Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 27 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen


MAINZ Germany


Monday May 27th.  Cool day.  Worked shorthand morning.  General Committee meeting 1.30 p.m. re question payment of orderlies.  Settled on 5 mks per week all round, with probably 2 extra at end of month making in all 23 mks per month.  Arrangements for issue of Library Books still difficult but more books are gradually coming.  Bousfield has matter in hand.

Walked a good deal after supper.


Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 26 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen


MAINZ Germany


Sunday May 26th.  Early Service 7.45 a.m.  Matins 10 a.m.  Raining & quite cold.  Wrote letter to DD after lunch.  Finch & Bousfield came to see me over question of orderlies, & more trouble with officers in No 2 Block.  Had good walk before supper & again 9-930 p.m.  Fine evening.  Excellent bread & jam pudding made by Worthington for supper.  Another issue of Copenhagen bread which was scarcely mouldy at all inside.

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 26 May 1918

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 26 May 1918




Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda



R.P. May 26, 1918.


It is dull and heavy here as regards the weather, but the war is more lively. We still await the Hun.  I do wish he would buck up and get it over.  It is like waiting in a dentist’s room to have a tooth out, only more so.  We always anticipate the worst.  Realisation may not be so bad.  I wonder what Ludendorff will do this time.  We shall see soon no doubt.  I expect he will have a shock.


The Major is at present at the wagon line sick, so I am at present in command at the guns again. He always goes sick when there is any work to be done.  I do not get the honour and glory, if there is any, which there never is.  But I like the work with the guns much better, as it is much more exciting than at the wagon lines, where one only gets shelled and can never retaliate.  Besides there is no time here to think and worry and get glum and downhearted.


Au revoir. Things will be settled soon, one way or another.


May 26 1918.

British Expeditionary Force.



The raid in London did not disturb you much, I hope.  It seems to have caused a great sensation according, to the papers.


The weather is heavy and dull here, but there is plenty of excitement. We continue to fire nearly all day and night, and becomes monotonous.  So far we have been lucky.


We still await the expected Boche attack. I do wish he would buck up, and get it over.  It is something like waiting in the dentist’s room to have a tooth out.  Such things are always worse in anticipation.  It will be interesting to see what he can do this time.  By the time you get this we shall probably know.


Telephone calls again, and bang goes another two hundred rounds.


At present I an in charge at the gun line. The Major is at the wagon line sick.  Three subalterns are away, one sick and two on other jobs.  So I am having a jolly time!


It gets light very early now. We have to “stand to” for about an hour at dawn each morning.  It is often boring, but at times the sunrise is a compensation.


This is a curious existence. We have with us practically nothing except what we wear.  There are no little luxuries, to which we are usually accustomed in the line.  No kit, gramophone or mess furniture; there are no frills now.  We may have to move at a second’s notice.  We do without in case our possessions should fall into the hands of the Philistines.  We wait expectantly for the attack.  The uncertainty is rather trying.  It is similar to the feeling before a race at Henley, but not in degree.  However life is tolerable, and we are enjoying it as much as we can, especially as the spring is now here.


Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 25 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen


MAINZ Germany


Saturday May 25th.  Quite a cool day.  Walked a good deal before & after Roll Call.  More bread parcels for individuals issued, but fear most of it very mouldy.  Worked for 1 ½ hours at Shorthand.  Had a bread & jam pudding made of mouldy bread for supper, think it is best way of using it, as boiling takes out mould.  4 letters arrived about 7 p.m.  1 from DD, 2 from Alice, 1 from B.  B.F. & D have not had any yet.  So am very lucky having had 7 this week.

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 24 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen


MAINZ Germany


Friday May 24th.  Quite a cold morning & did some good walking.  Shorthand in morning.  German General from Frankfurt inspected Camp in the afternoon.  Everyone fussing around, & jam issue held up.  Quite a good tea in consequence. Copenhagen bread brushed & baked & then toasted, but portions remain mildew, fear it isn’t much good in mouldy condition, better to have biscuit.  Rain 4 p.m.  Walked during day for nearly 2 hours altogether.  Dentist gave more disinfectant.  Go for stopping on Wednesday.

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen 23 May 1918

Private Diary of J.K. Dick Cunyngham Br Gen


MAINZ Germany


Thursday May 23rd.  Block II went for walk at 8 a.m.  Roll Call 11 a.m. from today.  Inspected bread from Copenhagen which was very mildew, Germans thought it would be better if handed over to them & made into Pudding! But when cleaned & baked everyone says it is all right.  Block III got issue in afternoon.  Worked shorthand morning.  Class 4-5 p.m.  Gen Committee Meeting 5-6.15 p.m. fear I got very angry with Block officers on question of payment of Orderlies which was settled at Meeting before – It appears some officers think they have a right to dispute our decisions, & shall have to take some drastic measures shortly.  Some officers have no idea of Military Discipline, how they ever became officers is a wonder.  Walked for ½ hour after supper, much cooler & some clouds.  Look like rain.


K.J. Bunting Capt.
Issued down to Divisions
(for distribution down to Battalions)
(Issued by the General Staff)
The following points were brought out during the recent operations on the front of a Corps in the First Army:-
1. Rapid rifle fire was the decisive factor in these operations. The men had confidence in their rifles and knew how to use them. The personnel of Trench Mortar and Field Batteries used their rifles freely. One Field Battery when the enemy had got round its flank, beat off the attack at a range of under 200 yards, and a forward section of artillery successfully engaged the enemy with rifle fire at short range while he was working round the rear of our infantry.
2. Concreted elephant shelters, although subjected to a very heavy bombardment proved invaluable as battalion H.Q. and as shelters for assembling troops. They were placed inside ruined houses and were protected by 3 ft of reinforced concrete. In making these shelters, care should be taken that the elephant shelter actually rests on a bed of concrete. The walls, roof and floor should form a box of concrete round the steel of the elephant shelter.
3. The main principle to be remembered in any system of wiring is to organize the defended area into a series of compartments in order to hold up the enemy if he succeeds in penetrating the line and prevent him from obtaining anything but a local and limited success.
4. It is most important that the exits from tunnels should be within works arranged for all-round defence. This enables the garrison to deal quickly and effectively with parties of the enemy working round their flanks or rear.
5. The value of trench mortars during a hostile attack was amply proved. If they are distributed so as to cover communication trenches leading from the front, the enemy, if he succeeds in penetrating our lines, will be obliged to advance over the open and will be exposed to our rifle fire.
Trench mortars also proved useful in support of immediate counter-attack. If a close liaison is maintained between the infantry and the Trench Mortar Batteries, it should generally be possible to arrange fore the co-operation of the Stokes and 6” Trench Mortars in this form of counter-attack.

23rd of May, 1918.

Printed in France by Army Printing and Stationary Services. PRESS A-5/18.