55th (West Lancs) Divisional Artillery
August 1st 1917 – to August 31st 1917
In the Field 1st Aug 1917 Accounts of the battle on 31st July are attached as Appendix A.
Appendix A During night 1st Aug/31st July guns remained on S.O.S. lines BORDER HOUSE, PLUM FARM, HILL 35, SOMME. Searching ground 300 yards east. Heavy Artillery continued counter battery work & harassing fire. Enemy counter attacked on a large scale during afternoon & heavily shelled our new lines. 8.45 P.M. enemy seen moving in small parties to KIER FM & GALLIPOLI. At 9 P.M. we attacked BECK HOUSE unsuccessfully. The enemy put up a smoke barrage near GALLIPOLI at 4 p.m. & shelled our front heavily. Division on our Right fell back to BLACK LINE, LOW FM., FROST HOUSE. A reconnaissance was carried out during evening of 1st to ascertain positions held by enemy. POND FM – CORN HILL – FORT HILL – BORDER HOUSE. Weather wet & ground very muddy. Aeroplane work impossible.
2nd BLACK LINE HELD along divn Front in touch with flank Divns. Reserve Battalions of 16th Division ordered up in support. 108 A. F.A. Bde searched POND FARM., HINDU COT, AISNE FM., D.13.c.75, SOMME. 153 Bde R.F.A. SCHULER FM., WINNIPEG – H of HANEBEEK. C.12.d. HINDU COT., 276 Bde R.F.A. POND FM – C.18.b.25 – H I HANEBEEK C.12.d. HINDU COT 275.150, 173 Bde., R.F.A. searched & swept over Hill 35 GALLIPOLI – SOMME KIER FM. Hostile fire died down between 4 & 6 a.m. & the expected hostile attack did not take place. Hostile harassing fire continued in bursts. At 1.30 p.m. 165 Infy Bde Right Front was heavily shelled & S.O.S. was sent up at 1.45 P.M. Enemy attack was caught by our barrage & the attacking waves of Hill 35 were driven back. From 2.45 P.M. to 6 P.M. enemy front was subjected to intermittent bursts of fire. Chief Hostile fire is still between BLUE & BLACK LINES. The Roads forward WEILTJE, SPREE FM, are bad also VELORENHOEK impassable for all except pack transport.
On Night 2nd/3rd 36th Divn 107 Bde (Infy). Weather very bad. No aeroplane work possible.
3rd Mutual shelling, harassing fire & counter battery work. 11.20 A.M. RAT FARM & APPLE VILLA heavily shelled. Lines remain the same.
Enemy shelled heavily from 9.45 a.m. on Left front (& Right front of 39th Divn) an S.O.S. signal went up as the shelling increased & coloured lights were sent up by the enemy 10.10 p.m.
All quiet again.
4/8/17 Enemy planes active came over batteries low using machine guns. 6 a.m. 3.30 a.m. S.O.S. started but no attach developed. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. shelling round St Jean & JUNCTION RDS. Situation generally quiet.
5th Batteries of 55th Divn relieved by batteries of 61st Divn vide Appendix B.
6th Command passed from C.R.A. 55th to C.R.A. 36th Divn on 6th at 10 a.m.
55th Divl Artillery went back to WINNEZEELE AREA.
16th Attack took place on YPRES FRONT. LANGEMARK TAKEN.
17th Orders received to relieve 36th Batteries received but subsequently cancelled.
22/23 Brigades moved back to the line in relief of 2 Brigades 36th Divn and Appendix C & Head Qrs R.A. to K.10 near WATAU L.21.a.5.6. near ABEELE.
24 to 31/8/17 Brigades remained in the Line under 61st Divl Arty, H.Q. 55 Div Arty remain at L.21.a.5.6.
STAFF CAPTAIN R.A.