Mike Bayliffhas 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.
|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). 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.|
|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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