The Wireless-Set-No19 Group

The Bayliss Archive

Mike Bayliff has kindly made available an archive of documents from the army service of his father, Carol William Bayliss, during the Great War.
Born in 1894, Mr Bayliss completed his education at Cambridge University, where he received a degree in Electrical Engineering. During the Great War, he was recruited into Artillery Survey and joining a Sound Ranging troop and ended his service with the rank of Captain.
Included in the archive is an "Army Book 136" notebook with the title Sound Ranging, bearing a printer's mark indicating a print date of November 1916, as one of a batch of 300,000. It may therefore be assumed to date from at least 1917. These hand written, pencil notes which have been transcribed to produce a PDF document are assumed to have been made during his training.
The task of transcribing these notes was not entirely simple since although Lt. Bayliss' hand-writing was good, there were sections which had evidently been written in a hurry. In addition, to reduce the amount of writing, he omitted many definite and indefinite articles and some pronouns. To assist the modern reader, these were reinserted during the transcription.
Little is known of the training arrangements for sound ranging troops in the Great War. By the later years of the war, the principles were well established and the equipment in use could no longer be considered experimental. No official training manual is known before the 1930s and the contents of Lieutenant Bayliss' note book may provide the explanation. The Notes appear to be a course on the theory of the use of sound for the location and ranging of guns, and sheds interesting and unique light on the methods used.
Also included in the notes is a wiring diagram for the SR Recorder in use at the time. Again, there is currently no direct evidence of the detail of the harp galvanometer/photographic recorder used in the First World War and it is hoped that the interpretation of the diagram presented herein, using modern diagram conventions, will add to understanding of this equipment.
The archive also contains a number of original recorder "films" which will are listed separately below and which are thought to be the only extant examples of the SR traces of the time. In addition, there are many aerial and other photographs giving a stark impression of the landscape created by trench warfare. Research on these photographs is incomplete and the information given on them below must be regarded as intial findings.
Click on the links in the Item column to view the item with Acrobat Reader X or above - no passwords are required. All files are in PDF format and except for the Notes file (which is a directly typeset PDF), all have a resolution of 300dpi and were taken from original scans at 600dpi.

Item Type Description
Notes AB136 marked "Sound Ranging" Lt Bayliss' sound ranging notebook, transcribed and with added explanatory notes.
Trace 1 SR films with annotations 21/9/1918 : Two traces.
Trace 2 SR films with annotations 10/8/1918, 15/8/1918 : Three traces, one in two parts.
Trace 3 SR films with annotations 10/8/1918, 18/8/1918 : Two traces, one in three parts.
Trace 4 SR films with annotations 10/9/1918, 16/9/1918 : Three traces.
Trace 5 SR films with annotations 15/8/1918 : Four traces.
Panorama 7 Photographs as 135 degree view 9/4/1918 : Pictures taken on "Kidney Hill" (thought to be during the Salonika campaign). Kidney Hill is at Salonika, it is a couple of miles SW of Lake Doiran. This PDF file is at 75% original size, because it is too wide for Acrobat to handle at full size.
11M293 Aerial photograph, oblique 26/9/1916 : Area unknown, evidence of earthworks and heavy shelling. There are also references in ink marking geographical features. Marked on back "Map57D Square K".
11M298 Aerial photograph, oblique 26/9/1916 : Unknown location,clearly shows trenches which appear to have been under bombardment. There are also references in ink marking geographical features. Marked on back "Map57D Square K".
11M463 Aerial photograph, oblique 10/10/1916 : View of trenches, marked on recto in ink with references and named geographic features. In the centre of the picture, Miraumont is noted – this was the site of an action in the Battle of the Somme on 17th February 1917.
21B71 Aerial photograph, vertical 29/4/1917 : Marked on the back "Wultje" but location currently unknown, photograph clearly shows trenches. (It has been pointed out that "Wultje" is most likely to be "Wieltje" which is NE of Ypres, near St Jean (now St Jan).)
21B102 Aerial photograph, vertical 1/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Pilckem". Pilckem Ridge featured in the 3rd Battle of Ypres - Battle of Pilckem Ridge 31st July-8th August 1917. The picture clearly shows extensive trenches.
21B110 Aerial photograph, vertical 1/5/1917 : Marked on the back "St Julien". The village of St Julien (now known as St Juliaan) was captured by the enemy during the 1st Battle of Ypres on 24th April 1914 and not recaptured until the 3rd Battle of Ypres on 31st July 1917. Trenches can be seen and the area has clearly been heavily shelled.
21B174 Aerial photograph, vertical 9/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Bixschoote". Bixschoote is a village North of Ypres and figured in the 1st Battle of Ypres. The picture shows trench lines and probably old shell holes.
21B264 Aerial photograph, vertical 13/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Langemark". The Battle of Langemark, 16th-18th August 1917 was part of the 3rd Battel of Ypres. The picture shows a village, presumably Langemark, which has been destroyed by shelling.
21B275 Aerial photograph, vertical 13/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Steenbeek". The Steenbeek river runs across the picture.
21B310 Aerial photograph, vertical 24/5/1917 : Location unknown, shows a heavily trenched area with considerable evidence of bombardment.
21B331 Aerial photograph, vertical 25/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Houthulst". Thought to show the area of the village of Houthulst, Belgium.
21B343 Aerial photograph, vertical 25/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Moustrap". Moustrap Farm, area trenched and evidence of heavy bombardment.
21B358 Aerial photograph, vertical 25/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Triangle". The location is unknown. The picture shows trench lines and shell holes.
21B366 Aerial photograph, vertical 25/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Kitchener’s Wood". The wood is the central feature, with extensive trenches adjavent. This is presumably the site of the Battle of Kitcheners’ Wood on 22nd April 1915, part of the 2nd Battle of Ypres. Note that the mark on the verso incorrectly renders the name as Kitchener’s Wood (the name refers to the siting of French field kitchens in the wood).
45K974 Aerial photograph, vertical 24/5/1917 : Location unknown. Trench lines running from bottom to top of the picture.
45K1034 Aerial photograph, vertical 26/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Poelkapelle". Thought to be the village of Poelkapelle in Belgium.
45K1067 Aerial photograph, vertical 27/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Zonnebeke". Central to the Ypres salient, Zonnebeke featured in the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26th September 1917. The area appears relatively unscathed at the date of the picture.
45K1068 Aerial photograph, vertical 27/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Houthulst". Thought to show the area of the village of Houthulst, Belgium. Evidence of short trenches or fortifications can be seen.
45K1072 Aerial photograph, vertical 27/5/1917 : Marked on the back "Polygon Wood". A view of the wood, the site of the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26th September 1917, part of the 3rd battle of Ypres (aka Battle of Passchendaele). The wood appears undamaged, so this was evidently before any bombardment.
46B453 Aerial photograph, vertical 6/4/1917 : Marked on the back "Poelkapelle". Thought to be the village of Poelkapelle in Belgium.
46B515 Aerial photograph, vertical 3/4/1917 : Marked on the back "Moustrap". Moustrap Farm, in the area of St Julien, was recaptured on the first day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, 31st July 1917. The picture shows a heavily trenched and bombarded area.
46B517 Aerial photograph, vertical 3/4/1917 : Marked on the back "Boesinghe". Thought to be in the area of Boezinghe, Belgium. Trenches are visible and there is a striking horizontal feature, probably the Kanal van Leper.

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