Sunday, 15 November 2015

Defending Givenchy and Cuinchy

Monday 15th November 1915: We have received the following defensive plans for the 2nd Bedfords, an extract from more detailed instructions for the whole brigade.  No doubt the Germans have something nearly identical for their own defences!

Action to be Taken in Case of Attack

(a) All Troops in the Sectors will at once stand to arms in fighting order.

(b) Battalion Commanders will
(i). immediately inform the Artillery
(ii). Inform Brigade Headquarters by wire and messenger.

(c) The front line will be held at all costs. Should any portion of the front line be occupied by the enemy the remainder will be held, and a local counter-attack at once made to expel the enemy from that part of the line which he has gained possession. The Support Companies may be used to reinforce the front line in case of necessity. A supporting platoon of centre and left battalions of both sectors will always stand to arms in the support trench in the vicinity of the craters, carrying picks and shovels ready to move forward at once should the enemy explode a mine. The reserve company will be moved up to the vicinity of the support line and kept in hand for offensive action.

(d) Should the enemy obtain a lodgement in our line troops to the right and left of the broken line will assist the local counter attacks by pushing bombing parties down the trenches on the flanks of the attackers.

(e) If something more than a local counter-attack by the troops actually in the front lines is required to dislodge the enemy, it will be organised and prepared by the Brigadier General Commanding. The success of the local counter-attack is dependent on the attack being launched at once before the enemy has had time to settle himself in any way in the captured portions of the trench.

(f) All the garrisons of keeps will, in case of an attack, stand to their posts and will in any event hold on to their posts tenaciously at all costs so as to form pivots to assist further counter-attacks.

(g) Brigade Headquarters will be established at Windy Corner(1),Divisional Headquarters at le Quesnoy.

(h) Action of Reserves. The battalions in le Quesnoy and Essars move up at once along North bank of the canal, Commanding Officers coming to the permanent Brigade Headquarters on Canal Bank.

(i) Artillery. Battalion Commanders are in close touch with the Officer Commanding Artillery, and Artillery Brigade Commanders with Brigade Headquarters.  Officers Commanding sub-sections will send the following message to Artillery "S.O.S. "B" 2 "B" 3 etc as the case may be, and will then keep the batteries informed of the progress of events.


The Officers Commanding battalions finding the garrison of the keeps will be responsible that they are kept in a good state of repair and in a thoroughly defensive condition.

They will see that a reserve of 300 rounds per rifle - two days rations and water and a supply of bombs are maintained. The posts will be visited by an Inspecting Officer daily and all will stand to their battle posts twice daily.

Source: X550/3/wd

(1) In Cuinchy, today the site of the Guards Cemetery.

No comments:

Post a Comment