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13th 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



13th December 1916

On this day:


  • Unusual Enemy Activity   236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report There was some unusual enemy activity. At 0900 the enemy's Trench Mortars opened fire and a Scheme two was commenced and continued intermittently until 1200. An enemy 77 mm Battery covered the fire. At 1340pm the enemy made a special bombardment of C Sap. At about 1400 hostile Trench Mortars were again active and spread down towards Hedge Street. A Scheme four was at once put into operation after which there was no further activity.

  • Exhausting work for 33rd Bn AIF scouts   cf Intelligence Report attached. Owing to capture of patrol on 12th. Battalion front patrolled continuing all night. Found to be very exhausting on scouts. Should have waterproof overalls for this work.

  • 33rd Battalion AIF Intelligence Summary up to 6 am 13th of December 1916   33rd Battalion AIF
    Right (1) Sub Sector
    Intelligence Summary up to 6 am 13th of December 1916

    Our operations:
    Artillery: At 11.30 am our Artillery and heavy trench mortar bombarded enemy positions according to orders received with apparently good results. A considerable number of our 4.5 How shells were duds. 3.25 artillery fired 1 round test I-10-2 in 44 seconds. At 9:53 pm salvo of 4-18 lbs shells fired at working party I-10-2 seemed to be well placed.
    Lewis guns: Our Lewis guns fired on working parties at different times during the night.
    Patrols: No.1 patrol (A Co):1 NCO and 4 men left No.1 post at 7 pm to search for patrol which had not returned from connecting up with NF regiment on our Right without success. At about 10 pm they located enemy working party at about I-17-a-30-90. Lewis gun fire was directed upon this party.
    No.2 patrol (B Co): 1 NCO and 4 man left I-10-5 at 8:40 pm advanced to enemy's wire which they found very thick. They moved south along the wire for some distance and returned at about 9.35. Enemy machine gun in railway salient fired intermittently while they were out along our front. Enemy was not encountered.
    No.3 patrol (C Co): 5 men went out from I-10-7 at 9 pm. This patrol was seen and fired on by machine gun at about 100' in front of our wire. The absence cover and strong light made it impossible to space make further progress as they returned 9:50 pm.
    No.4 patrol (D Co): 5 men left I-10-2 at 8.30 pm report enemy wire very strong opposite this point. Ground rough giving good cover. Enemy fired five verey lights from his listening posts in front of mushroom. A wiring party was located on this front and artillery fired a salvo on them which appeared to be well directed. Lewis guns opened on them at the same time. The strong moonlight rendered movement in no mans land difficult.
    Enemy operations: Enemy artillery: Enemy retaliated to our bombardment at 11:30 with minenwerfer and a few shrapnel. He damaged Lothian Avenue with the one and filled in 4 dugouts in A Co support line with another. We sustained one slight casualty. Enemy obtained one direct hit on Heavy trench mortar emplacements wounding the HTM officer and Lt. Caruthers AE and killing HTM Sgt. Most of the minenwerfer appeared to come from behind mushroom salient.
    Enemy machine gun: Fired intermittently during night transversing one parapet accurately. Machine guns still fires from railway salient.
    Enemy patrols: At 6:30 pm a patrol of two men left right of No.1 locality to connect with Irish regiment on right. These men have not since returned although search has been made for them and it is presumed that they have been captured by an enemy patrol.
    Enemy did not use so many Verey lights as usual during night. He again used searchlights. These appear from a different point each night and last night one in front of I-10–2 appeared considerably nearer than ever before.
    At 10:30 enemy fired two red lights which burst in 2 red balls on reaching its maximum height. This was followed by another about one minute later. They were fired from sector opposite I-10–5. No action followed.
    Enemy bombed his own wire throughout the night opposite I-10-1 and I-10–4 to I-10–6.
    Orders received about 9.45 re strengthening garrison of front line carried out.
    Wind E.S.E about 8 mph all day.

  • 33rd Battalion AIF Routine Order No.134   NOT TO BE TAKEN IN FRONT LINE TRENCHES
      33rd BATTALION A.I.F.
      ROUTINE ORDER NO.134
      By
    Lieutenant-Colonel LJ Morshead,
      Commanding
      Chappelle d'Armentières, 13th December, 1916

      INFORMATION FROM PRISONERS 1305
      When the 5th Bavarian Division first arrived on our front the British patrol activity was far in excess of theirs.  Now the Germans do a fair amount of patrolling and are planning raids at various points; they hope to carry this out successfully and to affect surprise attacks where our wire is weak.
      The 5th Bavarian Division is opposite the Division next but one to our right; the 3rd Bavarian Divisions is opposite our front. It is not improbable that the Division opposite our front is acting under similar orders to the 5th Divisions and that similar action by them is anticipated.

      SHELL FIRE IN BILLETS 1306
      The following incident is published for information, and is to be promulgated to all ranks.
      On the 10th inst. 3 men including a sergeant were walking along the street in Armentières.  The two men who had previous experience of shellfire threw themselves flat on the ground when a shell was heard approaching; the Sergeant remained standing.
      The men who prostrated themselves were not injured but the sergeant was killed instantly.
      Troops should have it impressed upon them that the burst of a shell is outward and upward, and that if they act properly they can very often avoid injury.

      SIGNALS 1307
      S.O.S. LINES may in future be used to report presence of fleeting targets.
      The S.O.S. Signal will not be used for this purpose but will be reserved for its proper use.

      DRYING  ROOM 1308
      A Drying Room has been established  near Battalion Headquarters for use of Companies. The Details in the Subsidiary Line should now make use of this room.  Fuel can be procured from Battalion Trench Store.

      WORKING PARTIES 1309
      The work of Engineers Officers attached to the Battalion is principally of an advisory nature, therefore Regimental Officers who are at all times responsible for maintenance and repair of their trenches and wire must act on their own initiative and decide what should be done, but using Engineering Officers as advisers.
      The work must be carried out by their own men and their own Officers assisted by Engineering staff and a distinct gain in efficiency will result by making it clear to the working parties that the result of their efforts is primarily for the benefit of their own Company or Battalion.

      INVOICE OF STORES 1310
      Quartermaster will in future forward invoice with all stores  sent to Battalion Headquarters by Regimental Transport . This will be checked by R.S.M.and handed to Battalion headquarters within one hour of arrival.

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

  • 13th December 1916 Ongoing training

  • 13th December 1916 Training courses

  • 13th Dec 1916 

  • 13th Dec 1916 On Leave

  • 13th Dec 1916 Very Cold





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There are:9 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.

  • Rflmn. William Robert Honeyman. Rifle Brigade 11th Btn. Read their Story.
  • L/Cpl George Lawson. Northumberland Fusiliers 19th Btn Read their Story.
  • Pte. Roderick Donald McRae. 33rd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Harold Wooldridge. Duke of Wellingtons West Riding Regiment 8th Battalion Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.


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