WAR DIARY of 20 Siege Battery for April 1918

WAR DIARY of 20 Siege Battery for April 1918


Place       Date    Hour                                                Summary of Events and Information



1st                    Battery positions:- 1 Gun in original position F.4.c.2.7. E of GORRE.  2 guns new position F.3.d.6.7.  2 guns as silent section E of BETHUNE on canal at F.7.a.8.6 (Sheet 36B N.E.)

5th                   1 O.R. wounded (Gnr. SMYTHE).

9th                   CAP.T.J.C.THOMPSON wounded, at duty.

2/Lt. W.H. CHAPMAN wounded, at duty, to Hospital 10th April.

2/Lt. H. MACKAY wounded to Hospital.

2/Lt B.W. TURNBULL wounded to Hospital.

1 NCO & 5 Gunners Killed in action.

2 Gunners wounded at duty

20 Gunners wounded to hospital.

11th                  2 N.C.O.s Killed & 1 Gunner wounded at position on CANAL.

2/Lt. K. DOWNEY to Hospital, wounded when guiding guns through BEUVRY.

12th                  Tr. S. Sgt. ROBINSON, Sgt. BOWDEN A.E. & 4 gunners Killed in action.

Bdr. FREARSON wounded (died of wounds 13th) & 3 gunners wounded.  At new position behind FOSSE 6 de NOEUX.

13th                  Battery moved to ORLINGHEM – 3 guns in position on night of 13th 2 others on 14th.

14th                  2/Lt. R.G. PERCIVAL R.G.A. (S.R.) Joined Battery from 125 S.B.

18th                  2/Lt. E.D. DAVIES R.G.A. (S.R.) 125 S.B. posted to 20 S.B. & remains attached to 125 S.B. S.A.H.A.

At OBLINGHEM 22nd          Lce Bdr BYDE killed in action & 2 gunners wounded 9 other ranks wounded (gassed)

26th                  2/Lt. W.H. CHAPMAN rejoined Battery from Base.

30th                  Lce Bdr CAVE W. (medical orderly) wounded.

29th                  Major L.G.R.F.H. BELL admitted to Hospital sick.

Total Casualties during month from enemy action 5 officers wounded, 16 OR Killed & died of wounds, 38 OR wounded.


In the field


Tactical Battery positions 1.4.18.  F.4.c.2.7 – 1 gun, F.3.d.6.7 – 2 guns, F.10.a.8.6. 3 guns (silent) Sheet 36 B. N.E.

April 1st – 8th weather chiefly misty. 2 destruction shoots on Hostile Batteries by forward guns with aeroplane observation.

April 9th 4.10 a.m. Enemy attack on LA BASSEE CANAL to N. of ARMENTIERES.  Single gun in original battery position at once out of action by shellfire. (This position subsequently found to be marked as Battery position & strong point on enemy map of the day’s objectives).  2 guns in other forward position fired on SOS lines & hostile batteries until 9 a/m/ when ordered to cease firing by runner from Brigade.  Opened fire again about 10.30 a.m. on front line *** N.E. of FESTUBERT.  Rear section opened fire at 9 a.m.  Forward guns pulled out in early morning of 10th April, about 1000 rounds having been fired during previous 24 hrs by 5 guns remaining in action.  2 serviceable guns placed in position already prepared at near position in canal.

April 11th At 2 p.m. 5 guns pulled out from position in LA BASSEE CANAL & brought into action by 9 p.m. behind FOSSE 6 de NOEUX (LABOURSE). Harassing fire caused ** during night 11th – 12th.

April 13th Guns removed to OBLINGHEM near CHOQUES to be ready for proposed counter attack in evening of 14th – Attack however postponed.

April 14th18th Continued harassing fire in *** in district between HINGES & MERVILLE.  One successful ANF shoot on Hostile Field Battery.

April 25th  2 guns moved to position near ANNEZ, N.W. of BETHUNE & remaining 4 guns moved 3 times during stay at OBLINGHEM, owing to hostile shelling.

April 18th – 30th Firing chiefly in support of an attack on PACAUT WOOD & SOS in that neighbourhood with aeroplane counter battery shoots & neutralisations.

April 22nd – 27th  No 41527 Bdr HOGAN W.J. & No 123172 Lce Bdr CAVE W awarded MM.

Major L.G.R.F.H. BELL & CAPT. J.C. THOMPSON awarded MC.


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