The 1916 war diary of 2nd Lieut. Dick Willis Fleming


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This page contains a single entry by Dick published on July 21, 1916 11:59 PM.

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21 July 1916

Posted by Dick on July 21, 1916
We heard late during the night that the Turkish outposts were in Katia. We stood by at the guns at three, but there was no attack. An aerial reconnaissance out towards Ogratina at dawn this morning reported 12 battalions of Turks with seven mountain guns leaving and marching southwards. It looks as if they mean to try and work round behind us and cut the line between us and Kantara. Three Turks was caught in the Gippy Labour Corps lines last night, and they said that their main force of about thirty thousand was advancing to Ogratina.

Finished getting the camp straight this morning and then altered the position of the guns, so we can shoot South and West as well as East, so can protect our flanks to a certain degree.

Two enemy planes made a reconnaissance over us about five o'clock this evening, our battleplane at once went up after them but they had too much start. The Ross Mountain Battery got some shells bursting pretty close to them.

Troops and stores are still pouring up here. The 156th Bde. which was resting at Sidi Bish Camp in Alexandria, have been recalled and arrived here this evening. They packed off another big train of Labour Corps natives to Kantara this evening, and by the row they were making, they seemed to be glad to be out of it.

I am the F.O.O. tonight, so am just off there. The staff warn us that they expect the attack by the Turkish main body within the next 48 hrs.

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On 21st, two German aeroplanes flew over the guns, but it is unlikely that they could have seen them, as they were almost invisible in the brown marsh, especially when covered by the concealment nets.

The Colonel, who, in the absence of the Brigadier, was responsible for placing each brigade of artillery and allotting them their zones, was convinced that the main attack would come from the South. He gave orders, therefore, that the 1/lst Hants R.H.A. should move their guns so that they might be able to fire in an easterly and southerly direction.

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