Gerald Benham’s notes from diaries 18 July 1918

Gerald Benham’s notes from diaries

18 July 1918 Ordered by A.Q.M.G. Div to report to 11 Essex H.Q. Arrived at horse lines & met Maj & Q.M. Roberts.

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23rd A Brigade R.F.A. 18 July 1917

Headquarters 23rd A Brigade R.F.A. stamp.

SECRET. Sa/37

O.C. Battery.

(1) A raid will be carried out by the 1st Battn Hampshire Regt. on the night July 24th/25th.
Limits of raid I.32.a.15.05. – I.32.a.00.30. & the M.G. emplacement at I.32.a.16.25.

(2) Reference hour will be 10.30 pm.

(3) Zero time will be given later in minutes minus or plus Reference Hour. Watches will be set from this office at 7.30 pm.
(4) The Battery Commander of the Battery doing LIAISON on that night will be at Battn H.Q. during the operation.

(5) Tasks as follows.
18 prs.
Barrage A. Zero to Zero +2 mins.
108 Battery 6 guns) I.32.c.00.90. – I.31.b.90.15.
C/23 1 gun )
(The gun of C/23 will be on the left of this Zone)
Barrage B. Zero to Zero +4 mins.
107……….…all guns ) I.32.a.15.00. – I.32.a.00.30.
C/23..remaining guns)
(107 on right half, C/23 on left half of this Zone)
At Zero +2 mins Barrage A double back Barrage B and conforms with it subsequently.
Zero +4 to Zero +30. creep forward at rate of 100x every minute until Barrage is formed on
I.32.a.50.30. – I.32.a.35.60.
Zero +30 Stop!

Rates of fire.
Zero to Zero +4…………… ….4 rounds per gun per minute.
Zero +4 to Zero +8…………..…3 “ “ “ “ “
Zero +8 to Zero +25……………2 “ “ “ “ “
Zero +25 to Zero +30……..……1 “ “ “ “ “

AMMUNITION Shrapnel.
4.5 Hows.
Zero to Z +5 mins.
I.32.a.65.15. – I.32.a.45.35.
Zero +5 to Zero +30.
I.32a.65.15 – I.32.a.70.40. – I.32.a.56.52.

RATES of FIRE.
Zero to Zero +5………….3 rounds per How per minute.
Zero +5 to Zero +10 2 “ “ “ “ “
Zero +10 to Zero +25……1 “ “ “ “ “
Zero +25 to Zero+30…… ½ “ “ “ “ “

AMMUNITION BX.

ACKNOWLEDGE
V.C. Ritchie Lt. R.F.A.
ADJUTANT 23rd Bde. R.F.A.
18.7.17.

In manuscript on the front of the first page “8 Huns captured. Our casualties 3 O.R.

23rd A Brigade R.F.A. 18 July 1917

Headquarters 23rd A Brigade R.F.A. stamp.
SECRET. Sa/35

O.C. Battery.

(1) At 3 pm on 19th inst 12th Division are improving and extending their gains of last night, about LONG TRENCH.

(2) The Artillery Barrage will not open until Z+ 10 secs.

(3) The 23rd Army Brigade will co-operate as follows: –
At Zero +10 secs Batteries will put down a Barrage over the whole of the area allotted to them as follows.
107…. O.3.a.1.1. – O.3.a.5.3. – O.3.a.2.5. – O.2.b.8.3.
108…..O.2.b.8.3. – O.3.a.2.5. – O.2.b.9.7. – O.2.b.6.5.
C/23….O.2.b.6.5. – O.2.b.9.7. – O.2.b.7.9. – O.2.b.4.6.
D/23….S.E. edge of BOIS des AUBEPINES O.2.b.35.65. – O.2.b.4.6.

(4) RATES OF FIRE. Rounds per gun per min
18 prs 4.5 Hows
Zero + 10 secs to Zero +5 mins. 4 2
Zero + 5 mins to Zero +20 mins 3 2
Zero +20 mins to Zero +30 mins 2 1
Zero + 30 mins Stop!

(5) Ammunition 50% Shrapnel & H.E.

(6) ACKNOWLEDGE.

V.C. Ritchie Lt. R.F.A.
ADJUTANT 23rd A. Bde. R.F.A.
18.7.17.

Addendum No. 1 to 12th Divisional Artillery Order No. 55. 18th July, 1917.

23rd A.P.D Bde.
SECRET.

Addendum No. 1 to 12th Divisional Artillery Order No. 55. 18th July, 1917.

(1) All Artillery fire will die down to normal by 10 a.m. on 19th July.
In order to emphasise the salvo which will be fired by a battery of the 63rd Brigade as a signal for the Infantry to assault, there will be no Artillery fire on the 12th Division front between 2.45 p.m. and 3 p.m. on 19th July.
(2) In para. 3, line 1, after ‘as follows’
Insert “All Field Artillery batteries from Zero plus 10 secs onwards”.
(3) ACKNOWLEDGE.
C.A. Clowes Major,
Brigade Major R.A. 12th Divn.
Copies to all recipients of
12th D.A. Order No. 55.

XXII CORPS WARNING ORDER NO. 2. 18th July 1918.

Copy No …..6
SECRET. XXII Corps
18th July 1918.

XXII CORPS WARNING ORDER NO. 2.
———————————————

1. The relief of the II Italian Corps by the XXII Corps is cancelled.

2. The XXII Corps will be prepared to concentrate during the night 19th/20th July in forward positions immediately behind the line now held by the II Italian Corps with a view to an advance on the morning of the 21st July.

3. The 51st Division on the left, and the 62nd Division on right will move into forward concentration areas on the night of 19th/20th July. Concealed positions of assembly will be reconnoitred to-morrow. Guides for the night march will be provided on application by the 120th and 14th French Divisions. Routes selected should be marked in addition as far as possible.

4. The general line of demarcation between Divisions will be NANTHEUIL – ST IMOGES – LA NEUVILLE all inclusive to the 51st Division.

5. The MESNIL Brigade, 51st Division, and rear units of the 62nd Division will be closed up to the line of the MARNE to-morrow morning (19th inst.) moving in small columns with a view to shortening the night march.

6. Pontoons of both Divs will be pooled and will be concentrated in the area of the PIEERY Brigade Group of the 51st Division to-morrow with a view to their being placed at the disposal of the French, if required. All pontoons to be placed under the Command of one Field Company of the 51st Division.

7. ACKNOWLEDGE.
Signature unreadable.
B.G., G.S.
XXII Corps.
Issued at 11.20 p.m. to:-
Copy No. 1 51st Division
2 62nd Division.
3 C.E.
4 G.O.C. R.A.
5 Q
6 82nd Squad R.A.F.

12th Divisional Artillery Order No. 54. 17 July 1917

Covering note to 23rd Bde R.F.A. Please comply with attached Order

C.C.S. **** B.M. 4DA 17/7.17.

SECRET. Copy No. 9.

12th Divisional Artillery Order No. 54.

Ref. – BOIRY NOTRE DAME,
Map, 1/10,000 17th July 1917.

1. The 37th Infantry Brigade is attacking the German block in S.E. corner of LONG Trench this evening. The 35th Infantry Bde. is pushing posts out N. of GREEN LANE; which with the posts already established by the 37th Brigade, will act as a covering party, whilst the new trench 100 yards West of LONG Trench is consolidated and wired.

2. Zero hour will be 9.45 p.m., when the infantry will move East and South from posts already held along LONG Trench.

3. At 9.55 p.m. a protective barrage will be formed, principally to keep down M.G. fire and prevent hostile reinforcements moving up.

4. Tasks will be as follows –
62nd Brigade. 18 prs. One B’ty. STRAP Tr. from O.8.d.55.85. to
O.8.b.62.20.
Two B’tys Line from O.8.b.85.15. to O.9.a.20.35., to
O.9.a.30.60.
4.5” Hows B’ty O.9.a.4.0. to 45.60.
63rd Brigade. 18 prs. Three B’tys O.9.a.30.60. – O.3.c.30.00. – O.3.c.30.25. –
to MOUND (O.2.d.95.55.)
4.5” How. B’ty O.9.a.45.60. to O.3.c.45.00.
48th Brigade. 18 prs. Three B’tys MOUND (O.2.d.95.55.) – O.2.d.80.90. –
O.2.b.50.15. – O.2.b.20.50.
4.5” How B’ty. O.3.c.45.00. to O.3.c.35.30.
2 inch T.Ms. East face of MOUND.

5. The 4th and 50th D.A. will be engaging the same targets as this morning.
The Heavy Artillery XVIII Corps, will be co-operating as follows –
2 – 6” and 1 – 8” How. B’tys. On BOIS du VERT.
1 – 6” How. B’ty STIRRUP Trench.
1 – 6” How. B’ty. DOG Trench from O.3.c.3.9. to PUPPY Tr.
60 pounders. Search 0.3.c. East of DOG and PUPPY Trenches,
and O.9.c.
6. Rates of fire – 18 prs. 4.5” Hows.
9.55 to 10.15 pm 3 rds P.G.P.M. 2 rds P.G.P.M.
10.15 to 10.30 pm. 2 rds 2 1 rd “
10.30 onwards. Bursts of fire under Group control according to situation.

7. Watches will be synchronised at 8.30 p.m. from 12th D.A. H.Q.
8. ACKNOWLEDGE.

C.A. Clowes Major,
Brigade Major, 12th D.A.
Copies to –
62nd, 63rd and 48th Brigades; D.T.M.O., 12th Divn. (G); 4th D.A., 50th D.A., R.A. & H.A., XVII Corps.