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1st/5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders

Battalion War Diary Operation order No 217
Lt. Colonel M.F. McTaggart D.S.O
Commanding 1/5th Battn The Gordon Highlanders

Copy No. 12
26th July 1917
Ref Map - St Julien 1/10,000

  1. At ZERO (the date and hour of which will be notified later) the 51st. Division, with the 39th. Division on the right, and the 38th Division on the left, will attack the German lines in accordance with previous memoranda which have been issued to all concerned.
    The subdivisional frontages are as shown on the maps in possession.
  2. Assembly - In the British Front Line Trench.  The 1/5th B. Gordon Highlanders  will assemble in one line behind the parados, and immediately in rear of the 1/7th Black Watch.  The 7th Gordon Highlanders and the 6th Black Watch will be similarly formed up on our right.  All troops will be in position 1 hour and 30 minutes before ZERO.
    Platoons will form up as in the attached diagram marked "A". [Note: Not included in existing records. CM]
  3. In the 1st phase the battalion will be prepared to support the 7th Black Watch in the capture of the BLUE LINE.
  4. In the 2nd phase "C" and "D" Companies will advance on the BLACK LINE, as arranged, under our barrage, at ZERO PLUS 1 HOUR 19 MINS., and will consolidate the BLACK LINE.
    "D" Company will gain touch with the 16th Welsh Regt (38th Divc) at JOLIS FARM.
    "C" Company will immediately clear CANE WOOD and both Companies will through out a line of outposts.
    O.C. "C" and "D" Companies will be prepared to:
    1.Extend to their right, and take over portion of the BLACK LINE occupied by the 1/6th Black Watch.
    2. Support "A" and "B" Companies, if necessary, in their advance to the GREEN LINE.
  5. "A" and "B" Companies will firstly be prepared to support "C" and "D" Companies in their attack on the BLACK LINE and will thenadvance on the GREEN LINE as arranged under the barrage at ZERO PLUS 3 Hours 24 MINS [section illegible] where they will consolidate.
    "B" Company will gain touch with 15th Welsh Regt. (38th Divn.) at RUDOLPHE FARM and VARNA FARM.
    Touch will be maintained with 1/6th Black Watch throughout with one section interlocked.
  6. Tanks - Two tanks will operate on the battalion front, and inter-communication signals must be known to all.
  7. Action of M.G Sections and T.M. Detachments - Two Machine Guns and and two Stokes Mortars will be attched to the battalion for operationas, and [illegible] not in accordance with the orders previously issued.
  8. The S.O.S signal will be 2 Red followed by 2 Green.
  9. Flares will be lit when called for by the contact aeroplane.
  10. Watches will be synchronised at Battn. H.Q on X day at 6pm, on Y day at 3pm and at midnight (Y/Z night).
  11. (a) Brigade H.Q will be in tunnell at LANCASHIRE FARM
    (b) The Medical Aid Post will be close to LANCASHIRE FARM
    (c) The Brigade Grenade Dump is near HEADINGLY LANE (C.20.a.4.9)
    (d) The Brigade Water and Ration Dump is at MARENGO DUMP
    (e) Grenades, tools, rations, and water will be collected behind the parados of the front line, east of  FUSILIER TRENCH.  This will be the battalion dump.
  12. Reports - All reports will be sent to Battalion H.Q, which will be at the head of the TUNNEL near the front line, until an advanced post can be established, which will be marked with the Battalion Flag - Yellow with Blue Stripes.
  13. Signal Communications - as in attached plan [not included with existing Diary. CM]
  14. No papers, maps, or secret documents will be taken into battle except those specified in Section 22 of "Instructions for Offensive Operation" already issued.
  15. All ranks are to be warned that, in the event of their being taken prisoner, the only information they are required to furnish is - Name, rank, and regiment.
  16. Dress - Officers will be dressed similarly to the men, but inconspicuous badges of rank must be worn.
  17. Acknowledge

ADDENDUM: The platoon detailed by O.C "C" & "D" Coys respectively will move forward in rear of "A" & "D" Coys. respectively to the line KLIEST FM. - RUDOLPHE FM. as reserve to "A" & "D" Coys. on the GREEN LINE.
"D" Coy. will establish a strong point at C.9.b.1.9.

Copy No 1 to Brigade

 Copy No 7 to File 

Copy No  2 to Retain

 Copy No 8  to T.M. Battery

 Copy No 3 to O.C "A" Coy

  Copy No 9 to M.G Coy.

 Copy No 4 to O.C "B" Coy

  Copy No 10 5th Black Watch

 Copy No 5 to O.C "C" Coy

  Copy No 11 to 7th Black Watch

 Copy No 6 to O.C "D" Coy

  Copy No 12 to War Diary


Back to War Diary for July 1917  Casualty list for battle

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Carolyn Morrisey