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14th 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



14th December 1916

On this day:


  • Heavy Trench Mortar Silenced   236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report the morning was normal. At 1500 the Division on our right bombarded Hill 60 and the Snout. We cooperated on our front. The enemy retaliated at 1525. D236 Battery silenced a Heavy Trench Mortar. A Scheme five was ordered twice and the second time was effective. Much movement was seen on Tower Hamlets Road.

  • 33rd Bn AIF snipers effective   December cf Intelligence Report attached dated (15 /12/1916). Snipers harassing enemy continuously during daylight dealing effectively with the enemy sniping.

  • 33rd Battalion AIF Intelligence Summary up to 6 am 14th December 1916   33rd Battalion AIF 7:50 am up to 6 am 14th December 1916
    Right (1) Sub Sector
    Intelligence Summary

    Our Operations: Our artillery: At 2:30 our artillery and heavy trench mortar bombarded enemy parapet and line opposite I-10–7. 18 pounder shells appeared to burst well. At 3:30 pm in reply for call for retaliation they fired on I-16–4 and succeeded in silencing enemy minenwerfer.
    Machine guns: Lewis guns: working party at I–11–c-50–70 dispersed with Lewis gun fire. Otherwise Lewis gun quiet owing to fact that front was patrolled almost continuously all night.
    Vickers gun: in support line left centre Co fired indirectly at machine gun in railway salient.
    Patrols: The battalion front was patrolled continuously from dark to stand to. Patrols report our wire in front of 1–11-4 and I-10-1 to be in good condition except for one gap which has now been filled. Patrols here report that enemy used a great number of verey lights also a searchlight which hindered their movement very much. He also fired on them with machine guns. Patrols in front of I-10–2 and I-10–3 report enemy wire very strong opposite these points, patrols examining wire from I-11–c– 40–50 to I-11–c-40–50. No enemy wire encountered. Patrols covering I-10–6 and I-10–7 report having seen three of enemy in no mans land but could not get in touch with them. They also discovered two wires and an instantaneous fuse remaining from enemy parapet to our own where it was connected with four jam tin bombs. They are apparently all old and have been there for some time. One bomb forwarded herewith. Enemy fired a considerable number of very lights during night on this front. Patrols on frontage I-10-4 - I-10-5 report everything as usual. Enemy not encountered.
    Wiring: Wire was put out in front of B Post party being out for 4 hours used all material available. Also wire was put out in front of the central Avenue repairs being carried out where damaged by enemy artillery fire.
    Enemy operations: Artillery: Enemy retaliated to our bombardment at about 2:30 pm with minenwerfer and 77 mm. Nine of the former and 70 of the latter being fired. 77 mm shells appeared to come from the direction of Wez Macquart. Enemy appeared to be shooting at Porte Egale Avenue with his 5.9. No of shells fired not ascertained and a number exploded on south side of Petite Porte Egale Farm. No material damage was done. One 77 shell exploded at head of Lothian Avenue killing two and wounding two. Four what appeared to be large rifle grenades or small strength mortar shells were fired into left Co. sector at about the head of Porte Egale Avenue. One exploded loudly and the others gave a dull report but a great deal of smoke rose from them. There were no duds so the nature of the shell could not be ascertained. He also fired 30 77mm shells which landed in the vicinity of our subsidiary line and Fochards (?) Dump, none of these shells exploded ??? shells have been dug up by R.A.
    Enemy machine gun: one new machine gun position located in rear of Mushroom firing high apparently at support or rescue lines. It is not possible to give coordinates yet. The machine gun in railway salient also fired. Enemy machine guns active all along battalion front all night but no other guns could be located.
    Enemy defences: Enemy could be heard at work in his trenches all night. One wiring party was dispersed with Lewis gun fire.
    Enemy movements: Transport could be heard behind enemy lines during night, appeared to be unloading iron rails.
    Communications: Enemy used more verey lights than usual during the night. He also used his search lights very frequently.
    Aircraft: A British aeroplane passed over position at about 7:55 am flying north and returned at 8:45 from south east.
    Miscellaneous: Enemy bombed his wire very frequently all along this front. Our snipers claim 2 hits on 12/12/1916 and 2 more on 13/12/1916. Wind Southwest about 5 mph all day.
    Patrols continued: Patrols left each of 4 Cos sectors as follows:
    Out: 7:00 pm 7:35 pm 8:30 pm 9:00 pm 11:10 pm 1:10 am 2:30 a.m.
    Returned: 7:50 pm 8:30 pm 9:00 pm 11:10 pm 1:10 am 2:30 a.m. 5:00 am

  • 33rd Battalion AIF Routine Order No.135   NOT TO BE TAKEN IN FRONT LINE TRENCHES
      33rd BATTALION A.I.F.
      ROUTINE ORDER NO.135
      By
    Lieutenant-Colonel LJ Morshead,
      Commanding
      Chappelle d'Armentières, 14th December, 1916

      FROST COGS 1311
      Quarter Master will submit indents to D.A.D.O.S. for wrenches, taps, etc. on the following scale:
      For each farrier and shoeing-smith ... Taps 3/8" - 1
                                                                  Taps 1/2" - 1
                                                                  wrenches - 1
      In addition to the above for every four horses
      1 wrench
      1 tap
      Of which 25% of the taps will be 3/8"
      And 75% of the taps will be 1/2"
      For mules all taps will be 3/8"

      S.O.S. SIGNALS 1312
      Company Commanders must see that every officer in their command and every platoon Sergeant fully understands the instructions for the use of this signal.

      REPAIRING WIRE 1313
      Repairs to wire should be concentrated in the following order of importance.
      Gaps
      Posts
      Localities
      The gaps being weakest should have the strongest wire defences.

      STORAGE OF AMMUNITION 1314
      It is essential to have ammunition boxes inserted in parapet in trenches for the dry storage of hand grenades and loose S.A.A. These boxes should be so placed as to minimise the weakness to the parapet and at the same time give protection to the bombs from shellfire. The boxes should have a flap of hessian over the face to prevent rain beating in.  Companies will report to Battalion H.Q. when work is completed.

      BOUNDS 1315
      In order to safeguard the British troops billeted in NIEPPE from mumps contagion buildings in the village of NIEPPE will be out of bounds to all troops of this Battalion until further notice. This must be read to troops by all concerned.

      CASUALTIES 1316
      Reference R.O.133, para 1299, Companies and HQ sections need only report number, rank and name of casualties.  This must be done by runner immediately such casualties occur.  All other information will be supplied by Battalion Headquarters.  All officers and other ranks reported "Missing" and who eventually return to their Companies, etc should be at once shown in casualty lists.

      FOOT TRAFFIC  1317
      Men passing backwards and forward from the front must not use the LILLE-ARMENTIERES railway line. There is a good track inside the hedge on north side of the line and this must invariably be used.

      REGISTRATION OF BRITISH COLUMBIANS 1318
      Any British Columbian soldier serving with this Battalion will register his name at Battalion HQ by 15th inst. for purpose of voting in connection with Referenda on Prohibition and Female Suffrage in British Columbia.

      RATIONS 1319
      Companies must make provision for men who are kept at Regimental Aid Posts for medical attention. Rations for such men to be promptly despatched to Sgt Cook at the Battalion HQ otherwise patients may have nothing to eat.

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

  • 14th December 1916 Ongoing training and inspections

  • 14th December 1916 Specialist training in bad weather

  • 14th Dec 1916 On Leave

  • 14th Dec 1916 Relief

  • 14th Dec 1916 Wood Shelled

  • 14th Dec 1916 Working Parties





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Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. George Mercer. Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders 1st Btn.

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