4/5th Bn Loyal N. Lancashire Regiment Operation Order 12 May 1917

Copy No………..


NO 1.


Reference Trench Map

RADINGHEM 1/10,000

36 .S.W. 2. (Edition 6D)

12th May 1917.



OPERATIONS.          On Z day a raiding party will raid the enemy trenches with the                                object of obtaining an identification.


OBJECTIVE.             Enemy’s Front Line Trench at N.11.a.45.63.


RAIDING PARTY.   The composition of the Raiding Party will be:-

O.C. Raid (Lieut. T. Hollis)

3 Officers & 30 Other Ranks,

who will be disposed of as follows:-


1 Officer & 8 Other Ranks.


1 Officer & 6 Other Ranks.


1 Officer & 10 Other Ranks.


with 2 Signallers & 4 Other Ranks.


TRENCH GARRISON.         {The Officers and Other Ranks detailed will be                                                       {disposed of according to normal trench dispositions.         Delete                          {The front line opposite the raid will be cleared of                                                       {troops with the exception of             those concerned in the                                           {enterprise.

The garrison will be on the alert and will be prepared to cover                                  the withdrawal of the raiders, and to assist the return of the                                           wounded and prisoners.


DISTINGUISHING MARKS.          Officers’ will wear men’s equipment with one                                   stars sewn on to each shoulder strap.


IDENTIFICATION.  All means of identification will be removed from the members                                of the Raiding Party.  Faces of all the party will be blackened.


HEADQUARTERS.  The Headquarters of the O.C. Raid will be at the old Signal                                                 Station at N.5.c.05.05.


SIGNAL COMMUNICATION.  The O.C. Brigade Signals will arrange to lay a                                        special wire from the Right Company Front Line Signal Station                          to the Headquarters of the O.C. Raid.

O.C. Raid will then be in telephonic communication as                                             follows:-

(a) with Artillery Battery Headquarters at H.K.23. in the event                                of requiting co-operation.

(b) With Battalion Headquarters in the event of requiring                                         Artillery Support for counter Battery work.


SIGNAL FOR RECALL.  Several short blasts on a whistle given by O.C. Blocking                                  Party for recall if and when considered necessary.


ARTILLERY.                        All available Artillery will be “standing to” from 10 p.m. until                                 the operation is completed.

In the event of the O.C. Raid requiring Artillery co-operation to                              cover the withdrawal of the Raiding Party, one Battery of                                           Artillery will open fire with shrapnel on points:-

(a) N11.a.9.9. to N.5.d.30.15.

(b) N.10.b.70.35. to N.10.b.9.4.

for the purpose of keeping down enemy Machine Gun fire.

In the event of an enemy Artillery Barrage, the remainder of the                              available Artillery will be utilized for counter Battery work.


MACHINE GUNS.    The 170th Machine Gun Company will support the raid by                                        bringing short bursts of indirect fire to bear at intervals in the                                     rear of the enemy Front and Support Lines, and thus assist in                                  covering the approach of the Raiding Party.


LEWIS GUNS.          3 Lewis Guns between N.10.b.85.97. and N.5.d.0.6. will also                                  co-operate if required by sweeping the Enemy Lines on either                           flank of NED TRENCH.  This co-operation will be secured by                          means of a message by runner to the Lewis Gun Team 20x                                       to right of Raid Headquarters; this gun opening fire being the                          signal for the guns on the left to co-operate.


CODE WORDS.        For Artillery Co-operation                – SHRAPNEL.

For Artillery Counter Battery Work   – GO.

Raid Successful                                 – BOLTON.

Raid Unsuccessful                              – DISAPOINTED.

Raid Postponed                                  – HOPE.

Casualties -NONE                              – THANKFUL.

Casualties – 1 to 5                               – SORRY.

Casualties – 6 to 10                             – GRIEF.


SIGNALS.      In the event of telephonic communication breaking down Signal Lights                  will be used as follows:-

Artillery Co-operation (1 Battery)

Artillery Counter Battery Work.


MEDICAL.    Four Stretcher Bearers will be in the Front Line at N.5.c.05.05. and                         four at N.5.c.08.23.

The Medical Officer will be in attendance at CONVENT AVENUE                       Aid Post.

The route from the Front Line to the Aid Post will be via FLAG                             ALLEY & Support Line.


REPORT.        The O.C. Raid and other Officers will report to Battalion Headquarters                  on completion of the raid.


APPENDIXES.          Further details are appended herewith, A, B & C, for                                               information of all.


S.O.S. SIGNALS.      The S.O.S. Signal will be made inoperative in the following                          trench sectors N.10.5, N.4.1, N.5.1 during the period of the                                                 raid.


Watches to be synchronised at 9 p.m. by units concerned.



Acting Adjutant.

4/5th Bn. Loyal North Lancashire Regt.

Issued at………………1917 to:-

Copy No. 1.    H.Q.  170th Infantry Brigade.

  1. Q. 285th Brigade R.F.A.
  2. C. Raid.
  3. Q. 4/5th Bn. L.N. Lancashire Regt.







Details of the troops to be employed will be as follows:-


PARTY.                      COMPOSITION                                            TASK

Officers     Other Ranks.



  1. 1                      8                      To enter blind trench at                                                                                               N.11.a.17.58. work along trench                                                                                in an Easterly direction, enter the                                                                            enemy front line at N.11.a.32.55.,                                                                              and surprise sentry group located                                                                               at N.11.a.45.63.


  1. 1                      6                      Follow same route as ‘A’ as far                                                                                  as N.11.a.32.55., where they will                                                                               remain to prevent assault party                                                                           being attacked in rear.  The last                                                                                  man to pass through the gap in                                                                                   the enemy’s wire will lay a white                                                                               tape to facilitate withdrawal.


  1. 1                      10                    To lie up in dead ground at or                                                                                    about N.11.a.15.67.


The several parties will leave our trenches at N.5.c.05.05., and will proceed across NO MAN’S LAND by the route shown on the sketch attached – Appendix in the following order Covering Party, Assault Party, Block Party.






The following equipment will be worn by each man:-




No 1. Rifle and bayonet, 3 Mills Bombs, 20 rounds spare ammunition.

  1. Revolver, Knob-kerry, 2 Mills Bombs.
  2.       do.            do.                     do
  3. Revolver,  Bomb Waistcoat, 6 Mills Bombs.
  4. O.C. Assault – Revolver, 2 Mills Bombs.
  5. Same as No. 4.
  6. Same as No. 1.
  7. Same as No. 1.
  8. Same as No. 1.



No 1. O.C. Party – Revolver, 6 Mills Bombs and Whistle.

  1. Rifle and bayonet, 6 Mills Bombs, 20 rounds spare ammunition.
  2.                                                    do.
  3.                                                   do.
  4. Rifle and bayonet, Grenades Cup Attachment, 8 No. 23 Rifle Grenades.
  5.                                                    do.



No.1. Rifle and bayonet, 2 Mills Bombs, 30 rounds spare ammunition.

  1.                                        do.
  2.                                        do.
  3.                                        do.
  4.                                        do.
  5. O.C. Party – Revolver, 2 Mills Bombs.
  6. Same as No. 1.
  7.                do.
  8.                do.
  9.                do.
  10.                do.


Appendix ‘C’ is Map.

Alf Smith post card 12 May 1917




To T. Smith Esq., 24 Palmerston Rd., Bowes Park London N 22 England.  Postmarked Field Post Office 68. 13 MY 17

I am quite well

I have received your ****

Letter follows at first opportunity


Signature only. A. Smith

Date May 12th 17

Frank Springett letter 12 May 1917

6649 Pte F.W. Springett

D Company 1ST Platoon

22nd Training Reserve

St. Albans


May 12th 1917


My Dear Brother,

I received your most welcome letter on Tuesday.  I was pleased to hear you were quite well, as I am still A1 at present.  The weather here is absolutely grand, in fact it is quite hot enough marching about.

Well Sid I have had over a week under canvas now it is not so bad after the first night or two.  The first night is rotten but it gets better according as the nights go on.  Dear Sid they keep us jolly busy, in fact I haven’t been up the town this week.  We have a rotten Sergt Major and he gives us a job every night.  On Wednesday we went trench digging again, that is some job.  Thursday we went for a route march, about 14 miles.  It was jolly hot and the roads were dusty.  I felt as if I wanted a wash when I came back.  We get plenty of Bayonet Fighting and squad drills but we know all that now, so we get on alright.  It is very rare that I get checked about anything, if you keep yourself clean and tidy and do what your told, you don’t go far wrong.  I do hope you don’t have to do this bally job, it is rotten and no mistake.  Still I don’t mind it so much now, I am just getting used to it.  I have been joined up 2 months now.

Glad you liked the photo, Mother thinks it very nice, in fact they all do. It does not look much like getting a leave for Whitsun as spotted fever has broken out in A Company and they are camping close to us.  Still perhaps I shall have a good try.  Well Sid I could do with another donation as you call it, as I have just spent the last one.  Thanks very much it is good of you.  Nobody knows what it is like only them that are in it.

Money comes in very handy in this army and I can assure you I will not spend it without a cause. It comes in very handy to buy a supper with and a “drink” when you want one Dear Sid I don’t think I have any more to say this time so I will close.

From your

Affec Brother


Excuse writing. I’m in a hurry – Keep smiling



In cover addressed to Mr. S.K. Springett, 29 Bath Road, Dartford, Kent.

Postmarked ST ALBANS 8.15 PM 12 MAY 1917