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 – 82nd, 83rd & 84th Bd R.F.A. remain under tactical order of 3rd Div Art – 85th Bd R.F.A. was withdrawn to wagon lines in BOIS DE STAILLES with all guns requiring overhauling by I.O.M.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