American M1910 water bottle carrier, Vaire Wood, Battle of Hamel : A Company, 132 Regiment, United States Army

Units
Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Amiens Harbonnieres Area, Hamel Area, Vaire
Accession Number RELAWM07452
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Brass, Canvas, Cotton webbing
Maker Unknown
Place made United States of America
Date made c 1917-18
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Description

American khaki cotton canvas water bottle carrier, the interior padded with felt. The exterior is fitted with a pair of snaps for securing the bottle, while the rear incorporates a brass hook for attachment to the wearer's cartridge belt.

History / Summary

This American Model 1910 pattern water bottle carrier was part of the kit of one of the American servicemen attached to the 13th Battalion during their attack on Vaire Wood on 4 July 1918, as part of the Battle of Hamel. The 13th Battalion was enhanced by 5 officers and 222 men of A Company, 132nd Regiment; they were attached to provide them with the experience of the veteran Australians. Their attack had a frontage of a mere 400 yards (365 metres) and was designed to envelope Vaire Wood around its southern end, to the south of Hamel.

This item, and accompanying items of American kit were presented to the 13th Battalion after the battle was over, and was subsequently handed over to the Australian War Records Section a week later.

Of the performance of these troops, Lieutenant Colonel Marks, commanding officer of the 13th Battalion, reported: "'A' Company, 132nd Regiment fought well, but with a dash that needs to be tempered by experience. Their Officers were cool and capable, but apparently NCOs had not attained the ascendency necessary, as when officers become casualties the men lost their cohesion. This, of course, will adjust itself when the NCOs have an opportunity of showing themselves in a 'stunt' of their own.

"Some casualties were occasioned through approaching too close to the barrage, and there was a noticable tendency to "bunch". The men dug willingly and seemed to have a fair knowledge of field entrenchments. Their handling of the Lewis Gun and Rifle grenades was highly satisfactory."

The Americans suffered casualties of 7 killed, 46 wounded and 4 missing.