Instructions for 97th Infantry Brigade when in Reserve (25/4/1918)

Ref. No.G. 3/5/1
Instructions for 97th Infantry Brigade when in RESERVE.
Reference Sheets 51.C and 57.D 1/20,000

1. Position of
Our own Troops.
(a) The VI Corps Front is held as follows:-

        Right Division Sector......Guards Division.
        Centre Division Sector.....2nd Division.
        Left Division Sector.......2nd Canadian Division.

        Division in Third Army Reserve
        (at disposal of VI Corps in Case of attack)......32nd Division

A tracing showing the Divisional boundaries and lines of Defence in the Corps Area is attached.

(b) The French 129th Division has two battalions accommodated one at BIENVILLERS and one at BERLES-AU-BOIS.

In case of attack these Battalions will occupy the RED Line from its junction with the MONCHY SWITCH (E.4.c.0.0.) to Point 147 (inclusive) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX[1] about W.17.a.0.0. With Posts pushed out along the MONCHY SWITCH to MONCHY (inclusive) and thence North to Point 147 in selected portion of the old British and German Lines.

Note :- Each French Battalion has a M.G. Company and in addition a Field Company is attached to it.

2. Role of
Reserve Division.
The 32nd Division is to be prepared for any of the following tasks :-

(a) To Counter-attack to regain the PURPLE LINE if penetrated on any part of the VI Corps front as far North as ADINFER VILLAGE SPUR.

(b) To occupy if required :-
        (i) The front line of the Third System RED Line from the BIENVILLERS-AU-BOIS TO FONQUEVILLERS Road to its junction with the MONCHY SWITCH.
       (ii) The old British Line from E.16.d.3.0. to the MONCHY SWITCH (E.12.c.)
      (iii) The old German trenches in E.12.c. and a.
       (iv) The MONCHY SWITCH from its junction with any of the lines indicated above to its junction with the PURPLE RESERVE LINE in X.25.b.
        (v) The PURPLE RESERVE LINE from HAMRAU to the MILL in X.8.d.

3. Most Important
Tactical Points.
With reference to para 2(a).

The most important tactical points which must be regained by counter attack if lost are as follows :-
       (ii) The old British trenches in E.16.d. & E.11.c.& a.
      (iii) The old German trenches in E.12.c.& a. & E.11.b.
       (iv) MONCHY SWITCH in E.6.c.& a. W.30.d. & X.25.c.
        (v) HAMEAU FARM Plateau.

4.Rendezvous in
Case of Attack.
Brigades will be prepared to move immediately to the following RENDEZVOUS on receipt of orders from Divisional H.Q. :-

A.    97th Inf. Bde.  -  Valley S.W. of BERLES-AU-BOIS in W.26.b.
     (Right Brigade)     Bde. H.Q. - HUMBERCAMP.
B.    14th Inf. Bde.  -  Valley N.E. of BERLES-AU-BOIS IN W.10.c. and d.
     (Centre Brigade)    Bde. H.Q. - BILLEULMONT.
C.    96th Inf. Bde.  -  Valley S.W. of MONCHIET in Q.26.c.
     (Left Brigade)      Bde. H.Q. - GOUY CHATEAU.

The above rendezvous will be know by the letters A, B and C respectively.

5.Movements of
97th Inf. Bde.
97th Inf. Bde. (Right Bde.) will be prepared to move as follows :-

(a) 10th A.&.S.Highrs. (No.1 Bn.)
    1 Company to Outpost position in old British line E.16.d. And E.17.a.
    Battalion H.Q. And 3 Companies to hold RED line and MONCHY SWITCH from BIENVILLERS – FONQUEVILLERS Road (inclusive) to point where HANNESCAMP – MONCHY ROAD crosses MONCHY SWITCH at E.10.b.5.S. (inclusive).
(b) 2nd K.O.Y.L.I. (No.2 Bn.)
    1 Company to Outpost position in old German line E.12.a. and c. and E.6.d.
    Battalion H.Q. And 3 Companies to hold MONCHY SWITCH from left of 10th A.&.S.Highrs. to point where MONCHY SWITCH crosses MONCHY – QUESNOY Road E.6.c.
(c) 11th Border Regt. (No.3 Bn.)
    Will be in brigade Reserve at the Rendezvous A. (Valley S.W. Of BERLES in W.26.b.).
(d) O.C. 97th T.M.B.[2] will place one section (2 Mortars) at disposal of each front line Bn. and will retain two sections in Reserve at Rendezvous A.
(e) O.C. Company 32nd Bn. M.G.C.[3] now at BIENVILLERS will allot one section each to No.1 and No.2 Bns. and will join Brigade Reserve at Rendezvous A. with remainder of his Coy.
    O.C. Nos 1 and 2 Bns. will allot 1 sub-section each to their outpost Company.
(f) L.G. Limbers, Medical carts and pack animals will accompany units.
    Brigade S.A.A.[4] Reserve will move to covered position in V.23.a. just N. of GAUDIEMPRE – CAUCHIE Road.     Brigade Transport (1st Line) will move to triangular clearing N. of BAZEQUE FARM in V.15.d.
(g) Communication by Visual, Runner and all other available means will be established.
(h) Brigade Headquarters will be on E. edge of HUMBERCAMP in V.29.b.
(I) The position taken up by Nos. 1 and 2 Bns. will also include the defence of the E.15., E.16., E.17., E.11. and E.12. squares and close touch must be obtained and maintained with neighbouring bodies and those Bns. must be prepared for all eventualities and if necessary to form defensive flanking.

6. Movements of
14th Inf. Bde.
14th Inf. Bde. (Centre Bde.)

The 14th Inf. Bde. will be prepared on receipt of orders from the Divisional Headquarters to move as under :-

(a) Two Companies to move direct to Outpost positions in the MONCHY SWITCH from the MONCHY – QUESNOY Road to its junction with the PURPLE RESERVE.
(b) 14th Inf. Bde. (less 2 Companies) from rendezvous position :-

        (i) To the Valley in W.23.a. And W.17.d.
       (ii) To occupy the MONCHY SWITCH from its junction with the PURPLE RESERVE Line in X.26.b. and the PURPLE RESERVE LINE in X.26.b. Northward to the MILL in X.8.d.
        Note - Outpost Companies indicated in paras 5 and 6 will push out patrols and keep and keep in touch with the situation to the front and flanks.

7. Movements of
96th Inf. Bde.
96th Inf. Bde. (Left Bde.)

The 96th Inf. Bde. Will be prepared on receipt of orders from Divisional Headquarters to move from rendezvous positions as under :-

(a) To occupy the RED line from BASSEUX Northwards to VI Corps boundary in R.9. Central.
(b) To move south South in reserve to the other two Bdes.

8. Reconnaissance. Reconnaissance for the section laid down in para 5 will be carried out at once and O.C. Units will submit their general dispositions to Bde. H.Q. by 9.p.m. 27th April.

O.C. 97th T.M. Battery and M.G. Coy. will get into touch at one with their affiliated Bns. and carry out the reconnaissance with them.
O.C. No.3 Battalion will reconnoitre this area.

In addition
O.C. Units will at the same time reconnoitre generally the area FONQUEVILLERS - ESSARTS – WESTERN Edge of ADINFER WOOD.
Special attention should be paid to the contingency of a counter-attack being necessary to regain QUESNOY – ESSARTS RIDGE.

        (a) With ESSARTS ours.
        (b) With ESSARTS in enemy's hands.

[signed] Capt.
Brigade Major.
97th Inf. Bde.

25th April 1918.

Copies to :-
        11th Border Regt.
        2nd K.O.Y.L.I.
        10th A.&.S.Highrs.
        97th T.M.Bty.
        32nd Bn.M.G.C.

[in handwriting at bottom of page]

While in 3rd Army Res. ready at one hour's notice to move from 8am to 12 noon at 2 ½ hours notice from 12 noon to 8am.

See also

References / notes

  1. Wording here has been typed over with x's and is not legible.
  2. Trench Mortar Battery.
  3. Machine Gun Corps.
  4. Small Arms Ammunition.
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