George Ryan’s letter home dated 20 Aug 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 20 Aug 1915

On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
1945 “D” Co.
9th Middlesex
20 Aug 1915

Dear M & F,

Thanks for your letter of July 22nd. You say the letter post does not leave London till Friday. I think you are mistaken as I received your letter a week late again this week. By what I can make out you should still post Thurs evening.

Sorry to hear Edie has had to have her front teeth out. Mine have not got much worse so I have not had them seen to. (The stopping came out of one, eating those Dog Biscuits on the boat.)

I’m having a little rest from Guards as I’m on Police Duty, taking the place of a Policeman detained in Hospital. I don’t suppose it will be for long as he is only in there with skin disease. I’m on duty from 4.30 to 9.30 in the evening then 5.45 to 10.0 next morning. After that I don’t go on till 4.30 pm the following day. We don’t have so far to go as we did up at Jalapahar, just round the barracks & down the Bazaar. It makes a change, as Parades are getting so monotonous & of course it’s quite nice to have a few days rest from Guards, so I shan’t mind if I’m kept on for a week or so.

Went to the “Empire” in Calcutta last Sat & saw Horace Goldin give “The Tiger God”. I expect Dad has seen him in London. It was very good; quite the best programme we’ve seen out here. We went back to Cossipore by taxi as it was too late for a tram & a “garrey” would have taken too long besides costing almost as much. It was just like an open Touring car, not like the boxed up vehicles you’ve got in London. We did go at a rate, it only took just over 20 min.

I heard from Bert this week.
Love to all,
Yr loving son

Notes from Field Pocket Book. W.C. Green 13 Aug 1915.

Notes from Field Pocket Book. W.C. Green 13 Aug 1915.

Statement in regard to distinguished conduct during operations 9/10th August 1915.

6079 Duckett Pte S. Continually carrying messages under heavy gun fire until severely wounded.

16894 Law Pte W. Rendering valuable assistance as messenger and showing exceptionally intelligent knowledge of his surroundings.

10091 Slack Pte T. ] In addition to good work as bomb throwers they
10006 Throp Pte H. ] rendered assistance to wounded and succeeded in getting them to the dressing station in the day time.

X 8133 Lee Pte E. After majority of Coy messengers had been wounded he volunteered to carry on and succeeded in carrying message to Battalion Hd. Qrs. He also helped to carry wounded to Dressing Station in day light.

9622 Lacey Sergt. E. ] After losing their platoon officer took charge of their
4394 Halliwell Sergt C.H.] platoons in a most capable manner.
6914 Mitchell Sergt M. ]

8315 Siddle Pte. T. ] Attending to the wounded under heavy shell fire during
7721 Price Pte. John (D Coy)] the four days in the trenches.

8343 Nichol Cpl G. Mr Huntriss has strongly recommended him for organising digging parties in the communication trench (Fleet Street)

Bomb Throwers
I am leaving the report on these men to Mr. Huntriss as they all did so well that it is difficult to mention any particular names. They succeeded in driving the enemy out of a strong point in Fleet Street and also in putting a machine gun out of action.

The following deserve special mention:-
6585 Cross Corpl S. (Killed)
8024 Nolan Corpl J.M.
9174 King Pte J. (wounded)
6779 Kelly Pte P.
10242 Galloway Pte. T.
6850 Leeson Pte. J.

Capt M. Brown
O.C. A Coy
13th Aug 1915
Nichol George has the number 8342 in the medal roll of E. Yorks R. Only apparent awards 2 MiDs to Slack & Nolan LG 1/1/16 p 37.

George Ryan’s letter home dated 13 Aug 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 13 Aug 1915

On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
9th Middlesex Regt
13 Aug 1915

Dear M & F,

I’ve had no letter from you this week but I think I can see the reason. You know I had two letters last week; well you must have caught the post with the second one – without knowing it I suppose. Then the next week you missed it again, – quite unintentionally of course – so I shall not get that letter till next week. I’ve had no other letters this week either; I thought I should hear from Bert. I had two Sun. Pictorials from you so you must have posted them before your letter.

I’m at Cossipore again this week; you see there isn’t a sufficient number of us to come here in proper order, so those next for duty have to come here, whether it’s their turn or not. We are on guard every other night here whereas at Dum-dum we get 3 nights in bed & 1 on guard. Of course when the Regulars were here they had 4 Companies & we’ve only got 2 so you see each of us is doing the duty of 2 men. I believe there are about 40 of our chaps in Hospital & of course that doesn’t improve matters.

My skin got practically clear at Dum-dum last week but directly I got here the Prickly Heat started again. Scratch, you simply can’t help it, you wake up & find yourself scratching. In the evening, just after tea is the worst time. As soon as you drink anything hot it begins. I expect I shall get clear of it again when we get back.

Hoping you are all well.
Love to all,
Yr loving son

George Ryan’s letter home dated 6 July 1915 but 6 Aug.

George Ryan’s letter home dated 6 July 1915 but 6 Aug.
6 July [? August] 1915

Dear M & F,

Many thanks for your letter of July 8 & 15. You evidently caught the post with the latter one.
Surprised to hear R. Bates & H. Kingsnorth have not enlisted yet.
I should think L. Manley celebrated her coming of age by getting those glasses. I suppose she’s about 21 now, isn’t she.
I wrote to Cousin Ellen again 3 weeks ago & sent her a photograph.
Hope the girls had a nice week at Westley & enjoyed themselves. I have not heard from May but I will forgive her so long as I hear next week. I know what a bother it is to write much during holidays; although there isn’t such a lot to do down there.
Thanks for sending the cuttings from the W. Chron also the Sunday Pictorial. Yes I should like it each week but once a month you might send the latest copy of the Daily Chron instead, that generally has a bit of news in it. I suppose Dad still has it.
My eyes have been quite alright since we came to Dum-dum. The Prickly Heat got rather bad at Cossipore last week but I’ve felt very little of it since I’ve been back here.
We got that Messing Money last week; I don’t know what I shall do with mine yet. A lot of chaps have bought cameras & taken up photography. I might do the same later on. Now we’ve been paid up to date of course we shall draw it each week; we ought to get 6 Rupees instead of 5 & 7 the last week of the month. I think myself it would have been better to have had the money in our messing. The food could be improved a lot; we get the same old stuff every day, & the bread isn’t up to much.
One or two of the older soldiers didn’t draw any of the “big lot” of money. They’ve been paid Proficiency Pay ever since Mobilisation & the Army have just found out they didn’t ought to have had it, so its had to be stopped. I hope things are managed better at home than what they are out here. But if you can believe the newspapers they are not; as accounts say that Woolwich Arsenal is not turning out all it could do.
Wednesday, 4 Aug was spent as a Sunday. There was only Church Parade; it was a special Service.
I went to Barrackpore Tues afternoon to a Hockey Match. G. Salter is getting on alright there he likes it much better than Dum-dum. He told me to remember him to you. G. Cooper is in the Scouts now; he is at Darjeeling at present.
It’s rumoured that we are going to Peshawar, up on the N.W. Frontier next month. Some chaps say they have got it from a good quarter but I rather doubt if it’s right. Of course it would be the real thing up there. And then there’s still the old rumour about going to the Dardenelles but that’s very improbable.

Hoping you are all quite well.
Love to all from
Yr loving son

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne August 1915

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne


Extracted from


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






E.C. No. 2/61612(N.A.)


War Office.

London.  S.W.

19th August 1915


(A.G. 6.)


Royal Field Artillery.                                      Sir,

Temp. Lieutenant A.A.                                   I am directed to inform you that the

Laporte Payne.                                                Officer named in the margin has been

From 4 “B” Reserve                                        posted as specified and should be

Brigade, Royal Field                                       Ordered to join.

Artillery.                                                          I am, Sir,

To 34th Divisional                                                        Your obedient Servant

Artillery, Ripon                                                           A. Young, Lieut-Colonel,

For Brigadier-General.

Director of Personal Services.


The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief,

Eastern Command in Horse Guards. S.W.




General Officer Commanding, Troops.


For necessary action.


Horse Guards, S.W.                                        C.A. Harding, Captain

August 21st 1915.                                            A/D.A.A.G. Eastern Command




G.O.C. Troops No. 13875/38

Officer Commanding 4th “B”  Reserve Brigade R.F.A.


For information, action and return please.


Woolwich                                                                    W.D. Nixon, Captain

23/8/15                                                                        Garrison Adjutant.


(Herewith copy of letter posting you. O. Marr, Capt.

Adjutant , 4th “B” Res Bde R.F.A. (26-8-15)


August 25 1915.


161st Brigade R.F.A.

South Camp



I arrived here this evening about 6 p.m. and managed to find a Division here, but as they have not heard anything about me I go on tomorrow to another Division and make enquiries there.


(Subsequently I was gazetted to the Personal Staff as A.D.C. as from this day, 25th August 1915, and transferred to the General List.)


Second Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, 21st September 1915.


August 26 1915.


34th Divisional Artillery Headquarters

The Clergy House



“This is the account of my wanderings in search of a Division and a home. I caught the 9.13 a.m. train to Kings’ Cross, and from there the 9.50, a.m. to York, where I arrived about 1.45 p.m.  There I  changed and waited for three quarters of an hour.  Then I trained to Thirsk, changed again for Ripon where the train deposited me at 6 p.m.  There appeared to be about 80,000 troops in the neighbourhood, and nobody knew anybody else or where anything was.  Finally I wandered out to the 31st Divisional Artillery, and reported there; but they had heard nothing of me.  As it was late they took pity on me, and gave me part of a room to share with another man in a hutment.  There I stayed until this morning, when I came to the 34 Divisional Artillery.  I ascertained that I had been sent on approval to the G.O.C.R.A.  At present he is in France, but returns on Monday when I hope he will confirm my appointment as A.D.C.


The Brigade Major here is Captain Waller. Yesterday he received the M.C. from the King.


The Principal here is Mr. Major, or rather Vice Principal. He edits the Modern Churchman.  This evening he took me over the Cathedral.


The Division moves on Saturday to Salisbury Plain, Tidworth Pennings of all places! We  shall probably be travelling most of Saturday & Sunday.


It has been extraordinarily hot here to-day.


Later. I am remaining on here till Monday, when I travel in charge of the Headquarters Staff by train.  We go to Tidworth Park, then to Sutton Veny, and are due to go to France in October.


Saturday, August 28, 1915.


Plans again altered. We start tomorrow at 5 a.m. by troop train for Salisbury.  That means shuntings on to sidings for a whole day.  I dine with the Principal here tonight.


August 30 1915.


R.A. Headquarters, 34th Division.




On Friday afternoon I went to Fountains Abbey, which is a most beautiful place I think I have ever seen. On Saturday I met the General, and I am appointed temporarily as A.D.C. to see how I get on.


On Saturday evening I went out to Copgrove Rectory to dine with the Rector who is also the Vice-Principal of the Ripon Clergy School, Mr. Major.  He has a delightful old Rectory, full of old furniture.  It rained hard on my return journey, and I got soaked.


On Sunday morning I was up at 4 a.m., entrained the horses including the General’s two chargers, five tons of baggage, ten clerks, and myself aboard a troop train. It poured with rain the whole time.  We started at 7 a.m., and then crawled to Tidworth, where we arrived at 6 p.m.  On the way we stopped at Leicester, where the nurses of the Volunteer Aid served us with tea, coffee and cake.  We also watered the horses there.


When we arrived at our destination I met the Staff Captain and together we superintended the unloading and transport of the baggage to the camp by motor lorries.


There is only one hut in the camp, which we have for the Divisional Headquarters Office. I managed to get tents for the officers of the staff. It was a job to get the mess running at all.  However we are settling down.


The General, Elmslie, is a very fine looking chap. Waller, the Brigade Major is the son of the Dean of Kildare.  The Staff Captain is one Rew.


This afternoon I am going in to Salisbury.


(Train 5 a.m for 7 a.m. Troops 12 men, Horses G.O.C. 2 Capt Rew 2, Officers’ kit, Baggage 5 tons.)




G.O.C. General the Right Honourable Sir A.H. Paget, G.C.B., K.C.V.O.

Radnor House, Salisbury.





Tidworth Park.


Part 1.

Strength. 1.

2nd Lieut A.A. Laporte Payne R.F.A. reported his arrival on 25th 8. 1915., and is attached to Artillery Headquarters.

Lt. Col. K.J. Kincaid-Smith, D.S.O., R.A. reported his arrival on 1st September 1915, and is posted to command the 152nd Brigade, R.F.A.

Hubert F. Rew.


Staff Captain R.A.

34th Division


August 30 1915.


R.A.HEADQUARTERS, 34th Division



I am sitting in a large hut surrounded by clerks with noisy typewriters. Guns and wagons are making a great noise and dust passing up from the station.  The whole division is forming a new camp here to finish training before proceeding elsewhere – France, Dardanelles, Egypt, India, Who knows?  I hope France.  imagine the confusion.  It is taking R whole days, 12 trains unloading every 8 hours, guns, horses, wagons, baggage, men.  Tempers are shocking.  My head is a bit muddled.


Tuesday I travelled up to Ripon, arriving about 6 p.m. Dined and helped to run a concert in 161 Brigade Mess.  Slept in a hut on Wednesday.  Thursday I moved into Ripon Clergy Training College, where I was billeted.  Friday I went to Fountains Abbey in a car.  It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  The Elizabethan Mansion at the back was lovely.  It was a glorious day, and the creeper was just turning.  Saturday I packed and loaded 5 tons of stationary in a railway truck.  At night I went to Copgrove Rectory for dinner with the Rector and his wife.  It was a delightful old house full of queer passages, good old furniture brass and silver.  It was a great dinner.  We had Moselle, Claret, Portland Chartreuse to drink.  After dinner I did my best to admire his large collection of books and pictures.  It poured all the way home and I got very wet, however I was in bed by midnight; but up at 4 a.m.  I saw my four horses in the truck, and also my ten hangers on.  WE started about 7 a.m. thoroughly wet and miserable.  We arrived here at 6 p.m. and then had to unpack and get to camp 2 miles away.


I got to bed about midnight in a damp tent. Awfully jolly to be in camp again!  Today I superintended putting up tents for the H.Q. Mess, making horse lines, opening telegrams.  This afternoon I had a game of polo.  Now I am doing correspondence.  “Can I find a billet for a chauffeur”.  Can I get rooms for Col. So and So”  “Can I get a house for Mrs. Somebody-Else”.  To all of this I reply “NO!  not for love or money or influence”.  The place is full of khaki, that ubiquitous deadly dull colour.  I almost love a civilian.  I have just had put in front of me a large quantity of Memoranda and Bye-Laws of the Southern Command, and Salisbury Training Centre, which I must read, learn and inwardly digest.  The Mess bores me stiff.  All they talk about is the sins of the A.S.C., or horses.

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Aug 1915

Alfred George Richardson’s Diary Aug 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.



Sunday 1st August 1915:        Went to Peselhoek for rations at 7.  H.Q. 11 am.  Letters 12 noon.  Afternoon holiday.  Writing.

Monday 2nd August 1915:      Went to place past 1st Sect for rations at 7.  Afternoon reading & writing.  Exercising at night.

Tuesday 3rd August 1915:       Went “sur la route a West Vletern” [Westvleteren] for rations at 7.  Interpreter at trial of A. & S.H. charged with stealing from Belgian.  On Guard H.Q.

Wednesday 4th August 1915: Midnight.  Poperinghe shelled.  23 “Jack Johnsons.” Anniversary of Declaration of War!  Went for rations at 7.  Afternoon holiday.

Thursday 5th August 1915:     Went to Peselhoek for rations at 7.  Out exercising mules at night.  Fell off!  Poperinghe shelled.  23 “Jack Johnsons”.

Friday 6th August 1915:          Went for rations at 10 am.  Back at 11.30 am.  Letters noon.  Afternoon writing & reading.

Saturday 7th August 1915:      Went for rations at 10 am.  Letters at noon.  Afternoon holiday.  Fine.

Sunday 8th August 1915:        Went for rations at 10 am.  Letters at noon.  Aft asleep. Out at night with Eagle.

Monday 9th August 1915:       Went for rations at 10 am.  Letters at noon.  Fine day.  Terrific bombardment from 2.30 am – 6 am.  British retake all lost trenches.

Tuesday 10th August 1915:     Went for rations at 10 am.  Letters at noon.  Out with Eagle & Lawson near P.  Cigars & wine.

Wednesday 11th August 1915: Went for rations at 10 am.  Letters noon.  Aft holiday. Reading & writing.  Went out exercising at    night.

Thursday 12th August 1915:   Went for rations at 10 am.  Letters at noon.  Wet.  Thunderstorm all afternoon.  Almost flooded out.

Friday 13th August 1915:        Went for rations at 10 am.  Raining.  Letters at noon.  Afternoon writing letters.

Saturday 14th August 1915:    Went for rations at 10.  Went to Poperinghe with G. Smith for Mr Walker.  Shelled by Germans ½ hour          after.  14 17 in.  In bed at 8 pm.

Sunday 15th August 1915:      Went for rations at 9.15 am.  Received pcl from Home & Mrs Harrison.  Letter from A. Beaumont, Miss Baines & J Decelle.

Monday 16th August 1915:     Went for rations at 9.15 am.  Letters at noon.  Parcel from Home.  Out exercising at night.

Tuesday 17th August 1915:     Went for rations at 9.15 am.  Letters at noon.              Went to see Arnold up at guns.  Exciting time 20 shrapnel burst over Dawson & I.  Narrow escape.

Wednesday 18th August 1915: Went for rations at 9.15.  Letters at noon.  Afternoon out with Sergt Hewitt finding a forge.

Thursday 19th August 1915:   Went for rations at 9.15 am.  Letters at noon.  Afternoon reading & writing.  On Guard at H.Q. at 6 pm.

Friday 20th August 1915:        Went for rations at 9.15 am.  Letters at noon.  Afternoon asleep.  Out at night with Lawson & Eagle.

Saturday 21st August 1915:    Went for rations at 9.15.  Raining fast.  Wet through.  Afternoon spent writing letters.

Sunday 22nd August 1915:      Went for rations at 9.15 am.  Letters at noon.              Arnold & Wilf Dawson visit me.  Ripping day.  6 German aeroplanes over.

Monday 23rd August 1915:     Went for rations at 9.15 am.  Letters at noon.  Went to H.Q. for stores.  On guard at H.Q.  Row with C.Q.M.S. about sack of f***.

Tuesday 24th August 1915:     Went for rations at 9.15.  Letters noon.  Brought 2 cooks up before P.H.W.  Result: – 5 days C.B. for both.  Out exercising at night.

Wednesday 25th August 1915: Went for rations at 9.15.  Letters noon.  Aft spent reading & writing.

Thursday 26th August 1915:   Went for forage & rations at 9.15 am.  Letters at noon.  Aft holiday.  Exercising at night.

Friday 27th August 1915:        Went for forage & rations at 9.15 am.  Letters 12 noon. Aft holiday.  On Guard at H.Q.

Saturday 28th August 1915:    Went to Lovie Chateau H.Q. R.E. Sigs for a 10 days’ course in Telephony.  Arrived there 12 noon.  Walked to Proven in aft.  Concert at night which was excellent.  Made a bivouac with Bomber Chris Hatch (11th) & Meakes (10th Bt).

Lovie Chateau

Sunday 29th August 1915:      Reveille 5 am!!  Full Dress Parade before Major Grubb at 9 am. Holiday Rest of Day.  Fine weather.

Monday 30th August 1915:     Lecture by Lieut Wells.  Went out & laid a cable to Convent St. Sixte.   Back at 3 pm.  Tired.  Rested &         went to bed early.

Tuesday 31st August 1915:     Lecture by Lieut Wells.  Out with cable cart fixing air line to Convent St. Sixte.  Long job.  Tired.

G G Hammond letter Aug 15

No 3142 P/e G.G. Hammond

2/7th Bat Mc/r Regt

D Compy 15 Platoon




Dear Father & Mother

I received your letter & parcel alright last week.  Thanks very much for the cigarettes & the note.  I am always uneasy when a letter containing my money does not turn up to time.  How is Gladys getting on now.  She has not written to me for weeks.  When I was over at Uncle Will’s he said he was going to our place & something was said about Gladys coming back so if we are still here I may have a chance of seeing something of her.  I am going to apply for a pass home soon if the railway fare drops.  It is 10/5 at present & you only get from Saturday 1-o’clock until Sunday night.

Tom Spencer has been over again this weekend so I have had rather a good time, he is coming down again on Thursday in the car & bringing Hilda & Peggy so our luck is in.  I am on Garrison Police duty for a week or so, relieving two of our men who have to go back to the company for training.  We were inspected by the General this morning & he congratulated us on being a fine body of men.  Bozey Bozey.  I commenced on this job yesterday & had a very eventful day.  I was sleeping on the grass outside the hut when I was suddenly wakened by a rifle shot.  The bullet went right through the hut wall, through a partition a finally stuck in the door post.

All the police were called out & we made a search through the 8 L F lines, we found a bullet hole in one of the huts, so all the men were paraded and the doors locked.  The men and rifles were examined and eventually one of the men gave himself up.  He is now awaiting his trial in the Guard Room.  I suppose his sentence will be fairly stiff as the bullet passed within about 2 ft of our sergeant’s head.  Later on in the day as we were marching home an officer ran into us on his motor bike and knocked one of our chaps down.  He had to be taken to the hospital.

The food supplied to the G.M.P.’s is much better than that we get and more of it, but I would not care for it permanently as you are confined to camp to a certain extent.  I have heard nothing more about the commission yet but I have not given up hope as it is sometimes weeks before you hear anything.  I think it must have been a rumour about going to Egypt as I have heard nothing more.  I met a chap from Stockport the other day.  Dad knows him, Robinson, he told me Jack Lister had been killed (unofficial) & Heydon wounded.  Well I shall have to conclude now as we are going to fall in soon to patrol the village &c to keep the men in order.

Love George