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War Diary of the 1/5th Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment Somme Offensive August 1916
source:Public Record Office (
August 1916

COULONVILLERS	1	Training Commenced - 1 OR reinforcement
	6	Reinforcements  - 30 ORs
	7	Reinforcements
				2/Lt 	J H HEYS		}
						H O SAGAR		}	from 5th Batttn the Last
						D T PARRY		}	Lancaster Regiment
				99 ORs from 1st Cambs  (1/1 Hunts Cyclists) Battn
	9	Battn marched to billets at LONGUEVILLETTE	- OO 52
LONVILLETTTE	10	Battn marched to billets at ARQUEVES	- OO 53
ARQUEVES	14	Battn marched to billets at VARENNES	- OO 54
VARENNES	15	Battn marched to billets at BOUZINCOURT - OO 55
BOUZINCOURT	16	Battn relieved the 6th Glosters as in OO 56 and took over as follows
			A and B Coys in trenches ORVILLERS village
			HQs and C and D Coys in ORVILLERS post
ORVILLERS POST	18	The Battn attacked as in 143 Bde OO No 81 Orders issued to OC Coys verbally.
		The attack was successful.  A Coy took first objective,  B Coy plus two platoons of C took the second - D coy formed the garrison and the trenches 28-37 and C coy less two platoons formed a carrying party.
Ref Map ORVILLERS		The "jumping off" place was 28-88 - ladders were placed on ??? of 17th. 18th. and dumps
57d SE 4 		formed at 28 and 88.
1/10.000		Battn  HQS were near Point 05 and advanced HQ at pt 67.
and special Map		At night a coy of the 1/8 R War R took over from 28-37 and C and D coys went foward to assist A and B Coys.
Trenches 	19	Line readjusted at daylight as shown in Appendix III
		Patrols sent forward as Appx IV - Pt 77 not captured
		Line readjusted at night as in 143 Bde OO 82 (Battn OO 57)
	20	The Battn was relieved at 4pm by the 6th Glosters as in Bde OO No 83 and Battn OO 58 and marched to bivouacs W8c84
		Casualties during period 18-20th
		Killed 	2 Lt W E CURTIS
				2 Lt F P KYO and 16 ORS
		Wounded  	Capt H L R J GROOM
						2 Lt W S TOWNSEND
						2 Lt F COULSON and 99 ORs
		Missing	5 ORs
		Messages of congratulations are shown in Appendix VII
Bivouacs W8c84	22	Battn relieved 8 R War R in trenches on right ANZAC Corps on left 144th Inf Bde - front was SKYLINE Trench extending from R33a80 to X2b59
		Battn HQs at X8b76
		On right C Coy, on left A Coy
		Right support D Coy,   Left Support B Coy
	24	Battn Relieved by 6th R War R and dispersed as follows
				Battn less B and D Coys at OSNA Redoubt
						B and D Coys at ORVILLERS VILLAGE in trenches
										from X8c15 to X8a02
		Casualties during 22-24   killed ORs   4,  wounded ORs 23
	26	9 Officers and 375 ORs employed for working party under R.E. on Brigade front and support line during night 26/27  1 OR wounded.
	27	Two coys in ORVILLERS held in Reserve to Bde during an attack by 8th R War R
			2 Lt C BUCK (attach 145 Bde) wounded
Ref 57DSE	28	The Battn Marched to billets at VARENNES
  1/20,000		The undermentioned officers from 3/5 Battn taken on strength
				2/Lt A SHELDON
				2 Lt H L WOSTENHOLM and 45 ORs
VARENNES	29	Battn marched to huts in the Bois de WARNIMONT

	Strength of Battn on August 31st 1916
	Officers 28		ORs  592
	Casualties during the month of August
	Killed	Officers 2,  ORs 20	Wounded Officers  4,  ORs 123,   Missing  4 ORs

In the file
Operation Orders 52
Operation Orders 53 (hand written)
Operation Orders 54
Operation Orders 55
Operation Orders 56
Operation Order 81

143 Inf : Bde Operation Order No 81					APPENDIX I
18 August 1916
Ref : OVILLERS 1/10,000

1.	The bde will attack the enemy this afternoon as follows.

1st Objective : 	X.2.b.6.2 - 20 - 03,	X.2.a.91-81,    X.2.c.3.9.
2nd Objective : 	X.2.b.5.5 - 44 - 06,	X.2.a.06-76-56-43-22
3rd Objective : 	(in which 145 Inf:Bde will co-operate by bombing from X.2.b.99) X.2.b.59-48

2.	6th Bn will attack from right to the line X.2.a.96, X.2.b.04 03-20 (exclusive).
	5th Bn will attack the remainder of the objectives with the exception of the trench X.2.c.39-X.2.a.22, which will be dealt with by bombing parties of the 7th Bn.

3.	The Infantry advance will be in waves, the first wave capturing, consolidating, and reforming of the line of the first objective, whilst succeeding waves push on to the second objective.  From the second obejctive, 6th Btn will secure the third objective, whilst all Bns will maintain touch with the enemy, pushing forward and establishing themselves as far (if possible) as the line R.32.D.20  X.2.a.79,  X.2.a.29

4.	The sequence of artillery action will be as follows:
	(a) Corps heavy artillery and other artillery will continue their constant bombardment on the first objective, and strong points in rear until 5pm. when they will lift to the second objective.

	(b) At 5p.m. a shrapnel barrage will open along the line Z.2.b.62 20, X.2.a.80
	 At 5-5pm it will lift about 100 yards, except guns on fron N of X.2.b.20, through X.2.b.03 to X.2.a.91, which will not lift till 5-7pm.
	At 5.10pm it will lift to 2nd objective.
	At 5.15pm it will lift to the line 100 yards N of 2nd objective.
	At 5.20pm it will lift to theline X2 B68-59-48  - X.2.A 46 -16

	After 5.20pm it will work back 100 yards per 2 minutes to the bottom of the NAB - MOUQUET valley, stopping on line R33 D 03  R 32 C 56 - 33 - X 2 A 19 and continuing at slow rate on this line.

	(c) At 5-5pm Heavy Artillery will lift back to outside squares X.2.a and b

5.	An R.E. officer and six sappers will report to both the 5th and 6th bns. and will follow their infantry to the 2nd objective. From there, they will send back to the R.E. Co. in OVILLERS, for such assistance and material as they require to complete the consolidtation of strong points in the line gained.  They must not become involved in the infantry fighting.

6.	The M.G.Co will co-operate as follows:-
	(a) A barrage will be kept up along the line R.32.d.25  - R.32.c.65 - R.32.c.33
	(b) Two guns atr X.2.d..44 will watch the right flank.
	(c) The THIEPVAL plateau will be searched by six guns throughout.
	(d) The MOUQUET valley will be swept by two guns, if required.

7.	Two guns,  T.M. Batt: will be attached to th 5th, 6th and 7th Bns respectively.

8.	From 5pm to 5.45pm.  there will be a discharge of smoke (if the wind is favourable) up the MOUQUET valley, from about X.2.b.33 to conceal the operations from the N.   If required, this will be renewed later.

9.	(a) Assaulting troops, who will move as light as possible, will carry 120 rounds S.A.A.  2 Mills bombs and 2 sandbags per man.  They will also wear white distinguishing badges on the back.

	(b) Yellow screens and red flares will be carried to mark the forward positions reached.  S.O.S. rockets and Very lights will be sent up to the front reached, at nightfall.

	(c) Officers will be dressed as like the men as possible.

	(d) No maps, plans, orders or letters will be carried by anyone.

	(e) Carrying parties, not taking part in the assault, need carry no arms or equipment, other than the smoke helmet.

	(f) The trench X.2.d.28 - 26 - 02 will be kept clear for the evacuation of casualties.

	(g) Bns will post sentries, as required, to control trench traffic and deal with stragglers.

10.	Advanced  Bde hdqrs will be established at X.8.a.05, by 4.30pm

Issued at 11.30
P R Whalley Major
B.M.  143 Inf : Bde

Copies to	Bde units
			48 Div
			145 Inf : Bde
			146 Inf : Bde
			Left Group R.A.
			No 2 F.Co.  R.E.
48th Division

Information regarding the enemy to be fought this afternoon.
Copy NO 4.    SECRET
II Corps.

The following points should be brought home to all ranks taking part in the attack this afternoon.  This document should then be destroyed.

1.	The bombardment by our heavy guns and heavy trench mortars has now been more or less continuous on the enemy in X.2.a for over a week.
	During the last 48 hours this bombardment has been particularly severe.  No portion of our own line has ever experienced such continuous and concentrated bombardment by such heavy shells.

2.	The German garrison of this area has probably been without relief for about a week: enduring this bombardment, being constantly threatened by real night attacks from the East (not mere feints) and probably short of water and food as all their communications have been kept under consistent gun and machine gun fire.
	It is just possible that the garrison was relieved last night: in which case they must have had a long night march, must have suffered severely on the way and must now be very tired and short of sleep.
	All recent captured letters confirm the supposition that continuous fighting and shortness of food is affecting, generally, the morale of the German troops.

3.	While crossing No Man's Land our infantry may come under a certain amount of rather distant rifle or machine gun fire from the front or half-front (our flanks are quite secure): but badly aimed fire because of the smoke and dust which will be caused by our own barrage and because all likely places are being dealth with.
	Those who are slow about crossing No Man's Land may come under a hostile artillery barrage: but this is unlikely to open in less than five minutes after Zero.  Our counter batteries are ready to deal with this artillery and their observation posts are also being dealt with as far as possible.

4.	Once across No Mans Land and into the 1st objectives the fight must become mostly a hand to hand one.  Our barrages will continue to keep the ring but in any case neither the enemy' artillery nor his machine guns can fire into the ring without just as much chance of shooting his own men as shooting our's.
	In this hand to hand fight our troops will be comparatively well fed, fit and fresh.  These three advantages plus the advantage of each man meaning business and knowing what he means to do (while the enemy will be in confusion, all getting and giving different orders) and plus the acknowledged superiority of our own men in hand to hand fighting (when they get the chance) should make the final result this afternoon a forgone conclusion.

5.	Though the actual capture of the position may prove quite an easy task all ranks must remember that the German trenches will have been very badly knocked about: and that unless consolidation work is throroughly during the night the captured positions will be uncomfortable and unhealthy tomorrow.

Howell  B.G.G.S.

Appendix III - Message and Signals
Senders number JC 6
Day of Month 19th

Following will be disposition as soon as it is light  AAA
B Coy 2 Platoons and 2 lewis guns  hoding  103 to 96
	2 Platoons roughtly about 64 and lewis gun
A Coy 2 Platoons about 80,81,91   2 lewis guns
	2 Platoons about 77,88
C Coy	 37 to 47   3 lewis guns (when these get into position Company if 8 Bn will go back and report at HQ 8 Bn at X 8 c 0 9
D Coy to find accomodation in dug out between 24-98 in ?? old ?? trench north of 05 (If there is room then also send two platoons of C COY)
Rations will be brought up by 8Bn ?  D G 24-96
Any of 6Bn now with us should be returned to them.
Instruction acknoweldge and report when complete

J C S (?) Sladen    ???
1/5 R WAR R