Report on short shooting 19 September 1918

19th of Sept 1918





The following was reported to me at 5th C.M.R. H.Q.:-


  1. 7.20 P.M. – 6” shells falling short in vicinity of Q.28.b.00.70.
  2. Reported to 9th Brigade C.F.A., 10th Brigade C.F.A. & 8th C.I.B. at once.
  3. 8.40 P.M. – 3 Gas shells reported from forward as having fallen in vicinity of Q.28.b.00.30.
  4. Reported to H.L.O. at 8th C.I.B., 9th Brigade C.F.A. and 10th Brigade C.F.A.
  5. 9.20 P.M. –T.M.s reported from forward to be falling short in vicinity of Posts around Q.28.b.10.80. Reported.
  6. 9.45 P.M. – Gas shells reported to be falling short in same vicinity as in (1).
  7. At 11 P.M. written report timed 10.45 P.M. from Capt. Curran O.C. ”D” Company to the effect that battery reported firing short on Outpost Line at Q.34.c.40.00 – appeared to be gas shell of 18-Pdr. Or 4.5” Hows., also 6” or 8” firing short on same location.9th Brigade C.F.A. notified by me.NOTE –           Subsequently it turned out that location given in report was a mistake. It should have been Q.28.c.40.00.The following reports were made to me on the subject:-Lieut. DOW 3rd C.D.T.M. ”Y” Bty.                        Lieut Dow, at my request, went up front to look into the matter and on his return at 5.30 A.M. reported the following:- At Q.28.c.55.25 he located the hole made by one of these shells which had been a “dud”. He dug a hole and came to the shell but did not succeed in getting it out. He thought it was a 6” (certainly bigger than a 4.5”). He feels sure that it was one of the shells he had heard coming over. (He found another hole exactly the same, about twenty feet away from this one) and the men in the post on the road close by, agreed with him that it was owing to noise of unsteady flight which both he and they had noticed. Lewis gun crew in post in position were in charge of Lieut Weldon of “D” Coy.                        This “dud” had hit the ground, bounced, and was lying where Lieut. Dow saw it with its base towards the front. He took a bearing from the shell to the groove it had made when it struck and found it to be 274 Deg. Magnetic.                        Lieut. Savage ”C” Coy 5th C.M.R. whom I saw at Battn. H.Q. at 8 A.M. 19th said:- About 7 P.M. 18th he was at Q.28.b.10.95. in front of his platoon H.Q. when a shell which made a big explosion, and he judged to be a 6” How fell at approx 22.d.20.40.                          When he saw shells he was standing at approx. Q.27.b.20.30. The shells were coming from his left rear. Sgd. Robertson Fleet, Lieut
  8. L.O. 5th C.M.R.
  9.                         When at about 9.15 P.M. it was reported by Lieut. Savage that T.M.s were firing short into his platoon area, he sent for the T.M. Officer (Stokes) who has a German T.M. firing from about Q.21,d.80.40. This officer said that it could not be his gun that was firing short but Lieut Gifford told him to stop, and after that there was no more trouble forward from T.M.s.
  10.                         LEIUT GIFFORD – “C” Coy O.C. said that at about 7 P.M. (18th) he saw from the rise behind our Outpost line our shells falling short in the vicinity of Q.22.d.30.00 to Q.22.d.20.40. Whole battery firing more right and 1 gun appeared wild and short. Big explosion – probably 6” How – Ran back and telephoned battn.
  11.                         At about 9.15 (he thinks) our own T.M. bombs began to fall all around in his area – about 15 rounds in all – most of them “duds”. Telephoned Battn. H.Q. and Lieut Gifford of”C” company and T.M.s ceased firing.
  12. 2 or 3 guns apparently of same time were firing battery fire about 1 minute in vicinity of Q.28.d.50.30. In all 3 or 4 shells, all apparently from same How fell in the vicinity mentioned, the nearest about 25 Deg. North of Post at 22.d.30.00. seemed to come from rear and slightly left. He ran back and telephoned Battn. H.Q. Guns stopped at that time. Lieut. Savage thinks shells were coming from about Due West. At about 7.30 P.M. when in his post at 22.d.30.00 this officer observed 3 gas shells (our own) drop short at approx. Q.28. Central. He could not tell what calibre they were. The nearest Post to this is one at Q.28.c.70.65 Lieut. Savage telephoned Battn. H.Q. about this and no more fell than he saw.
  13.                         (With regard to the 6” shells, Lieut Dow feels sure that they came from the direction of due West).
  14.                         Lieut Dow investigated also the “dud” shell mentioned in report of Capt. Curran. It was an 8” but had evidently not come in that night. He said that the man at the post informed him that it had come in the night before (Lieut Short of ”A” Coy, was in charge of that post on the night of 17/18th.
  15.                         He visited Battn. H.Q. at 4 A.M., 19th and said that about 8.45 P.M. (18th) he was on road in Q.27.d. at approx 1005 when three successive shells passed over his head and fell in vicinity of Q.28.c.40.05. Very small burst. The How. which was firing appeared to be located to his left rear as shell was passing overhead on his left as he walked towards where it was falling.
  16. 3 shells dropped short during night, also several during evening. One “Dud” reported by Runner as about an 8”.