Groups and looked for positions on BRIQUIETERIE ridge for 149th & 150th Brigades.  Heavy counter attacks on TRONES WOOD twice beaten off.  Third attack got thro; counter attack by us got back South end & S.E. strong point & our infantry working N (10.30 p.m.) – Left Group lent to 9th D.A.

 

B/150 Position         10th July                         Fine.  Moved to B/150 old position between B & C Copses – Enemy got back TRONES

A21C6.6                                                         WOOD some time during the night cannot find out details.  Bombardment by heavies & us & barrage to be put up; infantry to enter wood at 3.27 a.m. 10/11

 

11th July                          Fine – Infantry entered wood at 3.27 a.m. as per programme & reported they had consolidated – one under officer among prisoners found with an order to attack again that night signal to be one light – Quiet afternoon – about 11 p.m. F.O.O. reports O.K. later **& goes up – we put up barrage – S.O.S. sent later barrage again put up.  French Art report attack on their front – cannot get information as to situation from any one – Infantry apparently pushed out sometime in the evening but counter attacked at once and got south end of the wood – Heavies asked to shell the wood from 6 a.m. all day we are also shelling it with 18 prs & 4.5 Hows – Whole situation unsatisfactory as cannot make out how or when infantry pushed out of the wood – our artillery been firing most of the night & badly want a rest having been now at it practically day & night since 1st July or rather 25th June.

 

Moved to               12th July                           Fine & dull – Continued shelling of wood – S.O.S. sent by aeroplane at 8.30 p.m. put up COPSE VALLEY                                      barrage but found it was nothing (aeroplane had seen some Very Lights sent up &               near                                                     thought attack was coming)  – later 9.30 p.m. S.O.S. from infantry, rifle & Machine gun

BILLON WOOD                                           fire, put up barrage immediately – attack stopped.

 

13th July                          Fine 18th Div take over from 30th Div but 30th D.A. stay in – attack on Trones Wood by 55th Brigade – fails to get all wood at 7 p.m. re-bombardment at 8.45 p.m. – enemy still there – fighting still continue at 10 p.m.  Issued orders for tomorrows defensive flank attack to be at 3.25 a.m.  11.30 p.m. Infantry failed to take any more of the wood – fresh attack ordered to start at 3.25 a.m.  Same time as grand attack.  Only one 6” How Battery allowed to help.  Arranged to barrage across wood from just north of our line and advanced by 50x every 2 minutes.  The infantry following behind 6” Hows on Strong Point S30a4.5 & then 3 exits.

 

14th July                          7 a.m. Dull our infantry reached railway, but cannot get any more information, wires all cut.  The Big attack going strong Longueval to Bazentin le Grand taken & cavalry seen as far up as Mountauban – 9.30 a.m.   All Trones Wood reported taken except strong point at S30a4.5.  Patrols being sent out to inspect the line towards Guillemont.  Have issued orders to 150 Bde to be prepared to move up to positions on BRIQUETBRIE Ridge to assist attack on GUILLEMONT if necessary.  10 a.m. raining hard ground becoming impossible to move artillery over.  12 noon rain stopped – at 4.30 p.m. 150th Bde ordered up to BRIQUETERIE ridge to take a second line – 6.30 p.m. 148th Bde less D/148 ordered up to rally south of BERNAFAY wood (A5 central) to cut wire between Waterlot Farm & Guillemont – 6.55 a.m. 14/15 all batteries in action – 148th Bde returns to us from 9th Divn.

 

15th July                          Fine 9 a.m.  Ordered to cooperate in attack on Guillemont – made out orders – 12 noon postponed until 9th Div take WATERLOT & GINCHY Big attack going strong Delville Wood, Flers & High Wood reported taken.

 

16th July                          Fine but wet in afternoon – Visited 148th & 150th – Room for 3 more batteries alongside 148th in MALTZ HORN Valley – Possibilities of relief by 18th D.A. after taking of Guillemont & Ginchy in morning of 18th – 3 brigade attack – 12 midnight orders to cut wire from FALFEMONT FARM to GUILLEMONT – 85th Bde to help from 18th D.A. also French 75 mm & Heavies – ordered 85th to go to MALTZ Horn Valley with 148th – Guides to meet them for 4 a.m.

 

17th July                          Wet – 85th Bde B/85into action 8.30 a.m. other two batteries go later – as far as can be found out go together bunched up – a few unlucky shells came & get two commanding officers + 2 subalterns also 21 men & about 10 horses – withdraw batteries for short time – batteries go up again + get into action 6.30 p.m. all correct.

10 p.m. S.O.S. Trones Wood – (not Trones Wood but S.O.S. from Longueval which shows 5 red rockets *** Trones Wood).  All quiet.

 

18th July                          Wet.  C.R.A. 35th D.A. came round battery positions with a view to relieving 30th D.A.

Heavy attack on Longueval & Delville Wood – enemy taken Delville Wood – S.O.S. Trones wood at same time.  Put up heavy barrage from Delville Wood S of Waterlot Farm to near Maltz Horn.  A few Boshes got thro’ to E *** of Trones but were killed there.  Kept up barrage north of the railway till situation cleared – All quiet about 7.35 p.m. – Enemy still hold Delville Wood.  Very unpleasant for our guns in MALTZ HORN valley should TRONES WOOD go.

 

19th July                          Fine – 35th Div take over from 18th Div at 10 a.m. General Staveley arranges to take over our line by exchanging personnel probably by noon 20th.  We are handing over all our arrangements for attack on Guillemont.  First exchange carried out without hitch – Attack on Trench at MALTZ HORN arranged for 4.55 a.m. 20th – 3 S.O.S. none sent by infantry this is owing to signal being 5 white **** result when any Very lights go up in any numbers it looks like S.O.S. signal.

 

20th July                          Fine – Attack on MALTZ HORN at 4.55 a.m. failed owing to a machine gun behind the trench which had not been located before – French obtained all their objectives on the right up to MAUREPAS station + 800 prisoners.  Rebombardment at 8.30 also failed.  Fresh bombardment ordered for 11.5 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.  Infantry attack at 11.35 a.m.  Infantry got into trench but could not stay.  Half exchange of personnel carried out with 35th D.A.  11 p.m. complete exchange completed.

 

CITADEL               21st July                           Fine – absolute rest – 148th complete at B autilles 149th in action 150th less D/150 at B Autilles 151st in action – Batteries in action under 35th D.A.  Had to wear goggles because of gas shells.

 

22nd July                         Fine – Visited Brigades resting at BOIS Autilles – 21st attack on Guillemont at night.  21st attack failure hung up by machine guns & wire also Yorkshire Regt lost direction & did not attack Guillemont at all otherwise attack might have succeeded.  Two companies reached church in Guillemont but had to retire.

 

23rd July                          Fine.  Attack on Guillemont in early hours as above.

24th July                          Fine – New attack arranged on Guillemont with French also attacking much more likely to come off as French attack S of FALFEMONT Farm whilst we attacked from just N of Guillemont to FALFEMONT Farm inclusive 4.50 p.m. Operations postponed for at least 48 hours.

 

25th July                          Fine – Very noisy night last night – Quiet day & night.

 

26th July                          Fine – Visited batteries in the line – They can’t get any time out of 35th D.A.  Have asked for Col Dixon to be relieved as he isn’t fit – Col Dixon relieved.  Attack on Longueval & Delville Wood by 5th & 3rd Divn early tomorrow morning.

 

27th July                          Fine – Sent up more guns to replace those damaged in 35th D.A.  13th Corps R.A. now order no more guns to be sent up to replace unless they are in 30th D.A.

 

28th July 1916                 Fine – Visited Divn Quiet day.

 

29th July 1916                 Fine – Quiet day.

 

30th July 1916                 Fine – Our battery ordered to hold itself in readiness at short notice to go to a position in A24 east of “Y” wood to shoot into valley East of MALTZ HORN FARM.

 

31st July 1916                 Fine – Very hot – Relief orders 149th & 151st brigades to come out on relief by 55th D.A. & go to Bois Athilles first sections night 31/1 & 2nd Sections night 1 / 2 August.  Am still short of small stores for the guns but hope to have them made up by 35th who took all ours.

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………

A short summary of casualties & amount of ammunition is attached.

Casualties roughly for 1st July to 31st July 20 Officers & 108 men.

Ammunition expenditure July 1st to July 4th A 37,275 AY 10,848 B 3 BX 7,314 Thermit.

July 10th to 16th     A 31,098 AY 13,084 B 7 BX 8,293  100

July 16th to 20th     A 22,039 AY  6,777 B 86BX 4,613

 

O.W. **** Maj.

B.M. 30th DIV Artillery

 

 

 

WAR DIARY Of 18th Div Arty from 1st July 1916 – To 31st July 1916

WAR DIARY Of 18th Div Arty from 1st July 1916 – To 31st July 1916

 

 

BRAY   July 1st         “Z” day.  Zero hour settled for 7.30 A.M.

Bombardment carried out in accordance with Programme in Operation Order No 1 (Appendix No 1 June)

Bombardment was satisfactory and final objectives of the infantry was attained by the evening.

Appendix I “July” gives messages received and issued. Appendix II July gives pieces of telephone conversations and orders given or received verbally.

BRAY   July 2nd         Day was spent in consolidating positions gained, S.O.S. MONTAUBAN received, and balance of Right Group put up to assist 3 Div at dawn in repelling enemy attack.

Batteries were moved forward in the night according to Programme.

Appendix III list of messages received and issued; Appendix IV tabulated list of telephone conversations.

BRAY   July 3rd         18th Div Art assisted XV Corps in attack on BOTTOM WOOD and SHELTER WOOD by engaging reinforcements between MAMETZ WOOD & BAZENTIN-le-PETIT wood.  Effect of fire reported as satisfactory by F.O.Os:-

D/82 moved forward to position near CARNOY.

Appendix V list of messages received & issued. Appendix VI tabulated list of telephone conversations.

BRAY   July 4th         C.R.A. carried out reconnaissance of forward positions for wire cutting.  2nd line shelled throughout the night and day to prevent work being carried out. –

Appendix VII list of messages received & issued. Appendix VIII tabulated list of telephone conversations.

BRAY   July 5th         Observation and shelling of German 2nd line continued – Three abandoned German guns were brought in at night.  C.R.A. 3rd Div Art conferred with C.R.A. as regards positions for 3rd Div Art batteries for wire cutting.

Appendix IX list of messages received and issued.

BRAY   July 6th         2nd line engaged night and days as on previous days. – Three German 77 mm guns were brought in during the night from captured positions in the front line.

Appendix X list of messages received and issued. Operation Order No 3 issued Appendix XI.

BRAY   July 7th         18 Div Art cooperated with XV Corps in attack on MAMETZ wood by shelling German 2nd line in accordance with Operation Order No 3.

Appendix XII messages received and issued.

BRAY   July 8th         3rd Div relieved 18th Div. – 82nd, 83rd & 84th Bd R.F.A. remain under tactical order of 3rd Div Art – 85th Bd R.F.A. was withdrawn to wagon lines in BOIS DE STAILLES with all guns requiring overhauling by I.O.M.

BRAY   July 9th         C.R.A. carried out reconnaissance of front – One worn minenwerfer and German field gun brought in

BRAY   July 10th       C.R.A. carried out reconnaissance of front.

BRAY   July 11th       C.R.A. carried out inspection of all wagon lines, and of 85th Bd R.F.A.

BRAY   July 12th       18th Div Operation Order No 23 received, with instructions for 18th Div to take over from 30th Div. – 18th Div Art to remain under order of G.O.C. 3rd Div for the present – One captured German 4.2 How was brought in by Capt CRUMPLIN (V/18 Heavy T.M. Battery) during the night.

BRAY     July 13th      C.R.A. proceeded to CORBIE to interview I.O.M. on subject of Buffer Spring troubles –

C.R.A. 35th Div came up to see front.

BRAY     July 14th      18th Div Art (under Orders of 3rd Div Art) cooperated in the attack on BAZENTIN LE GRAND and German 2nd line between this village and LONGUEVAL. – Lt Col BLOIS commanding 84th Bd R.F.A. was seriously wounded.

BRAY     July 15th      83 &84 Bde moved forward and occupied positions in the valley just north of MONTAUBAN – B/82 & D/82 Batteries also moved forward to same locality.

C.R.A. inspected forward battery positions.

BRAY     July 16th      Orders received from XIII Corps R.A. for 85th Bde to be moved up to come under Orders 30th Div Art, with a view to wire cutting on German 2nd line between GUILLEMONT and FALFEMONT FARM (12 midnight).

BRAY     July 17th        A/82, C/82 & D/82 batteries were withdrawn out of action under orders of 3rd Div Art. – Order issued at 12.15 A.M. to 85th Bd to complete deficiencies in guns from guns of 82nd Bde R.F.A. and to occupy positions in vicinity of MALTZ HORN FARM as soon as possible.

These batteries occupied positions about A.5.a. & c. but were unfortunately caught in German barrage whilst unlimbering suffering some casualties amongst others the battery commanders of A/85 & C/85.

The 83rd & 84th Bde R.F.A. were transferred for tactical purposes at 12 noon from 3rd Div Art to 9th Div Art

BRAY     July 18th      Orders received for relief of 18th Div by 35th Div. – 18th Div Art to remain in the line for the present.

Lt. Col Seagram wounded and evacuated.

82nd Bde completely withdrawn out of action.

BRAY     July 19th      Instructions received that 18th Div would be withdrawn to Reserve area. – 85th Bde R.F.A. to be relieved on the 20th by Bde of 35th Div Art. – 83rd & 84th Bdes to be relieved as soon as situation will admit probably on night of 20th /21st.

Orders issued to 82nd Bde, 85th Bde and Trench Mortar Batteries with a view to collecting Div Art in preparation of move to reserve area.

BRAY   July 20th       82nd Bde withdrawn to BOIS DES TAILLES. – 85th Bde withdrawn to wagon lines. – Trench Mortar Batteries assembled in suitable sites for further withdrawal.

BRAY   July 21st       82nd Bde ordered to march to POULAINVILLE to rejoin 18th Div. -83rd & 85th Bdes withdrawn to BOIS DES TAILLES.

BRAY   July 22nd       83rd & 85th Bdes ordered to march to BUSSY – 82nd Bde marched to ALERY – 84th Bde withdrawn to BOIS DES TAILLES.

HALLENCOURT July 23rd   83rd Bde marched to FONTAINE – 85th Bde to ALERY – 84th Bde & D.A.C. to ARGOEUVES.  Trench Mortar batteries drived to ERONDELLE by lorry.  Div Art report centre closed at BRAY and reopened at HALLENCOURT.

HALLENCOURT July 24th   84th Bde marched to DUNCQUE – D.A.C. to BAILLEUL & BELLIFONTAINE-

C.R.A. inspected horses of 82nd & 85th Bdes.

HALLENCOURT July 25th   C.R.A. inspected 84th Bde & D.A.C. horses – Orders for entrainment of Div Art on 26th & 27th issued.

HALLENCOURT July 26th   Final instructions issued for entrainment of 18th Div Art – Entrainment commenced in accordance with 18th Div Art Order No 5 (Appendix XIII).

EECKE July 27th       18th Div Art H.Q. proceeded by rail from LONGPRE to BAILLEUL – C.R.A. & Bde Major proceeded by motor.  Div Art detrained at BAILLEUL during 27th and night of 27th /28th , proceeding to billets in the vicinity of EECKE.

EECKE July 28th       C.R.A. visited V Corps H.Q. and Second Army H.Q.

EECKE     July 29th    C.R.A. visited Major General R.A. Second Army – G.O.C. R.A. II ANZEC CORPS and H.Q. 4th Australian Division.

EECKE July 30th       C.R.A. inspected Batteries and lunched with Army Commander.

EECKE July 31st        C.R.A. inspected battery positions on new Div front.

 

N.B. Appendix XIV forwarded herewith. Part taken by 18th Div Art in operations from July 1st to July23rd and deductions to be drawn therefrom.