Alf Smith letter 28 Feb 1917

 

Letter with small picture of St Martin’s Plain Shorncliffe

Feb 28th 17

 

Dear Father

 

Thought I would just let you know how far we have got on in our travels at present.  I expect you have received my P.C.

We left Felixstowe at 7.30 P.M. last night, got to Liverpool Street at 10.30 P.M. went on the Met: from there to Charing Cross.  I felt very much like having a run round town on a bus you can bet; left by the 1.40 A.M. train for Shorncliffe got here at 4.30 this morning.

One is just like a prison here; there is about 1 sq. mile of very large houses all boarded in no chance of escape.  I should think it must be a fine place in peace time.

What do you think of the news lately?  It looks very good I think the Kaiser will soon have to give in or come to terms.

There are several canteens &c within the boundary of the iron cage so we can amuse ourselves alright.

I believe we leave here at 2 P.M. for Folkestone or Dover.

Will write again soon.

Hoping you are in the best of health also Jess, Ethel & Winnie.

How is Mr. & Mrs. Warman & Lilian remember me to them.

Well I think I must finish now.

 

With much love to you all

Your devoted

Son

 

 

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 27 February 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 27 February 1917

 

B.E.F.

France.

Feb 27 1917.

 

Dearest,

 

Please forgive scribbled note in pencil. I make no excuses for it so you must please pardon it.  Thank you so much for your two parcels of cigarettes and chocolate.  You are really a very naughty girl to spoil me so.  Think what I shall become.

 

We are in the midst of handing over so you can imagine the confusion & worse still as I am acting as adjutant as well as trying to cope with my other duties, but I am afraid they are left to look after themselves.

 

Last night we had a lively time and the Boche must have been very uncomfortable. No doubt you will see a reference to it in the papers.

 

Yesterday I started work in the office about 9 a.m. and finished at 3 a.m. this morning so now I am not in very good form. Thank heavens the Colonel has not worried me much.

 

I should very much like to go to sleep for a month with just you to look after me. But that is not likely to happen, I am afraid.  It would be such a delightful change to piles of papers, worn pencils, noisy telephones and typewriters.  What an awful grumbler I am.

 

I ought to be most thankful that I am not on duty in the front line in this mud and general unpleasantness but such is human nature or at least my nature.

 

How are you keeping? Quite alright I hope.  Is Mrs. Cross better?  I do hope so.  I am so sorry to hear of the death of Mrs. Griffin.  How did you get on in your errand?  I like to think of you doing such things.  They are the only things worth doing.

 

Yes I remember a cousin called ‘Tim’. So she is staying with you now.  I hope she will look after you well – but could anyone do that!

 

I must close now as I cannot write to you properly when I am being interupted all the time.

 

Au revoir

With love & kisses

Ever yours

Archie.

Fred Hammond letter 26 Feb 1917

26.2.17

BEF

Dear F & M

Just gogging along as usual.  I received Gladys letter tonight the thaw rather disorganised the mail for a day or so but everything is OK now so you will probably be getting this letter rather earlier.  I suppose it was great fun at the Inter Lecture.  Had a nice bath today and a clean change so feel a little more like a Christian.  Was rather surprised to hear from Gladys that Geo was out here.  You might send me his address so soon as poss then I can drop him a line now and again in fact I may drop across him who knows.  I suppose you will have heard good news from the Somme front ere you get this.  We are all anticipating the war will be over some time this year so everything seems cheerful.  I went to a cinema show the other night & enjoyed a good laugh.  Today has been lovely showing signs of spring.  We have a gramophone in our Billet at present.  Heard several records familiar to me which made me think of the happy time I spent with our gramophone.  How are you all keeping I am OK just shaken a winter cold off and feeling fine.  I suppose they will be after Par next.  Well I think this is all at present.  Remember me to all.

Luv Guss

Left Group Move 26 Feb 1917

SECRET                                                                                 Copy No…..7

Left Group Move                                 A.C. F/26

 

REFERENCE 3rd Aust. Divl Artillery O.O. No. 10.

 

The regrouping of Batteries of the Left Group (Left Sector) Artillery will take place as follows:-

 

  1. Night 31st Battery withdraws and moves into position at H.12.b.10.10. 4 guns

27/28/2/17       I.7.b.95.95 2 guns. and will come under the orders of C.O. Right Group.

108th Battery, 1 Section withdraws and moves into position at I.8.a.60.60., and will come under the orders of the C.O. Right Group.

 

D/175 Battery (Right Group) 1 Section moves into position at C.26.b.95.63., and will come under the orders of the O.C. 108th Battery, Left Group.

 

  1. Night A/175 Bty. (Right Group) moves into position C.26.c.41.05. 4 guns

28th Feby.        C.27.a.10.82. 2guns and will come under the orders of C.O. Left Gp.

1st March

  1. Composite The Section of the 108th Battery referred to para (1) will form part of a B attery Battery (which will be called D/3 Bty.) under the command of Capt.

W.L. Marfell.

 

  1. Command Major F.P. Derham, D.S.O., will take over command of the Right

of Rt Group    Group.

 

  1. Reliefs. All Reliefs will be carried out a Section at a time and Groups will be informed on completion of moves ordered, by the following code messages.

On Departure “Rations despatched at …. Pm”

On Arrival at new positions:- “Rations received at ….p.m.”

Battery Commanders will make necessary arrangements between themselves.

Reliefs will be completed by 10 p.m.

All registers, maps, telephone lines, and trench stores will be handed over to the incoming units for which receipts will be obtained.

 

  1. Defence (a). O.C.31st Battery will make arrangements to hand over to O.C.

of the Line.     A/175 all Maps, Registrations, Log books, Trench stores and full particulars of Zone Night lines etc. at present covered by 31st Bty.

 

(b). A/175 Bty. will be responsible for the Front covered by 31st Battery from 6 p.m. 1st March, by which time Night lines and retaliation points should be registered.

 

(c). From 6 p.m. on the night of the 27th; inst until 6 p.m. 1st March (when A/175 will take over the defence of the Sector at present covered by 31st Bty.) the 29th & 30th Btys. will be responsible for the undermentioned Sector of the line.

29th Bty. From I.5.b.20.80. – C.23.c.80.70.

30th Bty. From C.23.c.80.70. – The Lys River.

 

(d). Night Line.  Night lines for para (c) will be as follows:-

 

29th Bty.          (1) C.29.c.70.50.

(2) C.29.c.40.90.

(3) C.29.a.35.10.

(4) C.29.a.60.40.

(5) C.29.a.80.90.

(6) C.23.c.90.40.

30th Bty.          (1) C.23.d.05.90.

(2) C.23.b.10.45.

(3) C.17.d.00.10.

(4) C.17.c.85.55.

(5) C.17.a.50.15.

(6) C.17.a.30.50.

 

Registration of the above night lines by 29th and 30th.  batteries will be done forthwith.

 

31st Bty. 7.      O.C. 30th Battery will detail an Officer to report to O.C. 31st Battery

O.P.                 to be taken to 31st Battery’s  O.P. – PAIKAKARIKI – to have

the country observed by 31st Battery pointed out and described to him.

O.C. 31st Battery will arrange for this to be done by an Officer intimately acquainted with sector covered by his Battery.

O.C. 30th Battery will arrange that PAIKAKARIKI is manned during the hours of daylight by an officer from the 30th Battery from the time of the 31st Battery withdrawing from its present position until A/175th Battery takes over the defence of the 31st Battery Sector.

O.C. 30th Battery will also arrange to have direct telephone communication from PAIKAKARIKI to 30th Battery established before 31st Battery moves out.

 

Ammunition.   31st Battery will arrange to transfer all its ammunition to the new

  1. position less 300 rounds (50% ‘A’ & 50% ‘AX’) to be left in pits at 31st Battery’s Detached Section’s present position.

 

No re-arrangements of ammunition will take place amongst Howitzer Batteries.

 

31st Battery will report to Left Group Headquarters at the same time as they notify their departure, the amount of ammunition removed and the balance remaining (specifying the natures).

A/175th Battery will fill up their echelons from their present positions and dump this amount at their new position.

 

Staff for 9.     Staff and equipment to be supplied from the Left Group to Right

Right Group.   Group will be as follows:-

C.O. Major F.P. DERHAM D.S.O.

O.O. 2/Lt. C.L. MILLER

2 telephones (8th Bde. H.Qrs will supply these)

 

Staff for 10.    108th Battery will detach the undermentioned personnel and signalling D/3 Bty.     equipment:-

1 Section Commander.

1 Section Personnel and guns and gun stores complete.

4 Telephonists.

2 Telephones.

31st Battery will detail 2/Lieut LIPP who will be attached to D/3 Battery.

The above mentioned officers and telephonists (with 2 telephones) will report to Capt. Marfell at 107th Battery at 10 a.m. on the 28th inst.

 

  1. Wagon All Wagon Lines of present Left Group Batteries or Sections and also

Lines.              of A/175 and D/175 Batteries or Sections will remain as at present and ammunition, rations, etc., to Batteries or Sections new positions will be transported therefrom.

 

12 Administration.      The Batteries and sections of the 8th F.A. Brigade detached by this order to form new Right Group will continue to be administered by C.O. 8th F.A. Brigade.

They will be under the order of the C.O. Right Group for Tactical Purposes.

A/175 Battery and Section D/175 Battery which will be attached to Left Group, will continue to be administered by the C.O. 175th Brigade R.F.A., but will be under the orders of C.O. Left Group for Tactical Purposes.

 

ACKNOWLEDGE.

 

26.2.17

** Allsop

Lieut. Colonel

Commanding Left Group Artillery.

 

Copy No.        1. 3rd D.A.H.Q.

  1. 9th Inf Bde.
  2. 29th Battery
  3. 30th Battery
  4. 31st Battery
  5. 108th Battery
  6. Right Group
  7. ”A” Bty 175th
  8. ”D”   do do
  9. Centre Group
  10. War Diary
  11. File.

Centre Group FA Opn Order 26 Feb 1917

SECRET.                                            CENTRE GROUP                  Copy No. Move

Date 26-2-17

 

CENTRE GROUP FIELD ARTILLERY.

OPERATION ORDER NO. 28.

 

Reference: – 3rd Aust Divl. Arty. O.O. No. 10.

 

  1. The re-grouping of the Batteries mentioned in the above order will take place as follows:-

Night 27th/28th inst 27th Battery withdraws and moves into position at I.8.a.70.10.

Night 28th/1st March 107th Battery 1 Section moves into position at I.8.a.6.6.  All arrangements to be made between Group Commanders.   Major F.P. Derham D.S.O., will take over the command of Right Group, and Capt. W.L. Marfell of the composite Howitzer Battery at 10 a.m. 1st March.

(Composite How. Battery will be called D/3 Battery).

All reliefs will be carried out a section at a time.

D.A.H.Q. B.H.Qrs TO BE INFORMED ON COMPLETION OF MOVES ORDERED.

 

  1. 27th Battery will take over ammunition dumped at A/175.

All 18 Pdr. Batteries changing positions will fill up their echelons from their present positions, and dump this amount at their new positions.

No re-arrangement of ammunition will take place among the Howitzer Batteries.

 

  1. STAFF FOR RIGHT GROUP. Adjutant, Lieut. T. Morell.

The above Officer will report to Major Derham at Right Group Headquarters at 10 a.m. 28th instant.

The 7th Brigade will supply 2 Telephones.

 

  1. STAFF FOR D/3 BATTERY. C.O. Capt. W.L. Marfell.

The Section from the 107th Battery will be detached with 1 Section Commander, 4 Telephonists, and 2 telephones each.

2/Lieut. Lipp, 8th F.A. Brigade, will be attached to this Battery.

These Officers and men will report to Capt. Marfell at the 107th Battery at 10 a.m. 28th instant.

 

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE.

 

Signature unreadable.

Lieutenant Colonel.

Commanding, Centre Group Field Artillery.

Issued at …….

 

Centre Group Field Arty Op Order 26 Feb 1917

SECRET.                                            CENTRE GROUP                  Copy No. Move

Date 26-2-17

 

CENTRE GROUP FIELD ARTILLERY.

OPERATION ORDER NO. 28.

 

Reference: – 3rd Aust Divl. Arty. O.O. No. 10.

 

  1. The re-grouping of the Batteries mentioned in the above order will take place as follows:-

Night 27th/28th inst 27th Battery withdraws and moves into position at I.8.a.70.10.

Night 28th/1st March 107th Battery 1 Section moves into position at I.8.a.6.6.  All arrangements to be made between Group Commanders.   Major F.P. Derham D.S.O., will take over the command of Right Group, and Capt. W.L. Marfell of the composite Howitzer Battery at 10 a.m. 1st March.

(Composite How. Battery will be called D/3 Battery).

All reliefs will be carried out a section at a time.

D.A.H.Q. B.H.Qrs TO BE INFORMED ON COMPLETION OF MOVES ORDERED.

 

  1. 27th Battery will take over ammunition dumped at A/175.

All 18 Pdr. Batteries changing positions will fill up their echelons from their present positions, and dump this amount at their new positions.

No re-arrangement of ammunition will take place among the Howitzer Batteries.

 

  1. STAFF FOR RIGHT GROUP. Adjutant, Lieut. T. Morell.

The above Officer will report to Major Derham at Right Group Headquarters at 10 a.m. 28th instant.

The 7th Brigade will supply 2 Telephones.

 

  1. STAFF FOR D/3 BATTERY. C.O. Capt. W.L. Marfell.

The Section from the 107th Battery will be detached with 1 Section Commander, 4 Telephonists, and 2 telephones each.

2/Lieut. Lipp, 8th F.A. Brigade, will be attached to this Battery.

These Officers and men will report to Capt. Marfell at the 107th Battery at 10 a.m. 28th instant.

 

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE.

 

Signature unreadable.

Lieutenant Colonel.

Commanding, Centre Group Field Artillery.

Issued at …….

 

Order for move of “I” Battery R.H.A. 26 Feb 1917

SECRET.

DA/24/13.

To Right Group Artillery

 

Herewith copies of Order for move of “I” Battery R.H.A. on 2nd March, 1917.

 

Will you please transmit the information to the Battery concerned, and instruct them to send a representative to get into touch with their Supply Officer with reference to the required rations.

 

Battery should march out with echelons full, and will return any surplus ammunition to L’EPINETTE DUMP before starting.

 

With reference to para. 7, please forward a return, showing number of guns and rounds to be taken, to this Office by wire before 4 p.m. on 1st instant.

 

Please also cause a Marching-out State to be rendered to this Office immediately on departure.

 

J.M. Irwin

Captain

Staff Captain R.A.

3rd Australian Division.

Headquarters

26-2-17.

Draft movement order 26 Feb 1917

SECRET                                                                                             S/554/1     MOVE

 

RIGHT GROUP LEFT SECTOR ARTILLERY.

 

AMENDMENTS.

 

  1. Night 28 Feb/1st March 1917. D/175 one section will not move from position at I.8.a.6.6. and the incoming Section of 107th Battery will occupy the position at I.8.a.35.45.  W.L. Marfell will take over the command of the composite Howitzer Battery D/3 at 10 a.m. 1st March.

 

  1. ARTILLERY SUPPORT.
    • On the Night 28th Feb/1st March and until further orders, the line will be held by two 18 pdr batteries as follows: – 27th Battery at I.8.a.70.10.

B/175 Battery at I.13.b.00.85.

assisted by

C/175 Battery at H.24.c.6.1.) who are allotted

H.30.a.4.0.)Supplementary Night Lines.

 

  • Battery Zones are.

27th Battery I.17.a.00.25. to I.21.b.75.20. G.F.L.

B/175           I.21.b.75.20. to I.27.a.1.9.

 

  • Batteries will support Companies as follows:-

Battery       Battalion         Company         Trenches.

27th Bat.     Left                 Left HG.41     (Gap A. Chards farm

(Locality.

(Lille Road Locality.

“                “                   Centre             HH.8   (Cowgate Gap &

(Locality

(Winedale Gap.

“                “                   Right HH.7.    Winedale Locality.

B/175         Right              Left HH4        (Salop Gap & Locality

(Rue de Bois Gap.

“              “                   Centre. HH3   (Rue de Bois Locality

(Willow Gap.

“               “                   Right HM.9.    (Willow Locality

(Park Gap & Locality.

 

  • Night Lines allotted are

27th Battery                 B/175                          C/175

(Supplementary)

  1. I.16.c.05.03. 1. I.26.b.38.88. 1. I.21.c.15.00.
  2. I.16.c.62.40. 2. I.20.d.90.37. 2. I.21.c.50.15.
  3. I.16.d.00.58. 3. I.21.c.45.71. 3. I.21.d.20.68.
  4. I.16.d.30.80. 4. I.21.d.03.70. 4. I.21.b.70.20.
  5. I.16.b.40.00. 5. I.21.b.18.20. 5. I.22.a.15.45.
  6. I.16.b.60.50. 6. I.21.b.60.60. 6. I.22.a.55.82.

 

The Night O.P. GLENFIELD will be manned by D/3 Howr Battery. From dusk to daylight one officer  & three telephonists will be on duty there.

 

  • Liaison Officers will be supplied nightly by

27th Battery for Left Battalion.

B/175 Battery} for Right Battalion

C/175       “    }

 

  • Liaison Communications will be direct from Companies to their respective batteries. Arrangements will be made for S.O.S. lines to Batteries by Signalling Officers concerned.

 

  • The above arrangements will come into force at 5 p.m. on the night of Feb 28 1917

 

A.A. Laporte Payne

Lieut & Adjt.

Amendment to Battery order 26 Feb 1917

SECRET.

S/554/1

 

RIGHT GROUP LEFT SECTOR ARTILLERY

 

AMENDMENTS

 

  1. Night 28th Feb/1st March 1917.

D/175. One section will not move from position at I.8.a.6.6. and the incoming section of 107th Battery will occupy the position at I.8.a.35.45.

Capt W.L. Marfell will take over the command of the composite howitzer battery D/3 at 10 a.m. 1st March.

 

  1. ARTILLERY SUPPORT.
  • On the Night 28th Feb/1st March and until further orders the line will be held by two 18 pdr Batteries as follows:-27th Battery at I.8.a.70.1 B/175 Batty at I.13.b.00.85.

assisted by

C/175 Batty at H.24.c.6.1.) Who are allotted

H.30.a.4.0.)  Supplementary Night Lines.

 

The 1st Battery will not be responsible for the front covered by A/175 on the night 28th Feb/1st March.

 

  • Battery zones are:-

27th Battery I.17.a.00.25. to I.21.b.75.20.  G.F.L.

B/175         I.21.b.75.20. to I.27.a.1.9.

 

  • Batteries will support Companies as follows:-

Battery            Battalion         Company         Trenches.

27th Bty              Left               Left H.G.41.  (Gap A. Chards Farm              (Locality

(Lille Road Locality.

 

“                  “                 Centre H.H.8.   (Cowgate Gap and (Locality; Winedale Gap

“                  “                    Right H.H.7.   Winedale Locality.

B/175               Right              Left H.H.4.     (Salop Gap and Locality                                 (Rue de Bois Gap.

“                  “                  Centre H.H.3.  (Rue de Bois Locality (Willow Gap.

“                    “                  Right H.M.9.   (Willow Locality

(Park Gap and Locality.

 

  • Night Lines allotted are:-

27th Battery                             B/175                          C/175

(Supplementary)

  1. I.16.c.O5.03. 1. I.26.b.38.88 1. I.21.c.15.00.
  2. I.16.c.62.40. 2. I.20.d.90.37. 2. I.21.c.50.15.
  3. 3. I.16.d.00.58. I.21.c.45.71. 3. I.21.c.20.68.

4.I.16.d.30.80.                        4. I.21.d.03.70.           4. I.21.b.70.20.

5.I.16.b.40.03.             5. I.21.b.18.20.            5. I.22.a.15.45.

  1. I.16.b.60.50. 6. I.21.b.60.60. 6. I.22.a.55.82.

 

The Night O.P. GLENFIELD will be manned by D/3 How. Batty.

From dusk to daylight one officer and three telephonists will be on duty there.

 

  • Liaison Officers will be supplied nightly by:-

27th Battery for Left Battalion.

B/175 Batty. )

C/175 Batty. ) For Right Battalion.

 

  • Liaison communications will be direct from Companies to their respective batteries. Arrangements will be made for S.O.S. lines to Batteries by Signalling Officers concerned.

 

  • The above arrangements will come into force at 5 p.m. on the night of February 28th

 

ACKNOWLEDGE

 

Lieutenant Colonel R.F.A.

Commanding Right Group Artillery.

Left Sector

26-2-17

Distribution:-

B.M.R.A. 3rd Aust Div.

B.M. 10th Bde.

C.O. Centre Group.

C.O. Left Group.

I/R.H.A.

A/175

B/175

C/175

D/175

31st Batty.

27th Batty.

Major Derham D.S.O.

Capt. W.L. Marfell.

FILE.

 

3rd Aust. Divn. ”G” Move 25 Feb 1917

SECRET                                                                                                         B.M./S/74

 

MOVE

 

3rd Aust. Divn. ”G”

Groups

3rd D.A.C.

Major F.P. Derham D.S.O.

 

Reference : 3rd Aust. Divl. Arty. O.O. No 10.

 

The re-grouping of the batteries mentioned in the above Order will take place as follows:-

 

Night

27th/28th inst. – 27th Battery withdraws and moves into position at I.8.a.70.10.

31st Battery withdraws and moves into position at H.12.b.1.1. – 4 guns

I.7.b.95.95. – 2 “

“I” Bty. R.H.A. withdraws and moves into Wagon Lines.

108th Bty. 1 Section withdraws and moves into position at I.8.a.6.6.

D/175 Bty. 1 Section withdraws and moves into position at

C.26.b.95.63.

 

Night

28th/1st Mar. – A/175 Bty. withdraws and moves into position at

C.26.c.41.05 – 4 guns.

C.27.a.10.82. – 2   “

107th Bty. 1 Section moves into position at I.8.a.6.6.

 

All arrangements to be made between Group Commanders.

 

Major F.P. Derham D.S.O. will take over the command of Right Group, and Capt W.L. Marfell of the composite Howitzer Battery at 10 a.m. 1st Mar. (Composite How. Battery will be called D/3 Battery)

 

All Reliefs will be carried out a Section at a time.

 

D.A.H.Q. TO BE INFORMED ON COMPLETION OF MOVES ORDERED.

 

AMMUNITION. 27th Battery will take over the ammunition dumped at A/175.

31st Battery will arrange to transfer all it’s ammunition to the new position, less 300 rounds for the incoming Section.

 

All 18 Pdr batteries changing positions will fill up their echelons from their present positions, and dump this amount at their new positions.

 

No re-arrangement of ammunition will take place among the Howitzer batteries.

 

Staff for new Right Group Headquarters and composite Howitzer Battery will be as follows:-

STAFF FOR RIGHT GROUP.           C.O. – Major F.P. Derham D.S.O.

Adjt. Lieut. T. Morell

O.O. 2/Lt. C.L. Miller.

 

D.A.C. will supply :  2 Clerks (1 draughtsman & 1 Typist)

8 Signallers.

1 Armament Artificer.

7th & 8th F.A. Bdes will supply :  2 Telephones each.

 

The above Officers and men will report to Major Derham at Right Group Headquarters at 10 a.m. 28th instant.

 

STAFF FOR D/3 Bty.            C.O. – Capt W.L. Marfell.

The Sections from the 107th & 108th Batteries will be detached with 1 Section

Commander, 4 Telephonists, and 2 telephones each.

 

2/Lieut. Lipp, 8th F.A. Brigade will be attached to this Battery.

 

These Officers and men will report to Capt. Marfell at 107th Battery at 10  a.m. 28th instant.

 

ACKNOWLEDGE.

W.A. Nicholl

Major R.A.,

B.M. R.A., 3rd Aust Divn.

Headquarters

24.2.1917