1918 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 1918.
The following were mentioned in despatches of the
Commander in Chief dated 7th Nov. 1917: 2/Lieut.
Drury F.M. [Follett McNeill DRURY], 2/Lieut. Ritchie
K.J. [Kenneth James RITCHIE], Lieut. Gudgeon G.F.C.
[George Finlay Charles GUDGEON], 266236 Pte DAY S.G.
[Stanley George DAY], 265001 RQMS COCKS J.F. [John
Frederick COCKS], 265011 O.R. Sgt
HALL E.A. [Ernest Alfred HALL], 265063 CSM NORTHROPE
G. [George W. NORTHROPE], 266539 L/Cpl RANDALL A.H.
[Alfred Herbert RANDALL] att. 118 Inf Bde., 265821
QMS Smithson M.J. [Matthew Joseph SMITHSON] att. 170
Inf. Bde., 266296 L/Cpl Whitley C. [formerly 4351 Charles
WHITLEY] (now Lab. Corps), Captain L.G. Gold [Leslie
G. GOLD, MC & Bar] awarded the MILITARY CROSS
1-1-18. Bn marched at 5.30AM to WIZERNES and entrained
for Bde in support area. ˝ Bn & HQ at HILL TOP FARM in huts, Nos
1&2 Coys at IRISH FARM in tents near St. JEAN
2-1-18. Working parties.
3-1-18. Working parties.
4-1-18. Working parties.
5-1-18. Working parties.
6-1-18. Working parties. 2/Lieut. K.A. SMITH
7-1-18. Relieved 17th Sherwood Foresters, No.3 Co.
& HQ on STEENBEEK, 3 Coys in Corps line. Lieut.
F.M. Drury [Follett McNeill DRURY] killed at about
11pm by a shell on Coy H.Q. Wounded 2/Lieut.
E.F.M. Brown [Edward Frederick Montague BROWN] &
H.M. SMITH, 2/4th Royal Sussex Regt, att. 1st Herts.
8-1-18. Working parties.
F.M. Drury [Follett McNeill DRURY] & E.F.M.
Brown [Edward Frederick Montague BROWN] buried at
DUHALLOW Cemetery at 12 noon.
10-1-18. Working parties.
11-1-18. Relieved 1/1 Cambs. Regt in left sub sector
front line. Shelling of Corps line. CO slightly wounded.
15-1-18. Relieved by 11th Royal Sussex Regt. Relief
complete 7.30Am on 16th. Marched and trained to SEIGE CAMP No.4.
16-1-18. Lt Col E.C.M.
Phillips [Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS, CB, DSO, TD,
DL, JP] proceeded on Paris leave.
17-1-18. Working parties in the line.
20-1-18. Ditto. Capt.
E.H.H. Carlile [Edward Hildred Hanbury CARLILE] 1/1
Herts Yeomanry joined Bn.
21-1-18. Bn moved to HERZEELE area by march route.
22-1-18. Cleaning up.
23-1-18. Cleaning up. Lt
Col E.C.M. Phillips [Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS, CB,
DSO, TD, DL, JP] returned. Major A.G. Clarke D.S.O., M.C.
[Aylmer G. CLARK, DSO, MC] proceeded on leave to England.
24-1-18. Short parade.
26-1-18. Left area at 2.30AM, entrained at PROVEN
at 7AM and proceeded to 5th Army area. Detrained at MERICOURT L'ABBE
at 6PM and marched to billets at BRAY-SUR-SOMME.
28-1-18. 75 O.R.'s joined the Bn from England.
29-1-18. Left BRAY at 11.45Am & entrained at PLATEAU
station near CARNOY and detrained at PERONNE and marched to HAUT
ALLAINES to camp (tents).
30-1-18. Moved to SOREL-LE-GRAND - a few bombs dropped
during the night but the Bn suffered no casualties.
31-1-18. Moved into reserve at Camp S.E. of DESSANT
WOOD near FIMS. 50 OR's under 1 Officer proceeded to be attached
to 178 Tunnelling Coy, RE.
War Diary for February 1918
1-2-18. Bn resting in L.I. Camp DESSART WOOD near
4-2-18. A draft of 21 OR's joined the Bn.
6-2-18. Bn relieved 1/1 Cambs Regt in left sub sector
of the GOUZEAUCOURT LEFT SECTOR.
7-2-18. Bn was relieved by 1/6 Cheshire Regt and 4/5
Black Watch and, with the exception of No.3 Coy, marched to hits
in SOREL.No.3 Coy in huts at L.I. Camb. Div. routine orders dated
Feb 6th announced that the following had been awarded: The Belgian
Croix de Guerre; No. 265055 Sgt Couldrey G. [George COULDREY]
and No. 265792 Pte Stratford A.P. [Alfred Percival STRATFORD]
8-2-18. Bn was transferred from 118 to 116 Bde. Bn
moved to CHURCH CAMP, HEUDICOURT.
9-2-18. Bn relieved 11th and 13th Bns Royal Sussex
Regt in the GOUZEAUCOURT centre sector. All 4 companies in the front
line in the order from right to left - No. 1,3,2,4.
E.A. Taylor [Edward Algernon TAYLOR] and No. 266242
L/Cpl Overton W.G. [William George OVERTON] No.3 Coy
killed in afternoon by an enemy sniper whilst out on patrol.
13-2-18. Nos 1&3 Coys were relieved by 2 Coys of
the 13th Bn Royal Sussex Regt and moved to the main line of resistance.
14-2-18. Bn relieved by the 11th Bn Royal Sussex Regt.
Nos 3&4 Coys, half of No.1 Coy and HQ accommodated at REVELON FARM.
Half of No.1 Coy in dugouts near REVELON FARM. No.2 Coy at HEUDICOURT.
14/18-2-18. Employed on sundry working parties.
18-2-18. Lieut. Col.
E.C.M. Phillips [Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS, CB, DSO,
TD, DL, JP] proceeded on leave. Bn relieved 13th Bn Royal Sussex
Regt. in right sub sector of GOUZEAUCOURT centre sector. Nos 1&3
Coys in front line with Nos 2&4 in support.
22-2-18. Bn relieved by 13th Bn Royal Sussex Regt
& took over the left sub sector from the 11th Bn Royal Sussex Regt.
Nos 2&4 Coys in front line, Nos 1&3 in support.
26-2-18. Bn relieved by 11th Bn Royal Sussex Regt.
Nos 3&4 Coys, half of No1 Coy & HQ at REVELON FARM. Half of No1
Coy in dugouts near REVELON FARM. No. 2 Coy at HEUDICOURT.
27/28-12-18. Employed in working parties.
28-2-18. No. 2 Coy moved up from HEUDICOURT to REVELON
1/28-2-18 Casualties; Killed 1 Officer, 3 OR. Wounded
6 OR. Wounded (Gas Shell) 1 OR.
War Diary for March 1918
2-3-18. Bn relieved 13th Bn Royal Sussex Regt in
the right GOUZEAUCOURT sub sector, Nos 1&3 Coys in front line with
Nos 2&4 Coys in support.
6-2-18. Bn relieved by 13th Bn Royal Sussex Regt &
took over the left sub sector of the GOUZEAUCOURT right sub sector.
Nos 2&4 Coys in the front line, Nos 1&3 in support.
10-3-18. Bn relieved by the 11th Bn Royal Sussex Regt
and took over billets at REVELON FARM.
13-2-18. Bn relieved by the 1st South African Infantry
and marched to HEUDICOURT. Bn entrained on light railway to GURLU
WOOD area. Bn billeted in a camp at TEMPLE LA FOSSE.
14/20-2-18. Bn in fatigues at aerodrome near MOSLAINE.
21-3-18 [The First Battles of the Somme 1918
- the Battle of St Quentin] . Violent enemy bombardment
on the whole of our Corps front. Bn stood to at 6.30AM but did not
move off until 4PM when it took up dispositions in the BROWN LINE
at St. EMILIE.
22-3-18. Enemy violently bombarded and assaulted our
positions forcing our Bn to retire to the GREEN LINE. Bn spent the
night at HAMEL.
23-3-18. Before dawn the Bn marched to BUSSU & dug
in hastily on the east side of the village. When both flanks became
exposed the Bn retired to a line of trenches covering the PERONNE-NURLU
road. After covering the 4/5th Black Watch Regt on the left the
Bn withdrew to the ST. DENNIS line which was very stubbornly defended.
The Bn then retired with difficulty to the line protecting the PERONNE-CLERY
road with the remainder of the 116th Inf. Bde. to cover the retreat
of the 117th and 118th Inf. Bdes. When this had been successfully
accomplished under very harassing machine gun fire from the enemy,
the Bn conformed to the general retirement on CLERY village where
it concentrated. The remnants of the Bn then defended a line of
trenches between the village and running down to the River SOMME.
24-3-18 [The First Battles of the Somme 1918
-the actions on the Somme crossings]. After an intense bombardment
of our trenches the enemy attacked with large numbers. The Bn, after
heavy fighting, retired to a crest in front of the FEVILLERS-HEM
WOOD ROAD. Here the Bn lost its Commanding Officer, Lieut.
Colonel E.C.M. Phillips [Eric Charles Malcolm PHILLIPS,
CB, DSO, TD, DL, JP], about whom, up to the time of writing,
nothing is known. In the evening the Bn got orders to withdraw through
the 35th Division to MARICOURT where the Bn spent the night. [Comment;
Lt.Col. PHILLIPS was taken prisoner and survived the war]
25-3-18. Bn marched from MARICOURT to INSAUNE. The
march was continued after breakfast across the River SOMME at CAPPY
to CHUIGNOLLES, where the Bn reorganised and spent the night.
26-3-18 [The First Battles of the Somme 1918
-The Battle of Rosieres]. Bn moved forward through CHUIGNES
to a line in front of the CHUIGNES-FOUCACOURT road I support to
the 117th and 118th Bdes. After covering their retirement the Bn
fought a series of rearguard actions on the many ridges in front
of the village of CHUIGNOLLES. In the afternoon the Bn occupied
the PROYART-FROISSY road. Orders were given for the Bn to withdraw
behind PROYART, astride the FOUCACOURT-MANOTTE road.
27-3-18. The Bn who were in trenches on both sides
of the road were ordered to move forward in support of the 118th
Bde, being temporarily attached to the 4/5th Black Watch Regt. Soon
after moving forward British troops were seen retiring to the left
in large numbers. Consequently the Bn was ordered to move forward
to the left and cover their withdrawal. After having skilfully carried
this out the Bn conformed to the general withdrawal to a line between
MORCOURT and the FOUCACOURT-LAMOTTE road. The Bn collected and assembled,
then counter attacked the enemy, driving him back to within a few
hundred yards of the village of MORCOURT.
28-3-18. The position gained was held stubbornly against
all enemy attempts to retake it. On the morning of the 28th orders
were received for a speedy evacuation of this line. The enemy at
this point was well in our rear in possession of LAMOTTE so that
the withdrawal had to be done quickly. The Bn showed the utmost
resource during this dangerous manoeuvre, loosing (sic) very few
men. The retirement took place in daylight through HARBONNIERS &
CAIX. At the latter place the Bn attacked the enemy successfully
but thereafter had orders to retire on COYEUX where it again assembled
in a counter attack in which the acting Commanding Officer was wounded.
During the day rearguard actions took place along the river bed
to IGNAUCOURT. In the evening the Bn went into trenches in front
29-3-18. The enemy remained fairly quiet expect for
machine gun fire.
30-3-18. Today (March 30th) saw the enemy advancing
on the right flank on the other side of the river de LUCE. He very
soon enfiladed our positions both with artillery and machine guns.
This was followed by a strong enemy bombardment and attack on our
front. After a stubborn resistance the Bn fell back to the BOIS
DE HANGARD, making two counter attacks en route.
31-3-18. The remnants of the Bn was relieved and marched
to billets at LONGEVEUX, a village on the outskirts of AMIENS, the
remnants of the Bn being commanded by a 2/Lt, the only surviving
Officer. Captain A.G. Grinling [Anthony G. GRINLING, MC]
assumed temporary command of the Bn, which at midnight embussed
at LONGEVEUX for GUIGEMICOURT. During the 10 days fighting the losses
of the Bn were approx as follows: Killed - Officers 4, O. Ranks
25 Wnd & Missing - Officers 2, O. Ranks 10.
[Comment; no other casualties are recorded on the
diary. but the following Officers were killed in March: Major
John Bolle Tyndale GOUGH, Major
Edward Hildred Hanbury CARLILE, Captain
Thomas Pilling GIBBONS MC, Lt
Donovan PERRY and
Lt Charles Leonard KING
all killed in action 22-3-18. Lt
John Eric BROAD killed on 23-3-18. Lt
Richard Trollope North HICKLEY and 2/Lt
Frank Roland STONNILL both killed 24-3-18. Lt
John William CHURCH died from his wounds and Lt
Angier Percy HURD was killed on 30-3-18.]
War Diary for April 1918
[Comment; two separate War diaries exist from 10-4-18
to the end of April. They have been condensed into one here for
1-4-18. Bn in billets at GUIGNEMICOURT. All coys
in one farm. Day spent cleaning up and gaining information respecting
casualties. Captain A.G. Grinling [Anthony G. GRINLING,
MC] assumed command of the Bn.
2-4-18. The Bn marched to CAMPS EN AMIENOIS
3-4-18. the Bn marched to FRETTECUISSE. Nos 1&2 Coys
& HQ billeted in the village. Nos 3&4 billeted in the adjoining
village - LE FAY.
4-4-18. Re-equipping and cleaning up. Reorganising
of Coys carried on as far as possible.
5-4-18. Bn paraded with remainder of Bns in Bde and
was inspected by the GOC 116th Inf. Bde.
7-4-18. Bn marched to BEAUCHAMPS. Billeted there.
9-4-18. Bn marched to EU & entrained at EU station
at 7am detraining at ARQUES at about 4pm. Bn marched to billets
at ST. MARTIN AU LAERT (Nr ST.OMER). Lieut.
C.S. Cautherley [Charles Stewart CAUTHERLEY] rejoined
Bn from Provost, 1st Army.
10-4-18. St. MARTIN AU LAERT. Drafts making total
of 60 OR joined the Bn. Bn occupied in reorganising and re-equipping.
Organised so that the Bn would form half a composite Bn, the other
half composed the 11th R. Sussex. Comp. Bn would be known as No.1
Bn & would entrain at ST.OMER during the night 10th/11th April.
11-4-18. Bn marched to ST.OMER station and entrained
at 5am, detraining at VLAMERTINGHE. No.1 Bn marched to TORONTO CAMP
near RENINGHELST. Only fighting portion of Bn detrained, the remainder
staying at ST.MARTIN AU LAERT. On arrival at TORONTO CAMP Bn came
under orders of 118th Bde who had entrained similarly. Bn commanded
by Captain G.E. Whitfield M.C.
[Geoffrey Ernest WHITFIELD] 1st Herts Regt. with Captain
P.F. DREW M.C. 11th R.Sussex 2nd in command. A&B Coys were formed
from 11th R.Sussex & C&D Coys from 1st Herts Regt. C Coy consisted
of original Nos 1&2 Coys under 2/Lt Blanchflower [Horace
William BLANCHFLOWER] & D Coy of original Nos 3&4 Coys under
Captain A.G. Grinling [Anthony G. GRINLING, MC].
12-4-18. Comp Bn entrained at RENINGHELST at 3am on
12th on light railway & detrained just W of ZILLEBEKKE LAKE, marching
from there to OTAGO CAMP. Officers reconnoitred Corps 2nd line of
posts from HILL 60 to HOOGE with a view to knowing the area in the
event of being ordered to occupy the posts. Enemy artillery active
on roads but no shells fell near the camp.
13-4-18. Lieut. Col. R. WILKINSON DSO, Gloster
(sic) Regt. joined the Bn for duty. The Composite Bn stood by at
˝ hours notice to move. Day uneventful.
14-4-18. Bn still at ˝ hour notice. Officers reconnoitred
GHQ line from ELZENWALLE in H.36 to LILLEGATE in I.14.
15-4-18. VOORMEZELE. Bn moved at 10am to a position
of concentration in I.26.c. where dinners were served. After dinners
the Bn was distributed over the line from SNIPERS BARN in O.1.c.
to LOCK 8 in I.32.a. & worked on repair of the line until 6pm. Bn
then took up a fighting position as follows - Right front Coy D
Coy with 2 platoons in the line & 2 in support at about O.1.a.1.1.
Left Front Coy B Coy with 2 platoons in the line, a platoon at DEAD
DOG FARM and a platoon at MIDDLESEX LANE about O.1.a.2.8. Right
support Coy C Coy in huts about H.36.d.4.4. Left support Coy in
huts about H.36.b.9.2. Bn HQ VOORMEZELE. This position was one of
readiness in the event of the front line at WYSCHAETE being forced
back and also occupied so that the full amount of work could be
carried out on it.
16-4-18. Bn employed in working on the defences. Right
support Coy working on our line of four supporting points about
N.6.c.7.9., N.6.a.9.4., N.6.b.2.9., O.1.a.2.8. Left support Coy
moved to GHQ line with three platoons in the line from N.5.d.5.8.
to H.36.d.4.2. and one platoon in the BRASSERIE. Strong point N.6.a.3.1.
17-4-18 [The Battle of the Lys - the First Battle
of Kemmel]. Work carried out on all defences. Slight shelling
by enemy of rear area.
18-4-18. Two platoons of right support coy were moved
to GHQ line from H.36.c.4.2. to ELZENWALLE-VOORMEZEELE (sic) road.
Work continued on defences.
19-4-18. Work continued.
20-4-18. Work continued but hampered by lack of material,
especially of barbed wire and pickets. Coy relief carried out after
dusk. C Coy relieved D Coy in right front and A Coy relieved B Coy
on left front.
21-4-18. Bn HQ moved to ELZENWALLE CHATEAU. Coys continued
work on defences. Lieut. A.W. Baker [Aubrey William BAKER],
2/Lt H.J. Knee [Harold J. KNEE] & 2/Lt E.M. Paul
[Eric Macleane PAUL] joined the Bn for duty.
22-4-18. Work continued. Enemy shelling heavier &
aircraft [unreadable] action. Bn HQ shelled but no casualties caused.
23-4-18. Work continued.
24-4-18. Work continued. Enemy attacked WYSCHAETE
RIDGE in morning and gained ground. Reports as to situation in front
of Bn very difficult to get. About 930pm enemy penetrated Bn line
between the two front line Coys. A bombing attack was organised
but was unsuccessful owing to enemy's strength and our shortage
of bombs. A platoon therefore dug in in rear of enemy, joining up
the two Coys.
25-4-18 [The Battle of the Lys - the Second
Battle of Kemmel]. At 2.30am enemy opened up very heavy
bombardment with H.E. & Gas shells on battalion front & heavily
attacked our line about 6.0am. Our line was driven in and forced
back on to the GHQ line, the enemy coming in very large numbers.
One platoon of the left front Coy got back to the GHQ line but the
other three platoons were forced back onto the Bn on our left holding
the VOORMEZEELE (sic) defences and were therefore lost to the Bn.
The right Coy extricated themselves after being nearly surrounded
& withdrew fighting to the GHQ line. The enemy quickly came onto
the GHQ line but were well held there & after suffering many casualties
withdrew to cover some 500 yards away. The platoon in the BRASSERIE
post was closely pressed by the enemy & withdrew to the GHQ line
but an immediate counter attack was launched by B Coy & the post
was successfully recaptured together with two prisoners & a machine
gun. Several enemy were killed in the post & our casualties were
very slight. The latter part of the day passed quietly except for
successful sniping of the enemy & the Coys were able to be reorganised
in the GHQ line. Major M. CLAYTON, D.S.O., 1st Cambs Regt,
assumed command of the Bn at 10.0am.
26-4-18. Enemy made no further attacks but the GHQ
line was very heavily shelled from time to time but very few casualties
were caused. More casualties inflicted in the enemy by sniping.
[Comment; Lieut. Charles
Stewart CAUTHERLEY killed in action today]
27-4-18. GHQ line again very heavily shelled. Bn
relieved at night by 18th Bn King's Liverpool Regt & on relief relieved
2nd Bn Lincoln Regt in GHQ second line running from N.5.c.8.8. to
H.36.c.4.7. Bn HQ moved to NE corner of DICKEBUSCH LAKE at H.35.a.3.8.
28-4-18 [The Battle of the Lys - the Battle
of Scherpenberg]. GHQ 2 line very heavily shelled nearly
all day & many casualties caused. Enemy attacked VOORMEZEELE (sic)
and captured it but his attacks against GHQ line were completely
repulsed with heavy loss. Bn relieved by 1st Lincoln Regt during
night & on relief marched to DEVONSHIRE CAMP G.22.b.6.4. Lieut.
Col. R. Wilkinson DSO [Roger WILKINSON DSO] joined a
composite Bn in the line (temporarily). Lieut. J.H. Boggon
[John Hickey BOGGON] & 2/Lieuts R.Shirtcliffe [Reginald
SHIRTCLIFFE], P.B.WALLER, T.P.Leese [Theodore
Percival LEESE], W.Dove [W.W. DOVE], G.Baker
[George BAKER], L.DAY & L.
Reeves [Laurence REEVES] joined the Bn for duty.
29-4-18. Bn rested, the troops being in a very exhausted
condition after being 14 days in the trenches & being constantly
subjected to very intense shell fire.
30-4-18. Bn rested during the day & during afternoon
the two HERTS Coys moved up to position of readiness near DICKEBUSCH
LAKE where they were reorganised into another Composite Bn with
the 1/6 Cheshires, 4/5 Black Watch & 1/1st Cambs. The two 11th R.
Sussex Coys were reorganised into another Comp. Bn consisting of
the units of 117th Inf. Bde.
War Diary for May 1918
May 1st . The Bn moved into reserve at Café Belge
May 2nd. The Bn moved back to a camp at BRANDHOEK
May 3rd. The Bn moved to TUNNELING CAMP - situated
on the POPERINGHE - WATOU road
May 4th. The Bn marched to CROMBEEKE and entrained
to AUDRICQ arriving at AUDRICQ at about 3am on May 5th.
May 5th. The Bn arrived in billets at NIELLES LES
ARDES about 7am
May 6th to 9th. General re-organising & re-equipping
May 9th. Bn marched to AUDRICQ station and entrained
for CANDAS at 9am for transfer to the 37th Division. Bn arrived
at CANDAS during the afternoon and was conveyed by lorries to ORVILLE
where the Bn spent two nights in the open.
May 11th. The Bn embossed at ORVILLE at 5pm and on
debussing at SOUASTRE marched to some old British trenches East
of FONQUEVILLERS. The Bn as it moved through the village of FONQUEVILLERS
and into the old line east of the trenches East of the village was
subjected to a very heavy Gas Shell bombardment. The Commanding
Officer, Lt. Colonel R. Wilkinson D.S.O. [Roger WILKINSON
DSO] and the remainder of the Officers with the exception of
Captain N.P. Gold [Norman P. GOLD, MC] were evacuated
to hospital during the night. All the N.C.O.'s and men with the
exception of 7 were evacuated to hospital. Captain N.P. Gold
[Norman P. GOLD, MC] and the remaining 7 O.R.'s returned
to the transport the following morning (May 12th) and late in the
day this Officer and 5 of the men who returned were evacuated to
May 15th. The Bn i.e. Transport, Q.M. Stores and
details moved to billets at LOUVENCOURT. A draft of 1 Officer (Captain
S.W. Moore [Saxon Weston MOORE]) and 81 O.R.'s joined
May 22nd. The Bn absorbed the 6th
(S) Bn, Bedfordshire Regt. (less Transport and training
staff). Numbers absorbed - Officers 30. O.Ranks 650. Major R.C.
Carthew M.C. [Reginald Cawther CARTHEW, MC] 1st Essex
assumes command of the Bn.
May 23rd. The Bn marched to a camp on the outskirts
of the village of VAUCHELLES.
May 26th to 30th. Bn in strict training.
May 31st. Bn inspected by Brigadier General A.E.
IRVINE D.S.O. Commanding 112th Infantry Brigade.
The following message was received from H.Q. 112 Inf.
Bde. "The Brigade Commander wishes to
place on record his appreciation of the way in which your battalion
turned out for inspection today. In spite of the fact that 1/1st
HERTS Regt. has only quite recently been formed out of the remnants
of 2 battalions, the kits of all ranks were excellent and did credit
to the work done by all Officers and N.C.O.'s during the last few
weeks. It was a pleasure to the Brigade Commander to see the men's
steadiness on parade".
During the month the following have been awarded decorations:
The Military Cross Lieut. G.B.G. Gripper [Guy
Basil George GRIPPER, MC], 2/Lieut. J.C. Rogers [John
Chrissy ROGERS, MC] (late Beds Regt.)
The Distinguished Conduct Medal No. 265089 Sgt.
H. Randall [Harry RANDALL, DCM].
Bar to Military Medal No. 266265 Sgt Clements G.
[George CLEMENTS, MM & Bar].
The Military Medal No. 265931 Sgt G. Adams [George
ADAMS, MM], No. 265474 Cpl F. Ramsden [sic Frank
RAINSDON, MM], No. 266671 L/Cpl J. Butterfield [James
BUTTERFIELD, MM], No. 265908 L/Cpl B. Kent [Bernard
Edward KENT, MM], No. 271492 Pte C Abrahams [Charles
William ABRAHAMS, MM].
War Diary for June 1918
June 5/6th. Bn moved by bus and march route to billets
at PISSY arriving in billets at about 4am on the 6th.
June 6th to 10th. Bn training at PISSY
June 10th. Bn proceeded by bus and march route to
LAWARDE MAUGER arriving in billet about 11pm
June 13th. Bn marched to billets in SAINS-EN-AMIEONS
arriving in billets at 3am on the 14th.
June 15th. Bn marched Bn marched to billets at ST.FUSCIEN
June 20th. Bn marched to billets at TAIGNIL
June 21st. Bn marched to LOUELILLY and entrained
at 1am in AUTHIELE. The Bn detrained at 3pm and marched to billets
June 25th. Bn moved by bus to SOUASTRE and on debussing
marched to reserve trenches East of FONQUEVILLERS.
During the month the following awards have been announced:
The Military Cross Captain A.G. Grinling [Anthony
G. GRINLING, MC], Captain J.F. Christie [John Fairfax
CHRISTIE, MC], Lieut.
H.J. Hensman [Henry John HENSMAN, MC].
The Distinguished Conduct Medal No. 265216 Sgt
A.W. Allen [Albert ALLEN, DCM].
Bar to Military Medal No. 266265 Sgt G. Clements
MM [George CLEMENTS, MM & Bar].
The Military Medal No. 265931 Sgt G. Adams
[George ADAMS, MM], No. 265908 L/Cpl B. Kent [Bernard
Edward KENT, MM], No. 265474 Cpl F. Ramsden [sic Frank
War Diary for July 1918
3-7-18. The battalion moved from "Z" to support at
6-7-18. The battalion took over front line in the
right sub sector.
12-7-18. The battalion was raided by small party of
the enemy, one German remaining in our hands. Our casualties slight
13-7-18. The battalion was relieved and moved back
to support at the "Z".
16-7-18. The Bn was relieved by the 1st Bn Essex
Rgt and moved to a camp at SOUASTRE.
20-7-18. The battalion relieved the 10th Bn Royal
Fusiliers in the right sub sector.
28-7-18. The battalion was relieved and moved to
support in the vicinity of ESSARTS.
During the month the undermentioned were awarded
the Military Medal: 17263 Sgt Currie J. [sic 17630 John
CURRIE, MM], 40481 Pte MIDDLETON A. [?].
War Diary for August 1918
1/8/18 Trenches. Battn. in right sub sector - left
section of Division at front (BUCQOUY). Relieved night 1/2nd Aug
& moved back to Divisional Reserve. 2 Coys in CHATEAU-de-la-HAIE
switch & two Coys & Bn Q at SOUASTRE.
2/8/18 to 9/8/18 SOUASTRE. Bn in billets at SOUASTRE.
Working parties found daily.
9/8/18 Trenches. Battn moved to line right sub sector,
right section (BUCQOUY)
10/8/18 to 15/8/18 Trenches. Battn in line - the
enemy started a retirement on the right on the evening of 13th Aug.
Line was slightly pushed forward on night 14th/15th. Four prisoners
15/8/18 Trenches. Battn relieved by 13th Bn R. Fusiliers
& moved into support at PIGEON WOOD.
16/8/18 to 18/8/18. Battn in support. Working parties
18/8/18. Battn took over from 111th Bgde on front
line in ABLAINZVELLE-BUCQOUY SECTOR.
20/8/18. Relieved in front line by 111th Bde & moved
back to position of readiness in MISTY TRENCH.
21-8-18 [The Second Battles of the Somme 1918
- the Battle of Albert]. 111th Inf Bde attacked at 4.55am
The Battn found carrying parties & working parties for the strong
points. Battn moved back to trenches in support at 430pm.
22-8-18. Battn resting in BRADFORD-LEEDS-HALIFAX trenches.
Moved up to assembly positions S. of LOGEAST WOOD at 11pm.
23-8-18. Battn attacked at 11am. Attack successful.
Railway cutting in front of ACHIET-LE-GRAND taken. Casualties -
Captain S.W. Moore
[Saxon Weston MOORE] & 2/Lt
F. Smith [Frederick John SMITH] killed 7 Officers
wounded. O. Ranks 26 killed 140 wounded.
24-8-18. Battn moved to position SE of BIHUCOURT.
25-8-18 to 31-8-18. Battn in Divisional Reserve in
shelters SE of BIHUCOURT.
[Comment; Officers also killed - Lt
George ABBOTT and Ronald
Henry Pruess ARNHOLTZ on the 23rd August and 2/Lt
Laurence REEVES died from his wounds on the 25th].
War Diary for September 1918
1-9-18. Coys continued training at ACHIET LE GRAND.
3-9-18. Bn moved in morning to edge of FAVREUIL &
at 630pm set out to relieve 1st Beds Rgt. Relief complete 130am.
4-9-18 [The Second Battles of the Somme 1918
-the Second Battle of Bapaume]. Coys moved forward to attack
at 7am. The New Zealand Division who were advancing on our right
did not assemble so far east as we did, consequently we were not
in touch with them when the battalion advanced at 730am. A report
was received that the battalion was held up by machine gun fire.
Shortly after this No.3 Coy reported that their patrols had reached
the wood in K.31.c and that the Coy was advancing behind its patrols.
No.3 Coy reported enemy debussing in HAVRINCOURT and many of them
seen working inwards towards wood in Q.2.c. The artillery was turned
on to enemy debussing point with unknown results. At 1pm a runner
from No.2 Coy who had been lost for a considerable time arrived
and went back to the Coy and bought them back to Battn H.Q. They
had got mixed up in the New Zealand Brigade and were unable to move
until darkness fell. No change secured during the night which passed
quietly in the forward area but there was a fair amount of shelling
round battalion headquarters and behind. Enemy using much gas. Casualties
to Battn. were 112 of which 8 were killed, 73 wounded, 1 wounded
and missing, 20 missing and 10 sick. Captain A. Foll [Arthur
FOLL] Comdg. No.3 Coy was wounded in the back about 7pm and
had to be evacuated after done having some excellent work with his
Company. The enemy though not in great strength fought stubbornly
and proved very difficult to drive off as there was no artillery
support of any sort during the attack. [Comment: also wounded was
2/Lt Percy James HOLT,
who died two days later].
5-9-18. The policy for today was to reorganize in
depth, harass the enemy as much as possible and to push forward
patrols. This was done and the day passed without incident except
that touch was gained with the New Zealand Brigade for the first
time for 24 hours. At night the battalion was relieved to 8th Lincoln
Regt., 63rd Inf. Bgde. and proceeded to position of readiness in
J.26.G, move being complete about 5am on the 6th Lieut. Col.
J.L. Heselton D.S.O., M.C. [John Lister HESELTON,
DSO, MC], Worcester Regt. assumed command of Battn.
6-9-18. Battn rested, reorganized platoons & sections
& reconnoitred defences which the Battn had to man in the event
of the front line being driven in.
7-9-18. The Bn was attached to the 63rd Inf. Bgde.
for tactical purposes and at 5.30pm moved to position in Sunken
Road in P.3.a.
8-9-18. No change in location.
9-9-18. Battalion moved to Sunken Road J.36.c. in
close support to 63rd Infantry Brigade.
11-9-18. Bn came under orders of 112th Inf. Bgde.
again at 10pm.
12-9-18 [The Battles of the Hindenburg Line
- the Battle of Havrincourt]. Bn was placed at disposal
of 111th Inf. Bgde. New Zealand Division, 111th Inf. Brigade and
62nd Division attacked at 5.25am. Weather wet, especially in morning.
[Comment: Second Lieutenant Frank YOUNG
15-9-18. At 5am Bn was called on by G.O.C. 63rd Inf.
Bgde. to send up 2 Coys as it was expected that the enemy would
attack at 6am. Nos 1 & 2 Coys moved up. During night 15th/16th Bn
relieved 5th Duke of Wellington's Regt. in left sub sector of 112th
Bgde front. Relief complete 1.5am.
18-9-18. At 5.15pm after an intense barrage the enemy
attacked our positions and after hard fighting gained a footing
in our advanced posts. The enemy was later successfully driven back
to his own lines leaving 26 unwounded prisoners in our hands. [Comment;
2/Lt Henry John HENSMAN
M.C. Killed in action. Also killed today was 2/Lt
Frank Edward YOUNG who would posthumously be awarded the
Victoria Cross for his bravery today]
19-9-18. Bn relieved by 4th Middlesex Regt. at 9.30pm
and on relief moved to positions on main line of resistance.
21-9-18. Bn relieved by 1/5th Manchester Regt. and
marched to billets and hutments at BEUGNY.
22-9-18. Bn marched back to a camp situated on the
outskirts of WARLINCOURT.
23 to 29-9-18. Time spent in reorganising and re-equipping
29-9-18. At 8am the Bn moved to a camp situated on
the FREMICOURT-LEBEUQUIRE road - accommodation poor.
30-9-18. Bn moved to trenches near GOUZEACOURT in
Divisional Reserve. During the month the following decorations were
awarded to the undermentioned Officers, N.C.O.'s and men:
The Military Cross 2/Lieut. F.W. Crake [Francis
William CRAKE, MC], 2/Lieut, R.G. Morrison [probably
George Roy Nevil MORRISON, MC], 2/Lieut. D. Kew, D.C.M.,
M.M. [Daniel KEW, MC, DCM, MM], Captain P.W. MacLAGAN
The Distinguished Conduct Medal 43127 Sergt. King
T.H. [Thomas Henry KING, DCM].
The Military Medal No. 18826 Pte E. Belsham
[Ernest BELSHAM, MM], No 10646 Pte W.G. Barton [William
Charles BARTON, MM & Bar], No. 266492 Pte W. Todd
[William TODD, MM], No. 270553 F.J. Sanderson [Frederick
John SANDERSON, MM], No. 285063 Pte T.A. Baliff D.C.M.
[sic Thomas Alexander BAILIFF, DCM, MM], No. 42277 Pte
A.E. Warne [Albert Edward WARNE, MM], No. 40618 Pte
H. Clarke [Harold CLARKE, MM], No. 12349 Cpl. A.A.
Wright [Arthur Albert WRIGHT, MM], No. 12047 Pte.
H.H. Allen [Henry John ALLEN, MM], No. 285016 Cpl
T.A. Smith [Thomas Alfred SMITH, MM], No. 285059 Pte
(A/C.Q.M.S.) F.T Ruddock [Frank Thomas RUDDOCK, MM].
War Diary for October 1918
1-10-18. The Bn moved to trenches at DEAD MANS CORNER.
2-10-18. Bn moved into trenches at Q.29.a.b. (Sheet
8-10-18 [The Battles of the Hindenburg Line
-The Battle of Cambrai]. Bn assembled at 0400 hours. No.2
Company of left, No.1 Coy on right with Nos 3&4 Coys in support.
The Bn moved forward at Zero hour plus 68. Nos 1&2 Coys crossed
the Green Line under our barrage. No.1 Coy encountered opposition
from Machine Guns on the right flank but a section of trench mortars
silenced them after firing a few rounds. The Company then continued
the advance and then occupied the dotted green line along the south
side of BRISEUX WOOD at 0740 hours. No.2 Company on the left were
held up by machine gun fire from the Chateau and sustained severe
casualties. No.3 Company was pushed forward to assist No.2 and together
they cleared the wood. Touch could not be gained with units on the
left so patrols were sent out and it was found that the right flank
of the Middlesex Regt. was resting on the Chateau in N.10.c. - a
platoon from No.3 Company was sent up to gain touch and joined up
the line from the N.E. corner of BRISEUX WOOD to the right of the
4th Middlesex Regt. Coys dug in on this line and at 1300 hours handed
over the green dotted line to the 4th Bn Middlesex Regt. and was
withdrawn to the Green Line.
9-10-18 [The Battles of the Hindenburg Line
-The pursuit to the Selle]. The advance was resumed at 5.20
hours. The Bn was on the right with the 1st Essex on the left. No.4
Coy right front, No.3 Coy left front. Nos 1&2 right and left Support
Coys respectively. No opposition was encountered and the Bn pushed
forward and occupied the objective with practically no casualties.
The Bn then reformed W of LIGNY and pushed forward towards CAUDRY.
It was found however that the enemy were holding the western side
of the village and the Bn came under heavy machine gun fire and
77mm fire from the railway. Several attempts were made to push forward
but all attempts to dislodge the enemy failed. Orders were then
received from 112th Inf. Bgde to dig in on a line running through
I.20.c & I.35.a and remain there for the night.
10-10-18. At dawn patrols were pushed forward and
occupied the town of CAUDRY. The Bn then pushed forward and occupied
a line J.15.c.4.7.to J.21.b.5.5. Companies dug in in this position
and remained there during the day.
12-10-18. The Bn was attached to 63rd Brigade. During
the morning two companies were attached to the 8th Somerset L.I.
and went forward to mop up the railway and to form a defensive flank.
13-10-18. The Bn were withdrawn and on relief marched
to billets in the town of CAUDRY - good billets for all.
15-10-18. The G.O.C. 112th Brigade addressed the Bn
during the morning.
17-10-18. The G.O.C. 37th Division inspected the
Bn during the morning.
23-10-18 [The Final Advance in Picardy - the
Battle of the Selle]. The Bn left CAUDRY and marched to
a Sunken Road near BEAURAIN. Shortly after arrival the Bn received
orders to move up to assembly positions, arriving there at 3.45
hours on Oct. 24th.
24-10-18. The attack commenced at 0400 hours. The
barrage was good. The left Company met very little opposition and
gained the village of GAISSIGNIES at 11.00 hours. The right Company
were held up at first by enemy machine guns but these were mopped
up by the right support Coy. The leading Coy then advanced along
the railway, captured SALESCHES station, about 50 Germans 1 8in
Howitzer and several machine guns. Heavy fighting took place all
along the railway. The support Coy formed a defensive flank facing
S.E. as the Division on our right were held up several thousand
yards in rear of our right flank. The leading Coy then pushed forward
again to the line of road running through X.11.a. At this point
heavy machine gun fire was encountered from X.5.c.9.5. and from
orchards in X.11.d. The left Coy were held up by M.G.'s from X.5.a.5.4.
and copse in X.4.b. and X.5.a. Several attempts were made to gain
the line of the railway but the M.G. fire was too heavy and a line
of the road through X.4.d. - X.5.c. - X.11.d. was established with
posts in orchards 100 yards in front. AT 1700 hours the Division
on our right went forward and took the road running S.E. through
X.11.a & c & X.17b. and gained touch with our right Coy at the halt
X.11.a.6.6. After a 1 minute barrage another attempt was made to
gain the line of the railway at 2100 hours. The two leading Companies
crept forward before the barrage opened and at Zero plus 1 rushed
the railway. The enemy however, who were holding the line strongly,
opened heavy machine gun fire and inflicted many casualties. The
two leading Companies were forced to withdraw again to the line
of the road.
25-10-18. At 10.00 hours after a bombardment by 6in
Newtons another attempt was made to take the railway. The Right
Coy took M.G. post and 1 prisoner but were forced to retire owing
to heavy enfilading machine gun fire from both right and left flanks
and heavy fire from trench mortars.
26-10-18. Bn heavily shelled with Gas Shells - very
27-10-18. Bn relieved by 8th Lincolns and moved to
sunken road near SALESCHES.
28-10-18. Bn relieved by 13th KRRC and moved to billets
in BEAURAIN - the whole Bn billeted in one large farm.
31-10-18. Still at BEAURAIN.
Honours and Awards. During the month the following
awards were announced:
The Military Cross. Capt. P.W. MacLAGAN, R.A.M.C.
attached 2/Lieut. D. Kew, D.C.M., M.M. [Daniel KEW,
MC & Bar, DCM, MM], Lieut.
M.de B. Owen [Malcolm De Brissac OWEN, MC]. 2/Lieut.
Bar to the Military Cross 2/Lieut. D. Kew, D.C.M.,
M.M. [Daniel KEW, MC & Bar, DCM, MM].
The Distinguished Conduct medal 43127 Sgt. T.H.
King [Thomas Henry KING, DCM], 285016 Cpl. T.A. Smith
[Thomas Alfred SMITH, DCM, MM].
The Military Medal 20748 Pte W. Bygrave [William
BYGRAVE, MM], 35896 Pte. F. Arnold [Frank ARNOLD,
MM], 203549 Pte. A.J. Turvey [Alfred Joseph TURVEY,
MM], 291544 L/Cpl. F.T. Goff [Frederick Thomas GOFF,
MM], 266566 Pte. F.R. Gough [Frank Reginald GOUGH,
MM], 269772 Cpl. R.E. Weaver [Robert Edgar WEAVER,
MM], 43164 L/Cpl. A.H. Long [Albert Harold LONG, MM],
265845 Pte. H.G. Winter [Harry WINTER, MM], 42023
Pte. B. Everard [Bert EVERARD, MM], 41015 Pte. W.
Pinfold [Wilfred PINFOLD, MM], 17502 Sig. J.R. Logan
[John Robert LOGAN, MM], 40686 Pte. J.A. Hargreaves
[John A. HARGREAVES, MM], 41444 Pte. H. Tooke [Harry
TOOKE, MM], 16103 Pte. H. Bowles [Herbert BOWLES,
MM], 266106 L/Cpl. W. Charville [William James CHARVILLE,
MM], 13292 Cpl. T Garment [Thomas GARMENT, MM],
12653 Pte. C. Hebden [Charles HEBDEN, MM], 204241
Sgt. C.W. Taylor [Charles William TAYLOR, MM], 19896
Cpl. C.A. Hart [Charles Arthur HART, MM].
Bar to Military Medal No. 10646 Pte. W.C. Barton,
M.M. [William Charles BARTON, MM & Bar], No. 12349
Sig. J.J.W. Stanley, M.M. [James Jonathon Walter STANLEY,
MM & Bar], No. 265272 Sgt. R.L. Chalkley, M.M. [sic Leonard
Reginald CHALKLEY, MM & Bar].
War Diary for November 1918
1-11-18. Battalion resting at BEAURAIN.
3-11-18. At 1730 hours the battalion moved from billets
in BEAURAIN to a position in readiness at BERNIER FARM. Accommodation
was not goof but luckily it was possible to get most of the men
under cover until 0400 hours on Nov 4th.
4-11-18 [The Final Advance in Picardy -The
Battle of the Sambre]. At 0600 hours the 111th Brigade attacked
the enemy's positions between the villages of GHISSIGNIES and LOUVIGNIES
after a short but violent artillery preparation. Strong opposition
was encountered on the railway embankment in X.5.a&c but this was
overcome. Pushing on, the 111th Brigade captured LOUVIGNIES and
reached its final objective about 300 yards East of the PONT A VACHE,
from which line the 112th Brigade were to resume the attack. At
015 hours the battalion moved forward reaching the villages of LOUVIGNIES
at 0800 hours and passed through the 111th Brigade at 0917 hours
resuming the attack under an artillery barrage with the 1st Essex
on the left. No.4 Company was in reserve. The attack progressed
favourably until the stream and orchard in S.9.b. and S.10.c. were
reached. At this juncture, the left battalion and Nos 2&3 Companies
were held up by heavy MG fire. The nature of the country greatly
favoured the defence, being very close and therefore it was difficult
to locate the enemy. No.1 Company on the right however continued
to advance, keeping n touch with the 17th Division. At about 12
hours the left battalion cleared the enemy machine guns and pushed
forward thus enabling our left companies to resume the advance.
At this point we captured 40 prisoners and several machine guns.
The leading companies passed through the villages of JOLIMETZ and
no opposition was encountered until LAIECOULON was reached, although
an extremely thin enemy barrage was put down in S.11.b&d. At this
point strong enemy machine gun fire was opened out. This however
lasted for only twenty minutes at the end of which period the enemy
retired. The Bn reached its final objective at 1500 hours. Later
in the afternoon the 8th Somersets went through and advanced a considerable
distance into the FORET DE MORMAL. About 100 prisoners were captured
in JOLIMETZ and 5 .77mm Field Guns in S.11b & S.12.a [Comment -
Acting Captain Malcolm De
Brissac OWEN, M.C. and Lt
Christopher John Gwynne FRYER, M.C. and Bar both killed
in action today]
5-11-18. The Bn was withdrawn to GHISSIGNIES at 1000
hours. During this period the bodies of the men of this Bn who were
killed in action in the attack of the 4th inst. were recovered and
buried at GHISSIGNIES
11-11-18. The Bn marched back to BETHENCOURT and
remained there in training until Dec 1st '18. During this period
Brigade sports were held, this Bn being well represented. In the
Divisional football league the Bn won its first two matches, beating
the 13th RB's by 2 goals to 1 and Divisional HQ by 7 to respectively.
[Comment - Captain Guy DODGSON
died from his wounds today - the last Officer death in France]
21-11-18. The 112th Inf. Bde. was inspected by Major
Gen. H.B. WILLIAMS C.B., D.S.O. commanding 37th Division.
22-11-18. The Bn marched to CAUDRY for Divisional
inspection by the Divisional Commander.
During the month the following decorations were announced:
The Military Medal - 12471 Cpl. R Chambers
[Robert CHAMBERS, MM], 269205 Sgt. J. Hickson [Ireton
HICKSON, MM], 37555 L/Cpl G.Palmer [George PALMER,
MM], 33112 Sgt S.C. Wilson [Stanley WILSON, MM],
32279 Pte W.C. Davey [William Charles DAVEY, MM], 265812
Sgt L.G. Easton [Leonard George EASTON, MM], 42018
Pte C. Caldwell [Christopher CALDWELL, MM], 42359
Sgt E. Bowler [Ernest BOWLER, MM], 32275 L/Cpl J.
Wells [James WELLS, MM], 42444 Sgt H.R. King [sic
42414 Hubert Raymond KING, DCM, MM], 32191 Cpl F. Gutteridge
[Frederick John GUTTERIDGE, MM], 266418 Pte P. Bates
[Percy BATES, MM], 28577 Pte D.H. Frost [?], 45615
Pte D. Todd [Douglas TODD, MM].
War Diary for December 1918
1-12-18. The Bn marched to the village of VENDEGIES.
2-12-18. The Bn marched to BRY and remained there
until Dec. 14th.
11-12-18. The Bn colours which had been deposited
in All Saints Church, Hertford since Aug. 1914 arrived from England
in charge of the Colour Party which proceeded to England for them.
14-12-18. The Bn marched to BELLIGNIES.
15-12-18. The Bn marched to LA LONGUEVILLE
17-12-18. The Bn marched to MAUBEUGE, arriving in
the town at 12 noon. All ranks had the opportunity of visiting places
18-12-18. The Bn marched to BINCHE - everyone in good
19-12-18. The Bn marched to TRAZEGNIES.
20-12-18. The Bn marched to RANSART, a village about
4 miles NE of CHARLEROI.
31-12-18. Bn still at RANSART. Plenty of amusement
and recreation still being afforded all ranks. Extra Christmas fare
was provided for the men on the 25th. On Christmas morning the Bn
football team played 50th Field Ambulance (friendly match) - result,
draw. During the afternoon the hockey match - Officers versus Sergeants
- resulted in a win for the Officers, the final score being 4 to
On December 10th notification was received that the
late 2/Lieut. F.E. Young [Frank
Edward YOUNG, VC] had been posthumously awarded the Victoria
Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty near HAVRINCOURT
on November [sic September] 18th.
The following other awards were announced:
The Distinguished Conduct Medal No. 265287 C.S.M.
H. Davy [Henry DAVY, DCM], No. 42414 Sgt H.R. King
M.M. [42414 Hubert Raymond KING, DCM, MM], No. 266335
Sgt C.J. Ling [sic 266318 George J. LING, DCM].
RETURN SHEWING [sic] DECREASE IN STRENGTH for the month
of December 1918.
Strength of Battalion 1st December 1918 - 38 Off.
842 O.R. Decrease during month - (a) Demobilised: Coalminers - OFF.
0. O.R. 21. Pivotals - OFF. 0. O.R. 2. Long Service - OFF. 0. O.R.
8. Total - OFF. 0. O.R. 31. (b) Evacuated sick and struck off strength
- 11 (c) Other Causes. To 1st Bedfords Regt. 1 O.R. To 112th Bgde.
1 O.R. To 794 Area Em. Coy. - 1 O.R. Total decreases during the
month - 0 OFF. 45 O.R. Strength of battalion 1st January 1919 -
40 OFF. 878 O.R.
OPERATION ORDER NO. 6 Reference maps 51.S.W. 51 A.S.E.
1/20,000. November 2nd 1918.
1. The battalion will be prepared to move to positions
of assembly in X.16.d. and X.16.b and village of GHISSIGNIES at
17.00 hours tomorrow.
2. The Third Army is continuing the advance on Monday
the 4th inst. The 37th Division are attacking the FORET MORMAL objectives
and Divisional boundaries on trace issued to O.C. Companies. At
Zero the 111th Brigade will advance under a creeping barrage and
capture the dotted blue line. The 112th Brigade will pass through
the 111th Brigade on the dotted line at Zero plus [blank] and will
capture the green line.
Order of Battle: 1st Essex Regt. on the left 1st Herts.
Regt. on the right. 13th Royal Fusiliers [and] 8th Somersets in
support Inter Battalion boundary - line running through S.5.c.3.4.
to S.5.c.8.2. thence due east. The barrage will creep forward at
the rate of 100 yards in six minutes. The battalion will attack
with 3 companies in line (each Coy on a 2 platoon frontage) and
1 in support. No.1 Coy on the right, No.3 Coy in the centre, No.2
Coy on the left and No.4 Coy in support. Liaison posts with 1st
Essex will be established at the following points by No.2 Coy -
1. JOLLIMETZ CHURCH S.4.c.7.7.. 2. S.5.c.8.1. One platoon per leading
company will be detailed to "Mop Up". On reaching the GREEN LINE
the battalion will halt for two hours to enable guns to be brought
up. At Zero plus [blank] the advance will be continued to the RED
LINE where the 8th battalion Somerset L.I. will pass through the
leading companies and continue the advance to the line of road in
T.3.c. and T.9.a and c. Similarly the Royal Fusiliers will pass
through the 1st Essex. General compass bearing for the advance will
be 101 degrees. Limbers will follow Coys to assembly positions.
Cookers will move forward to approx. X.10.d.7.7. Greatcoats will
be carries, rolled round the haversack. Fighting equipment will
be drawn from Bn H.Q. tomorrow the 3rd inst. The attack will be
carried out under artillery, Trench Mortar and Machine Gun barrage.
The artillery barrage will open on the BLACK LINE at Zero. The barrage
will: Leave BLACK LINE at zero plus 4 mins. Leave BLUE LINE at Zero
plus 119 mins. Leave DOTTED BLUE LINE at Zero plus 197 mins. Leave
GREEN LINE for attack on left (Essex) at Zero plus 342 mins. Leave
GREEN LINE for attack on right (Herts.) at Zero plus 449 mins. The
following pauses will be made in the barrage: On BLUE LINE - 15
mins. On DOTTED BLUE LINE - 30 mins. On GREEN LINE (left) - 12 mins.
On GREEN LINE (right) - 2 hours The barrage will creep forward at
the uniform rate of 100 yards in 6 minutes expect that: (a) The
advance from the BLACK LINE to the BLUE LINE for the 1st 700 yards
will be at 100 yards every 4 mins. (b) The advance from the GREEN
LINE to the RED LINE (on left) will be at 100 yards in 4 mins. The
battalion will leave the assembly positions in X.10.d., X.16.b.
and GHISSIGNIES at Zero plus 90. The leading companies will halt
on ENGLEFONTAINE - LOUVIGNIES road in squares S.7.b and d until
Zero plus 130. Companies will then advance to dotted blue line,
form up in S.9.a and c and be in readiness to pass through 111th
Brigade at Zero plus 197 minutes. On reaching the GREEN LINE Coys
will reorganise and halt for two hours. The advance to the RED LINE
will be continued at Zero plus 440. On reaching RED LINE the 8th
battalion Somerset L.I. will leaf-frog [sic] the leading companies
and will exploit to RED dotted line. In the event of the enemy retiring
the advance will be pushed energetically on PONY SUR SAMBRE. O.C.
No.4 Coy will establish liaison post with 17th Division at Crossroads
Contact aeroplanes will call for flares at Zero plus
110, Zero plus 170, Zero plus 270 and intervals of two hours afterwards.
In thick woods flares will be lit in rides and clearings.
The general compass bearing of the advance will be
102 degrees - magnetic.
Watches will be synchronised at Bn H.Q. Farm BERNIER
at 01.00 hours 4th Nov.
Artillery (a) During daylight smoke in the proportion
of 1 round in 6 will be fired in the creeping barrage. (b) Single
guns firing frontally will be employed firing THERMITE ahead of
the barrage to mark the Divisional and inter-battalion boundaries.
Captain & Adjutant 1st Bn Hertfordshire Regiment.