Tag Archives: Battle of Loos. 1915.

28TH SEPT.1915: CONVALESCENT CAMP ROUEN. ‘ARF A MO KAISER!’

Bertie in UniformPte BERTIE HIBBETT, No 6  GENERAL BASE CONVALESCENT CAMP:  YMCA POSTCARD to ARTHUR HIBBETT Esq. 95 Foden Rd. Walsall.  Censor No 920.

YMCA Postcard 28th Sept. 1915.
YMCA Postcard 28th Sept.  not franked until 1st Oct. 1915.

 

No 6  General  Base.  Tues: Sep 28/ 15.

Was transferred from the Convalescent Camp on Monday evening (1) & am now back at my Base; where I am put on light duty for three days & then I expect I shall be sent to my unit for Active Service & hope I shall soon be ‘up & at it againsingeing the K____’s whiskers. (2).

Half-a-Mo-Kaiser! Copy of Bairnsfather's cartoon by A.H. Hibbett. 1916.
‘ARF A MO KAISER!’ BERT THOMAS’ CARTOON.  Copy  by A.H. Hibbett. 1914/ 1915.

Good news in the papers isn’t it? (3).   I am quite well.

Best love to all,  Bertie.  

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

(1)  Pte Bertie Hibbett had expected to move to Convalescent Camp on Sat. 25th Sept. but actually arrived there on Mon. 27th Sept.  He expected to be in the trenches again in a few days. (Typically he addresses such important news to his father)

(2) ‘ARF  A  MO  KAISER!’ by  Herbert Samuel (Bert) Thomas, MBE. 1883-1966 (Punch political cartoonist/ WW1 & WW2 propaganda posters). Cartoon. First published 11th Nov. 1914 in the Weekly Dispatch, raised £250,000 for its Tobacco for Troops Fund. ‘Every 6d will gladden the heart of a hero’.  My father made several copies between 1914 -1915. <https://www.cartoons.ac.uk&gt;

The Weekly Dispatch (British Newspaper estab. 1801) became ‘Sunday Dispatch’ in 1928 until merged with Sunday Express in 1961.

(3Newspapers were quick to report initial success of the Battle of Loos (pronounced ‘Loss’), Hohenzollern Redoubt, on 25th Sept. 1915, part of the major attempt to break the trench stalemate along the Western Front. 

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South Staffordshire BadgeeSOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY.

RAILWAY DUG-OUTS, ZILLEBEKE.

26th & 27th Sept.  In Brigade Reserve.

CASUALTY:  WOUNDED 27th inst.  8715 Cpl. R.J. Drew.  28th & 29th Sept: Dug-outs shelled from 11 am to 1 p.m. with 8 in. armour-piercing shells and H.E. shrapnel.  

NEXT POST: 30th SEPT. 1915.

 

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25TH SEPT.1915: OPERATION ORDERS: THE 2ND ARMY WILL ATTACK EAST OF YPRES.

South Staffordshire Badgee1/5th SOUTH  STAFFORDS  WAR  DIARY

S. W. SLOPE OF HILL 60.

25th Sept. Sat:    See Operation Orders d/24.9.15. 

1.  Allied Forces on the Western Front are taking offensive on the 25th inst.   2. The 2nd Army will attack E. of Ypres . . . 

4.  The  137th  Brigade will cooperate as follows:-         

(a)  Enemy salients in I. 29, 30 and 34 and his approaches to them will be kept under artillery, rifle fire, and machine gun fire, special attention being paid to suspected observation posts.  The targets for the 137th Brigade being these points in front of the Brigade Trenches, rifle fire will be from loopholes or sniperscopes.

(b) If the wind is favourable a curtain of smoke will be directed on HILL 60 and the CATERPILLAR from the trenches of the Left Sector, 137th Brigade.

5. Watches will be synchronised from Battalion Headquarters at 12.30 A.M. Sept 25/ 15.

6.   During the Artillery Bombardment that is :- up to 4.20 A.M.  men in the trenches except sentries will be kept under cover immediately bombardment ceases, that is:-  4.20  A.M. rifle fire and machine gun fire will be opened on the enemy trenches as directed in para 4 (a).

7.   Battalion Head Quarters will be established in the Strong Point in the Wood at 10.30 pm Sept 24th communications with Head Quarters are to be tested every quarter of an hour from that time onwards.

8.   Casualties will be accommodated in the most convenient dug-out and if necessary, medical aid will be obtained from Battalion Head Quarters.

J. LAMOND, Capt. & Adjt. 1/5th Bn South Staffordshire Regt.    Issued at 1.30 pm.

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

Pte  Bertie Hibbett was expecting to move from Hospital to Convalescent Camp on Sat. 25th Sept.  The fact that a major offensive along the Western Front had begun would have been known in Rouen by that evening.  But Bertie would not have known what was happening to 1/5th Bn.  South Staffs on Hill 60 Ypres Salient  – and he would have been anxious for the safety of his brother

In the event, as the following record shows, the 1/5th South Staffords cooperated as ordered; their Brigade Head Quarters in the Wood was not damaged and their casualties were comparatively slight. 

Elsewhere the story was very different.  On 25th Sept. the Battle  of Loos (pronounced ‘Loss’) witnessed the first use of chlorine poison gas by the British and led to the gassing of 2,632  of their own men.  Initial success that day came to nothing, through lack of Reserves. The fight for Loos and the Hohenzollern Redoubt was to continue for many weeks with many losses

South Staffordshire BadgeeSOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY

S. W.  SLOPE  HILL  60.

25th Sept Sat:  During early morning Enemy shrapnelled 36 Trench with H.E. – also fired single shells at intervals into the Wood without effect.  Trench mortar opposite 35 silenced by Belgian Battery.  Enemy trenches opposite 35 & 36 bombed and rifle grenaded.  Enemy trench-mortared 33 in reply until silenced by Belgian gun.

CASUALTIES: WOUNDED: 8534 Pte L. Lyons.   SLIGHTLY WOUNDED (remain at duty):   8246 Pte L. Abel; 8454 Pte S Goode; 8708 Pte W. Selby.

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NEXT POST:  28TH SEPT. 1915.