1918 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
WAR DIARY FOR JANUARY 1918
1 Jan 1918 - San Giorgio delle Pertiche Battn.
billeted in ST GIORGIO delle PERTICHE. Training continued.
2-3 Jan 1918 Battn. training carried on. (2nd
Lt. C.G.WILKINS [Claud Gilbert WILKINS] joined Battn.
also draft of 39 O.R.).
4 Jan 1918 Inspection of Battalion by Coys by
5 Jan 1918 Battn. training carried on.
6 Jan 1918 Church Service (combined C. of E.
& Nonconformist service by Royal Order it being a special day of
7 Jan 1918 Platoon Training. 2nd party proceeded
on reconnaissance scheme. Lt.G.M.BETTY [George MacMaster
BETTY, MC], and Lt.W.T.MORRIS [William Thomas MORRIS]
& 2nd Lt.L.J.HOBSON [Leonard Jack HOBSON] joined Battn.
Boxing in afternoon.
8-9 Jan 1918 Battn. training continued.
10 Jan 1918 Battn. training contd. Lt.Col.P.R.WORRALL
D.S.O., M.C. [Percy Reginald WORRALL, OBE, DSO, MC]
proceeded on leave.
11 Jan 1918 Battn. training contd.
12-13 Jan 1918 Battn. training
14 Jan 1918 Battn. training. 2/Lt.F.H.FOX
[Frank Herbert FOX] joined with 9 O.R's from Base Dept.
15 Jan 1918 Battn, training
16 Jan 1918 battn. training. C.S.M. E.JOHNSON
M.M. [6863 Edward JOHNSON, MM] promoted to 2/Lt & posted
17 Jan 1918 Battn. training
18 Jan 1918 Battn. training. Lecture in Evening
by Major G.S.GORDON C.F. on "The Making of Modern Italy"
19 Jan 1918 Battn. training 20 Jan 1918 Divine
Service for all denominations
21 Jan 1918 Battn. training
22 Jan 1918 Battn. training
23 Jan 1918 - Settimo Battn. marched to Settimo
24 Jan 1918 - Paese Battn. marched to Paese
25 Jan 1918 - Villorba Battn. marched to Villorba
26 Jan 1918 Parades under Coy arrangements.
27 Jan 1918 Divine Services for all denominations
28 Jan 1918 Training under Coy. arrangements.
C.O. Adjt. & Coy Commanders reconnoitred Front line
29 Jan 1918 Training under Coy. arranmegents,
C.S.M's & Platoon Sgts proceeded with Platoon Officers to reconnoitre
front line (2 Coys)
30 Jan 1918 As above. Reconnaissance of line
by other 2 Coys.
31 Jan 1918 Remaining Officers & C.Q.M.S. reconnoitre
line. Lt.H.W.J.POWELL [Herbert William John POWELL]
returned from hospital. 9 Officers reconnoitred route to Left Battn.
of Right Bde.
WAR DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1918
1 Feb 1918 - Villorba Battn. billeted at Villorba.
1 Officer per Coy & one for H.Q. reconnoitred route to line. Battn.
carried on training under Coy. arrangements.
2 Feb 1918 - Rotunda Bidasio Battn. employed
cleaning billets & preparing for move. Battn. moved up at dusk to
relieve 14th Royal Warwickshire Regt. in support. Bn. H.Qrs. at
Rotunda Bidasio (App I)
3 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. H.Qrs. shelled with
77m.m. shells Casualties 2 O.R's wounded. 1 Coy. employed at night
clearing BERTI C.T.
4 Feb 1918 As above. All Coys. employed clearing
& revetting PICCOLO & No.8. C.T's. Working hours 9 a.m. to 12.30
p.m. & 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Major
W. ALLASON D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON, DSO & Bar],
2/Lt.J.C.MEADE [James Christopher MEADE] & 19 O.R's
5 Feb 1918 As above. Lt.Col.P.R.
WORRALL D.S.O. M.C.
[Percy Reginald WORRALL, OBE, DSO, MC] proceeded to assume
command of 1 Devon Regt.
6 Feb 1918 As above. Enemy shelled road in vicinity
of Bn. H.Qrs. 2/Lt.F.HUGHES [Frank HUGHES] to Fd.
7 Feb 1918 As above. Very quiet. Lt.Col.E.I.de
S. THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG,
DSO] joined Bn.
8 Feb 1918 As above. Situation very quiet.
9 Feb 1918 As above. About a dozen enemy light
shells in rear of B.H.Q. Misty all day.
10 Feb 1918 - Front Line As above. Relieved
1st Norfolk Regt in Front line in the evening.
11 Feb 1918 In Front line as above. Very quiet.
12 Feb 1918 As above
13 Feb 1918 As above
14 Feb 1918 As above
15 Feb 1918 As above. Enemy Artillery active,
Front line & Supports. Officers of E.Surrey Rgt. reconnoitred Bn.
16 Feb 1918 As above. Reconnaissance of line
17 Feb 1918 As above. Very quiet. Bgde, O.O.
recd re relief on 18.2.18.
18 Feb 1918 - Visnadello As above. Relieved
by 1st E. Surrey Regt. in evening & marched to VISNADELLO & billeted
there. Enemy aircraft very active at night.
19 Feb 1918 In billets as above. Bn. cleaning
up, changing clothing, equipment &c. At night enemy aircraft bombed
vicinity of village.
20 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training.
21 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training.
22 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training for operations
to be undertaken in near future.
23 Feb 1918 As above. Training for coming operations.
24 Feb 1918 As above. Enemy aircraft very active
bombing vicinity of village from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. 25th inst.
25 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training. Performance
by Bedford Boys in evening
26 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training. Second performance
27 Feb 1918 - Rotonda-Bidasio As above. Bn.
preparing to move to the line. 7 p.m. Relieved 1st Devon Regt. in
the Support line (ROTONDA-BIDASIO)
28 Feb 1918 In line as above. Bn. employed repairing
trenches, Carrying parties &c. Evening our heavy artillery very
active counter-battery work.
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1918
1 Mar 1918 - Rotonda Bidasio Battn. in support
in neighbourhood of ROTONDA BIDASIO. carrying parties & working
parties on communication & support trenches.
2 Mar 1918 As above.
3 Mar 1918 As above.
4 Mar 1918 - Front Line Battn. relieved 16.
R.War Regt in Right Subsector.
5 Mar 1918 In front line as above C Coy on
right 'A' Coy in centre holding Bridges PONTE PRIULA, B on left
- D Coy in support.
6-8 Mar 1918 In line as above. Both artilleries
9 Mar 1918 As above. 2/Lt. G.F.W.PERHAM
[sic; William Francis George PERHAM] severely wounded during
heavy bombardment of Front line.
10 Mar 1918 As above. 2/Lt. G.F.W.PERHAM
[sic; William Francis George PERHAM] died of wounds in Field
Ambulance. He was buried in British Military Cemetery at ARCADE.
Several officers & men attended funeral.
11 Mar 1918 In line as above - relieved by 16.R.War
R. & withdrew to Brigade reserve at ARCADE. Lt-Col.E.I.de
S.THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG,
DSO] took over command of 15 Inf Bde during absence of Brig
Gen R.D.F.OLDMAN C.M.G. D.S.O. on leave. Major
W.ALLASON D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON, DSO & Bar]
took over command of Battn.
12 Mar 1918 In Reserve Billets as above. 2 Coys
working parties on Roads, Camouflage work & making dug-outs emplacements
etc. 2 Coys Bathing.
13 Mar 1918 As above
14 Mar 1918 As above, area shelled by enemy
with large cal. shells, direct hit on H.Q. No casualties. Bn. H.Q.
moved to other end of village.
15 Mar 1918 As above. Usual working pts. Artillery
16 Mar 1918 As above. Enemy shelled village
in afternoon. 1 casualty.
17 Mar 1918 - Santa Andrea As above. Bn. preparing
for move at night. 8 p.m. Reserve line at Arcade evacuated & Bn.
marched to S. ANDREA & billeted for the night.
18 Mar 1918 - Castagnola March resumed to CASTAGNOLA
19 Mar 1918 In billets as above. Specialist
training under Coy arrangements
20-22 Mar 1918 As above.
23 Mar 1918 - Pontocche Marched to PONTOCCHE
24 Mar 1918 - Vigodazere resumed march to VIGODAZERE
25 Mar 1918 - Creola Resumed march to CREOLA
26 Mar 1918 As above. Battn. training carried
on under Coy arrangements A & B Coys firing on Range.
27 Mar 1918 As above. Platoon training in attack
& defence in morning. Specialist training in afternoon. B Coy on
28 Mar 1918 As above. C Coy on Range.
29 Mar 1918 Good Friday. Church service at 6
p.m. Cricket & Football inter Coy & Platoon matches.
30 Mar 1918 Coy training in morning. Specialist
training in afternoon.
31 Mar 1918 Billetted as above. Divine service
for C. of E. & R.C's. Rugby match with 16th. R.W.R. in afternoon.
WAR DIARY FOR APRIL 1918
1 Apr 1918 - Creola. Battn. billeted at CREOLA.
Training carried on. Lt.Col.E.I.de
S. THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG,
DSO] returned from 15th Inf. Bde. & resumed command of Battn.
2 Apr 1918 - Longare Battn. marched to LONGARE
and billeted O.O. No.133.
3 Apr 1918 As above. Battn preparing for entraining
4 Apr 1918 - Tavernelle en route for France
Battn. marched to Tavernelle. 1st Train consisting of A & C Coys
& 1/2 Transport left at 10.10 p.m. Personnel of 2nd train bivouaced
for night O.O.132
5 Apr 1918 - en route for France Second train
left Tavernelle at 6.15 a.m.
6-7 Apr 1918 In trains en route for France.
Route Modane, Fontainebleau, Doulons [sic], Frevent
8 Apr 1918 - Neuvillette Both trains arrived
at FREVENT & detrained. Each 'train' marched independently to NEUVELLETTE
[sic] & billeted.
9 Apr 1918 As above.
10 Apr 1918 - Sombrin Marched to Sombrin & billeted
O.O. 135. battn. in readiness to move at 1/2 hrs notice.
11 Apr 1918 - Lambres Marched to SAULTY & entrained.
Detrained at AIRE & marched to LAMBRES. Battn. billeted with an
outpost line round N. part of village.
12 Apr 1918 - [The Battle of the Lys -
the defence of Nieppe Forest] la Croix-Mairesse Battn. less
dumped personnel moved up to CROIX MARRAIS [sic] - Brigade being
Brigade in support to the Division. Battn. bivouaced with outposts
out & dug defensive position.
13 Apr 1918 Battn. commenced digging Support
line (Divisional line) Dumped personnel moved to Tannay.
14 Apr 1918 - Divisional Line Battn. relieved
the R.W.Kents in Divisional line. Work on line carried on, wiring
& improving breastworks. Casualties 1 man killed, 5 wounded.
15 Apr 1918 As above. Artillery fairly quiet.
Casualties 1 killed, 4 wounded.
16 Apr 1918 - Front Line 15th. Inf. Bde. relieved
95th Bde. in left sub-sector of Div. front. Battn. relieved 12th
Gloucesters in support. O.O. 137. Lt.Col.E.I.de
S. THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG,
DSO] to command 152 Inf. Bde. as Temp. Brigadier. Maj.
M.W. HALFORD M.C. [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] Gloster
regt. assumed command of battn.
17 Apr 1918 As above. casualties 1 killed 3
wounded. 18 Apr 1918 As above. Casualties 4 wounded.
19 Apr 1918 As above. Casualties 1 wounded.
20 Apr 1918 As above. Casualties 2 wounded.
Draft of 31 O.R's joined. Work done while in support, All Coys built
breastworks for protection in the wood. At night 2 Coys. wired whole
of Brigade reserve line - double apron - 2 Coys. dug slit assembly
trenches E. of wood to accommodate whole Battn. in case of alarm,
21 Apr 1918 Battn. relieved 1st. NORFOLK REGT.
in right sub-sector of Bde. Sector. O.O. 138. Several casualties
were caused later by our Arty. firing short. Casualties 1 O.R. killed
& 4 O.R. wounded.
22 Apr 1918 Heavy gas shelling during night
21/22. Enemy fired T.M's on front line. Casualties 2 O.R. killed
23 Apr 1918 As above. Large party of enemy in
front of centre Coy. dispersed by L.G. & rifle fire & Arty. slow
barrage. Active patrolling carried on. Work on line & wiring on
whole front. 2/LT. [Edward] JOHNSON to F.A. 2/Lt.H.HUTCHINSON
[Herbert HUTCHINSON] rejoined.
24 Apr 1918 Rt. Coy (A Coy) preparing for minor
operation (see App.6) Casualties 3 O.R's wounded Officers patrol
reconnoitred ground for minor operation.
25 Apr 1918 "A" Coy, supported by two platoons
of "B" Coy took all objectives as detailed in O.O. 139 Zero hour
9.30 p.m. All objectives reported taken 10.35 p.m. See App.8. Capt.F.HAGUE
[Frederick HAGUE, MC] wounded 1 O.R. killed 20 O.R. wounded.
Lt.A.H.O.RIDDELL [Alexander Herbert Oliver RIDDELL]
[Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER], 2nd
Lt F.L. RAY [Frederick Lee RAY] joined Battn.
26 Apr 1918 Situation quiet. 3 O.R's wounded.
27 Apr 1918 - camp in Nieppe Forest Enemy attacked
Right Coy at about 4.30 a.m. [comment; 'appendix
9' in margin]. A/Capt W.W.WHITE [possibly William
WHITE] wounded. 2/Lt.A.E.
PEEL [Ambrose Ethelstone PEEL] killed, 7 O.R's killed
11 wounded. Battn. was relieved by 3 Coys K.O.S.B.'s and 1 Coy D.C.L.I.
& withdrew to camp in wood O.O. 140.
28 Apr 1918 As above.
29-30 Apr 1918 As above. battn. supplied working
party of 400 men to work on Divisional line, wiring and improving
WAR DIARY FOR MAY 1918
1 May 1918 - Camp in Nieppe Forest, H.Q. at
l'Epinette Battn. in camp in NIEPPE FOREST Head Quarters at L'EPPINETTE.
2 May 1918 As above.
3 May 1918 - Support Line and Tannay Battn.
moved up to Support position, relieving 12th Gloucester Regt. Party
of 2 Offrs. & 128 O.Rs Dumped Personnel moved back to TANNAY. See
4 May 1918 Battn. employed making tracks to
front line battn H.Qrs, carrying parties, digging & wiring Support
5 May 1918 As above. Casualties 1 killed &
6 May 1918 As above.
7 May 1918 As above. 1 wounded
8 May 1918 As above
9 May 1918 - Left Sector Front Line Battn. relieved
1st. Cheshire Regt. in Front line, left sector Bde. front. 6 O.R's
10 May 1918 As above. Enemy machine guns very
11 May 1918 As above. 3 O.R's wounded
12 May 1918 As above. 6 O.R's wounded.
13 May 1918 As above. 3 O.R's killed.
14-15 May 1918 As above. Work while in front
line was carried on, in improving trenches, making front line continuous
and wiring the whole front. A new trench was dug by the right Coy.
for Support platoon. R.E. put in 2 new small elephant shelters for
R. & support Coy. H.Qrs. Bn. H.Qrs. worked on existing huts & bivouacs
and new ones built.
16 May 1918 - Villorba Camp As above. 2nd
Lt F.L. RAY [Frederick Lee RAY] & 1 O.R. killed.
Bn. relieved by 14th R.W.Regt. & withdrew to VILLORBA CAMP.
17 May 1918 In camp as above. Battn. employed
cleaning up, changing khaki etc.
18 May 1918 Battn. employed on Div. line. 2
Coys 9 am to 1 p.m. 2 Coys 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
19 May 1918 - Tannay and Thiennes Work on Div.
line as above. Battn. relieved by 1st Norfolk Regt. & withdrew 2
Coys & H.Qrs to TANNAY, 2 Coys to THIENNES & billeted.
20 May 1918 In billets as above. 5.30 a.m.
Test alarms sounded & Battn. proceeded by light railway to take
up battle positions. Working parties found at THIENNES STN. etc.
21 May 1918 Battn. on Contact patrol scheme.
Took up position at 7 p.m. Closed at 10 a.m. & proceeded by Coys
22 May 1918 - Spresiano Camp As above. Battalion
found parties to work on Divisional Line, moved up to SPRESIANO
CAMP at night & relieved 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regt.
23 May 1918 In Camp as above, Training carried
on under Company arrangements
24 May 1918 In Camp as above. Draft of 5 O.Rs
joined. Training carried on under Coy Arrangements Working party
found for Bde H.Q.
25 May 1918 As above, training as above working
party as above.
26-28 May 1918 As above. Party proceeded to
Front Line at night to take over ready for relief next day. Casualties
2 O.Rs wounded
29 May 1918 - Front Line As above. Battalion
preparing for move to the Line 9 p.m. Battalion moved up & relieved
1st Battalion the Norfolk Regt in Front Line
30 May 1918 In line as above. Enemy shelled
considerably with gas shell. Casualties 1 O.R. wounded.
31 May 1918 In line as above. Enemy Artillery
active on roads between Bn H.Q. & Coys Casualties 3 ORs wounded.
2/Lt E.C.HERBERG [Ernest Charles HERBERG] wounded
WAR DIARY FOR JUNE 1918
1 Jun 1918 - Front Line Battalion in front
line 2/Lt. F.HUGHES [Frank HUGHES] was wounded 2 O.R.s
Killed, 2 wounded.
2 Jun 1918 Battalion in line (front). There
was considerable gas shelling - but no casualties.
3 Jun 1918 As above. Lt. H.J.EVERETT, M.C.
[Horace John EVERETT, MC] slightly wounded 5 O.R.'s Killed
& 4 O.R's were wounded. The Warwicks make a raid on our left.
4 Jun 1918 - Steenbecque Battalion was relieved
by R.W.Kent Rgt. & withdrew to billets at STEENBECQUE. We had no
5 Jun 1918 Battn. in billets, rest & clean
6 Jun 1918 Training under Coy arrangements,
baths are allowed at ARCADE, postponed [sic] early in afternoon
owing to hostile shelling
7 Jun 1918 An attack scheme by the Battalion.
Baths are allotted at NEUFRE. Cpl CONNOLLY [9222 Thomas
Bradford Mills CONNOLLY] promoted to 2nd Lt. & posted to this
8 Jun 1918 Battalion training, companies practice
9 Jun 1916 Church service for all denominations.
A draft of 21 O.R's joined & were inspected.
10 Jun 1918 Battn. training under company arrangements.
11 Jun 1918 The Battn. practises the attack.
14 O.R's join from Reinforcement Camp. Warning Order & operation
order received for move next day.
12 Jun 1918 - Support Line The Battn. moves
to support line & relieves the 1st Bn. D.C.L.I. Rgt: no casualties.
13 Jun 1918 Battn. in support, frequent hostile
shelling on the support line. 11 O.R.s wounded.
14 Jun 1918 As above. The line is shelled again.
The Battn. is employed on improving their positions.
15 Jun 1918 Battn. in same position - the shelling
is heavier - retaliation is asked for which neutralised this shelling.
1 O.R. Killed & 5 O.R's wounded.
16 Jun 1918 Battn. in same position. Enemy
planes active. The position is again shelled from 10 p.m. to 12
mid-night. Companies carry & work for R.E's. A test "Stand to" took
place at 3 a.m. 2 O.R's wounded.
17 Jun 1918 Battn. in same position. Our planes
very active over Enemy lines. Gas cloud reported coming from S.
between 5 to 6 p.m. but did not reach the Battn. A draft of 40 O.R's
joined. 2/Lt.C.G.WILKINS [Claud Gilbert WILKINS] wounded
at Duty & 2 O.R's wounded.
18 Jun 1918 As above. Enemy planes again active
over our position. Major
H.COURTENAY, M.C. [Hugh COURTENAY, DSO, MC] joined
19 Jun 1918 - Front Line Battalion relieved
1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. in front line. Situation normal. 5 O.Rs wounded.
20 Jun 1918 As above. Situation quiet. 1 O.R.
wounded by Sniper. Our patrol reports enemy M.G. emplacement.
21 Jun 1918 Battalion improves trenches, wiring
& digging a C.T. 2nd Lt.SHELDRAKE [Archibald Douglas Farnsworth
SHELDRAKE, MC] & 2ndLt.BLAKENEY [Henry Manwood Hope
Grice BLAKENEY] joined Battalion in front line.
22 Jun 1918 Usual working party for R.E. 1 O.R.
wounded. Lt.KINSEY R.A.M.C. [Edward Digny KINSEY, MC]
joined for duty, Cpt.McKAY [Dr. James McKAY, MC] to
Base for duty.
23 Jun 1918 Our patrol went out in search of
enemy L.G. post & claim direct hit by bomb. 6 O.R's wounded, all
24 Jun 1916 - Villorba Camp Battalion relieved
by 1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. Enemy shelled Bde H.Q. bear Villorba Camp
where we withdrew to. The B.G.C. & Staff Captain were gassed.
25 Jun 1918 Baths are allotted at ARCADE cleaning
camp etc. 10 O.R's to Hospital effects of gas.
26 Jun 1918 Training under Company arrangements.
Enemy active shelling rounds near to the Camp.
27 Jun 1918 Lt.KINGDON [John Phillips
KINGDON] joined Battalion from Senior Officers course. 1 O.R.
Killed with R.F.A. on liaison. 2 Officers 7 50 O.R. employed with
13 Bde as stretcher bearers.
28 Jun 1918 Company training - usual working
party situation quiet. Enemy shelled TANNAY. C.O's horse badly wounded
near VILLORBA CAMP.
29 Jun 1918 Draft of 39 O.R's join the Battalion.
Battalion trains under company arrangements.
30 Jun 1918 - Front Line, le Sart Sector Battalion
relieved 1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. in the front line.
WAR DIARY FOR JULY 1918
30 Jun - 1 Jul 1918 - Front Line, le Sart Sector
Battalion relieves The 1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. Relief complete & satisfactory.
Major Major BARNETT, D.S.O. [William Harold Louis BARNETT,
DSO] was wounded.
1 Jul 1918 Situation normal. Slightly increased
activity of artillery at night. Patrols bring in correspondence
as requested by Brigade. All Coys sent Salvage down. Leave party
for England 1 Officer & 11 O.R's.
2 Jul 1918 Battalion strengthens wire & improves
trench. Enemys T.M.s very active on "B" Coy. front. 1 Killed, 4
3 Jul 1918 The G.O.C. (General Stevens)
& B.G.C. visit Bn.H.Q. Enemy shelling our post with T.M.s. 1 O.R.
Killed 4 O.R.s wounded.
4 Jul 1918 Coys. improve trenches. Our artillery
active on back areas. 3 O.R.s Killed. 6 wounded
5-6 Jul 1918 The Battalion shortens the frontage
& are assisted & relieved by mainly the D.C.L.I.s + 1 Coy. Warwicks
with 1 Coy of R.W.Kents in support (to the latter). No Casualties.
6 Jul 1918 - Arcade Camp The Battalion withdrew
to ARCADE CAMP, refits, baths & rests. See OO 157.
7 Jul 1918 Church Parade at 11.0. a.m.
8 Jul 1918 The Battalion goes on an 8 mile route
march & rests during the afternoon. Major
CHIRNSIDE [William Stuart CHIRNSIDE, MC and Bar]
arrives from England
9 Jul 1918 During the morning training under
Coy. arrangements. Swimming sports in the afternoon. We win all
the races. 50yds, 100 & 250.
10 Jul 1918 Training under Coy. arrangements.
Boxing in afternoon is interrupted by very heavy rain.
11 Jul 1918 Wiring demonstration in the morning,
& concert. Battalion preparing for move to support lines left sector.
12 Jul 1918 - Support Line Battalion moved
up in support lines in relief of the 2/K.O.S.B.'s Relief went off
well - 1 O.R. wounded. See O.O.152.
13 Jul 1918 In support as above. Working party
of 1 Officer & 30 OR found for R.E.'s. 1 officer & 30 O.R. digging
communication trench. 2 Lieut.E.C.HOWLETT [Ernest Charles
HOWLETT] joined from 1/Norfolks. Enemy Aircraft very active.
16 OR reinforcements from Reception Camp.
14 Jul 1918 Still in support. Found working
parties for the R.E's and digging C.T. to front line. Our heavies
active in the afternoon. Special attention being paid to MERVILLE.
15 Jul 1918 Still in support. Our Artillery
very active again today. But no reply from the enemy. Also found
16 Jul 1918 Still in support. Artillery on our
side still active, practically continuous day & night. Working parties
found. Casualties 1 OR. wounded.
17 Jul 1918 - Front Line, Arrewage Sector As
above. Our artillery again very active no retaliation from the enemy.
Gen.BIRDWOOD and staff visited Battn H.Q. Relieved 1/Norfolks
in front line in the ARREWAGE sector - OO 153. [Comment; Lt.
Arthur Thomas FRANKLIN granted local leave but woudl nto return
on medical grounds]
18 Jul 1918 In front line as above. Morning
early one of our single seaters brought down by A.A. fire.
19 Jul 1918 In front line. This morning two
E.A. brought down, in aerial combat, one came down in flames while
the other crashed. Slight activity by the enemy artillery.
20 Jul 1918 At midnight "A" Company carried
out a raid & attack. The raid was unsuccessful in that it did not
yield any prisoners. But the attack was more successful. The enemy
were driven back over the PLATEBECQUE, which ran between us & the
enemy. Casualties 2Lt
H.W.CORNELIUS [Herbert Walter CORNELIUS] Killed 2Lt
H.M.G. BLAKENEY [Henry Manwood Hope Grice BLAKENEY] wounded,
3 O.R. Killed 2 OR Missing believed Killed & 10 OR. wounded. Heavy
enemy shelling during the raid, a heavy barrage of T.Ms were put
up. One enemy balloon brought down by one of our planes. See OO
21 Jul 1918 Still as above. Both artilleries
22 Jul 1918 Ditto: the whole front remarkably
23 Jul 1918 - la Lacque Camp Relieved by the
1/Devons & withdrew to LA LACQUE Camp. See O.O.156.
24 Jul 1918 In camp as above. Whole Battn cleaning
25 Jul 1918 As above half the Battalion went
bathing & the other half carried on with training under company
arrangements. In the evening the whole Battn went to a performance
by the 'BEDFORD BOYS' in the Theatre of the camp.
26 Jul 1918 As above. Concert at night by the
1 East Surrey Regtl. troup (The Thirsty First)
27 Jul 1918 As above. Concert at night by the
16.R.W. Regt troupe.
28 Jul 1918 Church parade in the theatre. Genl.PONSONBY
divl commander attended. the Divnl band played.
29 Jul 1918 Training carried on with. In the
afternoon Battn. sports. concert by the BEDFORD BOYS. at night.
30 Jul 1918 Battalion preparing to move up in
Brigade reserve at VILLOBA CAMP. Move off 1 p.m.
31 Jul 1918 - Villorba Camp Battalion started
training in new camp under company arrangements. Also coys. had
to build buttresses against huts to stop splinters from penetrating.
B.Coy & 'C' Coy found working parties.
WAR DIARY FOR AUGUST
1 Aug 1918 - Villorba Camp In VILLORBA Camp
in the early morning camp was shelled with gas and H.E. & shrapnel.
Casualties 5 OR gassed. Working parties found on Divisional line
BEDFORD and CHESHIRE C.T.s also roads & tracks in vicinity of camp.
2 Aug 1918 Enemy artillery fairly active at
night and early morning. H.V. guns shelled TANNAY and some fell
around ARCADE Camp. No so much gas shells used. The usual working
parties found. Raining hard all day.
3 Aug 1918 In camp as above, usual working
parties & usual early morning artillery activity around camp.
4 Aug 1918 As above. 3 Companies on working
parties. 1 Company on Church Parade in camp (Remembrance Day) Lieut
J.P.KINGDON [John Phillips KINGDON] to 5th Army School
as Instructor. Capt & Adjt. A.H.O. RIDDELL [Alexander
Herbert Oliver RIDDELL] & Lieut.
E.I.F.NAILER [Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER] to leave
in France, usual enemy shelling in vicinity of camp.
5 Aug 1918 As above working parties as usual.
Warning Order for relief received & Operation Order for move on
6 Aug 1918 - la Lacque Camp Preparing for move
to LA LACQUE Camp. Battalion left VILLORBA Camp at 6.35 p.m. arrived
at LA LACQUE at 8.30 p.m. See O.O. 158.
7 Aug 1918 - Blaringhem Marched to BLARINGHEM
Area C & billeted. Billets in very poor condition. Battalion employed
bathing. See OO 159.
8 Aug 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion Training
commenced. Football in the afternoon.
9 Aug 1918 In Billets as above. Brigadier
General R.D.F.OLDMAN inspected the Battalion.
10 Aug 1918 In billets as above. Training continued.
11 Aug 1918 As above. Church Services for all
12 Aug 1918 Received Warning Order for move
at any moment.
13 Aug 1918 As above. D Company moved off to
WIZERNES Station to act as loading party. Remainder of Battalion
preparing for move see O.O. 160.
14 Aug 1918 - Outrebois Battalion marched to
WIZERNES Station & entrained. Detrained at DOULLENS & marched to
OUTREBOIS & billeted.
15 Aug 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion allotted
16 Aug 1918 - Remaisnil In Billets as above.
Battalion moved in the afternoon to REMAISNIL & billeted. See OO
17 Aug 1918 Billetted as above. Training carried
18 Aug 1918 - Orville In Billets as above received
warning order to move at short notice. Battalion marched to ORVILLE
& billeted for one night. Dumped Personnel sent back to DOULLENS.
19 Aug 1918 - Sailly-au-Bois Battalion marched
to SAILLY au BOIS & billeted in ruined houses for the night. Raining
during whole march.
20 Aug 1918 - Bucquoy As above. Bde Operation
Order received for move to forward position ready to take part in
the attack. Battalion moved up at 8.55 pm to assembly position near
BUCQUOY See OO 162.
21 Aug 1918 [The Second Battle of the
Somme (1918) - The Battle of Albert] Battalion moved forward
to the attack at 4.45 a.m. meeting with very slight opposition.
The objective was about 1500 yards from original German Front Line
which had already been taken by the 37th Division. Battalion gained
objective which they consolidated, remaining there in support to
the 1/Norfolk Regt. who passed through to take the next objective.
Casualties Capts G.
de C.MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] & H.J.WEST
M.C. [Herbert John WEST, MC] wounded (since died
of wounds) & 46 O.R.s Killed & wounded etc.
22 Aug 1918 Battalion still in Support. Enemy
shelling heavily with gas shells, Casualties Lieut. W.M.STANTAN
[William Martin STANTAN] (attd T.M.B.) wounded, 2.Lt.H.MAW
[Harry MAW] Killed.
23 Aug 1918 - [The Second Battle of the
Somme (1918) - The Second Battle of Bapaume] Brown Line,
Achiet-le-Petit Battalion moved up in front of ACHIET Le Petit &
moved forward to the attack at 11 A.M. All objectives taken, Battalion
suffered rather heavily from Machine Gun fire. Casualties Lt.Col.
H.COURTENAY, M.C. [Hugh COURTENAY, DSO, MC] wounded
severely (since died). Lts. G.ABBOTT
[George ABBOTT], H.J.A.WATSON
[Henry James Arthur WATSON], E.I.F.NAILER
[Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER], A.R.C.EATON
[Alexander Robert Charles EATON], R.H.ARNHOLZ
[sic; Robert Henry Preuss ANRHOLTZ], 2/Lts. F.H.FOX
[Frank Herbert FOX] & W.T.PAINE
[William Thomas PAINE] Killed. 2/Lts. H.J.SNASHALL
[Henry John SNASHALL, MC] & F.J.KELF [Frederick
James KELF] wounded. 129 O.R.s killed & wounded etc. Battalion
withdrew to Brown Line in reserve.
24 Aug 1918 [The Pursuit to the Hindenburg
Line] In Reserve in Brown Line
25 Aug 1918 - Achiet-le-Petit As above at 9
A.M. Battalion moved forward to trenches two kilometres in front
of ACHIET LE PETTIT [sic] still in reserve.
26-27 Aug 1918 In reserve as above.
28 Aug 1918 - Bapaume As above. Battalion &
A & B echelons of Transport moved further forward Transport in front
of ACHIET LE PETTIT, Battalion in vicinity of BAPAUME. 62 ORs joined
from base Depot.
29 Aug 1918 As above. Battalion standing to,
ready to move at moment's notice.
30 Aug 1918 Battalion situated as above.
31 Aug 1918 As above. usual artillery activity.
WAR DIARY FOR SEPTEMBER 1918
1 Sep 1918 - Fremicourt Battalion moved up
to Railway Line in vicinity of FREMICOURT & dug in.
2 Sep 1918 Battalion advanced to the attack
(in reserve) at 5.15 a.m. in front of FREMICOURT. Casualties Lt.
C.G.HAYES [Charles George HAYES, MC] wounded etc. 94
Other Ranks Killed, wounded etc.
3 Sep 1918 - Lebucquiere Station B & D Coys
went forward to the attack & found that the enemy had evacuated
the position. These two Companies advanced about four miles until
they came in contact with the enemy, they then dug in. relieved
at night & marched back to LEBUCQUIERE Station & encamped. Casualties
9 Other Ranks wounded
4 Sep 1918 - Biefvillers-les-Bapaume Battalion
withdrew to Camp near BIEFVILLERS
5 Sep 1918 In camp as above, employed in cleaning
up and refitting
6 Sep 1918 In Camp as above Battalion Training
7-11 Sep 1918 As above. Training carried on.
Weather: - very wet, very rough winds.
12 Sep 1918 As above. The following Officers
joined Battalion 2/Lt W.B.J.BRANDRETH [William Robert
Turner BRANDRETH], 2/Lt F.WHATELY-KNIGHT [Frank WHATELY-KNIGHT],
2/Lt S.G.FISHER [Stanley George FISHER], 2/Lt K.W.J.HARVEY
[Keith William Pittman HARVEY], 2/Lt E.W.P.ROBINSON
[Ernest Walter Pillis ROBINSON], 2/Lt G.W.BLACKWELL
[Greville William BLACKWELL], 2/Lt F.A. CLARKE [Frederick
Augustus CLARKE] 2/Lt W.W.HUMM [William Walter HUMM],
2/Lt L.G.CALE [Lawrence George CALE].
13 Sep 1918 As above. Training carried on.
14 Sep 1918 In Camp as above. Received Warning
Order to move up into Divisional Reserve
15 Sep 1918 - Villers-au-Flos Moved up to VILLA
au FLOS [sic] in the morning & billeted in huts & dug-outs. Enemy
aircraft very active bombing vicinity of village at night
16 Sep 1916 In billets as above. Training carried
on under Coy. arrangements. Enemy active with H.V. Guns.
17-19 Sep 1918 In Divisional Reserve as above,
warned to be ready to move at 1/2 an hours notice.
20 Sep 1918 - Ytres Received Warning Order to
move. Moved at night to YTRES via BARASTRE & BUS. Battalion relieved
at VILLER au FLOS [sic] by 2 K.O.S.B.s & Relieved 1/D.C.L.I. at
YTRES. Some shelling by H.V. Guns in vicinity of village.
21 Sep 1918 In Camp as above. Enemy H.V.Guns
very active shelling village.
22 Sep 1918 In Camp as above. Church services
for all denominations. H.V. Guns again active 2/Lt
R.J.CROPLEY [Reginald John CROPLEY] severely wounded
& died later in the day.
23 Sep 1918 As above, frequent enemy shelling
24 Sep 1918 As above.
25 Sep 1918 As above. Bde O.O. received for
relief on following day. Battalion to remain in same camp.
26 Sep 1918 Battalion received orders to move
up to assembly positions ready for forthcoming operations.
27 Sep 1918 - [The Battles of the Hindeburg
Line - the Battle of the Canal du Nord] Beaucamps Battalion
advanced over the top to the attack at 7.52 am & captured part of
Beaucamp [sic] Village all objectives taken. During the afternoon
German Bombing Party attacked which caused Battalion to draw back
to Sunken Road & evacuate the village. Capt
H.C.LOE, M.C. [Harold Charles LOE, MC] & 2/Lt.
H.HUTCHINSON [Herbert HUTCHINSON] Killed. Capt.
R.L. Shaw [Robert Leslie SHAW], Capt & Adjt.A.H.O.
RIDDELL [Alexander Herbert Oliver RIDDELL], Lt.F.H.MELVILL
[Frederick Henry MELVILL] & 2/Lts. W.T.MORRIS [William
Thomas MORRIS], J.T.LAUGHTON
[Joseph Thornton LAUGHTON, died on the Ambulance train that
day], G.W. BLACKWELL [Greville William BLACKWELL]
wounded. Other Ranks - 19 Killed, 96 Wounded, 1 Died of Wds. 19
Missing & 1 Wd. & Missing.
28 Sep 1918 Germans evacuated BEAUCAMP [sic].
Cheshires & Norfolks advanced with Bedfords & Warwicks in support.
Lt.C.G.WILKINS [Claud Gilbert WILKINS], Wd. at duty.
O.R. - 1 Killed & 3 Wounded.
29 Sep 1918 Bedfords passed through 95th Bde
& attacked beyond railway & consolidated. 2/Lt.W.B.J. BRANDRETH
[William Robert Turner BRANDRETH] Wd. 2/Lt.F. WHATELY-KNIGHT
[Frank WHATELY-KNIGHT] Wd. at duty. O.R. - 1 Killed, 2 Died
of Wds, 3 Wounded, 1 Missing.
30 Sep 1918 - Dead Man's Corner Germans retiring,
Battalion moved forward. Relieved in evening by 13 K.R.Rs. 37th
Division & withdrew to Dead Mans Corner. 5 O.R. Wounded 2 Died of
WAR DIARY FOR OCTOBER 1918
1 Oct 1918 - Neuville-Bourjonval Battalion
withdrew to huts at NEUVILLE. "A" Line Transport heavily shelled.
Casualties 1 O.R. Killed 1 O.R. wounded 3 horses Killed & 3 horses
wounded. Capt. F.W.BALLANCE [Frederick William BALLANCE],
Lts A.J.FYSON [Arthur James FYSON] & B.L.PAVEY
[Bernard Lancelot PAVEY] & 2Lts F.FLAVELL [Frank
FLAVELL] & W.H.T.COTHILL
[William Henry Thomas COTHILL] joined Battalion for duty.
2 Oct 1918 In huts as above. Day devoted to
bathing & cleaning up
3 Oct 1918 As above. Training carried on.
4-5 Oct 1918 Training carried on as above.
6 Oct 1918 Church services for all denominations.
Capt.J.W.CAMPION [Walter John CAMPION, MC], Lt.R.CAULDWELL-COOK
[Reginald CALDWELL-COOK] & 2/Lt W.R.HOPE [William
Ross HOPE] joined Battalion.
7 Oct 1918 Training carried on as above. 2Lts
HOLLINGSHEAD [John HOLLINGSHEAD], R.E.COLLINS
[Robert Edward COLLINS, formerly Sgt. 12676 8th Bedfordshires]
[Claude Oliver FOWLER] joined Battalion for duty.
8 Oct 1918 Training as above. Lt.A.C.HOLBOROW
[Arthur Conrad HOLBOROW] & 2Lts D.J.ROBERTS [Daniel
John ROBERTS], B.L.WALKER [Bernard Lionel WALKER],
A.E.DAVIS [comment; unable to identify] & F.C.FOOTE
[Frederick Charles FOOTE] joined Battalion. [Comment; officer
draft appears to be from the Gloucestershire Regiment]
9 Oct 1918 - la Vacquerie Battalion marched
to LA VACQUERIE.
10 Oct 1918 - south of Esnes Battalion marched
to just S. of ESNES.
11 Oct 1918 - Ligny-en-Cambrsis Battalion marched
to LIGNY en CAMBRESIS & Billetted in houses.
12 Oct 1918 - Caudry Battalion marched to CAUDRY.
Town occupied by a large number of civilians. Troops billeted in
13 Oct 1918 Church Services for all denominations
14 Oct 1918 Billetted as above. Training carried
on. Concert in evening. Lt.Col.C.E.G.SHEARMAN D.S.O. M.C.
Gowran SHEARMAN, CBE, DSO, MC] joined Battalion & assumed
15-18 Oct 1918 Billetted as above & training
19 Oct 1918 - Bethencourt and Caudry Ceremonial
Parade Corps Commander presents Medal Ribbons to those awarded decorations
in August & September. Battalion (less Dumped Personnel) moved to
BETHENCOURT. Dumped Personnel remained in CAUDRY.
20 Oct 1918 [The Final Advance in Picardy
- The Battle of the Selle] - Quarry near River Selle Battalion
moved at 04.30 hours to Quarry near River SELLE afterwards crossing
the river about 100 yards from the Quarry & dug in by railway line.
21 Oct 1918 In position as above.
22 Oct 1918 - near Beaurain Moved up from above
position at night to assembly positions about E.22.c.7/8 to E.16.c.2.1.
Enemy put down a barrage on the position (Counter preparation)
23 Oct 1918 - Caudry At 03.20 hours Bedfords
& Cheshires went over the top to the attack but were held up on
the right by M.G. Fire. Made good later on capturing the village
of BEAURAIN. relieved during the day & returned to Billets in CAUDRY.
Casualties 2Lts W.H.T.COTHILL
[William Henry Thomas COTHILL] & C.O.FOWLER
[Claude Oliver FOWLER] Killed. Lt.Col.C.E.G.
SHEARMAN D.S.O., M.C. [Charles Edward Gowran SHEARMAN,
CBE, DSO, MC], Capt.F.W. BALLANCE [Frederick William
BALLANCE], 2Lts H.TRASLER [Henry TRASLER, DCM,
formerly A/RSM 8341 1st Bedfordshires], S.G. FISHER [Stanley
George FISHER], J.HOLLINGSHEAD [John HOLLINGSHEAD],
B.L.WALKER [Bernard Lionel WALKER] & Rev.J.B.MAYAL
[John Bardsley MAYALL, MC] wounded. 2Lt B.L.PAVEY
[Bernard Lancelot PAVEY] sick 14 O.R.s Killed, 105 Wounded.
5 O.R.s missing.
24 Oct 1918 In Billets as above resting & cleaning
25 Oct 1918 As above. Reorganisation of companies.
26 Oct 1918 As above. Battalion allotted baths.
Other parades under Coy. arrangements.
27 Oct 1918 As above. Church Services for all
28 Oct 1918 As above. Battalion Training carried
29-30 Oct 1918 As above, training as above.
31 Oct 1918 As above. Training as above.
WAR DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 1918
1-2 Nov 1918 Battalion billeted in CAUDRY
3 Nov 1918 - Neuville-en-Avesnois Billetted
as above, Battalion moved to NEUVILLE VIA BETHENCOURT, BRIASTRE,
SOLESMES & BEAURAIN. Dumped personnel & 'B' Echelon remained at
4 Nov 1918 - [The Final Advance in Picardy
- The Battle of the Sambre] Louvignies-Quesnoy Battalion
moved from NEUVILLE between 15.00 & 16.00 hours & marched to LOUVIGNES
5 Nov 1918 - in action near Jolimetz Battalion
moved from LOUVIGNES at 02.00 hours & marched to JOLIMETZ Passed
through 1/Battalion Norfolk Regt at 06.00 hours & captured Black
Line without opposition. Advanced towards Yellow Line, considerable
Machine Gun Fire Casualties 7 O.R.s Battalion attacked at 15.15
hours & gained objectives. Headquarters at LA CABINE
6 Nov 1918 - la Poyquerie Battalion advanced
to LA POYQUERIE, shelled out of the village in the morning & again
at dusk. Casualties 13 O.R.s. During above operations Battalion
captured 6" naval gun.
7 Nov 1918 Battalion billeted in village of
LA POYQUERIE. No enemy shelling
8-9 Nov 1918 As above
10 Nov 1918 - Jolimetz Battalion marched to
JOLIMETZ & billeted.
11 Nov 1918 - Louvignies-Quesnoy Armistice
declared everything quiet. Battalion marched to LOUVIGNES
12 Nov 1918 Battalion billeted as above.
13 Nov 1918 - Ramponeau Battalion marched to
RAMPONEAU VIA LE QUESNOY & billeted.
14-15 Nov 1918 Battalion inspected by Brigadier
General Commdg. Battalion billeted in RAMPONEAU. Battalion smartening
up in readiness for proposed move to Germany.
16-18 Nov 1918 Billetted as above.
19 Nov 1918 As above Lt.
Col.C.E.G.SHEARMAN D.S.O. M.C. [Charles Edward Gowran
SHEARMAN, CBE, DSO, MC] rejoined from Casualty Clearing Station.
20 Nov 1918 Battalion moved to billets in LE
21 Nov 1918 As above Capt J.C.A.BIRCH
[James Charles Abbott BIRCH] rejoined from sick leave Lt
J.C.MEADE [James Christopher MEADE] & 2/Lt K.W.J.HARVEY
[Keith William Pittman HARVEY] from Field Ambulance
22 Nov 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion working
on Demobilisation Scheme, i.e. Educational, Recreational & Ordinary
23-28 Nov 1918 Billetted as above. Training
as above. Capt.H.W.KELF [Frederick James KELF], A.YOUNG
[Archibald YOUNG], M.E.A.FARR [Mervyn Ernest
Alexander FARR], J.C.M.TAYLOR [John Cameron Clarke
TAYLOR], R.HALL [Robert HALL] & 2/Lt.E.C.HERBERG
[Ernest Charles HERBERG] joined for duty.
29 Nov 1918 Billetted as above Brigade Route
30 Nov 1918 Billetted as above, usual training
WAR DIARY FOR DECEMBER 1918
1 Dec 1918 - le Quesnoy Battalion billeted
in LE QUESNOY. Training carried on as usual. His Majesty The
King passed through the Town in the morning.
2 Dec 1918 As above His Majesty again passed
through the town.
3 Dec 1918 As above. Ceremonial parade for visit
to the Town of His Majesty The King.
4 Dec 1918 As above. His Majesty continued his
inspection of the Town
5-8 Dec 1918 As above. training carried on
9-12 Dec 1918 As above. training carried on.
13 Dec 1918 - Bellignies Battalion marched
to BELLIGNIES & Billetted. Bn. H.Q. in Chateau of Princess Leopold.
14 Dec 1918 - Neuf-Mesnil Battalion marched
to NEUF-MESNIL & billeted.
15 Dec 1918 - Rousies Battalion marched to ROUSIES
16 Dec 1918 - Croix-les-Rouveroy Battalion marched
to CROIX LES ROUVEROY & billeted.
17 Dec 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion resting
for 24 hours.
18 Dec 1918 - Haine-St-Pierre Battalion resumed
march to HAINE ST PIERRE & billeted.
19 Dec 1918 - Manage Battalion marched to MANAGE
20 Dec 1918 - Nivelles Battalion marched to
NIVELLES & billeted. Regimental Colours joined Bn. from England.
21 Dec 1918 - Sombreffe Battalion marched to
22 Dec 1918 - Gembloux Battalion marched to
GEMBLOUX & billeted (Final Destination) Billets very good.
23-25 Dec 1918 Billetted as above. Christmas
Day Church Services for all denominations.
26 Dec 1918 Boxing Day Holiday
27-31 Dec 1918 Billetted as above School & Training