Letter of Occupation PJ Lister 14 September 1916

On headed notepaper of
Government Controlled Establishment.
The Parsons Motor Co., Ltd.
Oil & Petrol Engine Builders
Town Quay Works SOUTHAMPTON
Sept. 14th 1916
Our Ref PES/GES.

This is to certify that Soldier L/Cpl. P.J. Lister, Regt. No. 28407. 12th Field Coy. R.E. Release Ref No. D.A. 25421. Occupation No. 04430, has been temporarily released to the Parsons Motor Co., Ltd., Town Quay Works, Southampton, by the Ministry of Munitions for the execution of important War Work
THE PARSONS MOTOR CO: LTD:
P.E. Sharp
Cachet of ASSISTANT PROVOST MARSHAL SOUTHAMPTON 1/6/18

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Report on operations 7 September 1916

COPY

Report on operations taken part in by 6th Bttln
Ox & Bucks Light Infantry Sept 3/6. 1916.

The Battalion was attached to the 59th Brigade for the above operations, in accordance with 59th Brigade operation orders left the Craters at 11 p.m. Sept. 2nd and moved into position of assembly in ARROW and SHERWOOD trenches.

The Battalion advanced from these trenches at noon Sept. 3rd.

”B” Coy from ARROW trench was in the centre and from the position of the starting points was somewhat in advance of “A” and “C” companies which were on the left and right of “B” company respectively. “D” Company followed in rear of “B”. The Battalion was ordered to follow the 10th and 11th R.B. to the first sunken road (see map attached) open through them to the 2nd sunken road, then to halt to consolidate till 1 p.m.

“A”, “B” and “C” Coys. lost all their officers except one and three of their Company Sgt. Majors before reaching the 2nd Sunken Rd. “D” Coy. also lost its Captain at the 1st Sunken Rd.

”B” Coy. in the centre found the Rifle Bde. clearing dug-outs and appeared to have stopped at the first to help and then pushed on to the 2nd Sunken Rd. “A”, “C” and “D” Coys. passed right on. “A” Coy. appeared to have overrun the 2nd Sunken Rd. and got on to the near objective at the edge of the Orchard about 150 yards, probably due to the fact that their Officers had gone and the Sunken Rd is difficult to locate in places owing to damage by shells.

At 1 p.m. the advance was continued. As a matter of fact men were going forward about 4 minutes too early, but the barrage ruled the pace. I do not think many casualties were incurred by our barrage. There was but little resistance after this. By the time that the Eastern side of the village was reached Units were much mixed, 10th & 11th R.B. some of K.R.R.C., Somerset L.I. and my own Battalion. Units were reorganised here as far as possible. The 7th Somerset L.I. at my request kept back a portion in the position, when the advance was continued up to the WEDGE WOOD – GINCHY Rd. to look after the right flank, as the number of Germans were visible working down the open street of LEUZE WOOD and our contact with the 5th Division did not appear complete. At 2 p.m. the whole line went forward up to the WEDGEWOOD – GINCHY Rd. and reached it with very little opposition, but a number of prisoners were taken from dug-outs on the road.

The consolidation of the position at once began, but there was a shortage of tools.

I had previously sent a message to that effect by aeroplane, it would be interesting to hear if it ever arrived. The message was sent to the aeroplane by a lamp and the aeroplane acknowledged. It was evident that the 5th Division had not been able to advance up to the Spur S.W. of LEUZE WOOD, and that the spur and the wood were still in the hands of the Germans. I therefore decided not to move forward from the road to the final objective ordered that was with the right on the S.W. corner of the wood.

1st D.C.L.I. of 5th Division were now in touch with my right, and the 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers on the left near the Cross Roads.

There were then on the WEDGE WOOD – GINCHY Rd. portions of the following battalions – 10th and 11th R.B., 11th K.R.R.C., 6th Ox & Bks.

The 7th Somerset L.I. were digging trenches in support close behind.

An officer patrol went through the Quarry and up to the S.W. edge of LEUZE WOOD and found no one there.

During the night 3rd and 4th Sept., patrols were working in the valley below us but could not work up the ridge owing to our artillery fire. The enemy made no attacks during the night on our front. Nearly all the losses incurred were from shell and M.G. fire before reaching the 2nd Sunken Rd, and more especially before reaching 1st Sunken Road. During the clearing of dug-outs at the final position, one case occurred of a “P” bomb being thrown in at one door of a dug-out smoke came out at the other without dislodging the Germans who however came out when the Mills’ bombs were thrown in. 8 Company Officers out of 11 and 72 N.C.O.s were casualties, mostly early in the advance so that I think much credit is due to the men and the few Company leaders left for obtaining the right objective.

During September 4th, consolidation was continued and was not interfered with except by a few shrapnel shells.

During the afternoon the 5th Division were up the Spur East of us to LEUZE WOOD. About 7 p.m. Battle patrols were established by 7th Som. L.I. from S.W. corner of LEUZE WOOD – GUILLEMONT – COMBLES RD.

The night was very wet, about 5 a.m.5th Sept. the line was relieved by 49th Brigade and the Battalion withdrew to SHERWOOD TRENCH where it remained until the afternoon of the 6th September. When relieved by the 6th K.S.L.I. the Battalion returned to the Craters.

I attach a list of those I recommend for Reward in connection with the operations.

(Sd) E.D. WHITE. Lt.-Col.
Commanding 6th Ox & Bucks L.I.
9-9-16.

Report on Communications of 20TH Division 7 September 1916

REPORT ON COMMUNICATIONS OF 20TH DIVISION DURING THE OPERATIONS.
September 3rd and 4th 1916.

1 Division to Brigades.

Two telephone wires ran to each Brigade in the line. In each case the forward part of the line lay in an open narrow cable trench. The lines were not all completed until the day before the operations so that they could not become too weak for speaking owing to numerous breaks and joints. The lines held throughout the operations save for a line to the Reserve Brigade which was put out of action for nearly an hour by the blowing up of a bomb store close to the line. Lateral communication was provided by wire and held throughout.

In addition both Brigades had wireless stations by them and the Corps wireless station was at Divisional H.Qrs. These stations were used for occasional messages such as requests for motor ambulances to be sent forward. Visual signalling was also arranged. A main visual post on the high ground between MINDEN POST and MARICOURT received direct from the Right Brigade and Reserve Brigade and through two transmitting stations from the Left Brigade. The Visual transmitting stations were placed at test stations along the wires and runner posts were established there also. In the case of one section of the main line being broken two alternative ways of securing communication in that section still held. The runner posts were provided by mounted men from the Corps Cavalry Regiment for the forward portion and motor cyclists for the backward portion. Roads forward of the West end of MONTAUBAN were impassable for motor cycles.

2. Forward of Brigades.

Each Brigade relied mainly on one forward line laid just before the operations in trenches along the route of the runner posts, the Left Brigade to WATERLOT FARM and the Right Brigade to ARROW HEAD COPSE. The lines were divided into sectors at the runner posts and linesmen were stationed at these posts with cable to replace whole sections of the line with fresh cable when necessary. The line to the Left was only broken once, the line on the right was broken several times in the neighbourhood of the SUNKEN ROAD E. of TRONES WOOD but it was never out of action for more than about 10 minutes at a time. Lines were prepared beforehand and taken forward with the attacking troops but these lines did not last long being very soon cut by the enemy’s fire. Information came back to WATERLOT FARM and ARROW HEAD COPSE almost entirely by runners.

Further information from the firemost troops did however come back by pigeons – several valuable messages about dispositions being sent back from the troops in the GINCHY – WEDGE WOOD road – and by aeroplane observations. Not many actual messages were signalled from the ground to the aeroplanes but a few were sent and received including a request for ammunition and a statement that troops at a certain point were being held up by machine gun fire. Flares were used successfully.

To sum up the methods successfully employed, they were:-
(a) Forward of the original front line, pigeons and signals to aeroplanes.
(b) In rear of the old front line accessible telephone wires with relay posts for runners and linesmen along the route of the wires.

7th Sept. 1916

(sd) F.J.M. STRATTON, Major R.E.
O.C. 20th Divisional Signal Coy.

20th DIVISION OPERATION ORDER NO 98. 4 September 1916

SECRET
Copy No …..
4th September 1916

20th DIVISION OPERATION ORDER NO 98.

1. H.Qrs and two Battalions of the 49th Inf. Bde will relieve the 59th Inf. Bde and attached units tonight.
2. Arrangements for this relief will be made between Brigade Commanders.
Officers of these two battalions will make themselves acquainted with the trenches beforehand.
The 59th Inf. Bde will collect and hand over all trench stores, maps and dumps to the incoming units.

3. On relief being effected the 59th Infantry Bde will concentrate at CARNOY.
The H.Qrs of 59th Bde will be in camp near CARNOY.
The H.Qrs of 49th Bde will be at BRIQUETERIE.
On relief units of the 61st Bde attached to the 59th Bde will move to CRATERS. On arrival there the latter units will come under the command of the Brigadier General 59th Bde.

4. The Field Company and Pioneers attached to the 59th Bde will not be relieved until the morning of the 5th September. They will then be relieved, under orders of the C.R.E. the Field Company returning to its Bde. Group, the Pioneer Coy returning to its Battalion.
5. Medical Units attached to the 59th Bde will not be relieved at present.

6. The 49th Bde. on taking over will detail a permanent garrison for GUILLEMONT South but inclusive of MOUNT STREET, which is a defensive locality and should be strongly held.
O.C. 96th Field Coy will advise and assist. Arrangements made and garrison detailed should be reported as soon as completed.

7. In view of the complexity of the situation G.O.C. 59th Bde will issue strict orders that no troops are to leave their posts until relieved by troops of 49th Bde.
8. Completion of relief will be notified by wiring the word “FLARES” and time to this H.Qrs.

9. Until relief is completed command of the Right Bde. Sector will be vested in G.O.C. 59th Brigade.

10. Acknowledge

(sd) C.A.MILWARD, Major for
Lieut. Colonel,
General Staff, 20th Division.
Issued at 4 p.m.

Distribution overleaf.

Copies to:-

No. 1. XIV Corps (G),
2. XIV Corps (Q),
3. 5th Division.
4. 7th Division.
5. 16th Division.
6. 47th Brigade.
7. 48th Brigade.
8. 59th Brigade.
9. 60th Brigade.
10. 61st Brigade.
11. C.R.A. 24th Divn.
12. C.R.A. 6th Divn.
13. C.R.E.
14. A.D.M.S.
15. A.P.M.
16. 11th Durham L.I.
17. Adv. “Q”.
18. A.A. & Q.M.G.
19. XIV Corps H.A.
20. 9th Squadron R.F.C.
21/24. Retained.
25. Signal Coy.
26. 49th Brigade.

20TH DIVISION OPERATION ORDER NO 97 4 September 1916

SECRET Copy No …….
4th September, 1916

20TH DIVISION OPERATION ORDER NO 97

Ref – Trench Map LONGUEVAL Sheet,
57 c S.W. – 1/10,000.
GINCHY – GUILLEMONT Map 1/5,000.

1. The 7th Division have consolidated parties in several houses in GINCHY and are fighting their way from house to house.

2. At 6.30 p.m. the barrage which will start 200 yards E. of the GINCHY – WEDGE WOOD ROAD, will again become intensive and creep forward at the rate of 50 yards a minute. Under cover of this the 5th, 20th and 7th Divisions will push strong patrols, with Lewis guns, forward to the line S.W. corner of LEUZE WOOD – T.20.a.6.5. The patrols from 20th Division will be found from 59th and 60th Inf. Brigades.

On reaching this line the patrols will establish themselves thereon and will at once be supported. The ground then seized will be consolidated. Special parties should be told off to bomb up the trench from T.20.c.2.6. to T.20.b.7.3. and to secure the QUARRIES at T.20.d.2.1.

The Heavy Artillery will arrange to bombard all these objectives.

3. The 9th Squadron R.F.C. will detail 2 contact aeroplanes to be in the air from 3.15 p.m. to 6.15 p.m. and one after that hour until dark.

4. Flares will be lit on reaching the objectives and at 6.45p.m.

5. The boundaries between Divisions and brigades will be as stated in paras. 5 and 6 of Operation Order No 90 (Revised copy).

6. Strong points will be constructed at the following points:-

Right Brigade – QUARRY T.20.d.2.1.
Road T.20.d.2.5.
Left Brigade – Trench junction T.20.a.6.5.

7. To assist in the construction of these points and the consolidation of the line, 2 sections 84th Field Coy R.E. will be placed at the disposal of 59th Inf. Bde. and remaining 2 sections of the same coy at the disposal of the 60th Inf. Bde. A working party of 100 infantry will be provided to assist the R.E. allotted to each brigade. these two parties will be provided under arrangements made by C.R.E.

8. O.C. 20th Signal Coy. will synchronise watches at 4.30 p.m.

9. ACKNOWLEDGE

(sd) R.H. JAMES Lt. Col
for Lieut Colonel
General Staff 20th Division
Issued at 3 p.m.

Distribution overleaf.

Copies to:-

No. 1. XIV Corps (G),
2. XIV Corps (Q),
3. 5th Division.
4. 7th Division.
5. 16th Division.
6. 47th Brigade.
7. 48th Brigade.
8. 59th Brigade.
9. 60th Brigade.
10. 61st Brigade.
11. C.R.A. 24th Division.
12. C.R.A. 6th Division.
13. C.R.E.
14. A.D.M.S.
15. A.P.M.
16. 11th Durham L.I.
17. Adv. “Q”.
18. A.A. & Q.M.G.
19. XIV Corps H.A.
20. 9th Squadron R.F.C.
21/24. Retained.
25. 20th Signal Coy.

20TH DIVISION OPERATION ORDER NO 96. 4 September 1916

Copy No …24.
4th September 1916.

20TH DIVISION OPERATION ORDER NO 96.

1. In continuation of G.893, 4th September the 48th Inf Bde will relieve the 47th and 60th Brigades tonight, and will take over all trench stores, maps and dumps provided for these Brigades. Arrangements for this relief will be made between Brigadiers. Officers of the 48th Brigade should make them selves acquainted with the trenches beforehand.

On relief being effected the 47th Bde will concentrate at CARNOY, the 60th Brigade at TRONES and NEW GUARDS TRENCHES and units of 61st Brigade attached to 47th Brigade will move to CRATERS. On arrival there of the latter units will come under the command of Brigadier 61st Inf. Bde.

2. Headquarters of 61st Brigade will be at CARNOY, Red House.
Headquarters of 47th Brigade will be at CARNOY & BRICK ALLEY.
Headquarters of 60th Brigade will be at BERNAFAY WOOD.
Headquarters of 48th Brigade will be at DUMMY TRENCH.

3. The Field Coys. R.E. and Pioneers attached to the 47th Brigade will not be relieved until the morning of the 5th Sept. They will then return under orders of the C.R.E. to CARNOY, the Field Company rejoining its Brigade Group there.

4. Medical units attached to the 47th and 60th Brigades will be relieved under instructions which will be issued by the A.D.M.S.

5. The 48th Brigade on taking over will detail a permanent garrison for GUILLEMONT North of MOUNT STREET which is organised as a defensive locality and stronghold. O.C. 83rd Field Coy will advise and assist. Arrangements made and garrison detailed should be reported as soon as completed.

6. In view of the complexity of the situation G.Os. C. 47th and 60th Infantry Brigades will issue strict orders that no troops are to leave their posts until relieved by troops of 48th Brigade.

7. Completion of relief will be notified by wiring the word ”Flares” and time to this Headquarters.

(sd) R.H. JAMES Lt. Col.,
for Lieut. Colonel,
General Staff 20th Division.
Issued at 1.30 p.m.
Copies to:-
Distribution overleaf.
Less 6th Bn. Oxf & Bucks L.I.

Copies to:-

No. 1. XIV Corps (G),
2. XIV Corps (Q),
3. 5th Division.
4. 7th Division.
5. 16th Division.
6. 47th Brigade.
7. 48th Brigade.
8. 59th Brigade.
9. 60th Brigade.
10. 61st Brigade.
11. C.R.A. 24th Division.
12. C.R.E.
13. A.D.M.S.
14. C.R.A. 6th Division.
15. A.P.M.
16. 11th Durham L.I.
17. Adv. “Q”.
18. XIV Corps H.A.
19. 9th Squadron R.F.C.
20. A.A. & Q.M.G.
21/24. Retained.
25. 20th Signals.