May 26, 1916 War Diary Entry
Routine. MAJOR J.H. PORTER who has been attached to 18th Bn proceeded to rejoin his unit. . LIEUT. R.H. MARTIN seconded from 21st April 1916 under authority A/13394. C.S.M. [S.S. or J.J. ]RICHARDSON appointed Temp. Lieut.
|To: Officer Commanding Radish||From: Johnson|
|Time: Unknown Date: Unknown||Reference: 18th Battalion War Diary Appendix 79|
|Message: Bombing officer without coming to Company H.Q. gives order to Mr. Porter No. 9 Platoon to take his men out at a time (when D Coy was reported to be driven out of front line) on a fatigue party. I have 79 all ranks and do not consider I can spare these men except in small numbers so have not sent them out. Can not these bombs be sent out all the way to A + B Coy.
Our line is complete at the present moment.
As no touch is obtained with 4th division these men are withdrawn to bombing posts at n.7.d.0.6.
Explanatory: Mr. Porter most likely refers to Major James Herbert Porter, who was attached to the 18th in May 1916 from service with the 20th Battalion. As to why he was involved in the 18th Battalion area of responsibility is not known. From the text is appears that Johnson (possibly Lt. Harold Bainbridge Johnson) is concerned that men where being assigned to a fatigue party in the middle of a battle. Fatigue parties were often non-combatant in nature, such as carrying supplies and ammunition or digging trenches or building barbed-wire entanglements. The company strength is down to 79 combat effectives which is 32% of a full-strength company of soldiers. The Battalion’s companies probably started the battle without full-strength companies to begin with.
Lt. Johnson is also relaying that the request for a fatigue party was being requested outside the chain-of-command as it was made without the approval of Battalion headquarters.
The last note indicates that the Company flank is exposed as they are not linked with the men of the 4th Canadian Division.