1917 War Diary
remarks in squared brackets are my own additions, amendments or
comments and are not part of the original document
I have adjusted all names
to show in bold and capital letters, to make them easier to pick
out. This is not how they appear in the original document.
War Diary for January 1917
3-1-17. The Bn relieved the 1st Cambs Regt on the
left Hill Top sub section.
4-1-17. Divisional routine orders published the following
awards earned on the 13th November D.S.O.: Captain A.G. Clark
[Aylmer G. CLARK, DSO, MC], M.C.: Lieut
F.R. Hart [Frederick Reginald HART, MC], Captain
E.B. Smallwood [Eric Butler SMALLWOOD, MC], Lieut
L.R. D'A Fisher [Lionel Robert D'Arcy FISHER, MC], 2/Lt
G.H.Y. Gilby [George Harold Yates GILBEY, MC], 2/Lt
J.R. Johnston [John Rodney JOHNSTON, MC], 2/Lt
A.M. Gallo [Antonio Marie GALLO, MC], Captain
G.M. Brown [George Macdonald BROWN, MC]. D.C.M: 2099
C.S.M. Gregory, G.S. [2099, later 265282 George Stanley GREGORY,
DCM, MM], 4589 Sgt Gladding J. [Joseph W. GLADDING,
DCM], 1853 Sgt Warterton [Harry WARTERTON, DCM],
2544 Cpl Willey [George A. WILLEY, DCM], 2145 Cpl
Barrington [Horace Leonard BAVINGTON, DCM], 2942 Cpl
Hibbert [Wallace HIBBERT, DCM], 4549 Pte Gray [John
GRAY, DCM], 3318 Pte Hobbs [John Henry HOBBS, DCM,
The following also appeared in the New Years Honours
mentioned in despatches: Lieut.
Col. F. Page [Frank PAGE. DSO & Bar], Captain
C.F. Hacker [Charles Frederick HACKER, MC, RAMC], 2283
Sgt. G.F. Curtis [George F. CURTIS, MM].
The following Officers who are now detached from the
Regiment also appeared in the New Years Honours: Military Cross:
Captain E.G. WHATELEY (Staff Captain 6th Brigade) Captain
A.M. KENNEDY G.S.O. 3rd ANZAC Corps) Mentioned in Despatches:
Brig. Gen. Viscount Hampden [Lord Thomas Walter HAMPDEN,
CMG], Capt. P.E. Longmore
[Phillip Elton LONGMORE] (D.A.A.G. 2nd Army), Capt.
G.M. Brown [George Macdonald BROWN, MC] (Staff Capt.
118th Bgde), Capt. S. Milburn, D.S.O., M.C. [Booker MILBURN,
6-1-17. The following Officers joined the Bn: 2nd
Lieut. K.J. Ritchie [Kenneth James RITCHIE], Lieut.
S. King [Sydney or Simmonds KING], 2nd
Lieut. R.T.N. Hickley [Richard Trollope North HICKLEY],
Capt. H.M. Tyler [Hector Malcolm TYLER] (12th Sussex).
7-1-17. At 2.45am under cover of an intense barrage
the Germans raided on the front held by the Bn. They managed to
reach one of our posts and unfortunately 3 men were taken prisoner.
From another post which was also attacked the Germans were driven
off and for conspicuous gallantry at this post 2254 Cpl Beer
[Henry BEER, MM] was awarded the Military Medal. Our casualties
were : Capt. E.B. Smallwood
[Eric Butler SMALLWOOD] killed. 3 O.R.'s died of wounds.
1 O.R. killed and 14 O.R.'s wounded. A draft of 57 O.R.'s from base
joined the Bn.
8-1-17. The Bn was relieved by the Cambs Regt. and
moved into dugouts on the CANAL BANK.
11-1-17. Captain B.C. Molony [Brian Charles
MOLONY], Lieut. W.L. Grice [William Lucas GRICE]
rejoined & 2/Lt W. Thompson [Wilfred John THOMPSON]
& 2/Lt R.I. Edwards [Ronald Irving EDWARDS, MC] joined
12-1-17. The Bn relieved the 10th Liverpool Scottish
in the WIELTZE sub sector. During the relief the Germans heavily
bombarded the front line with Minnewerfen. Our casualties during
the relief were 3 O.R. killed and 4 O.R. wounded.
14-1-17. Captain Tyler [Hector Malcolm
TYLER] left the Bn being posted Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry.
Capt. C.F. Hacker [Charles Frederick HACKER, MC, RAMC]
left the Bn to do duty with No.10 C.C.S. Lieut. A.C. MURRAY
took his place as Medical Officer.
18-1-17. The Bn was relieved by the 1st Cambs. Regt.
& moved to dugouts on the CANAL BANK near YPRES.
24-1-17. The Bn was relieved by the 17th Notts &
Derby Regt. & moved to C CAMP. [Comment; Lieut.
Frederick Reginald HART died of wounds on the 28-1-17.]
Appendix 1/1 Herts Date 7th January 1917 Unit 1st/1st
Point of Entry - C.15.c.7.5. between Nos. 4&5 posts.
Results - Our casualties Killed 1 Officer, 2 O.R.'s, Wounded 15
O.R.'s, Missing 3 O.R.'s. One Lewis Gun smashed, Front and Support
lines seriously damaged. Enemy raiders killed or captured garrison
of No.4 Post. Remarks - At about 2.45am two hostile barrages were
formed by artillery and trench mortars. (c) Along front line from
C.15.c.9.4. to C.15.c.1.8. lifting to approximately an E. and W.
line through TURCO FARM. (b) Along Support Trenches from C.15.c.13.7
C.20.a.9.6. S.O.S. Signal was sent up and responded to by our artillery.
Bombardment ceased about 3.20am. Our front line in this sector is
held by a series of posts all overlooked by the enemy. Enemy attacked
on a front from Post 4 to Post 7 inclusive. Posts 5,6 & 7 repulsed
attack with Rifle fire. Party of enemy about 40 strong got through
wire, which had been cut, between Posts 4&5 unobserved and attacked
Post 4 from the rear as well as from the front. The garrison of
this post was either killed or captured. Nos. 3 & 5 Posts delivered
bombing attacks towards No.4 Post to help Garrison. Directly after
capture of No.4 Post the enemy retired rapidly under heavy rifle
fire. After the raid all posts were immediately re-garrisoned and
a strong working party sent forward to repair wire and trenches.
War Diary for February 1917
3-2-17. The Bn relieved the 17th Notts & Derby Regt
on the CANAL BANK near YPRES. 2 Companies remained at C CAMP. 2
Lieuts E.M. Paul [Eric Macleane PAUL], R.H.
Secretan [Reginald Herbert SECRETAN], E.A.
Taylor [Edward Algernon TAYLOR] and F.S.
Walthew [Frederick Selby WALTHEW] joined the Bn from
4-2-17. The Bn relieved the 16th Notts & Derby regt.
in the WEILTZE sub section.
7-2-17. 2342 Pte Messenger A. [Alfred MESSENGER,
MM] & 2626 Pte Terry J. [James Henry TERRY, MM]
rescued a wounded man of the 4/5th Black Watch from off the wire.
For this they were awarded the Military Medal by G.O.C. VIII Corps.
9-2-17. The Bn was relieved by the 1/1 Cambs and
moved back to dugouts on the CANAL BANK near YPRES.
12-2-17. The two companies which had been training
at C CAMP rejoined the Bn. It had been intended that these two companies
should raid the enemy trenches but owing to the fact that the cutting
of the wire could not be observed, the party was cut down to 3 Officers
and 64 O.R. At 11.15pm this party, after a successful assembly in
"No Man's Land" entered the German trenches. Two Germans from a
listening post were captured but the rest of the area which was
raided was found to be so knocked about that the enemy had evacuated
there. After staying in the trenches for 15 minutes the party withdrew.
Our casualties were slight, 5 O.R.'s being wounded. 2/Lieuts
Drury [Follett McNeill DRURY], Thompson [Wilfred
John THOMPSON] & Hardy [Robert L. HARDY] were
the three Officers in charge of the party. For their very good work
during this raid No. 2771 L/Cpl Reeves W. [William REEVES,
MM] was awarded the Military Medal by the G.O.C. VIII Corps.
2/Lieut R.N. Farwell [Robin Noel FARWELL] joined the
14-2-17. The Bn relieved the 1/1 Cambs in the WEILTZE
16-2-17. The Bn was relieved by the Liverpool Scottish
and moved to CANAL BANK dugouts.
17-2-17. The Bn was relieved by the 5th Loyal N.
Lancs Regt. and proceeded by train to POPERINGHE and marched from
there to Y Camp.
25-2-17. A draft of 78 O.R.'s joined the Bn from the
27-2-17. The battalion marched through POPERINGHE
to "ST. LAWRENCE CAMP".
Appendices Date - 12th February 1917, 11.15pm. Unit
1st/1st Hertfordshire Regt., 39th Division.
Officers 3, O.R.'s 60. Point of Entry - C.29.a.55.66.
Result - The enemy wire well cut & trenches badly damaged. Two prisoners
taken, bith 161st Inf. Regiment. Our casualties 4 O.R.'s slightly
wounded. Narrative - The bombardment of the enemy trenches for five
days prior to the rid and "drill" barrages were carried out each
night to deceive the enemy. No serious opposition was encountered,
the few Germans in the area being at once overpowered. Three of
the enemy were found where No.1 Sap joins the front line, one was
bludgeoned and two others captured. The enemy retaliation was very
Report of the raid carried out by the 1st/1st Hertfordshire
regiment on the night of 12th/13th February 1917.
The raiders left the CANAL BANK and moved via LA BRIQUE
and St. JEAN to front British Line and thence to the assembly position
in no man's land according to the programme. The whole of this movement
was carried out without a hitch and without it being observed by
the enemy. At Zero minus 2 the raiders advanced to their objective.
The patrol to ARGYLE FARM found it unoccupied. The two parties detailed
to deal with Nos. 3&4 saps found these saps obliterated and also
unoccupied. The remainder of the raiding party (with the exception
of the southern flanking party which took up its position in NO
MAN'S LAND) entered the German trenches and worked over the area
as pre-arranged. They found the German wire well cut and lying around
in a tangled mess. It consisted principally of rusty barbed concertina
wire and knife rests. The trenches themselves were badly knocked
about by our shell fire. There is no doubt the raid was a surprise
to the enemy and the few men in the area were at once overpowered.
Three Germans were found where No.1 Sap joins the front trench,
one of them was bludgeoned and the other two captured. A number
of dead Germans were seen partly buried in the damaged trench. The
raiders worked rather beyond the allotted area and it appears that
this part of the German line ws very lightly held. One NCO reports
that he saw a number of Germans in their support line and he thinks
they were preparing to counter attack. A raider says he approached
the Support Line and found it wired. The raiders withdrew on the
signal being given (blue rockets) and waited a short while in NO
MAN'S LAND to allow the enemy gunfire to die down. They then returned
to the CANAL BANK with the exception of a few who reported in accordance
with orders to advanced battalion headquarters, WIELTJE. All the
raiders were accounted for by 2am. The two prisoners belonged to
the 1st battalion, 161st Regiment. They were brought to WIELTJE
by 11.54am and, having been searched, were sent under escort to
the 1st/1st Cambridgeshire Regiment at ST. JEAN. The 3 Officers
who led the raiders 2/Lieut
F.M. Drury [Follett McNeill DRURY], 2/Lieut R.L.
Hardy [Robert L. HARDY] and 2/Lt W. Thompson [Wilfred
John THOMPSON] all returned to WIELTJE before 12 midnight. There
were only 4 casualties, all slight. Our artillery barrage was exceedingly
good. The enemy reply to it was feeble and fell chiefly on or near
our front line, some being sprinkled in NO MAN'S LAND. He did not
barrage his own front line. The hostile gunfire consisted of 77mm
shells and 2 or 3 inch "Minnies". Small pieces of the enemies trench
which remained intact were found to be revetted with brushwood and
had plank floors. They were dry. Width of trench about 3'6 to 4'6
at top, depth about 5'6". A small dugout with brushwood roof was
found in the front trench and 3 or 4 funk holes, large enough to
hold about 4 men each with concrete roofs built into the parados.
These funk holes were in front trench south of Sap 1, 100 yards
of which were explored. No.1 Sap was partly blown in; it is merely
an unrevetted trench. No machine gun was found in it, only a broken
box of machine gun ammunition. There was a machine gun emplacement
marked E.M.14 at C.29.a.54.60 but no machine gun, There was no trace
of Gas Cylinders nor were there arms or equipment lying around.
"P" Bombs were used to destroy the woodwork of the trenches. It
is reported that a party of about 15 to 20 Germans were out wiring
further North and were caught by our barrage. A machine gun was
fired from No.5 Sap. The raiders appeared to have carried out the
programme exactly as rehearsed and the conduct of both Officers
and men was all that could be wished. They belonged to Nos.1 and
4 companies and were trained by Captain B.C. Molony [Brian
Charles MOLONY] and Lieut. L.R.D'A Fisher [Lionel
Robert D'Arcy FISHER, MC].
War Diary for March 1917
2-3-17. A draft of 84 OR's joined the Bn. Inspection
of the Bn by Lieut.-Gen. Sir MORLAND K.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.S.O.
commanding X Corps
3-3-17. The Bn moved into Divisional Reserve. Headquarters
6-3-17. The Bn relieved 1st/1st Cambs. Regt. on left
sub section, OBSERVATORY RIDGE sector.
9-3-17. The Bn was relieved by 14th Hants and marched
to Infantry Barracks, YPRES.
12-3-17. The Bn relieved the 1st/1st Cambs Regt in
the left sub sector - HOOGE.
15-3-17. The Bn was relieved by the 12th Bn Sherwood
Foresters and marched to ST. LAWRENCE CAMP. Capt. A.G. Clark,
D.S.O., MC. [Aylmer G. CLARK, DSO, MC] rejoined the Bn
21-3-17. The Bn moved into Divisional Reserve. Headquarters
24-3-17. The Bn relieved the 1st/1st Cambs Regt in
OBSERVATORY RIDGE sector.
25-3-17. On the night 25th/26th March the enemy attempted
to raid our trenches after an intense barrage. They were repulsed
by Lewis Gun and rifle fire before reaching our trenches.
27-3-17. The Bn was relieved by the 11th Royal Sussex
Regt. and marched to Infantry Barracks, YPRES.
War Diary for April 1917.
1-4-17. The Bn relieved the 1st/1st Cambs Regt in
the left sub sector - HOOGE.
3-4-17. The Bn was unexpectedly relieved by 16th R.B.
and moved by train to ST. LAWRENCE CAMP.
5-4-17. The Bn moved to reserve billets in HOUTERQUE.
6-4-17. Divisional Routine Orders published that 265298
Pte F. Aldridge [Frederick ALDRIDGE, MM & Bar] had been
awarded a Bar to the Military Medal and that 265202 Cpl. F.W.
Waters [Frederick William WATERS, MM] and 269583 Pte
W. CRANE [Comment: 269583 is Private Arthur FINCH,
so I am unable to verify who this is with any certainty] had both
been awarded the Military Medal.
9-4-17. The Bn marched to B CAMP
11-4-17. The Bn moved to tents and a few huts in
C CAMP and except for a slight redistribution of huts on the 17th
remained her until the 28th, employed on constructing a new railway
28-4-17. The Bn relieved the 14th Hants Regt. in
the HILL TOP sub section.
Reinforcements: April 12th - a draft of 27 O.R. joined
the battalion April 23rd - a draft of 50 O.R. joined the battalion
April 24th - 2/Lieut. F.G.
Lake [Frank Gilbert LAKE] rejoined the Bn from the
War Diary for May 1917.
3-5-17. The Bn was relieved by the 1st Cambs Regt
and on relief marched to dugouts on the CANAL BANK. On this tour
in the trenches two raids were carried out through our lines. On
the 29th the Welsh carried out a successful raid and on the 30th
another Bn of the Welsh also carried out a successful raid. The
enemy's retaliation on our trenches was not very heavy and we were
fortunate in having only one casualty.
10-5-17. The Bn relieved the 1st Cambs Regt. in the
HILL TOP sub section.
13-5-17. 2/Lieut. B.H. Johnson [Basil H.
JOHNSON] was unfortunately hit by a bullet in the left forearm.
15-5-17. The Bn was relieved by the 17th Sherwood
Foresters and on relief half the Bn marched and half went by train
to C CAMP and carried on with Railway construction.
18-5-17. 2/Lieut. H. Symons [Henry SYMONS]
rejoined the Bn from England.
23-5-17. The Bn less Nos.1 & 4 Coys relieved the 2/5th
Lancashire Fusiliers in the WIELTJE sub sector - Nos.1 & 4 Coys
remained at C CAMP.
26-5-17. 2/Lieut. B.V.A. Tennant [Bernard
Victor Ashlin TENNANT] joined the Bn. London Gazette published
that the undermentioned have been mentioned in Despatches: Lieut.
Col. F. Page D.S.O. [Frank PAGE, DSO & Bar],
Lieut. Col. G.E. Whitfield, M.C.
[Geoffrey Ernest WHITFIELD, MC], Major T. Barber [Quartermaster
and Honorary Major Thomas BARBER, OBE, TD], Captain A.G.
Clark D.S.O., M.C. [Aylmer G. CLARK, DSO, MC], Captain
T.P. Gibbons [Thomas Pilling GIBBONS, MC], 2/Lieut.
G. McMullen [Gordon McMULLEN], 265292 Sgt. Rand S.
27-5-17. The Bn was relieved by the 14th Hants Regt.
and rejoined Nos.1 & 4 Coys at C CAMP.
29-5-17. The Bn marched to WORMHOUDT.
War Diary for June 1917.
3-6-17. The Kings Birthday was celebrated by a Parade
D Perry [Donovan PERRY] joined the Bn.
11-6-17. The Bn marched to ARNEKE.
12-6-17. The Bn marched to TATTINGHAM.
13-6-17. The Bn marched to BAGENGHAM-LEZ-SERINGHAM.
21-6-17. The Bn marched to SERQUES.
24-6-17. Captain V.H.
Palmer [Vernon Hugh PALMER] and 2/Lieut. R.H.J.
Rowley [Robert Halford Taylor ROWLEY, MC] joined the
28-6-17. Lecture by General Sir IVOR MAXSE, commanding
18 Corps (sic?).
29-6-17. The Bn marched to WATTEN and entrained for
POPERINGHE and on arrival marched to tents at C CAMP.
30-6-17. The Bn marched to the CANAL BANK and relieved
the 17th Sherwood Foresters in the HILL TOP left sub section (Reserve).
Captain G.E. Whitfield M.C.
[Geoffrey Ernest WHITFIELD] joined the Bn.
War Diary for July 1917.
1 to 7-7-17. Bn in Reserve on CANAL BANK in HILL
TOP sector, YPRES.
7 to 16-7-17. Bn relieved 1st Cambs Regt. in Front
Line system, HILL TOP sector
16-7-17. Bn was relieved by the 6th Border Regt. and
marched to C CAMP.
17-7-17. Bn marched to POPERINGHE station and entrained
to WATTEN where it detrained and marched to billets at HAULE, arriving
7am 18th inst.
18 to 21-7-17. Bn did splendid training for offensive
22-7-17. Bn moved by bus to Z CAMP, arriving about
2am 23rd inst.
23 to 28-7-17. Bn continued special training and
29-7-17. Bn moved to bivouacs near C CAMP.
30-7-17. Bn moved into assembly positions about X
lines, HILL TOP sector.
31-7-17 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 - the Battle
of Pilkem]. About 3.50am the Bn moved forward in 4 lines
behind the 116th & 117th Inf. Bdes. east of the river STEENBEEK.
Up till this time the casualties had been very slight indeed but
as the Bn advanced from the STEENBEEK toward the LANGEMARCK line
(the Bn objective) casualties grew heavier from sniper and machine
gun fire. However the Bn continued advancing. About half way to
the objective some of No.3 Coy came upon a German strong point which
they gallantly charged, capturing or killing most of the garrison
and sending the remainder back as prisoners. On reaching the enemy
wire this was found to be practically undamaged (expect in one place)
& very thick. 2/Lieut Marchington [Eric William MARCHINGTON,
MC] & a handful of men of No.3 Coy got through the only gap
and got into the enemy trench & killed a lot of Germans. The remainder
of the Bn, being unable to get through the wire and suffering severe
casualties from enfilade MG fire & the Germans making a strong counter
attack from our left flank about this time, had to fall back having
suffered exceptionally heavy casualties. The remnants of the battalion
subsequently dug themselves in in line with the 1st Cambs Regt.
on the west side of the STEENBEEK.
Casualties to Officers were: Lt.
Col. F. Page D.S.O. [Frank PAGE. DSO & Bar], Captain
S.H. Lowry M.C. [Sidney Henry LOWRY, MC], Captain
A.R. Milne [Alexandra Richard MILNE], 2/Lts
Gallo [Antonio Marie GALLO], Secretan
[Reginald Herbert SECRETAN], Scott
[Cecil SCOTT] & Macintosh
[Eric MACINTOSH] killed. Lt
Lake [Frank Gilbert LAKE], 2/Lts Walthew [Frederick
Selby WALTHEW], Thompson [Wilfred John THOMPSON]
& King [Sydney
or Simmonds KING] missing. Lt
Head [Basil William HEAD] & 2/Lts Hardy [Robert
L. HARDY] & Francis [Wilfred Frederick FRANCIS,
MC] wounded & missing. Captain Fisher [Lionel Robert
D'Arcy FISHER, MC], Captain
C. Charles [John James Percival CHARLES, MC] RAMC,
& 2/Lts Marchington [Eric William MARCHINGTON, MC],
Edwards [Ronald Irving EDWARDS, MC], Gilbey
[George Harold Yates GILBEY, MC] & Ritchie [Kenneth
James RITCHIE] wounded.
Estimated casualties to the other ranks were 29 killed,
5 missing believed killed, 132 missing, 68 wounded & missing, 223
wounded & 2 died of wounds, making a total of 459 casualties to
other ranks. Died of wounds; Officers 2, OR's 6. Missing; Officers
9, OR's 120. Wounded; Officers 8, OR's 180.
War Diary for August 1917.
2-8-17. Major Phillips
[Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS, CB, DSO, TD, DL, JP],
Captain Whitfield [Geoffrey
Ernest WHITFIELD, MC] and 2nd Lieut. E.M. Paul [Eric
Macleane PAUL] went up to the line to take charge of the 130
Other Ranks who remained from the fight on the 31st July. This party
remained at TOWER POST and IRISH FARM.
3-8-17. The party went forward in support of the
116 Bde, staying in the old German front line system until the 5th;
the trenches being in a terrible condition owing to the almost continuous
rain since the evening of the 31st July.
5-8-17. Bn moved to bivouac camp by REIGERSBURG CHATEAU.
7-8-17. Bn entrained at VLAMERHINGHE and detrained
at CAESTRE whence it was conveyed in buses to camp near THIEUSHOUK.
9-8-17. 118th Inf. Bde was addressed by MAJOR GENERAL
G. CUTHBERT, C.B., C.M.G. Party of Officers and Other Ranks
left out of the battle rejoined the Bn. Draft of 15 OR's joined
10-8-17. Brigade was inspected by General Sir H.C.O.PLUMER
G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., A.D.C. commanding second army. Draft
of 24 OR's joined the Bn.
11-8-17. Draft of 15 OR's joined the Bn.
12-8-17. Captain A.G. Clark, D.S.O., M.C. [Aylmer
G. CLARK, DSO, MC] and a draft of 113 OR's joined the Bn
14-8-17. Bn moved by buses to camp at RIDGE WOOD.
19-8-17 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 -the Battle
of Langemarck]. Bn relieved 17th Notts & Derby regt. in
the front line - KLEIN-ZILLEBEKE trenches. 1 killed, 2 Missing.
Draft of 25 OR's joined the Bn.
23-8-17. Bn was relieved by 1st Cambs Regt. and moved
into Reserve (Brigade). While in Reserve casualties were 9 wounded.
27-8-17. Bn was relieved by 14th Hants Regt. and
moved into Divisional Reserve near RIDGE WOOD. Div Orders dated
7th August - Military Medal awarded to: 265176 L/Sgt Gaines
[William GAINES, MM] No.3 Coy, 265256 L/Sgt Ensby
[Alfred ENSBY, MM].
30-8-17. Draft of 33 OR's joined the Bn. [Comment;
Lieut. Herbert Norman BAKER
War Diary for September 1917.
2-9-17. The Bn relieved the 3rd Bn R.B. and units
of the 24th Division in MOUNT SORREL left sub section with Bn HQ
at CANADA TUNNELS.
5-9-17. Draft of 20 OR's joined the Bn.
6-9-17. The Bn was relieved by the 1st Cambs Regt.
and moved into support in the area of LARCHWOOD TUNNELS.
8-9-17. The Bn was relieved by the 14th Hants Regt.
& moved to CHIPPENA CAMP. Raft fo 32 OR's joined the Bn.
10-9-17. Draft of 112 OR's joined the Bn.
11-9-17. Lt G.F.C. Gudgeon [George Finlay
Charles GUDGEON] rejoined the Bn from Portugese Division HQ.
12-9-17. Bn marched to ASCOT CAMP near WESTOUTRE.
J.W. Church [John William CHURCH] joined the Bn.
Draft of 17 OR's joined the Bn.
14-9-17. Draft of 61 OR's joined the Bn.
18-9-17. Bn marched to camp ear RIDGE WOOD. Draft
of 7 OR joined the Bn.
19-9-17. Bn was equipped in fighting order for the
forthcoming operations. Bn marched to ZWARTELEEN. Strength 14 Officers,
556 OR's. Remainder proceeded to Divisional reinforcement camp.
20-9-17 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 -The Battle
of the Menin Road]. 117 Inf. Bde attacked at dawn. At 2pm
two Coys 1st Herts regt moved from ZWARTELEEN to trenches round
IMAGE CRESCENT and were placed under orders of GOC 117 Inf. Bde.
2/Lieut. C.D. Lovering [Cecil D. LOVERING] (1st Hereford
Regt) & 54 OR's joined the Bn for duty.
21-9-17. Bn relieved 16th & 17th Bns Notts & Derby
Regt. in right sub section BULGAR WOOD sector as soon as it was
dark, taking over the line captured & consolidated on the 20th.
22-9-17. Bn was relieved by the 11th Bn Royal Warwick
Regt (37th Div.) and moved into support in MOUNT SORREL, taking
over from details of 41st Division. Lt G. Hicks [Gordon
HICKS] & 61 OR's joined the Bn for duty.
23-9-17. Bn relieved the 1st Cambs Regt & details
of 41st Div. in front line, SHREWSBURY FOREST area, taking over
the line captured by the 41st Division on the 20th.
25-9-17 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 -The Battle
of Polygon Wood]. Bn was relieved by the 1st Cambs Regt
and 4/5th Black Watch who moved up to assembly positions on neighbourhood
of BASSEVILLEBEEK during the night 25th/26th Sept and attacked at
5.50am on the 26th.
26-9-17. Bn moved into support in trenches on MOUNT
SORRELL before dawn on 26th Lieut. B.C. HARTLEY, 2/Lts
C.S. Ringer [Claude Stewart RINGER] and F.E. Allen
[Frederick Ernest ALLEN] & 18 OR's joined the Bn for duty.
27-9-18. Bn was relieved by 8th Somerset Light Infantry
during afternoon and marched to BUS HOUSE where it embussed for
CORUNNA CAMP near WESTOUTRE. A party of 2 Officers & 100 OR's remained
to fetch down wounded from TOWER HAMLETS RIDGE and rejoined Bn on
the 28th. During the period of 20th to 28th the Bn experienced heavy
hostile shelling whilst holding newly won positions and casualties
amounted to 3 Officers & 206 OR's.
AWARDS. The following decorations were awarded for
gallantry & devotion to duty on 31st July (39 Div. R.O. No. 1061,
1039). Bar to Military Cross: Rev. A.E. Popham MC [Alfred
Edgar POPHAM MC & Bar], att 1st Herts. Military Cross: T/Capt.
J.P Charles [John James Percival CHARLES, MC] RAMC
Att 1st Herts. 2/Lieut. E.W. Marchington [Eric William
MARCHINGTON, MC], 2/Lieut. R.I. Edwards [Ronald Irving
EDWARDS, MC], D.C.M. 265033 RSM S. Tite [Sydney G.
TITE, DCM], 266629 Sgt S. Allibone [Stephen ALLIBONE,
Sgt S. Osborne [Stephen Harold OSBORNE, DCM], 265494
Cpl W. Ashwell [William ASHWELL, DCM], 265630 Cpl
A. Baker [Alfred BAKER, DCM], 473174 Pte F. BASS RAMC
att 1st Herts. Bar to Military Medal: 265603 L/Cpl W.E. Taylor
[William Edward TAYLOR, MM & Bar], 266544 Pte A.S. Hansford
[Albert S. HANSFORD, MM & Bar), Military Medal: 265874
Pte H. Kent [Herbert KENT, MM], 265746 L/Cpl
S.J. Darby [Stanley James DARBY, MM], 265588 Cpl R.A.
Gough [Richard A. GOUGH, MM], 265626 Pte W.C. Smith
[William Charles SMITH, MM], 266134 L/Cpl C. Parsloe
[Charles PARSLOE, MM], 265457 L/Cpl W. Litchfield [Walter
James LITCHFIELD, MM & Bar], 267001 Pte A.G. Sapsed [Alfred
George SAPSEAD, MM], 265264 L/Cpl J.R. Cockman [James
Horace COCKMAN, MM], 265813 Cpl F.G. Phillips [Frederick
George PHILLIPS, MM], 266173 Pte C. Forbes [Charles
FORBES, MM], 265330 Pte W. Sell [William Jeffrey SELL,
MM], 269771 Pte H.W. Miles [Henry William MILES, MM],
265611 Cpl J.E. Taylor [Joseph Edward TAYLOR, MM],
265643 L/Cpl F. Waller [Frederick WALLER, MM], 266814
Pte E.J. Marshall [Edward John MARSHALL, MM], 266531
Pte W. Mardell [Will Alfred MARDELL, MM].
Casualties during September 1917: Killed - 26 OR's
Died of wounds - 2 OR's Wounded - 2/Lieut
F.N. Drury [Follett McNeill DRURY], 2/Lieut. R.H.T.
Rowley [Robert Halford Taylor ROWLEY, MC], 265033
RSM S. Tite [Sydney G. TITE, DCM], 128 OR's. Missing
- 9 OR's Shell Shock - 43 OR's Gassed - 6 OR's
War Diary for October 1917.
1-10-17. Bn was inspected by Brig. General H.C.P.
BILLINGHAM D.S.O. commanding 118th Inf. Bde near the camp, CORRUNA
2-10.17. 118th Inf. Bde was inspected by Major
General E. FEETHAM, C.B., C.M.G. and ribbons were awarded to
recipients of decorations in the Bde.
3-10-17. Bn carried out training.
4-10-17. Moved up to camp near SWAN CHATEAU 2,000
yards south west of YPRES under orders of 1st ANZAC CORPS in order
to work on railways under the 5th Canadian Railway Troops. From
5th to 13th 500 men were employed daily on the railway lines between
WESTHOEK & ZONNEBEKE; from 14th to 17th only ½ the battalion was
employed daily. On 16th the 9th C.R.T. relieved the 5th C.R.T. Casualties
during the period were; Killed - 5, died of wounds - 1, wounded
3 9-10-17. Following reinforcements joined on the
9th inst. 2nd Lieut. F. Mc
N. Drury [Follett McNeill DRURY], Captain J.F.
Christie [John Fairfax CHRISTIE, MC], 2/Lts F.H. Underhill
[Frank H. UNDERHILL], C.F. Nicholls [Cecil
Frank NICHOLLS], & 40 OR's. Captain J.D.B. Fergusson
[John D.B. FERGUSSON] left the Bn to be attached to H.Qrs
118th Inf. Bde as [unreadable] in Staff Duties.
10-10-17. Lieut. G.F.C. Gudgeon [George
Finlay Charles GUDGEON] appointed Adjutant vice Captain J.D.B.
Fergusson [John D.B. FERGUSSON].
11-10-17. 70 OR's joined the Bn as reinforcements.
16-10-17. 2/Lt White [E.E. WHITE?] &
52 OR's to be attached for Special work to 234 Field Coy R.E.
17-10-17. Moved to camp at N.5.d.4.5. (Sheet 28 BELGIUM
& FRANCE 1/40,000) near BRASSERIE.
18-10-17. 2/Lieut. Allen [Frederick Ernest
ALLEN] & 104 OR's; left to be attached for special work to 234
Field Coy R.E.
19-10-17. Major H.J. WYLD 1/1 Herts Yeomanry
20-10-17. Following Officers joined Bn; Captain
A.G. Grinling [Anthony G. GRINLING, MC], 2/Lts T.G.
STUBBING, H.W. Blanchflower [Horace William BLANCHFLOWER],
J.E. Broad [John Eric BROAD], F.R.
Stonnill [Frank Roland STONNILL], E.F.M.
Brown [Edward Frederick Montague BROWN].
22-10-17. Cinema Operator from G.H.Q. filmed the Bn
in camp [comment; this film is available at the Imperial War Museum,
1099]. Lieut. J.M. WORCESTER K.S.M.G. left the Bn
en route for No.11 General Hospital being relieved by Captain
J.G. JOHNSTONE RAMC.
23-10-17. Bn moved to CHIPPEWA CAMP near RHENINGHELST.
2/Lt F. Clayton [Frank CLAYTON] joined the Bn.
24-10-17. 2/Lt White [E.E. WHITE?] &
101 OR's joined from 234 Field Coy R.E. Bn. Dinner in evening attended
by 30 Officers.
25-10-17. Brigadier General E.H.C.P. BELLINGHAM
D.S.O. & Captain F.A. MARR M.C. Bde Major dined with
the Bn having previously attended a concert given by the Bn in the
26-10-17 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 -the Second
Battle of Passchendaele]. The Bn came under 1 hours notice
as from 5.40am in view of our attack on the Second Army front.
27-10-17. The Bn remained in camp awaiting orders.
28-10-17. The Bn relieved the 1st R.W.F. on the left
TOWER HAMLETS sector front line, relief being complete by 10pm.
2/Lt T.E. Penny [Thomas Edward PENNY] wounded whilst
reconnoitring the line in the morning. 2/Lt
E.F.M. Brown [Edward Frederick Montague BROWN] wounded
on the way up to the relief. The Bn suffered a few casualties during
31-10-17. The Bn was relieved by the 1st/1st Cambs
Regt, relief being completed by 10pm. Bn moved into support with
H.Qrs. & Nos 1&4 Coys at BODMIN COPSE in dugouts & trenches. Nos
2&3 Coys went into support at JAR TRENCH. Casualties from 28-10-17
to 31-10-17; Killed - 6, Died of Wounds - 1, Died of Gas Poisoning
- 1, wounded - 21, gassed - 9 + some cases of Trench Foot. Major
A.G. Clark D.S.O., M.C. [Aylmer G. CLARK, DSO, MC] assumed
command of the Bn on 6-10-17 during the Temp. absence of leave of
Lieut. Col. E.C.M. Phillips
[Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS, CB, DSO, TD, DL, JP].
War Diary for November 1917.
1-11-17. Bn in BODMIN COPSE with 2 Coys in JAR TRENCH.
Certain amount of gas shelling.
2-11-17. Nothing of importance.
3-11-17. The Bn was relieved by 12th Bn Royal Sussex
Regt. Casualties from 1st to 3rd; Killed - 2 OR's, died of wounds
- 2 OR's, gassed - 5 OR's, wounded - 8 OR's. The Bn moved by buses
to CHIPEWA CAMP arriving at about 3.30am on the 3rd/4th.
4-11-17. Lieut. Col.
E.C.M. Phillips [Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS, CB, DSO,
TD, DL, JP] rejoined the Bn from leave. 2/Lt L.L. Norris
[Leslie Lascelles NORRIS] joined the Bn. The men were rested.
5-11-17. The Bn moved to VIERSTRAAT N2, relieving
the 17th Bn Sherwood Foresters.
6 to 8-11-17. The Bn was employed on salvage & other
work in the forward areas. Wounded 1 OR.
9 to 10-11-17. The Bn rested & carried out training.
35 OR's who were gassed at BODMIN COPSE were sent to hospital.
11-11-17. The Bn moved to BEDFORD HOUSE and had difficulty
in finding accommodation.
12-11-17. The Bn moved into right sub section POLDERHOEK,
taking over the front line from 16th Bn Sherwood Foresters.
13-11-17. Slight activity.
14-11-17. The Bn was relieved by 1st/1st Cambs Regt.
& moved to BODMIN COPSE with 2 platoons of No.4 Coy and 3 platoons
of No.1 Coy in closer support at TOWER & VELDHOEK.
15-11-17. The Bn employed in carrying parties.
16-11-17. The Bn was relieved by 16th Bn Sherwood
Foresters & moved by lorry from SHRAPNEL CORNER to CHIPPEWA CAMP.
Casualties during tour; Killed - 4 OR, Died of wounds - 1 OR, wounded
4 OR, gassed 3 OR, missing 1 OR.
17-11-17. Cleaning up & resting. The following Officers
joined; Majors J.T.B. Gough
[John Bolle Tynedale GOUGH], J. Simonds [John SIMONDS],
& Lieut. A.P. Hurd
[Angier Percy HURD].
18-11-17. Fire at the camp, starting at H.Q. of No.4
Coy. Their hut, our armoury hut and an adjacent hut completely burnt
out, 6 Officers losing all their kit & 30 servants. No casualties
to Officers or men.
19-11-17. Court of enquiry on fire.
20-11-17. Relieved 17th Bn K.R.R. in POLDERHOEK left
sub section front line. Bn proceeded by light railway to near ZILLEBEKE.
21-11-17. Nothing of importance beyond slight artillery
& MG fire.
22-11-17. Gas was projected at 6.15pm on GHELUVELT
without much retaliation. The Bn was relieved by 1st/1st Cambs Regt.
and moved to TORR TOPS in Bde Reserve in the tunnels.
23-11-17. Working & carrying parties.
24-11-17. Relieved 1/1 Cambs Regt. in POLDERHOEK left
sub section front line.
25-11-17. Relieved by 1st Canterbury Regt. (1st New
Zealand Division) expect 3 platoons of No.4 Coy on right who were
relieved by 2nd Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers, 30th Div. Entrained on
light railway to CHIPPEWA CAMP. Casualties during the tour; 3 OR
killed, 5 OR wounded.
26-11-17. Bn moved to EECKE area by train from OUDERDOM
& GODWAERSVELDE. Bn H.Q. in EECKE & Coys in a very scattered area
27 to 28-11-17. Bn rested & cleaned up. 2/Lt E.O.
Ridley [Ernest Oswald RIDLEY] joined the Bn on the 27th
29-11-17. Bn moved to a camp near POTIJZE to work
on roads & railways, entraining at GODWAERSVELDE & detraining at
30-11-17. Bn on working parties.
War Diary for December 1917.
1st to 5th-12-17. Bn continued fatigues at POTIJZE
6-12-17. Bn moved to EECKE, entraining at YPRES and
detraining at GODWAERSVELDE. The following Officers joined the Bn
for duty; Lieuts. C.W. Sworder [Charles Waller SWORDER],
T.S.J. McCORMACK, 2nd Lieuts. J.D.E. Eve [John
Douglas Tristram EVE], E. Freedman [Eleazer FREEDMAN],
R.D. WALLER, H.J. Hensman
[Henry John HENSMAN, MC], E.F.M.
Brown [Edward Frederick Montague BROWN], (from hospital)
R.F.B. BORRADAILE, & Lieut. G.B.G. Gripper [Guy
Basil George GRIPPER, MC].
7-12-17. Nothing of importance.
8-12-17. Bn moved to HARLETTES, entraining at GODWAERSVELDE
& detraining at NIELLES. Bn arrived in billets at 7pm.
9-12-17. Bn marched to ESCOEUILLES for training.
10 to 15-12-17. Training. Draft of 40 OR's joined
the Bn on the 13th inst.
16-12-17. Sunday. No training.
17 & 18-12-17. Training.
19-12-17. Bn was inspected by Major General E.
FEETHAM C.B., C.M.G. commanding 39th Division.
20 to 22-12-17. Training.
23-12-17. Sunday. Church parade was held.
24-12-17. Training. Draft of 25 OR's joined the Bn
under 2/Lt. C.L. King
[Charles Leonard KING].
25-12-17. Xmas Day. The men spent a very happy day
as a result of the various gifts & comforts provided for them.
26 to 29-12-17. Training was continued. On the 28th
the Transport less a small portion started moving forward. The balance
followed on 31st.
30-12-17. Sunday. There were no parades. Short route
31-12-17. Moved to COALOMBY relieving 13th Bn Royal
Sussex Regt. N.B. The honours conferred on the Regt. will figure
next month on receipt
of complete list.