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Royal Garrison Artillery

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1914/15 entries

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35th Heavy Battery R.G.A. (aged 27 at time of writing)


WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 11th

A very heavy attack was made during morning and some of the enemy broke through Polygone wood and threatened to come straight on to the battery. Spare men were sent out with rifles under Lt. Hyde Clark to Ekternest. Lieut. Hyde Clark was wounded by a rifle bullet. Infantry reinforcements eventually regained lost ground.


WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 18th

D. Subsection whose gun was out of action on 14th owing to a broken spring case left and marched to Voamertinghe. Very difficult getting out across country to the main road. Gun went twice into a ditch and nearly overturned - took about 3 hours to get out. The second time wheel had to be jacked up and impromptu skidding made out of fence posts.


SATURDAY NOVEMBER 21st

2 a.m. Battery moved out of position. Moved across country by temporary made road to main Zoniyebexe - Ypres road. Road very bad, especially as far as Chateau St. Jean. 2 foot drop into deep mud off the paved middle of the road. Last gun met a whole brigade of French artillery in this piece of road, who generously went into the mud to allow "la gros piece" to pass. Road slippery from frost.

March continued via St. Jean, north of Ypres, Vlamertinghe - Poperinghe. Halt for breakfast at Poperinghe. March continued via Askele - Godewaerevelde - Fletre. Battery reached Fletre and went into billets in farm half a mile north west of village. (D subsection gun did not reach billet but stayed for night near Eeck, having gone by a different route. Came in next morning).


SUNDAY NOVEMBER 22nd

Started to refit. Received 17 heavy draught horses.


MONDAY NOVEMBER 23rd

10 a.m. Shifted billets to Chateau at east end of Fletre. Horses and guns in large field 300 yards down Strateele road. All officers and men in one house. Men in a large loft.


TUESDAY NOVEMBER 24th to MONDAY NOVEMBER 30th

Still in same billet refitting.


MONDAY NOVEMBER 30th - SATURDAY DECEMBER 5th

Home on leave.


SUNDAY DECEMBER 6th - THURSDAY DECEMBER 10th

In billets.


FRIDAY DECEMBER 11th

A cold foggy morning. Stables at 4.30. Harnessed up and started to get wagons out of the field at 6.45 a.m.. Mud awful. Got the last wagon clear at 8 o'clock. Battery moved complete with Ammunition column and also own section of Divisional column making a total of:

    4 guns
    12 limbered ammunition wagons
    10 G. S. wagons
    1 water cart.

Quite a long column. We marched through Meteren and Bailleue and by main Armentieres road and then Steenwerck road, halting about mile from Neuve Eglise while O.C. reconnoitred position. About midday we moved on through Neuve Eglise turning sharp left in the village and up a narrow muddy road. We had to cut down a lot of wood and try and fill in a ditch to get into the field which was already a sea of mud.

First gun went in well over the axles and we stood knee deep in mud, hauling it through. To keep us cheerful, it started to rain. My two guns were put in position along one edge of field and right section about 400 yards away. Left section just ready by dark.

After dark a guard was left over the guns and battery marched into billets at Neuve Eglise. The men were very comfortable, it being the first time they had all been in actual living houses - as a rule having been in barns and outhouses. The inhabitants did them very well and I'm glad to say spoke very well of their behaviour when we left. Officers in two neighbouring houses which had been deserted by their owners.
March: 11 miles.



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