Cambrin orders 26 February 1917

Cambrin orders 26 February 1917


CAMBRIN 1917 Some routine orders & reports.


2Lt Laurens No 13 Platoon.


  1. You will be relieved in trenches tonight by No 3 Platoon A Coy at 10 pm.
  2. You will send a guide to Dug outs in High Street at 9.45 p.m.
  3. Your Lewis Guns will hand over drums received from IRON.
  4. After relief you will take over SIMS KEEP.
  5. No person will leave their posts until properly relieved.
  6. Empty Water Tins must be carried out by you.
  7. Report to Coy H.Q. after relief.
  8. Rations will be drawn after relief.


  1. C. Green


O.C. D Coy



No 15 platoon.


  1. You will be relieved tonight at 10 p.m. by No 4 Platoon A Coy
  2. Your Lewis Guns will hand over drums received from IRON.
  3. After relief Lewis Guns team proceeds to Dug Out in OLD BOOT TRENCH where they will find equal number of Drums.
  4. After relief you will detail 4 men to report to Sergt Downs to make him up to nine men without N.C.O.s.
  5. The remainder of your platoon will after relief proceed to Dug out in OLD BOOT TRENCH between Lewis Alley & MAISON ROUGE.
  6. Bring out all petrol tins & dump them at Coy H.Q.
  7. No person will leave his post until properly relieved.
  8. Report to Coy H.Q. when relief complete.
  9. Rations will be drawn after relief.


W.C. Green

O.C. D Coy



No 16 Platoon. Sergt Downs.

  1. You will be relieved in Tunnel tonight at 10 p.m. by a part of Nos 1 & 2 Platoon A Coy.
  2. After relief you will form a bombing post of yourself & 9men and proceed to Dug outs in High Street between BOYAR 10 & 11.
  3. You will obtain the men to make up your strength from No 15 platoon.
  4. The remainder of your N.C.Os will proceed to Dug out in OLD BOOTS TRENCH between LEWIS ALLEY & MAISON ROUGE.
  5. N.C.Os will carry out petrol tins & dump them at Coy H.Q. They will report to me relief complete & will be responsible for drawing your rations & getting them up to you.
  6. You must bring out all Rifles & equipment of wounded etc. You may call on No 15 to assist in this.
  7. A guide will meet you in OLD BOOTS to conduct you to dug outs.
  8. Your orders on Dugouts are to support A Coy in front of you in case of emergency.


W.C. Green

Lt O.C. D Coy



2/Lt Desborough – No 14 Platoon.



  1. You will be relieved from trenches tonight at about 10 p.m. by 1 & 2 Platoons A Coy under 2 Lt WARD.
  2. You will send a guide to report to this Coy H.Q. by 8.30 p.m. tonight & I will instruct him in his duties.
  3. The relief will come down MAIN GUAGE RAILWAY in order of posts at 2 minutes intervals.
  4. Your Lewis Gun Team will hand over DRUMS received from IRON & will pick up equal number at Coy H.Q.
  5. After relief your men will file out by posts & you will arrange to collect them at Junction of OLD BOOTS & MAIN GUAGE RAILWAY. Thence proceed N along top of OLD BOOTS to Dug outs on OLD BOOTS.
  6. No man will leave his post until properly relieved.
  7. All petrol tins, – rifles & equipment of wounded will be carried out by you & brought to Coy H.Q.
  8. Report relief complete.
  9. Password tonight HOPS.


W.C. Green Lt

O.C. D. Coy.

5.30 p.m.




Herewith report on men recommended for mention in despatches.


No 31039 A/Cpl Trowell A. i/c Lewis Gun.  Has done continual good work in the trenches.  Is specially recommended by the Lewis Gun Officer.  Has been with the Battn since July 1916.


1038 A/Sergt Deyes G.  Has been with Bn since July 1916.  Has done continual good work always ready to help & *** an emergency.


31210 Cpl Spence J.  Has been with Bn since July 1916.  previously with Dardanelles Campaign.  Very reliable N.C.O.  Good patroller.


W.C. Green Lt.

O.C. D. Coy.





Work & Wire report.


SAPs & CRATERS    Nil.

FRONT LINE            Cleared trenches between Boyau 6 & 7 after bombardment.

Support LINE             Nil.

RESERVE LINE       LATRINES Old Boots & SIMS KEEP put in sanitary condition.


Lewis Alley from junction with Old BOOTS to SIMS KEEP cleaned of MUD.

WIRE                          4 coils of wire put out in front line at gap between BOYAUX 10 & 11. – Wire examined here & found satisfactory.

Wire in front Old BOOTS & round SIMS KEEP satisfactory.


W.C. Green Lt.

O.C. D Coy

1.3.17 3 p.m.




  1. Coy. BRASS. Ref Op Orders No 9 1.3.17


  1. The Coy will be relieved by a Coy of 9th K.O.Y.L.I. today at about 1 p.m.
  2. After relief the Coy will proceed by platoons to ANNEQUIN, the Platoon Commander marching in rear of his command & taking great care to prevent straggling. Platoon must proceed in formed bodies.
  3. All movements from CAMBRIN to ANNEQUIN must be at 200 yards distance between platoons.
  4. The whole Coy must go out by LEWIS ALLEY.
  5. Each platoon will report relief to Coy H.Q.
  6. No 16 Platoon will not wait to be relieved but will join up with No 13 in SIMS KEEP at 12.30 p.m. sending one man to report to O.C. A Coy at the same time.
  7. Lewis Gunners will leave drums as usual.
  8. All Dugouts will be left thoroughly clean likewise latrines. ***


W.C. Green Lt.

O.C. D Coy



Ref return re wire-cutters & breakers I have at present 10 wire cutters and 8 wire breakers (rifle)

Deficient – 6 wire cutters.

W.C. Green 2/Lt.

O.C. D. Coy





I certify that the rocket signals at my H.Q. are complete and correct. aaa.


2 more Port flares should be sent up in case of losses. aaa

W.C. Green Lt.

O.C. D. Coy.


7 p.m.



Maps herewith as follows:-

FRANCE        36 C                1/10,000                      1

“                 36 B                1/10,000                      1

“                 36 C. N.W.      1/20,000                      6

“                36 B. N.E.       1/10,000                      6

LOOS             36 C. N.W.      1/10,000                      6

LABASSEE   36 C N.W.       1/10,000                      7

Belgium           Sheet 27                                              1

W.C. Green Lt.

O.C. D. Coy



List of maps handed to Bn H.Q. Gives date of move from BETHUNE Area.



20 Light Division Instructions No 15 25 February 1917

SECRET.                                                                                            Copy No. —-

25th Feby 1917






The action of the Artillery on Zero Day will be as follows:-

  1. (a) Vigorous counter-battery work by specially detailed Groups of Heavy and Siege Artillery.

(b) Bombardment of selected points.

(c) Barrages.

As regards (a) and (b), their action requires no explanation, but as regards   Barrages all ranks must be fully cognisant of the methods which will be   employed.



This will operate according to the Barrage Map Attached.  Should our troops have pushed forward at such a distance beyond the STEENBEEK as to render it unsafe to open on first barrage line, then this will be omitted, and the barrage will open on the second line, remaining on this line until Zero plus 10 minutes.

Any line on which the barrage “piles up” so as to conform to its shape is called the “Piling up Line”.

The BROWN Line as shown on map, 200 yards from, and parallel to, each objective, are called the “Protective Barrage Lines”, as these are the lines on which the creeping barrage remains during the consolidation of the objective.


  1. Before the lifting of a “Protective Barrage”, the rate of fire increases from half a round per gun per minute to three rounds per gun per minute for 5 minutes immediately prior to the lift.       This would be an indication to the Infantry that it is time to advance close to the barrage for the next forward bound.



The role of the Standing Barrage is to engage more definite objectives        than the Creeping Barrage, and to catch any of the enemy that may be retiring.       This barrage moves on in front of the Creeping Barrage from target to target,     and is never overtaken by it.  In this case it consists of five 18-pounder       batteries and probably two 4.5 How, batteries.  Certain 4.5 Hows. will be      employed to block the roads by advancing along them 200 yards in front of the      first wave.

The 18-pounder Standing Barrage will search 150yards in front and in rear of        the RED Line, whilst the Infantry occupy the GREEN Line.



This consists of two 6” Howitzer batteries and probably two 4.5 How.        batteries.  These guns search the area from 300 yards to 1,200 yards in front of     the advancing Infantry to keep down enemy long-range machine gun fire.



Should the wind be favourable, the Artillery has been ordered to form the following smoke screens:-

  1. Along the GREEN Line at Zero plus 40 minutes to Zero plus 50 minutes. In this barrage no smoke will be fired South of LANGEMARK-WHITE HOUSE Road.
  2. From Zero plus 1 hour and 30 minutes to Zero plus 1 hour and 50 minutes, on the RED Line from the Right Divisional Boundary to a point outside the Left Divl. Boundary.
  3.       The smoke barrage on the GREEN Line is to cover the consolidation of the            BLUE Line, and on the RED Line to cover the consolidation of the GREEN      Line.
  1. In the event of our Infantry being seriously held up in the advance, the creeping barrage will be stopped in order to recommence under orders of the Divisional Commander.

Every 18 Pdr. creeping barrage which is stopped and brought back will       invariably fire 4 rounds per gun per minute for the four minutes immediately       prior to the recommencement of the creep forward.  This will give the Infantry   the necessary warning that the advance is to be resumed.

When the barrage starts again after being brought back there will be no fire            within 100 yards of the flank of any Infantry who have got forward.


  1. Troops detailed for any particular objective are not to be engaged in the capture of a previous objective without orders from Divisional Headquarters.

The B.G.C. concerned can, however, order up, on his own responsibility, one         Company (but not more) to reinforce any line held up, but this will only be done in case of urgent necessity.




  1. McD Haskard

Lieut. Colonel,

General Staff, 20th Division.

11th Aug 1917.

Issued to Signals at


Copies to –

No 1. 59th Inf Bde.                           14. XIV Corps.

  1. 60th Inf. Bde.                          15. 11th Division.
  2. 61st Inf. Bde.                           16. 29th Division.
  3. B.G. R.A.                                17. 38th Division.
  4. C.R.E.                                     18. XIV Corps R.A.
  5. Div. Signals.                            19. XIV Corps H.A.
  6. Div. Pioneers.                          20. No. 8 Heavy Arty. Group.
  7. Div. M.G. Coy.                       21. No 9 Sqdn. R.F.C.
  8. A.D.M.S.                                22. G.O.C.
  9. A.P.M.                                                23. G.S.O.1.
  10. A.A. & Q.M.G..                      24. G.S.O. 2.
  11. D.M.G.O., 20th Div.                25. War Diary
  12. D.M.G.O., 38th Div.                26. File.

20 Division Operation Order No 137 25 February 1917

SECRET.                                                                                            Copy No. 18

25th Feby 1917




Reference Maps: – 1/100,000 Sheets 11, 12, 17, 18.


  1. The Fifth Army last night gained considerable ground, and are reported to have already occupied MIRAUMONT, PYS and many German trenches between GUEUDECOURT and SERRE.

From the information of prisoners, they have heard   that the Germans         contemplate a general and gradual retirement in this area to the         HINDENBURG Line, which runs from the neighbourhood of LENS, in front       of CAMBRAI and DOUAI to ST. QUENTIN, which line they were to have         reached by March 25th.

The prisoners further report that all water supply is being destroyed, and     dugouts, where possible, mined.


  1. Strong Officer’s patrols will be sent out during the night to ascertain whether any of the German trenches in front of the MORVAL and LESBOEUFS Sector have been vacated and will gain all ground which may have been vacated by the enemy.


  1. The B.G.C. LESBEUFS Sector will get into touch with the B.G.C. 14th Australian Brigade (H.Qrs at T.13.c.1.1.) on his Left flank.

It is particularly important that touch be maintained with the 5th Australian             Division, and that any ground gained by them shall be linked up with our         Divisional front.


  1. The B.Gs.C. MORVAL and LESBOEUFS Sectors will inform Divisional Headquarters by wire at what hour these patrols are going out, and the route they are taking.

Artillery barrages can be arranged to cover their movements if necessary.





  1. McD Haskard

Lieut. Colonel,

General Staff, 20th Division.

Issued to Signals at 4.10 p.m.


Copies to –

No 1.  XIV Corps.                  8. 59th Inf. Bde.          16. A. A. & Q.M.G.

  1.    29th Division.               9. 60th Inf. Bde.          17. Divl. Train.
    1. 5th Australian Divn 61st Inf. Bde.         18. Camp Commdt.
    2. XIV Corps R.A. 11th Durham L.I.   19/23. Retained.
    3. XIV Corps H.A. Signals
    4. R.A. 13. A.D.M.S.
    5. R.E. 14.  A.D.V.S.

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Feb 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 25 Feb 1915

9th Middlesex




25 Feb 1915


Dear M & F,


Thanks for your letter dated Jan 28th.  I received the Text Book from Mr Ayerst by the same mail.


I note that you’ve sold a pair of my shoes.


I think we are going to Jaffapore in a day or two’s time to do our firing. It’s 2 or 3 miles from here.  I expect we shall be there 2 or 3 weeks.  We shall live under canvas.  I’m not looking forward to it; it will be very hot out on the range, & the light is so strong, very trying to the eyes.


I went to Calcutta yesterday afternoon with C.A.S.  We had a nice time except that it was rather short.  You want a week there really to see the place properly, only of course, you want the “brass” & that’s the stuff we don’t see much of out here.  What little we do get, nearly all goes on grub – suppers, jam etc.  By the way jam is 8d a 1lb tin, marmalade 7½ d.


Calcutta seemed a little bit like home, electric trams, motor cars etc but the majority of the population is black.  We went to a music hall in the evening, but we only saw pictures.  I suppose they only have variety turns now & again.  The house was practically empty.  We got a rupee seat half price – 8d.  we got back to Barracks just after 11.0.


They are still sticking to the rumour that we are leaving India next month.  In fact they say now that Kitchener stated in Parliament that all T. were to be withdrawn from India.  But of course you’ll know more about that than we do; you get more reliable news.  If we are going to move we ought to have been told officially by now.

Hoping you are all well,

Love to all,



I suppose you see Cousin Ellen now & again & tell her all the news. I have not written to her since we landed.