1915 War Diary
All remarks in squared brackets are my own additions, amendments
or comments and are not part of the original document.
have adjusted all names to show in bold and capital letters to make
them easier to pick out. This is not always how they appear in the
DIARY FOR JANUARY 1915
1-3 Jan 1915 - Bailleul Remained
in billets at BAILLEUL in Divisional Reserve: Battn. exercised in
Short Route Marches, drills etc.
Jan 1915 - Dranouter Brigade relieves 14th. Bde. in trenches. Battn
in support at DRANOUTRE. Capt
Moyse [John Jenkins MOYSE] joined the Battn for duty.
Jan 1916 Battn. remained in support, supplying fatigues etc. for
Jan 1915 - Wulvergem Took over section of trenches from 1st Bn.
Dorset Regt. trenches in very bad state; full of water, sides fallen
Jan 1915 Quiet except for sniping. Casualties 6 killed, 2 wounded.
We shot 1 or 2 of enemy's snipers. Enemy shelled our trenches &
neighbourhood without causing damage.
Jan 1915 Enemy brought up quick-firer (probably motor-gun) within
a few hundred yards of our trenches & fired obliquely on them. Casualties
7 men wounded. Owing to convex ground, unable to bring effective
rifle fire on gun. We shot 2 of enemy at close range who were moving
along parapet of their communication trench: probably their trench
was full of water. Our trenches & Germans' only about 30 yards apart
in places. Men keep busy each night in endeavouring to bale water
out of trenches, & revet landslips in trenches caused by constant
rain & unstable soil.
Jan 1915 - Dranouter Continual work carried out draining & revetting
trenches etc but without very much apparent result. Casualties 2
killed 2 wounded. Battn. relieved by Dorsets at about 6 pm. & returned
to support in billets near Dranoutre.
Jan 1915 In support. Men employed in making fascines, hurdles etc.
for revetting firing line.
Jan 1915 - Wulvergem Returned to Wolverghem trenches & took over
from Dorset Regt. 1 man wounded whilst taking over.
Jan 1915 Quiet day. Enemy shelled right of trenches (where they
were unoccupied owing to water in them) without doing damage. 5
casualties from rifle fire. Three hand grenades thrown into enemy's
Jan 1915 Enemy shelled our left trenches in the afternoon. Capt
Orlebar [Basil John ORLEBAR] killed by shrapnel.
Casualties 1 officer & 4 men killed, 11 wounded.
Jan 1915 Quiet day: relieved in the [sic] by the K.O.S.B. (13th
Bde.) - 1 Casualty.
Jan 1915 - Bailleul Battn in Divisional Reserve, in same billets
as on previous occasion, 2nd
Lts Kirch [Charles Sidney KIRCH] & Kellie
[Esmond Lawrence KELLIE] joined on probation. 2nd Lt Aston
[Charles Cuthbert ASTON] joined from 4th Battn. Battn. exercised
daily in route marching etc.
Jan 1915 - Dranouter Battn. moved to Dranoutre, in Bde reserve.
Jan 1915 Battn. received orders about 10.45 pm. to move before dawn
following morning to support firing line in case of attack by enemy
on occasion of Kaiser's birthday.
Jan 1915 - near Lindenhoek Crossroads Battn. left Dranoutre at 4.30
am & moved as follows. 'A' Company to support 1/Cheshire Regt. 'B'
Company to support Dorset Regt. in the trenches. Hd Qrs & C & D
Companies to farm houses near LINDENHOEK cross roads in general
support. Draft of 60 N.C.O & men joined the Battalion.
Jan 1915 - Wulvergem Battn. moved to WOLVERGHEM in the afternoon
& took over section of trenches from 1st Dorset Regt. 1 Company
Dorsets remained in reserve, under orders of O.C. Bedfords.
Jan 1915 Considerable work needed in improving trenches, etc. 1
man killed, 1 wounded whilst constructing communicating trench at
night. 1 wounded on patrol, but 2 Germans killed by the other men
who accompanied him. Casualties - three.
Jan 1915 Quiet day as regards artillery fire on the whole, but one
of our front trenches was shelled considerably, fortunately without
any serious damage to occupants. Casualties - 2.
Jan 1915 Quiet day. A little shelling & sniping. casualties -2
DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1915
1 Feb 1915 - Bailleul Heavy outbursts of firing
at about 5.15 a.m. & 6.15 a.m. mostly to the left of our section
of trenches. Remainder of day unusually peaceful. No.7 trench was
shelled for a short time by small quickfiring gun from direction
of Messines. One shell fell right into the trench, causing 4 casualties.
The Battn. (& Brigade) were relieved by 13th Bde. in the evening,
& retired into Divisional Reserve in billets at BAILLEUL arriving
there about 11.30 pm.
Feb 1915 In billets 3 Feb 1915 Inspection of companies, route march,
hand-grenade classes, etc.
Feb 1915 In billets.
Feb 1915 Major Allason
[Walter ALLASON DSO & Bar] rejoined from England.
Feb 1915 Capt. Edwards [Francis Hyde EDWARDS DSO, MC]
rejoined the Battn together with Draft of 60 men.
Feb 1915 - Bus Farm, Cooker Farm etc., Wulvergem Brigade returns
to trenches. Hd.Qrs. & two companies of the Battn to 'Bus Farm'
near Lindenhoek Cross Roads, two remaining companies in support
to 1st Cheshires in Cooker Farm & Farms near Dressing Station, respectively.
Feb 1915 Remained as above.
Feb 1915 Took over 'D' Sector Trenches from 1st Cheshire Regt. Quiet
day, a little desultory shelling.
Feb 1915 No casualties. Heavy Artillery & Infantry fire to Northwards
during night. Baling & pumping carried on all night in order to
reduce water in trenches.
Feb 1915 Quiet except for sniping during the day: heavy artillery
& rifle fire to North during the night. Baling & pumping in trenches
all night. Casualties - Lt.
Landon [William Henry Fitzroy LANDON] (attached)
killed, 4 wounded.
Feb 1915 Nothing special. Casualties 2 killed, & 3 wounded.
Feb 1915 Orders for relief by 13th Brigade cancelled. Casualties
- 2 killed. 2 bombs fired at enemy who at once replied with eight.
Feb 1915 Orders for relief issued, but cancelled shortly afterwards,
2 companies 1/Dorset Regt. took over firing line in section, the
2 Bedford Companies relieved going into Section Reserve. Casualties
1 killed, 1 wounded.
Feb 1915 Lieut. Pottle [William POTTLE] and draft
of 90 men joined Battn. in trenches. Two Dorset Companies relieved
by Bedfords in firing line, & went into support. 2 bombs from mortar
fired into German trenches: latter at once replied with 8 bombs.
Didn't know they had mortars in that section of their trenches previously.
Dorset casualties 1 killed, 2 wounded during day.
Feb 1915 - Dranouter Battn. moved into Brigade Reserve near Dranoutre:
relieved in trenches by 1st Cheshire Regt. - Casualties 2 killed.
Feb 1915 In Brigade reserve at Dranoutre.
Feb 1915 Draft of 20 men joined the Battalion. Battn returned to
trenches (Section D) relieving 1st Battn. Cheshire Regt. 1 man wounded
during the relief.
Feb 1915 In conjunction with Norfolk Regt., the Battn fired bombs
from mortar, also rifle grenades from 12 trench at German works
on WYTSCHAETE road near 13 trench. Mortar in Norfolks trench burst,
damaging R.E. officer & 1 man & killing another. Most of our bombs
were short, but 1 or 2 appeared to reach enemy's trench. Germans
replied with heavier bombs. Our Casualties 2 men wounded.
Feb 1915 Enemy dropped 2 heavy howitzer shells close to Battn.Hd.Qrs.
No damage done, also fired shrapnel at 11 trench - no damage. Casualties
- Capt. Ratcliffe [sic Richard RATLIFFE] wounded,
in 13 trench, and 3 men.
Feb 1915 Quiet day. Casualties 2 killed & 1 wounded.
Feb 1915 - Bailleul Message received that lamp message signalled
from German lines stated enemy intended attacking at 12 noon. Precautions
taken; but no attack took place. Casualties - 1 killed, 2 wounded.
Brigade relieved by 84th Brigade (28 Div.).
Feb 1915 In billets at Bailleul.
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1915.
Mar 1915 - Bailleul Battn remained in billets at Bailleul. Draft
of 25 men joined Battn. 27th ult.
Mar 1915 - Ouderdom Battn. proceeded with remainder of 15th Bde
by march route to OUDERDOM to form part of new composite 28th Division
in relief of 28th Div. S.E. of Ypres Battn camped in newly constructed
Mar 1915 Battn marched at night to take over position in support
from R.Scots Fusiliers.
Mar 1915 - canal bank south of Ieper Battn took over sector of trenches
North of Canal, relieving 9th Brigade 1/Cheshire Regt. took over
section S. of Canal. K.O.Y.L.I. on our left. Casualties in going
up to trenches 3 wounded.
Mar 1915 Head Quarters shelled, 1 man killed. Sniping very considerable,
total casualties 3 killed 1 wounded.
Mar 1915 A certain amount of shelling & sniping during day. Battn.
relieved by Dorset Regt. at night & returned to support. Casualties
Capt Andrews [Leonard Henry Graystone ANDREWS] wounded:
2 killed & 9 others wounded.
Mar 1915 Battn in support.
Mar 1915 Battn relieved Dorset Regt in trenches at about 6.30 pm.
Mar 1915 Situation in 32 (a) trench unpleasant. Germans hold one
end of it & also have trench parallel to it about 40 yards away
& partly enveloping it at the end they hold. Impossible to show
a periscope for more than a few seconds without getting a bullet
through it; & quite impossible to see where firing comes from as
no heads (enemy's) show above their parapets & no rifles can be
seen at loopholes. Capt. Ogden [Charles Augustus OGDEN;
attached from D.L.I.] wounded & five other ranks. Enemy bombed junction
of 32(a) trench & 33 trench (held by 5th Fusiliers [sic
3rd Royal Fusiliers?]) with heavy trench howitzer. About
20 yards of parapet blown in, killing or burying about 16 of 5th
Mar 1915 Enemy continued to drop bombs in same place, thus partly
isolating garrison of 32(a) trench. 2nd
Lt.J.H. Moxley [sic John Hewitt Sutton MOXLY] killed
2 N.C.O. killed, 1 man wounded. Battn. relieved by Dorset Regt.
at 8 pm. Draft of 20 men arrived.
Mar 1915 Battn in support. 2 officers & 9 men wounded by shell fire;
1 man killed.
Mar 1915 Headquarters shelled with shrapnel for about 20 minutes.
Battn relieved 1st Dorset Regt. in trenches About 5.25 pm. Enemy
opened very heavy bombardment on section to our right, near St.ELOI
heavy artillery fire opened again also on Batt.Headquarters & on
Chateau buildings where 'B' Company was billeted. Casualties - 2
wounded. 15 Mar 1915 Battn in trenches. Casualties 2 killed 4 wounded.
Draft of 45 arrived.
Mar 1915 - Ieper Battn. relieved at night by 13th Brigade (Manchester
Regt.) 32(a) trench heavily bombed & sniped. casualties 3 killed
and 11 wounded. Battn. returned to YPRES about midnight.
Mar 1915 - south of Vlamertinge Battn. left YPRES and returned to
billets in newly erected huts S. of VLAMERTINGE. Brigade being in
Mar 1915 Battn. remained resting in billets.
Mar 1915 - Ieper Brigade returned to trenches. The Battn. remained
in support at YPRES.
Mar 1915 - canal bank south of Ieper The Battn relieved 1/Cheshire
Regt. in 'D' Sector trenches; our left being in touch with the French.
1 man wounded during the relief.
Mar 1915 Quiet day - 2 casualties. Trenches very zig-zag & confusing,
as they face in three directions. Considerable work required to
make them satisfactory.
Mar 1915 - Ieper Lieut Tabor [Sidney TABOR, MC] slightly
wounded in head. 1 man killed and 4 wounded. Battn relieved (except
2 platoons) at 9 pm. & returned to support at Ypres. 2nd Lts
James [Dennis JAMES], Harvey [Dennis HARVEY],
[William Bernard KNIGHT] & Scott joined for duty.
Mar 1915 Battalion remained in support. 1 casualty (wounded whilst
with working party) 2nd
Lt. Webb [John Boyer WEBB] (4th N.Staffords) joined
Mar 1915 Battn relieved 1st Cheshire Regt. in trenches. 2nd
Lts Morris [Charles Alan Smith MORRIS], Pulleine
[Hubert Henry Worsley PULLEINE] & 119 men joined for duty.
Mar 1915 Quiet day. Much work done in improving trenches, making
sniping posts etc.
31 Mar 1915 - Ieper. Good work
done from newly constructed concealed sniping posts. Battn. relieved
by West Riding Regt. (13th Bde) at 0pm & returned to Divisional
Reserve W. of YPRES. Casualties during the past 3 days - 2 killed
& eleven wounded.
Mar 1915 Do. Do. Constant duel between number 50 trench & opposing
German trench with rifle grenades. Usual difficulty in obtaining
various component parts of rifle-grenades, which are issued separately.
On this occasion no blank rounds available, & shortage of detonators.
DIARY FOR APRIL 1915.
Apr 1915 - hutments west of Ieper Battn in reserve at Hutments W.
of Ypres Bishop of London visited & addresses troops.
Apr 1915 Still in reserve
5 Apr 1915 - Ieper Battn moved into support at YPRES.
Apr 1915 Enemy put a few shells into Ypres. 1 fell each side of
Bn.Hd.Qrs. damaging the houses concerned
Apr 1915 - Reningelst Enemy shelled Ypres at about 8.30 a.m. First
howitzer shell smashed up house next to Bn.Hd.Qrs. 2nd smashed house
on other side of Hd.Qrs, Breaking Hd.Qrs. windows. Other shells
broke up houses in neighbourhood causing considerable casualties.
Battn. unexpectedly relieved in evening, & moved back into Reserve
along with remainder of Brigade at RENINGHELST
8-10 Apr 1915 Battn remained in reserve
11 Apr 1915 - trenches opposite Hill 60 Battn took over trenches
38 to 45 opposite Hill 60.
Apr 1915 Battn in trenches. Work carried out day & night in reconnoitring
old disused French & German trenches & in opening up communication
trenches, preparing dugouts etc. to shelter extra Battns about to
be brought up for attack on Hill 60
17 Apr 1915 [Comment; The
Battle of Hill 60] Headquarters 13th Inf. Bde arrived &
took over command of sector. R.W.Kent Regt. & K.O.S.B. arrived &
went into dugouts & part of front trench. 2 companies of Bedfords
withdrawn into support to make room for 13th Bde. 7 pm. precisely,
6 mines under Hill 60 exploded in 3 groups of two each. Heavy Artillery
bombardment commenced, & hill 60 rushed by British (R.W.K)
18 Apr 1915 Enemy counterattacked during early morning. Casualties
considerable. 2 Companies Bedfords recalled in afternoon: & counter
attack on Hill 60 (part of which had been lost by 13th Bde) commenced
at 6 pm. Line re-established on Hill 60. G.O.C. 13th Bde. handed
over immediate control of sector to Lt.Colonel
Griffith D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH, CMG,
DSO] (Bedf.Regt.) & withdrew with staff to point about a mile
Apr 1915 Front line occupied in early morning by Bedfords & 1/East
Surrey Regt. Work carried out under difficulties to consolidate
position on Hill 60. Considerable shelling and bombing by enemy.
Apr 1915 Enemy counter attacked: tremendous bombardment carried
out against Hill 60, & our trenches & supports. Enemy's heavy guns
enfiladed position, other guns firing from various directions: bombardment
Apr 1915 - Reningelst Bombardment & counter attacks continued during
early morning & position critical at times. Casualties very heavy.
Enemy's machine guns partially enfiladed reverse of Hill 60, trench
mortar bombarded it, & field guns were brought up to within about
30 yards & fired point blank at parapet, blowing it to pieces &
mangling the defenders. Our artillery unable to compete with enemy's
heavy guns, or to locate small guns which were too close to Hill
60 to be easily shelled. Casualties of Bedfords 4 officers killed,
8 wounded. Other ranks over four hundred. Cameron Highlanders &
1 Devons arrived during morning & relieved E.Surreys & Bedfords
who went into reserve at RENINGHELST for sleep & rest. [Comment;
Lt John Boyer WEBB
William Bernard KNIGHT of 4th Btn Prince Of Wales, attached
to the Bedfords were 2 of those killed, as were A/Captain
Charles Sidney KIRCH and 2/Lt
Esmond Lawrence KELLIE. Major
Walter ALLASON was also wounded. Almost 100 Other Ranks
were also killed between the 18th and 21st with several hundred
Apr 1915 - Ouderdom Sudden alarm in evening: Germans having broken
some trenches N. of YPRES Battn ordered to move at once to OUDERDOM.
Reached Ouderdom 9.30 pm: & eventually lay down in empty huts ready
to move at short notice. Battn was visited by Sir J. French
[John French, C-in-C] in afternoon & congratulated on excellent
performance on Hill 60
Apr 1915 Bedfords & E.Surreys (under Colonel
Richard Jebb GRIFFITH, CMG, DSO])
in Divisional Reserve at OUDERDOM in readiness to move at short
notice. Constant heavy artillery & rifle fire going on, but no news
of situation reaches me.
Apr 1915 - west of Zillebeke Lake Two drafts of 99 and 89 men respectively
joined during past 2 days, also 4 young officers. Capt
H. Courtenay [Hugh COURTENAY, DSO, MC] reported for
duty on 21st inst. & took over duties of Adjutant 1/Bedf Regt. At
5.45 pm Battn moved forward to position W. of ZILLEBEKE pond in
support to front line trenches & Hill 60.
Apr 1915 - left of Hill 60 Battn took over Sector on left of Hill
60 from 1 Cheshire Regt.
26 Apr 1915 In trenches. 2nd
Lieut. Fawcett [Robert Heath FAWCETT] killed, 3 other
ranks wounded. Very heavy Artillery & Rifle fire on our left, &
rear (counter-attack by V Corps against Germans N.E. of Ypres)
Apr 1915 In trenches. Five men wounded
28 Apr 1915 Do. Casualties 1 man
29 Apr 1915 Do. Casualties 1 killed 1 wounded.
Apr 1915 Do. Draft of three officers & 300 other ranks arrived at
OUDERDOM. One officer & 100 men sent on same night to trenches.
Some difficulty in getting stores & supplies to trenches recently
owing to constant & persistent shelling of all roads & approaches
by enemy. Casualties - 1 killed, 1 wounded
DIARY FOR MAY 1915
1 May 1915 - left of Hill 60 Enemy made sudden attack on trenches
to our right with asphyxiating gas & shells, at about 6.30 pm. Our
right trenches felt the effects, & all men were violently sick.
The enemy did not press home the attack, possibly because some of
the fumes blew back towards them. Our casualties were 1 man wounded
1 man died from effects of gas, four other men taken to Dressing
Station suffering from gas effects
May 1915 Several men admitted to Hospital suffering from effects
of gas yesterday - 22 admitted in all, of whom 2 dead. Other casualties
- 3 wounded.
May 1915 Quiet day. Major
Roche [Benjamin Robert ROCHE] & Lieut Small
[Edward SMALL] joined for duty last night. Mouth pads or
bandages issued to all officers & men, together with solution of
soda a preventative against effects of asphyxiating gas.
4 May 1915 A 'switch' made in our line, during early hours of morning,
so as to shorten it. Result was that left of Battn rested on corner
of trench line, instead of line being prolonged eastwards for half
a mile. Enemy soon noticed withdrawal & advanced: spent most of
day enfilading our trenches with artillery. Trenches knocked about
in places but casualties very small
May 1915 At a little after 8 a.m. enemy attacked with asphyxiating
gas laid on from two points opposite our trenches. Battn stuck to
its trenches, though a few men killed by gas, & all were badly affected.
Troops on right, however, were driven out of trenches & enemy captured
Hill 60 & trenches on our immediate right. Our left trenches were
then attacked but drove back enemy: our right trenches were attacked
all day with bombs, rifles & machine guns. Desperate fight all day
enemy & selves in same trench, both sides using hand grenades fiercely.
Enemy eventually worked round our right flank & enfiladed our right,
but men gallantly maintained their position. A Battery of our own
artillery spent the whole day firing into our own right trenches,
causing many casualties but in spite of everything right trenches
held out. Lt
Whittemore [Frederick John WHITTEMORE, MC] alone
claims over 50 Germans to his own rifle, & he was seen by Artillery
observing officer to shoot seven Germans in a couple of minutes.
Our casualties in right trenches were heavy. Lt Hopkins [Eric
Arthur HOPKINS] killed, Capt
Gledstanes [Sheldon Arthur GLEDSTANES; died
of wounds 9th May] & Lt
Whittemore [Frederick John WHITTEMORE, MC] wounded.
Attack made by 13th Inf.Bde to recapture Hill 60 & re establish
line not successful
6 May 1915 Situation practically unchanged. Right trenches held
out all day, & drove back enemy with hand grenades & rifle fire
whenever they attempted to approach. Right trench was cut off from
rest of line by enemy's machine guns, so that no relief of men,
or water or rations could be brought up & same exhausted garrison
had to carry on. After nightfall a sandbag rampart was made so as
to defilade the approach to the trench from the left.
May 1915 - hutments near Ouderdom Battn relieved by R.I.Rifles about
2 a.m. & marched back to hutments in reserve. Casualties during
two previous days about 3 officers & 290 men.
8-11 May 1915 Remained in hutments. Large number of men trained
in various kinds of hand grenades, & how to throw them. Machine
Gun Contingents brought up to strength again.
May 1915 - dugouts near Hill 60 [unreadable] Bedfordshire Regt.
moved to dugouts nearer the firing line. Lt.Colonel
Griffith D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH, CMG,
DSO] took over temporary command of 15th Bde. Draft of 30 men
arrived & posted to Companies.
May 1915 - hutments near Ouderdom Battn relieved & returned to Hutments
16-19 May 1915 - Rosenhil near Reninge 1st Battn in Hutments at
ROSENHIL near Reninghelst. Five officers joined for duty (all 2nd
Lieutenants) on 15th [comment, Bartle
Laurie Stuart FRERE, Rupert
Edward Gascoyne CECIL, Henry
Patrick Claude BURTON, Eric
William COULSON-MAYNE, William Rolfe NOTTIDGE]. Capt.
Ogden [Charles Augustus OGDEN] (wounded) rejoined for
duty on 19th, Capt. Thom [Richard Reuben Langstow THOM]
& 2nd Lt. Mayne joined on 20th. Lieut. Jones [Leonard
Johnston JONES] wounded when visiting Support trenches.
May 1915 - support to front line near Hill 60 Battn moved into Support,
the Brigade having taken over its usual section of trenches. Lt.
Col. Griffith D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH, CMG,
DSO] resumed command, the Brigadier having returned to duty.
May 1915 Capt. Thom [Richard Reuben Langstow THOM]
proceeded to join 2nd Battn Bedf Regt in accordance with instructions
received by wire. Battn furnished large working parties by day &
night. Casualties - two men.
May 1915 Battn still in support. Capt. Tollemache [Harold
Wilbraham Molyneux TOLLEMACHE] joined Battn. casualties 1 man
May 1915 Battn. remained in support, furnishing very large working
parties daily & nightly Casualties - 2nd
Lieut Cecil [Rupert Edward Gascoyne CECIL] wounded
Other ranks - 6 killed, 3 died of wounds, 51 wounded Enemy attacked
heavily under cover of gas on 24th inst. A few of the Battn affected
but not seriously as gas was fairly dispersed before reaching it.
DIARY FOR JUNE 1915
Jun 1915 - Hill 60 Battn moved into trenches at Hill 60 relieving
1st Dorset Regt. Casualties 3 wounded
Jun 1915 Things have been very quiet in these trenches recently,
but enemy shelled Head Quarters & railway cutting at intervals during
day & night, with 4.9 howitzers. casualties slight 2 killed, 3 wounded.
Jun 1915 Quiet day. Casualties - 7 wounded.
Jun 1915 Situation normal 1 killed, 7 wounded
6 Jun 1915 Some of our trenches shelled accurately by 15 prs. parapets
brought down on self & other officers on two occasions
Jun 1915 Two trench howitzers under R.A. supervision brought up
to trenches & opened fire on German machine gun positions. Casualties
- 11 men wounded
Jun 1915 Hd.Quarters & railway cutting shelled with howitzers. Casualties
- 2 killed, 21 wounded.
Jun 1915 Enemy used rifle grenades effectively against 39 trench.
Hd.Qrs. & railway cutting shelled by howitzers at 7 pm. Heavy rain
& thunderstorm: trenches became flooded. casualties - 6 wounded.
Jun 1915 Trenches very wet. Hd.Qrs & cutting shelled by howitzers.
Casualties 1 killed, 2 wounded, 1 missing
Jun 1915 Almost 20 yards of 38 trench blown in by shell fire. 4
wounded, 1 missing.
Jun 1915 Hd.Qrs & railway cutting shelled by howitzers about 4.30
pm. 1 killed, 12 wounded.
Jun 1915 - railway embankment in support of Hill 60 38 trench blown
in by shell fire in places. Hd.Qrs & railway cutting shelled by
howitzers. battn. relieved at 9.30 pm by 1 Dorset Regt. & returned
into support in railway embankment. casualties - 2 killed, 12 wounded
14-16 Jun 1915 In support, Furnishing large working parties. Attack
near HOOGE by 3rd Division on our left, on 16th inst. Did not affect
us. Casualties - 1 killed, 1 wounded
Jun 1915 - Hill 60 Relieved 1 Dorset Regt in trenches on Hill 60.
Casualties - 2 wounded.
Jun 1915 Quiet day. 2 wounded 2nd
Lt Cecil [Rupert Edward Gascoyne CECIL] rejoined
Jun 1915 Shelled at intervals: parapet of 38 trench badly damaged.
2 killed, 2 wounded
Jun 1915 Germans mined & caused big explosion outside our trenches.
1 man wounded by explosion. Previously in morning blew up one of
our mine shafts, killing 2 miners.
21 Jun 1915 - railway embankment in support of Hill 60 Relieved
by 1st DORSETS and returned to Railway Embankment into support.
Casualties 1 killed 1 wounded
Jun 1915 In support. Furnishing working parties on 23rd Brigadier
Griffith D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH, CMG,
DSO] took temporary command of Brigade. Casualties during this
period 1 killed 5 wounded including Lt. Pearse [Hugh Armine
Wodehouse PEARSE, MC] wounded on 25th.
Jun 1915 - Hill 60 Relieved 1st DORSETS in trenches on Hill 60
Jun 1915 Quiet day. Casualties one killed one wounded
Jun 1915 Quiet day. Casualties one
Jun 1915 Quiet day. Lt.Colonel
Griffith D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH, CMG,
DSO] resumed command of the Battn. Casualties one wounded.
WAR DIARY FOR JULY 1915
1 Jul 1915 - Hill 60 Railway cutting and HQ dugouts
heavily shelled during morning. Casualties 1 killed, 3 wounded.
2 Jul 1915 Usual shelling, Lt.
Hart [Percival Frank HART] & 8 other ranks wounded.
Jul 1915 - in support of Hill 60 Battn relieved by 1st Dorsets &
moved into support. Casualties 1 killed 3 wounded.
4 Jul 1915 In support near railway line, furnishing
large working parties. casualties - 1 wounded.
5 Jul 1915 In support Pte
E. Warner [7602 Edward WARNER, VC] (since deceased)
awarded Victoria Cross for gallantry on May 1st near Hill 60.
Jul 1915 In support, furnishing large working parties day & night.
Casualties - 1 killed, 7 wounded.
9 Jul 1915 - Hill 60 Battn. relieved 1st Dorsets
in front trenches. Major
Roche [Benjamin Robert ROCHE], Capt Tollemache
[Harold Wilbraham Molyneux TOLLEMACHE] & Lt.
Frere [Bartle Laurie Stuart FRERE] admitted to hospital
with Fever: 2nd Lts Vyvvan [Philip VYVVAN] & Horne
[Lesley Austin HORNE, MC] (3rd Queens) & Lt.C.Douglas
[C.H. DOUGLAS], 2nd Lts. Williams [Frank Luckyn
WILLIAMS], Waddy [Alexander Harry WADDY], Winmill
[Westropp Orbell Payton WINMILL] & Beal [sic Allan
Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] joined for duty.
Jul 1915 Usual shelling. Casualties 2 killed 1 wounded.
Jul 1915 Enemy blew up a mine near trenches 38 & 39 creating a very
large crater. Our trenches practically undamaged, but several men
injured by falling debris & bombardment by artillery. Casualties
Cecil [Rupert Edward Gascoyne CECIL] & four other
ranks killed. 34 wounded, 2 missing (believed killed).
Jul 1915 Enemy exploded a mine near 37 trench, causing very little
damage. Battn relieved by 4th Lincolns about midnight. Casualties
- 5 wounded.
Jul 1915 - Boeschepe Battn withdrew into reserve at Reninghelst.
arriving there about 4.30 a.m. In afternoon Battn marched on into
billets at BOESCHEPE, for rest.
Jul 1915 Battn notified that 5th Division now ceased to belong to
2nd Army Corps. Resting in billets.
Jul 1915 - north of Abeele Battn moved into billets N. of ABEELE.
Jul 1915 Battn visited by Major General T.PILCHER.
Jul 1915 15th Inf. Bde inspected by Commander of 2nd Army & complimented
on present & past efficiency & excellent record.
Jul 1915 Remained in billets.
Jul 1915 - Godewaersvelde Battn marched to GODEWAERSVELDE & entrained
there at 10.53 pm.
Jul 1915 - la Houssoye Detrained at CORBIE & marched to billets
at LAHOUSSOYE, E. of Amiens.
Jul 1915 Battn remained in billets. C.O. visited trenches about
to be taken over from the French.
WAR DIARY FOR AUGUST 1915
Aug 1915 - Morlancourt Battn marched to billets in MORLANCOURT.
Captains of Companies visited trenches about to be taken over from
2 Aug 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Subalterns
of Companies went on in advance during afternoon to inspect trenches.
Battn relieved 410th French Regt. in trenches near FRICOURT (East
of ALBERT) during the night. 1st Norfolk Regt occupied sector on
Aug 1915 Quiet day. 1st Cheshire Regt. took over sector on our right
during the night. Brigadier (15th Inf.Bde.) took over command of
area from French General.
Aug 1915 In trenches near Fricourt. Very quiet. Much work done in
improving parapets, draining & paving communication trenches etc.
7th Battn East Surrey Regt. attached to Battn for instruction in
trench warfare. 2nd Lieut. Rex [Ernest Alfred REX]
joined for duty on 13th inst.
Aug 1915 Normal time in trenches. Total casualties during 3 weeks
tour in trenches 2 killed, 10 wounded, very much lighter casualties
than the Battn. has ever previously suffered in a corresponding
Aug 1915 - Morlancourt Battn relieved in trenches 8th Battn East
Surrey Regt at about 10 pm. Battn moved back into billets at MORLANCOURT.
23 Aug 1915 - Sailly-Laurette Moved into billets
at SAILLY-LAURETTE on the R.Somme.
24-30 Aug 1915 remained in billets. Good bathing
for men in river. Large working parties furnished daily for digging
31 Aug 1915 - Maricourt Battn moved to MARICOURT
to take over sector of trenches. Health of Battn. good throughout
the war. Average number of admissions to Hospital - about 45 per
month. Strength of battn present 23 officers, 952 other ranks.
WAR DIARY FOR SEPTEMBER 1915
1 Sep 1915 - trenches near Suzanne Battn. took
over trenches 28-35 inclusive MARICOURT area near SUZANNE-sur-SOMME.
Relieved 1/Devon Regt. 13th Inf.Bde. on left. 1/Dorset Rgt. on right.
2 Sep 1915 Trenches good on the whole, & communication
trenches fairly numerous. A great deal of work necessary, however,
to restore parts of the line & to drain, revet & floor the communication
trenches with bricks where necessary. Enemy's trenches generally
about 300 or 400 yards away, but in parts where our advance post
trenches jut out, only about 50 yards away. Area generally much
quieter than the other areas the battalion has hitherto been in.
3-9 Sep 1915 Nothing of much interest to record.
Lieuts Curtis [Alfred Cyril CURTIS, CB, DSO, MC & Bar],
Glyn [Charles Reginald GLYN] & Hogden [sic
Gordon West HODGEN, MBE] (Indian Army unattached list) who
have been serving with the Battn a considerable time suddenly ordered
to return to England & struck off strength of Battn. A Draft of
25 N.C.O. & men arrived 8/9/15.
Sep 1915 - Morlancourt Relieved by 1/Devon Rgt. Battn. withdraw
to billets at MORLANCOURT.
Sep 1915 In Billets at MORLANCOURT.
Sep 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Bttn. took over Trenches 62-69
inclusive. Relieved 8th Norfolk Rgt, 53rd Inf.Bde. 13th Inf.Bde.
on left. 1/Norfolk Rgt. on right.
17 Sep 1915 Trenches in very indifferent repair.
A very great deal of work necessary in order to make parapets bullet-proof,
construct & revet fire-platforms, construct bomb proof shelters,
drain trenches & communication trenches, deepen trenches, where
exposed to enemy view, erect traverses against enfilade fire, construct
obstacles in front (wire entanglements being non-existent) &c. Average
distance of Enemy's trenches, about 160 yards.
Sep 1915 All water, stores, meals &c. have to be carried Distances
varying from 1/2 mile to 1 mile, by hand. Combined with the length
of trenches to be guarded, this fatigue work leaves very few men
available for the urgent alterations required in the defences &
throws a severe strain on all ranks. Casualties - 1 Killed. 1 Wounded.
Sep 1915 Work done in necessary improvement. Enemy quiet in front.
Casualties. 1 L/Cpl missing from patrol, 2 men wounded. 2Lieuts
Shaw [William Arthur SHAW, MC] & West
[Herbert John WEST, MC] joined the Battn. for duty.
Sep 1915 Demonstration by our Artillery & Infantry against trenches
opposite, in conjunction with attack by our troops elsewhere. Enemy
made only very feeble reply. 2/Lieuts
Sherry [Gerald SHERRY] & Friend [Robert
William FRIEND] joined the Battn. for duty.
Sep 1915 Constant patrols sent out at night to observe enemy, ascertain
work he is carrying out & cut his wire obstacles where possible.
Numerous 'dummy' sniping places erected, & real concealed sniping
post constructed elsewhere. The Dummy posts attract a gratifying
amount of attention from enemy's marksmen. An extra trench (number
61) added to our extended front. casualties 1 Killed. 2 wounded.
WAR DIARY FOR OCTOBER 1915
1 Oct 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Enemy bombarded
our lines with light guns (H.E. shell) at intervals throughout the
day. His fire enfiladed our trenches from the right, but did little
West [Herbert John WEST, MC] and 1 man wounded.
2 Oct 1915 One of our patrols returning to wrong
point of our line was unfortunately mistaken for enemy. 2 bombing
parties under 2/Lt. Beale [Allan Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE,
MC, Croix de Guerre] & Shaw [William Arthur SHAW,
MC] went out from different parts of the parapet to surround
them. Enemy also opened fire. Result. 2/Lt Shaw [William
Arthur SHAW, MC] & 3 men wounded.
3-4 Oct 1915 Normal & quiet.
5 Oct 1915 Quiet day. Sergt. Sirrell
[6395 Albert Edward SIRRELL] Killed, on the following day
he would have left the Trenches, time expired had he lived.
6 Oct 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Bttn. Relieved
by 1/Dorsets & moved into reserve.
7-12 Oct 1915 In Billets at Bray, furnishing
daily working parties. 2/Lts
Gaussen [David Newbold GAUSSEN], Eaton
[Alexander Robert Charles EATON], Donnison [Ernest
George DONNISON], Courthorpe
[William George COURTHORPE] & Thomas [Cecil Rees
THOMAS] joined for duty.
13 Oct 1915 - Etinehem and Chipilly Battn. moved
to Billets at Etinehem & Chipilly. Lt-Colonel
Griffith D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH, CMG,
DSO] takes temporary command of composite Brigade
14-21 Oct 1915 In reserve at Chipilly & Etinehem
finding working parties daily. A draft of 25 men arrived on 15th
22-26 Oct 1915 Bttn. comes under command of
G.O.C. 15th Bde. again. In reserve still.
27 Oct 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Bttn. moved to
28 Oct 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Took over
its line of trenches again 29-31 Oct 1915 In trenches. Weather wet.
WAR DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 1915
1-2 Nov 1915 In C1 subsector, N. of BRAY, weather
3-8 Nov 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Bttn. relieved
by 1/Dorset Rgt. returned to Bde reserve in billets at BRAY. Daily
working parties furnished for work in trenches &c. & mining fatigues.
9-14 Nov 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Relieved
1/Dorsets in Trenches. 1/Norfolk Rgt. on our left, 13th Inf.Bde.
on right. Weather bad. Much work caused by landslides & collapse
of parapets & walls of trenches, owing to rain. Very strong revetting
required. Sandbag revetment found unsatisfactory, owing to occasional
subsidence of foundations & consequent collapse of whole revetment.
Also difficult to deal with Sandbags when they have to be filled
with wet mud. Quiet period. Casualties. 1 Killed. 1 Wounded.
15 Nov 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Bttn. relieved
at 7.30.p.m. by 1/Dorset Rgt & returned to reserve Billets in BRAY.
16-20 Nov 1915 In billets at BRAY-SUR-SOMME.
Large daily working parties furnished
21-26 Nov 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Returned
to Trenches on relief by 1/Dorsets. Ordinary routine. Enemy shelled
trenches more or less in enfilade from right front most days, but
did little material damage & caused no casualties. Officers' patrols
went out on various occasions at night & examined enemy's wire entanglements
& threw bombs into their trenches, also succeeded in dropping a
number of Grenades into their lines with Catapults & 'West' bomb
throwers. Weather foggy some days & generally cold & frosty.
28 Nov 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Lts
Thom-Postlethwaite [Andrew Cecil THOM- POSTLETHWAITE]
[Frederick Arthur SANSOM] joined the Battn. for duty a couple
of days ago. A little snow & hard frost. Bttn. relieved in evening
by 1/Dorsets & returned to Billets in BRAY. Casualties during tour;
1 wounded by Bullet & 1 by Grenade.
29-30 Nov 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme and Etinehem
In rest billets (Brigade Reserve). A.Coy. moved to Billets at ETINEHEM.
Thaw, followed by very heavy rain caused collapse of parapets &
communication trenches. Larger working parties required to try &
cope with the situation.
WAR DIARY FOR DECEMBER 1915
1-2 Dec 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme and Etinehem
In Rest Billets. Lts. Thomson [C.G. THOMSON], Wilson
[Eric Chilver WILSON], Sanders
[Vincent Sandon SANDERS] & Whittemore
[Frederick John WHITTEMORE, MC] joined Bttn. for duty. 2
men killed & 2 injured in mine explosion where they were working
with Bde. Tunnelling Coy, in 73 Trench.
3 Dec 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Relieved
1/Dorsets in C.1. subsector.
4-5 Dec 1915 In Trenches. Lt.
Marshall [Arthur Norris MARSHALL] joined for duty.
Weather very wet & trenches bad. Large amount of work required to
keep in repair.
6 Dec 1915 Lt.-Col.B.R.
Roche [Benjamin Robert ROCHE] took over command of
Bttn. vice Lt.-Col.C.R.J.
Griffith C.M.G., D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH,
CMG, DSO] appointed to command of 108th Bde. Quiet day one man
Griffith C.M.G. D.S.O. [Charles Richard Jebb GRIFFITH,
CMG, DSO] left the Bn. on 3rd Dec.1915 to command 108th Brigade.
Capt.W.H.L.Barnett [William Harold Louis BARNETT, DSO],
4th Bn. Bedfordshire Att 1st Bn. commanded Bn, until arrival of
Capt.F.H. Edwards [Francis Hyde EDWARDS DSO, MC] 1st
Bn. on 4th Dec]
7 Dec 1915 Quiet day, wet evening, two men wounded.
8 Dec 1915 at 2 am Bombing parties from Dorsets
crept towards German trenches opposite 65 trench found it impossible
to get through wire threw bombs and got back with a few slight casualties.
rest of day quiet. trenches very bad in places owing to rain.
9 Dec 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Relieved by the
Dorsets and returned to billets arriving about 9.30 pm very wet
9-13 Dec 1915 In billets at Bray one man killed
on mining fatigue on 10th. relieved 1st Dorsets in C.1. subsector
relief complete at 7.45.p.m. trenches very wet and communication
trenches very difficult one man wounded during relief.
14 Dec 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Trenches
required a lot of work owing to rain. 69 trench very bad. Germans
seen getting out of their communication trench near MAMETZ and fired
on. One man wounded.
15 Dec 1915 A few whizbangs about noon near
69 trench no damage done. Quiet day. 3 offrs & 8 N.C.Os 16 Btn Royal
Warwicks arrived for instruction
16 Dec 1915 About 5 am a German Deserter surrendered
to 67 trench he was wounded by a bomb by his own people in escaping.
About 5.30 am enemy made a feeble attempt to bomb the Mound (a salient
from 62 trench) bombs fell short enemy hastily retreated no damage
done. Misty weather little improvement in state of trenches. Quiet
day. 4 more officers & 1 compy 16th Warwicks arrived for instruction.
17 Dec 1915 Rain made trenches worse, quiet
day, 5 or 6 whizbangs about RAT HOLE about 12.30 pm 3 or 4 whizbangs
about 69 trench about 9 pm no damage. The compy 16th R.Warwicks
took over 65, 66 & 67 trenches about 5 pm.
18 Dec 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Quiet day was relieved
by 1st Dorsets and returned to BRAY. relief complete 7.15 PM
19-22 Dec 1915 In Billets in BRAY.
22 Dec 1915 - trenches near Fricourt Relieved
1st Dorsets in C.1. subsector relief complete 7.5 pm. Trenches very
wet. Trench mortar bombs near 62 trench about 9 pm & whiz bangs
about RAT HOLE at 11 p.m. midnight & 1 a.m. no damage.
23 Dec 1915 Quiet day, approach to MINDEN POST
shelled at 7.30 p.m. no damage
24 Dec 1915 Some shelling about noon 68 & 69
trenches one man wounded, one man wounded about 9 pm when working
on top of dug out. Night quiet.
25 Dec 1915 A quiet day some rifle fire and
our guns opened fire at noon on German trenches no reply.
26 Dec 1915 - Bray-sur-Somme Heavy rain in early
morning quiet day in C1. FRICOURT shelled about noon. Relieved by
1st Dorsets relief complete 8.20 p.m. returned to BRAY.
27-29 Dec 1915 - Bray, Etinehem and Chipilly
Billets at Bray at 4.30 pm 29th the battalion moved 2 coys and Hq
Qrs to Etinehem and 2 coys to Chipilly
30-31 Dec 1915 In billets at Etinehem & Chipilly
returned to Bray at 4.45 pm 31st Dec.