A Smith Field Service Post Card 15 July 1917

FIELD SERVICE POST CARD

 

To T. Smith, 24 Palmerston Rd, Bowes Park, London N22 England.  Postmarked Field Post Office 20.  16 JY 17.

 

I am quite well

I have received your letter dated 9th July Regd

Letter follows at first opportunity

 

Signature only. A. Smith.  Date  July 15th 17

 

Report on raid by 4/5th L.N.L. REGT.

REPORT ON RAID BY 4/5th L.N.L. REGT.

on NIGHT 14/15th JULY 1917

———————

PRELIMINARY.

15th July 1917

 

  1. The 4/5th L.N.L. Regt. (O.C. Lieut. Col. C.L. Harford) carried out a silent raid on the E.F.L. trench from N.11.a.42.63. to N.6.c.74.43. last night, 14/15th July.

 

  1. “B” Coy (4 Offrs. and 123 O.Rs.) was selected to carry out the enterprise.

 

  1. The objects of the raid were as follows:-

(i)                 To kill or capture enemy sentry groups or patrols.

(ii)               To secure identification.

 

  1. Considerable movement has been seen and heard along the area to be raided for some weeks past. Patrols had located the following during the 6 days preceding the enterprise –

8/9th …. NEBULA…..N.5.d.95.20…. Large wiring party working opp. this                                                     point, also to left and right.

8/9th ……NED ……………..Voices heard and flares sent up from E.F.L.                                                        about N.11.a.50.80.

10th …….NECK ………… …Enemy patrol heard in E.F.L. opp. N.5.d.05.25.

11th …….NECK …………. …Flares sent up from head of NECK LANE.

11th …… NEBULA …………. Enemy wire badly smashed – no enemy seen.

10th …….NEBULA………….14 of enemy met in N.M.L. coming towards                                                       O.Ls. from NEBULA

12th ……..NECK …………….N.5.d.90.05.  Voices heard in E.F.L. and flares                                                  sent up.

12th …..…NEBULA………….N.6.c.30.30. – 3 separate parties were seen in                                                    E.F.L. and flares sent up.

12th ……..NECK ……….…. N.5.c.00.20. – Metal being dumped and men                                                      seen in E.F.L.

11th ……..NED ……………. Wiring party located at N.11.a.40.60.

13th ……..NEBULA ………. Wiring party at N.6.c.45.40.

13th ……..NEBULA …….….Sentry group at N.6.c.30.20.

12th ……..NED ……………..Flares sent up from left and right of                                                                    N.11.a.40.60. and M.G. fired on patrol.

 

  1. (a) It was therefore decided to attack the enemy all along his line at different points; this procedure obviated the possibility of a heavy enemy barrage, and it was hoped that one party would succeed in distracting the enemy’s attention from the operations of other parties if contact was obtained.

(b) The raiding party was therefore split up into 7 subparties or fighting      patrols, each patrol consisting of 1 Offr. or N.C.O. and 18 O.Rs.  Each patrol          was given a definite point of entry and definite area to mop up.  These areas            adjoined one another,             making a total of 1400 yds. of E.F.L. to be mopped up.

 

 

  1. The points of exit and areas to be mopped up were as follows:-

Party.               Point of exit from       Point of entry              Point of

our lines                       into E.L.                      exit from E.L.

O.C. Raid.

Capt Hollis

”T” Party.        N.5.c.22.15.                N.11.a.42.63.              N.11.A.78.82.

“U”                  N.5.c.63.42.                N.11.a.78.82.              N.11.b.05.95.

“V”                  N.5.c.95.53.                N.11.b.05.95.              N.5.d.53.10.

“W”                 N.5.d.30.74.                N.5.d.33.10.                N.5.d.93.05.

“X”                  N.5.d.70.81.                N.5.d.93.05.                N.6.c.21.17.

“Y”                  N6.c.95.83.                 N.6.c.21.17.                N.6.c.50.37.

“Z”                  N.6.c.30.92.                N.6.c.50.37.                N.6.c.74.43.

 

  1. Parties were given the following orders:-
  • Parties were to “lie up” on the enemy’s parapet until Zero hour, unless a sentry group or patrol was located in the near neighbourhood when they were to be attacked at once.
  • If an enemy patrol was met in No Man’s Land it was to be immediately attacked.
  • If no enemy was discovered before Zero hour parties were to advance along the enemy front line at Zero hour.
  • Any party obtaining a prisoner could return to our lines at once. Unsuccessful parties were to “lie up” until 2.15 a.m. and endeavour to capture an enemy visiting patrol.  All parties were to return at 2.15 a.m.

 

  1. For several days prior to Zero day, wire cutting operations were undertaken, and the great eagerness of the enemy to repair the damage immediately was noticeable in the number of wiring parties located each night.

Gaps cut were kept open by M.G. fire and a careful watch kept.

 

  1. The raiding party was trained on ground in the vicinity of ELBOW FARM, and all ranks were thoroughly conversant with their duties. The men were kept fit by constant training in Bayonet Fighting, Physical Training etc.

 

  1. Arrangements were completed by the 14th instant.

 

………..

  1. – ACTION TAKEN DURING RAID.

……………………………

 

About ½ hour before Zero hour, heavy thunder clouds appeared, rain threatened and the darkness became intense. To allow for additional difficulties in reaching the point of entry of the enemy trenches, all raiding parties left our line at Zero hour minus 45 minutes instead of Zero minus 30 minutes.  Even this extra period was insufficient and in only three cases had the parties reached the enemy wire at Zero hour.  Strombos horns were sounded by the Portuguese Bde. on our right at about 11.30 p.m.  This continued till 12.5 a.m. and was taken up in a few cases by the strombos horns in the CORDONNERIE SECTOR.  This delayed parties considerably and one party sent back for information before proceeding.

 

During the raid a heavy thunderstorm, torrential rain, and accompanying intense darkness continued to produce the most unfavourable conditions for carrying out the operations.

 

“T” Party. (2nd Lieut. Scholes and 15 O.R.) found their way to point of entry but the gap could not be found and had apparently been filled up, as much new wire was encountered.  The party worked left handed and was half way through enemy wire at Zero hr.

Borrow ditch and adjacent shell-holes were all filled with masses of loose wire which, owing to the intense darkness, proved impossible. Party worked along outside borrow ditch for a short distance.  Enemy neither seen nor heard in “T” area.  A few flares were sent up from NED SUPPORT.  Party returned to O,Ls. At 2.30 a.m.

 

“U” Party. (Sergt. S. Slater and 18 O.R.) reached enemy wire at N11.a.70.90. at Zero hour.  Many partial gaps were found, but only after many failures was it possible to get through the wire in the borrow ditch and shell holes owing to intense darkness.  Knife rests had been placed on the parapet.  An enemy M.G. was firing into enemy wire at N.11.a.65.90. (approx.) prior to and after Zero hour.  A few flares seen from NED SUPPORT.  No sign of occupation of E.F.L. in “U” area.  Parties returned at 2.45 a.m.

 

“V” Party. (2nd Lieut. A.R. Rickard and 15 O.R.)  Party reached enemy wire at N.5.d.05.00. at Zero hour.  Gap found through first rows of wire.  3rd row a mass of regular loose wire; this was cut through.  Plenty of loose wire in borrow ditch and parapet.  Front line appeared to be in a battered and derelict condition.  At Zero hour enemy M.G. at very long range opened fire close to raiding party.  No signs of occupation of E.F.L.  Flares sent up from NED SUPPORT.  Party returned at 2.40 a.m.

 

“W” Party. (Sergt. Smart and 15 O.R.) were about 50 yds. away from enemy wire at point of entry at Zero hour.  1st row of wire easily passed.  Remaining wire a mass of broken and loose wire.  Owing to intense darkness gap could not be found although enemy wire was patrolled for 100 yds.  No signs of occupation of E.F.L.  Flares sent up from NEBULA SUPPORT.  Party returned at 2.4 a.m.

 

“X” Party. (Sergt. Fletcher and 14 O.R.)  This party was delayed by sounding of strombos horns, and was about 75 yds. from enemy wire at Zero hour.  Wire was much knocked about in places, but owing to intense darkness proved an impassable obstacle.  Several places along “X” Area were attempted; no sign of occupation of E.F.L.  2 flares sent up from NEBULA SUPPORT.  Party returned at 2.0 a.m.

 

“Y” Party. (Sergt. Grimshaw and 16 O.R.)  This party was delayed by sounding of strombos horns.  Wire badly damaged but owing to darkness borrow pit wire could not be negotiated.  Area wire patrolled.  No signs of occupation of E.F.L.  4 flares sent up from NEBULA SUPPORT.  Party returned 2.30 a.m.

 

“Z” Party. (Lieut. Hein and 13 O.R.).  party was about 50 yds away from enemy wire at Zero hour.  Large gap in enemy wire and parapet at N.6.c.48.35.  Front line trench waterlogged.  Patrol “lay up” and saw no signs of enemy with the exception of flares from NEBULA SUPPORT.  Party returned to our lines at 2.45 a.m.

 

GENERAL.  From the preceding reports it is apparent that the enemy were not in occupation of any part of his front line in the raided area.  This is unusual and may have been due to either of the following causes:-

  • The most unfavourable climatic conditions prevailing last night, which may have compelled the enemy to withdraw his sentry groups to his support line.
  • The enemy may have suspected that a raid on this sector was imminent on account of the fact that it had been vigorously patrolled for the preceding 10 days, and wire had had to be cut on the whole of the front to be raided.

 

P.H. Hausey

Brigade Major,

170th Infantry Brigade.

 

 

O/C B Coy

F.W. Springett letter 15 July 1917

FOR GOD, FOR KING & FOR COUNTRY

Y.M.C.A.

H.M. FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE

July 15th 1917

Sunday Afternoon

 

My Dear Brother Sid,

Just a few lines in answer to your welcome letter I received a day or two ago.  Hope you are still quite well as I am A1 now “thanks”.  My cold is nearly better.  I am getting used to this place now, but of course it isn’t very much. St. Albans was the place for me.

I am enjoying myself alright though, we don’t get quite so many drills now, but a decent bit of other work.

Last night we had orders from the War Office to move the Camp, so all the Batt had to shift the tents under the hedges and trees and anywhere where they couldn’t not be seen from Aeroplanes.

Of course that is in our time they do all this moving business, and today I heard they were going to move our mess tents so I went out. Ha Ha.

I don’t ask for a job as they will always give you one if they see you standing about.

We are still having lovely weather down here, but last night it thundered a bit but didn’t rain.

Next week we shall have a busy week, as we are on a course of musketry, and the following week we shall fire our last course of firing, so that will mean another fortnight from getting leave.

I have had three letters from Ted since I joined up he doesn’t seem to care much about anybody, perhaps he will one day.

You need not tell anyone but I think when we have finished this course of firing and we have had our leave we are going to India, I hope we don’t go out there.  Don’t say anything as it is only a rumour.

Yes, Sid, I could do with some money as I am nearly broke again “worst luck.”

Anything that you buy is so dear, they don’t put the soldiers wages up, I think they ought too.

Well, Sid I don’t think I have any more news at present, so I will close.

With Best Love

From Your

Affec Brother

Frank W.

Write soon.

 

6649 Pte F.W. Springett

D Company 1st Platoon

22nd Training Reserve

New Hall Farm Camp

Upper Dovercourt

Essex

 

With cover to Mr. S.K. Springett, 29 Bath Road, Dartford Kent.  Postmarked HARWICH 7.15 PM 15 JY 17.

170th Infantry Brigade. Code names 14 July 1917

CODE NAMES

———-

In all communications this raid will be referred to as “HARFORD’S HUNT”.

…………

  1. OUR TROOPS.

Code Name for Parties.

JOHN PEEL ……………………………… O.C. Raid.

WHIP ………………………………………O.C. Party

GREYHOUNDS………2.58 a.m.………… “T”   “

BEAGLES……………..2.43….……………”U”   “

HARRIERS……………2.32……………….”V”  “

FOXHOUNDS……………”….…………….”W”  “

STAGHOUNDS………….”………………..”X”   “

OTTER HOUNDS……..2.37……………… “Y”   “

BLOOD HOUNDS…… 2.46………………..“Z”   “

 

HOUND or HOUNDS………………Any man or body of men taking part in raid.

HOOF……………………………….Number of our men missing (followed by                                                           number).

BIT………………………………….Number of our men killed (followed by                                                              number).

SPUR……………………………….Number of our men wounded (followed by                                                        number).

KENNELS…………………………”…….” Party returned to our lines (preceded                                                      by name of party).

 

ARTILLERY.

 

RIGHT ZONE…………………………..Right Zone artillery to open fire.

LEFT ZONE……………………………Left Zone artillery to open fire.

BOTH ZONES…………………………All available artillery to open fire.

HOLD UP………………………………Cease fire.

 

 

  1. ENEMY TROOPS.

 

FOX or FOXES…………………………………..Boche or Boches.

MASK……………………………………………Estimated number killed (followed by number).

PAD………………………………………………Estimated number wounded (followed by number).

BRUSH………………………………………….Captured (followed by number).

NO SCENT………………………………………No enemy found.

SCENT…………………………………………..No resistance from enemy.

FAIR SCENT……………………………………Slight resistance from enemy.

GOOD SCENT………………………………….Heavy resistance from enemy.

RABBIT…………………………………………Enemy barraging (followed by                                                                            place.)

HARE……………………………………………Slightly.

MOLE……………………………………………Heavily.

 

  1. GENERAL.

 

HORN…………………………………………No news.

CHASE………………………………………..Machine Gun.

SADDLE………………………………………Trench Mortar.

DONKEY……………………………………..All quiet.

MEET…………………………………………Zero day.

 

 

  1. The following is a specimen of a message sent in Code words:-

HARRIERS KENNELS NO SCENT aaa OTTER HOUNDS KENNELS             SCENT BRUSHES FOUR HOOFS NIL BIT NIL SPUR TWO aaa BEAGLES HORN.

Translated.

“V” party returned to our lines.  No enemy found aaa “Y” party returned to           our lines, no resistance from enemy, 4 captured, Missing Nil, killed Nil,             wounded 2aaa             “U” party no news.

 

Note. Each section of the message should be preceded by the name of the party to which it refers.

 

.

  1. The following code will be used for notifying Zero hour:-

Count the hours from 1 to 24 and give the time of Zero hour in minutes with the prefix “HORSES AVAILABLE”.  Thus if Zero hour is 11.30 p.m. = 23 hours 30 minutes =1410.  Code message “HORSES AVAILABLE 1410.  Or 1 a.m. = 1 hour = 60minutes.  Code message “HORSES AVAILABLE Sixty.

 

 P.L. Hausey

Captain

Brigade Major

170th Infantry Brigade.

 

 

170th Infantry Brigade Operation Order 14 July 1917

SECRET

O.C. C A & Lt Hein on the 2 copies

Stamp of HEADQUARTERS

R.H.A./2151

Date 14:7:17

170th INFANTRY BRIGADE

 

Reference Brigade Operational Order No. 47.

(1). Zero hour will be at 12.15 p.a.m. 14/15 July.

 

(2). Raid Headquarters will be at N.5.d.50.80.

 

(3). (a) The O.C. 4/5th L.N.L. Regt will detail one platoon to be at the disposal of O.C. Raid.  This platoon will be accommodated in our front line trench in close proximity to Raid Headquarters, and will hold itself in readiness to support any raiding party which may require assistance.  The platoon will be under the direct orders of the O.C. Raid.

(b) The O.C. 2/5th K.O.R.L. Regt. will detail one platoon to replace the above mentioned platoon of the 4/5th L.N.L. Regt.  This platoon will leave billets in FLEURBAIX at 5 p.m. and will report as required by the O.C. 4/5th L.N.L. Regt.  Details to be arranged by the Os. C. Battalions concerned.

 

(4). (a) Reference para. 3 (h) of Appendix I (b) and para. 3 of Appendix III.

If batteries and trench mortars are not called upon during the operation, a   destructive shoot will be carried out on objectives as for raid from 3.45           a.m. to 4.15 a.m.

Rate of fire as for raid.

M.T.M.Bs will open fire on hearing guns commence and will fire as                        many rounds as possible during the time.  L.T.M.Bs. will fire 30 rds.                         per gun.

Machine Guns will co-operate.

(b) Reference para. 10 (e) the S.O.S. will be inoperative opposite the Sectors      mentioned between 11.30 p.m. and 2.30 a.m. 14/15th July.

 

(5). The O.C. Raid will be connected by telephone through Bn H.Q. to Trench       Mortars on either flank.

Station Calls are as follows:-

Right Flank….. H.T.17 – N.10.b.60.85.

Left Flank…….H.P.24 – N.6.b.3.6.

The O.C. L.T.M.B. will detail an Offr. and the M.T.M.B.    concerned an N.C.O. for duty at each Station to await messages from the O.C.           Raid from Zero – 45 onwards.  These Offrs. and N.C.Os. will be found from             the personnel manning the guns.

 

(6). Please acknowledge.

P.L. Hausey

Captain

Brigade Major.

170th Infantry Brigade.

To:- All recipients of Bde O.O. no. 47

F Hammond letter 14 July 1917

14.7.17

BEF

Dear Brethren

I suppose you are wondering what has become of me lately.  Well I have been on a course of wireless lately away from the company but am back again now.  Only just received Gladys letter this morning telling me of her success.  I must congratulate the little puss on her splendid performance and trust she will be as successful in her future Exams.  So Elsie D has attained her ambitions in the Scholastic world I suppose.  The next thing I suppose will be her engagement.  Do you know whether such a thing is in progress.  Suppose Bowly Bill is full of love now a days.  I hope he did not persist in sing some of the love dirges to Geo & I used to pull his leg over.  See what was the favourite Cucoo Sucoo Singly merrily if he did Geo & I will make it warm for him one of these days.  Re Dolly H Yes I think that should be very nice.  So Uncle Will will have one off his shoulders.  Suppose it wouldn’t be convenient for any of you to be at the wedding.  I am writing this under the trees in the grounds of a lovely chateau.  One can ramble all about the woods round about here keeping out of the strong sun.  As the weather is very warm with occasional thunderstorms.

 

I went to a cinema show the other night and enjoyed a good laugh. I suppose the allotment is at its best now.  We are getting new potatoes now which is quite a luxury after the scarcity.  The King was knocking about a few days ago but I did not see him myself.  I haven’t written to Geo lately but must drop him a line soon.  Shouldn’t be surprised if he’s basking at the sea side.  The Huns seem to have put the wind up the Londoners lately altho a lot can be remedied I don’t see how it can altogether be avoided ce La Guerre.  Well I think this is all this time.  Hoping you are all OK.  Remember me to all enquiring friends.  Could just do with a game at bowls on the Jolly Sailor with Par.  Cheerho

Fred