XV Corps Instruction 20 June 1916

XV Corps Instruction 20 June 1916

7th Division
17th Division
21st Division
Corps Mounted Troops


1. Despatch of Telegram.
In order to prevent congestion of traffic and obviate delay to operation telegrams, only messages of an urgent nature will be sent by telegraph; other less urgent messages will be sent by post. Telegrams will be made as brief as possible.

2. Telephone Conversations.
The use of the telephone will be restricted as far as possible to conversations concerned with the operations. All conversations should be as short as possible so as not to block the lines.

There are only a limited number of Trunk lines between Army and Corps Exchanges. Trunk lines are also limited within the Corps area.

The capacity of the lines is not sufficient to carry the traffic if the telephone is used unnecessarily.

Additional work is thrown on the operators by callers repeating requests for connections. When a line is reported engaged, the call is booked at the exchange and no time is lost in completing the call immediately the line required is disengaged.

Louis Vaughan
General Staff.
H.Q. XV Corps,


Copy to:- “I”
“A” and “Q”

XV Corps message 19 June 1916

XV Corps message 19 June 1916

For information.

Divl. Comdr.
G.S.O. (1) – How many does the letter in question say 4 mortars.
G.S.O. (2)
G.S.O. (3)
Div. Art.
Div. Eng.
A.A. & Q.M.G.
D.A.A. & Q.M.G.
C. Comdt.
[No. 4875
[Hour 2/15 pm
[Date 19/6/16
[Initials CWL
Connected papers.


G.391 19th

It is probable that you will receive all heavy trench mortars allotted you under fifteenth corps 8 GX of May twenty eighth. Emplacements should be completed accordingly. Addressed 7th and 21st Divisions repeated 17th Division and B.G.R.A.

15th Corps
9.40 a.m.
J.R. Wethered Maj

XV Corps Artillery Instruction 22 June 1916

XV Corps Artillery Instruction 22 June 1916

15/C.A. 10/32

7th Division
17th Division
21st Division
XV Corps.
XV Corps H.A.

Reference Appendix II, my No 15/C.A. 10/32 dated 14-6-16, – “Special Operation, clearing Fricourt Area”.

The time “0.15 to 0.30” should now be amended to read “0.15 to 1.45”.

E.W. Alexander
Brigadier Genl: R.A., XVth Corps

Amendment to Table ‘L’.

Reference Table L Attack on FRICOURT. The last phase will last from 0.15 to 1 hr 45 min from 0.15 to 1.35 instead of from 0.15 to 0.30. 18 pounders and four point howitzer batteries will keep up a slow rate of fire on the tasks allotted, say an average 1 round a battery a minute for the period 1.35 to 1.45 the portion of wood detailed will be thoroughly searched and the rate of fire considerably increased. Section fire 15 seconds. The ammunition allotted is therefore
55 High Explosive.
30 Shrapnel.

Battery commanders however must increase the rate of fire during the period 0.15 to 1.35 if there are signs of the enemy firing from the wood.

78 5 copies
79 1 copy
94 5 copies
95 1 copy
96 2 copies
97 2 copies
T.M’s 4 copies
21 Div 1 copy.

The attack on Fricourt may be delayed considerably. The Trench Mortars must fire on that portion of the from zero time onwards must take care that sufficient ammunition is available for the preparation of the Fricourt attack. At least a dozen 2” bombs should remain in hand after that operation is completed. The heavy mortars can fire their last round.

Fourth Army Instruction 18 June 1916

Fourth Army Instruction 18 June 1916

Fourth Army
XV Corps.

Attention is called to the importance of not for the present displaying increased activity in artillery fire on the Fourth Army front. There has been a marked increase of fire during the last two days in 4.5”, 8” and 9.2” Howitzer fire.

It is requested that for the present High Explosive shell should be used when feasible in preference to Shrapnel with 18 pdr. guns.

Published to brigades.
(Sd) C.E.D. Budworth, Major General,
for M.G., G.S., Fourth Army.

7th Division.
21st Division.
17th Division (for information).

For information and necessary action.

J.R. Wethered Maj
for Brigadier-General,
General Staff.
H.Q. XV Corps,

21st Divisional Instruction 19 June 1916

21st Divisional Instruction 19 June 1916

21 Div
62 Inf. Bde.
63 “ “
64 “ “
50th Bde.
Div. Art. )
Div. Eng. ) For information.
Sig. Co. )

Copy to all units

In forthcoming operations, N.C.O’s in charge of picquets, placed over communication trenches to regulate “Up” and “Down” traffic, should be warned that runners with the “runner” badge and Signal service personnel with Signal arm band, as well as all Staff Officers, may use all trenches in either direction.

As far as possible routes for runners will be in accordance with the authorised direction.

H.E. Franklyn
General Staff
21st Division

21st Divisional Conference notes 19 June 1916

21st Divisional Conference notes 19 June 1916


Reference “Points for Conference”
(issued personally to officers).

1. Orders. Certain minor points in orders explained by G.O.C.

2. The Assembly and Preliminary arrangements.

Movements night X/Y.
(a) 64th Inf Bde to reconnoitre the best route.
50th Inf Bde. Brigadier to be informed of best route.
The Brigadier Commanding 62nd Bde stated that his Bns would be disposed as follows after relief:-
One in redoubts 19 and 20.
One in “ 21
He did not wish to bring his Bde back to VILLE to rest.
It was agreed that M.G. Coys could go up to the line by day.
Instructions will be issued as regards “up” trenches to be used by Brigades.

(b) Drawing of Stores.
Flares. Bdes would like to draw them back in billets and take them up to the line with them.
Bombs. 63rd and 64th Bdes will draw 16,000 bombs each from the D.A.C. and dump with S.A.A. in VILLE and BUIRE – sites to be selected.
7,000 will be delivered to 62nd Bde at QUEEN’S REDOUBT, 3,000 at MEAULTE and balance from trenches.
50th Bde. 6,000 will be delivered to Bde H.Q. and another 8,000 will be sent to the trenches (making a total of 16,000 in trenches).
Picks and Shovels. – to be drawn from R.E. dumps. It was proposed to carry them slung on the back.
Bdes proposed to carry 160 shovels and 160 picks per Bn.
C.R.E. to inform Bdes where tools can be drawn.

(c) Food. – All Brigadiers wished their cookers to come up on Z night if possible, with hot drink for men, iron rations to be brought up as well. Division to decide how much transport per Bn can go up and routes.

Issues of rum to be made from first day of bombardment.

(d) – Owing to alterations of Bdes in the line, a redistribution of wire cutters and hedging gloves becomes necessary. When these articles arrive C.R.E., will issue Bdes according to amount of wire to be cut by each.

(e) – The G.O.C. wished it to be understood that all the best officers should not be included in the 25 (or less, in proportion to number available) to be taken into action on the first day.

(f) – It was left to Brigadiers to decide as to whether they would adopt suggestions made as regards dress.

(g) – The G.O.C. suggested that the new trenches to be opened up on night U/V should be held lightly by night and not at all by day; but left the matter to the discretion of the Brigadier holding the line.
It was pointed out that as the enemy might shell these new trenches heavily, continual repair might be necessary.

(h) The strong patrols are intended to ensure that the enemy is not repairing his wire. Brigadiers will be informed of the times at which these patrols can go out.

3. (a). Brigades will be distributed for attack as follows –

63rd Bde. Left. Right.
1st Line. 8 Som. L.I. 4 Middlesex Regt.
2nd Line. 8 Lincoln Regt. 10 Yorks & Lancs.

64th Bde. Left. Right.
1st Line. 10 K.O.Y.L.I. 9 K.O.Y.L.I.
2nd Line 1E. Yorks Regt. 15 Durham L.I.

62nd Bde. Left Right
1st Line. 13 North’d Fus. 10 Yorks Regt.
2nd Line. 1 Lincoln Regt. 12 North’d Fus.

(b). Ladders and bridges are ready for issue. Brigadiers wish to put them into the front trenches fairly soon. Orders re bridging of German trenches will be issued.

(c). It was decided not to push any patrols out at Zero on Z day.

(d). G.O.C. 64th Bde pointed out the difficulty of creeping up under barrage if our heavies continue firing till Zero on enemy’s front trenches and suggested that they should not fire on German front trench after 5 minutes before Zero.
The Corps to be asked about this.

(e). The question of wearing gas helmets to stand over until Corps have been consulted with reference to the position of gas shell barrage.
On Z day gas may be liberated opposite FRICOURT but nowhere else on our front.

(f). It was decided that the best way to block chalk trenches was by blowing in traverses with gun cotton.
Practice should be arranged by Bdes if not already done.

4. (a) The C.R.E. stated that 9 bridging wagons and 12 pack animals (with wire) would be sent up as soon as possible.
Brigadiers were asked to consider possibility of putting some wire on ammunition mules.

5. (a) It is proposed to try and purchase carts. If impossible Brigadiers must consider how they are going to bring up their Lewis gun drums.

The following points were brought up by G.O.C.

1. Brigadiers to consider the question of disposal of dead when positions are being consolidated.
2. Counter-attacks unless carried out at once before the enemy have had time to consolidate, must be preceded by a bombardment.
3. As far as possible every man is to be given a good idea of the operations before the attack starts.
4. Staff Officers are to be freely used to see that during the operations the comfort of the men is being looked after. This can only be done by personal inspections.
5. Orders to be issued with reference to the collection of the two bombs carried by each man. Care to be taken to see that these are not wasted by each man throwing his bombs hap-hazard.
6. The question of the 50th Bde mistaking for hostile troops men of the 63rd Bde holding the North East corner of FRICOURT WOOD, will be considered.
7. Officers in charge of the construction of strong points should get in touch, as soon as possible after consolidation begins, with Bde H.Q. of the Bde area in which these strong points are being constructed.
When complete they will be handed over to the Bde concerned.

21st Divisional Artillery Instruction 19 June 1916

21st Divisional Artillery Instruction 19 June 1916

XV Corps 1
62 Inf. Bde. 5
63 : : 5
64 : : 5
Div. Art. 2
Div. Eng. 4
Pioneers 1
Signals 1
178 Tun. Co. R.E. 1
“Q” 3
A.D.M.S. 1
A.P.M. 1
C. Comdt. 1
D.A.D.O.S. 1
7th Div. 1
17th Div. 1
34th Div. 1
50th Inf. Bde. 1

Reference 21 Div 0.0. No 55 dated 17/6/17

The attached Appendix “M” (Continued) is forwarded for inclusion with the above quoted O.O.
Please acknowledge receipt.

A.T. Paley
General Staff,
21st Division.

O.O. No 22 Appendix 2
Copies of paras marked to all brigades.

Infantry should be warned against indiscriminately cutting lines forward in hostile trenches, as they may be of great use in establishing communication. They should only be cut by infantry signallers, and then on the enemy’s side of the point where instrument is tapped in, so that the line may be put through when a further advance takes place.

The lines running parallel in any line in hostile trenches of which use is to be made, must also be cut towards the enemy, but there is no necessity to cut the line to pieces, as they may be of great value later.

Signal Offices in hostile trenches must be strengthened as soon as possible, and steps taken to get the hastily laid cables replaced by properly laid lines. the best opportunity for the latter will probably be the first night.

Signposts must be put up in trenches to assist bearers of messages to find Signal Offices.

Should a move to the rear be made from any position to which cables have been run, it is essential that the cables be destroyed and not left laid through enemy lines.

In order that a system of Visual Signalling may be successfully carried out. It is essential that messages be limited to those of absolute necessity and be kept as short as possible, usually not more than six words.
A good rule is that only messages equivalent to “Priority” should be sent by Visual.

Sites for Sending Stations in our front line have been determined by the Divisions concerned, but it will be necessary, as the troops move forward, to select points in the enemy’s lines from which it will be possible to communicate back to Receiving Stations. These should be pointed out to signallers of assaulting infantry, who should know how to recognise the direction of the Receiving Station from the front.
Signallers will, to a large extent, have to depend on their own initiative in selecting suitable positions in enemy’s lines, from which they can use Visual, but a great deal can be done beforehand in instructing them as to the most likely point and the most suitable instrument to use, according to the background. Disc, Lamp and Helio will probably be the most suitable means of sending. The value of a large flag used behind a house or under a bank should not be lost sight of.
A certain number of French lamps are being allotted to each Division to supplement the ordinary Lamp, Electric, Field Signalling.

To gain the attention of the Balloon, the light must be aligned on the basket and not on the Balloon.
At night a signalling lamp will be used in the Balloon, and the signal “R.D.” (“Received”) or “I.M.I.” (“Repeat”) will be used.
If more than one station calls up the Balloon simultaneously at night, the Balloon will send “M.Q”, preceded by the call letter, to the stations which it does not want to read. As soon as it has received the message from one station, it will call up one of the other stations by its station call, followed by the letter “G”, that station will then send its message.

Two Wireless Sets will be allotted to each Division.
The range of these Sets varies from 2,000 to 4,000 yards, according to the aerial it is possible to erect.
The 7th and 21st Divisions will have one Set with each Brigade in the line, which should go forward with Brigade H.Q. when it advances, and be set up in enemy’s lines.
The risk of important information being given to the enemy is so great that restrictions as to the use of wireless are essential. No message is to be sent by wireless without the express sanction of the Headquarters or Officer concerned, who is responsible for every message sent.
When it is necessary to detach a Wireless Station from its normal Headquarters, it will be necessary to detail an Officer, (not a Signal Officer) to be responsible for the messages sent by that station.

The amended list of Registered Addresses and Code Calls issued under G.307 dated 16/6/16, will be used on all occasions during operations when a code call or name is necessary, e.g. messages sent forward by telephone lines, visual, aeroplane, balloon, wireless, or pigeon. The code call will be used as station call and the registered address to denote a unit in “address to”, “text”, or “address from” of a message. These registered addresses will not be used in messages transmitted above Corps Headquarters. Corps and Divisional Signal Offices will be responsible for decoding messages for transmission beyond the Corps.