Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne April 15

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne April 15

 

 

Dear Sir,                                                                                                          April 15

 

As I am of opinion that you will interest yourself on my behalf, I am asking if you could kindly send a Lady worker in the district to pay a visit to my wife or call yourself, as I have just received a letter from home, which does not leave one feeling very comfortable, and I am sure it is a letter one does not wish to receive in times, such as are at the present. I have a little boy who had rickets but my wife does not tell me anything as regards how he is going on, and I am very anxious to know, so if you could write a letter to me on behalf of my wife, I shall esteem it a great favour as my time out here is none too pleasant & my wife fails to give me any news that would be of interest to me.  There is no doubt that this will cause her to be offended but I feel I am compelled to do it owing to the uneasy state of my mind.  I received your card at the beginning of the year and I think I acknowledged it.  I am enclosing her letter for you to see, and when she gets to know what I have done no doubt I shall receive fewer letters still.  My present address is 34th M.A.C. Salonica Forces No. 203809 late 91st A.A.  I will now close thanking you in anticipation, Believe me to be

Yours very truly

 

Pte F. Bowman

 

Home address, 14 Castle Way.

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne April 1915

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne

 

Extracted from

 

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

—————–

 

1915

 

 

April 20 1915

R.P.

R.A. Mess

Shoeburyness

 

“There is plenty to do here, and we are kept hard at it. We wear canvas clothes and are treated as ordinary tommies.  We rise at 6.45 a.m.  Breakfast at 7.45 a.m.  Parades from 8.30 to noon or rather 12.30,p.m., then again from 1.30 to 5.30 p.m.  Then tea and lectures till dinner time.  Dinner takes an hour and a quarter.  They turn out about 200 officers a month here.  The detachment I am in consists of 24 subalterns under Captain Nelson V.C.  He was a sergeant in “L” Battery R.H.A. and is now a Captain and our instructor.  we are drilled by a regular sergeant one named Ford.

 

Eight of us live in one of the staff houses, and are quite comfortable. Two of us have a large room to ourselves.  I share with a man named Cousens.  Our camp kit is our furniture.  Dexter & Gould are both here.  The course lasts four weeks.

 

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Apr 1915

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Apr 1915

 

1915 diary shows Bombardier Gunner (Signalling Dept) A. G. Richardson 4th Section, West Riding Divisional Ammunition Column R.F.A., Norfolk Barracks Sheffield.

Home Address:- Station House, Ben Rhydding near Leeds. Yorks.

 

Sheffield.

Thursday 1st April 1915:         Rose at 8 am.  Went a bike ride in morning via Ilkley, Askwith, Otley & Burly.  Played & beat Dad at golf.  Also played Miss M. Whitaker & Miss A. Baines.  In Ilkley at night.

Friday 2nd April 1915:             Good Friday.  Dad & I v Mr Watkin & Mr Petty at golf.  We won 12 holes, halved 5 & lost 1.  Afternoon wet & went to see Mrs Hartley.  Crucifixion at night at Ben R. Church.  Excellent.

Saturday 3rd April 1915:         Left Ben R 6.45  Sheffield arr 8.56.  Saw Doctor.  Vaccinated.  Fainted!!  Stables 4 pm.  Stable Picket 6 pm.  Writing letters at night.

Sheffield & Blackheath

Sunday 4th April 1915:            Easter Sunday. Stables.  Relieved to go to Church & Communion 10.45 am.  Stables afternoon till 7 pm.

Monday 5th April 1915:          Stables relieving Geo Sheard.  Field Day at Totley.  29 Horses stampede.  7 men injured.  Terrible accident.

Tuesday 6th April 1915:          Firing at 100 yards .303 Totley Range.  Scored 18 out of 20.  out at night.  Raining hard all day.

Wednesday 7th April 1915:     Firing at 200 & 300 yards Totley Range.  Rapid, Sniping & Deliberate.  Gate Picquet at night.

Thursday 8th April 1915:         Gate Picquet all day.  Out at night.  Raining.  Packed up for moving.

Friday 9th April 1915:             Left Sheffield 9.21 am.  Arrived King’s X 3 pm       & Blackheath 4 pm.  Went to billets – in a mansion – Fine.  On Stable Picket at night.

Saturday 10th April 1915:       Stable Picquet all day.  Went to Greenwich, London Bridge & Cannon Street at night.  Searchlights on Thames were fine.  Appointed N.C.O. in charge of Forage with Potts as my right hand man.

Blackheath Southampton Le Havre.

Sunday 11th April 1915:          Went for my 1st ride on horseback with Bdr.             Wilkinson.  Signalling on Blackheath Common.  Out with Geof            Stead at night at Tower Bridge, Tower, Fleet Str., Strand, Trafalgar Square, Westminster.  Bus & Tube.

Monday 12th April 1915:        In charge of Forage.  Potts & I obtain it from A.S.C.  50 miles.

Tuesday 13th April 1915:        Forage gathering.  On Guard at 6 pm.  Extremely cold.  25 miles.

Wednesday 14th April 1915:   On Guard all day.  Packing up at night.  46 miles arrive.

Thursday 15th April 1915:       Getting forage for 114 mules & 5 horses.  Very busy indeed.  Out with A.S.C wagon.  Everything ready for moving off.  Packed at 8 pm 9 pm & 12 midnight.  All ready.  Order to “Stand By”.  Drew up in order at 12.

Friday 16th April 1915:           Set off 2 am from Blackheath & went by rail to Woolwich Arsenal.  Left Woolwich 6.50 am. arrived Southampton 11 am.  left S. at 6.20 pm on H.M.S. “A***”.  Lights out & all below deck at 8 pm.  Safe & calm crossing.

Saturday 17th April 1915:       Arrived Le Havre 3 am.  Disembarked 9 am.  All day spent in unloading & getting everything ready for entraining.  Drew 3 days train rations for 120 mules & 80 men.  Stable Picket at night.

Le Havre – Merville – Haverskerque.

Sunday 18th April 1915:          Left Le Havre at 3 pm.  Beautiful travelling in France.  Scenery extra.   6 of us in forage wagon.  Ripping.  Arrived Rouen 11 pm.  Went to “Kip” at 12 pm.

Monday 19th April 1915:        Arrived Abbeville 5 am.  Train via Boulogne, Calais & St. Omer to Hazebrouck.  Crossed Yser Canal.  2 Bridges blown up.  Trenches everywhere.  Arrived Berguette 12.5 pm.  Went to Camp 5 miles away.

Tuesday 20th April 1915:        On Guard during night.  Terrific cannonading at the front.  We are only 8 miles from Neuve Chapelle.  Forage all day.  Beautiful weather.  Met, very luckily, my brother Arnold & Wilf Dawson at night at St. Vanon.  Very pleasant evening spent together.  Letter from home.  Saw 4 W.R. R.F.A.

Wednesday 21st April 1915:   Haverskerque.  Went with A.S.C. for forage.  Beautiful weather.  Hard work getting wagons out of park.  “Fall in the Gunners”.  Got Paid 5 f.  Saw Arnold.

Thursday 22nd April 1915:      Went for forage with A.S.C.  Great trouble getting wagons away.  Mules stubborn.  ”Fall in the Gunners”.  Saw Arnold.

Friday 23rd April 1915:           Foraging  with A.S.C.  Attending to forage etc all day.  On Guard at night.  Very cold indeed.

Saturday 24th April 1915:       Left Haverskerque at 9 am & travelled by road via Merville (In Ruins) to Estaires where we arrived 4 pm.  5 miles from Neuve Chapel.  Heavy firing going.  Whole of the line lit up with searchlights, star shells etc.  Very fascinating.  Weather: – Extremely hot during day & cold at night.

Gonnehem.

Sunday 25th April 1915:          Reveille 4.30 am.  Left Estaires 7 am via Merville & Locon & arrived Gonnehem 6 pm.  Tired out.  On Guard!  Saw 4th R.F.A. pass en route & Arnold etc.

Monday 26th April 1915:        Reveille 6 am.  Went with A.S.C. for forage in morning. Afternoon filling nose bags.              Gonnehem.  Paid 10 f.

Tuesday 27th April 1915:        Went to A.S.C. for forage.  Afternoon spent lying down basking in the Sun.  Went down to Gonnehem at night.

Wednesday 28th April 1915:   Went to A.S.C. for forage.  Afternoon went to Chocques for exchange of 6 Oats for 8 Bran.  Out in village at night.

Thursday 29th April 1915:       Went to A.S.C. for forage in morning.  In the afternoon went to Chocques to change Oats for Bran.  Place shut up at night, had a good bust up.

Friday 30th April 1915:           Went to A.S.C. for forage in morning.  In the afternoon, went to Chocques to change 10 Oats for 14 Bran.  Evening spent in cleaning parade ground.  17 f Paid.

F Hammond letter 30 Apr 15

30th April

Bordon

Easter 1915

 

Dear M & P

Just a few more things I don’t think I shall need.  We expect to leave here for Winchester.  We are all mobilised and were inspected today.  Our Section are the Telegraphists for the 28th Brigade which consists of 10th Highland Light Inf, 11th HLI, 9th Scottish Rifles and 6th Kings Own Scottish Borderers.  Allcock and myself are at Headqrs with the General.  So we should be OK.

Do not know if we shall have any leave before going away.

Will drop you a line when we move.  Hope Gladys is better and did well in her exam.  What is George doing now?  Well I want to catch this post so bye bye for present

Burgy

H.M.S. Albion letter 30 Apr

 

H.M.S. “ALBION”

30th April 1915

 

At 4.45 a.m. on 28th April, weighed, and proceeded to take up position 170. W to support right flank as ordered.

 

At 6.10, came under fire, replied about 6.12; under occasional fire until about 7 a.m.  Observed white screen in Domuz Deresi valley probably an aiming mark.  At 8.50 observed French troops advance from Totts Battery; their line then wheeled to left and faced about W.N.W.  At 9.5 fired on enemy on ridge up Kereves valley.  For remainder of forenoon took station about 163.F, in order to see up Kereves valley.  At 9.45 Totts signalled that enemy were advancing in Square 176.T, the position recently shelled by “ALBION”.  About 9.40 observed and sank a mine.  At 9.50 noticed French troops facing to their right towards Achi Baba, then saw they were under gun fire.  Continued firing at intervals.  At 11.0 right gun, Fore Turret, valve box cracked.  At 11.20 shot struck near stem, went astern, apparently no damage.

 

At noon opened heavy fire on body of Turks seen in former position, and continued supporting French Flank.  Frequently under fire sometimes from heavy guns which we could not locate.

 

At 12.55, “LORD NELSON” coming up to relieve, 1.0 proceeded, at 1.3 hit aft port side.  Ammunition expended for day, 12” 7, 6” 165, 12 pr. 134 largely on Turks in the open.  Enemy fired 54 rounds at “ALBION” including many heavy shells.

 

On arrival at North Side of Rabbit Island, ordered TEES alongside, and DEMETIAN to proceed to Gaba Tepe; saw RIVERSDALE anchored south side.  Noticed that “ALBION” was holed before collision bulkhead; sent down divers to examine who reported that plating had parted 11 ft by 2” horizontally, 2 ft by 2” vertically; a split 2 ft by 2”, and several rivets out.  Ship side badly bulged.

 

Ceased taking in ammunition, but continued getting out empties and reported damage.  Directed by Rear Admiral to complete with ammunition and rejoin Flag, unless orders to the contrary were received from the Vice Admiral, and later by Vice Admiral to proceed to Mudros if necessary.  Considered it necessary, and proceeded at midnight arriving at Mudros at 5 a.m. 29th, and sent down divers to wedge and plug as necessary.  Obtained one diver from HUSSAR; RELIANCE carries none.  Obtained services of Engineer Captain.  Ammunitioned from BONDICAR, very little shrapnel obtainable.  Coaled from QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT, and received stores from CARDSWELL.  Sent defective 12” valve box to RELIANCE.

 

About 1 a.m. 30th, outside work sufficiently advanced to commence pumping, but could only get hand pumps to bear, and they would not reduce water.

 

About 7 a.m. 30th, sent diver down to Cofferdam between 7 and 8 to take off manhole in steel deck.

 

Drained water into bilges abaft.  Considerable vibration of bulkhead between Bosn’s store and Cofferdam owing to air; shored up as necessary.  Pumps got water under about 1 p.m. on 30th.  All compartments forward of 7 and part of cofferdam between 7 and 8 had been flooded, and the damage consisted of the following:- The 80 lb Protective Plating was found to have been split at the rivet holes on lower edge and forced inwards to about 4 ins.  The two thicknesses of 20 lb plating behind protective plating were found to be extensively damaged, one plate being turned inwards to approximately 9”, all rivets being sheared.  The protective deck was forced down 2” in frame space, many rivets sheared.  The collision bulkhead was buckled at boundary port side, many rivets sheared, length approximately 2 ft in depth.  The cofferdam bulkhead only slightly damaged at boundary angle; three rivets started.

 

In repairing the damage, divers placed wedges in fracture, and drove in oakum plugs where it was possible to do so effectively.  The water was then pumped out by Main Suction of Ship, taking about 6 hours.  The fracture was filled in with blankets, oakum, stiff red lead, and possible wedges.  Three cofferdams were constructed, consisting of cants 6” x 6” bolted to stiffeners of bulkheads, and planking of 3” deal boards bolted to them; the space was filled in with concrete up to deck, and whole securely caulked.  Shores were then placed from Starboard side to cofferdams.

 

Only small leakage of water discovered when compartments were closed down; quite within the pumping capacity of ship.

 

After various too sanguine estimates, defects were completed and compartments closed up, and ship sailed to rejoin Flag at 9.15 p.m. on 1st, but was later recalled to pick up lapping gear, and returned to outer anchorage.

 

Sailed after receiving gear about 12.30 a.m; arrived off Dardanelles and proceeded to relieve VENGANCE.

 

  1. Watts Jones

CAPTAIN (Act)

 

The Vice Admiral Commanding,

and Rear Admiral Commanding Divisions,

Eastern Mediterranean Squadron,

 

 

 

H.M.S. Albion Appendix to letter 29 Apr 15

APPENDIX I

H.M.S. “ALBION”

29th April 1915

 

LIST OF VOLUNTEERS IN LAUNCH AND SAILING PINNACE

 

P.O. 2Cl Fredk. Gibson, R.F.R. O.N. C/191025, Coxswain of launch, jumped overboard with a line, and got his boat beached.  He then took wounded to the RIVER CLYDE under heavy fire.  Witnessed by Lieut. Tysdale, R.N. Division and many of the Dublin Fusiliers.

 

H.T. Morrison. Smn. R.N.R., 1495. D. was of great assistance to P.O. Gibson, carrying out orders with coolness and alacrity.

 

Frank Dawe, A.B. D/231502, as Cox’n of the Sailing Pinnace showed courage in trying to beach his boat, until having to retire wounded.

 

Samuel Forsey, A.B., R.F.R., S.S.D/2059, took charge of sailing pinnace after Cox’n had been wounded; he succeeded in securing his boat to a lighter, eventually beaching her, and assisted to get pontoons in position for troops to land.

 

Jesse Lovelock, Ord. Sea. C/J 28798, assisted A.B. Forsey in securing boat to lighter and beaching her, then assisted in getting pontoons in position, also helped wounded on the beach and in boats to reach the “RIVER CLYDE”.

 

Samuel Quick. Sea. R.N.R. 3109.B.)

Jas. Rice. Smn. R.N.R. 1519D.        )             Volunteer Launch’s Crew.

Daniel Roach. Smn. R.N.R. 1685D.)

 

Wm. Thomas. Smn. R.N.R. 2208B.   )           Volunteer Sailing Pinnace’s Crew.

Wm. H. Kitchen. Smn. R.N.R4330A )

 

  1. Watts Jones

CAPTAIN (Act)

 

H.M.S. Albion letter 29 Apr 15

H.M.S. “ALBION”

29th April 1915

 

 

Sir,

I have the honour to submit the following account of such of the operations an 25th and subsequent days as came under my notice.

 

In accordance with orders, “ALBION” anchored S.10.E true, 1300 yards from Cape Helles on the morning of 25th.  At 5a.m. there was a slight mist especially between Seddul Bahr and No. 1 Fort, and hardly light enough to distinguish objects.  ”ALBION” opened fire at 5.4, and from then onwards fired deliberately into all objects overlooking ”V” Beach that seemed to be of military importance.

At 5.25 as the smoke over Area “A” was very thick, and no boats were approaching, checked fire.  Expenditure of ammunition up to this time being 6” 121 rounds, 12 pr. 54 rounds, 12” 2 rounds, both latter having been fired into S.W. Tower of Seddul Bahr Castle.

 

At 5.33 opened fire again, and continued as before.  At 5.50 observed boats from EURYALUS passing SWIFTSURE.  RIVER CLYDE and Fleet Sweepers approaching; increased rate of fire whenever boats seemed to be coming, decreased again when they proved not to be for ”V” Beach.

 

At 6.5 RIVER CLYDE passed to Starboard, but later dropped back.  Observed boats on “W” beach were under heavy fire.

 

At 6.25 SAPPHIRE signalled that our shot was falling on her landing party, (“Y” Beach).  ”ALBION” had fired at a trench on crest of hill close to Fort No. 1.  Checked fire accordingly.

 

At 6.33 observed ”CORNWALLIS” approaching with boats, and opened heavy fire, but checked again at 6.35 on observing the boats were not loaded.

 

At 6.37 observed loaded boats approaching, re-opened heavy fire.  The boats passed astern, and about this time “ALBION” received signal from “EURYALUS” to support “RIVER CLYDE”, and “RIVER CLYDE” passed astern.

 

At 6.44 observed fire on boats off “V” Beach.  At 6.45 boats were close to beach, checked fire, and then observed they were under heavy fire on the beach, from whence unknown.  At the same time “RIVER CLYDE” beached under heavy rifle and machine gun fire.

 

At 6.49 “ALBION” opened a continuous deliberate fire over head of boats.  At 6.50 boats cast off tow, and at 6.53 troops were landed on “V” beach with heavy loss, only a few men succeeding in crossing the beach and reaching the shelter afforded by the foreshore.

 

Many boats were drifting about helplessly, some broadside on to the beach with men in the water sheltering behind them.  “V” beach, and especially a rocky spit off the starboard bow of “RIVER CLYDE” being strewn with dead and wounded.  The lighters were ahead of “RIVER CLYDE” mostly on her Port bow.

 

In spite of the heavy cross fire on “V” beach, a few boats of the first tow got back, and at 7.5 observed them approaching “CLACTON”.

From about 7.15 onwards, disabled boats some with dead and wounded continued to come alongside ”ALBION”.  Dealt with boats as necessary and despatched them when ready to “CORNWALLIS”, and continued passing signals or information received.

 

About 8.10 an Officer of the Naval Division, and later the Beach Master came on board, and from them learnt that the “RIVER CLYDE” and “ARGYLE” were 50 ft apart, and that troops could not disembark, and that our troops were nowhere more than 100 yards from shore.

 

At 8.15, “QUEEN ELIZABETH” arrived; and informed her of situation.

 

At 9.10 having obtained permission from “QUEEN ELIZABETH”, hoisted out launch and pinnace manned by volunteer crews and loaded them with casks lashed under thwarts to form bridge, and sent them in tow to “RIVER CLYDE”.  Boats reached “RIVER CLYDE” at 9.50, but were apparently unable to get into place owing to heavy fire.

 

Throughout the forenoon continued firing on enemy’s supposed positions, occasionally checked by signal or reports, some of them inaccurate, old, or ambiguous, receiving wounded, and dealing with boats as requisite.

 

At 11.30 a.m. “EURYALUS” ordered boats for “V” beach to be diverted to “W” beach.

 

In afternoon continued the same as in forenoon, “ALBION” firing as desired by RIVER CLYDE.  By 4.30 p.m. rifle fire had considerably diminished, and “RIVER CLYDE” signalled asking for barrel pier.

 

At 5.35 ordered by Rear Admiral to attack hill 141, and directed fire accordingly.  At 6.30 ordered to weigh and close shore.  At 7.2 anchored in 10 fathoms, C. Helles N.28.W. 800 yards.  Could now see N.W. Side of wall of Seddul Bahr castle and more into the gullies below, and to eastward of Fort No. 1.  At 7.10 ceased fire.

 

At 7.30 “NEWMARKET” came alongside; discharged 23 dead and 45 wounded to her; all being troops or beach parties, including Captain Johnson of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, wounded, and the body of Mr. Handiman, Midshipman, late of  “CORNWALLIS” who died of his wounds on board “ALBION”.  About 8 p.m. Major Thomson, R.A., joined.

 

At about 9 p.m., I learnt from some of our boat keepers who had returned, that they had got the launch into position so that the troops from “RIVER CLYDE” could land.  About this time, a boat was sent to Cliff under Fort No. 1 to search for wounded seen in boat there, but could not find them.

 

Situation at dark as seen from “ALBION”.  “W” beach troops on hill 138, and at C. Helles signal station.  “V” beach troops dug in along fore shore, or in RIVER CLYDE, and under Seddul Bahr Castle wall, and behind Fort No. 3 earthworks.

 

S.W. Borderers visible along wall of Totts Battery.  The situation apparently precarious.

 

The expenditure of ammunition for day. All into Area “A” :- 12” 12, 6” common 604, shrapnel 294.  12 pr. Common 903, shrapnel 327.

 

All ranks and ratings of  “ALBION” did their duty, but mostly lacked the opportunity of distinguishing themselves.  I give however in Appendix I the names of volunteers who manned the launch and pinnace, particularly that of Petty Officer 2nd Class Frederick Gibson, R.F.R., O.N. C/191025, who, as I understand from several sources, behaved most gallantly.

 

Able Seaman Frank Dawe, O.N. D/231502 was wounded while coxswain of the Sailing Pinnace.

 

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

  1. Watts Jones

CAPTAIN (Act)

 

The Vice Admiral Commanding

Eastern Mediterranean Squadron,

H.M.S. “QUEEN ELIZABETH”.

& Rear Admiral Commanding

Divisions.