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Trench Mortar Battalions
22nd Apr 1916 Working Parties
17th July 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery: Nothing to report all quiet.
21st June 1916 Trench Mortar Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix Noulette report there was much trench mortar activity about 1200. The enemy trench mortars were also very active and scored two hits on our lines wounding 2/Lt Folingsby 237 Brigade, attached to Y236 Trench Mortar Battery, also wounding Lt Kimber 237 Brigade acting as Liason Officer to the Left Battalion. Our Battery did great damage the day before to wire at enemy's front line. Trench Mortars have had this strafe on retaliation. GOC’s Division HQ sent a message to Trench Mortar officers commending their work. There was again a lot of aerial activity. Lt Kimber and 2nd Lieut Folingsby both died of wounds the same night. (Thomas Grueber Folingsby, aged 20, is buried at Aix-Noulette Cemetery Extension and Henry Cyril Dixon Kimber, aged 22, is buried Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension. Both of 7th London Brigade RFA now 237th London Brigade.)
22nd June 1916 Very Little Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix Noulette. Very little shelling today. Enemy put 6 rounds of 4.2 inch shells in A237 Battery's new position. The light for aerial observation was good and a party of enemy aeroplanes flew over Aix Noulette this afternoon. They came back about two hours later followed by our planes.
The following officers arrived from England. 2/Lt G.N. Gaburn - posted to C236 Battery. 2/Lt Wills - posted to C236 Batttery. 2/Lt E.H. de B West - posted to D236 Battery.
Other movements. 2/Lt Gordon Tombe attached to C236 Battery leaves to rejoin his unit 47th Divisional Ammunition Column. Lt Pilditch, Adjutant, 237th Brigade RFA, has left this Group HQ. Lt Tausley, Orderly Officer, 237th Brigade RFA, is attached to this HQ. One of the guns of Y236 Trench Mortar Battery had a premature(shell exploding early) resulting in one man killed and 2 men wounded.
23rd June 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report All quiet. Hostile aeroplanes were very active. B223 Battery commanded by Major T----- joined Right Group and was positioned south of A237 Battery (south of the edge of Noulette Wood)
23rd Jun 1916 Shelling
24th June 1916 Wire Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix Noulette (War Diary very faint) All batteries of this group shelled wire ---- to ---- zones. Y/47 Trench Mortar Battery (Lt Brown) fired 50 rounds wire registering and retaliation on enemy trench mortars. Much less aerial activity owing to bad weather. Lt Brown attached to Y047 Trench Mortar Battery. A gun of Y047 Trench Mortar Battery blew up killing the Bombardier in charge of the gun.
24th Jun 1916 Trench Mortars
25th June 1916 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix Noulette: Divisional Artillery continued wire cutting in conjunction with the Trench Mortar Batteries. Enemy T.Ms also active at times during the day, but stopped firing when fired on by our Batteries. Aeroplane activity was much less owing to the weather. The sound of heavy bombardment came from just north of the Angres Sector at about 1230.
26th June 1916 Wire cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix Noulette. Wire cutting and fire on enemy mortars continued throughout the day. Enemy trench mortars were active on our front, but were silenced by our artillery. At 2330 2nd Division opened a heavy bombardment of enemy trenches on Vimy Ridge. The enemy barrage was fairly heavy for a time but by midnight had practically ceased while our fire carried on until about 0045. At 0445 an exactly similar state of affairs was observed opposite the Loos Salient, very little gun fire was heard and infantry confined themselves chiefly to bombs and machine gun fire.
27th June 1916 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix Noulette report 18 pounder Batteries and Y047 Trench Mortar Battery were wire cutting all day. At 2345 Divisional Artillery opened a bombardment along the whole of the Divisional Front. Under cover of this, gas was let off at 0120. Artillery fire became intense and at 0125 our infantry raided German lines. At present time ----- --- ----. The enemy retaliated very little with 5.9s and heavy minenwerfer (mortars) on our front line. Also a few shells on roads going up to Aix Noulette. All was quiet by 0230. The gas was discharged from the Angres Sector. The artillery barrage was excellent and very heavy.
28th June 1916 Bad Light 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix Noulette: Batteries engaged in wire cutting, but light very bad for observation during the morning. At about 2145 artillery was very active in Loos Sector. Capt Gayman C236 Battery reverts to the rank of Lieutenant.
28th June Letters Home The raider did not get much rest for on the 27th and 28th the Battalions of 34th Division began to move forward. This in preparation for the opening of the attack. For the previous four days the British Artillery had been bombarding the German trenches. Every man in the Brigade was aware that the opening of the offensive was very close. Before setting off for the front line men wrote what could be their last letters home. However the date and time of attack was to be delayed by forty eight hours. Heavy summer rain had fallen on the 26th and 27th there was a great possibility of flooding. On the 28th June the decision was taken to postpone the attack. The Divisional and Brigade staff Officers had the job of halting and turning around those battalions on their way to the front line.
29th June 1916 High Winds 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix Noulette. A very high wind made wire cutting very difficult especially by the Bois en Hach which, owing to the nature of the ground and undergrowth, is very difficult to see. C236 and B236 Batteries put forward a gun for wire cutting. Lt Yenken C236 Battery arrived from England, but went at once to the Field Ambulance Unit again.
At 2130 2nd Division opened a short but very intense bombardment of Vimy Ridge and the enemy replied with a short barrage.
30th June 1916 Wire Cutting Continues 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix Noulette report wire received from GHQ that 3rd & 4th Armies launched attacks at 0730 this morning in conjunction with the French and results so far are satisfactory. Batteries continue wire cutting and aeroplane activity is much greater than yesterday.
1st July 1916 Very Quiet Day 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette report a very quiet day. Germans displayed slightly more aeroplane activity. A236 Battery and C236 Battery carried out wire cutting with single gun.
1st Jul 1916 Over the Top
2nd July 1916 Quiet Day 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette. 2/Lt Gunn C236 Battery moved from post and returned to his battery. A quiet day with enemy retaliation feeble in reply to bombarding their front line and Vimy Ridge.
3rd July 1916 Wire cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette report Batteries wire cutting. B237 battery was shelled with 4.2s at about 0900 and one gun was damaged. The enemy shelled battery positions on the Aix-Noulette - Bully Grenay road all morning with 5.9 and 4.2 inch guns. Minewerfen (mortars) were active about 1600. At 2230 the enemy blew up a mine on Vimy Ridge but very little artillery fire followed. Another mine was exploded at 0030. At 0145 our artillery open a strong barrage in support of a raid by the 15th London Regiment on salient in Bois en Hache. The raid lasted twenty minutes with result at present not known. Enemy retaliation was much heavier than in the former raid. All was quiet again by 0230.
4th July 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix-Noulette the enemy was active in the Angres Setor this morning with trench mortars, otherwise all quiet.
4th Jul 1916 Trench Raid
5th July 1916 Observation Impossible 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette report Observation impossible so all quiet on this front.
5th July 1916 Working Parties
6th July 1916 Trench Motors Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix-Noulette. 2/Lt Wildes C236 Battery proceeded on Trench Mortar Course. During the early morning enemy trench mortars were active on Gouchez II to which our own retaliated. Observation was again difficult owing to bad weather.
7th July 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette. All quiet. 2nd Lt Woollett transferred from D236 Battery to Y047 TM Battery.
8th July 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix-Noulette: All quiet.
9th July 1916 Billets and Roads Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery. at Aix-Noulette. Col. Peel took over command of Right Group. Col Lowe and Adjutant along with HQ Staff moved to new billets in Helsin. All quiet on this front. During the night the enemy's billets and ration roads were shelled in conjunction with IV Corps heavy artillery.
10th July 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report All quiet on this front.
11th July 1916 Enemy Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette report enemy active about 1800 on Left Battalion HQ, our Howitzers retaliated on enemy support line. After a few rounds the enemy stopped firing.
12th July 1916 Weather Bad 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix-Noulette. Officers and men of 63rd Division attached to C236 Battery for instruction. Batteries carried out small strafes on enemy billets, field gun positions and dumps. Weather rather bad for aeroplane observation.
13th July 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigad 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery are at Aix-Noulette. Batteries carried out strafes on road, dump etc. B236 Battery fired 26 rounds on ---- de HIR---LLE obtaining several hits. Trench Mortars cut wire from 1430 to 1800 covered by fire from 18 pounders.
14th July 1916 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette. Trench Mortars continue wire cutting covered by fire from 18 pounders. At 1600 enemy retaliated for our wire cutting on Straight - Huntrench and Boshwalk. Our artillery retaliated strongly and the enemy ceased firing.
15th July 1916 Wire cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette. Wire cutting by Trench Mortars and 18 pounders during the afternoon. The enemy retaliated as yesterday on the Straight & Boshwalk, otherwise all quiet.
16th July 1916 Cutting Wire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix-Noulette: Trench Mortars wire cutting in afternoon from 1500 to 1730. At 0100 on the night of 16-17th July, the 20th London Regiment carried out a raid on enemy lines at a small salient north of Bois en Hache. The raid was supported by intense artillery fire with 2” Mortars and Stokes Mortars. Enemy retaliation was slight consisting of a few Light High Velocity shells & trench mortars. Infantry report that German front line trench was entered, dugs outs were bombed and a machine gun was destroyed. Our casualties were light. All was quiet again by 0145.
18th July 1916 Slight Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix-Noulette: Except for slight shelling of Boche Trench & the Straight everything was all quiet. 141st Infantry Brigade relieved by the 63rd Division.
19th July 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report All quiet.
20th July 1916 Enemy Mine Blown 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: Quiet all day. Enemy blew up mine by Double Crassier at 2230.
20th Jul 1916 Shelling
21st July 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery: All quiet. Nothing to report.
22nd July 1916 Batteries Fire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Aix-Noulette: The Batteries fired on enemy trenches from 1400 to 1800. Retaliation was slight.
23rd July 1916 Straffing 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aix-Noulette: Our artillery carried out a strafe at 0100 of 20 rounds per battery. The enemy was quick to retaliate on our support line.
24th July 1916 Personnel 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Hersin report: 2/Lt Wildes returned from Trench Mortar Course. During the course he was sent to the Neuve Chapple front to take command of a Trench Mortar Battery during the operations there.
24th Jul 1916 On the Move
26th July 1916 Relocations At Hersin and Sains-les-Pernes, 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery less Battery Commanders, one subaltern & one layer per battery to hand over to 316th Brigade RFA., Marched to Sains les Pernes via Barlin-Alldain-Devieu-Camblain-Chatelagn and Pernes. The Brigade was inspected by the Brigadier General R.A. at Barlin and arrived at Sains les Pernes by 1730.
27th July 1916 236th London Brigade Relocate 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery move to Sains les Pernes. Batteries at disposal of Battery Commanders.
28th July 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Sains les Pernes Batteries at disposal of Battery Commanders.
29th July 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Battery Commanders arrived at Sains les Pernes from action after handing over to 316th Brigade RFA. Officers and NCOs of Y047 Trench Mortar Battery reported at Sains les Pernes.
29th Jul 1916 On the Move
30th July 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade, Royal Field Artillery moved to Aubrometz. The start was made from Sains les Pernes at 0430 and arrived at Aubrometz at 1230, marching by way of Tangry-Hestrus-Waugans-Beauvars-Linzeux and Fillievries. A halt was made at Wavrans for water. The 47th Division is attached to 3rd Army from 30th July.
31st July 1916 Inspections 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Aubrometz. Batteries at disposal of Battery Commanders. OC. Brigade and Adjutant with representatives of each battery, inspected the guns of the 21st Division which have just withdrawn from action at the S.
1st August 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery leave Aubrometz. Brigade marched to Beauvoir Riviere. The Brigade started at 1545 and marched by way of Buire au Bois - Noeux and Waurans.The Brigade arrived at Beauvoir Rivierre by 1900. The Brigade was inspected by Brigadier General R.A. at Noeux.
2nd August 1916 Daily Battery Report 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Beauvoir Riviere. Batteries at disposal of Battery Commanders.
3rd August 1916 Sport and Concert 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery are at Beauvoir Riviere. Batteries at disposal of Battery Commanders. In the afternoon a Brigade swimming sports was held with great success and in the evening a camp fire concert was held. Col Kennedy 21st London Battalion sent the Battalion Band which was a great success and the concert ended at 2200.
4th August 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Batteries at the disposal of Battery Commanders.
5th August 1916 Moves 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery leave Beauvoir Riviere (now Beauvoir-Wavans). Brigade marched to Vitz Villeroy and Villeroy sur Authie. Brigade HQ being at the latter. Brigade marched off at 0445 and arrived at Vitz Villeroy at 0900 marching by Auxi le Chateau and Willencourt.
6th August 1916 Recce 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Vitz-Villeroy. The Brigade carried out a minor recce in conjunction with 235th Brigade RFA.
7th August 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Batteries at disposal of Battery Commanders.
8th August 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery: Batteries at disposal of Battery Commanders.
9th August 1916 Divisional Field Day 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery billeted at Vitz-Villeroy took part in Divisional Field Day. The Brigade massed at Divisional Artillery HQ near Roofles and, after going over a pontoon bridge constructed by Divisional Royal Engineers, proceeded to take up positions in the neighbourhood of Caumont. After batteries had been in action until 1430, retirement to billets was ordered.
10th August 1916 Movements 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery leave Vitz-Villeroy, Brigade moved to bivouac site near Lanches. A start was made from Vitz Villeroy at 0600 and it arrived at Lanches about 1230, marching by Willencourt-Bernatre-Argenville and Beau Metz - a halt being made at Argenville for water.
11th August 1916 Movements 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery depart Lanches and the Brigade moved to Havernas with a start being made at 0630 via Behcuil-Panaples. Arrived in Havernas at 0915.
12th August 1916 Movements 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery leave Havernas and the Brigade moved to Behencourt, marching off at 1200 and arriving at 1800. The route was via Flesselles, Villers Bocage, Molliens au Bois and Montigany. OC. Brigade and Battery Commanders proceeded to look at the new Gallery position near Mametz now occupied by 23 Divisional RFA.
13th August 1916 Action Positions 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Behencourt. C236 Battery and sections of A236, B236 and D236 Batteries move up to action positions at Bottom Wood. The remainder stay at Behencourt.
14th August 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report the remaining sections of A236, B236 and D236 Batteries move into action positions at Bottom Wood. Gunner Wood and Gunner Mason injured through GS Wagon overturning.
15th August 1916 Work Done 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood. 46th Infantry Brigade in trenches. Quiet day. Work done on positions. Quiet on the front
16th August 1916 Light Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Quiet day except for German shelling at intervals of Welsh Alley and 70th Avenue where all our Observation Points are. There was a practice barrage at 1600. Our Batteries shelled Switch Line on right of tramway running to Martinpuich during the night.
17th August 1916 Registration 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Bottom Wood. Quiet day until 1500. The morning was spent in registration of targets. Lt Graburn C236 Battery was wounded in the trenches. Batteries formed an intense barrage 220 yards over the Switch Line and infantry made a bombing attack along the Switch Line towards Tramway. The Germans made feeble counter attack near the Tramway which was repulsed. There was no firing during the night by Batteries.
18th August 1916 Heavy Barrage 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: At 0855 a heavy barrage was put up by our batteries 200 yards over the Switch Line and formed with 47th Division Artillery a double barrage. At 1445 a further heavy barrage at Switch Line on the right of Tramway. Smoke was discharged on our front and the 1st Division attacked the intermediate line on our right. They got in but were driven out. From 2030 fire was kept up at odd intervals on tracks and trenches leading to Martinpuich.
19th August 1916 Fire Continued 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood From midnight 18/19th August fire was continued until 0730. Quiet morning and quiet afternoon. No firing during the night.
20th August 1916 Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report From 1200 batteries fired on Martinpuich and surroundings. At 2200 and at intervals during the night Batteries switched back from Martinpuich to a line 400 yards over Switch Line and West of Tramway.
21st August 1916 Gas Shells 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report during the night 20/21st B236 Battery was shelled with gas shell losing two men killed, two wounded and four gassed. Five German aeroplanes came over at about 0920 and dropped six bombs on the Wagon Lines. During the afternoon Major Pollard went up in a balloon but found the light too bad for clear observation.
22nd August 1916 Salvoes fired 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery: Very quiet day. At 1400, 1710 and 2025, four batteries bombarded new German trench in front of Martinpuich. At 1355, 1705 and 2020 D236 Battery fired salvoes into Martinpuich.
23rd August 1916 Casualties 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood. Quiet day. Very little firing by batteries. A236 Battery had nine casualties, one very bad and the remainder very slight. C236 Battery had one man wounded.
24th August 1916 Battery Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report it was quiet in the morning. B236 Battery went out of action yesterday leaving only sixteen men and one officer with A236 Battery to work their guns. This is in accordance with new system of reliefs. In the late afternoon greater activity prevailed. The Division on our right (E) attacked the intermediate line at 1745. The Germans shelled Welch Alley and localities adjoining very furiously with heavy shells. Later in the evening A236 was targeted with gas shells. The attack was a failure.
25th August 1916 Barrage 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery carried out barrage as ordered by Divisional Artillery. Fairly quiet day. Hostile aircraft rather more active. One of our aeroplanes was forced to descend in X29 through engine trouble, but was packed up in crates and carted away about evening. Hostile activity was somewhat below average.
26th August 1916 Hostile Artillery Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood Hostile artillery displayed greater activity today against our rearward positions, barraging valleys with heavy shells for short periods with no small intensity. The valley south of Mametz Wood, west of Bottom Wood and Shelter Wood were also heavily shelled. Otherwise the day was fairly uneventful, except that the Division on our right (1st Division) took another 200 yards of the Intermediate Line. Hostile aeroplanes to the number of five carried out a small reconnaissance over Death Valley and its environs at about 1700. The Batteries of 236th Brigade carried on a continuous bombardment on German front line.
27th August 1916 More Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: Moderately quiet day. B236 Battery took over from A236 Battery in accordance with the programme of reliefs instituted by the GOCRA 47th Division. At about 1150 a heavy hostile bombardment was put on Villa Wood and the North West corner of Mametz Wood. At about 1415 the gun positions of B236, A236 Batteries and the 235th Brigade positions were violently shelled with heavy Howitzers. Three men of B236 Battery were buried but were got out again and found to be suffering from slight shell shock. The Brigade fired continuously throughout the day in barrages. Major W Cooper A236 Battery RFA proceeded to the Field Ambulance sick.
28th August 1916 Continuous Firing 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery fired continuously throughout the twenty four hours. Hostile artillery was moderately inactive compared to the previous day. Capt Egerton Warburton came to be attached to B236 Battery; 2/Lt Pearson and 2/Lt Tabor from the 47th Divisional Ammunition Column were yesterday attached to the battery for instruction, while Lt C H De Wael was attached to C236 Battery from 47th Divisional Ammunition Column. Fairly quiet day.
29th August 1916 Continuous Barrage 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report a continuous barrage kept up all day on the trenches in front of Martinpuich. At midnight our infantry dug round the Intermediate Line.
30th August 1916 Heavy Rain 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report heavy rains interfered with work. Our batteries barraged as before. One hundred and thirty six prisoners were obtained from the Intermediate Line. Four officers, two NCOs and one hundred and thirty prisoners. They passed down Welch Alley between the hours of 1500 and 1800. The whole of Intermediate Trench is now occupied. Capt R A Corsan A236 Battery rejoined his unit after a stay in hospital.
31st August 1916 Exchange of Shells 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery kept up a continuous barrage all day and Hostile artillery was active, particularly with gas shells. Brigade Headquarters were shelled with gas shell from about 2200 until about 2300. No damage was done. Relatively quiet day. A236 and B236 Batteries were heavily shelled with Lachrymatory (tear gas) and poison shell.
1st September 1916 Continuous Barrage 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood. Continuous barrage kept up by Brigade all day except by B236 and A236 Batteries who dropped out about midday after being violently shelled by 8 inch guns. They had to abandon position. The barrage was taken on by C236 Battery until relieved by the 238th Brigade. One man was wounded and one or two others were rather badly shaken. Enemy artillery very active. It was decided to change position of one section of A236 Battery.
2nd September 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery record in their war diary: One Section of A236 Battery removed and placed alongside C236 Battery. Heavy artillery began their bombardment for the attack of the 3rd, 14th, and 15th Corps.
3rd September 1916 Assault Sucessful 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: In the morning the Australians captured Mouguet Farm also the 1st Division occupied their objectives in High Wood. At 1200 the 14th Corps captured Guillemont and 15th Corps captured Ginchy. The French took Clery and reached within 1000 yards of Combles. Batteries fired intense heavy bombardments prior to the attacks mentioned above.
4th September 1916 Misfire causes Injury 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood. Relatively quiet day on our front. One man of B236 Battery was wounded by a misfire from one of the 235th Brigade Batteries. The 7th Division attacked Ginchy. At 1510 the Batteries fired an intense bombardment on the front line for a few minutes.
5th September 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery fired on Martinpuich and it's neighbourhood during the day in accordance with the programme. A fairly quiet day. The French break through between Combles and Clery.
6th September 1916 Quiet Day 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report a quiet day and the Batteries carried out a programme of special shoots throughout the day. The French are reported to have captured 500 yards of enemy trench line near Combles. The Germans made strong counter attacks which were repulsed. Major Cooper returned to take command of A236 Battery.
7th September 1916 Special Shoots 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report a quiet day. The Batteries carried out a programme of special shoots. C236 Battery began to dig new position near Bazentin Le Petit Wood. The French attacked south of the Somme and took large part of Berny and the western half of Verman Dovillers.
8th September 1916 Special Shoots 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery. A quiet day and the Batteries carried out a programme of special shoots. At 1745 the 1st Division attacked enemy trenches in High Wood. 47th Divisional Artillery cooperated with an intense bombardment for 15 minutes and then fired on trenches to North West of High Wood. 1st Division at first took their objectives but later dropped back on account of their flanks being exposed. A few prisoners were taken.
9th September 1916 Infantry Attack 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report a quiet day until 1645 when the 1st Division attacked trenched in High Wood and to the East of High Wood. Canadian Division also attacked trenches to the North West of Munster Alley. 47th Divisional Artillery cooperated with an intense bombardment for 15 minutes on trenches in front of Martinpuich. 1st Division took the objectives to the East of High Wood and took some prisoners. The Canadians took all their objectives including sixty seven prisoners and one machine gun. The 15th Corps took Hop Alley and the 14th Corps took Ginchy.
10th September 1916 New Positions 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 235th and 236th Brigades came under the command of CRA 15th Division. B,C and D Batteries moved sections into new positions. B236 Battery in Lower Wood, C236 Battery south of Bazentine le Petit Wood and D236 Battery in Bazentine le Petit. The Group Observation Point in 10th Avenue was heavily shelled by 5.9 inch guns during the afternoon.
11th September 1916 Batteries Move 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood. Batteries moved the remaining two sections into new positions. All fairly quiet on this front.
12th September 1916 Registration 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood. Brigade came under the command of Divisional Commander R.A. 47th Division Front, High Wood supporting 47th Divisional Infantry. Batteries registered points in High Wood.
13th September 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bottom Wood. Batteries carried out barrages behind enemy lines in High Wood. Battle of Flers-Coucelette 15th September 1916 to 22nd September 1916 (sixth phase of the Battle of the Somme).
14th September 1916 Barrages Fired 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Bottom Wood: Fairly quiet day. Batteries fired in barrages all night (13-14th). Registration was carried out during the day. Bombardment was carried for 23 minutes beginning from 1900. There was a certain amount of shelling by the enemy. The heavy artillery bombarded High Wood.
15th September 1916 New Positions 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report:
At 0620 all our Artillery bombarded violently the selected German positions and the 4th Army offensive commenced. The Divisions on our left and right (50th Division and New Zealand Division) made satisfactory progress. The right Battalion of the 140th London Brigade made progress but the left Battalion and the 141st London Brigade were held up at the start by machine gun fire.
At 0800 the artillery again bombarded the enemy front line in High Wood. After half an hour's bombardment the artillery lifted. The Infantry again attacked and captured the Wood chiefly by working round the flanks. A line was then dug running more or less East to West in front of the North East corner of the Wood. At 1815 the 23rd London regiment and 24th London Regiment assaulted the second objective with the 21st London Regiment on their right.(These are 3 Battalions in the 142nd London Brigade) The 2nd objective was not taken but a new line was dug about 250 yards in front of High Wood.
The Brigade employed 7.0.0. to go forward and find out position of Infantry.
A236 B236 and C236 Batteries moved up during the night to new positions about 500 yards to the North East of Bazentin le Petit. During the night the enemy shelled Bazentin le Grand and valley moving North West and South East with tear gas shells. Otherwise all was fairly quiet on this front. Col Lowe DSO OC. 236 Brigade RFA was liaison officer to 141st Infantry Brigade. Lt Blackwell A236 Battery was awarded the Military Cross. (Note-Bazentin Le Petit is directly behind High Wood and Mametz Wood, mentioned next day, is directly behind that.)
[Comment: Tanks were used for the first time in this battle but could not move well on the terrain and were very unreliable, (only 13 took part in the attacks out of an intended 49 tanks and most of those broke down as well) so they are highly unlikely to have featured in observation work.
More relevant is the fact that 7th Squadron Royal Flying Corps were working with a primary role of reconnaisance support in this sector which gives three other possibilities for BAZ 7.0.0 as follows:
1. It could be an aircraft from the squadron, with an Artillery officer as passenger, in wireless or message communication reporting on enemy movements. 2. Planes were used to drop spies behind enemy lines to carry out spotting work and report enemy movements. 3. Balloons were also used for observations either tethered or towed.
One cannot be really sure but No.1 seems the best guess. It is also possibly just a reference for an Observation Point in the Bazentin area, but there is a mention of sending it forward to observe and locate enemy troop movements so that seems unlikely as well.}
16th September 1916 Moves 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery Brigade HQ. moved to Mametz Wood. All Wagon Lines moved to Bottom Wood. The day was occupied with digging in. The Artillery bombarded different points in the enemy's lines. Many targets were taken on by us as a result of observation by BAZ 7.0.0. The night passed fairly quietly and Wagon Lines moved up to Bottom Wood. (See notes and comment on 15th Sep. regarding location and BAZ 7.0.0.)
17th September 1916 Heavy Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Mametz Wood. There was a certain amount of heavy shelling along our front line but no Infantry actions. Lt Whitten B236 Battery was wounded while up at the observation chateau. 2/Lt Davies B236 Battery was slightly wounded but is still at duty.
18th September 1916 Starfish Line Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Mametz Wood Our Artillery shelled certain parts of the enemy front, especially the strong point in 34.b.1.2 in the Starfish Line. Our Infantry made a small bombing attack about 2030 which partially succeeded. (Note-The Starfish Line was a German trench line to the left of High Wood)
18th Sep 1916 At Rest
19th September 1916 Bombardments 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Mametz Wood. Our Artillery carried out bombardments according to the programme and at different points at the request of infantry. At about 2000 the enemy made a counter attack against our infantry in Drop Alley and our Artillery opened fire after SOS from our line. At 2100 all was again reported quiet.
20th September 1916 Batteries Fire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Mametz Wood. Batteries fired on Flers during the day and on fleeing targets. 1st Division Infantry relieved 47th Division Infantry during the night. The weather gradually improving and 7.0.0 continues reconnoitering the front trenches. Howitzers battery fired all night into Eaucourt L’Abbaye. (See note and comment on 7.0.0. from 15th Sep.)
21st September 1916 Continuous Fire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Mametz Wood. At 0325 SOS signal but it was a false alarm. At 0355 Batteries ceased firing. At 1030 D236 fired at the rate of 50 rounds an hour on the Flers Line just South East of Eaucourt L’Abbaye and ceased at 1930. At 1130 and 1330 the 18 pounder Batteries fired 15 four gun salvoes into Eaucourt L’Abbaye. During the night 18 pounder Batteries fired continually on Flers Line at 100 rounds per hour.
22nd September 1916 No Resistance Met 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Mametz Wood. At 1030 Howitzer battery commenced firing 50 rounds an hour on Flers Line M.29.b.12 to M.23.c.70. (ceased firing at 1945). At 1300 transport was seen on Bapaume le Sarg road MEc and MHb heavy Batteries informed. Our Infantry (1st Division) the Welsh Regiment occupied Prue and Starfish trenches. Patrols sent out in front as far as 700 yards without meeting any resistance.
23rd September 1916 Little Firing 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Mametz Wood. Fairly quiet day and Batteries did very little firing. The enemy were singularly quiet throughout the afternoon, their artillery being almost entirely silent. At night Batteries fired a few rounds on a German working party digging a trench.
24th September 1916 Night Action 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: Fairly quiet day and Batteries did very little firing only registration. Hostile shelling very little. B236 Battery relieved A236 Battery who in turn relieved C236 Battery. At night 2020 the 1st Division launched a local attack on the Flers Line which proved abortive. Batteries fired for most of the night.
25th September 1916 Offensive Resumes 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Mametz Wood. At 1430 the Fourth Army resumed the offensive. The 1st Division attacked along the Flers Line and secured their objectives with very little trouble. They joined line with the New Zealanders in Goose Alley. The New Zealand Division on our right secured all its objectives; our troops securing Grid Trench in front of Guedecourt, Les Boeufs to the north of Morval. The French secured Fregicourt and Rancourt. Batteries kept up continuous fire all day on the barrages ordered by 47th Divisional Artillery. At night D236 Battery was shelled with lachrymatory (tear gas) and other shells suffering two casualties.
26th September 1916 Uneventful Day 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Mametz Wood. More or less uneventful day on our front. The Canadian Corps on our left captured Thiepval and 1500 prisoners. Batteries assisted by an intense bombardment at 1235 for a few minutes on the hostile trenches. At about 1900 D236 Battery was again shelled. 2/Lt Stephenson being wounded with one man killed and five others wounded. Major Pollard was slightly wounded in the hand but remained at duty. At 2330 1st Division assaulted hostile trench in M29 but failed chiefly owing to losing their way.
27th September 1916 Little Firing 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: 47th Division relieved 1st Division in High Wood sector. Moderately quiet day. Batteries fired very little except for registration purposes, considerable defensive barrages. There were no infantry operations but artillery was fairly active.
28th September 1916 Fairly Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: Fairly quiet day. C236 Battery staff relieved A236 Battery staff. It was decided during the afternoon that D236 should change their position to that vacated by D275 Battery RFA. Batteries fired a defensive barrage.
29th September 1916 Infantry Assault 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Very quiet day until 1730 when the 141 Inf Brigade assaulted the hostile trenches in M.23.c and d and M.29.a and b (Fricourt?). They failed to capture their objective. Batteries fired an intense barrage on hostile trenches behind their objectives. D236 Battery moved in the early morning to site B.23.
30th September 1916 Hostile Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: Hostile artillery fairly active on our trenches in the morning & afternoon. Hostile anti-aircraft guns very active against our aeroplanes. Major General Sir Charles Barter relinquished command of 47th London Division. Batteries fired in barrages but there was no infantry action on our front.
1st October 1916 Hostile Trenches Bombarded 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Mametz Wood. At 0700 D236 began to bombard hostile trenches --- near Eaucourt L’Abbaye and other Batteries fired a short intense barrage from 1007 until 1015. At 1515 140 Infantry Brigade assaulted and took Eaucourt L’Abbaye in conjunction with the New Zealand Division on our right. They held firm on the left flank with the 20th Battalion holding firm on the right: another Battalion attacked, but the situation still remained obscure.
2nd October 1916 Infantry Attack 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 2 more Battalions attacked and partly rectified the situation on the left flank. One section of A236 and one of B236 moved up to new positions, with A236 Battery being in the Starfish Valley, 200 yards east of the end of Sunken Road from the eastern corner of High Wood (M.35.c.5.4) and B236 Battery near Turk Trench (M.36.a.0.7). Several wagons of their batteries got stuck on the track running east of High Wood down to the Starfish Line. One gun of A236 Battery was sent back to it's old position as the track was not considered good enough for the gun to proceed, hence only 3 guns of the Brigade are in the new positions. A236 Battery Staff relieved B236 Battery.
3rd October 1916 New Positions 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: The position at the front was satisfactorily cleared up. Eaucourt L’Abbaye was definitely captured and all the Germans in the dug out silenced. The wagons that got stuck were cleared and 3 more guns proceeded down to the new positions between dawn and dusk. Otherwise a fairly quiet day.
4th October 1916 Bad Light 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Mametz Wood. Very quiet day on our front with no infantry action at all. C236 Battery has one gun in it's new position and B236 Battery has 4. The light is very bad, but some registration is done by the Batteries. It has rained for most of the day.
5th October 1916 236 Bde RFA HQ Moves 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report it was decided to move HQ. to a new position at S.10.c.4.6 on the road running from the Longueval - Contalmaison Road to the East Corner of High Wood. There was hostile artillery activity on the slope North East of High Wood. Nothing of any great importance.
6th October 1916 Gunners Buried 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Bazentin le Grand - High Wood(east)Road (S.10.c.4.6). Brigade HQ. moved to the new position on the road running from the Longueval-Contalmaison Road to the East side of High Wood (S.10.c.4.6). C236 Battery was shelled in their new position with 5.9 and 8 inch guns and had to evacuate it. Gunner Grove E.S.B. was killed and one wounded (Sgt. Irons). Two or three others were buried, but were successfully dug out and remained on duty. The Batteries fired some ordered barrages. A236 Battery relieved C236 Battery in their position while B236 Battery relieved A236 Battery in their position.
7th October 1916 Continuous Barrages 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report at 1345 47th Division attacked with a view to seizing the Grid Line and Butte de Warlencourt. The 15th Battalion on the right obtained their objectives and after several vicissitudes held it with a few parties and dug in behind it. On the left the attack was, as a whole, unsuccessful with very little ground being gained. The Batteries fired continuously on barrages ordered by Divisional Artillery. Lt J.F. Gayner proceeded to the Field Ambulance sick. 2/Lt B.B. Wallace was wounded by a bullet in his hand while reconnoitering the front.
8th October 1916 Reliefs 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Bazentin le Grand and High Wood Road. 236th Brigade RFA was relieved by 237th Brigade RFA. D236 battery remained in action under 237th Brigade RFA. D235 battery was taken over later by 236th Brigade RFA. All batteries held at their Wagon Lines in Bottom Wood except C236 Battery which took over C237 Battery gun position at Marlboro Wood and kept in charge of the depot guns of 47th Division Artillery. D235 Battery acts as depot Howitzer battery. Brigade Headquarters were moved to 237th Brigade Headquarters near Mametz.
9th October 1916 All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Mametz. No events of any importance. Several guns and Howitzers passed through our hands.
10th October 1916 Ammunition Moved 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report No events of any importance. C236 Battery finally cleared its dump at it's old position at Bazentin le Petit Windmill and took the ammunition up to 237th Battery positions.
11th October 1916 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: Nothing of any importance.
12th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery Billeting parties proceeded to Beaucourt, the 47th Division Artillery being relieved by the 9th Division Artillery. The 51st Brigade RFA (Col Cape) took over from the 236th Brigade RFA. Lt Col A S Lowe DSO proceeded on leave of absence to England.
13th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery at Mametz. Preparations began for relief. The Brigade left Wagon Lines at Bottom Wood at 1630 and was arriving in Beaucourt at 0130.
14th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery Spent the day at Beaucourt. Billeting parties proceeded to Talmas.
15th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery marched to Talmas. Billeting parties proceeded to Amplier.
16th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery marched to Amplier.
17th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery marched to Aubrometz with billeting parties proceeding ahead of the column. The Bedfordshire Yeomanry were in the town, but after a little trouble the Brigade got in very comfortably.
18th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery. marched to Borgoneuse with billeting parties proceeding ahead of the Column. The best village we have billeted in.
19th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery billeting parties again rode on ahead of the column. The Brigade marched to Crecques near Aire sur la Lys.
20th October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery marched into billeting in Belgium about 5 miles West South West of Poperinghe about 1 mile south of Watou on the Watou - Abeele Road.
21st October 1916 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery are south of Watou. One section of each battery moved up to relieve the 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th Batteries and 104th Howitzer Battery belonging to the 2nd Australian Division Artillery. One Battery of the 238th Brigade was lent to the 236th Brigade for this purpose.
21st January 1917 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Ypres: 236th Brigade RFA relieved 238 Brigade RFA and is now known as Left Group 47th Divisional Artillery covering Hill 60 and the Snout from I.35.a.2.4. to I.29.d.00.50.
The Infantry in the line covered by Left Group was the 140th Brigade, Right Battalion 7th London Regiment (City of London Regiment) and the Left Battalion 8th London Regiment (Post Office Rifles), all part of 47th Division. On the Left Flank the 23rd Division with the 70th Brigade in the line and on the right Flank 142nd Brigade 47th Divisional Infantry. One section of the Batteries of the Brigade relieved 238 Brigade on the night of 20/21 January and the remaining sections relieved on the night of the 21/22nd. The relief was complete at 1925. At the same time as the relief was taking place a reorganisation of the 47th Divisional Artillery was taking place in which the 238 Brigade was split up. Some of the Batteries going to the 41st Division with others were used to bring the Howitzer Batteries of 235 and 236 Brigades to six Gun Batteries. C238 Battery (18pounders) was transferred in its entirety to make C236 Battery while the previous C236 (4.5 Howitzer) was sent to 41st Division less one section which was absorbed in D236.
Left Group now consists of: A,B,C and D236 Batteries, Y47 Trench Mortar Battery (Two inch) V47 Trench Mortar Battery (Heavy)
A J Roberts on leave of absence starting 18th January
22nd January 1917 Registration & Reliefs 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Ypres: The Brigade checked zero lines and registrations. A test SOS. was received by the Batteries of the Brigade and the times averaged two minutes. Lt G Lyon Smith left for England on Jan 21st 1917 to continue his medical studies. 2/Lt M O Haskell RFA(SR) becomes acting Adjutant. On the night of 22/23 January the 6th Battalion (City of London Rifles) relieved 7th Battalion and 15th Battalion (Civil Service Rifles) relieved 8th Battalion, (all units in 47th Division).
23rd January 1917 Bomardment of Enemy Front Line 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery undertake Bombardment of enemy front line system and communication trenches by the division in conjunction with the Heavy Artillery was carried out. The enemy’s retaliation to this Bombardment was slight. The effect of the Bombardment was good as his front and communication trenches were considerably knocked about.
Casualties: Lt Hellier, V47 Ttrench Mortar Battery, wounded and one other rank, Y47 Trench Mortar Battery, wounded.
24th January 1917 Tests Show Improvement 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Two test SOS messages were received by the Brigade. The times achieved showed improvement over the previous test SOS.
25th January 1917 Hostile Artillery 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Hostile artillery (77mm 4.2 inch and 5.9 inch) bombarded B236 Battery and D236 Battery at Woodcote House and vicinity with about three hundred rounds, causing four casualties (three in D236 and one in B236)- all slight. Three direct hits were obtained on pits but only one gun was put out of action. A four point two fuse( for 4.2 inch shell)was found after this bombardment set to explode at 4 or 75 metres.
26th January 1917 Registration and Calibration 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report registration and calibration continued. Two test SOS messages were received and the average time was about one minute. Casualties one other rank. 2/Lt L B Tausley RFA assumed the Adjutancy and 2/Lt M D Haskell became orderly officer.
27th January 1917 Bombardment of Enemy Trenches The four Batteries of 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery in conjunction with the Y and V Batteries of Trench mortar and the Batteries of Right Group and Corps Heavy Artillery carried out bombardment lasting from 1200 to 1330 onto hostile trenches on the Left Group front with special reference to enemy's Observation Points. 2/Lt Payne (Late --- ---- Battery) posted to D236 with effect from 26th Jan.1917. The Batteries of the Group took part in a Test SOS at 2009.
28th January 1917 Battery Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report C236 Battery at Langkhof Farm was shelled during the day.
29th January 1917 Batteries Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 2/Lt P S Ayers was transferred from 235 Brigade RFA to C236 Battery with effect from today’s date. C236 Battery and vicinity was shelled during the afternoon with three hundred to four hundred rounds - no casualties.
30th January 1917 Test Calls 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Ypres. Two test SOS calls were fired on by the Group one at 0010 and one at 0312. Y47 Medium Trench Mortar Battery fired and much damaged a machine gun emplacement and surrounds. Working party of thirty eight men are now with the Group working on reserve reinforcement positions.
31st January 1917 All quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report All quiet. Signed A.C. Lowe, Lt Col R.A Commander 236th Brigade RFA.
1st February 1917 Enemy Artillery very Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from Ypres. Enemy artillery very active indeed on Back areas and Batteries. A test SOS call was received by Group at 2111 and all Batteries had full response within two minutes. 2/Lt D S Culterall was transferred from C236 Battery to the 47th Divisional Ammunition Column with effect from 31st January 1917.
2nd February 1917 GOC Visits 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report the GOC 47th Division visited B236, C236 and D236 Batteries at 1200.
3rd February 1917 Enemy Front Line Bombarded 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Y47 Trench Mortar Battery bombarded the enemy's front line across the Railway Cutting with sixty rounds and no retaliation of any importance.
4th February 1917 Bombardment 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery engaged in Bombardment of a small area of enemy's trenches East of the Snout from 1500 until 1600 by Corps Heavy Artillery and 4.5 Howitzers Batteries included D236 Battery which fired one hundred and eighty rounds. The Medium Trench Mortar Battery(Y47) with thirty six rounds and A236 Battery shelled enemy Observation Points during the bombardment. Much damage was done and the enemy retaliated with light guns only. Relief by X47 Trench Mortar Battery of Y47 Battery in the line took place. 2/Lt E A de B West (D236 Battery) evacuated sick.
5th February 1917 Daily Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 2/Lt H V Ramsey admitted to Field Hospital on 3rd February 1917 while on 47th Divisional Artillery Course
6th February 1917 Batteries in Action 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery D236 Howitzer Battery from 1440 to 1540 fired one hundred rounds in combined bombardment with 23rd Divisional Artillery and Corps Heavy Artillery onto area of trenches immediately South of Stirling Castle on 23rd Division front. C236 Battery fired at intervals during the night onto area of bombardment the 4 lines, East of the Snout.
7th February 1917 Registration 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report All quiet, registration by batteries.
8th February 1917 Personnel changes 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery 2nd Lt H V Ramsey evacuated out of Divisional Area - sick.
9th February 1917 Hostile Fire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Aeroplane registration carried out by D236 Battery for Counter Battery Work. Small crater with suspected enemy mine workings bombarded by X47 Medium Trench Mortar Battery with sixty rounds and many direct hits obtained. At 2030 the enemy opened heavy shrapnel fire on both Battalion fronts. Group Batteries replied as retaliation was asked for increasing to SOS fire at 2050 in answer to SOS call from Right Battalion. The hostile fire soon died down.
10th February 1917 Battery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report The Field Marshall, Commander in Chief awarded the French decoration “Medale Militaire” to Corporal W. P Noel HQ Staff. At 1400 D236 4.5 Howitzer Battery took part in one hours bombardment by all 47th and 41st Division Field Howitzers of the area opposite trenches of left Battalion of Right Brigade 47th Division. A registration by aeroplane by D236 Battery was also attempted at 1530. 2/Lt T Ballantyne C236 Battery was evacuated to 2nd CCS. (Casualty Clearing Station)
12th February 1917 Conference 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery record Conference of OC. Group and Battery Commanders. First section of C236 Battery went out of action.
13th February 1917 Batteries in Action 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery D236 Battery fired two hundred rounds in a combined bombardment on 23rd Division front by all available Howitzers. X47 Trench Mortar Battery commenced wire cutting on the Left Battalion's front and fired fifty four rounds. Remainder of C236 Battery went out of action and handed over position to B1014 Battery which is therefore part of Group. C246 took over Wagon Lines of B235 in rest at Winnizeele.
14th February 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery B236 Battery commenced wire cutting opposite Right Battalion's front. X47 Trench Mortar Battery continued on wire with fifty rounds.
15th February 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report A236 and B236 Batteries continued on the enemy wire with the usual allotment of two hundred rounds a day. D236 fired on an area Bombardment scheme at 1545 in conjunction with Howitzers of 23rd and 41st Division and Heavy Artillery on Area Hill 60. 2/Lt V Overton and 2/Lt H S Metcalfe attached to A236 and D236 Batteries respectively for 14 days instruction (From the DAC).
16th February 1917 Gaps made in Enemy Wire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: All Batteries of the Group (except D236) and including X47 Trench Mortar Battery, which fired fifty rounds, bombarded the enemy's wire today. Many gaps were made.
17th February 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Wire cutting by A236 and B104 Batteries continued with an average of two hundred rounds a day being fired by each Battery. X47 Trench Mortar Battery fired one hundred rounds on cutting the wire.
18th February 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Wire cutting continued successfully by all Batteries. D236 took part in an area bombardment with all other Howitzer Batteries at 1430 and one hundred and eighty rounds were fired. X47 Trench Mortar Battery fired sixty rounds at enemy's trenches which were much damaged as a result of last few days bombardment.
19th February 1917 Batteries Cutting Wire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report C236 Battery came into action in position immediately south of Left Infantry Brigade HQ as reserve Battery for raid operation. Wire cutting continued by A236, B236, B104 and D236 Battery with the other Howitzers firing again on right area National - one hundred and eighty rounds. X47 Trench Mortar Battery again fired sixty rounds at enemy wire.
20th February 1917 Daylight Raid 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 18 pounder Batteries continued rigorous wire cutting in the morning as did Trench Mortar Battery. Much damage has been done and many gaps made in the enemy's defences. At 1700, Zero Time, a large daylight raid was carried out on the Right Brigade front of 47th Division. A dummy raid was made by explosion of mines and bombardment on the Hill 60 sub sector at the same time. All Batteries of Left Group barraged southern boundary of said area and cease fire took place at approx 1925. Raid highly successful with one hundred and thirteen prisoners and four machine guns being gained by 6th Battalion (City of London Rifles). 2/Lt M O Haskell A235 Battery (attached HQ) acted as liaison officer with raiding party. 6600 rounds of 18 pounder ammunition, 1100 rounds of 4.5 inch Howitzer and 450 rounds of 2” Trench Mortar ammunition were used by Left Group in the raid operations from 13th inst. onwards.
21st Feb 1917 No Retaliation 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report (A J Roberts due back from leave). All quiet - no immediate retaliation by the enemy for the raid. 2/Lt H Davies rejoined the Brigade from Hospital (B236 Battery).
22nd February 1917 Enemy Work Prevented 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Enemy was prevented from working on his lines by 18 pounder fire.
23rd February 1917 Movements 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 2/Lt P F Oxley posted to C236 Battery from 47th Divisional Ammunition Column with effect from 21st inst. C236 Battery out of action in this Divisional area and in action temporarily under orders of St Eloi Group, 41st Divisional Artillery.
24th February 1917 Battery Rests 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report: After very successful raid by 41st Division, C236 Battery goes back to rest during night to Winnezeele.
28th February 1917 Movements 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 2/Lt Metcalfe and Overton return to 47th Divisional Ammunition Column after attachment. 2/Lt Hellies attached from 47th Divisional Ammunition Column to D236 Battery for a fortnight.
1st March 1917 Batteries Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Heavy shelling of A236 and B236 Batteries in the afternoon with direct hits on gunpits etc. but no casualties. Toll Gate and vicinity of Group HQ. were also shelled and one wounded in HQ. Visual signalling operated this morning, while telephones closed down from 1000 to 1400. Batteries fired on SOS message at 2200 but no attack.
2nd March 1917 Battery Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery, A236 Battery was again heavily shelled. Batteries are on small allotment.
3rd March 1917 Enemy Movements 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Probable enemy relief discovered to be taking place tonight so Batteries fired from 2100 until midnight, about one hundred and twenty rounds each. No retaliation was received.
4th March 1917 Enemy Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Enemy actively shelled our back areas during the evenings.
5th March 1917 Positions Reinforced 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Working parties from 104 Brigade RFA and 47th Divisional Ammunition Column attached to Batteries of the Group to work on the reinforcement positions. 2/Lt T Ballantyne evacuated to England and struck off Brigade strength with effect from 3rd March 1917.
9th March 1917 Camoflets Blown 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report D236 Battery fired on Counter Battery targets with aeroplane observation. B236 Battery fired one hundred and fifty rounds on enemy wire. Several camouflets blown by the enemy. (note: camouflet is an underground cavity caused by explosives but without breaking surface which would form a crater)
11th March 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report A236 Battery fired about seventy rounds wire cutting. Great air activity with two British machines shot down over Ypres. Major Pollard OC. D236 Battery to Field Ambulance sick.
12th March 1917 Enemy Working party 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report A236 Battery successfully dispersed a large working party behind enemy lines. Major Pollard evacuated out of Divisional Area, also 2/Lt Davies.
13th March 1917 New Battery OC 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report T/Lt S Taylor appointed Captain whilst sent to Command D236 Battery.
14th March 1917 Change of Command 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Major A C Gordon DSO OC B236 Battery assumes command of 235th Brigade RFA and is struck off the strength of this Brigade from today’s date.
14th Mar 1917 Under Shellfire
15th March 1917 Enemy Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report The enemy batteries were active today especially their eight inch guns and our Batteries retaliated at the request of infantry.
15th Mar 1917 Artillery Bombardment
16th March 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report B104 Battery fired one hundred and forty rounds in wire cutting and there was much intermittent retaliation by the other Batteries.
17th March 1917 Change of Command 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Capt R A Corsan MC A236 Battery appointed to command B236 Battery with effect from 16th inst in place of Major Gordon DSO.
17th Mar 1917 Trench Raid
18th March 1917 Batteries Fire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report D236 Battery fired on Counter Battery target. A236 and B236 Batteries fired at the request of infantry. D236 also fired all night on a German Battery suspected of moving.
19th March 1917 Retaliation 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery Batteries retaliated for enemy firings on Left Battalion during the morning. 2/Lt G Jacques posted to B236 Battery from 119th Brigade RFA.
19th Mar 1917 Trench Raid
20th March 1917 Reliefs 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report C236 Battery first section relieved one section of B104 Battery today from Corps Reserve and took over B235 Battery Wagon Line.
20th Mar 1917 Patrol
21st March 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Remaining sections of C236 Battery relieved remaining sections of B104 Battery. A236 Battery fired one hundred and ten rounds wire cutting and Other Batteries fired one hundred and twenty rounds in retaliation for enemy shelling.
21st Mar 1917 Occasional Shells
22nd March 1917 New Craters Blown 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report X47 Trench Mortar Battery fired thirty rounds on Hill 60 and into new craters blown by the enemy. Work was heard during the night and X47 Battery again fired into craters.
22nd Mar 1917 Trench Raid
23rd March 1917 Enemy Bombardment 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Enemy actively bombarded in retaliation for Trench Mortars early this morning. Our Batteries replied and X47 Trench Mortar Battery again fired on the crater.
23rd Mar 1917 Trench Mortars
24th March 1917 Battery Shelled From 0800 until 1130, C236 Battery 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery was heavily shelled. One gunner was killed and two others wounded. The shelling was repeated at intervals during the day and an ammunition dump was blown up. At 1800 after heavy Trench Mortar activity the SOS signal went up to the right of Group zone and an attack was reported on Group Zone. Batteries opened fire on the SOS, but the situation almost immediately cleared and the cease fire was given. A small mine had been sprung on Left Battalion front.
25th March 1917 Personnel Changes 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery reports Captain H Carey-Morgan C236 Battery posted to command B236 Battery with effect from this date and Captain R A Corsan MC B236 Battery posted to A236 Battery.
25th Mar 1917 Enemy Attack
26th March 1917 Enemy Work Stopped 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery's X47 Trench Mortar Battery fired on the enemy crater to stop work.
27th March 1917 Special Shoot 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report 2/Lt H W Stevens and 2/Lt H J Glover attached from 47th Divisional Ammunition Column to A236 and B236 Batteries respectively for a fortnight's instruction. D236 Battery fired one hundred and eighty rounds in conjunction with Heavy Artillery and other 4.5 inch Howitzers Batteries on special area opposite the Right Front.
28th March 1917 Battery Shelled 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery's C236 Battery was heavily shelled again during the morning with two direct hits on a gun pit, but no casualties. Major Wood OC. C236 goes on leave of absence (special).
30th March 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery's B236 Battery fired one hundred and thirty rounds in wire cutting and also with A236 Battery fired on German officers inspecting the enemy front line. C236 Battery were again shelled this morning. Major Cooper OC. A236 Battery on special leave of absence.
31st March 1917 Retaliation 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery. report 2/Lt E A West rejoined from hospital to D236 Battery. Batteries retaliated during the day and X47 Trench Mortar Battery fired on crater.
1st April 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Wire cutting in preparation for raiding operation started by this Group; A236 Battery fired one hundred and fifty rounds, B236 Battery one hundred and ten rounds, C236 Battery one hundred also twenty on the wire and D236 Battery fired one hundred and eighty rounds on area opposite Division on the left in collaboration with other Howitzers and Heavy Batteries. X47 Trench Mortar Battery fired in retaliation and moved guns south to cover more front. New Battery positions for offensive action started upon by Batteries of this Group with twelve positions to be completed.
2nd April 1917 High Wind 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Wire cutting was carried out in spite of high wind by 18 pounders and trench mortars. D236 Battery fired on an area bombardment, one hundred and sixty rounds and A236 Battery fired at intervals during the night on this area.
3rd April 1917 Batteries Fire 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report C236 Battery fired forty four rounds in wire cutting and X47 Trench Mortar Battery sixty rounds. A236 Battery fired during the night on the same area of bombardment as yesterday.
4th April 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report On wire cutting A236 Battery fired one hundred and seventy rounds, B236 Battery one hundred and four, C236 Battery one hundred and thirty three and X47 Battery twenty five with good results being obtained. D236 Battery fired on area bombardment.
5th April 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report wire cutting was continued today. A236 Battery firing one hundred and nineteen rounds, B236 Battery two hundred and twenty one, X47 Trench Mortar Battery one hundred and seven and C236 Battery one hundred and thirty six. A236 Battery after being registered in the morning was shelled at about 1830 and two gun pits were blown in by 5.9 inch guns. Two other ranks and one Sergeant were wounded.
6th April 1917 Wire Cutting and support 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery, C189 Battery (Army Field Brigade) came into action in position East of B236 Battery as reinforcement Battery for the Group. Wire cutting again today with A236 Battery firing one hundred rounds, B236 Battery seventy six rounds and C236 Battery one hundred and fifty two rounds. D236 Battery took part in an area bombardment on Group Zone. X47 Trench Mortar Battery also fired fifty four rounds. C189 Battery registered.
7th April 1917 Intense Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Batteries carried out intense wire cutting this morning, A236 Battery firing one hundred and thirty rounds, B236 Battery one hundred and fifty five rounds and C236 Battery two hundred and ten rounds. Zero time for Daylight Raid 2000. 18th Battalion (London Irish Rifles) carried out this raid, in the same place on the right Brigade Front as the raid in February, under a heavy barrage by two and half Divisional Artilleries, accompanied by dummy raid at German line on Hill 60 and St Eloi. Enemy fire was fairly heavy and caused a number of casualties. Nineteen prisoners were taken. OC. Left Group acted as liaison officer with GOC 141st Infantry Brigade, also Major Pollard OC. D236 Battery acted as liaison with OC. Raid. 2/Lt A M Cole B236 Battery posted to 66th Division.
8th April 1917 Relief Imminent 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report OC. 101 Brigade RFA arrived to take over Group but relief of Batteries not yet begun.
9th April 1917 Heavy Barrage 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Left Group now under tactical command of 23rd Divisional Artillery and covering 23rd Division Infantry, but still covering Hill 60 front. After trench mortaring of our lines all day the enemy at 1835 opened a heavy barrage along the Divisional Front particularly on the Centre Battalion. SOS went up at 1844 and the Batteries of 236 Brigade commenced barrage immediately. There was some Shelling of Group on right and Division on left, but both turned a Battery into mutual barrages on this Brigade front after ten minutes. Enemy found to have been completely held up by our barrage fire and dead found in 'no mans land'. Firing continued until about 2000 at a rapid rate with 3960 rounds being fired by the Group despite some Batteries being all shelled with 5.9 inch guns and gas shells. One 4.5 Howitzer was badly damaged, but no other damage or casualties except slight gas poisoning and shock.
9th Apr 1917 V.15 Trench Mortar Bty in action V.15 Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery are in action in the Second Battle of Arras.
9th Apr 1917 Assault Made
10th April 1917 Quiet day for 6th London Batteries 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery record in their war diary: Lt A F Yencken (B236 Battery) struck off the Brigade strength on evacuation to England. All quiet today and all front trenches including Battery Observation Points have been demolished along with one trench mortar pit probably bombed by the enemy. First sections went out of action tonight and withdrew to the wagon lines.
10th Apr 1917 Attack Made
11th April 1917 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report first sections marched to Winnezeeze and Ouderzeele rest billets. Remaining sections went out of action during the night and OC. Group handed over defence of front to OC. 102 Brigade RFA, 23rd Division. A, B, C, D Batteries 102 Brigade took over Battery positions in order A, B, C, D from Batteries of 236th Brigade. 104 Army Field Artillery Brigade took over all Wagon Lines.
11th Apr 1917 Village Taken
12th Apr 1917 Reliefs
4th May 1917 Relocations The remaining sections of each Battery and Headquarters Staff of 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery await night action on the Bluff and Canal sectors immediately South of Ypres and with three Batteries of 235th Brigade remaining in newly formed Chateau Group, covering the whole of the 47th Divisional front. Lt Colonel W B Grandage OC. 235 Brigade RFA remained in command of the Group with HQ Staff 236th Brigade. Two, two inch Trench Mortars Batteries and one 9.45 Trench Mortar also form part of the Group.
5th May 1917 Movements 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Lt Colonel A C Lowe DSO went on leave to England. Major C H Pollard DSO assuming temporary command of Brigade. Lt V C Lucas MC posted to A236 Battery.
6th May 1917 Heavy Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report there was heavy shelling of roads and back areas by the enemy and much counter battery work by him.
7th May 1917 Increased Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report shelling of the whole area by the enemy increased. GOC. Division inspected the Brigade Wagon Louex. One NCO and the horses of D236 Battery were killed. Bombardment of enemy roads, railways and communications carried out by every gun in the Army. An intense fire for two periods of five minutes each at 2045 and 2315 carried out, the Group taking part in and firing an average of three hundred and fifty rounds per 18 pounder Battery and two hundred rounds per 4.5 inch Howitzer. The Enemy were quietened by this retaliation.
8th May 1917 Inspections 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report GOC. Division inspected the Brigade HQ and Batteries during the morning. Still much artillery activity and bombardment of dumps by the enemy.
9th May 1917 Enemy Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Enemy active with trench mortars and artillery on our trenches during the day – much retaliation by our batteries. Firing increased and heavy bombardment opened at 2110. SOS was given and Batteries opened up barrages on our Group front and of the Division on our right to 2200 with little success.
10th May 1917 Heavy Bombardment 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report another heavy bombardment, chiefly on the Divisional front in the North was opened at 0345 and Batteries barraged for half an hour. Much counter Battery work and many targets of guns in action fired on. 2nd Lt C B Payne struck off strength of the Brigade on transfer to RFC (Royal Flying Corps).
11th May 1917 Enemy Artillery Activity 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery received enemy artillery activity. Vicinity of Group HQ shelled all the morning and the HQ’s Chateau was registered, heavily bombarded from 1130 to 1430 and partly destroyed but no casualties. D236 Battery was also heavily shelled and one gun together with pit and ammunition blown up and completely destroyed. Another gun was buried from 1700 to 1750 but no casualties.
12th May 1917 Enemy Artillery Active 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Enemy artillery was active and Howitzer Batteries retaliated on counter-battery targets. C236 Battery was shelled.
14th May 1917 Group Commander Killed 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Lt Colonel W B Grandage commanding the Group died of his wounds this morning and 2nd Lt L J Helliar. Orderly officer 236th Brigade was killed, both at Swan Chateau. Major C A Pollard appointed as temporary Group commander. Large working parties joined from 104 Brigade RFA for work on offensive positions.
15th May 1917 Appointments 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Lt Colonel Nicholson 104th Army Field Artillery Brigade arrived to take over command of Group. Battery positions for offensive action definitely allotted to Brigade. Wire cutting started.
16th May 1917 Relocations Headquarters 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery went out of action to Wagon Louex.
17th May 1917 Appointments 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Command of Group definitely handed over and all HQ staff now at Wagon Louex.
18th May 1917 Relocations One section of A236 Battery 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery relieved by one section A104 Bty and went to Wagon Louex.
19th May 1917 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report remaining sections of A236 Battery relieved by A104 and one section put onto new offensive position.
20th May 1917 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report One section of B236 Battery to Wagon Louex on relief by one section B104 Brigade. Telephone exchange for HQ Brigade established in new Headquarters at Bedford House. Capt C Egerton-Warbutton posted to A236 Battery.
21st May 1917 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Remaining sections of B236 Battery relieved and one section went onto new position. Lt Lucas MC with Forward Operations Observation party to 142nd Infantry Brigade for practice in training area.
23rd May 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery confirm preliminary instructions for offensive action issued. Batteries all working on positions and wire cutting with Group. Lt Colonel A C Lowe arrived back from leave to England and took over command of the Brigade from Major C A Pollard temporarily holding it.
24th May 1917 Relocations First section of C236 Battery 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery in action in new position tonight.
25th May 1917 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report all Batteries 236 Brigade (less one section C236 Battery) in new positions tonight and completion of large ammunition dumps at guns now taking place.
27th May 1917 Heavy Enemy Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report heavy shelling of all roads tonight by the enemy and much gas used. D236 shelled with one Bombardier killed and ten men wounded and ammunition dump blown up. Firing with gas shells continued until morning 28th May.
28th May 1917 Dumps Complete 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report all 18 pounder Batteries now have completed dumps on gun positions of 7800 rounds. Roads again shelled by the enemy. One driver from A236 Battery was killed, one wounded and two horses killed. Several other men were slightly wounded.
29th May 1917 Battery Shelled D236 Battery 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery completed dump of 6600 rounds. HQ. Staff went up into action station. D236 Battery was heavily shelled.
30th May 1917 Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report ‘C’ Group consisting of A,B,C and D/236 Batteries with D/119 Battery as counter battery formed under command of Lt Colonel A C Lowe DSO. 64th Army Field Artillery Brigade attached as a sub-group (D Group). Both Headquarters, under ruins of Bedford House, on Ypres-St Eloi Road. C Group's offensive zone is immediately North of Ypres-Comines canal. Batteries are all to the East of Headquarters and within close distance in new positions. Night firing commenced by the Group
31st May 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery Wire cutting by A236 and C236 Batteries. Night firing by B236 Battery and registration by all Batteries for raid, which is to take place immediately South of Canal. One driver C236 Battery was killed.
1st June 1917 Wire Cutting Batteries of 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery continued wire cutting. Practice barrage from 1530 to 1600 was fired at by all Batteries on Group offensive zone. Smoke shell being used. Night firing and neutralisation of wire by B236 Battery in addition.
2nd June 1917 Wire Cutting 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Wire cutting continued in cooperation with French Mortars and harassing fire carried out on tracks and communication trenches. D236 Battery bombarded five forward enemy front positions. In reply to all day bombardment by our heavy batteries the enemy retaliated with a few rounds on Batteries and Group HQ. Staff Sergeant Masters and one gunner were killed and two Sergeants wounded all in A236 Battery. Lieut A.F. Blackwell A236 Battery slightly wounded and missing in back area,believed killed. Later found to have been killed. Usual heavy firing on enemy roads and communications and wire.
3rd June 1917 Batteries in action 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery Batteries firing all day on roads etc. and counter Battery work with gas shells carried out during the whole night by howitzer batteries. HQ was bombarded by gas shells heavily for two hours during the night.
4th June 1917 Heavy Shelling 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report One gun of C236 knocked out and destroyed by a direct hit during heavy shelling of C236. D236 on harassing fire all day. A one round per minute bombardment at 2200 by all Batteries on enemy headquarters and much firing during the night. D236 had two howitzers destroyed.
Conference of BGRA (Brigadier General Royal Artillery) and Group commanders at ‘C’ Group headquarters.
5th June 1917 Patrol Raids 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery fired three searching barrages by 18 pounder Batteries during the day and a practice barrage carried out at 1500. Lt Colonel A.C. Love DSO OC ‘C’ Group went up as Senior Liaison Officer with 142 Infantry Brigade at the Bluff. Patrol raids were carried out during the night and Bedford House was again shelled.
6th June 1917 Batteries in Action At 0230 A236 and B236 Batteries, 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery fired on said barrage. Barrage creeping to final objective carried on. Very heavy shelling of all Batteries throughout day by the enemy with 8 inch and 5.9 inch shells. A236 had two guns destroyed, B236 had two badly damaged and ammunition blown up. C236 had also two guns put out of action and 1000 rounds of ammunition blown up. Only two gunners of C236 Battery were wounded. A and C Batteries were both obliged to relocate positions for some hours. Owing to loses in guns B Battery was taken off today’s imtended barrage and placed to reinforce creeping barrage. D236 again carried out counter battery work all night. 2nd Lt M.F. Allen posted to Brigade as signal officer.
7th June 1917 Attack Launched 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Zero time for offensive by the II Army to take Hill 60, Wytschate and Messines Ridges at 0310. At that hour all artillery opened heavy barrage which continued to creep forward as infantry advanced for 10 hours until all objectives were joined and ridge remained in our hands. ‘C’ Group formed the centre of the six groups covering the Divisional front and the barrage crossed the canal south of which the final group protective barrage was placed.
A large number of Neutralise Fire calls were received and D236 did resulting neutralisation of Batteries including firing at enemy troops on the march. At about 1800 barrage was carried out on SOS line, but no infantry action by the enemy.
8th June 1917 Reorganisation Reorganisation of 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery Batteries on new zero lines took place. Otherwise the enemy was very quiet. 2nd Lt H.L. Burgis was reposted to the Brigade and to A236 Battery from England.
4th Jul 1917 Trenches Damaged
13th Sep 1917 Trench Work
27th Sep 1917 Instructions
29th Sep 1917 Instructions
3rd Oct 1917 Orders
3rd Oct 1917 Instructions
3rd Oct 1917 Instructions
3rd Oct 1917 Instructions
3rd Oct 1917 Instructions
11th Nov 1917 On the March
12th Nov 1917 On the March
13th Nov 1917 On the March
17th Nov 1917 On the March
18th Nov 1917 On the March
19th Nov 1917 On the March
25th Dec 1917 Church Parade and Football
24th Mar 1918 On the Move
1st Apr 1918 Enemy Active
2nd Apr 1918 Enemy Active
3rd Apr 1918 Artillery Active
4th Apr 1918 Enemy Artillery Active
5th Apr 1918 Reliefs Completed
16th Apr 1918 In Action
27th May 1918 Welcomed Home
16th Jul 1918 Change of Command
9th Oct 1918 Advance
12th Oct 1918 Training
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Want to know more about Trench Mortar Battalions?
There are:2738 pages and articles tagged Trench Mortar Battalions available in our Library
Those known to have served with
Trench Mortar Battalions
during the Great War 1914-1918.
- Alexander Charles Henry. Lt (d.8th Jun 1917)
- Alexander Charles Henry. Lt. (d.8th June 1917)
- Ashton Arthur Edward. 57th Trench Mortar Battery
- Brien Frederick George. Lt. att. "Y" Trench Mortar Battery (d.20th April 1918)
- Busby Robert. 107th Trench Mortar Battery
- Catterall Samuel James. Sgt. 8th Btn. (d.8th Aug 1917)
- Child Joseph Alfred. 2nd Lt. 9th Battalion (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Chisholm Isaac. Gnr. 50th Trench Mortar Bty (d.10th Feb 1916)
- Church William Henry. Dvr. 122nd Trench Mortar Battery
- Curd Esli Jonathan . Sgt. 18th Btn.
- Dickenson George Ernest. Cpl. 9th Trench Mortar Bty, Y Coy. (d.1st Jul 1917)
- Doggett George Patrick. 2nd Lt. 69th Trench Mortar Battery (d.4th Jul 1917)
- Duncan J. Cpl. 1st Btn., Attchd. 40th Trench Mortar Bty. (d.13th Sep 1915)
- Edge Thomas. Cpl. X/2
- Emmott Harold. Pte.
- Ferndale Herbert Rennie. Gnr. att. 11th Trench Mortar Brigade (d.10th Feb 1918)
- Grant Malcolm. L/Sgt. 15th Btn. Attchd. 107th Trench Mortar Bty. (d.3rd January 1917)
- Gray William George. Gnr. 221st Trench Mortar Battery (d.15th Oct 1917)
- Higgins Cecil John. CorporalCpl. 24th Divisional Trench Mortar Battery (d.15 March 1916)
- Houghton Ernest. Gnr. 18th Div X Trench Mortar Battery (d.3rd July 1918)
- Humfrey William Robert. Cpl. X/35 Trench Mortar Battery
- Hunter Douglas. Sgt. att. 93rd Light Trench Mortar
- Jones Harry. Pte 23rd Divisional Trench Mortar Battery
- Kelly John James. Cpl. 4th Div. Trench Mortar Bty. (d.6th May 1917)
- King Francis Baker. Pte. 20th (Blackheath & Woolwich) Btn. (d.26th May 1918)
- King Francis Baker. Pte. 20th Btn Att. 141st TM Bty. (d.26th May 1918)
- Lynn James. Bmdr. 50th Trench Mortar Battery, X Coy. (d.27th May 1918)
- Margrove Frederick George. Pte. 11th Battalion att. 54 Mortar Battery (d.2nd Nov1917)
- McCarthy Daniel. Cpl. attd. Y Bty. 21st Trench Mortar Bty (d.26th June 1916)
- McIlroy Samuel. 14th Btn. att 109th Light Trench Mortar Bty (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Millard Charles Arthur. Pte. 23rd Btn. (d.29th Jul 1918)
- Moore John Trid. 14th Btn. att 109th Light Trench Mortar Bty (d.1st Jul 1916)
- O'Malley William Joseph. 2nd Lt. 47th Divisional Trench Mortar Battery (d.9th Apr 1917)
- Ratcliffe Alfred. Pte. 1/5th Btn. (d.14th Oct 1918)
- Ratcliffe Alfred. Pte. 1/5th Btn. (d.14th Oct 1918)
- Richmond Matthew Wilson. 2nd Lt. 19th Bn
- Richmond Matthew Wilson. A/Capt. 19th Btn.
- Savre Lawrence William. Cpl. 108th Trench Mortar Battery
- Syers Thomas Scott. Capt. 147th Brigade (d.14th Nov 1918)
All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
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Cpl. John James Kelly 4th Div. Trench Mortar Bty. Australian Field Artillery (d.6th May 1917)John James Kelly died on 6th May 1917 aged 33 and is buried in the St Sever Cemetery extension in France. He was the son of John and Catherine Kelly. Native of Redcastle, Victoria, Australia.s flynn
Dvr. William Henry Church DCM. 122nd Trench Mortar Battery Royal ArtilleryI have a letter from Brigade Major Archer sent to my grandfather William informing him that he had won the DCM in "recognition of your gallantry in bringing up ammunition under the heavy shelling & in spite of great casualties to men & horses shortly before the first battle". The letter offers heartiest congratulations from all the "Battery Officers" Other men mentioned in the letter and their awards are:
The letter is headed B.E.F. 23rd of September 1917 and signed off by what appears to be Major Archer (the signature is difficult to read), O/C B/122 Bde, RFA which I take to mean B Battery 122 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The letter apologises for being late because the unit was involved in "offensive operations".
- Major Archer: Military Cross
- Lieut Harris: Military Cross
- Lieut Cashmore: Military Cross
- Corporal Dean: Military Medal
- A J Thomas: Military Medal
- Signaller Edwards: Military Medal
- Certificates of Merit to 12 unnamed NCO's & menVivian Church
2nd Lt. Joseph Alfred Child 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment (d.7th Jun 1917)Joseph Child from Liversedge in Yorkshire, was an employee of the Leeds office of the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company, like many of his colleagues he answered Lord Kitchener’s call to arms and attested as a Private with the 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment on the 7th of August 1914. He is described as being 20 years old, five foot five and three quarters, weighing 114lbs with a 34 inch chest, fresh of complexion with blue eyes and blond hair.
Joseph, must have taken his duty seriously and diligently as he rose rapidly through the ranks, being promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1914, Corporal in early November and to Sergeant before the month was out. On Christmas Eve 1914, having already been promoted to Colour Sergeant, he was granted a Temporary Commission as 2nd Lieutenant and posted to the 9th Battalion. His Commission on the 2nd Jan 1917 was published in the list in the London Gazette on the 2nd Feb.
Joseph arrived in France on the 13th June 1915 with his battalion as part of the 23rd Division and went into the front line near Armentieres, a sector which was considered to be quiet, where they received training from the 27th Division. In early 1916 they were on Vimy Ridge and in the spring moved to Bomy to begin intensive training for the Battle of The Somme.
Although very little of Joseph’s service record survives, we can assume that he was with his battalion on the 1st of July when they captured Contalmaison and remained with them through the various phases of the famous battle.
Spring of 1917 saw Joseph’s battalion training for the next great offensive of the war, the Battle of Messines at this time he was attached to 69th Trench Mortar Battery, in the same brigade as the 9th Battalion and destined to fight alongside them. During the night of the 6th of June 1917 they moved into position near Battle Wood close to the Ypres-Warneton railway line. At 3.10am the following morning, the first attack of the Battle of Messines was launched with the detonation of 19 huge mines, which shattered the enemy defences. The 9th Battalion were in the second wave of the attack and moved forward at 6.50am into the area around Caterpillar Crater, though Joseph and his Trench Mortar men may well have joined the attack from the outset.
Joseph was killed that day and now lies at Bedford House Cemetery. This large cemetery contains over 5000 graves and is situated just south of Ypres. The enclosure in which Joseph lies, contains graves of those men brought in from other burial grounds and from the battlefields of the Ypres Salient in the 1920’s. From the list of cemeteries, which were concentrated into Bedford House, it is possible that Joseph may have been buried at the Asylum British Cemetery, in the grounds of the old Hospice du Sacre Coer (Sacred Heart Mental Hospital) which was just to the west of the railway station at Ypres. This may indicate that Joseph was injured in the action and evacuated to the Field Ambulance at Ypres where he passed away. Sadly, like so many others, his service records were badly damaged during the London Blitz in 1940, only three pages partially survive, but from this we can deduce that he was an intelligent man, keen to serve his country and that he performed his duty well.
Joseph Child is listed on the Roll of Honour in Christ Church, Liversedge where he was baptised, on the War Memorial at Cleckheaton where he lived and on the Roll of Honour of the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company for whom he worked, the company is now part of Aviva and Joseph’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on their website.
Sgt. Samuel James Catterall MM CdeG 8th Btn. Border Regiment (d.8th Aug 1917)Samuel was a Lancashire coal miner. He served with the 8th Btn Border Regiment and 75th Trench Mortar Battery. He was survived by his wife Betsy (nee Atherton) and children Wilfred, Mathew, Thomas and Edna. On behalf of the public of Ashton-in-Makerfield Lady Mary Gerrard presented an inscribed gold pocket watch to Betsy. This watch remained in the family until About 1975 when in the temporary custody of Mathew's wife Hilda it and the Belgium medal was either lost or stolen and has never been recoveredJames Edward Catterall
L/Sgt. Malcolm Grant MID 15th Btn. Attchd. 107th Trench Mortar Bty. Royal Irish Rifles (d.3rd January 1917)Malcolm Grant was my grandfather. He left three children behind, one of whom was my father. I am so proud of what my grandfather did. I am trying to find out as much as possible about him. The one thing I don't have is a photograph, but I will keep searching.Alison Grant
Capt. Thomas Scott Syers MC. 147th Brigade Royal Field Artillery (d.14th Nov 1918)Thomas Syers joined the Bedfordshire Regiment on the 22nd of Mar 1901. He Commanded 147th brigade RFA during the landings at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, on the 25th of Apr 1915 and later commanded the 29th Divisional Trench Mortar Battery He was wounded on the 8rh of July 1915 and sent home to the UK where he died from his wounds 4 days after the war ended 14th of November 1918 His Military Cross was gazetted 29 Oct 1915
Sgt. Esli Jonathan Curd MM. 18th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle CorpsEsli Curd was my great grandfather, we have the original citation and medals. He served with 122nd Trench Mortar Battery and 18th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle CorpsDebbie Christie
Gnr. Ernest Houghton 18th Div X Trench Mortar Battery Royal Field Artillery (d.3rd July 1918)Ernest Houghton or, as my family calls him, Uncle Ernie, was a young man of 27 when he died on 3rd July 1918. He was the youngest son of Charles and Clara Houghton. Uncle Ernie was born in a small hamlet called Wardy Hill, Coveney, Cambridgeshire, England. He is my great great uncle, the only information I could glean from my great aunt Gertie was that Uncle Ernie was a talented violinist. He was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, his unit 18th X Trench Mortar Battery. He is buried in Brandenburg, Germany. My family sadly does not have a picture of this young man who sacrificed his young life so my children can have the freedom they do today. Never forgotten, always remembered. Rest in peace Uncle Ernie.
Pte. Francis Baker King 20th Btn Att. 141st TM Bty. London Regiment (d.26th May 1918)Francis King was a 23-year-old bachelor, working in a jewellers on Oxford Street, London. He was the son of Frederick Robert King and Julia Caroline Rutter. Francis had been attached to 141st T M Battery. He is buried in Montigny, Somme, France.
2nd Lt. George Patrick Doggett 69th Trench Mortar Battery Royal Artillery (d.4th Jul 1917)George Doggett enlisted in 1914 and embarked with the Cambridge Territorials on 14th February 1915. He went to officer training in Bristol and joined the 7th West Ridings attached to the 10th West Ridings with duty in the 69th Trench Mortar Battery. He was wounded on 7th of June 1917 at Hill 60. He died of his wounds on 4th July 1917.Michael Contratto
A/Capt. Matthew Wilson Richmond MC. 19th Btn. London Regiment2nd Lt (A/Capt) Matthew Wilson Richmond MC. served with the 1/19th Bn, London Regt. (TF),attd. 97th Trench Mortar Bty. His citation reads: "This officer was ordered at short notice to support with his Light T.M Bty an extensive raid on Houthulst Forest on the 18/19th Feb 1918. He carefully selected his position, and being ordered not to register, made most accurate observations in broad daylight in the open and in close proximity to the enemy. During the attack his battery fired over two tons of ammunition under conditions necessitating the greatest accuracy without a round short, despite enemy shelling and machine gun fire. He personally manned and fired the gun that was firing in closest proximity to our own infantry. By his thorough reconnaissance, organisation and devotion to duty during the fight he largely contributed to the success of the operation."Drummond Orr
2nd Lt. Matthew Wilson Richmond MC. 19th Bn London RegimentMatt Richmond also served with 97th Trench Motar Bty.
Pte. Alfred Ratcliffe 1/5th Btn. Durham Light Infantry (d.14th Oct 1918)Alfred Ratcliffe died as a Prisoner of War on 14th October 1918, aged 19. Buried in the Niederzwehren Cemetery in Germany, he was the son of Mrs. M. Ratcliffe, of 22, Aqueduct St., Burnley, Lancashire.s flynn
Cpl. Daniel McCarthy MM attd. Y Bty. 21st Trench Mortar Bty Royal Garrison Artillery (d.26th June 1916)Daniel McCarthy died 26th June 1916 aged 45 and is buried in the Norfolk Cemetery in France.s flynn
CorporalCpl. Cecil John Higgins 24th Divisional Trench Mortar Battery Royal Garrison Artillery (d.15 March 1916)Discovered the brass 'death medal' for this relative (my Great Uncle) and that of his brother. CWGC records show he was Cpl C J Higgins, of Forton Rd, Gosport. He was in "Y" 24th T.M. Bty., RGA.Graham Banks
Pte. Frederick George Margrove 11th Battalion att. 54 Mortar Battery Royal Fusiliers (d.2nd Nov1917)Uncle Fred Margrove, who I never knew, volunteered for duty in September 1914, joining the 11th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and was later attached to 54th Mortar Battery. After training, at Muswell Hill and on Salisbury Plain, he proceeded to Folkestone and embarked for Boulogne.
Along with his Battalion he fought on the Somme battle front between 1914 and 1916. He then went to the Ypres Salient and was involved in the '3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendale) where he was mortally wounded near Poelcappelle. He subsequently died of his wounds and is buried at Dozinghem cemetery. He was one of thirteen children, of whom my mother was one. I have been researching him for two years now but, so far, have been unable to find a photograph of him.
Pte. Alfred Ratcliffe 1/5th Btn. Durham Light Infantry (d.14th Oct 1918)Alfred Ratcliffe served with the 1/5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry and 151st Trench Mortar Battery. He died as a Prisoner of War on the 14th October 1918, aged 19. He is buried in the Niederzwehren Cemetery in Germany. He was the son of Mrs. M. Ratcliffe, of 22, Aqueduct St., Burnley, Lancashire.S Flynn
Lt. Frederick George Brien att. "Y" Trench Mortar Battery Royal Field Artillery (d.20th April 1918)Frederick Brien was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Brien, of Wilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin. He joined up 4th August, 1914, obtaining a commission in 9th Battalion, Inniskilling Fusiliers, and was wounded on 28th June, 1916. He transferred in 1917, to Royal Field Artillery. He died of wounds, received at Merville age 34 and is buried in Tannay British Cemetery, Thiennes, France.s flynn
Lt. Charles Henry Alexander 9th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery (d.8th June 1917)Charles Alexander killed in action age 33 during the Battle of Messines, he is buried in Toronto Avenue Cemetery.s flynn
Bmdr. James Lynn 50th Trench Mortar Battery, X Coy. Royal Field Artillery (d.27th May 1918)James Lynn died aged 24, he was born in Jarrow in 1894, son of James and Catherine Lynn. James Lynn, age 17, an Engine Cleaner with North Eastern Railways, lived with his parents John & Cathrine Lynn & his sisters at 366, High Street, Jarrow in the 1911 Census. he enlisted in Hebburn
James is remembered on the Soissons Memorial and is commemorated on the Triptych in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.Vin Mullen
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History of the 51st (Highland) Division 1914-1918
The Highland Division was one of the pre-war Territorial divisions. Its HQ was in Perth with brigade HQs in Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling. On mobilization the division moved down to its war station in Bedford where it remained, carrying out training till embarking for France in May 1915. During this period six of its battalions were sent to France, three in November 1914 and three in the following March, replaced by two Highland battalions and a brigade of four Lancashire battalions; it is not clear whether the latter were required to wear kilts. They were transferred to the 55th (West Lancashire) Division when that division reformed in France in January 1916 and were replaced, appropriately, by Scottish battalions. It was in May 1915, just as the division arrived in France, that it was designated 51st and the brigades 152nd, 153rd and 154th; by the end of the war the 51st (Highland) Division had become one of the best known divisions in the BEF.More information on:
History of the 51st (Highland) Division 1914-1918
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