A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 27 September 1917
Same old place.
Sept 27th 1917
My own darling
Thank you so much for your dear note which awaited my arrival. It was most thoughtful of you, and was just what I wanted to cheer me up a bit.
I am living now on the memory of my delightful leave – the best I have ever had – thanks to you chiefly – and others.
I will write more tomorrow. At present I am up to my eyes in work – I am in charge of the battery in the line and there have been a lot of changes. I have been out all day and now have several things to see to. I will send a proper letter tomorrow. Please forgive this. Surroundings are more uncongenial than ever.
How are you now
Fondest love dearest & many kisses
Message from XVIII Corps Commander 25 Sep 1917.
XVIII Corps A1923
Before the 51st (Highland) Division quits the XVIII Army Corps I desire to express to its Commander and to all ranks in the Division how highly I have appreciated their services throughout three months of strenuous fighting.
What has struck me most is the thoroughness of the organization within the Division and the fact that all usual war-problems have been thought out beforehand, discussed in detail and are embodied in simple doctrines well known to all ranks. The result is the Division always fights with gallantry and can be depended upon to carry out any reasonable task which may be allotted to it in any battle. For this reason I venture to place it amongst the best three fighting Divisions I have met in France during the past three years.
Its record in this Corps comprised:-
- On 31st July 1917, a shattering assault on High Command Redoubt, the capture in their entirety of three separate systems of German defence lines, an advance of two miles in depth into hostile territory and the consolidation and retention of the Line of the River STEENBEEK and all the objectives allotted to the Division.
- On the 20th Sept, 1917, an assault on a Sector of the LANGEMARCK – GHELUVELT line which had resisted capture for more than a month, an incursion into hostile territory and the consolidation of important hills south west of POELCAPPELLE and at BAVAROISE HOUSE. The same afternoon these two hills were repeatedly attacked by five Prussian battalions, all of whom were defeated with sanguinary losses.
In conclusion I wish good luck to all ranks and hope to serve with them again in this War.
Commanding XVIII Corps.
Distribution list attached shows:-
Ab Q, G.SO 1, C.R.A. C.R.E. C. Comdt.
Sigs. A.P.M. A.D.M.S. D.A.D.V.S. D.A.D.O.S. D.C.O.
A.A. & Q.M.G.