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.

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