F.S.P.C. 26 September 1917
I am quite well
I have been admitted to hospital sick wounded and am going on well.
I am being sent down to the base.
I have received your letter dated telegram parcel
Letter follows at first opportunity.
I have received no letter from you lately for a long time.
Signature only: A.A. Laporte Payne
Date Sept 26 1917
Addressee Miss Muriel Cross, Benchfield, Church End, Finchley, N3
Postmark ARMY POST OFFICE S.65 Dated 29 SP 17
Opposite p 55
Issued before Passendaele Battle 4th Oct
During his inspection, the Army Commander emphasised the importance of the following points:-
- In all practice attacks the flanks of the leading troops on the right and left of the troops carrying out the attack, must be represented by flags etc. These flags should move in accordance with the instructions of the director. They should not move in strict conformity with the attacking troops but should sometimes drop back leaving the flank of the attacking troops uncovered, sometimes move outwards so as to leave a gap. By this means leaders will be taught to deal with situations which will occur in a battle.
- The absolute necessity for supports and reserves keeping well up so that the onus of beating off a counter-attack may not entirely fall on those troops who have already been seriously engaged.
- The necessity for the outpost line of Lewis Guns etc maintaining their positions in the face of a counter-attack and never retiring on to the main line. By this means, even if the enemy succeeds in pressing the outpost line, he will be delayed and disorganised and so fall an easy prey to the troops in rear. X Retirements of any sort in the face of a counter-attack are fatal.
- At all parades, troops must be practiced in seizing their rifles and rapidly taking up a fire position in any direction. A definite object must be given for the men to aim at such as bottom of haystack, line of hedge, etc. each man’s position must be examined and criticised with special regard to the visibility of the target.
- The necessity for impressing on all ranks that although the pace of the barrage is slow, as soon as an obstacle occurs it must be attacked as rapidly as possible i.e. when the ground permits, all outflanking movements must be made at the double. Unless the obstacle is rapidly overcome the barrage may be lost.
- The necessity for troops not engaged pushing boldly on, and for troops in rear moving round the flanks of obstacles which are being engaged by leading troops.
- It must be impressed on all ranks that their lives and the success of the whole operation will very likely depend:-
(a) On the amount of digging they can put in during the first few minutes after an objective has been captured.
(b) On cleaning their rifles at every available opportunity. X
With reference to (b) during all practice attacks, men must be taught to utilise every pause to clean their rifles without waiting for orders. If the ground is very wet, it may be necessary for one man to clean whilst another shoots.
A Division which lately took part in active operations arranged for a small party of men in each Battalion being told off to clean Lewis Guns and Rifles put out of action by mud. This party was located in the vicinity of Battalion Hd Qrs, and Lewis Guns and Rifles which required cleaning were sent back to it from the lines in front.
The Divisional Commander is aware that many of these points have already been put forward, but they are all of such immense importance that he has no hesitation in publishing them again. They must be read in conjunction with notes already issued.
The above points are of the utmost importance and the Commanding Officer wishes Company Commanders to do all they can to carry out the Divisional Commanders wishes.
Adjutant 1. E. YORK. R.
152nd Infantry Brigade
153rd “ “
154th “ “
1/8 Royal Scotts.
Div Signal Co.
232 Machine Gun Co.
A.D.M.S. Div. Supply Column.
D.M.G.O. Div Salvage Co.
A.P.M. Div. Claims Officer.
D.A.D.V.S. Div Amm. Sub-Park.
D.A.D.O.S Camp Commandant.
Div Gas Officer.
The following message has been received from Fifth Army:-
“In bidding farewell to the Highland Division the Army Commander wishes to express his great admiration for and appreciation of their splendid record during the fighting of the past two months aaa Their fine advance their gallant defence of ground won against repeated enemy attacks and the severe punishment they inflicted on the enemy during the last battle will ever remain one of their proudest records and has helped materially to enemy’s final defeat aaa He heartily wishes them all success in the future aaa Scotland for ever.
Laurence Carr Major G.S.
for Lieut. Colonel,
51st (Highland) Division.
26th September 1917.
Sept 25th 17
I thought I would write you a few lines as it seems rather a long time since I wrote to you last.
Well Dad how are you all getting on. I am suffering from a rotten cold at present but expect I shall be alright in a day or two.
How did you enjoy yourself at Thames Ditton I hope Nell & Bill are quite well.
We left our old spot last Sunday, & now in a large camp it is not a bad place; the weather is grand & vary hot.
Thank you for the Pictorial I am anxious to know if anything will come of all this peace talk but one cannot put much hopes in it.
I was pleased to hear from Ethel, & sorry I did not think of Winnie’s birthday tell her I will write the first opportunity.
I think I must finish now. Shall be glad to hear from you soon.
Hoping you are all in the best of health.
With much love from
56153 Pte F.W. Springett
A Company 2nd Platoon
284th Infantry Battn
Bourne Park Camp
My Dear Brother Sid,
Just a few lines as promised hope they will find you quite well. As I am very well at present. Well, Sid note the new address and the place. This is about three miles from Canterbury and we are in a lovely park so everything is alright.
We shan’t be so long before we go in billets now. I shall be glad in one way, then we shall be down in the town.
It was a lovely day for moving. We were up at 2 o’clock in the morning and it was six hours ride in the train. I came through Maidstone at 10 o’clock yesterday morning.
Well, Sid it is fall in time so I will close, sorry to write such a short letter.
Your Loving Brother
With cover to Mr S.K. Springett, 29 Bath Road Dartford Kent
Postmarked CANTERBURY 10 PM 25 SP 17