A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 1 June 1917.

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 1 June 1917.



June 1st 1917.


My own darling,


Though busy I am still thinking of you. You will forgive a short scribbled note I know.  I am sitting in the map room – it is a broken room in a much shelled farmhouse.  The wall paper is made up of innumerable and varied maps and aeroplane and other photographs.  The windows are made of tracing paper – my seat is an ammunition box and the table is a looted one.  We don’t get time for sleep in great quantities now and we are busy at nights unfortunately.  The Boche is misbehaving himself horribly.


We have had lovely weather, but I am afraid it is about to change alas! It will interfere with your work too won’t it?  How are you liking it now?  I hope Maude is not proving a very boring companion and that she is behaving herself nicely.  I need not enquire about you.


We are still laying lines, digging dug-outs, and issuing orders & instructions and I have got into such a muddled condition that I have just tried to light my pen at the candle and write with a cigarette.


I have not seen my mare for days, but I hope she is alright. She hates the noise of the guns, so she is not kept at the gun line, besides it is not safe here, we are too close up.


We ran in two civilians as spies to-day – the only civilians I have seen for a few days – but I don’t think they are as bad as that although they are natives of this part of the world.


Have you guessed where I am yet? I have not worn a coat for a long time.  My get-up is – shirt, breeches and an old pair of boots & leggings.  I have been wounded – in a silly way – I cut my finger with a pair of wire-cutters.


We are trying to keep the Colonel in a good temper – but he breaks away occasionally. Times here are most trying certainly but – People don’t say ‘fate’ , or ‘kismet’ or anything like that now they simply say “C’est la guerre”, and let it go at that unless they are the unfortunate possessors of lives.


This is a rotten letter, darling. Do I make love letters in person or on paper – if I am worse when present I must be very bad indeed.


Give my love to Maude. Hoping you are both well.

With all my love dearest

Ever yours


WAR DIARY Of 2/6th Sherwood Foresters May 1917

WAR DIARY Of 2/6th Sherwood Foresters

For May 1917

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information

ROISEL 1/5/17 Fighting Strength Officers 14
Other Ranks 392

8.0 pm. Battalion moved up the Line to relieve 2/5th Sherwood Foresters. Headquarters at L.10.c.4.3. (Ref 62 C N.E.). The 2/4th Leicestershire Regt were on our Right and the 2/8th Sherwood Foresters on our Left.
L.10.c.4.3. 2nd to 6th 5/17 No incidents of any importance occurred during this tour.
Casualties:- One Other Rank slightly wounded.
6/5/17 11.40 pm. Battalion relieved by 2/5th North Staffordshire Regt and marched into Divisional Reserve at HANCOURT.
HANCOURT 9/5/17 2.30 pm. Lt. General Sir W.P. Pultney K.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.S.O. Cmdg. III Corps, presented Ribands to the following Officers, N.C.O.s and men for awards for Gallantry and devotion to duty during the action at JEANCOURT 31st March 1917.
Capt. V.H.E. Langford Military Cross
Lt. F. Bundley do do
L/Cpl. Chell A. Military Medal
Pte. Gilman S. do do
The Corps Commander expressed his appreciation of the smart appearance of the Battalion.
HANCOURT 11/5/17 Captain J. Marsden (Since Killed in action) awarded Military Cross for Gallantry shewn at JEANCOURT on 31st March 1917.
13/5/17 11.0 am. The Commanding Officer (on behalf of the Divisional Commander) presented MERITORIOUS SERVICE CARDS to the following N.C.O.s and men of the Battalion:-
Cpl. H. West ”B” Company (Lewis Gunner).
L/Cpl. E. Thacker B Company (Signaller)
do H Cluderay C Company (Lewis Gunner).
Pte. P. Morgan D do
do . S. Pearson D do
do. E. Saville C do
19/5/17 During the time the Battalion was in Divisional Reserve the training of Additional Specialists was carried out and Companies were re-organised generally.
8.0 AM. The III Corps was relieved by the Cavalry Corps. The 178th Infantry Brigade were distributed along the Corps front as Supporting Troops. The 2/6th Bn. Sherwood Foresters marched to VILLERS-FAUCON (E.22.d. Ref 62C N.E.)
HANCOURT in support of the 2nd Cavalry Division whose Headquarters were at K.5.c.8.8. Battalion Headquarters were established at E.22.d.7.8.
21/5/17 9.0 am. Battalion Hdqts and B, C and D Companies moved to SAULCOURT, E.9.d.4.0. ‘A’ Company moved into BROWN LINE at F.1.b. Central.
SAULCOURT 23/5/17- 30/5/17 Digging and wiring of trenches E of EPEHY (F.1.b)
SAULCOURT 30/5/17 6.0 am. Battalion marched to Camp E of EQUANCOURT and established H.Q. at V.11.a.2.2 (Ref 57 c S.E.)
Fighting Strength Officers 20
Other Ranks 473

Lt. Col
Cmdg. 2/6 Bn. Sherwood Foresters