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

—————–

 

1915

 

 

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

 

War Office.

London.  S.W.

19th August 1915

112/Artillery/2695.

(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.

 

2.

 

General Officer Commanding, Troops.

Woolwich

For necessary action.

 

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

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

 

3.

 

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.

R.P.

161st Brigade R.F.A.

South Camp

Ripon.

 

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.

R.P.

34th Divisional Artillery Headquarters

The Clergy House

Ripon

 

“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.P.

R.A. Headquarters, 34th Division.

Tidworth

Salisbury.

 

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.)

 

SALISBURY TRAINING CENTRE.

 

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

Radnor House, Salisbury.

 

ORDERS BY

BRIGADIER GENERAL F.B. ELMSLIE. C.B.

COMMANDING ROYAL ARTILLERY 34th DIVISION.

Tidworth Park.

Hants.

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.

Captain,

Staff Captain R.A.

34th Division

 

August 30 1915.

 

R.A.HEADQUARTERS, 34th Division

Tidworth.

 

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.

 

Poperinghe.

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

Crowborough

Sussex

Monday

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

Final re T F Paul 28 Aug 15

Confidential

 

9 Risingholme Road

Wealdstone High Road

Harrow

 

22nd August 1915

 

The Colonel,

3/7th Battn Middlesex Regt

Falmer, near Brighton

 

Dear Sir,

Re Thomas F. Paul, No  4509

“D” Company

 

I am writing at the request of my sister, who had been guardian to the above, since he was 5 years of age.  T. F. Paul is my nephew & has no parents living: he is a child of another sister of mine who died some years ago.

 

He is very anxious that he should serve his King & Country, & so are all of us that he should do so.

 

My sister thinks, however, that in consequence of his youth (he was not 17 years of age when he joined) & also of his very short eyesight (if his glasses in anyway got damaged or lost, he would be blind without them – & he cannot see sideways without turning his head round) that you would pardon the liberty taken in drawing your attention to this & she would be very grateful if you could – instead of sending him away on active service with the regiment, transfer him to some Home Service Battalion, as she has a very strong objection to his being sent away to the front for the above-mentioned reasons.

 

Personally, with his defective vision & nervous temperament, I do not think he would stand a fair sporting chance.

 

I am writing this unknown to my nephew & shall be obliged if you will kindly treat this in confidence.

 

Apologising for taking up your valuable time, & thanking you in advance for your attention,

I remain, dear Sir,

Yours faithfully

 

  1. Spencer Stilwell

 

 

 

MEMORANDUM

 

Captain and Adjutant

3/7th Batt Middlesex Regt

 

To A Stilwell Esq.

Harrow

 

Falmer 24/8/1915

 

Answered 28/8/15

 

In reply to your letter of the 22nd I have to say that in the event of this Battalion going on Foreign Service No 4509 Pte. Thomas F. Paul would not be taken

  • on account of his age
  • should his physical defects be as you say

 

  1. Petrie Hobson

Captain and Adjutant, 3/7th Batt. Middlesex Regt.

 

28/8/15

 

Dear Sir,

 

Re Thomas F. Paul No 4509 ”D” Company

 

I beg to acknowledge receipt of your favour of the 24th inst & note your remarks for which my sister & I are very much obliged.

 

Yours faithfully

 

  1. Spencer Stilwell

 

Capt. A. Petrie-Hobson

3/7th Battn. Middlesex Regt.

Farmer near Brighton

Reply re T F Paul 24 Aug 15

 

 

MEMORANDUM

 

Captain and Adjutant

3/7th Batt Middlesex Regt

 

To A Stilwell Esq.

Harrow

 

Falmer 24/8/1915

 

Answered 28/8/15

 

In reply to your letter of the 22nd I have to say that in the event of this Battalion going on Foreign Service No 4509 Pte. Thomas F. Paul would not be taken

  • on account of his age
  • should his physical defects be as you say

 

  1. Petrie Hobson

Captain and Adjutant, 3/7th Batt. Middlesex Regt.

 

Letter re T F Paul 22 Aug 15

Confidential

 

9 Risingholme Road

Wealdstone High Road

Harrow

 

22nd August 1915

 

The Colonel,

3/7th Battn Middlesex Regt

Falmer, near Brighton

 

Dear Sir,

Re Thomas F. Paul, No  4509

“D” Company

 

I am writing at the request of my sister, who had been guardian to the above, since he was 5 years of age.  T. F. Paul is my nephew & has no parents living: he is a child of another sister of mine who died some years ago.

 

He is very anxious that he should serve his King & Country, & so are all of us that he should do so.

 

My sister thinks, however, that in consequence of his youth (he was not 17 years of age when he joined) & also of his very short eyesight (if his glasses in anyway got damaged or lost, he would be blind without them – & he cannot see sideways without turning his head round) that you would pardon the liberty taken in drawing your attention to this & she would be very grateful if you could – instead of sending him away on active service with the regiment, transfer him to some Home Service Battalion, as she has a very strong objection to his being sent away to the front for the above-mentioned reasons.

 

Personally, with his defective vision & nervous temperament, I do not think he would stand a fair sporting chance.

 

I am writing this unknown to my nephew & shall be obliged if you will kindly treat this in confidence.

 

Apologising for taking up your valuable time, & thanking you in advance for your attention,

I remain, dear Sir,

Yours faithfully

 

  1. Spencer Stilwell

 

Pte Pilgrim’s letter home 16 Aug 15

August 16th 1915

 

 

Dear Mum,

 

I am just writing this while I have nothing to do, I am getting on fine, will you send me some stamps as this is the last one I have got because it is too far to go tonight so don’t forget to tell Ethel I can’t write until you send me some.  We have to play football of a night in camp be in bed by ¼ 10 pm of a night.  I think I would rather be at Ilford but still I am enjoying it alright.

We have plenty of stew for dinner no custard and plums and say you don’t want them don’t forget to tell Ethel to write if I don’t get my stamps for a day or two I shall make up for it when I get them.

Well I think this is all now with love Bert.

P.S. give my love to Dad Nell & Ethel xxxxxxxxxx

 

No 3253 Pte. Pilgrim

¾ Essex Regt.

B Coy, 8th Platoon

Queen Anne’s Gate

Great Park

Windsor