Tag Archives: Sniperscopes.

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.

 

 

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24TH SEPT. 1915: OPERATION ORDERS: ALLIED FORCES ON WESTERN FRONT TAKING OFFENSIVE 25TH INST.

BERTIE HIBBETT: 19 in 1914.
BERTIE HIBBETT:
19 in 1914.

Pte BERTIE HIBBETT: No 9 GENERAL HOSPITAL, ROUEN:  O.H.M.S. POSTCARD to Arthur & Marie Neal Hibbett, 95, Foden Rd. Walsall.

I am quite well.  Friday Night. Sep. 24/ 15

Have been marked for the Convalescent Camp today by Major.  Shall in all probability move from Hospital tomorrow.  Since I received your welcome parcel & letters I have been dealing with the matter with regard to Father’s request.  Very little hope so far.  Will let you know something more tangible about affairs when possible.

Had welcome letter from Sydney yesterday, sais he has his name down for LeaveHoping you all will see at least one of us before the WinterSent you a PC on 22nd.

I remain, Your affec. son, Bertie.

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ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB
ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB

Pte Bertie Hibbett and his Family must have been  aware of rumours, circulating  in the UK since June, of a major offensive planned for the Western Front.  This would account for the heightened anxieties in recent Letters Home regarding the possibility of a ‘Blighty‘ for himself and Home Leave for his  brother

With the move from Hospital to Rouen Convalescent Camp Pte Bertie accepted he must soon join his Unit and do his duty to  his country We have seen that he hoped against hope that his sense of a ‘higher calling‘ meant he had a future – that he would survive this campaign

My father’s heading:  ‘I am quite well’ and ‘Friday night’ indicates he knew a ‘Big Push‘ was absolutely imminent. He would not of course have known the details (below) of the 2nd Army Operation Orders for 137th Brigade (signed at 1.30 pm that day) –  that it was to act as distraction from assaults elsewhere and that 1/5th South Staffs Infantry were to remain under cover on Hill 60, hopefully behind a smoke screen and firing through loopholes and sniperscopes.

Pte Bertie would not have known the whereabouts of his brother.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

South Staffordshire Badgee

OPERATION ORDERS No. 3.

by Lt Col. R.R. RAYMER Commdg. 1/5th BATTALION,  SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT.  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

3.  The 3rd Division are to attack on  the front J.13. c. 8.0. to I.12. c. 9. and the 14th Division on their left.  The final artillery bombardment will commence at 3.00 A.M. and the Infantry will assault at 4.00 A.M.

4. The 137th Brigade will co-operate 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.

Copy  No.1.  To  O.C.  A. Coy by Orderly.  No. 2. To  O.C.  B.  Coy by  Orderly.  No. 3. To  O.C.  C.  Coy  by Orderly. No. 4.  To  O.C.  D.  Coy by Orderly. No. 5. To Machine Gun Officer.  No. 6. To  Bomb & Signal Officer.  No. 7.  To  Medical Officer.  No.  8.  To War Diary.

Centre: Sgt S. HIBBETT when training as a Sergeant.
SYDNEY  HIBBETT

CORPORAL SYDNEY HIBBETT & 1/5th SOUTH STAFFORDS WAR DIARY

20th – 24th Sept. 1915.

SW SLOPE OF HILL 60.

20th Sept. Mon: Enemy fired one trench mortar at 35, no damage.  Very quiet day. CASUALTY: WOUNDED: 9512 Pte  G. Wooldridge;  9123 Pte W. McNeil (slightly wounded remain at duty).

21st Sept. Tue:  Patrols sent out from 34 and 36 found nothing unusual.  Aeroplanes very active. Enemy’s front line opposite 33 and 35 rifle grenaded, no retaliation. 22nd Sept. Wed: Trench opposite 33 again rifle grenaded without reply.  Exceedingly quiet night.

23 rd Sept.Thur:  4th Belgian Battery damaged parapet opposite 34Rifles fixed on the gaps and fire maintained during the night. Trench opposite 35 bombed at 2.20, 3.15 and 4.45 am. retaliation one trench mortar shell.  Our artillery bombarded trenches opposite 33 and 34 from 12.5 pm to 12.50 pm

At 9.30 pm enemy exploded mine outside 33 trenchNo 1 Bay blown in crater just clear of our parapet.  Force of explosion largely dissipated by 139th Brigade sap, and slope of Ravine.  Another smaller crater since observed, about 30 x south of large crater and midway between the lines.  Trench opposite was observed to be packed with enemy, rapid fire opened at once from all available rifles. Two Germans who exposed themselves were shot.

CASUALTY: WOUNDED: 9346  L/ Cpl A. Danks. (slightly wounded remain at duty).

24th Sept. Fri:  Very quiet day.  Enemy trench-mortared 33 and 34 after dusk. No damage.  

NEXT POST: 28th Sept. 1915.