The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1916 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
WAR DIARY FOR JANUARY 1916
1 Jan 1916 - Bray, Etinehem and Chipilly In billets Bray
2 Jan 1916 - trenches near Fricourt Relieved Norfolks in C.1.Subsector relief complete 7.20 P.m. 2 men killed on mining fatigue in C.2 subsector. Quiet night
3 Jan 1916 One man wounded in 69 trench by sniper at dawn, quiet day. Reconnoitred enemy's wire in front 66 & 65 trenches
4 Jan 1916 Some shelling about 68 & 69 about 3 pm. No damage done. Patrol made further reconnaissance of enemy's wire found inner row on glacis strong.
5 Jan 1916 Our guns cut enemy's wire in 2 places opposite 65 & 66 trenches, enemy shelled 69 trench 68 & 67 streets one man wounded. At dusk our patrol reported enemy's trench where wire had been cut strongly held. Our guns fired about 60 shells at 7.20 pm 20 were 6 inch. Considerable damage was done to enemy's trench, enemy replied during night with about 80 shells in direction of one of our Batteries all were about 600 yds short and did no damage.
6 Jan 1916 More rifle fire than usual from German trenches in front of 65 & 66 one man killed No.8426 Pte. Hare [Stephen HARE] he came out with battalion and served the whole time as a duty man in the trenches. Day quiet. Relieved by 1st Norfolks relief complete 7.40 pm, returned to billets in BRAY.
7 Jan 1916 - Bray-sur-Somme In billets in BRAY
8 Jan 1916 In billets in BRAY
9 Jan 1916 In billets in BRAY
10 Jan 1916 - trenches near Fricourt Relieved Norfolks in C.1 subsector relief complete at 7.35 pm
11 Jan 1916 Quiet morning. 69 trench shelled about 2.30 pm no damage done, about 11.30 pm some shells about road near Battalion HeadQuarters no damage.
12 Jan 1916 Rifle fire 62 trench 12.30 & 4 am. Large new looking German aeroplane came over about 10.30 am. Quiet day
13 Jan 1916 Quiet day cold strong north wind
14 Jan 1916 - Bray-sur-Somme Sergt Higgins [10094 Albert William Edward HIGGINS, D.C.M.] A Coy killed about 2 am when out wiring in front of 62 trench. His name appeared in papers today awarded D.C.M. for previous bravery, Relieved by Norfolks relief complete 6.45 pm
15-17 Jan 1916 In billets in Bray
18 Jan 1916 - trenches near Fricourt Relieved 1st Norfolks in C.1 subsector relief complete 7.15 pm
19-21 Jan 1916 Quiet day. No incident worthy of note during this tour.
22 Jan 1916 - Bray-sur-Somme Relieved by 1st Norfolks. relief complete 7.45 pm
23 Jan 1916 In billets Bray. 1 man C Coy killed on mining fatigue
24-25 Jan 1916 In billets
26 Jan 1916 - trenches near Fricourt Relieved Norfolks C1 subsector. Relief complete 7.20 pm
27 Jan 1916 Quiet day. A man C.Coy found shot near Citadel he had fallen out when coming up previous evening and shot himself during night.
28 Jan 1916 Trenches heavily shelled fully 2000 shells fell in C1. subsector no damage of any consequence no casualties.
29 Jan 1916 Gas from gas shells reported 5.30 am. It came from direction of SUZANNE was not strong enough to cause any inconvenience. One man A.Coy wounded by shell pm quiet day
30 Jan 1916 - Bray-sur-Somme Zeppelin reported at 2 a.m. one man A Coy killed at dawn by snipers as fog occasionally lifted a bit. Our snipers claim 14 of the enemy who were out several times mending their wire. Relieved by Norfolks relief complete 9.40 pm.
31 Jan 1916 - Sailly-Laurette Billets in BRAY. Marched to SAILLY-LAURETTE arriving about 8 p.m. Poor billets on the whole
WAR DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1916
1 Feb 1916 - Sailly-Laurette Bn in billets in SAILLY-LAURETTE. Lt.Col.B.R. Roche [Benjamin Robert ROCHE] received orders to proceed to England for duty. Maj. (Temp.Lt.Col.) C.C. Onslow [Cranley Charlton ONSLOW, CMG, CBE, DSO, Croix de Guerre] having been ordered from 2nd Bn. takes over command.
2 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Bn. fitting clothing & refitting. Capt.F.H. Edwards [Francis Hyde EDWARDS DSO, MC] ordered to proceed to 3rd Army School at FLIXECOURT as an instructor (temporary)
3 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Fitting clothing Ec.
4 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys. training
5 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys. training
6 Feb 1916 - Corbie Bn. marched to billets in CORBIE (8 1/2 miles E of AMIENS) arriving about 12.30 p.m.
7 Feb 1916 - Argoeuves Bn. marched to billets in ARGOEUVES (4m N.W. of AMIENS) (15-16 miles) arriving about 3.30 p.m. Very poor & dirty billets 2nd Lts. Thomas [Cecil Rees THOMAS], Postlethwaite [Andrew Cecil THOM- POSTLETHWAITE] & Sanders [Vincent Stanton SANDERS] & 3 N.C.Os proceeded to divisional school at MONTIGNY as students.
8 Feb 1916 Billets as above.
9 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys training.
10 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys training
11 Feb 1916 - Camps-en-Amienois Bn. marched to Billets in CAMPS en AMIENOIS (14 miles). Very wet, dirty & cold. (15 M W of AMIENS)
12 Feb 1916 Cleaning up billets & men. Billets as above
13 Feb 1916 Sunday. Billets as above. Capt. Nottidge [William Rolfe NOTTIDGE] to 3rd Army School of instruction.
14 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys. training. 1 Officer & 5 N.C.O's of 16th Rl.Warwickshire returned to their own unit yesterday. 2nd Lt. Sherry [Gerald SHERRY] & 3 men proceeded to snipers school for instruction in Telescopic Sights. Capt.N.W.Lawder [Noel Wilfred LAWDER] joined the Bn. on posting. Lieut.H.P.C. Burton [Henry Patrick Claude BURTON] took over command of "C" Coy. temporarily from Capt.W.R. Nottidge [William Rolfe NOTTIDGE].
15 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys. training. Weather bad.
16 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Bn. route march. Heavy gale with rain. Bn returned after going about 1 mile to billets.
17 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys training. New classes of instruction of Bombing & L.G. teams commenced. C.O. inspected last 2 reinforcing drafts. Inter platoon football league commenced.
18 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Very wet. Brigade Route March ordered for today, cancelled after Battn. had gone about 1 mile.
19 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Coys, bombers & L.G. detachments training
20 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Voluntary Divine Service
21 Feb 1916 Billets as before. Coys. training. Snow in evening
22 Feb 1916 Billets as before. First round Boxing Tournament. Bn Route March. Snow showers. Roads bad.
23 Feb 1916 Billets as before. Snowy & cold. Coys. training. Received information about 9 p.m. that 5th Div. is to move Northwards tomorrow to join 6th Corps, which is taking over portion of line at present held by French.
24 Feb 1916 - la Chaussee-Tirancourt Billets as above. Snow during night. Received orders about 9 a.m. to march at 11 a.m. to LA CHAUSSEE across R.SOMME about 1 m from PICQUIGNY. About 11 miles. Roads slippery but fine day. Poor billets
25 Feb 1916 - Candas Marched to CANDAS 5 m S.W. of DOULLENS. About 15 miles. Roads very slippery & some steep gradients, blizzard of snow all day, arrived about 4 p.m. transport very late. Billets bad & short.
26 Feb 1916 Remained in CANDAS, fatigues clearing snow & improving roads in neighbourhood. Snow & thaw.
27 Feb 1916 Billets as above. Snow & frost
28 Feb 1916 Billets as before
29 Feb 1916 March to billets in DOULLENS.
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1916
1 Mar 1916 - Warluzel Bn marched to billets in WARLUZEL. 15 1/2 m.
2 Mar 1916 Billets as above. Party of 7 officers (C.O. 2nd i/c, Coy Comdrs & Int.O) to ARRAS by bus to see trenches. Owing to reliefs taking place the party returned to DAINVILLE and viewed portions of 2nd line system of defence.
3 Mar 1916 - Dainville Bn. marched to DAINVILLE (2 miles W of ARRAS) about 14 miles, roads bad, cold wind with rain & sleet, good billets.
4 Mar 1916 Billets as above. Snow on ground & snowing most of day. C.O., Adj & Capt Lawder [Noel Wilfred LAWDER] inspected some of 2nd line system of defence.
5 Mar 1916 Billets as above. C.O. & other officers reconnoitred 2nd line of defence
6 Mar 1916 Billets as above. 5 Officers to view trenches held by 1st CHESHIRE
7 Mar 1916 Billets as above. C.O., Adjt. & 3 Officers to view trenches held by 1st CHESHIRE
8 Mar 1916 Billets as above. 5 Officers to view trenches held by 1st CHESHIRE
9 Mar 1916 - trenches at St-Laurent-Blagny Took over trenches (Sub Sector S.A1) from 1st Cheshire, on N. bank of R.la SCARPE 1 m N.E. of ARRAS (Right of Subsector R.la SCARPE to about 1000 yds due N of DOUAI Road). On DOUAI road in village of BLANGY [sic] advanced post in ruins of houses about 10 yards from enemy advanced post. Detached post on river in marsh on bank of river, consisting of 2 LEWIS Guns & 8 O.R. Front line trenches pretty good, but no supporting line & communications bad. 1st Norfolk Regt on out left, & 7th K.R.R. of 14th Div. on our right over river. A good deal of work required in the sector, improving communication trenches & draining chiefly. Relief completed about 10.30. Quiet night, with considerable snow.
10 Mar 1916 Trenches. Quiet day. Some snow.
11 Mar 1916 Trenches. Quiet day. During night, 2nd Lt.O.A.R. Beale [Allan Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] & one man slightly wounded, when out on our wire by Bosch patrol who threw bomb. 2nd Lt.Beale remained at duty. During day 2nd Lt. C.A. Cook [Charles Adam COOK] shot through head by sniper, killed instantly.
12 Mar 1916 Trenches. Quiet day
13-14 Mar 1916 Trenches. Quiet. Snipers rather busy. Capt. Nottidge [William Rolfe NOTTIDGE] returned from 3rd Army School.
15 Mar 1916- Arras and Huilerie support trenches Relieved by 1st Cheshire Regt. relief complete at 8.30 p.m. H.Q., 'A' & 'B' Coys to ARRAS. 'C' & 'D' Coys remain in support Trenches. Total casualties of tour Killed 1 officer, 1 O.R. Wounded 1 Officer, 10 O.R.
16 Mar 1916 H.Q. & 'A' & 'B' Coys billets in ARRAS. 'C' & 'D' Coys in support trenches (HUILERIE)
17 Mar 1916 In ARRAS & support trenches.
18 Mar 1916 'A' & 'B' Coys relieved 'C' & 'D' Coys in support Trenches. 'C' & 'D' Coys withdrew to ARRAS.
19-20 Mar 1916 In ARRAS & support trenches. C.O. & Adjt. inspected trenches ok K2 subsector
21 Mar 1916 - Agnez-les-Duisans Bn. relieved by 1/E.Surey Rgt. Withdrew to AGNEZ (6 miles W. of ARRAS). Lt.Col. Onslow C.M.G. [Cranley Charlton ONSLOW, CMG, CBE, DSO, Croix de Guerre]. took over temporary command of 15th Infantry Bde. vice Br.Gen. M.N.TURNER C.B. (on leave). Major N.W. Lawder [Noel Wilfred LAWDER] (1/Bedf.R.) took over temp. command of Bn.
22-24 Mar 1916 In Billets. AGNEZ. Fairly good Billets.
25-26 Mar 1916 In Billets. Parties of officers inspected trenches of K.2. subsector each day.
27 Mar 1916 - Trenches near Arras Marched to Trenches & took over K.2. (N.E. of ARRAS) from 15th R.Warwickshire Rt. Relief complete 1 A.M. 1/Norfolks on right. 4th Gordons (51st Division) on left.
28 Mar 1916 In trenches. In different Trenches owing to shallowness of Trenches & consequent exposure to view of enemy. Much work required to render them safe. Enemy active with aerial Torpedos [sic] & trench Mortars.
29 Mar 1916 In trenches. Lt. Whittemore [Frederick John WHITTEMORE, MC], on patrol with Sgt. Quince [8765 Edward QUINCE] & Pte. Winch [13045 M. WINCH], A Coy, mortally wounded on patrol. In spite of efforts by these men to bring back the body under Rifle & Grenade fire, it was impossible to recover the body.
30 Mar 1916 Search party for body of Lt Whittemore [Frederick John WHITTEMORE, MC] proved futile. Enemy active with Trench Mortars. Retaliation by our Trench Mortars bad, owing to insufficient supply of ammunition.
31 Mar 1916 - Roclincourt and Arras Relieved by 1/Cheshire Rgt. & withdrew - H.Q. & 2 coys to ROCLINCOURT defences, 2 coys to ARRAS. Casualties during tour Killed 1 Officer, 3 O.R. Wounded 1 Officer* 4 O.R. * 2nd Lt.P. Vyvvan [Philip VYVVAN] 3rd R.W.S.(Queens) Regt attached, on night of 30/31 March.
WAR DIARY FOR APRIL 1916
1 Apr 1916 - Roclincourt and Arras H.Q. & 2 Coys in ROCLINCOURT defences, 2 coys in Brigade Reserve in ARRAS. Lt.Col.C.C. Onslow C.M.G. [Cranley Charlton ONSLOW, CMG, CBE, DSO, Croix de Guerre] resumed command of Bn.
2-3 Apr 1916 As above
4 Apr 1916 - Trenches Relieved 1st Cheshire Regt in firing line K2 subsector, Norfolk Regt on right, 4th Gordons on left
5 Apr 1916 Lt. Rex [Ernest Alfred REX] & 3 O.R. wounded by one of our Rifle Grenades.
6-7 Apr 1916 Trenches as above. Fairly quiet, with exception of Trench Mortar activity
8 Apr 1916 - Roclincourt and Arras Ditto. Relieved in firing line by 1/Cheshire Rgt. & withdrew to Support Trenches.
9-11 Apr 1916 H.Q. & 2 coys in ROCLINCOURT, 2 coys in ARRAS in Bde. reserve. (Bde. Reserve 2 coys 1/NORFOLK R. & 2 coys 1/BEDF. R.) under command of Capt. Tollemache [Harold Wilbraham Molyneux TOLLEMACHE], 1/Bedf.
12 Apr 1916 - Agnez-les-Duisans Relieved by E.Surrey (11 p.m.) and withdrew to Billets in AGNEZ-les-DUISANS. Same billets as before
13-19 Apr 1916 In billets. AGNEZ-les-DUISANS. Training work much hampered by wet weather. Parties of officers reconnoitred J.2. sub-sector daily.
20 Apr 1916 - Trenches Marched to Trenches & took over J.2. sub-sector from 14/R.Warwickshire Rgt. Relief complete 12 m.n. Very wet & trenches sloshy.
21 Apr 1916 Trenches. Very wet.
22-23 Apr 1916 As above. Quiet tour.
24-27 Apr 1916 - Support Trenches In Support trenches, relieved by 1st Cheshire.
28-30 Apr 1916 - Trenches Trenches 90-101 as before. Weather hot. Quiet time. New Zealand Engineers reported enemy mines under trenches 94.95. affected trenches evacuated, new dispositions made on 28th.
WAR DIARY FOR MAY 1916
1 May 1916 - Trenches near Arras In trenches as before, J2 Subsector. trenches 90-101. Two false gas alarms during day. Very quiet really. Weather hot
2 May 1916 - Arras and support trenches Trenches as above very quiet. Relieved by 1 Cheshire Regt. Bn into support. 'B' Coy in ARRAS. 'C' coy St NICHOLAS. 'D' Britannia Works. 'A' in NICHOLL & BOSKY Redoubts
3-4 May 1916 As above. Enemy reported to be ready to spring mines on our front.
5 May 1916 - Trenches near Arras As above. Relieved 1st Cheshire Regt in trenches 93-101. 'B' Coy 93.94.95 (nearly all said to be dangerous from mines) "D" Coy 96.97.98 (nearly as bad) "A" Coy 99.100.101 (about the same) "C" Coy less 6 sections in B.C.D. Works in BRITANNIA Works. Relief complete 9.10 p.m.
6 May 1916 As above quiet day.
7 May 1916 Ad above. At 3 p.m. enemy started a heavy bombardment of our front line, keeping it up intermittently heavy to fairly heavy, from 4.30 to 5.30 it became intense and ceased at 6 p.m. Our artillery retaliated with 4.5, 60 pdrs & 8", as well as Fd. guns. It was thought that enemy were retaliating on our mine heads in return for 2 shoots on their mineheads & the camouflets we blew. Probably all these had done his mines harm. (New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Coy. has been working this sector for the last month or two) Enemy continued shelling intermittently our support line and communication trenches during the night. Total casualties during 3 hours heavy bombardment was 8, all very slightly wounded & 7 by one shrapnel. All ranks very steady and cheery. Congratulatory messages from Brigadier & C.O. sent round Battn.
8-9 May 1916 Trenches as above. Enemy artillery still somewhat active
10 May 1916 A retaliation shoot was arranged for to day, but on account of weather conditions had to be postponed. Scheme filed. Enemy rather active during day with Trench Mortars
11 May 1916 - Arras and support areas Trenches as before. Relieved by 1st Cheshire Regt. relief complete 9.30 p.m. H.Q. & 'C' Coy to ARRAS. 'B' & 'D' coys permanent garrison (5 platoons) of Redoubts, remainder & 'A' Coy at Candle factory Brigade Reserve. Total Casualties this tour; - 4 killed. 16 wounded.
12 May 1916 In Brigade Reserve as above. Artillery shoot arranged for 10th took place today, not much retaliation from the Huns.
13 May 1916 As above
14 May 1916 As above except that "C" & "D" Coys changed places
15-16 May 1916 As above.
17 May 1916 - Trenches near Arras To J1 Subsector relieving 16th Rl.Warwickshire Regt. relief complete about 9 p.m.
18 May 1918 Trenches as above. Lieut. R.C.Green [Reginald Cumberland GREEN] shot examining our mine at 3 a.m. and died before arrival at Fd. Ambulance.
19 May 1916 Trenches. Quiet
20 May 1916 Trenches. Quiet
21 May 1916 Trenches. Quiet. Enemy made attack on VIMY ridge about 4 sectors to our left, using Lachrymatory shells, the effect of which were felt in our line, especially close to R.SCARPE
22 May 1916 Trenches as above
23 May 1916 - Agnez-les-Duisans Relieved by 16th R.W.R. completed about 10.30 p.m. Battalion to Divisional Reserve Rest Billets in AGNES-les-DUISANS [sic].
24 May 1916 Billets
25 May 1916 Billets
26 May 1916 Billets. Battn team beat 124th Battn. R.F.A. in 5th Division Football Tournament by 4 goals to 3. Battn. transport took first place in the 15th Bde. preliminary Horse Show, entitling it to compete in the 5th Divn. Horse Show
27 May 1916 Billets. Battn. sports
28 May 1916 Billets. Church Parade
29 May 1916 - Trenches near Arras Trenches J1 Subsector. Relieving 16th R.War.R. 12 m.n. 1st Norfolk Regt on left. 1st E.Surrey R on right over R.SCARPE.
30-31 May 1916 Trenches as above. Quiet on our Front.
WAR DIARY FOR JUNE 1916
1 Jun 1916 - Trenches near Arras Trenches as before. Enemy bombarded Trenches during afternoon & again about 9.0 p.m. At this hour he also sprang 3 mines in J2, on our left, held by the 1/Norfolk Rt. & raided. 1/Norfolk Regt. repulsed the raid. On our front, the Enemy did not leave his trenches. Casualties from exceedingly heavy bombardment: 16 all wounded. Trenches on right of our line levelled quite flat
2 - 5 Jun 1916 Trenches as above. Comparatively quiet
6 Jun 1916 - Arras and nearby redoubts Relieved by 16/R.War.R. & withdrew. H.Q. & 1 Coy. to ARRAS. 3 coys to Redoubt Line
7 Jun 1916 In Brigade Reserve as above. Lt.Col.C.C. Onslow C.M.G. [Cranley Charlton ONSLOW, CMG, CBE, DSO, Croix de Guerre] took over temporary command of 15th Infy. Bde. while G.O.C. on leave. Maj.N.W. Lawder [Noel Wilfred LAWDER] assumed temporary command of Battn.
8-13 Jun 1916 In Brigade Reserve as above
14 Jun 1916 - Trenches near Arras Relieved 16 R.War.R. in N1 firing line. Lt Colonel C.C. Onslow C.M.G. [Cranley Charlton ONSLOW, CMG, CBE, DSO, Croix de Guerre] appointed to command 57th Infantry Bde. Major N.W. Lawder [Noel Wilfred LAWDER] assumed command of Battn.
15-17 Jun 1916 In trenches as above. Very exceptionally quiet.
18 Jun 1916 In trenches as above. 2/Lt.E.G.B.Millson [Edgar G. Butlin MILLSON] killed 4 a.m. (sniped whilst examining Enemy line - through glasses)
19 Jun 1916 In trenches. 2/Lt R.K.Wright [Robert Kenneth WRIGHT, MC] wounded (slightly) whilst wiring. One O.R. severely wounded on same duty.
20 Jun 1916 - Agnez-les-Duisans Relieved by 6 K.O.Y.L.I. (43rd Bde. 14th Division). Withdrew to AGNEZ-les-DUISANS
21 Jun 1916 - Izel-les-Hameaux Marched to IZEL-les-HAMEAU [sic] from AGNEZ-les-DUISANS 17 miles, arriving about 6 p.m. Accommodation good
22-26 Jun 1916 Battn. at IZEL-les-HAMEAU. Training in Route marching & open Warfare begun & carried out as far as weather & limited space for training purposes would allow. Weather indifferent - a good deal of rain
27 Jun 1916 - Arras Marched to ARRAS via NOYELLE VION & WANQUETIN about 15 mile, arrived 1 A.M. (only one man falling out) Good Billets.
28 Jun 1916 In ARRAS. 610 men to find for work under R.A. & 5th Signal Coy R.E. in neighbourhood of WAILLY 29 Jun 1916 780 men working as above
30 Jun 1916 730 men working as above. 'B' & 'D' Coys moved to WAILLY for work under 5 Signal Coy. R.E. This detachment of 2 Coys. under the command of Capt.Parker [Frederick Vivian PARKER]
WAR DIARY FOR JULY 1916
1 Jul 1916 - Arras and Wailly As above. 500 men found for fatigues. B & D Coys at WAILLY, H.Q. & 2 Coys at ARRAS. C.O. & parties of officers reconnoitred neighbourhood of WAILLY & CRINCHON VALLEY.
2 Jul 1916 - Givenchy-le-Noble Ordered suddenly to proceed to GIVENCHY-le-NOBLE 15 m. due W. of ARRAS. Moved out in daylight by sections. Transport followed by night. Good billets. 2 coys in Village. 2 coys & H.Q. in Chateau GIVENCHY-Le-NOBLE 'B' & 'D' Coys heavily shelled in WAILLY before leaving. 4 casualties (wounded)
3 Jul 1916 At GIVENCHY-le-NOBLE in G.H.Q. reserve. Training carried out near Billets where good facilities for Bayonet Fighting practice exist
4-11 Jul 1916 As above
12-13 Jul 1916 - Hem-Hardinval As above. Demonstrations took place in communication between aeroplanes & Infantry during an attack which all officers attended. Marched to HEM (S.W. of DOULLENS) 16 m via GRAND RULLECOURT. LUCHEUX. GROUCHES. None fell out. Close Billeting.
14 Jul 1916 - Puchevillers Marched to PUCHEVILLERS via CANDAS 15 m. Very close billeting
15 Jul 1916 - Lahoussoye Marched to LAHOUSSOYE via MONTIGNY 10 m. 3 coys. Close Billeted. H.Q. & 1 Coy Bivouacked
16 Jul 1916 Remained at LAHOUSSOYE. Lt.Col.W. Allason D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON DSO & Bar] took over command of Battn.
17 Jul 1916 - Ville-sur-Ancre Marched to VILLE-SUR-ANCRE 8 m. 1 coy & H.Q. Billeted. 3 coys under canvas. Preparations made for joining in Battle of SOMME. Inspection of Tools, Wire-Cutters etc. During four marches on 13th, 14th, 15th & 17th inst. no men of Battalion fell out.
18 Jul 1916 Remained at VILLE-SUR-ANCRE. 9 officers joined for duty. Further preparations for coming action. C.O. reconnoitred ground in neighbourhood of HIGH WOOD.
19 Jul 1916 - near Mametz Battalion ordered to rake up position E. of MAMETZ in conjunction with remainder of Brigade. Arrived in position about 9 p.m. & bivouacked
20-22 Jul 1916 Remained in position as above, 15th Infantry Bde acting as reserve of 5th Division. 13th & 95th Infantry Bdes being in Action
23 Jul 1916 - between High Wood and Delville Wood Ordered up to support 13th Bde. 6 A.M. but returned to bivouacs after starting as Battn was not required. 9.15 P.M. marched up & took over line between HIGH WOOD & DELVILLE WOOD. C & D Coys in line. B in support. A Coy in reserve (in old German 2nd Line). 1/NORFOLK Rgt on left. 95th Infantry Bde on right. Ordered to dig line in advance of present line. Work commenced by pushing out small fortified posts, well wired & held by LEWIS Guns (with a view to linking up the posts tomorrow) Seven posts completed. Enemy artillery active. 2/Lt. Sherry [Gerald SHERRY, DOW 26/7/1916] wounded while in charge of part of this work
24 Jul 1916 Enemy artillery active all day. 2/Lt.Milton [Manning MILTON] wounded & about 30 O.R. Casualties 11 P.M. Sudden information that Battalion would be relieved
25 Jul 1916 - Pommiers Redoubt near Mametz 4 A.M. battn relieved by 4/SEAFORTHS & returned to Bivouacking area E. of MAMETZ (POMMIERS REDOUBT) & remained all day.
26 Jul 1916 C.O. Coy Commanders & Adjt inspected ground in neighbourhood of LONGUEVAL [Comment; 24 NCO's and men killed between 22nd and 26th July]
27 Jul 1916 Operations [Comment; The Battle of Delville Wood - the full story on the battalion's assault on Longueval is here. Operational Order and Report on Operations attached, in "Appendices" section.]
28 Jul 1916 Remained on POMMIERS redoubt all day, reorganizing Battn
29 Jul 1916 As above
WAR DIARY FOR AUGUST 1916
1 Aug 1916 - Pommiers Redoubt near Mametz Remained on POMMIERS REDOUBT all day. Enemy shelled at intervals. 3 O.R. wounded.
2 Aug 1916 - Dernancourt Marched to Bivouacs 1 mile N.W. at DERNANCOURT (7 miles) arriving 2 p.m.
3 Aug 1916 Remained as above
4 Aug 1916 - Quesnoy-sur-Airaines Marched to MERICOURT (3 miles) thence by train to HANGEST-sur-SOMME, thence marched to Bivouacs at LE QUESNOY
5 Aug 1916 - Tailly Marched to Billets at TAILLY. Battalion Billeted in Chateau & Village of TAILLY. Fairly good Billets & good training Field in neighbourhood
6 Aug 1916 Training proceeded with. Church Parade
7-11 Aug 1916 Training proceeded with. Boxing & Football Tournament
12 Aug 1916 Training proceeded with. Regimental Sports.
13-17 Aug 1916 As above. (Officers & OR who were with Bttn in action granted 48 hours Leave to Sea Coast during period Battalion at TAILLY)
18 Aug 1916 As above. Divisional Route March (about 8m)
19-22 Aug 1916 As above
23 Aug 1916 As above. Transport left by Road en route for DERNANCOURT
24 Aug 1916 - Longpr-les-Corps-Saints Bttn marched to LONGPRE (7 miles) arriving 4 p.m.
25 Aug 1916 - Sandpit near Maulte Entrained 1.30 A.M. arr. MERICOURT 5.30 A.M. marched to Bivouacs N.E. of BUIRE 11 a.m. marched to SANDPIT S.E. of MEAULTE. Tents & Bivouacs
26 Aug 1916 - Bronfay Farm Marched to Bivouacs 500 yds N. of BRONFAY FARM
27 Aug 1916 In Bivouacs as above C.O. & Officers inspected Trenches &c. S. of GUILLEMONT
28-30 Aug 1916 As above. Heavy Rain & Storms during whole of this period Following Officers joined Bttn for duty during month: 2nd Lt. E.A.Hague [Ernest Alfred HAGUE] 14.8.16, 2nd Lt. P.A.Gibbons 14.8.16, Lieut. H.F.Graves 15.8.16, 2nd Lieut H.C.Covell [Hugh Cecil COVELL] 15.8.16, 2nd Lieut V.S. Sanders [Vincent Sandon SANDERS] 16.8.16 from Field Ambulance, 2nd Lieut. J.H. Banyard [James Hirst BANYARD], 2nd Lieut. D.A.Lardner [Dion Albert LARDNER] and 2nd Lieut H.J. Everett [Horace John EVERETT, MC] 18.8.16, 2nd Lieut A.J.Howard [Addison James HOWARD] and 2nd Lieut. P.G.Smith 27.8.16
31 Aug 1916 - Silesia Trenches Divisional reserve at BILLON FARM all the Morning. Corps Commander XV Corps, Gen. Horne, presented medals for gallantry in the field at LONGUEVAL. D.C.M. No 8939 A/C.S.M. J. Afford [Joe AFFORD, MC, DCM] Military Medal No 17568 L/C B. Pettengell [Bertie PETTENGELL, MM], No 9349 Pte. J. King [Joseph KING, MM]. At 8 pm the Battalion relieved 12th Gloucestershire Regt in SILESIA TRENCHES. Hostile gas and tear shells caused much inconvenience. Capt. & Adjutant H.Williams [sic Harry WILLANS, DSO, MC] was evacuated sick today and Major N.W. Lawder [Noel Wilfred LAWDER] took over A/Adjt temporarily
WAR DIARY FOR SEPTEMBER 1916
1 Sep 1916 - Silesia Trenches Battalion remained in SILESIA TRENCHES. Found 276 men for working parties during the day and night of 1st/2nd. These parties heavily shelled with gas and tear shells (losing 1 man). Work also carried on in Silesia TRENCHES. These last were in a very bad condition and insanitary. 8.0 pm 2 officers 2Lt Blake 3rd Btn [Christopher BLAKE] & 2Lt Williams 10th Btn [Basil Charles WILLIAMS] and 30 other ranks joined as reinforcements. 11 pm Ground to our immediate front heavily shelled with tear and silent gas shells (poisonous)
2 Sep 1916 Remained in SILESIA TRENCHES. Our heavy artillery heavily bombarded enemy's trenches. Intermittent bursts of 18pr. rapid fire. Bn. found working parties in front line trenches, working on new assembly trenches, also providing carrying parties. Enemy dropped a few 5.9's on our trenches during the course of the day, one shell in the evening wounded 9 men ('B' coy). Bn. also worked on the improving of SILESIA TRENCHES. The shell which wounded the 9 men in the evening was of a peculiar type, it burst on the parapet and burst in reddish light, and formed no crater.
3-6 Sep 1916 Appendices attached [Comment; 82 NCO's and men killed between 3rd and 6th, with a further 7 DOW within days. 2/Lt James Hirst BANYARD killed on the 3rd; Battalion adjutant Major Noel Wilfred LAWDER, 2/Lt Vincent Stanton SANDERS, 2/Lt Christopher BLAKE, Lieutenant Addison James HOWARD and 2/Lt Dion Albert LARDNER killed on the 4th.]
6 Sep 1916 - Billon Farm Bn. on relief arrived at BILLON FARM at 9.45 am. Spent rest of day resting and cleaning up. Capt.M.W. Halford [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] 1/GLOUC. R took over A.Adjt.
7 Sep 1916 - Citadel Camps Remained at BILLON FARM till 4.30 pm when moved to CITADEL (A.13) Camps
8 Sep 1916 Major General Stevens commanding 5th Division congratulated Bde on recent operations. Copy of Brigadier General's message attached
9 Sep 1916 - Morlancourt Bn moved at 1.30 pm to billets at MORLANCOURT
10 Sep 1916 In billets at MORLANCOURT. Daily working party of 1 officer & 100 P.Rs at GROVETOWN Stn. Draft of 67 O.Rs arrived. Capt.M.W. Halford [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] 1/GLOUC.R. took over 2nd in command. Lt.O.A.R. Beale [Allan Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] took over A/Adjt.
11 Sep 1916 In billets at MORLANCOURT. Draft of 37 O.Rs arrived.
12 Sep 1916 In billets at MORLANCOURT
13 Sep 1916 Working party of 1 officer & 50 O.Rs to Ammunition Dump at MEAULTE.
14 Sep 1916 Working party of 1 officer & 50 O.Rs to Ammunition Dump at MEAULTE.
15 Sep 1916 - Citadel Bn marched to CITADEL leaving MORLANCOURT 4.20 a.m.
16 Sep 1916 - Waterlot Farm Bde moved to WATERLOT FM. & came under orders of 20th Division, bad trenches & very little cover
17 Sep 1916 Spent day at WATERLOT FM - rained all day
18 Sep 1916 - between Guillemont and Wedge Wood Bn was relieved at WATERLOT FM by 14/R Warwickshire Regt at 8 p.m. & moved forward to old German line between GUILLEMONT & WEDGE Wd. Bde came under orders of 5th Div.
19 Sep 1916 Spent day in old German line
20 Sep 1916 - support trenches near Guillemont Spent day in old German line Relieved 1/Norfolks & 1/Cheshires in support trenches at T.14.b & c (Ref GUILLEMONT trench map) Working party 1 officer & 60 O.Rs digging assembly trenches in T.9.c&d.
21 Sep 1916 Remained in above trenches, working party of 1 officer & 60 O.Rs digging assembly trenches in T.9.c&d - weather fine & cold
22 Sep 1916 - Oxford Copse Relieved by 14/R.Warwickshire Regt (13th Bde) & handed over work (digging assembly trenches). Bn returned to bivouacs in OXFORD Copse arriving about 12 midnight.
23 Sep 1916 Bn rested at OXFORD COPSE. Men greatly benefited by this rest weather fine.
24 Sep 1916 - Assembly trenches near Arrowhead Copse Bn rested at OXFORD COPSE. Bn left OXFORD COPSE at 4.30 p.m. halted at CHIMPANZEE TRENCH T.5.d for tea & moved forward again at 6.30 pm via ARROW Hd COPSE to assembly trenches in T.9.c. Bn H.Qrs in Quarry T.9.d.
25 Sep 1916 C.O's report Appendices attached [Comment; 17 NCO's and men killed. 2/Lt Douglas Bowhill CANDY DOW]
26 Sep 1916 - Oxford Copse Bn was relieved at 8 p.m. by two companies of Sherwood Foresters 6th Division & returned to bivouacs in OXFORD COPSE arriving about 11.30 pm.
27 Sep 1916 - Citadel Moved to bivouacs in CITADEL arriving 7.30 pm
28 Sep 1916 Transport moved by road to LONGPRE
29 Sep 1916 - Longpre-les-Corps-Saints Entrained at MERICOURT 2 pm & arrived LONGPR 6.10 pm
30 Sep 1916 Remained at LONGPR
WAR DIARY FOR OCTOBER 1916
1 Oct 1916 - Les Loges, Bethune Entrained at LONGPR & trained to FOURUEREUIL [sic], a western suburb of BETHUNE, whence marched to Billets at LES LOGES. Came into XI Corps, First Army
2-4 Oct 1916 Battalion remained in Billets as above. Weather very wet. Capt.& Adjutant H.Willams [sic Harry WILLANS, DSO, MC] returned to Battalion. Lt.Colonel Allason D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON DSO & Bar], proceeded on leave & Major M.W. Halford [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] (2/Gloucestershire att 1/Bedf.R.) took over temporary command.
5 Oct 1916 - near La Couture Battalion moved to Billets 500 yds East of LA COUTURE. H.Q. & 2 Coys in SENESCHALL FARM. 2 coys in KINGS Road (just off RUE du BOIS)
6-9 Oct 1916 In Billets as above. C.O., Adjt. & parties of Officers reconnoitred the Line opposite FESTUBERT. Capt J.J. Moyse [John Jenkins MOYSE] (Bedf.R.Reg.) joined for duty 9th inst. Owing to heavy casualties during the recent fighting & the consequent shortage of trained Lewis Gunners & Bombers, a school was started today in conjunction with O.C. 16/Royal Warwickshire Rgt. for the rapid training of sufficient of these men to hold the Line. (orders attached)
10 Oct 1916 - Ferme du Bois Took over FERME du BOIS (RIGHT subsection) from 1/Royal West Kent Rgt. Relief took place in daylight. Battalion H.Q. situated in Old British Line - 100 yds in front of INDIAN VILLAGE. Ref. sheet RICHEBOURG 1/10,000. Subsection extends from pt.38. on QUINQUE RUE S.22.c.20/35 to LOTHIAN Road. S.27.d.2/4 & consists of a connected Breatswork from QUINQUE RUE to pt.30A. S.28.a.45/60. thence a series of Island posts disconnected & inaccessible by day, supported by a connected Breatswork called "COVER Trench". 2 coys in front. 1 in support. 1 in Reserve (O.B.L.) Communication Trenches & COVER Trench very wet. Old British Line ("O.B.L.") is a Breatswork in good condition.
11-15 Oct 1916 Trenches as above. Enemy inactive, except for desultory sniping. Working parties from 1/6 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Pioneer Bttn.) working on Communication Trenches. Party of 50 nightly from 16/Royal Warwicks (Bde. Reserve) wiring in front of Trenches.
16 Oct 1916 - La Couture Relieved during morning by 16/Royal Warwickshire Rgt. Withdrew into Brigade Reserve into same Billets as above - H.Q., A. & B. Coys. SENESCHALL FARM. C. & D. Coys KINGS ROAD.
17-19 Oct 1916 In Billets as above. Weather generally wet. Working on road in neighbourhood of Billets. Supply 50 men nightly for wiring in front line Trenches.
20 Oct 1916 - Ferme du Bois Relieved 16/R.Warwick R. during morning
21-23 Oct 1916 Quiet period in Trenches. Enemy inactive. Work of wiring, drainage, &c. continued.
24 Oct 1916 - La Couture Battn. relieved by 16/R.Warwicks & withdrew to same billets as above, (daylight).
25-27 Oct 1916 Battalion in Billets. Work on road, &c. continued Battn allotted & all men bathed. New type of Box Respirator issued to & fitted on every Officer & man on 26th in "Gas House" at ESSARS. All ranks went through a Chamber full of gas wearing the Helmet. Practice carried out for forthcoming raid.
28 Oct 1916 - Front Line Relieved 16/R.Warwick R. during the morning & occupied line as follows: - A.Coy. in right of firing line. C Coy. in support (RICHMOND Terrace). Composite Coy. under Capt. Morris [Charles Alan Smith MORRIS] in O.B.L. consisting of all men who are to take part in forthcoming raid. (about 80 men of B.& D.Coys.) Composite Coy. in Left of firing line consisting of all men of B. & D. Coys. who are not going to take part in the forthcoming raid. Line quiet except for some Sniping.
29 Oct 1916 In Trenches as above. Quiet day. Work continued as before.
30 Oct 1916 'C' Coy. relieved A.Coy during the morning. A Coy. withdrew to RICHMOND Terrace. Preparations for Raid tomorrow. In this subsection 1/Norfolk Rgt. are always on our left & a Battalion of 13th Infantry Brigade on our right.
WAR DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 1916
1 Nov 1916 - Seneschal Farm and King's Road Relieved by 16/Royal Warwickshire Rgt as before & withdrew H.Q. A & B Coys to SENESCHAL farm. C & D.Coys to KINGS Road
2-4 Nov 1916 In Billets as above. Work on road around Billets. Training. Football &c.
5 Nov 1916 - Front Line Relieved 16/R.War.R. in trenches by day. Quiet night.
6 Nov 1916 In trenches. Lt.-Col.W. Allason D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON DSO & Bar] took temporary command of 15th Infantry Bde. in absence of B.G.C.
7-8 Nov 1916 In trenches. Trenches exceptionally wet during this tour. Rain every day. Communication & COVER Trenches became flooded & much work required by Pioneer Battn. (1/6 A.& S.Highlanders) to compete with water.
9 Nov 1916 - Seneschal Farm and King's Road Relieved by 16/R.War.R. during the morning. During the relief the Enemy shelled PIONEER Trench heavily, Killing & wounding several of the Warwicks.
10-11 Nov 1916 In billets as before. Lt.Col. Allason D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON DSO & Bar] returned from Brigade - 10th - & resumed command.
12 Nov 1916 In billets as before. Lt.Col. Allason D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON DSO & Bar] left for Commanding Officers' Conference at 1ST.ARMY SCHOOL. Major J.J. Moyse [John Jenkins MOYSE] took over temporary command.
13 Nov 1916 - Front Line relieved 16/R.W.Rgt. in trenches during evening owing to shelling of PIONEER Trench on 9th inst.
14-16 Nov 1916 In trenches. trenches were much drier & greatly improved since last tour. Wire Entanglement much improved.
17 Nov 1916 - Seneschal Farm and King's Road Relieved by 16/R.War.Rgt. & withdrew to same billets. Relief complete 7.30 p.m.
18-22 Nov 1916 In Billets. Football. Training & Road Work continued
23 Nov 1916 - Front Line Relieved 16/R.War.R. in Trenches, 7.30 p.m. Quiet night
24-26 Nov 1916 In trenches as above. Trenches much improved by fine weather & constant work on communications &c.
27 Nov 1916 - Seneschal Farm and King's Road Relieved 7.0.p.m. by 2/K.O.S.B. (13th Brigade) this owing to 6th Division coming into XI Corps line & 5th Division taking up a new line with 2 Brigades in line & one out. 15th Infantry Brigade sideslips one subsection (one Bttn. front) to left & 13th Brigade closes up to left.
28-30 Nov 1916 Usual Billets. C.O. Adjt. & Officers reconnoitre new line (next subsection but one to left) on left of 1/NORFOLK Rgt. Weather very cold & frosty. Work on road round SENESCHAL farm & KINGS road continued. Officers joined during month: - nil Officers casualties during month: - nil
WAR DIARY FOR DECEMBER 1916
1 Dec 1916 - Front Line near Neuve-Chapelle Relieved 16/R.Warwickshire Rgt. in sub section 2 to left of one held previously, just to right of NEUVE-CHAPELLE 1/NORFOLKS on right. 1/7 MIDDLESEX. 56. Division on left. 2 Coys. in line. 2 in support. Line fairly quiet except for trench mortar activity.
2-4 Dec 1916 In trenches as above. Fairly quiet except for Trench Mortars. On 3. Lt.Colonel W. Allason D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON DSO & Bar] was severely wounded while going round the trenches accidentally by a revolver Bullet. T/Major J.J. Moyse [John Jenkins MOYSE] assumed command of Bn.
5 Dec 1916 - Bethune Relieved by 12/Gloucestershire Rgt. 95th.Bde. by day & withdrew to Billets in BETHUNE. Fairly good Billets but poor training accommodation.
6 Dec 1916 In Billets as above. Training & firing on 30yds range
7-9 Dec 1916 In Billets as above. Training & firing on 30yds range
9 Dec 1916. Inspection by B.G.C. 15th Infy. Bde.
10 Dec 1916 In Billets as above. Training
11 Dec 1916 In Billets as above. Inspection by Lt.-General Sir R.C.B.HAKING, K.C.B. comdg XI Army Corps.
12-16 Dec 1916 In Billets as above. Training.
17 Dec 1916 In billets as above. Presentation of Montenegran Orders & Medal Ribbons after Church Parade in Municipal Theatre by General Sir H.S.HORNE K.C.B. Cmdg First Army. Brig.General M.TURNER CB cmdg 15th Infy Bde received Order of Danilo 2nd Class. The following Officers & Men of this Battalion received Medal Ribbons 2nd Lieut. S. Norrish [Samuel NORRISH, MC] Military Cross; 18257 Pte H.W.Fish [Herbert William FISH, DCM] D.C.M.; 13610 Cpl. McHugh [Harold Albert McHUGH, MM] Military Medal; 43031 Pte C.J.Cross [Christopher John CROSS, MM] Military Medal
18 Dec 1916 In Billets as above. Training. Lt Col.F.N. Butler [Francis Noel BUTLER] 5th Bedf R. joined from 1/E.Surrey Rgt (95th Inf Bde) and assumed command. 2nd Lt W.M. Stantan [William Martin STANTAN] who had been temporarily attached to 16 R.Warwick Regt, joined for duty.
19 Dec 1916 In Billets as above. Training and making preparations for move, Company Commanders reconnoitred Village Line S. of La Bassee Canal, with a view of taking over next day - Lieut. A. Grover [Albert GROVER, DSO, MC] joined the Battalion and was posted to "D" Coy.
20 Dec 1916 - Village Line, Cuinchy Battalion (less 1 Coy) relieved 1st Leicesters in Village Line, Cuinchy Sub Sector. A Coy garrisoned MOUNTAIN, STAFFORD, CUINCHY KEEPS. "C" & "D" Coys billeted in HARLEY STREET. "B" Coy went to ESPERANTO TERRACE under Command of O.C. 16 R.Warwick Rgt. This SubSector was taken over from Left Battn of 71st Bde VI Divn. Detailed 25 men permanent fatigue for Tunnellers.
21 Dec 1916 Battalion (less 1 Coy) in Village Line. Day chiefly occupied by fatigues for L.T.Ms & M.T.Ms carrying ammunition up to front line. B Coy in ESPERANTO TRENCH heavily "minnied" about 9 a.m. No damage done except to officers breakfast.
22 Dec 1916 Battalion in Village Line. B Coy relieved by Coy of 16th R.Warwick Rgt. On relief they in turn relieved a Coy of 2/Y&L Regt. in PONT FIXE REDOUBT just north of Canal. Large fatigues for T.Ms as usual. Major Moyse [John Jenkins MOYSE], A/Adjt I.O. & O's C "A", "C", "D" Coys reconnoitred front Line of Brickstacks with a view to taking over on 24th.
23 Dec 1916 Battalion in Village Line. Double fatigues for T.Ms to carry them over day of relief. All available Officers & N.C.Os reconnoitre front line with a view to finding means of intercommunication and dispositions A/Adjt. went to KINGSCLERE to arrange reliefs with 16th R.Warwicks.
24 Dec 1916 Battalion relieved 16th R.Warwickshire Rgt in CUINCHY RIGHT (BRICKSTACKS). Dispositions as follows: - R.Firing Line - 'D' Coy. Centre 'A'Coy. L.Firing Line - 'C' Coy. Support "B" Coy (in ESPERANTO) H.Q. in KINGSCLERE. Cookhouse in HARLEY STREET at entrance to DAWSON STREET. Trenches near firing line in an awful state. EDGWARE RD in particular being almost impassible. 2 Platoons of 1st Norfolks relieved 2 Platoons 1st Cheshires between our Left and Canal. 11th ESSEX on our right. Line consists of a number of saps, mostly approached by tunnels. A line of craters, for the most part impassible between our line and the Germans. Advanced sapheads only about 20-30 yds from Germans. Support Company and H.Q. had to carry stores and rations and hot food to Coys in Line. Xmas bombardment lasting 3 days commenced when relief was complete. One L.G. team of Warwicks could not be relieved till about 4 pm owing to their being cut off by fallen in trench. Constant T.M. firing by both sides.
25 Dec 1916 Xmas day in Brickstacks! Conditions by no means improved, in spite of constant work when possible. A&.S.H (Pioneers) had 2 large parties working, one in BERKSHIRE, one in MARYLEBONE. Xmas bombardment continued. Some parts of trenches blown in by Minnies. Otherwise no damage. Arrangements for reliefs of men in Saps made as far as possible. Also L.Gs. Major Moyse [John Jenkins MOYSE] proceeded on leave. Capt turn out of No20 billet to give place to 13th M.G.C.
26 Dec 1916 Battalion in BRICKSTACKS. Xmas bombardment continued. Very little retaliation. One or two portions of trenches improved. 1st Cheshire & 1st Norfolk C.Os reconnoitre line. Cheshire officers reconnoitre Coy fronts in afternoon.
27 Dec 1916 Battalion in BRICKSTACKS. Xmas bombardment ceased 12 noon. Practically no retaliation in R.Subsector. Carried on with what improvements in Saps and communication trenches were possible. Got A&S.H. on to EDGWARE ROAD, but not much impression was made on it. 1st Norfolk officers and NCOs reconnoitred trenches.
28 Dec 1916 - le Quesnoy and Beuvry Battalion relieved by 1st CHESHIRE Rgt. Relief complete by 12.30pm Battalion proceeded to Bde Reserve in billets at LE QUESNOY. B Coy billeted with 1/2 H.Q. in GIRL'S SCHOOL, BEUVRY. Town MAJOR, BEUVRY, tried to turn them out alleging they belonged to 1st ROYAL WEST KENTS, 95th Bde. They remained pending orders from Brigade. Battn H.Q. in CHATEAU, LE QUESNOY.
29 Dec 1916 Battalion in Billets as above. Considerable trouble about billets with TOWN MAJORS of BEUVRY & LE QUESNOY. C & D Coy Officers had to turn out to other & worse billets to make room for M.Gs. Staff Captains of 15th & 13th I.B's saw Town Major BEUVRY and arranged for GIRLS SCHOOL to be retained by us till Jan 1st. This reversed by Division and we had to turn out into much worse billets. Had to give up D Coy bunk for GLOSTER Officers billets. Baths allotted at LE QUESNOY, but baths were closed midday and no others allotted. Later we had parties must be adhered to rigidly. Officers' servants will attach themselves to a definite party, and not proceed independently.
30 Dec 1916 Battalion in Billets as above. Morning spent in Coy Training. Considerable difficulty over Bath question. Men had Xmas dinners at 2p.m. A/Adjt & M.O. visited 16th Warwicks H.Q. in CUINCHY RIGHT to learn dispositions etc. 91 Reinforcements arrived, a very good draft in appearance & Billetted in BEUVRY.
31 Dec 1916 Battalion in Billets as above. Usual Town Majors Road fatigue. Officers reconnoitred new line, reported considerable amount of water, but no mud. Another draft of 91 reinforcements arrived late in evening. Also billeted in BEUVRY. It was decided with concurrence of Divisional & A/Brigadier General, not to take them up to Trenches, but to leave them under Command of Major Halford [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] for training and sorting out.
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