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Sorry I did not post these earlier, but I did "clean up the pages" for my relatives that are going to the Vimy Re-dedication in April 2007 and so I have added those to Grandfather Laughton's web site. Others may want to recover these missing pages.
26th NF War Diaries Recovered, April 1917
(link fixed February 10, 2016 - wow where did those 10 years go!)
Posted Yesterday, 10:09 pm
I went back to look up this war diary for another and saw the link above was broken - that is now repaired. Stopped me in my tracks when I saw that post was from 10 years ago! I had more hair then!
I recently also put his original trench map for April 9, 1917 showing his advance at Roclincourt, as a Google Earth overlay - old and new together!
I then made a new version of that with the coordinates off the trench map, using a 1:10,000 trench map off the IWM DVD collection:
The details as originally written by my grandfather for the attack are here: http://laughton.ca/m...ghton/vimy2.htm
This is a little of the text - the times and stages are on the web page in a table.
At zero hours we leave our assembly trenches and push forward as soon as possible. The whole idea being to get into "No Mans Land" before Hun barrage starts. 24th & 25th take first two german lines. Short yards at first line. Barrage works back until it reaches Black Line. At 0+34 barrage lifts and 20th B takes Black line. Meanwhile we lie at N front line trench. Each cmp then move up without orders to German 3rd line and try and re-organize. Do not bother about straightness of line but follow the barrage.
Barrage halts about 300 yards in front of black line and remains about 1 hr. * 24th B organize and as barrage they creep forward at 0+2.6 . 15 minutes before this A & B leave Black Line and move forward to within 100 yards of Barrage. As A & B leave black line we immediately push forward into it. When we get into BLACK we immediately organize and consolidate.
Brigade - 600 yards
Battalion - 300 yards
26th Battn - 600 yards
* Insert here. Each cmp sends up one platoon to take over strong point so as to leave 24th & 25th free.
Barrage remains in front of Blue Line for 0 + 6 hours. 46 min. If we are more or less a complete battalion 26th & 2th will take Brown line 1200 yards beyond BLUE LINE. When orders are received we will move up beyond Blue Line and organize for attack. At 0 + 6 hrs + 31 will move up under barrage and will then work forward about 1000 yards. Each cmp ? on 2nd Platoon front with each platoon in two lines. 27th move up on our left. Moppers Up will move up with leading company and clean up trench ?. Blue and Brown lines and stick there until other two platoons come up and then act as reserve.
Two leading companies take two lines in BROWN Line and third cmp remains in first trench of Brown line and mop up. Barrage halts in from of Brown line and we send out patrols and LEWIS GUN sections sent forward to dig in and at night these positions will be connected up and eventually will become our front line.
Flank Platoons must keep touch with people on their flanks whenever we halt in a trench. The best way to do this is to crawl along top and best way to get Hun is to crawl along parapet and shoot him in the bottom of the trench. (Here remind Lewis Gunners that they must use ? bombing fight). Also impress men of importance of rifle and bayonet.
Each little section freeze until any little bit of ground they get hold of and try and get touch with remainder of platoon. Bombs carried forward by men are not for his own use but he is merely a carrying parties. At Brown line collect all bombs, very lights, etc. etc. into dumps.
Prisoners. be careful that man is sincere. IF prisoners show slightest objection leave them there. One man ought to be enough to take care of 10.
Trophies. none to be collected until orders are given.
Tricks. no helmets, flags, etc. to be collected
Pea Bombs. Throw one down entrance and stand at other.
Dugouts. see that everyone is clear.