War Diary of AA Laporte Payne undated September 1917

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne

 

EXTRACTED FROM.

 

Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda

Correspondence

—————–

 

Undated September 1917

 

September 1917.

Hove Sussex.

 

After a quick but slumbersome journey I arrived with the rain at Brighton, and found M. and F. here.  I surprised them with the amount of luggage, but I was determined to enjoy mufti for a few days, though I had to travel down in uniform.

 

It was strange to be subject to the unwelcome attentions of the Boche as night visitors to London.  On my way back home I fell in with Mr. Special Constable Jordan, who ran me in for riding without a light.  It would have been amusing if he had reported me to the Superintendent, whose house I had just left.  However the offer of a cigarette appeased the official anger at such wanton flouting of the laws of our country, and I gained my own bed in my own home and not the local lock-up.

 

Brighton bores me, but I am right glad to be with my people once again.

 

I leave here Monday morning, and arrive in town to entertain the Colonel to dinner, if possible graced by female society, if not, well! He must go without.

 

Then I desire to go to some sea-side place as unlike this London by the sea as possible.  It is more populated by the nomadic Eastern tribe than ever.

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A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel September 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel September 1917

Embossed notepaper headed:

Christ Church Vicarage

North Finchley N and struck through

61 Marine Avenue

Hove

Sussex

Undated September 1917

 

Darling,

 

After a quick but slumbersome journey I arrived with the rain at Brighton, and found Mother & Father here.  I am staying with them.  I surprised them with the amount of my luggage but I was determined to enjoy mufti for a few days but of course I had to travel down in uniform.

 

I do hope you were not very tired after the unwelcome attentions of our night visitors. On my way back Mr. Jordan ran me in for riding without a light.  It would have been amusing if he had reported me to the Superintendent whose house I had just left.  However the offer of a cigarette accepted appeased the official anger at such wanton smashing of the laws of our country, and I gained my bed in my own home and not the local lock-up.

 

Brighton bores me, but I am glad to be with my people once again and away from their duties.

 

My plans are as follows – subject to alterations and revisions, of course, by a higher authority – your ladyship. I leave here Monday morning, and arrive in town to entertain the Colonel if possible graced by female society – if not well he must go without.

 

Then I await your majesty’s commands. What I should like would be go to some sea-side place – not like this London-by-the-sea with a desert of asphalt peopled by a nomadic tribe from the East.  How would you like it?  Perhaps some good Samaritans could be inveigled into chaperoning you at such a place.  I don’t like to suggest it in case I annoy people by troubling them so much.

 

I could book rooms at a hotel somewhere if it were possible and enjoy another week by the sea.

 

However I am probably expecting too much.

 

Please give my love to Mrs Cross

With much love to you dearest & kisses (paper)

Ever your

Arch.

F Springett letter 17 September 1917

Sunday Evening                                              Same Address

 

My Dear Brother Sid,

I am sorry I have kept you waiting for so long for a letter but as you will see we haven’t moved yet but expect to move Friday now.  I hope you have been keeping well I am very well myself.

We are having lovely weather down here but of course it’s a bit cold for canvas life at night times.

I had a nice parcel from home the other day, it was jolly fine.

We have a new Captain, and he’s a bit of a blighter, he don’t half keep us busy.

I had a letter from Dad the other day from his new job in London I suppose he is doing alright up there, I guess he was sorry to leave Crayford though for some things.  I shall be jolly glad to get off the East Coast.  I am fed up with it.  We had night operations last week down in the trenches by the coast.

We were down there until 11 o’clock and it rained nearly all the while. I hope when we get to Canterbury it will be better.

Still I make up for all the bad times with that chap that comes from Cranbrook.  We have some fine times together down Harwich.

I have stopped in this Sunday on purpose to write letters as there seems little time during the week now it gets dark so quick.

Well Sid I don’t think I have any more news this time, you might just write before Friday and let me know how you are getting on.

I will write as soon as I know where I am if we move this week.

Well Goodbye Sid hope this letter finds you in the best of health.

I remain

Your Affec Brother

Frank William

 

 

Hope Ted is still alright.

 

 

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

Postmarked HARWICH 5 PM 17 SP 17

 

 

Supplement to First Army Intelligence Summary No 977. 16 September 1917

SUPPLEMENT TO FIRST ARMY INTELIGENCE SUMMARY No 977.

(From G.H.Q. Summary)

 

GERMAN TREATMENT OF PRISONERS.

The following information is given by prisoners as to the enemy’s method of treating any of our men who fall into his hands:-

A prisoner, from the moment of his capture, is treated with studied courtesy, given cigarettes, food, wine, etc., and housed as comfortably as circumstances admit.

No souvenir-hunting is allowed, his arms only are removed, and his private property is for the time being scrupulously respected.

 

As soon as possible, he is removed to the rear by car, his escort comprising men who can talk English and listen to all conversation.

 

The huts in which prisoners are housed are fitted with listening apparatus.

When all examinations are completed and the prisoner is evacuated, his good treatment comes to an end. Any apparent or real discrepancy in his evidence which is discovered is made the excuse for systematic ill-treatment.

 

The essential point is the uniform and studied good treatment of prisoners for so long only as any information is to be got out of them, the object being to induce a feeling of comfort and friendliness.

 

EMPLOYMENT OF TUNNELS BY THE GERMANS.

 

Prisoners, captured by the French during the fighting at VERDUN in August, have given the following information regarding the tunnels built by the Germans on the left bank of the MEUSE: –

 

The CORBEAUX TUNNEL was intended, during quiet periods, more for the circulation of troops than as a shelter. Nevertheless, it accommodated permanently a regimental H.Q., a battalion H.Q., the H.Q. and personnel of a Minenwerfer company, an important aid-post, and the field kitchens of one battalion and of the machine gun company of the regiment.

 

During the preparatory period, two companies of infantry were quartered by day. These companies were surprised by the French attack on the 20th August and remained in the tunnel.

 

The CUMONT – MORT HOMME TUNNEL accommodated permanently a regimental H.Q., two battalion H.Qs., an aid-post, and field kitchens.

During the French bombardment, both tunnels became crowded with wounded and stragglers from various units.

 

The bombardment resulted in most of the entrances to the tunnels being blocked. In the CORBEAUX TUNNEL, a length of 6½ feet collapsed through a direct hit, although there was a thickness of 46 feet of earth overhead at this point.  In the CUMONT – MORT HOMME TUNNEL, all the occupants were more or less asphyxiated by the gas produced by the high explosive shell.  Isolated, and cut off from supplies, the garrison were surrounded by the assaulting French troops and offered little resistance.

 

In the CORBEAUX TUNNEL, the commander of the 24th Res. Inf. Regt., and his staff, a large number of officers, and more than 700 other ranks were captured.  600 prisoners were captured in the CUMONT – MORT HOMME TUNNEL.

 

Conclusion. – The conclusion drawn from a study of the use of tunnels by the Germans in the CHAMPAGNE fighting (see Supplement to First Army Intelligence Summary No. 877, dated 8/6/17), applies equally to the above cases.  Tunnels cease to be effective when bombarded with heavy shell; they then become mere man-traps.

 

-0-0-0-

R.S. RYAN Lieut. Col.,

General Staff, First Army.

16-9-17.

 

WEATHER REPORT. – From mid-day, September 16th to mid-day, September 17th;

Wind. – S.W. 10 to 15 m.p.h.; probably changing to South or S.E.

Weather. – Mainly fair at first perhaps some drizzle later. Morning mist or fog; warm; fair visibility.

Temperature. – Day 68 degrees, night 54 degrees.

F. Smith letter 16 September 1917

Sept 16th 17

 

My Dear Father

 

Just a few lines to thank you very much for your nice parcel, & letter received to-day.

I was getting anxious to hear from you as it seemed sometime since I got a letter & the Pictorial did not arrive this week; but I am glad you are all merry & bright & in the best of health.

The cake was a very nice one also the biscuits, & chocolate.  I am glad you sent strawberry jam it is a change from what we get issued & paste is always very nice the fags came just in time as I had run out for the time being.

I wanted to write to you to-night as we have got a blooming route march on to-morrow & I might not get a chance before the letters go in I will add a bit more if I get time.

Please thank Lily Warman for her nice letter glad they are all well.

Pleased to say I am A1 have had some good times lately in a quiet way of course.

Well au revoir am just going to clean my pop gun up & turn in to kip; shall have to be up early in the morning; one thing we get an extra hour as the clocks are altered to-morrow so good night.

 

Your devoted

Son

 

War Diary of A.A. Laporte Payne 9 September 1917

War Diary of A.A. Laporte Payne 9 September 1917

 

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne

 

EXTRACTED FROM.

 

Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda

Correspondence

—————–

 

9th September 1917

 

September 9, 1917.

Tomorrow being Monday M. and F. go to Worthing, and I propose travelling to town by the 9.40 a.m. train, arriving at Victoria at 11.10.  Then to dine in town in the evening.

 

I am better and more presentable than I was, and I hope you will not mind being seen with me.