1917 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 1917
1 Jan 1917 - Front Line, Cuinchy Battalion relieved
16/R.Warwickshire Rgt in CUINCHY LEFT Subsector. Dispositions as
under. B Coy. 2 Platoons S of CANAL, one in front line, one in HUNTERS.
2 Platoons in Support N of CANAL one in SPOILBANK KEEP one in ORCHARD.
A Coy. Immediately N of CANAL one platoon in Front Line one in ARTILLERY
ROW Supports BAYSWATER ROAD C Coy. Centre Coy. 2 Platoons in Front
Line between ORCHARD RD & FINCHLEY Rd. 2 Platoons in OXFORD
TERRACE (SUPPORTS). D Coy. Left Coy. 2 Platoons in Front Line between
FINCHLEY RD & RED DRAGON CRATER. 1 Platoon in STRATHCONA WALK.
1 Platoon in CAMBRIDGE TERRACE. H.Q. in Village line N. of CANAL.
Trenches in very poor state owing to recent heavy rain and accommodation
for men in Trenches very poor & scanty. REs working in Oxford
& Cambridge Terrace making "White" shelters, but progress very
Jan 1917 In trenches. Enemy bombarded front line of Left & Centre
Coys with small aerial Torpedoes & rifle grenades, causing a
certain amount of material damage but no casualties. Work chiefly
confined to clearing trenches and putting up shelters. 40yds of
wiring in front of Left Coy.
3 Jan 1917 In Trenches. Enemy again fired on our front
line of Left Coy with aerial torpedoes and near RED DRAGON with
"Minnies" doing considerable damage to trench. Our Artillery did
not reply, probably owing to Relief by 5th Divl. Arty.
Jan 1917 In Trenches. Day quiet until 7 p.m. when a mine was blown
opposite GIVENCHY at N. of existing Craters. The enemy retaliated
very promptly with his artillery and eventually bombarded our left
Support trenches with 77 mm H.E. & Shrapnel, blowing in trench
and causing 10 casualties (3 killed 7 wounded). The front line hardly
suffered. Rest of night quiet. Lt.
Col. F.N. BUTLER [Francis Noel BUTLER] proceeded on leave
MORRIS [Charles Alan Smith MORRIS] assumed command of Battalion
5 Jan 1917 - Village Line, Harley Street, Cuinchy
Battalion relieved by 16/R.Warwick Rgt and proceeded in relief to
VILLAGE LINE in HARLEY STREET (CUINCHY). The Adjutant (Capt.H.WILLANS
[Harry WILLANS, DSO, MC]) and Capt BEALE [Allan Oswald
Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] returned from leave.
Jan 1917 In support as above. Work on strengthening Village Line,
which consists of line of strong points or Keeps. Capt.O.A.R.Beale
Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] went
for attachment to Staff. Brigade Training Depot established at BEUVRY.
This Dept under Command of Maj.DEAKIN (16/R.War.R.) takes
all drafts that come to Brigade. Drafts remain at Dept until fully
qualified in Musketry & all branches of training - when they
are absorbed into their Battalions. Lt. A.J. FYSON [Arthur James
FYSON] proceeded for duty to the Training Dept as instructor.
9 Jan 1917 - Front Line Cuinchy Left SubSection
Relieved 16/R.Warwickshire Rgt. in CUINCHY Left Subsection. Dispositions
as on 1st inst. 1/NORFOLK Rgt on right, 13th Infantry Bde. on left.
Jan 1917 In trenches as above. Enemy fairly active with Artillery
& T.M.s. Trenches very wet & bad in parts.
13 Jan 1917 - le Quesnoy and
Beuvry Relieved by 16/R.Warwickshire Rgt. withdrew to Billets at LE
QUESNOY, with one Coy. at BEUVRY.
Jan 1917 In Billets as above.
17 Jan 1917 - Cuinchy Left Subsection
Relieved 16/R.Warwickshire Rgt. in CUINCHY LEFT. Dispositions as before
except that 2 platoons S. of Canal are now withdrawn & placed
in PONT FIXE redoubt & at Bn. H.Q. (B. Coy. this forming a support
Coy). Southern Boundary being the Canal.
Jan 1917 Enemy shelled supporting Battery (A./300) with about 500
Gas Shells (TEAR) during afternoon. Effect of these Lachrymatory
shells was felt in subsection held by Bttn. but no casualties.
19-21 Jan 1917 In trenches as
above. Quiet period. trenches wet & in bad repair. Frost began.
22 Jan 1917 - Feuillade Barracks,
Bethune Withdrew to BETHUNE on relief by 1/E.SURREY Rgt. (95th Infantry
Bde) Battalion billeted in FEUILLADE Barracks, BETHUNE. Lt.-Colonel
F.N.BUTLER [Francis Noel BUTLER] returned from leave.
Jan 1917 In Billets as above. Frost continued during whole period,
restricting training owing to cold. Route Marches, Drill & certain
amount of Musketry carried out. on 28th Capt.O.A.R.BEALE, M.C.
Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] returned
from attachment to Staff & assumed duties of Acting/Adjutant.
Capt.H.WILLANS, M.C. [Harry
WILLANS, DSO, MC] proceeding to Brigade for attachment.
DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1917
1 Feb 1917 - le Touret Battalion moved to Billets
in LE TOURET & acted as Bde Reserve to FERME du BOIS sector.
Very cold weather & very cold billets for the men (O.O. No.47
2 Feb 1917
In billets. Officers reconnoitred the line.
Feb 1917 Ditto
4 Feb 1917 Ditto Military
Cross ribbons were presented by Sir
R.B.HAKING C.,B. [Richard Cyril Byrne HAKING, GBE, KCB,
KCMG] cmdg XI Corps to Capt H.WILLIANS M.C. [Harry
WILLANS, DSO, MC], Capt O.A.R.BEALE M.C.
Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] and
2/Lt H.J. EVERETT M.C. [Horace John EVERETT MC] in the Theatre
Feb 1917 - Front Line Ferme du Bois Right Subsection Relieved the
16th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Reg in the Right Sub-section of the
FERME du BOIS Sub-sector relief passed off quietly in Daylight.
A&B Coys in Firing line 'C' Coy in RICHMOND TERRACE D Coy in
O.B.L. (O.O.50 dated 4/2/17). Trenches in fair condition, but were
very weak & damaged.
6-8 Feb 1917 Very quiet nothing of note to record.
9 Feb 1917. Le Touret Bn was relieved by the
16/R.War R. & withdrew to Billets in LE TOURET see O.O. 51 dated
10 Feb 1917
In Billets. Training was carried on in Coys. Capt H.WILLIANS M.C.
WILLANS, DSO, MC] appointed Staff Captain 15 Inf
Bde. A/Capt O.A.R.BEALE M.C. [Allan
Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] appointed
Adjutant to 1/Bedfordshire Regt. (Authority XI Corps No.A6/316 dated
Feb 1917 In Billets. Very cold.
13 Feb 1917 Inspected by Sir
C-in-C British Armies in FRANCE. See attached App IV [not attached]
14 Feb 1917 - Front Line Ferme du Bois Right
Subsection Relieved 16/R.War.R. in trenches see O.O.52 dated 13.2.17.
The trenches were held with 3 Coys & one coy in Billets Rue
de L'EPPINETTE. This coy supplied wiring parties for coy. in Front
15 Feb 1917
Nothing to record in trenches
16 Feb 1917 Inter - Coy relief passed off quietly
see O.O. 53 dated 15.2.17 attached [not attached]
17 Feb 1917
About 4.45 a.m. Enemy raided our trenches
see attached report dated 17th [Comment; attached
18 Feb 1917 - le Touret Relieved
by 16/R.War.R. & withdrew to Billets in LE TOURET see O.O. No.54
19-20 Feb 1917 Bn. was re-organised
according to instructions received from G.H.Q. Bn HQ including Transport
& Quarter Masters employ was reduced to 150 strong plus 16 snipers
& 16 Drums. Coys were re-organised as follows: Coy H.Q. 14 including
officers. 4 Platoons each consisting of 4 sections as under No.1 section
Riflemen & Rifle Grenadiers No.2 section Lewis Gunners & Snipers
No.3 section Bombers No.4 section Riflemen & Rifle Grenadiers
21 Feb 1917 - Front Line Ferme du Bois Right
Subsection Relieved 16/R.War.R. in the line see O.O. No.55 dated
22 Feb 1917
In trenches nothing to report
23 Feb 1917 Inter-Coy relief see O.O. No.56
Feb 1917 In trenches
Feb 1917 - le Touret Relieved by 16/R.War.R.
see O.O. No.57
26 Feb 1917 In Billets at LE TOURET. Several officers
of Russian Mission passed our billets & called in at the officers
Feb 1917 - Beuvry Bn. moved to Billets in BEUVRY. Mostly good billets
but rather crowded. See O.O. No.58
28 Feb 1917 In Billets at BEUVRY. Good training
grounds. Special attention paid to training Lewis Gunners, Rifle
Grenadiers & Bombers
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1917
1 Mar 1917 - Beuvry BEUVRY. Battalion carried on
with training excellent weather.
2 Mar 1917 BEUVRY. Battalion carried on with
training excellent weather.
3 Mar 1917
BEUVRY. Battalion carried on with training excellent weather. All
officers reconnoitred CAMBRIN SECTOR.
4 Mar 1917 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. billeted
5 Mar 1917 - Front Line Cambrin Relieved 9th Bn. K.O.Y.L.I.
Relief passed off quietly. Trenches in very bad condition. See O.O.
No.59 dated Mar 3.
6 Mar 1917 In Trenches. Bosche Snipers & T.M.s very
7 Mar 1917 Inter coy relief
8 Mar 1917 In trenches
9 Mar 1917 - Village Line Relieved by 16/R.War.R.
& withdrew to Village line see O.O. No.60 dated 8th.
10-12 Mar 1917 In Village line supplied working parties
for front line
13 Mar 1917 Relieved 16/R.War.R. in Right Sub sector
CAMBRIN Sector see O.O. 61 dated 12.3.17.
14-15 Mar 1917 Nothing to report Trenches very bad
owing to Frost & Rain.
16 Mar 1917 Trenches. About 8 p.m. the Enemy attempted
to raid our trenches. See attached report & XI Corps wire [Comment;
attached in Appendices]
17 Mar 1917 - Annequin Bn. withdrew into reserve billets
at ANNEQUIN. See O.O. 62 dated 16.3.17
18 Mar 1917 Opportunity was taken to re-equip the
men as far as possible
19 Mar 1917 - Orphanage, Bethune Relieved by 2/8 Manchester
Regt 199 Bde, 66th Division & withdrew to Billets in ORPHANANGE
BETHUNE see O.O. 63 dated 18.3.17
20 Mar 1917 Day spent in cleaning up
21 Mar 1917 Platoon training commenced under new organisation
22 Mar 1917 Bn ordered to be ready to move at 6 hours
notice to support the 66th Division in CAMBRIN, CUINCHY, GIVENCHY
& FERME du BOIS sectors in case of hostile attack. One officer per
coy reconnoitred line Platoon training carried on
23 Mar 1917 Platoon training
24 Mar 1917 Platoon training. Inspection by B.G.C.
25 Mar 1917 - Allouagne Moved to ALLOUAGNE via ANNEZIN,
LA BOURRIERE [sic], LAPUGNOY. Very bad training grounds & poor billets
26 Mar 1917 Platoon training wet morning
27 Mar 1917 Platoon training in woods E. of ALLOUAGNE
28 Mar 1917 Platoon training in woods E. of ALLOUAGNE
29 Mar 1917 Platoon training in woods E. of ALLOUAGNE
Billets and Training Grounds very much improved
30 Mar 1917 Coys bathed at AUCHEL & were inspected
by Cmdg Officer
31 Mar 1917 1st days Coy training
WAR DIARY FOR APRIL 1917
1 Apr 1917 - Allouagne In Billets at ALLOUAGNE - continued
Coy training. Lt.Col.P.R.WORRALL
Reginald WORRALL OBE, DSO, MC]
DEVONSHIRE Regt. assumed command of the Battalion.
2 Apr 1917 Coy training
3 Apr 1917 Bn training
4 Apr 1917 Bn took part in Bde scheme over Flagged
course see O.O. No.01 dated April 3.17
5 Apr 1917 Bn Training
6 Apr 1917 Bn Training
7 Apr 1917 - Bruay la Buissiere Bn moved to BRUAY
(O.O. No.65 dated 5th). Move being postponed from 6th to 7th
8 Apr 1917 - Cambligneul Moved to CAMBLIGNEUIL O.O.
No.66 dated 7th. 5th Division in reserve to CANADIAN CORPS. Bn ordered
to be ready to move at one hours notice Major R.Le HUQUET
[Reginald Le HUQUET] joined Bn & assumed duties of 2nd in
9 Apr 1917 In Billets at CAMBLIGNEUL blankets & Haversacks
dumped at Bde H.Q.
10 Apr 1917 Orders received for an officer to reconnoitre
positions round GIVENCHY & THE PIMPLE at 2 a.m. 1 hours notice to
move increased to 4 hours. Bn resumed training Bn Scouts under 2/Lt
KINGDON [John Phillipps KINGDON] & Lt.
MILLIAS [sic; Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS].
11 Apr 1917 C.O. & Adjt. reconnoitred line from MONT
ST ELOY. Coy Training. Weather very bad.
12 Apr 1917 CAMBLIGNEUL. Training continued
13 Apr 1917 Bn moved to VILLERS au BOIS see O.O. No.67
dated 13.4.17. C.O. Adjt. Coy Cmdrs & C.S.Ms reconnoitred VIMY Ridge,
HART [Percival Frank HART], 2/Lts F. HAGUE
[Frederick HAGUE, MC] & B.WILLIAMS [Basil Charles
WILLIAMS] joined for duty
14 Apr 1917 - Zouave Valley At 2 a.m. Bn was ordered
to move forward into close reserve in ZOUAVE VALLEY see O.O. No.68
dated 14.4.17. Bn at once commenced make a mule track from TOTTENHAM
TUNNEL to GIVENCHY known as "HOOD" TRACK. 2/Lt
HOOD [Douglas Edward HOOD] was killed, 2/Lt.
DOLMAN [Leonard DOLMAN] wounded also 1 O.R. Killed
& 4 O.Rs wounded.
15 Apr 1917 Bn carried on road making very bad weather
1 O.R. wounded
16 Apr 1917 As above. Hostile shelling increased 2
O.R.s Killed. 4 O.Rs wounded
17 Apr 1917 - Front Line, Cyril Section Road making
as above. 6 p.m. Bn relieved 1/Norfolk Regt & detachment of 43 Canadian
Bn in Cyril Section see O.O. No.69 dated 14.4.17 Preliminary Orders
dated 15.4.17 O.O. No.70 dated 17.4.17. Relief complete 2.30 a.m.
Bn dug in & connected up shell holes in a position from 200 yds
to 500 yds from Enemy. 1 O.R. Killed 1 O.R. wounded.
18 Apr 1917 DEFENCE Scheme drawn up
19 Apr 1917 - Bois de la Folie As above. Heavy enemy
shelling of communication Routes 2 O.R.s Killed & 6 O.Rs wounded
also 5 pack animals Killed & one wounded (Ration party) Bn relieved
by 1/Cheshire Regt & 16 R.War.R. in Front line. Withdrew to BOIS
de la FOLIE see O.O. No.71 dated 19.4.17
20 Apr 1917 - Zouave Valley Bn relieved by 15 R.War.R.
(13th Bde) & withdrew to ZOUAVE VALLEY dug outs see O.O. No.72 dated
20.4.17. 2/Lt TROTTER [Austin Stanley TROTTER] joined
21 Apr 1917 In position as above. Preliminary orders
received for capture of LA COULOTTE
22 Apr 1917 Bn proceeded to take up position for attack
see O.O. 73 & Timetable attached [not attached]
23 Apr 1917 - [The Battle of Arras; the attack
on La Coulotte] La Coulotte/Berthonval. Bn. attacked LA
COULOTTE. See C.O.'s report attached [comment; attached in Appendices].
Casualties: Killed - Capt
C.A.S. MORRIS [comment; Charles Alan Smith MORRIS
died as a POW 7/5/1917], 2/Lt.T.M.K.
Fletcher [Thomas Murray Kilpin FLETCHER] & 2/Lt.V.E.CURRY
[Vernon Edward CURRY]. Missing (believed killed) 2/Lt.T.
AKROYD [sic; Thomas Noel ACKROYD]. Wounded & Missing
ILLINGWORTH [Frederick Donald Roberts ILLINGWORTH].
Wounded - Lt.
P.F.HART [comment; Percival Frank HART DOW 3/5/1917],
2/Lt.A.F.WOODFORD [Arthur Francis WOODFORD], W.M.
STANTAN [William Martin STANTAN], A.J. FYSON [Arthur
James FYSON], F. HAGUE [Frederick HAGUE, MC] &
H.A. DEACON [Harold Augustus DEACON]. Other Ranks
320. Relieved by 13th Inf.Bde. & withdrew to camp at BERTHONVAL
stayed night & moved on.
24 Apr 1917 - Cambligneul To Billets at CAMBLIGNEUL
25 Apr 1917 In billets as above, day devoted to cleaning
up & re-fitting.
26 Apr 1917 Visited & inspected by Maj. Gen. R.B.STEVENS
C.M.G. G.O.C. 5th Division. Bn inspected.
27 Apr 1917 - Gouy Servins Specialist training. Bn
marched to GOUY SERVINS met 1st Bn. Devonshire Regt at Football
& won 2-1 goals.
28 Apr 1917 Specialist training. Two Coys bathed at
CAMBLAIN L'ABBE. 2/Lts C.O. WHITFIELD [Charles Owen WHITFIELD]
& H.H. REYNOLDS [Harold
Henry REYNOLDS] joined the Bn.
29 Apr 1917 In billets as above. Church parade (Brigade).
The Corps Commander (CANADIAN) Lt.Gen.Sir Julian BYNG K.C.B.
K.C.M.G. M.V.O. & G.O.C. 5th Division attended. Capt.E.G.FANNING
M.C. [Eric Gerald FANNING, MC] joined the Bn.
30 Apr 1917 In billets CAMBLIGNEUL. Training proceeded
WAR DIARY FOR MAY 1917
1 May 1917 - Cambligneul CAMBLIGNEUL. In Billets.
Training of Specialists carried on. Night Operations (Battn. in
attack over open, special attention paid to Scouts)
2 May 1917 As on May 1st. No night operations
3 May 1917 In Billets as above. Training carried
on. Received Warning Order from Bde to move to ROCLINCOURT Area.
Tactical Exercise for Officers & N.C.Os. Lt.
Col. F.N. BUTLER [Francis Noel BUTLER] proceeded
to join 11th Battn ESSEX RGT.
4 May 1917 - near Roclincourt Battn moved to
vicinity of ROCLINCOURT and bivouacked in open N. of village (see
O.O. 74d/ May 3rd) Specialist training carried on.
5 May 1917 In bivouacs as above. C.O. Adjt &
Coy Cmdrs reconnoitred route to 95th & 13th Bde H.Qs who were holding
the line E. of ARLEUX & W. of OPPY. Battn received orders to be
ready to move at 2hrs notice. Met 4th Battn. Bedfordshire Regt.
who were in bivouacs S.W. of ROCLINCOURT.
6 May 1917 In bivouacs as above. Specialist
training. Battn worked on Infantry Tracks & removed all barbed wire
in vicinity of Camp. Played 4th Battn. football
7 May 1917 In bivouacs as above. C.O. Adjutant
Coy Cmdrs & I.O. reconnoitred routes to Battalions of 13th Bde holding
front line W. of OPPY. During night enemy shelled camp. No damage
8 May 1917 - near Fresnoy At 9.30 a.m. Battn
received orders to be ready to move at moments notice. At 10.30
a.m. received orders to move forward at once and be in close reserve
to 13th & 95th Inf. Bdes. who had been attacked during night in
FRESNOY VILLAGE. Battn. stayed in position, B.19.c.3/4, old German
Trench, during night. Rifle Grenades, Extra S.A.A., tools etc. were
issued. Officers reconnoitred CORP LINE East of WILLERVAL.
9 May 1917 - Corps Line East of Willerval and
Farbus Station In position as above. 8.15 p.m. Battn moved forward
and relieved 1st D.C.L.I. (95th Bde) in support and took over CORPS
LINE E. of WILLERVAL with 2 coys and Line of Trenches E. of FARBUS
STATION with other 2 coys. Owing to strength of Battn approx 400
Trench Strength, Coys were organized into 2 Platoons each Platoon
having Extra L.G.Section attached. Battn. H.Q. 100yds W. of FARBUS
WOOD (see O.O. No.74a d/9th). During night 2 Coys E. of FARBUS STATION
were heavily shelled with gas & tear shells. A few men were slightly
10 May 1917 In Support line as above. 5 men
wounded by shell fire. Our artillery opened a heavy bombardment
on enemy's front line at dusk. At 8.30 p.m. 2 Coys E. of FARBUS
STATION were moved forward to CORPS LINE E. of WILLERVAL
11-12 May 1917 Working parties were put on roads
and arty tracks running E from FARBUS RY Embankment to ARLEUX LOOP.
Received orders to relieve 1st CHESHIRE Rgt in LEFT SUB-SECTOR of
ARLEUX Sector on night of 13-14th. C.O. Adgt & Coy Officers reconnoitred
line held by 1st CHESHIRE RGT.
13 May 1917 - Front Line, Left Sub Sector Arleux
Sector In position as above. 10 p.m. Battn moved forward and relieved
1st CHESHIRE RGT in front line (see O.O. 75 d/12th). Relief complete
by 2.30 am 14th. Line taken over was approx 700 yds in length and
consisted of a series of pits which were not connected There were
also saps of about 150 yds between ourselves and units on our Right
& left where trenches had to be dug and posts established in order
to get in touch. Front line was held by A & D Coys under command
[Montague Walter HALFORD, MC].
14-15 May 1917 Nothing of importance to report.
The whole Battn was employed on making a continuous Front line digging
communication trench, Wiring front line and assisting RE who were
making dug outs for Frnt line Coy H.Q. & Battn H.Q. 16 May 1917
"B" & "C" Coys under 2/Lt. HOPE [James Kenneth HOPE]
relieved "A" & "D" Coys in front line A & D Coys withdrew into support
in ARLEUX LOOP. Relief passed off quietly. Weather very bad. (see
17 May 1917 Holding line; nothing to report
18 May 1917 - trenches S.W. of Farbus Wood near
Commandant's House Battn was relieved on night 18th-19th by 1st
CHESHIRE RGT (see O.O. No.77 d/18th) and withdrew into Bde Reserve
in trenches S.W. of FARBUS WOOD near COMMANDANT'S HOUSE. Relief
passed off quietly. Casualties during tour 2 O.R. killed 23 O.R.
wounded. Attached as a report on work done and showing dispositions
in Front Line, while Battn was in Front Line [not attached]. While
Battn was in Line, 8 O.R. per Coy were left behind at Transport
Lines for training in LEWIS GUN under 2/Lt J.P.KINGDON [John
19-20 May 1917 Battalion in Bde Reserve as above.
Enemy shelled position fairly heavily at intervals causing some
casualties. Companies dug slip trenches near original trenches for
21 May 1917 Battalion in Bde Reserve as above.
Occasional shelling. Battn relieved 1/CHESHIRE R in Left front line.
A & B Coys in Firing Line, C & D Coys in Support. (see O.O. No.78
d/21st). Relief passed off quietly. Complete 1.50 a.m. Casualties
during Tour in Reserve 1 Officer Wounded 1 O.R Killed 17 Wounded.
22 May 1917 - Left Front Line Battalion in Front
Line. Enemy quiet; his artillery confined to Counter battery work
and rear communication. Whole battn worked all night on consolidating
MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] assumed temporary
command of "B" Coy and became O.C. Front Line, 2/Lt J.K. HOPE
[James Kenneth HOPE] took over command of "C" Coy. Patrols
out all night. No enemy Patrols seen. Fighting patrol under 2/Lt
WHITFIELD [Charles Owen WHITFIELD] found no opportunity
for procuring identification and reported German wire very thick.
23 May 1917 Battalion as above. Very occasional
shells on Front Line and Communication Trench, otherwise quiet.
Lt Col P.R. WORRALL M.C. [Percy Reginald WORRALL, OBE,DSO, MC] returned
from leave. C.O. & Adjt of 17 R.F. came up to reconnoitre position
prior to taking over Front Line. Also 1 Officer & 1 N.C.O. per Coy
of 17 RF came up and were attached to corresponding Coys. Sent guides
NAILER [Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER] to reconnoitre
route for guiding relieving Battn in and the Coys out the next night.
Fighting Patrol under 2/Lt DALTON [John DALTON, MC]
found DEVON TRENCH unoccupied but came on dead German, shoulder
strap 73 and having a Fife in case on equipment. Inter Coy relief
B & D Coys relieved A & B Coys in Front Line (see O.O. No.79 d/23rd)
24 May 1917 Battn as above. Enemy quiet. During
whole tour in Front Line Enemy aircraft were active, aeroplanes
occasionally flying very low over Front Line. These were engaged
with Lewis Guns, but without success. During night the Battn was
relieved by 17th Royal Fusiliers 5th Bde II Divn. Relief passed
off quietly. Complete 1.50 am of 25th (See O.O. No.80 d/24th)
25 May 1917 - Camp south of Roclincourt Battalion
withdrew to Camp S of ROCLINCOURT about G.10.b. Battalion in Camp
by 5.30 a.m. Day devoted to Rest. Cleaning up, and clothing inspection.
26 May 1917 Battn in Camp as above. Commanding
Officer inspected Battn. Officers & NCOs from each company reconnoitre
routes etc. to Concentration Camp (A.24.d.) Corps Line (GREEN) on
MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] sent in advance.
Commanding Officer & A/Adj reconnoitre Green Line. Inter Platoon
Football matches after tea.
27 May 1917 Battn in Camp as above. Battn found
Working Party of 150 men for Road making on ARRAS - BAILLEUL Road.
Remainder attended Church Parade and BATHS. 1 Officer 1 NCO & 1
Orderly from each Coy reconnoitred Battalion Concentration position
West of Concentration Camp and N of air Line. Lt
MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] and A/Adj
reconnoitred route from Concentration position to Green Line - Draft
of 8 O.R. arrived from Base.
28 May 1917 Battn in camp as above. Working
party as above. Remainder of Bttn paraded from 8.30 AM till 12.30
P.M. Inter platoon football match final after tea; won by 13 Platoon
"D" Coy. Lt BLANCHARD [George BLANCHARD] admitted
to 15th Field Ambulance sick. 2nd Lt SHARPIN [George Colby
SHARPIN] took over duties as Transport Officer. Lt
MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] took over
A/Adjutant from 2nd Lt KINGDON [John Phillipps KINGDON],
who proceeded with 5 O.R. to XIII Corps Draft Training School. Commanding
Officer 2nd in Command & Coy. officers attended lecture at ECOIVRES
on "Patrolling & Self Defence" by Capt COUSINS-HARDY.
29 May 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Parades &
Working parties as above. 4.0 P.M. Commanding Officer's lecture
to Officers & N.C.O.s on "The Duties of Officers & N.C.O.s." After
tea football match "D" Coy v Rest of Battn. 7.30 P.M. Open air concert
by Capt SULLIVAN [John William SULLIVAN, MC] & Co.
30 May 1917 Battn in camp as above. Parades
& Working parties as above. 2 P.M. Bayonet Fighting for Officers
& N.C.O.s. Lt HANSSEN [Ernest Frederick HANSSEN] &
1 Sgt per Coy reconnoitred RED LINE East of WILLERVAL. 2nd Lt
EVERETT M.C. [Horace John EVERETT, MC] & 2 O.R proceeded
to WAILLY to see a display by TANKS. Bttn played football match
against 1 D.C.L.I. Result we won by 2-1.
31 May 1917 Battn in camp as above. Parades
& Working parties as above. In the afternoon enemy aeroplane attacked
2 of our observation balloons the occupants landed safely in parachutes.
At 6 PM Bttn played football match against 11th East Lancs. Result,
opponents won 2-0.
WAR DIARY FOR JUNE 1917
1 Jun 1917 - Camp south of Roclincourt Bttn
in camp as above. Parades & Working party as above. Considerable
hostile aerial activity over Camp during early hours of the morning.
In the afternoon Bttn held a mounted Gymkhana. Draft of 58 O.R.
joined XIII Corps Training Dept at FLORINGHAM [sic].
2 Jun 1917 - Concentration Camp near Willerval
Battn moved to concentration camp at A.24.d. Bttn as strong as possible
worked on strong point (WILLERVAL NORTH) in the RED LINE at B.4.a.
with the exception of B Coy, from 10 P.M to 2 A.M. B Coy left camp
at 2 A.M for RED LINE to take over day shift. Draft of 50 O.R joined
XIII Corps Training Dept.
3 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Found same
working party as above. King's Birthday. Bttn paraded at 12.30 P.M.
with 1st NORFOLKS & presented Arms. Hostile aircraft active at night,
several bombs being dropped near transport at ECURIE. 2 men wounded
by shell fire, on working party.
4 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Working Party
as above. Hostile aircraft dropped bombs near transport at ECURIE.
5 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Working Party
as above, B & D Coys exchanged work. Draft of 34 O.R joined Bttn
from the Base.
6-7 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Working
Party as above.
8 Jun 1917 As above. Our artillery had two shoots
during night on Enemy trenches.
9 Jun 1917 - Camblain-Chatelain Moved to CAMBLAIN
CHATELAINE by Motor busses (see O.O. No.82 dated June 8th) good
billets. C.O. second in command & Adjt rode round Billets & training
grounds in evening.
10 Jun 1917 Swimming parade before breakfast.
Church Parade at 11.15 a.m. Capt H.A.W.PEARSE [Hugh Armine
Wodehouse PEARSE, MC], 2/Lt P.SISLEY [Percival Denis
SISLEY, MC], Lt A.N.W.POWELL
[Arthur Nugent Waldemar POWELL] joined Bn
11 Jun 1917 In Billets as above inclement weather
interfered with training. Bn assembled in Church Army Hut lectures
by Major Le HUQUET [Reginald Le HUQUET] on 'TRENCH
ORDERS' by C.O. on 'Wood-fighting' also lectures by Subaltern officers.
Competition in Bugle calls, turn-out saluting, march songs etc.
'D' Coy obtained most points the 'B', C, A Coys. BN Sports in afternoon.
Highest numbers of points were obtained in following order: - A,
D, B & C Coys.
12 Jun 1917 Bn training in Morning Bois des
MOTTES (FRANCE 36b) Wood fighting. Dinners on ground Brigade sports
in afternoon. Draft of 7 O.R. joined from Base depot
13 Jun 1917 All Coys did rapid firing on range.
Bayonet fighting, Rifle grenade practice etc. Bde Horse Show in
afternoon. Battn were 1st in G.S.Waggon turn-out 2nd in Wrestling
3rd in Officer Jumping Lt.Col
P.R.WORRALL M.C. [Percy Reginald WORRALL OBE, DSO, MC]
3rd in Transport turn-out
14 Jun 1917 Musketry on range for each coy 1
1/2 hours. Rifle meeting (15 Inf Bde) in afternoon, every platoon
entered a team of 1 commander & 10 O.Rs firing party 15 rounds rapid
time minute. Received orders to move to ROCLINCOURT area Bde in
15 Jun 1917 - camp near Roclincourt Bn moved
in Motor Busses to Camp A.28.a (ROCLINCOURT Map) arrived 10.30 a.m.
16 Jun 1917 - Front Line near Oppy In Camp as
above, received warning order that Battalion would move up to Front
Line at night. At 7 p.m. moved up & relieved 1st Bn R.W.Kents in
Front Line near OPPY. See O.O.84.
17 Jun 1917 In Front line as above, 2 men Killed
& 4 wounded by shell fire
18 Jun 1917 In Front Line as above, situation
quiet took over addl Trench see O.O.85
19 Jun 1917 In Front Line as above, 2/Lt
R.W.HUNTER [Robert Moore HUNTER] & 4 other Ranks wounded,
H.W.FLEMING [Harold Winning FLEMING] joined for duty,
1 Company relieved by a Coy of FAN See O.O.86
20 Jun 1917 - Camp near Roclincourt In Front
Line as above, 1 man Killed, 1 Wounded. At night were relieved by
a Battalion of 13th Bde (14/R.Warwick Regt) & withdrew to Camp at
A.28.a.6/8 See O.O.87
21 Jun 1917 In Camp as above, day devoted to
resting and cleaning up
22 Jun 1917 In camp as above, Battalion Training
carried on, very inclement weather.
23 Jun 1917 In cam pas above, Battalion Training
for future operations carried on, 20 Other Ranks, Artists Rifles,
Candidates for Commissions, attached to Battalion for three weeks,
to gain experience
24 Jun 1917 In Camp as above, Battalion Training
as usual. 105 other ranks joined from XIII Corps Draft Training
25 Jun 1917 In Camp as above, Battalion Training
as usual. 10 O.R.s joined from Base Depot. 100 Officers & O.R.s
attended Lantern Lecture, subject, Aeroplane Photographs, Commdg.
Officer attended conference at Bde H.Q. Received Operation Order
26 Jun 1917 In camp as above, Training carried
on as usual, received orders to move up to Front Line next day.
27 Jun 1917 - Front Line near Oppy In camp as
above. No Training, preparations for move at night being made. At
night moved up & relieved 14/R.Warwick Regt, see O.O. 88, while
bombs were being issued prior to move, an accident occurred, casualties
16 O.R.s wounded. 2.30 pm Lt E.F.HANSSEN [Ernest Frederick
HANSSEN] in charge of Battalion Lewis Gun Teams proceeded to
Trenches & arranged for guides to guide Coys up at night
28 Jun 1917 - [The capture of Oppy Wood]
Oppy Wood Bn in assembly trenches, see attached map & O.O. No.88/1.
The Bn attacked the German system at Zero 7.10 pm & gained all its
objectives see attached DIARY. The night was spent in consolidating
the new ground. Rations, water & S.A.A. & RE material were sent
up to Front Line See C.O's report attached [Comment; see appendices]
29 Jun 1917 'B' Coy side slipped to the left
& the line in OPPY Wood was taken over by 1/Norfolk Regt see O.O.No.90
30 Jun 1917 Orders received to take over posts
L, N & Q from the 12/Glouc.R. see O.O.91 6.30 p.m. Orders received
from Bde that Bn would be relieved by 2/KOSBs O.O.92. Owing to late
arrival of relieving unit 2 Coys were unable to be relieved that
night. Casualties during action were: 2/Lt.A.S.TROTTER [Austin
Stanley TROTTER], 2/Lt C.O.WHITFIELD [Charles Owen
WHITFIELD] wounded, 2/Lt HOPE [James Kenneth HOPE]
dislocated Knee. A/C.S.M.SUMMERFIELD [9183 Walter James
SUMMERFIELD, DCM] killed. 8 ORs Killed, 13 O.R.s missing, 95
WAR DIARY FOR JULY 1917
1 Jul 1917 - Camp near Roclincourt Two coys
in front line N of OPPY. Two Coys in camp A.24.b. (ROCLINCOURT).
Spent day in resting and cleaning up. Two coys in front line were
relieved by 2/K.O.S.B.s and returned to camp see OO 93
2 Jul 1917 In camp as above
3 Jul 1917 In camp as above. Working party
of 3 Officers and 150 O.R.s for work in forward area under R.E.
4 Jul 1917 - Reserve Line E. of Willerval In
camp as above 9.0 PM Moved into reserve line E of WILLERVAL relieving
1st Battn Devonshire Regt. and came under orders B.G.C. 95th Infy
Bde. see O.O.94.
5 Jul 1917 In trenches as above working parties
found see Work Programme
6 Jul 1917 In trenches as above working parties
found see Work Programme. 2/Lt H.W.WRIGHT [Howard Watson
WRIGHT] wounded and 1 O.R. killed by shell fire. Draft of 152
arrived all of whom had previously served in France with the 1st,
2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battns. C.O. and Adjt proceeded to Transport
lines to train draft
7-8 Jul 1917 In line as above. Two coys worked
on front line E and N of WILLERVAL each night.
9 Jul 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp In line as above.
Relieved by 15th Royal Warwickshire Regt (13 Infy Bde) and withdrew
to ECURIE WOOD camp. Came under orders of B.G.C. 15th Infy Bde.
10 Jul 1917 Battn rested until noon. C.O.s parade
in the afternoon
11 Jul 1917 H.M The King visited the
Area. The Battn. lined the ARRAS - SOUCHEZ road. On way back to
camp the Battn. did an exercise, the attack in the open.
12 Jul 1917 Battn training. P.T., B.F, Bombing
L.G., Battn drill and Musketry. In afternoon Battn played 16/R.Warwickshire
Regt Cricket - Draw. Night, Working party of 3 Officers and 150
O.R.s went up to front line, to work on TIRED ALLEY. C.T.
13 Jul 1917 Training carried on under coy. arrangements.
Afternoon. Major General R.B.STEPHENS C.M.G. G.O.C. 5th Division
inspected the Battn and presented Medal Ribbons for recent actions.
Capt.CHIRNSIDE M.C. [William Stuart CHIRNSIDE, MC
& Bar] awarded the Bar to M.C. for gallantry at LA COULOTTE
[comment; reccomended for a D.S.O but awarded an M.C. Citation in
For OPPY - No.7175 Sgt A.FAULDER Bar to M.M. [7175 Arthur
FAULDER, MM & Bar], 43038 Pte F. DIGHTON M.M. [43038
Frederick W. DIGHTON, MM], 20337 Pte W. CLARKE M.M. [20337
William CLARKE, MM], 10196 Sgt H. HILL M.M. [10196
Herbert HILL, MM], 430239 Pte L.KING M.M. [sic; 43460
Leonard KING, MM], 10238 Sgt D. STONE M.M. [10238
David STONE, MM], 8311 Sgt H. NORMAN M.M. [8311 Harry
NORMAN, MM], 8253 Cpl G. ILOTT (since promoted Sgt) M.M.
[8253 George ILOTT, DCM, MM], 10667 Pte J.W. HOUSTON M.M.
[James W. HOUSTON, MM]. The following were presented with
parchment cards by G.O.C. for gallant conduct. 10052
Sgt G.E.NEALE [George E. NEALE], 17425 L/C COX
[17425 Arthur COX], 12365 L/C PRICE [12365 James
C. COX], 20374 Sgt.C.HUMPHRIES [20374, later Lieutenant
Reginald Charles HUMPHRIES, MC]. Usual working party of 3 Officers
and 150 O.R.s for Work on TIRED ALLEY.
14 Jul 1917 In camp as above. Training carried
on. Working party 3 Officers 150 O.R.s on WILLERVAL line.
15 Jul 1917 In Camp as above. Church parade
for two coys. Received warning order to move to CONCENTRATION camp
16 Jul 1917 - Concentration Camp Relieved 1st
Norfolk Regt in CONCENTRATION camp see O.O.96 Enemy shelled camp
soon after relief. Camp moved 800 yds West at night.
17-21 Jul 1917 Work on TIRED ALLEY, RED line
and WILLERVAL North. Three Coys for first two nights and afterwards
2 Coys each night.
22 Jul 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp Moved to ECURIE
WOOD camp. See O.O.97. A and B Coys worked on range in this camp
23 Jul 1917 Training carried on, see appended
programme of work, Musketry, and amusements.
24 Jul 1917 Training carried on according to
programme. Lt.G.H.ANSTEE M.C. [Geoffrey Arthur ANSTEE,
OBE, MC, DL] joined the Batt. Following honours appeared in
Divisional Routine orders - MILITARY CROSS Capt.H.A.W. Pearse
[Hugh Armine Wodehouse PEARSE, MC], 2/LT P.D.SISLEY
[Percival Denis SISLEY, MC], 2/LT A.S. TROTTER [Austin
Stanley TROTTER, MC]. D.C.M. - No.8721 Sgt (a/C.S.M.) R.T.C.
LANSBURY [Reginald Thomas LANSBURY, DCM, MM], No.10055
Sgt PUDDIPHATT [sic; 10055 Reginald Henry PUDDEFOOT, DCM].
BAR TO MM - No
28207 Sgt SINCLAIR [James SINCLAIR, DCM, MM & Bar].
25 Jul 1917 In camp. Training as per programme.
26 Jul 1917 In camp. Training as per programme
Following Officers joined Battn. 2ND LT. F. HAGUE [Frederick
HAGUE, MC] A.COY. 2ND LT. S. ALLPORT [Sidney ALLPORT]
B.COY. 2ND LT. A.W.MATSON [Arthur William MATSON]
C.COY. 2ND LT. P.N.J. CHRISTIE
[Paul Norman Jones CHRISTIE] C.COY, joined 16th inst. 2ND
LT. A.E.CROOCKEWIT [Alexander Edward CROOCKEWIT]
COY. 2ND LT. R.C. HARE [Robert Craigh HARE] B.COY.
joined 15th inst. 2ND LT. F. FLAVELL [Frank FLAVELL]
D.COY. 2ND LT.
J. COTCHIN [Joseph COTCHIN] D.COY. 2ND LT. J.T.
DICKINSON [John Thomas DICKINSON] A.COY. 2ND
LT J.T.LAUGHTON [Joseph Thornton LAUGHTON] C.COY.
joined 12th inst.
27 Jul 1917 Training as per programme. Night
march to ECURIE STATION in Box Respirators, Successfully carried
28 Jul 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux Battn
relieved 12th Bn. Gloucester Regiment in front line trenches S of
ARLEUX. See O.O.98 relief complete by 10 PM.
29 Jul 1917 In trenches as above. A and D in
front line C and B in front support
30 Jul 1917 As Above
31 Jul 1917 As above. Inter company relief
WAR DIARY FOR AUGUST 1917
1 Aug 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux In Front
line trenches south of ARLEUX Following officers joined the Bn.
2/Lts W.HAYNES [Wilfred HAYNES], P.S.C.DANIELS
[comment' possibly Percy Joes Charles DANIELS] & H.C.LOE
[Harold Charles LOE, MC]
2 Aug 1917 In trenches as above
3 Aug 1917 - Red Line In trenches as above.
In afternoon Bn. was relieved by 1/Cheshire Regt & withdrew to RED
LINE see O.O.99
4-8 Aug 1917 200 men per night were sent on
Bde working parties - carrying trench stores digging Bn Cook house
9 Aug 1917 - Kitchener Camp, Red Line and Sugar
Post Relieved by 1/D.C.L.I. & 2 Coys & H.Q. withdrew to KITCHENER
CAMP. Two coys remained in RED LINE & SUGAR POST & worked under
491st Fld Coy R.E. wiring & widening trenches. Task - work see O.O.
10-11 Aug 1917 Work as above two coys in KITCHENER
Camp worked on Roads in back areas.
12 Aug 1917 Inter company relief see O.O.101
13-14 Aug 1917 Work as on 10 & 11 Instants.
15 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts Bn relieved by
1/Norfolk Regt & withdrew to ECURIE Wood huts see O.O.102.
16-20 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts and Bray Range
Bn Training special attention being paid to Musketry on19 Inst.
Bn marched to BRAY Range & spent two nights there. See training
programme attached Bn moved back to ECURIE Wood Camp.
21 Aug 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux Relieved
1/D.C.L.I. in Front Line see ).).103
22-26 Aug 1917 In trenches Front line was heavily
shelled with 5.9s & 8 inch on 24 inst casualties 3 O.R. Killed 4
O.R. wounded. Special attention was paid to wiring
27 Aug 1917 - Vimy-Lievin Line Bn was relieved
by 1/Cheshire Regt (see O.O.104) & withdrew to VIMY - LIEVIN line
working parties were supplied for Front line system. Railways &
28 Aug 1917 As above
29-31 Aug 1917 3 coys employed each night on
wiring Front line system, one coy working on tracks Railways etc.
2LTS E.F.K.GRAHAM [Edgar Francis Kirkham GRAHAM, MM],
V.E. FARR [Vivian Eric FARR], L.J. HOBSON [Leonard
Jack HOBSON] & H.G.BAKER [Howard George BAKER]
joined Bn 30th inst.
WAR DIARY FOR SEPTEMBER 1917
1 Sep 1917 - Tunnel Dump, Vimy-Lievin Line Working
parties as on 29th, 30th, 31st Aug. Draft of 5 casuals joined.
2 Sep 1917 Working party as on 1st. 1 O.R. wounded
on wiring party - since died. [comment - Pte 33755 John FAIREY,
DOW 5th September]
3 Sep 1917 Working party as above. Enemy Arty.
active on FARBUS. Draft of 4 casuals joined. Played D.15. battery
football - result 4-0 against.
4 Sep 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp Battalion withdrew
from Tunnel Dump to ECURIE WOOD CAMP.
5 Sep 1917 - Frevin-Capelle Battalion marched
to FREVIN CHAPPELLE [sic]. Draft of 38 joined.
6 Sep 1917 - Grand-Rullecourt Continued march
to GRAND RULLECOURT & billeted there.
7 Sep 1917 Day spent in cleaning up, making
up deficiencies etc.; training grounds reconnoitred. B.G.C. congratulates
Bn. on work.
8 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Company
9 Sep 1917 Parade Service in Chteau grounds
with 16th R.Warwick Regt. & M.G.Coy. First of Inter platoon football
knockout played. Coy. Officers reconnoitred new billeting area at
10 Sep 1917 - Beaudricourt Battalion marched
to BEAUDRICOURT, and billeted there.
11 Sep 1917 Battalion was reorganised on a three
platoon basis. 2 Lieut. J.P.KINGDON [John Phillipps KINGDON]
& 10 O.Rs rejoined from XIII Corps Musketry & Reinforcement Camp
10/9/'17. Lieut. J.B.SPROSTON [John Broadhurst SPROSTON]
& 11 O.Rs arrived from Base Depot 10/9/17. Battalion drill & lecture
on Smoke Tactics. In the afternoon, Inter platoon Football.
12 Sep 1917 Battalion Drill & lecture on Smoke
Tactics. Practice attack with smoke. Inter platoon Football.
13 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Coy. arrangements
till 10.30. Commanding Officer's lecture on Smoke Tactics to visitors
(G.O.C 5th Div., B.G's C. 13th, 95th & 15th Bdes. etc.) Demonstration
by Battn. of attack & smoke. In the Afternoon, "Bedford Hunt", officers
mounted. Visitors for tea & lunch.
14 Sep 1917 Firing on Range at N.12. & specialist
training. Inter platoon Football. Night march in box respirators.
15 Sep 1917 Specialist training. Field Firing
N.12.a & N.12.c. Inter platoon football.
16 Sep 1917 Parade service. Final of Inter platoon
Competition won by D Coy. "Bedford Hunt".
17 Sep 1917 One platoon from each Coy. entered
Brigade Inter-platoon competition. No.1 Platoon (2
Lt.H.H.REYNOLDS [Harold Henry REYNOLDS]) chosen for
Divisional Competition. Rest of Battn. specialist training.
18 Sep 1917 Lecture by Major ANDERSON,
1st Army Suptd of P.T. & B.F. Specialist training.
19 Sep 1917 Specialist training. Battn. passed
through Gas Chamber. 95th [?sic].Bde. Musketry Competition; teams
entered, & team of Ptes. & Lcpls. was 3rd. Div. Inter platoon Competition;
No.1 Platoon was 4th. on Sept. 18th.
20 Sep 1917 Battn. practised scheme.
21 Sep 1917 At 1.0 a.m. marched to Grand Rullecourt;
Operations as per O.O.X. [comment' operations order No.10, in appendices]
Zero hour 5.45 a.m. Breakfast there; marched back at 9 a.m.
22 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Companies.
Baths allotted to Coys. Officers & Platoon Sergts. attended demonstration
of platoon attack at 3.15.p.m. 2nd Lt.F.A.GARWOOD [Frederick
Arthur GARWOOD] reported and posted to D Coy.
23 Sep 1917 Parade service at 11.30. Officers
& L.G.N-C.Os attended lecture on L.G.Tactics.
24-25 Sep 1917 - Zuid Hove Marched to Tincques,
entrained there, detrained at St.Omer & marched to ZUDROVE [sic],
near SERQUES. See M.O. No.108. 2nd Lts W.W..WHITE [comment;
possibly William WHITE] & H.HUTCHINSON
[Herbert HUTCHINSON] joined.
26 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Specialist
Officers. Lecture by C.O. in afternoon on "Fire & Movement".
27 Sep 1917 Battn. Parade, lecture & specialist
training. 2nd Lts.A.H.WAKEFIELD [Albert Henry WAKEFIELD],
A.W.ROPE [Arthur William ROPE] & H.W.CORNELIUS
[Herbert Walter CORNELIUS] joined.
28 Sep 1917 - Staple 5th Div. transferred from
5th Army to 2nd Army and posted to X Corps on arrival. Bde. marched
to STAPLE, leaving at 9.a.m. Billeted at STAPLE.
29 Sep 1917 - Thieushouck Bde. marched to THIEUSHOUX,
leaving at 9.a.m. billeted there.
30 Sep 1917 Battn rested in THIEUSHOUCK. All
officers, C.S.Ms & Platoon Sergeants went over taped course for
WAR DIARY FOR OCTOBER 1917
1 Oct 1917 - Thieushouck Battn in billets at
2 Oct 1917 - Westoutre Moved forward & spent
night at WESTOUTRE under canvas. See OO No.109 2/Lt.A.E.OXLEY
[Alfred Edgar OXLEY] joined the Battn.
3 Oct 1917 - ridge between Tor Top and Stirling
Castle Moved to RIDGE WOOD had dinners there, dumped haversacks
& moved forward to SANCTUARY WOOD less dumped Personnel O.O. No.110.
C.O. Adjt & 4 Coy Cmdrs went on to reconnoitre xsite [opposite?]
HALFORD [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] brought Battn
on at dusk. All ranks dug in on Ridge between TOR TOP & STIRLING
CASTLE. Battn in reserve to 13th Inf Bde. Heavy shelling
4 Oct 1917 [The Third Battle of Ypres
- The Battle of Broodseinde] 13th Bde attacked N. of YPRES
MENIN Rd on a Front of 1500 yds to include POLDERHOEK CHATEAU. Attack
commenced at dawn 1/R.W.Kent took their objective on Right but 2nd
K.O.S.B. were held up in Front of POLDERHOEK CHATEAU. 7 p.m. Cmdg
Officer was called to Bde H.Q. & Battn was ordered to move forward
& dig in N. of YPRES-MENIN Rd towards VELDERHOEK [sic] & be in close
support to 1/R.W.Kents. This was completed by Dawn.
5 Oct 1917 - Front Line near Veldhoek Battn
relieved 1/R.W.Kents in Front line from J.21.d.8.9 on Road to junction
of THICK COPSE & the SCHERRIABEEK
6-8 Oct 1917 A defensive system was made & a
continuous Front line dug with Supports. C & B coys were in Front
line with A & D in reserve in O.B.L. Communication trenches were
dug back from Front line to O.B.L. Battn H.Q. situated in Buildings
& PILLBOXES at J.21.d.05.30.
9 Oct 1917 [The Third Battle of Ypres
- The Battle of Poelcapelle] 15th Bde attacked POLDERHOEK
CHATEAU with 1/Norfolks & 16/R.War R. The attack failed & they withdrew
to their jumping off positions about 250 yds W. of CHATEAU
10 Oct 1917 - Ridge Wood Battn was relieved
by 7th Bttn K.R.R.Corps relief complete by 11.30 pm Battn withdrew
to RIDGE WOOD. From the 4th to 10th The Battn was subjected to Heavy
shelling. Total casualties - 4 officers Killed, 6 wounded, 35 [Other
Ranks] Killed, 97 wounded, 4 missing. Officers Casualties were 2/Lts.
[Harold Henry REYNOLDS] H.W.FLEMING
[Harold Winning FLEMING] , J.COTCHIN
[Joseph COTCHIN], P.N.J.CHRISTIE
[Paul Norman Jones CHRISTIE] killed. Capt H.A.W.
Pearse [Hugh Armine Wodehouse PEARSE, MC], 2/Lts
[Joseph Thornton LAUGHTON], E.F.K. GRAHAM [Edgar
Francis Kirkham GRAHAM, MM], F. FLAVELL [Frank FLAVELL],
S. NORRISH [Samuel NORRISH, MC], E.I.F.NAILER
[Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER] wounded. A/R.S.M. FREER
[6521 Walter FREER] wounded. The Battn captured 4 M.Gs. &
Killed over 100 Germans by sniping & Rifle Grenades. Map Reference
for above GHELUVELT 1/10,000.
11 Oct 1917 - Brooke Camp, Westoutre The morning
was spent in cleaning up. In the afternoon Bn. moved to BROOKE CAMP
WESTOUTRE for one night. See O.O. 111
12 Oct 1917 - Meteren Bn. continued to march
to METERIN [sic] Area & billeted, billets included Farm & tents.
[Comment; John Broadhurst SPROSTON also wounded and evacuated
13 Oct 1917 Cots were reorganised, Kit & equipment
etc was completed.
14 Oct 1917 In billets as above, work + sports
as attached programme
15 Oct 1917 Draft of 45 O.R's joined from Base
Depot. Specialists training, Lecture by C.O. on "Part Played by
the Bn in recent operations", Bn inspected by Commanding Officer.
16 Oct 1917 Specialist training & Battn drill.
War game for officers & Sergts "The taking of Polderhoek Chateau".
A Concert was given in Hq billet in the evening.
17 Oct 1917 Practised the Battn in the attack
with special reference to Pill Boxes, Barrages, Counter attack,
communication, sectional advances, rapid consolidation, Fire control,
Bayonet, Lewis Gun, Rifle grenades & smoke. Afterwards the Commanding
Officer gave a lecture on the subject. In the afternoon the 2nd
in C. took all officers in Map Reading.
18 Oct 1917 Battn gave demonstration of a modern
attack to Batt Commanders & Adjutants in the Brigade. Rugger match
in afternoon Officers v Other Ranks. Officers won 9 points nil.
19 Oct 1917 Specialist training, Lt.Col.Lord
AMPTHILL [(Arthur) Oliver Villiers RUSSELL, 2nd Baron
Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP] visited the Battn.
20 Oct 1917 Lt.Col.Lord
AMPTHILL [(Arthur) Oliver Villiers RUSSELL, 2nd Baron
Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP] inspected Battn on parade
21 Oct 1917 - Micmac Camp, Dickebusch Battn
moved from the area to DICKEBUISCH area, and stayed one night in
22 Oct 1917 - Ridge Wood Camp Battn moved to
RIDGE WOOD Camp and stayed 1 night. See O.O. 113
23-24 Oct 1917 - Stirling Castle and Wiltshire
Camp Battn less dumped personnel moved up to STIRLING CASTLE. LT.J.C.A.BIRCH
[James Charles Abbott BIRCH] joined Battn. Dumped Personnel
in WILTSHIRE Camp
25 Oct 1917 Battn in STIRLING CASTLE, heavily
shelled at Intervals. Carrying parties were supplied for 1/Cheshire
Regt also parties to bring cable near FITZCLARENCE Fm. 2/Lt.A.E.CROOKEWIT
[sic; Alexander Edward CROOCKEWIT] was severely wounded and
died the following day. 2/Lt.L.J.HOBSON [Leonard Jack
26 Oct 1917 - [The Third Battle of Ypres
- The Second Battle of Passchendaele] Front Line between
Reutelbeek and Scherriabeek 13th Bde attacked POLDERHOEK CHATEAU
& lines between REUTELBEEK & SCHERRIABEEK. Zero 5.40 a.m. 10 a.m.
message received saying all objectives taken. 12 noon message received
saying 14 & 15 Warwicks had withdrawn to their jumping off positions
& evacuated CHATEAU. In consequence the 2/K.O.S.Bs were ordered
to re-inforce all three attacking Battns of 13th Bde. 1.30 pm Orders
received from 15th Bde for 1/Bedf R. to support the 2/K.O.S.Bs.
Coy Cmdrs called together & Battn moved to TOWER & dug in 700 yds
EAST of this point by 4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. Battn ordered to take
over Front line between REUTELBEEK & SCHERRIABEEK & relieve all
troops of 13th Bde in this line - relief complete by 1.15 a.m. 27th
27 Oct 1917 Complete system of Front & support
line trenches dug - also communication trenches. 5 Lewis Guns &
20 Rifles were salved & 30 stretcher cases of attacking units were
28 Oct 1917 In Front line as above. 4 p.m. Orders
received that Battn would be relieved by 1/Devonshire Regt. Our
guides met 1/Devons at TOR TOP near OBSERVATORY RIDGE at 4.45 p.m.
Relief complete by 7.30 p.m. Casualties during [time] Battn was
in line 2 Officers Wounded 101 O.R. Killed & Wounded. Map Ref for
above ZILLEBEKE 1/10000 [Comment; 2/Lt. Herbert HUTCHINSON
also woudned 27/10/1917, 2/Lt. John DALTON evacuated sick
29 Oct 1917 - Ridge Wood Battn in tents & dug-outs
in RIDGE WOOD
30-31 Oct 1917 Battn in RIDGE
WAR DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 1917
1 Nov 1917 - Tunnels at Tor Top and Stirling
Castle Battalion moved from Ridge Wood. A & C Coys with H.Q. going
into tunnel at TOR TOP, B & D Coys going into tunnel at Stirling
Castle taking over from 1st Devonshire Regt. Bn. left Ridge Wood
at 5 p.m. relief complete 7.45 p.m. See O.O. 115 One Officer was
appointed to take charge of precautions against gas & gas sentries
were provided by Bn.
2 Nov 1917 During the morning all quarters were
cleaned, gas blankets were renewed & others fixed. Parties were
provided for carrying water & rum to Battns in the line.
3 Nov 1917 Parties found to carrying rations,
picks, sand bags etc. from limbers to Battns in the line - 300 ft.
2" x 3" timber taken to TOR TOP for fixing gas blankets. 2nd
Lieut WILLIAMS [Basil Charles WILLIAMS] wounded.
4 Nov 1917 Parties found to carry boxes SAA
to forward position of M.G.C. during day. After dusk 130 trench
boards taken up to centre Bn. H.Qrs. Wire & stakes carried up to
dump behind centre Bn. Hqrs.
5 Nov 1917 - Ridge Wood Battn. was relieved
by 3 Coys 12th Gloucesters, 2 Coys & H.Qrs. at TOR TOP & 1 Coy at
Stirling Castle. Relief complete by 3 p.m. Enemy shelled track but
only 1 man was wounded. Party of one Officer & 30 O.R. remained
behind to carry T.M. ammo to front line. See O.O. 116. Casualties
while Battn was in line 1 Off. 4 O.R. wounded.
6 Nov 1917 Battn remained at Ridge Wood. Parties
were found for R.E. construction parties.
7 Nov 1917 Battn. remained in Ridge Wood camp.
8 Nov 1917 Battn. remained at Ridge Wood
9 Nov 1917 Battn. remained at Ridge Wood
10 Nov 1917 Battn. remained at Ridge Wood
11 Nov 1917 - Clapham Junction and Railway
Dugouts, Zillebeke Battn. relieved 10th Yorkshire Regiment., Bn
H.Qrs, "C" & "D" Coys at Clapham Junction, "A" & "B" Coys at Railway
dugouts Zillebeke. Casualties during relief 1 man wounded. [Comment;
2/Lt. Frederick Arthur GARWOOD left today, having been gassed
12 Nov 1917 - Polygon Racecourse Battn. relieved
the 12/13 Northumberland Fusiliers in front line near Polygon Racecourse.
Relief was shelled 6 O.R's being killed.
13 Nov 1917 Situation was quiet except for some
area bombardment by enemy. Trenches were improved - drained & a
continuous line was commenced. One prisoner 26th Prussian regt was
14 Nov 1917 Improvement of line continued with.
15 Nov 1917 - Ontario Camp An enemy patrol of
two men approached our trenches - one was killed & the other taken
prisoner - Battn. was relieved by 2 1/2 Coys. 4th Bn. N.Z.R.B. &
1 Coy 1st. N.Z.R.B. Battn. was taken by busses to Ontario Camp.
16 Nov 1917 - Coulomby. Battn. entrained at
Ouderdom and proceeded to Lumbres, from there marching to Colomby
17 Nov 1917 Battn. spent day in cleaning up,
clothing inspections etc. Preparations were made to commence training
on following day. 2/Lt.W.M.STANTAN [William Martin STANTAN]
& 2/Lt.N.H.WILKINS [Noel Harry WILKINS] joined Battn.
from 17th I.B.D.
18 Nov 1917 A 30yds range was repaired and made
fit for use. Bombing & B.F. grounds were made & a 200 yds range
prepared. Hours of training 8.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Football & Boxing
matches were arranged.
19 Nov 1917 Training as above.
20 Nov 1917 Training as above.
21 Nov 1917 Training as above.
22 Nov 1917 Battn. marched to Val-de-Lumbres
range and fired following practises. Grouping (100 yds). Application
(200 yds) 15 rounds rapid (200 yds)
23 Nov 1917 Training from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Battn. then watched Football match between two teams previously
24 Nov 1917 - Merck-St-Livin In accordance with
orders received overnight Battn. marched to MERCK St. LIEVIN & Billeted
25 Nov 1917 - Fontaine-les-Boulans March continued
to FONTAINE LES BOULANS where Battn. billeted again.
26 Nov 1917 Battn. rested & commenced refitting.
2nd Lt E.C.HERBERG [Ernest Charles HERBERG] joined
Battn. from 176th M.G.Coy.
27 Nov 1917 Refitting contd. & Training commenced.
2nd Lt. H.W.J.POWELL [Herbert William John POWELL],
2nd Lt.A.T.FRANKLIN [Arthur Thomas FRANKLIN] & 2nd
Lt.B.WILLIAMS [Basil Charles WILLIAMS] joined Battn.
from 17th I.B.D.
28 Nov 1917 C.O's parade in morning B.G.C's
lecture to Officers & N.C.O's in the evening.
29 Nov 1917 Training contd. under Coy. arrangements
30 Nov 1917 Baths at LISBOURG allotted to Battn.
WAR DIARY FOR DECEMBER 1917
1 Dec 1917 - Fontaine-les-Boulans Battn. remained
billeted in FONTAINE LES BOULANS. Parades for Church Service.
2-3 Dec 1917 Training continued.
4 Dec 1917 Training on morning parade. Battn.
Sports in afternoon.
5 Dec 1917 Baths allotted to Battn. at Lisburg
6 Dec 1917 Training continued.
7 Dec 1917 Training continued. C.O's lecture
to Officers & Sgts. on Smoke Tactics.
8 Dec 1917 Training continued.
9 Dec 1917 Church Services for all denominations.
10 Dec 1917 Training continued. Rugby match
in the afternoon, Officers v. O.R's. Won by Other Ranks.
11 Dec 1917 - Anvin en route for Italy. Battn.
entrained at ANVIN station for ITALY. 1st Train B & D Coys. C.O.
in command of train. 2nd Train A & C Coys. Major
CHIRNSIDE M.C. [William Stuart CHIRNSIDE, MC & Bar]
in command. Transport & Q.M. employ equally divided between the
12-15 Dec 1917 Battn. on trains en route for
16 Dec 1917 - San Giorgio de Brenta and San
Giorgio delle Pertiche. B & D Coys detrained at Fontaineva & marched
to St.Giorgio de Brenta & rested for a few hours resuming march
to St.Giorgio delle Pertiche & billeted there. A & C. Coys detrained
at Ospitale and billeted at St.Girogio de Brenta for the night.
17 Dec 1917 - San Giorgio delle Pertiche A &
C Coys marched to join B. & D Coys and billeted at St.Giorgio delle
18 Dec 1917 Battn. Route march. Played 15th
Field Am. at Football - Bn. lost.
19 Dec 1917 Battn. commenced Training under
Coy. arrangements. B & D Coys marched to Campo San Pietro to Cinema
and were allowed some time in the town. Battn. found 100 men for
20 Dec 1917 As above. A & C Coys. taken to Campo
San Pietro. 2/Lt.S.D.HARROWER [Stuart Daniel HARROWER]
21 Dec 1917 Battn. Route March.
22-23 Dec 1917 Battn. continued training.
24 Dec 1917 10 Officers taken to reconnoitre
reserve line near RUBIO.
25 Dec 1917 Christmas day. Church services for
all denominations in morning followed by Cross Country Relay race
and distribution of gifts from Bedford Comforts Fund. In afternoon
2 Performances by "The Bedford Boys" 2 Coys. at each performance.
26 Dec 1917 Battn. continued training
27 Dec 1917 Brigade Scheme
28 Dec 1917 Battn. Training continued. C.O's
parade - Battn. drill.
29 Dec 1917 Battn took part in Brigade Ceremonial
30 Dec 1917 Church Parades for all denominations.
31 Dec 1917 Battn. Training. C.O's parade. Ceremonial
etc. on Brigade training ground. Inspection by Brigadier Genl
F.D.R.OLDMAN CMG, DSO Commdg. 15th Infy Bde. Commanding Officer's
Lecture to Officers, N.C.O.s, Lewis Gunners & Scouts.