Fifth Army, G.A. 657/257. 4 August 1917

Fifth Army, G.A. 657/257. 2.8.17.
V Corps G.S. 59. 3.8.17.
56th Divn. G.3/601.
V Corps.
1. The Army Commander wishes to offer his heartiest congratulations to the troops under his command on the success gained by them on July 31st.

2. For a fortnight prior to the attack the enemy has maintained a heavy and continuous artillery fire, including an unprecedented use of H.V. guns against back areas, and a new form of gas shell, all of which caused severe casualties. Despite this and the fact that the forward area was dominated by the enemy at all points, the necessary preparations for the battle were completed and the difficult forward march and assembly of nine Divisions successfully carried out and the assault launched. This alone constitutes a performance of which the Army may well be proud.

3. As a result of the battle the enemy has once again been driven by the 1st French Army and ourselves from the whole of his front system on a front of about 8 miles, and we are now firmly established in or beyond His second
Line on a front of 7 miles.

4. We have already captured 5448 prisoners, including 125 Officers. Up to date the capture of 8 guns, 10 T.Ms. and 36 machine guns has been reported.

5. In addition we have inflicted extremely heavy casualties on the enemy. Owing to the losses during our preliminary bombardment he was forced to bring up 6 fresh Divisions. Since then 3 more Divisions have been withdrawn shattered. Thus in a fortnight, we have disposed of 7 or 8 Divns. And severely handled 10 more, several of which must be shortly withdrawn.

6. The Second Army on our right and the 1st French Army on our left have been as successful as ourselves. The French captures to date number 157 prisoners, and 3 guns. The Second Army have also taken 390 prisoners and several machine guns.

7. Despite the weather on the day of the battle we shot down 5 enemy machines and 1 balloon, losing only 1 machine ourselves.

(Sgd.) R.T. COLLINS, Lt. Col.,
For Major General, G.S.

167th Infantry Brigade. D.A.D.O.S.
168th Infantry Brigade. 4th Aust. Div. Supply Col.
169th Infantry Brigade. No. 56 Amm. Sub Park.
1/5th (E. of C’s) Bn. Cheshire Rgt. A.D.M.S.
C.R.A. D.A.D.V.S.
C.R.E. “Q”
193rd Div. M.G. Coy. A.D.C.
56th Div. M.G. Officer. Camp Commandant.
56th Div. Signal Coy. Div. Depot Battalion.
56th Div. Train. French Mission.
56th Div. Gas Officer. Div. Employment Coy.
Forwarded for information.
** Brook Captain
General Staff.
Head Qrs 56th Divn.
4th August, 1917.

55th Divisional Artillery Operation Order No 51. 4 August 1917

Appendix B
Copy No…..
Reference Map
Sheet No 28 NW 1/20000


1. The 55th Divisional Artillery will be relieved by the 61st Divisional Artillery in the line on August 5th and 6th.
2. Two sections per battery will be relieved on the 5th and the remainder on the 6th inst.
3. Reliefs to be carried out by day and to be completed by 6 p.m. 6th August.
4. The Command passes from B.G. R.A. 55th Division to B.G. R.A. 36th Division at 10 a.m. on 6th August.
5. Units on relief will move to WINNEZEELE ARTILLERY Area in accordance with attached Table “A”. Move to take place by Sections, and Sub-sections D.A.C.
6. All units will move with vehicles complete with ammunition.
7. All ammunition on charge at gun positions and vicinity will be handed over to relieving units, and amounts transferred, and taken out of the Divisional Area wired to this office by 12 noon on the 6th inst.
8. Ammunition supply will pass from 55th Div Ammn Column to 36th Div Ammn Column at 12 noon on the 5th inst.
55th D.A.C. Railhead Representative will remain at Railhead and act for Relieving Division.
9. Guns will be exchanged stripped, except dial sights, sight clinometers, and aiming posts.
275 and 276 Bdes R.F.A. will hand over guns in the line to 307 and 306 Brigades R.F.A. respectively under arrangements between Officers Commanding concerned.
275th Bde R.F.A. will collect guns of 307 Bde R.F.A. from the Wagon Lines of the latter unit on the 5th inst after 12 noon at H.8.b. central.
276 Bde R.F.A. will collect guns of 306 Bde R.F.A. from Wagon Lines of the latter on the 5th inst after 12 noon. These Wagon Lines are situated as follows:-
A & B Batteries 306 Bde…….H.8.c.5.5.
C & D Batteries 306 Bde…….H.8.c.5.0.
10. Guides from 275 and 276 Bdes R.F.A. will meet advance parties of 307 and 306 Bdes R.F.A. respectively on the 5th inst at the following places and times:-
275 Bde R.F.A. PRESTON HOUSE 10.30 a.m.
North of ST
JEAN 10.30 a.m.

11. Wagon Lines of 275 and 276 Bdes R.F.A. will move to lately vacated Wagon Lines on the 5th inst in accordance with attached Table “B”.
All tents and shelters in possession of Wagon Lines are to be returned to O.O. XIX Corps Troops at PROVEN before leaving the YPRES Area.
Numbers returned to be wired to this office before 12 noon on the 6th inst.

12. 55th Divisional Trench Mortar Personnel will move with and remain attached to 55th Div Ammn Column for accommodation, rations and discipline.
Details of transport will be issued later.
13. Completion of relief will be wired to this office.
14. Details re supplies and ordnance will be issued later.
15. Teams for baggage wagons will report to units at 6 a.m. on the 5th inst.
Skiffingham Major R.A.
Bde Major 55th Divl Artillery.
4th August 1917.

Copies to :-
No .1 XIX Corps R.A. 9. 276 Bde R.F.A. 17. A.P.M. 55th Div.
2. 55th Div “G” 10. 153 Bde R.F.A. 18. S.S.O. 55th Div.
3. 55th Div “Q” 11. 173 Bde R.F.A. 19. 95 Coy A.S.C.
4. 36th Div “G” 12. 150 Army Bde R.F.A. 20. 55th Div Signals
5. 36th Div “Q” 13. 108 Army Bde R.F.A. 21. D.A.D.O.S. 55th Div
6. 36th Div Arty. 14. 55th D.A.C. 22. D.A.D.O.S. 36th Div
7. 61st Div Arty. 15. 36th D.A.C. 23. A.D.V.S. 55th Div
8. 275 Bde R.F.A. 16. D.T.M.O. 55th Div 24. A.D.M.S. 55th Div
25. Senior Chaplain C of E.
26.Senior Chaplain Non C of E.
27. Area Commander BRANDHOEK AREA.
29. Staff Captain R.A.
30 & 31 War Diary.
32. File.

56th DIVISION ORDER NO. 110. August 4th 1917

SECRET. Copy No. 19

56th DIVISION ORDER NO. 110. August 4th 1917
Reference Map 1/100,000 HAZEBROUCK.

1. The 56th Division (less Artillery) will be transferred from V Corps to II Corps by road and rail, and will move in accordance with the attached Table.

2. Entraining Stations will be WATTEN & ST. OMER.

3. “Q” will issue orders giving details of entrainment & detrainment, and move of advance parties.

4. Div. H.Q. will close at EPERLECQUES on 6th inst. At 9 a.m. and open at RENINGHELST at 2 p.m. the same date.


B. Packenham
Lieut. Colonel,
General Staff.
Issued at 8-30 p.m.

Copies to –
No 1. 167th Infantry Brigade.
2. 168th Infantry Brigade.
3. 169th Infantry Brigade.
4. 1/5th (R. of C’s)Bn. Cheshire Rgt.
5. C.R.A.
6. C.R.E.
7. A.P.M.
8. 193rd M.G. Coy.
9. 56th Div. M.G. Officer.
10. 56th Div. Signal Coy. 28.
11. 56th Div. Train.
12. 56th Div. Gas Officer.
13. D.A.D.O.S.
14. 4th Aust. Div. Supply Column.
15. 56th Ammn. Sub Park.
16. A.D.M.S.
17. D.A. D.V.S.
18. “Q”
19. A.D.C.
20. II Corps.
21. V Corps
22. O.C. Road Portion, 167th Bde. Group, NOORDPEENE.
23. War Diary.
24. File.
25. Camp Commandant.
26. O. C. Road Portion, 168th Bde. Group.
27. O. C. Road Portion 169th Bde. Group.

Letter to Miss Dillon 4 August 1919

Letter to Miss Dillon 4 August 1919

G.S. “I”
4th August 1919

My dearest Lillie,
I am sending in my application for demobilisation to-day. With any luck I may start back in about a fortnight and get to London some time in September. I went to see Alexander’s tomb on Saturday. It is a wonderful piece of work and is still in perfect condition. It is 400 years B.C. It is of coloured marble. Yesterday I went to Floria for the day and bathed and then had tea the San Stefano where the 17th Air Squadron have their mess. I am going to have another try for the flight to Bucharest as soon as my demobilisation has come through. They will hardly refuse it then. I have come to the conclusion that this is really a wonderfully beautiful place now that I feel I am going away. After all one does not leave any place without regrets. I have seen Huns almost in tears at leaving Donnington Hall.
I am going to see the Sultan on Friday. I had a letter from Bucharest this morning. The Military Mission in Roumania is going home about the 1st Sept so there is no object in my staying out here any longer.
A man who got into the F.O. last Spring has just been sent to the Legation at Bucharest as 3rd Secretary. Of course he did not know a word of Roumanian.
That is how things are done!
If this reaches you before Anna has left on her honey moon give them my love and best wishes again. I wrote to her a couple of days ago.
Best love to you & Anna
from Willie

I am going to live at Morda on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus to-day. It will be very pleasant and the Mess is a very comfortable house with tennis, bathing &c.

With cover On His Majesty’s Service to Miss de C. Dillon, M.T. RASC., No 1 Reserve Depot, Grove Park, Lee. London S.E. 12.

Postmarked ARMY POST OFFICE SY4 dated 6 AU 19 and stamped PASSED BY CENSOR 382. Signed W. Dillon Lieut.