Opened on Nov. 1st 1916.
Started Intelligence Nov 21st 1916.
Norman Richardson
2nd Lieut S.O.
From 2 pm, 21st 11/16 till 6 am, 22nd/11/16
1. Enemy Artillery. 4.45 pm – 6 pm: Hostile Artillery was active on our front line, chiefly on the centre and left, and on YOUNG ST and YUSSIF. “R” line also received some attention near YULE ST.
It was mostly 77 mm H.E. fired from PUISIEUX direction together with a few rounds of 5.9 and 4.2 Howitzer.
Fairly quiet during night.
2. Own Artillery. Active all night with occasional bursts. Most of the firing seemed to be on our right.
3. Enemy Trench Mortars. 5.35 pm – 6.0 pm: Somewhat active on our front line.
A Medium T.M. appeared to be firing in the direction of YUSSIF.
Aerial Torpedoes ? Reported falling near advanced post, K.3.d.30.25.
4. Machine Guns. One M.G. was active from about 11.0 pm till 1.30 am traversing ‘R’ line in the vicinity of YOUNG ST. K.3.d.50.20.
Enemy movements: At 3.30 pm one of our posts saw a party of about 12 Germans leave their trench about K.4.b.40.20.
They came forward towards their wire. The post fired and they dropped down.
About 30 mins later, one man was seen to double back to the trench.
Observations: During the night a M.G. somewhere about K.11.a.central was sweeping the parapet of ’C’ line.
Our Lewis Guns replied with no apparent result.
N. Richardson
2nd Lt.
8.0 am.
From 6.0 am, to 6 pm.
Enemy Artillery: Occasional rounds were fired about midday into HEBUTERNE, mostly 77 mm.
Enemy fired about ten 77 m.m. shells on “R” line at the junction of YORKE. No damage was done.
Trench Mortars: Between 1.30 pm and 2.15 pm a few L.T.M. Bombs fell on the front line. These appeared to be fired from about K.4.c.80.65.
Machine Guns: Enemy machine guns slightly active during early morning.
Enemy Aeroplanes: 11.35 am, an enemy plane over our lines.
2.15 pm, another attempted to cross our lines.
3.30 pm, aircraft active on both sides. Two enemy aeroplanes appeared to bring down one of our fighters just south of HEBUTERNE.
Sniping: After having made a careful reconnaissance of our sector, it was found that there were no sniping posts, but good positions have been chosen.
Posts are under construction at two points:-
1. K.10.a.80.60. Field of fire over K.4.c.& d; nearest point of enemy lines, 350 yds.
2. At junction of Calvarie, Thorpe & Yus Trenches. Field of fire & frontage for observation will be given later. [K.3.d.5.4.]
There has been no sniping today on either side.
The light has been very bad.
N. Richardson
2nd Lt.

Norman Richardson TACTICAL PROGRESS REPORT. 23 November 1916

Opened on Nov. 1st 1916.
Started Intelligence Nov 21st 1916.
Norman Richardson
2nd Lieut S.O.
From 6 pm, 22/11/16 till 6 am, 23/11/16
Enemy’s Artillery: was inactive during this period. Two 77 mm H.E. fell near YORK ST.
Own Artillery: Fairly active during the night and at intervals in answer to calls for retaliation, from Y.48, Y.49, and Y.50.
Trench Mortars: Enemy trench mortars were extremely active at intervals of ½ hour to 1 hour all night.
Our A Co, (Right Front) received attention between 6 pm & 9 pm.
A large number of L.T.M.s were fired on ‘B’ line. Both Heavy & light were directed on ‘C’ and ‘R’ lines. There were no cases of direct hits except one on ‘C’ line, about 30 yards W of YIDDISH.
Our ‘B’ Co (centre) and our ‘C’ Co (left front) both received attention this morning. The former (Y49) got retaliation at 3.40 am from our artillery.
The enemy sent over here a very large number of H.T.M & L.T.M. bombs at first mostly on ‘C’ line to the right on YOUNG ST but later beginning at the YUSSIF advanced post, working along the wire to YOUNG ST post and then down YOUNG ST towards ‘R’ line and back along the wire in front of ‘R’ line. The top of YOUNG ST was very much damaged.
Machine Guns traversed the parapet during some of the bursts.
Our artillery put over about 60 H.E. as retaliation to a burst of T.M. fire at 4.40 am.
Our ‘C’ Co (Y50) asked for retaliation at 5.20 am.
At 5.15 am. the T.M.s all switched round and seemed to concentrate their fire on the FONQUEVILLERS sector..
M.G. Hostile M.G.s were firing intermittently throughout the night.
Trench Mortars: Starlights were sent up with some of the M.T.M.s apparently to hide the track of the fuse as much as possible.
A horn was heard just previous to one of the bursts.
The T.Ms were firing apparently from about the points K.4.c.9.5. and K.3.c.9.5.
I enclose reports. They are rather scrappy. I’ll try to get things improved. I’m sorry there are no sketches.
N. Richardson
2nd Lt.
8.0 pm.
2nd Lt. Bradford tells me that T.Ms seemed to be firing from Left corner looking from Mousetrap.
From 6 AM, till 6 pm, 23/11/16.
Enemy Artillery:
8 am – 10 am: Very quiet & trench mortars silent.
10 am – 12 noon: Enemy trench mortars were fairly active. Also the Artillery, with whizz bangs and a few heavy shells on HEBUTERNE.
12 – 2 pm: Occasional whizz bangs on front line and heavy shells on left of our sector & behind.
2 pm – 5 pm: Bombardment on right starting about 3.30. also a few shells in HEBUTERNE.
Enemy M.G.s: A little activity about 4.30 pm.
Enemy Movement.
10.15 am Small party seen at K.4.d.4.8.
Small parties & single men seen frequently using road from Cemetery GOMMECOURT past NAMELESS FARM.
Enemy Work:
7.15 am: Working party seen in enemy front line trench at K.3.d.6.7. carrying planks of wood.
8.30 am – 9.15 am: Small working party digging & driving in stakes at K.4.c.9.4. – This was reported to R.F.A. who attended to the matter with H.Es & S. – Party ceased work.
11.0 am: Working party carrying sand bags from K.6.c.8.3. to K.6.c.6.5.
12.30 pm: Men seen walking on top of trench from K.5.a.7.2. apparently gathering wire or sticks.
Enemy Aircraft:
8.30 am } Two planes approached
9.45 am} our lines & then retired.
10.0 am Enemy aeroplane over our lines.
10.15 am “ “ “ “ “
10.45 am “ “ “ “ “
11.50 am “ “ “ “ “
2.0 pm “ “ “ “ “
We are working on our two posts. Sniping on both sides inactive.
N. Richardson
2nd Lt.
5.0 pm.

Norman Richardson 21 November 1916

Opened on Nov. 1st 1916.
Started Intelligence Nov 21st 1916.
Norman Richardson
2nd Lieut S.O.
No Name Rank Co Date of Enlistment Age Employment Religion Remarks
1176 Pallister T.R.
Thomas Russel Lcpl B 6/1/15 25 Painter & Decorator C.E.
1152 Taylor W.
William Pte B
159 J.H. Southern
Joseph Harle “ A
1275 W.E. Laidler
William Edward “ D Number 95368
485 J.F. Davidson “ C
211 J.E. Yorke “ A
581 G.H. Robinson “ C
782 G.H. Jacob “ D
70 C.H. Goldsmith “ A
286 G.R. Harrison “ B Taken on Orderly Room

No Name Rank Co Date of Enlistment Age Employment Religion Remarks

592 Johnson W.
Wilfred Allen
Purvis W.
William Pte

Pte A


No Name Rank Co Date of Enlistment Age Employment Religion Remarks Name sent in to Brigade
565 Norman R.C.
Robert Clarke Pte. H.Q. Trained X
577 Parlett G.
George Pte H.Q.

21155 Smith J.
James Pte A X
952 Moon J.W.
John William Pte A

20759 Newton J.B.
John Bould Pte B X
18265 Perry W.
William Pte B

18 Cox H.H.
Henry Henderson Pte C Prefix 20/
8341 Downey G. Pte C X

1308 Colwell M.
Mark Pte D X
602 Salkeld G
Gerald Pte D

Total 10

Norman Richardson November 1916

Opened on Nov. 1st 1916.
Started Intelligence Nov 21st 1916.
Norman Richardson
2nd Lieut S.O.
Nov 1st 1916
No Co Name Rank Date of enlistment Age Employment Religion Remarks
812 D Mowbray W.
William Sgt. 10/9/14 33 Joiner & Builder C.E. Assistant Instr Cert. 1905. (Acting CQMS & Instructor in Sigs. 13 yrs in R.G.A. School of Gunnery 1910
828 D Picken R.
Richard Nelson Sgt 21/8/14 25 Engineer C.E. 1 Relation (General) Tynemouth Signals
2 ****(aeroplane) 3 Ripon (Telephone)
4. 5 yr in Territorials
167 A Stokes A.E. Lcpl Assistant Inst Cert
444 C Beadham J.
James Lcpl 12/10/14 41 Miner C.E. 1 13yrs 2nd D.R.G.A. (Semaphore)
2 General (Fovant)
3 Merrieres (3 weeks) Visual
50 A Ellison R. Lcpl 26/9/14 22 Clothier P.M. Assistant Inst Cert 1 Aeroplane Course
A Hutton Lcpl Booking Clerk C.E.
490 C Forster
Robert Lcpl 17/9/14 29 Bank Clerk Presb 1 Responsible
1 Aeroplane C.
99 A Kitching G. Pte 3/9/14 28 N.E. Clerk Wes Final Cert Telegraphy. N.E.R. Oct 1912. The Funny Man.
C Keen G.
George Pte 17/9/14 23 Jewellers Assistant C.E. Started Feb 8 1915
D Linten Pte 26/9/14 28 Gardiner C.E. Started 1915
D Skilbeck
George Pte 5/10/14 27 Sawyer C.E. “ 8 Feb 15
333 B Newcombe
Fred Pte 18/9/14 27 Schoolmaster C.E. “ June 1915
B Gibson
B Brown In hospital
C Carter
B Rutherford
C Garbett On Bde.

NO NAME Rank Date of Enlistment Age Employment Religion Remarks
207 Watson J.S.
John Stacey Lcpl 21/9/14 21 Dentist C.E. Started June 1915
109 Moses R.
Robert Lcpl 23/9/14 24 Traveller C.E. Started Aug 1915
94 Harrison Pte 28/9/14 21 Male Learner C.E. “ June 1915 Visual (3 weeks) General course Merrieres
202 Wise
Sydney “ 8/10/14 25 Window Dresser C.E. “ Sept 1915
172 Swailes
William James “ 14/10/14 33 Miner C.E. “ June 1916
1655 Thorpe
Frederick Bertram “ 6/7/15 21 Clerk C.E. “ 6/9/15 G[1st Class Sig Cert at Richmond
1925 Wragg
George Alfred “ 5/8/15 23 Attendant C.E. “ 6/9/15 Do
1733 Bullamore
JohnAlfred “ 3/8/15 24 Window Dresser C.E. “ 6/9/15 Do
1766 Robson “ 14/8/15 21 Rivet Maker R.C. “ 27/12/15

NO NAME Rank Date of Enlistment Age Employment Religion Remarks
237 Coltman T.J. Lcpl 19/9/14 23 Colliery Pay Clerk C.E Started Nov 1914
297 Johnson H.V.
Hervey Vincent Pte 21/9/14 26 Clerk C.E “ June 1915
283 Hall W.
Walter Pte 18/9/14 23 Reporter C.E “ June 1915
1617 Cooper F.
Henry Frederick Pte 15/6/15 27 Clerk C.E “ 6/9/16 1st Class Sig Cert Richmond
287 Hope R.P. Pte 26/9/14 25 Teacher C.E “ 12/7/16
1775 Jackson J.
John Pte 16/8/15 21 Clerk C.E “ 13/7/16 Shorthand & Bookkeeping
404 Walker H
Clarence Harcourt Pte 22/9/14 22 Clerk P.M. “ 15/7/16 Semaphore (Arty 1910)
419 Wilkinson W
William Pte 21/9/14 22 Clerk Wes “ 21/10/16 Typing
Pennington Pte


1200 Knaggs T.A.
Thomas Lcpl 8/1/15 23 Clerk Wes Started June 1915
690 Cornforth W.
Walter Pte
1281 Ramsay D
1279 Martin R.
Rickham Correct No 1277
270 Lamb R.
1767 Scott J.
1437 Illingworth
Arthur Leslie.
1582 Shipley B.F.
Bertram Frederick Pte 30/5/15 23 Clerk
1495 Cooper
Frank Toogood Pte 5/5/15 20 Architects Assistant

Sig N.C.O.
Lcpl Stokes: Nov 1st paid Lcpl
March recommended for Cpl.
G.O. No Inst. but preferred to remain in sigs, Telegraphist, Assistant Instructor 19th June .

Lcpl Ellison: Sept 16th 1915 got his stripe – paid – 10 days after refused promotion to get into Sigs G.I. Head.

Lcpl Hutton. Unpaid Lcpl 22nd Nov 1915 M
Lcpl Foster. Unpaid Lcpl 22nd Nov

Lcpl Beddam. 14th paid Lcpl.

Cheshires had 2 Sgt in Ft.




Divisional Commander Major General W. Douglas Smith C.B.
B.G.C. 59th Inf Bde. Br. Genl H.H.G. Hyslop, D.S.O.
B.G.C. 60th Inf. Bde. Br. Genl F.J. Duncan, C.M.G., D.S.O.
B.G.C. 61st Inf. Bde. Br Genl. W.E. Banbury, C.M.G.

59th Inf. (10th K.R.R.C. A/Lt. Col. A.C. Sheepshanks, D.S.O.
Bde. (11th K.R.R.C. Lt. Col. G.K. Priaulx, D.S.O.
(10th R.B. Lt. Col. L.H.W. Troughton, M.C.
(11th R.B. Lt. Col. A.E. Cotton, D.S.O.

60th Inf. (6th Oxf & Bucks L.I. Lt. Col. C.R.C. Boyle.
Bde. (6th K.S.L.I. A/Lt. Col H.E. Welch.
(12th K.R.R.C. A/Lt. Col G. Moore, D.S.O.
(12th R.B. Lt. Col H.L. Riley, D.S.O.

61st Inf. (12th King’s (L’pool) Lt. Col. A.N. Vince, D.S.O.
Bde. (7th Som. L.I. Lt. Col C.J. Troyte Bullock, D.S.O.
( 7th D.C.L.I. Lt. Col H.G.R. Burges-Short.
(7th K.O.Y.L.I. Major L.P. Storr.

Pioneer Battalion (11th Durham L.I.) Lt. Col. G. Hayes.

R.E. Units 83rd Field Coy. Major I.W. Massie, M.C.
84th Field Coy. Major P.G. Norman, M.C.
96th Field Coy. Major P.F. Story, D.S.O.

Map “A” is attached shewing dispositions of troops at Zero, which were as follows:-
(a) 60th Inf. Bde.
Front Line. 12th K.R.R.C. – from Rly. In R.8.c. to R.14.b.7.7.
Front Line. 6th Oxf. & Bucks L.I. – from R.14.b.7.7. to R.14.d.9.7.
Support. 12th R.B. – about R.14.a.8.7.
Support. 6th K.S.L.I. – about R.14.b.2.3.

The role of the front line battalions was to capture the BLUE Line from R.3.a.15.60. to R.10.a.3.5., after which the 2 Support Battalions were to take the BROWN Line from L.32.d.5.5. to L.34.b.2.5.

(b) 61st Inf. Bde.
Front Line. 7th D.C.L.I. – from R.14.d.9.7. to R.20.b.65.35.
Front Line. 7th Som. L.I. – from R.20.b.65.35. to R.21.c.4.6.
Support. 12th R.B. – about R.20.a.
Support. 12th King’s (L’pool). – about R.20.d.3.5.
This Brigade attacked in 3 waves as follows:-
(i) 2 Coys of 7th D.C.L.I. were detailed for the capture of the trenches about CORNER WORK about R.15.central, while the Som. L.I. were to capture LA VACQUERIE.
(ii) The 2 remaining Coys. of the 7th D.C.L.I. and 2 Coys. of the 12th King’s (L’pool) were detailed to take the BLUE Line from R.10.a.5.6. to R.16.b.6.4.
(iii) The 7th K.O.Y.L.I. and the remaining 2 Coys of the 12th King’s (L’pool) were to take the BROWN Line from L.34.b.2.5. to R.5.d.2.9.

(c) 59th Inf. Bde. In and about GOUZEAUCOURT to carry out a special task as described in paras. 3 and 4 (iii).

Map “A” attached shows the objectives:-
BLUE Line. 1st Objective.
BROWN Line. 2nd Objective.
RED Line The Defensive Flank to be taken up by 59th Inf. Bde. in touch with 12th Div. on right flank to the South, and in touch with 29th Div. on the left flank to the North.
The final position actually reached by 9 p.m. is as shewn on attached map “B”.

(a) (i). The essence of the plan was to effect a surprise, overwhelm the enemy with a sudden rush of Tanks followed by Infantry, and to penetrate the first line before he had time to realise the nature or locality of the attack. With this end in view, there was no preliminary bombardment or wire cutting by the Artillery. The attack, besides being preceded by waves of Tanks was covered by standing barrages which included smoke. These barrages were arranged to lift from objective to objective as the attack progressed.
(ii). The 20th Div. was allotted 60 Tanks, and these were distributed to Brigades as follows:-
Right assaulting Bde. (61st Inf. Bde.) 1 Bn. – 36 Tanks.
Left assaulting Bde. (60th Inf. Bde.) 2 Coys – 24 Tanks.
(iii) The 59th Inf. Bde. was held in Reserve, but as soon as the successful issue of the operations undertaken by the two assaulting Bdes. Was notified, namely, the capture of the BROWN Line, this Bde. was ordered to advance down the LA VACQUERIE Valley, to follow the line of the Sunken Road from LA VACQUERIE Village to R.5.c.95.40., seize the bridges over the ST QUENTIN CANAL between MASNIERES and MARCOING until the arrival of the 29th Div., and then to establish itself on the line M.2.d.9.7. – LES RUE VERTES so as to form a defensive flank to cover the operations of the 29th Div. towards MASNIERES and MARCOING. This Bde. was also ordered to cover itself with an advanced guard, a portion of which was seize the crossings over the ST QUENTIN CANAL, if unoccupied, at G.26.b.4.4. – L.24.c.8.5. – L.23.d.9.3., and to form a bridgehead at the first-named place until relieved by the advanced guard of 29th Div. the 59th Inf. Bde. was allotted 10 Tanks for this operation to be taken from the original 36 allotted to the 61st Inf. Bde., which were to be at the disposal of the B.G.C. 59th Inf. Bde. as soon as the BROWN Line (2nd objective) was captured.

(b) The action of the artillery on Zero day consisted:-
(i). In placing a barrage on each objective prior to its being assaulted.
(ii). Forming smoke screens in front to cover the advance of the Tanks.
(iii). In neutralising hostile batteries.
(iv). In bombarding O.P’s, the positions of assembly, rest billets, and known centres of communication and command.

(c). The 2 assaulting Bdes. and their respective Tanks were moved to the assembly positions after dusk on “Y/Z” evening. Considerable congestion of traffic occurred N. and S. of R.19.central on the GOUZEAUCOURT – VILLERS PLOUICH Road which the Tanks had to cross at R.19.d.1.8. and R.19.b.3.2. in order to reach their positions of assembly. This congestion was due to the following causes:-
(i). Transport and Infantry personnel of 2 other Divs. Using this road instead of the one allotted to them.
(ii). The blocking of the Northern end of the two Tank crossing places by trains on the light railway which crosses the road near R.19.central. and then runs parallel to the road to VILLERS PLOUICH between the road and broad gauge railway.

These unforeseen difficulties somewhat delayed the assembly, but nevertheless all the units taking part in the assault were in position by
11 p.m.

The assembly positions were all approximately 1,000 yards from the enemy front line, and the noise of assembly was no doubt covered by the pre-arranged intermittent bursts of machine gun fire throughout the night.

It suffices to say that the attack by the Infantry and Tanks allotted to this Division went entirely according to plan from the hour of Zero 6.30 6.20 a.m., until the 59th Inf. Bde. took up its position so as to form the defensive flank facing Eastwards. The enemy was completely surprised, and in those places where he held out for a time, his resistance was overcome by Infantry and Tanks.

The enemy front line was reported taken about 6.45 a.m., the BLUE Line, 1st Objective, about 9.30 a.m., then the BROWN Line about 12 noon. The 59th Inf. Bde. took up their position forming a defensive flank while the 29th Div. moved on MASNIERES and MARCOING, the bridges across the Canal at and W. of MASNIERES having been seized by the 59th Inf. Bde.

At 4.15 p.m. the situation was reported to be as follows:-
20th Div. in the BROWN Line with a defensive flank thrown out in M.2., the 12th Div. on the right held the BROWN Line including LATEAU WOOD, and were continuing the defensive flank to M.8.a., the 6th Div. held BROWN Line and PREMY CHAPEL Ridge, and were in touch on left with 51st Div. in BROWN Line near Corps Boundary. The 29th Div. held NINE WOOD with troops across Canal at L.33.a.0.8., while the 88th Inf. Bde. (29th Div.) were working through MASNIERES in co-operation with 59th Inf. Bde.
Div H.Q. moved forward from W.9.d.7.3. to VILLERS PLOUICH where they were established at about 2.45 p.m.

The situation at 9 p.m. on evening of the 20th was as shewn on the attached map marked “B”.

At 10.20 p.m. on the night of the 20th, orders were received from III Corps to the effect that every effort was to be made to gain possession of the MASNIERES – BEAUREVOIR Line to allow the early passage of Cavalry and also to capture CREVECOEUR.

The role of the Div. was to push on to CREVECOEUR, seize the bridges there and effect a junction with the 29th Div in CREVECOEUR. 12 Tanks from 3rd Bde. Tank Corps were placed at the disposal of 20th Div. for this purpose.

The 59th Inf. Bde. were detailed for this operation, and Zero hour was fixed in conjunction with the 29th Div for 11 a.m. The 12 Tanks were to assemble in G.33.c. The attack by the 29th Div. was, however, cancelled, and the 59th Inf. Bde. were to attack alone.

This attack was only partially successful, the assaulting columns coming under enfilade fire from high ground N. of Canal and E. of RUMILLY, and several efforts were made during the day to cross the Canal at CREVECOEUR, but owing to the bridges not being strong enough to bear Tanks, and the fact that some Tanks had run out of fuel and could not be moved, no appreciable advance was made. At 10 p.m. on the evening of the 21st the situation was as follows:-

11th K.R.R.C. consolidating about REVELON CHATEAU and guarding the bridges from the W bank of the Canal; 11th R.B. forming a defensive flank covering the crossing at G.34.a.2.9. and G.34.b.2.9., while 1 Coy. of the 10th R.B. held bridgehead in M.5.c. This Coy. was forced to retire during the night, and all efforts to destroy the bridge in M.5.c. failed.

The general result of the operations of the 20th and 21st Nov, were as follows:-
Thorough disorganisation of the enemy.
A large breach in his defensive system.
A loss to him of considerable personnel and guns.
On the other hand our lines at the conclusion of the operations formed a very dangerous salient completely overlooked from the high ground E. of RUMILLY.

The total number of unwounded prisoners captured by the Div during these operations was 17 officers and 700 other ranks, including one Regtl. Commander. The prisoners were chiefly men of the 9th Res. Div. and 54th Div.

Our casualties during the attack itself were slight; the total casualties up to 12 mn. The 20th/21st being only 31 Officers and 515 O.Rs.

A list of material captured is given in Appendix “I”

Any lessons learnt from these operations are to be found in Appendix “II”.

10th December 1917


Map Spotting. Calibre. Condition Ammunition.

L.28.c.55.20. 15 c.m. All badly damaged. (Blown Plentiful.
(L.Z. 7) Up, no sights.)

L.34.a.95.40. 77 m.m. Bolts and breaches missing. Plentiful.
(in open) No sights.

L.34.d.50.90. 77 m.m. No sights. 1 no wheels. Plentiful.

L.36.b.30.01. 12 c.m. (4) 1 can probably be fired. Very Plentiful.
(L.Z.21.) (Captured The remainder no breeches.
French or All no sights.
Belgian How.)

R.6.a.75.70. 10.5 c.m. (3) 1 complete with sights. Very Plentiful.
(R.X.24.) Remainder no sights.

G.33.a.0.0. A.A. G uns (4) Complete.
on 4 wheeled

R.5.a.00.90. 77 m.m. 1 sight only All used more (R.X.33.) being collected.

L.34.a.2.6. 1 T.M.
4 M.G’s

20TH (LIGHT) DIVISION ORDER NO. 218 18 Nov 1917

SECRET. Copy No. 1

18th November 1917.
Ref. Map: 1/20,000, Sheets 57.c. S.E. & N.E.,
57 B. S.W. & N.W.
1. The 20th Div., in conjunction with other Divisions, as already notified in Instructions No. 1, will, on a date and at an hour to be communicated later, attack the enemy on our front.
Subsidiary attacks and feints are being carried out along the remainder of the Army Front.

2. The 12th Div. will be on the right, and the 6th Div. on the left of the 20th Div.
The 29th Div. will be in Corps Reserve, and will pass through the 20th and 6th Divns. In order to capture the heights S.W. of RUMILLY, NINE WOOD, PREMY CHAPEL.
The objectives and boundaries of the Div. are shown on the map issued with Instructions No. 1.

3. The attack will be carried out under the protection of waves of Tanks, as already detailed in Instructions No. 1 and amendments thereto.
The attack will also be supported by
(a) Standing Artillery and Smoke barrages which will open on the enemy’s front line and lift from trench to trench as the advance progresses (see Artillery barrage map issued on the 15th instant).
(b) Back and flank barrages of smoke and heavy artillery.
(c) Machine-gun barrages.
The first wave of Tanks will advance from their assembly positions 1,000 yards distance from the enemy’s front line at Zero minus 10 minutes, followed by infantry; succeeding waves are timed to advance so that they may reach their objectives without checking on intermediate objectives.
The Artillery and Machine-gun barrages will open at ZERO.
The final protective barrage beyond the second objective (BROWN line), will lift at times varying from Zero plus 210 minutes, to ZERO plus 240 minutes, to enable the Tanks to push on ands exploit the success.

4. After the capture of the BROWN Line, the Tanks will immediately exploit any success obtained as follows:-
(a) The Tanks from a Coy of ‘A’ Bn. allotted to the 60th Inf. Bde. will advance immediately to the Canal and seize the Lock and bridges at L.24.c.8.5., L.24.c.5.3., L.23.d.9.3., and L.23.d.25.05., and clear the area adjacent to the Canal Bank from G.25.b. (exclusive) to the RIBECOURT – MARCOING Railway line (exclusive).
(b) The Tanks from a Coy. allotted to the 12th Div. will proceed immediately from BONAVIS to MASNIERES, seize the bridges at G.27.a.2.0., G.26.b.4.4. and G.26.a.8.7., and form bridgeheads there.
(c) The above Tanks will maintain their positions on their objectives until relieved by the 29th Div., or in the case of (a), until the 29th Div. has passed through.
(d) Simultaneously with the action to be taken in (a), the 59th Inf. Bde. will advance and form a defensive flank from about M.2.d.9.7. to the road junction at G.26.b.3.0., obtaining touch at the first named point with the 12th Div.: and supporting, until relieved by the 29th Div., at the latter point, certain Tanks which are being pushed forward from BONAVIS to form a bridgehead about MASNIERES.
To assist the 59th Inf. Bde. in forming this defensive flank, the Tanks of one Coy. of ‘I’ Bn., hitherto covering the advance of the 61st Inf. Bde., will be attached to the 59th Inf. Bde. These Tanks will advance and clear the BONAVIS – CREVECOEUR ridge, supported on the right by the 12th Div. and in the centre and on the left by 2 Troops of the III Corps Cavalry, 1/1 Northumberland Yeomanry.
(e) The 2 Troops of Corps Cavalry above mentioned will rendezvous at Zero hour on the open ground immediately E. of FOX HILL (R.19.d.), at which hour they will come under the orders of the B.G.C. 59th Inf. Bde.
The role of the 2 Troops Corps Cavalry will be to establish posts along the BONAVIS – CREVECOEUR spur so as to deny it to the enemy, and to prevent his observation from this spur of the passage of the 29th Div. and Cavalry across the Canal at MASNIERES.
The Cavalry will be closely supported with strong detachments of infantry by the B.G.C. 59th Inf. Bde. It is intended eventually, when the Cavalry has pushed through, to establish a front facing E. along the line BONAVIS – CREVECOEUR – LA BELLE ETOILE.
(f) The 59th Inf. Bde. will support the Tanks mentioned in (a) with strong patrols followed by a company. These patrols will obtain touch with the 6th Div. at L.22.d.3.5.

5. Instructions for consolidation and for liaison posts on the flanks with neighbouring Divisions have been already issued.

6. After the capture of the heights above MASNIERES and MARCOING by the 29th Div., the 5th and 2nd Cavalry Divisions cross the Canal at the above two villages, and operate in a North-easterly direction.
7. A contact aeroplane will fly over the Corps front at
Zero plus 45 minutes,
Zero plus 2 hrs. 15 mins.,
Zero plus 3 hrs.,
Zero plus 3 hrs 30 mins.,
and subsequently as ordered.

8. Watches will be synchronised by a Staff Officer from Div. H.Q. at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Y day at the H.Q of the 61st Inf. Bde. Representatives of the 60th and 59th Inf. Bdes. will be present. Tank Bn. Commanders will synchronize their watches at the Bde. H.Q. to which they are being attached.

9. Divl. H.Q. will be at W.9.d.7.3. If operations are successful, the first move of the Divl. H.Q. will be to VILLERS PLOUICH, R.13.d.8.6., taking over the 60th Inf. Bde. H.Q.

10. All other details connected with the operations have already been issued in Instructions 1 to 6. (Instructions No. 7 is being issued to Inf. Brigadiers and B.G., R.A. only)


J.McJ Haskard
Lieut. Colonel,
General Staff, 20th Division.
Issued to Signals at 7 a.m.

Copies to :-
No. 1. G.O.C.
2. “G”
3. “A”
4. 59th Inf. Bde.
5. 60th Inf. Bde.
6. 61st Inf. Bde.
7. B.G., R.A.
8. C.R.E.
9. Div. Signal Coy.
10. Div. Pioneers.
11. A.D.M.S.
13.) 3rd Bde. Tank Corps.
15. III Corps.
16. G.O.C., R.A. III Corps.
17. 6th Div.
18. 12th Div.
19. 29th Div.
20. 59th Sqdn. R.F.C.
21. A.P.M.
22. D.M.G.O.
23. Div. M.G. Coy.
24. III Corps Cavalry.
25. Lieut. The Hon. C.F.N. Ramsay, 1/1 Northumberland Fus.
26. War Diary.
27. File,

P. Benham letter home 13 September 1939

5, Oxford Road
Getting absent minded
R.A. Mess
13th September

My very dearest Mazra and Par,

A thousand thanks for your charming letters which I simply loved reading and for the sheets and more especially for the ‘things inside’ which were most welcome. You really have both been too terribly kind to me always, and I don’t have to tell you, I know, how much I appreciate everything you have done for me, nobody could have been so lucky as I have been in the way of parents, and I only hope that what I’m going to tell you now won’t let me down in your eyes. It’s not going to be easy, but I shall do my best. I have always been in your own words ‘a very secretive old chap’, well now I’ll tell you everything and only wish I had before.
As you have guessed, I expect, it concerns Eileen. You remember that night when you said how silly you thought it was of me to be tying myself with one girl, and that you wanted me to enjoy myself while I was young. Well you may or may not have realised it but I have never got on too well with girls in general, nor like Cecil for instance, so to get hold of someone like Eileen, as I did, was to me ideal. I always was very fond of her and grew more so as time went on, but being young and unqualified could of course do nothing about it. But since we got back from Zoute our friendship has got much more intense and we are definitely in love with each other. I can honestly say that this was absolutely nothing to do with this War game and that we discovered it at least a week before the War. I have since then thought it over very, very carefully and have asked Eileen to marry me and she wrote to-day saying she would. I know you’ll think it stupid and impulsive of me but it isn’t and I fully appreciate the responsibilities.

So when I get back on Sunday week as I hope to, with yours and Pa Adams permission get engaged to Eileen. Please don’t hesitate to say exactly what you think but I don’t think it will come as a very terrific shock though, so there we are. I naturally couldn’t think of getting married to her for several years but she realises that.

Do write to me soon, remembering that whatever happens I shall always love you just as much, more really, if possible because in future I shall have nothing to hide from you. I wish I hadn’t before, but what’s done is done.

Thank you both for your encouraging letters I shall write to you again tomorrow but felt today that I must get this off my chest.

All my love to you both and thank you once again for everything
Your ever loving son

On back of envelope “tell Brian that I am writing tomorrow P”.

In cover addressed to Mrs G.C. Benham, 5, Oxford Road Colchester Essex. Postmarked Salisbury Wilts. 8 30 PM 13 Sep 1939.



Adolf Hitler’s inner circle were the most powerful men in the Third Reich. It was a finely balanced team of military commanders, administrative leaders and Ministers of the Nazi Party.
The following is a list of these men, who they were and a brief explanation of their roles.
Martin Bormann was Head of the Nazi Party Chancellery and Hitler’s private secretary who controlled all access to the Fuhrer. He had final approval over all legislation and control over all domestic matters together with all information going to and from Hitler. Whilst escaping the Red Army in Berlin, he was allegedly killed but there some doubt as his body has never been found. In his absence, at the Nuremburg Trials the authorities charged him with war crimes, convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.
Karl Donitz was Commander of the German Navy’s U-boats until 1943 when he took over as Commander-in-Chief of the German navy. He was eventually promoted to Grand-Admiral. At the Nuremburg Trials, he was convicted of war crimes, found guilty and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. He lived quietly in a village near Hamburg and died in 1980 after his release.
Otto Adolf Eichmann was a German Nazi SS Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and one of the major organisers of the Holocaust. His involvement was organising the logistics for the mass deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps. With Germany defeated in 1945, he fled to Austria and lived there until 1950 when he relocated to Argentina using false papers. Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, located him in 1960 and captured him. They then transported him to stand trial in Israel for crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was found guilty and executed by hanging on the 1st June 1962 in Israel.
Walther Funk was the Reich Minister of Economics, President of the Reichsbank and State Secretary of at the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. A qualified economist, lawyer, philosopher and also editor of a financial newspaper. At the Nuremburg Trials he was tried and convicted as a major war criminal and sentenced to life in prison. He was released on health grounds in 1957 and he died three years later.
Joseph Goebbels was Reichsminister for Propaganda having control over all news media, art and public information in Germany. He delivered emotional speeches to motivate and mobilise the German population. He was named in Hitler’s final will as the successor to the Fuhrer. After Hitler committed suicide Goebbels also committed suicide on the 31st April 1945.
Hermann Göring was Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe and, in 1933, the founder of the Gestapo. He served as Minister of the Economic Four-Year Plan. He was named Hitler’s successor in 1944, and deputy to Hitler in all offices. A former fighter pilot ace in the Great War, he received the Blue Max and was commander of the fighter wing that included Richthoffen, also known as the Red Baron. At the Nuremburg Trials he was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by hanging. He ingested cyanide to commit suicide before the sentence was carried out.
Rudolf Hess was a German politician, and a leading member of the Nazi Party of Germany. He was appointed Deputy Fuhrer to Adolf Hitler in 1933. In an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom he flew to Scotland in 1941. He was taken prisoner and eventually convicted of crimes against humanity and served a life sentence until his suicide in 1987. Hess had enlisted as an infantryman at the outbreak of the Great War. He was wounded several times and awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class in 1915. Shortly before war ended he enrolled as an aviator but never saw action in this role.
Heinrich Himmler was Reichsfuhrer of the entire SS. He was Military Commander of the Waffen-SS, Commander of the Gestapo, Minister of the Interior, Commander of the Home Army and Supreme leader of the administration of the entire Third Reich. Realising the war was lost, he attempted to open peace talks with the Allies. Hitler ordered his arrest and Himmler attempted to go into hiding. He was captured and arrested by British forces and committed suicide while in British custody on the 23rd May 1945.
Wilhelm Keitel was Field Marshal of the German Army and was Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces. He was also Chief of Defence for Germany and Hitler’s Chief of Staff. At the Nuremburg Trials he was charged with war crimes, found guilty, sentenced to death by hanging and executed on the 16th October 1946.
Josef Mengele was a German Schutzstaffel (SS) officer and physician in Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. He performed deadly human experiments on prisoners, particularly adult and infant twins but mainly Jewish, and was a member of the team of doctors who selected victims to be murdered in the gas chambers. On the 17th June 1945, just ten days before the Soviet Red Army troops arrived at Auschwitz he was transferred to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp. After the war, he fled to South America where he evaded capture for the rest of his life.
Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany, an authority on world affairs and confidante of the Fuhrer. He was an independent broker of the Pact of Steel between Germany and Italy, and also the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In 1936 he was the Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s for London and the U.K. At the Nuremburg Trials he was tried and convicted for his role in starting the Second World War. He was sentenced to death by hanging and was the first to be executed on the 16th October 1946.
Erich Raeder was Grand-Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine (German naval force) and the Reichsmarine until 1943. At the Nuremburg Trials he was sentenced to life in prison but was released early due to his failing health. He died in Germany on the 6th November 1960.
Albert Speer was Chief Architect, also Minister of Armaments and War Production in the Nazi Party. He designed and constructed the Reich Chancellery and the Party Rally stadium in Nuremburg. He also designed the wide streets of Berlin and modernised the transportation system. At the Nuremburg Trials he was charged with war crimes, found guilty and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. After serving the full sentence he was released on the 1st October 1966. He died in London on the 1st September 1981.
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party did leave a legacy behind them after the Second World War. After Germany had been bankrupted by the policies resulting from the Treaty of Versailles, they began to recover economically by embarking on a rebuilding programme. When Hitler came to power in 1933, in an effort to solve the unemployment problem, the Nazi Party embarked on an interstate highway system. Hitler began the building programme by digging out the first spade full of soil for the nationwide Autobahn network. Although it was reputed to be Hitler’s brainchild there had been previous attempts to create highway system. The Nazi Party ignored this and incorporated this system into their Autobahn project. The Autobahn planner, engineer and Nazi Party member was Fritz Todt, who smoothed the way for the project to continue. Any opposition to the project found they were “encouraged” to desist to the building of “Adolf Hitler’s roads”. By 1938 over 2000 km of road had been built which had gentle curves, gradual inclines, smooth surface roadway and to enter or exit the main highway long lanes in which to accelerate and decelerate. The Autobahn system was one of many building projects planned and started before the outbreak of the Second World War.
In 1937 the Nazi Party formed a new state-owned automobile company which was eventually named Volkswagenwert, or “The People’s Car Company”. It has been disputed about how much involvement Hitler was involved in what was known as his pet project. However, the development and mass production proceeded for an affordable vehicle for the masses to enjoy. To provide the design for this “people’s car”, Hitler employed the Austrian automobile engineer Ferdinand Porsche. The design was finally settled and would eventually be known as the Volkswagen Beetle.


When the Second World War began in 1939, women were just as ready to follow the example of the previous generation. The women of the Great War of 1914 to 1918 had served with distinction in the nursing profession, the ammunition producing factories, the land armies and many occupations normally performed by men. The women of the Second World War carried out similar roles but their labours were extended to include complex manufacturing of vital war equipment. They also included many women serving in the navy, army and air force mainly on administrative duties. Tedious though it might have been it was vitally important. This freed up the men to allow them to be involved with the military and home guard roles. Women were involved with the delivery of aircraft, and were agents for the resistance movements in occupied countries. Professional performers were also actively involved in entertaining the military both on home shores and overseas. In addition to all the tasks undertaken by the women they :
The women selected do not in any way detract from the sterling works of the multitude of women participating in the Second World War, who have not been mentioned.