War Diary of AA Laporte Payne
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
NOVEMBER 3, 1916.
Brigade War Diary.
The 2.6” Newton Trench Mortars were placed in position on our front opposite the Railway Salient. These mortars co-operated in the Artillery Scheme for this raid, which was the first occasion on which these mortars had ever been used on the British Front.
Nov. 3rd to 12th 1916.
2nd ANZAC CORPS.
175th BRIGADE R.F.A.
Lieutenant A.A. Laporte Payne A/175 Brigade R.F.A. is granted leave of absence from 3-11-16 to 12-11-16. with permission to proceed to London.
W.H. Hamilton Fletcher.
Commanding 175th Brigade R.F.A.
In the Field.
Recommended: W. Furnival.
Sanctioned: A.D. Kirby.
H.M. Forces Overseas (in uniform).
COMBINED LEAVE AND RAILWAY TICKET.
Staff Captain R.A.
Extended to 13 Nov. 1916.
SATURDAY NIGHT, NOVEMBER 11, 1916.
Returned from leave. Stayed the night with R.M.L.P. at 8, Talbot Road, Bayswater. W.
NOVEMBER 14, 1916.
I returned last night from leave, now but a dream. We exist for half a year solely for the purpose of living for one week. Reg and I had breakfast on Sunday morning at 6.30 a.m., and he came to see me off at Victoria station. I met a fellow I knew returning. We had a couple of hours at Folkestone, which we spent on the Leas. It was very calm, not like the journey over. We left Boulogne at R a.m. the next morning, and arrived at the wagon line at noon, where I had a bath and shave. I rode to the gun line in the evening. Everybody was in a very bad way, and instead of being cheered up as I hoped I was still more depressed. One sub was in hospital with influenza. Another had rheumatism so badly that he could not ride his horse. The remaining one was fed up because he had all the work to do. the Captain was in a bad temper as he had fallen out rather badly with the Colonel. What a cheery crowd!
We are in the same place but may move at any time.
I have just finished censoring letters, filling in returns and intelligence reports.
NOVEMBER 16, 1916.
It is bitterly cold here now. There is no fire and a keen wind blowing. Last night I was down in the trenches acting as Liaison Officer.
November 20, 1916.
We are just as busy, and there is a lot of night firing again. Last night we had a church parade. The Captain and I went. Afterwards the padre came to dinner with us.
Your Christmas puddings will be most acceptable. Another man is providing the turkeys. We must make it as like Christmas as possible.
It is very cold observing now. Three of us take it in half days at a time between us.
NOVEMBER 23, 1916.
I am alone at the battery tonight. One sub is in the trenches and two others have gone out to dine. A furious strafe has just started. One of our new windows has just gone with the concussion. A bullet went through another and also the door of my bedroom, which is most annoying. Our telephone wire has been cut and the wretched linesmen have been sent out to patrol the line. We have not opened fire yet but expect a message from the trenches at any moment.
November, 23, 1916.
The records are much appreciated. Thanks very much. We are still in the same place. The weather is foul, much too cold and wet. The Boche has shown unwelcome attentions to our mess. They put a bullet through our window, and also through my bedroom door and into the wall beyond the bed while we were in mess last night. These bullets which are overs from the trenches, generally at night, often hit our wall, but I wish they would not come inside.
NOVEMBER 26, 1916.
Last night I was in the trenches for two days’ tour of duty. My servant brought my letters down.
November 27, 1916.
Things are going on fairly well out here. It is a beautifully fine day today, but much colder.
I have started a stock pot for the men. I have not the least idea how it is done, but I have told the cook to put everything into it from bones to brown paper.
The trenches are in a horrible condition. The land is one vast bog.
NOVEMBER 27, 1916.
My name has been sent in by the Colonel for a Battery’s Commander’s course at Shoeburyness, and I was hoping to go to England, but the damned General stopped it. For three days I dreamt about it, and planned all sorts of things. I could do murder with the greatest delight. It is now 6.30, p.m. Sunday night.
Monday morning 28th.
It is a glorious day today, but much colder. I am going to the trenches this afternoon with a signaller. I have started a stock pot for the battery. I don’t know in the least how it is done; but I told the cook to put in everything from bones to brown paper.