Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 10 Sept 1914

Dick-Cunyngham letter to wife dated 10 Sept 1914
Sept 10
My darling one,
I am such a happy boy with a mail today, letter 2 & 3 arrived also 3 others, and we have been longing for news for days & days – my precious one what a journey back you must have had, do you mean to say you did it all alone without a man of any kind? I always understood you were taking a man – I heard from Charlie your journey was adventurous & was really getting anxious – The little photo is quite sweet, and it is so nice to have it.

You must all be pleased with the news now. The tables seem turned in the opposite direction and the only bad point is the discomfort of following behind an army – filth & dirt are not pleasing but our Med Off is tackling it well.

I managed to get some cigars & cigarettes so am full of smokes. Am wondering if my uniform will hang out much longer – my one coat is dirty my tartan knickers are stained, petrol only seems to clean them for a day or so – we had rain yesterday which has laid the dust & it is cooler – flies are beginning to increase & worry.

I fear there are many anxious ones at home, the long list of heroes – I cannot help thinking that some of the Regt will eventually turn up & that they are not all dead, it cannot be so. So many have turned up suddenly from anywhere.

Country now is very short of supplies, we have to send the French officers in cars to forage in the rear – but all our supplies come up wonderfully well fed with bread, meat, cheese, bacon jam & Rhum when wanted – motors have made enormous differences in supply – we are halted today, have time to settle up my work & write.

Prisoners are passing through they say they are very glad to be taken by us, and our men are good to them giving them water & rations.

Daily Graphic of 8th actually here today – I enclose a line to mother, please send on.
All my love, god keep you safe

With envelope addressed to Mrs J. Dick Cunyngham, Mount View, Crownhill S.O., S. Devon. England. Signed Dick Cunyngham. Passed by Censor No 224 cachet. Postmarked ARMY POST OFFICE 42 SP 13 14 & ARMY BASE POST OFFICE dated SP 17. 14


George Ryan’s letter home dated 10 Sep 1915

George Ryan’s letter home dated 10 Sep 1915

On headed notepaper with regimental crest 9th Middlesex Regt.
10 Sept 1915

Dear M & F,

Thanks very much for your letter of Aug 19. I also received a note from Cousin Ellen in an envelope addressed by you.

I suppose Peg will have gone home by the time you receive this so next time you write there thank her for her letter, for me. I hope Horace is alright again now.

Well it seems pretty certain we are going to shift somewhere very shortly. This week’s rumour is that we are going across the other side of India somewhere near Bombay. We’ve given in our old Khaki serge & we are going to draw some new stuff to-morrow. Serge is never worn down on the plains so we might be going to a hill station. We shall not move for another month yet I don’t think as I overheard the Captain say he didn’t want to move for another 5 or 6 weeks as if we went before that it would mean leaving too many men behind in hospital.

Very few chaps stamp their letters home, they just write “On Active Service” so I’m going to start the same dodge. It’s only a penny a week, still I might as well have it as this awful Post Office out here. If you do have to pay anything of course let me know, but I don’t think you will.

Hope you are all well.
Yr loving son

Report on operations 7 September 1916


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.

WAR DIARY of H.Q. 29th DIV ARTY. September 1917

H.Q. 29th Div Arty
September 1917

September 1917


Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information

On 1st September Brigadier General G.H.A. WHITE C.M.G., D.S.O., handed over command of the 29th D.A. to Brigadier General E.H. STEVENSON D.S.O., General WHITE going as C.R.A. to 30th Division on exchange with General STEVENSON.
On September 1st, 15th Brigade R.H.A. and 17th Brigade R.F.A. moved from their Wagon Lines to the PROVEN Area, marching on September 2nd to rest billets at POLINCOVE near AUDRICQ, where they were joined by H.Q. 29th D.A. on September 5th. 29th D.A.C. remained in the line assisting Left Artillery (XIVth Corps) in the supply of ammunition and material in the construction of forward positions in the Valley of the STEENBEEK. In addition to parties from the D.A.C., each Battery left behind an Officer with a party of men to push on the work on these forward positions as their early occupation for the support of a further advance was anticipated. On 10th September 13th Battery (17th Bde. R.F.A.) marched from rest to HERZEELE and on 11th September to the neighbourhood of ELVERDINGHE where it came under the orders of RIGHT ARTILLERY (XIVth Corps). On September 14th and 15th the remaining units of 15th Brigade R.H.A. and 17th Brigade R.F.A. marched back to their old Wagon Lines near ELVERDINGHE billeting at HERZEELE on the night 14th/15th September.
On the night 16th/17th September batteries went into action under the orders of LEFT ARTILLERY (XIVth Corps). H.Q., 29th D.A. returned to “J” Camp on September 16th.
At 6 p.m. on 21st September C.R.A. 29th Division took over command of LEFT ARTILLERY (XIVth Corps) from C.R.A. Guards Division, the relief of the Infantry of Guards Division by the Infantry of 29th Division being completed on the morning of September 22nd.
LEFT ARTILLERY at this time consisted of:-
Left Group Right Group
74th Brigade R.F.A.) 11th Army Bde. R.F.A.
75th Brigade R.F.A.) Guards D.A. 17th Brigade R.F.A.)
(13th Bty. Rejoined 17th Bde. on Sept. 22nd ) 15th Brigade R.H.A.) 29th D.A.
On September 22nd/23rd 74th and 75th Brigades R.F.A. withdrew from the line to rest in the back areas, LEFT ARTILLERY (XIVth Corps) then consisted of 11th Army Bde. R.F.A., 15th Bde. R.H.A. & 17th Bde. R.F.A. each of which dealt direct with 29th D.A.H.Q.
On September 26th artillery action was taken in support of an attack by troops on our right, the Infantry on our front taking no part.

Appendices as under are attached:-

Appendix I – Orders for the march of 15th Brigade R.H.A. and 17th Brigade R.F.A. to and from rest area at POLINCOVE.
Appendix II – Orders for artillery action on September 26th.
Appendix III – Various Orders and Instructions issued by 29th D.A. during September.
Appendix IV – Strength at beginning and end of month, giving casualties and drafts received.
Appendix V – Honours and Awards received.
Appendix VI – Location statements for September.

NOTE: – Special maps of this area were appended to War Diary for August.

Signature unreadable.
Captain R.A.
Brigade Major, 29th Divisional Artillery