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12th December 1916 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

12th December 1916

On this day:

  • Army Commader Visits   236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Visibility as very poor and none of the batteries fired. Enemy was also very quiet. During the morning the 2nd Army Commander visited all batteries and was pleased with what he saw.

    War Diaries

  • 12th Dec 1916 Weather Bad

  • 33rd Bn AIF suffer casualties   cf Intelligence Report attached dated 13/12/1916. Owing to orders scanned Battalion stood to arms from 10 pm to 12:30 am. Patrol connecting Right of Battalion with the Left of Unit on our Right captured by enemy at 6:30 AM. One 77 mm shell bursting at Top of Lothian Avenue killed two and wounded two more.

    33rd Btn Australian Imperial Force War Diary, La Chapelle-d'Armentières, Right (1) Sub Sector

  • 33rd Battalion AIF evening action   33rd Battalion AIF

    Intelligent Report up to 6 am 12/12/1916. No.7.

    1. Our operations

    Artillery: Nil.

    Machine guns: Our machine gun in right rear of the left-centre co was firing indirectly over to right CEOs during night. Apparent object of engaging MG opposite "A" post.

    Lewis guns: Our Lewis guns during night fired at enemy working party about 11.10 pm and at wiring party at about 1.17.a.3.8.5. Results could not be observed.

    Patrols: No. 1 Patrol -one NCO, 3 men left 9:30 pm. Found our wire in good condition. Enemy Searchlight burned on them apparently from enemy front line. After searchlights switched off enemy working party got up on parapet. Patrol returned by same route at 11:10 pm by same route and directed Lewis gun onto working party.

    No. 2 Patrol: 1 NCO and three men left I.10.1. at 12:10 am. Found moon too strong to permit of much movement. Located enemy wiring party at about I-17-a-3–8.5. Returned at 1:30 am and directed Lewis Gun fire on wiring party.

    No.3 Patrol: 1 NCO and three men left I–10-4 at 9:50 pm. They got to within 25 yards of the enemy wire and found it to be in good condition and very strong. Shell holes in this area will full of water. Four Verey lights were fired from enemy front line. Patrol returned at 10:40 PM by same route.

    No. 4 Patrol: for men left I–10-4 at 12 midnight. Reports enemy working party between his parapet and wire. Only two Verey lights were fired while this patrol was out and about six rifle shots by the enemy. Patrol returned by same route at 1 am.

    No. 5 Patrol: 1 NCO and three men left I–10-4 at 9:30 PM. Experienced difficulty on account of the moon and scarcity of cover. They report the ground as being very wet and swampy but comparatively free from shell homes. Returned at 10:15 pm.

    No. 6 Patrol: 4 men left I-10–6 at 12 midnight and entered ditch returning from our line at 1–11-a -0.0–7 to enemy line at I-11-a-5.5-3.5. They advanced to within 30 yards of enemy wire along South bank of ditch. There they located an enemy sniper at about I-11-a-4-5 apparently in a shell hole about 20 yards in front of his wire. Patrol returned by same route at 1:15 am.

    No. 7 Patrol: 1 NCO and three men left I-10-2 at 9:30 pm. Advanced straight to enemy wire which they found to be mainly supported by knife rests. Enemy at this time was particularly quiet and only fired three Verey lights. Patrol returned at 11:30 pm.

    No. 8 Patrol: 4 men left I-10–2 at 12 midnight. Report finding what appeared to be new wire at I–11-c-3–0.0. Searchlight appeared well behind enemy front line and machine gun opened on patrol from their left flank apparently from railway salient. Patrol returned by same route at about 1:20 AM.
    The moon rendered patrolling difficult.

    Enemy operations
    Artillery: nil
    Machine gun fired intermittently during the night.
    A great number of Verey lights were fired by enemy during night. Enemy trenches appeared to be badly knocked about at about I-11-C-6–7.5. He has erected some camouflage on his wire apparently in order to hide his working parties. New woodwork can be seen at this point.
    Rear lines: nil

    Enemy movements: A considerable noise of transport could be heard moving on rear of enemy lines during night particularly at about 6:30 pm.

    Communication: Enemy used many Verey lights during the night. He also used a number of searchlights which appeared at different places along his line.
    Aircraft: An enemy aeroplane (biplane) flew over DCO HQ and C gap from direction of Square Farm at about 300 feet from ground at 2:30 pm. It was moving very fast. Rifle fire was directed on it from frontline without effect. He was flying so low that the fact that it was an enemy machine was not discovered until it was almost over the line. One Lewis gun opened up on it but it jammed after firing two or three shots.
    Sniping: Our snipers claim having hit 2 enemy.
    Wind: Northwest 12 noon 6 mph to 5 pm 2 mph.

    33rd Btn Australian Imperial Force War Diary

  • 33rd Battalion AIF Routine Order No.133   Not to be taken in front line trenches
    By Lieutenant-Colonel LJ Morshead,
    Chappelle D'Armentieres, 19th December, 1916

    RETURNS 1299
    In submitting the daily casualty returns Units will furnish the following information. Regimental number, rank, full name, age, religion, nature of casualty, and name and address of next of kin.

    LIGHTING 1300
    The attention of all ranks is called to the necessity of suppressing all kinds of light which may serve as guiding marks to the pilots of hostile aircraft flying at night. No fires in the open are to be allowed after dark.

    Vehicles must not proceed East of the railway line at NOUVEL HOUPLINES with more than a pair of animals. Remainder of team must be unhooked and placed undercover until required on the return journey.

    GUM BOOTS 1302
    To avoid ill effects it is essential that men should select boots which are full large for them, and that no tight straps should be used.

    DRESS 1303
    It has been brought to notice that officers have returned to United Kingdom from France wearing the Dan Browne belt which from which the braces have been removed.
    In the United Kingdom, Officers, will invariably wear at least one brace with the Dan Browne belt. The frog will only be worn when the sword is worn.

    STRENGTH 1304
    The following having been admitted into hospital are struck off the strength:

    No. 7?4 Sgt. GJ Carter (deceased)
    No. 510?A Pte. B Wenban
    No. 11?? Pte. W Crewe
    No. 1413 Dvr. A Kinkade
    No. 1100 Dvr. A. Carpenter
    No. 1417 L/Cpl. J McDonald
    No. ??91 Pte. CR Lisle
    No. 5076 Pte. MA Miller
    No. 5011 Pte. CE Fowler
    No. 272 Pte. CC Smith
    No. 212 L/Cpl. W Matley

    The undermentioned having returned from hospital are taken on the strength:

    No. 1114 Pte. AR Ellis
    No. 1?? Pte. R Taggart
    No. 753 Pte. W Delaney
    No. 2132 Pte.EA Shaw
    No. 1724 Cpl WP Chapman

    (Signed) RC Jones 2/Lt.
    Adjutant. 33rd Battalion A.I.F

    33rd Btn Australian Imperial Force War Diary

  • 12th December 1916 Ongoing training

  • RFC Expansion   The Army Council approves the expansion of the Royal Flying Corps to 106 frontline squadrons.

  •    SAILLY

    A & D Co’s relieved B & C Co’s in the KEEP no casualties.

    The National Archives Reference WO95/2361/1

  • 12th Dec 1916 On Leave

  • 12th Dec 1916 Snow

  • 12th Dec 1916 Reliefs

  • 12th Dec 1916 On the March

  • 12th Dec 1916 Training

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

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Want to know more?

There are:13 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. Alexander Burke. Royal Irish Regiment 4th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Ernest George Summers. Army Service Corps Canteens Read their Story.

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  • Items from the Home Front Archive

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