The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1917 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]WAR DIARY FOR JANUARY 1917
1 Jan 1917 - Front Line, Cuinchy Battalion relieved 16/R.Warwickshire Rgt in CUINCHY LEFT Subsector. Dispositions as under. B Coy. 2 Platoons S of CANAL, one in front line, one in HUNTERS. 2 Platoons in Support N of CANAL one in SPOILBANK KEEP one in ORCHARD. A Coy. Immediately N of CANAL one platoon in Front Line one in ARTILLERY ROW Supports BAYSWATER ROAD C Coy. Centre Coy. 2 Platoons in Front Line between ORCHARD RD & FINCHLEY Rd. 2 Platoons in OXFORD TERRACE (SUPPORTS). D Coy. Left Coy. 2 Platoons in Front Line between FINCHLEY RD & RED DRAGON CRATER. 1 Platoon in STRATHCONA WALK. 1 Platoon in CAMBRIDGE TERRACE. H.Q. in Village line N. of CANAL. Trenches in very poor state owing to recent heavy rain and accommodation for men in Trenches very poor & scanty. REs working in Oxford & Cambridge Terrace making "White" shelters, but progress very slow.
2 Jan 1917 In trenches. Enemy bombarded front line of Left & Centre Coys with small aerial Torpedoes & rifle grenades, causing a certain amount of material damage but no casualties. Work chiefly confined to clearing trenches and putting up shelters. 40yds of wiring in front of Left Coy.
3 Jan 1917 In Trenches. Enemy again fired on our front line of Left Coy with aerial torpedoes and near RED DRAGON with "Minnies" doing considerable damage to trench. Our Artillery did not reply, probably owing to Relief by 5th Divl. Arty.
5 Jan 1917 - Village Line, Harley Street, Cuinchy Battalion relieved by 16/R.Warwick Rgt and proceeded in relief to VILLAGE LINE in HARLEY STREET (CUINCHY). The Adjutant (Capt.H.WILLANS [Harry WILLANS, DSO, MC]) and Capt BEALE [Allan Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] returned from leave.
6-8 Jan 1917 In support as above. Work on strengthening Village Line, which consists of line of strong points or Keeps. Capt.O.A.R.Beale M.C. [Allan Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] went for attachment to Staff. Brigade Training Depot established at BEUVRY. This Dept under Command of Maj.DEAKIN (16/R.War.R.) takes all drafts that come to Brigade. Drafts remain at Dept until fully qualified in Musketry & all branches of training - when they are absorbed into their Battalions. Lt. A.J. FYSON [Arthur James FYSON] proceeded for duty to the Training Dept as instructor.
10-12 Jan 1917 In trenches as above. Enemy fairly active with Artillery & T.M.s. Trenches very wet & bad in parts.
14-16 Jan 1917 In Billets as above.
18 Jan 1917 Enemy shelled supporting Battery (A./300) with about 500 Gas Shells (TEAR) during afternoon. Effect of these Lachrymatory shells was felt in subsection held by Bttn. but no casualties.
22 Jan 1917 - Feuillade Barracks, Bethune Withdrew to BETHUNE on relief by 1/E.SURREY Rgt. (95th Infantry Bde) Battalion billeted in FEUILLADE Barracks, BETHUNE. Lt.-Colonel F.N.BUTLER [Francis Noel BUTLER] returned from leave.
23-31 Jan 1917 In Billets as above. Frost continued during whole period, restricting training owing to cold. Route Marches, Drill & certain amount of Musketry carried out. on 28th Capt.O.A.R.BEALE, M.C. [Allan Oswald Rufus BEALE, MBE, MC, Croix de Guerre] returned from attachment to Staff & assumed duties of Acting/Adjutant. Capt.H.WILLANS, M.C. [Harry WILLANS, DSO, MC] proceeding to Brigade for attachment.
WAR DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1917
1 Feb 1917 - le Touret Battalion moved to Billets in LE TOURET & acted as Bde Reserve to FERME du BOIS sector. Very cold weather & very cold billets for the men (O.O. No.47 dated 31/1/17)
3 Feb 1917 Ditto
5 Feb 1917 - Front Line Ferme du Bois Right Subsection Relieved the 16th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Reg in the Right Sub-section of the FERME du BOIS Sub-sector relief passed off quietly in Daylight. A&B Coys in Firing line 'C' Coy in RICHMOND TERRACE D Coy in O.B.L. (O.O.50 dated 4/2/17). Trenches in fair condition, but were very weak & damaged.
9 Feb 1917. Le Touret Bn was relieved by the 16/R.War R. & withdrew to Billets in LE TOURET see O.O. 51 dated 8/2/17
11-12 Feb 1917 In Billets. Very cold.
14 Feb 1917 - Front Line Ferme du Bois Right Subsection Relieved 16/R.War.R. in trenches see O.O.52 dated 13.2.17. The trenches were held with 3 Coys & one coy in Billets Rue de L'EPPINETTE. This coy supplied wiring parties for coy. in Front line.
16 Feb 1917 Inter - Coy relief passed off quietly see O.O. 53 dated 15.2.17 attached [not attached]
18 Feb 1917 - le Touret Relieved by 16/R.War.R. & withdrew to Billets in LE TOURET see O.O. No.54 dated 17/2/17
21 Feb 1917 - Front Line Ferme du Bois Right Subsection Relieved 16/R.War.R. in the line see O.O. No.55 dated 20.2.17
23 Feb 1917 Inter-Coy relief see O.O. No.56
25 Feb 1917 - le Touret Relieved by 16/R.War.R. see O.O. No.57
27 Feb 1917 - Beuvry Bn. moved to Billets in BEUVRY. Mostly good billets but rather crowded. See O.O. No.58
28 Feb 1917 In Billets at BEUVRY. Good training grounds. Special attention paid to training Lewis Gunners, Rifle Grenadiers & Bombers
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1917
2 Mar 1917 BEUVRY. Battalion carried on with training excellent weather.
4 Mar 1917 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. billeted in BETHUNE
5 Mar 1917 - Front Line Cambrin Relieved 9th Bn. K.O.Y.L.I. Relief passed off quietly. Trenches in very bad condition. See O.O. No.59 dated Mar 3.
6 Mar 1917 In Trenches. Bosche Snipers & T.M.s very active.
7 Mar 1917 Inter coy relief
8 Mar 1917 In trenches
9 Mar 1917 - Village Line Relieved by 16/R.War.R. & withdrew to Village line see O.O. No.60 dated 8th.
10-12 Mar 1917 In Village line supplied working parties for front line
13 Mar 1917 Relieved 16/R.War.R. in Right Sub sector CAMBRIN Sector see O.O. 61 dated 12.3.17.
14-15 Mar 1917 Nothing to report Trenches very bad owing to Frost & Rain.
16 Mar 1917 Trenches. About 8 p.m. the Enemy attempted to raid our trenches. See attached report & XI Corps wire [Comment; attached in Appendices]
17 Mar 1917 - Annequin Bn. withdrew into reserve billets at ANNEQUIN. See O.O. 62 dated 16.3.17
18 Mar 1917 Opportunity was taken to re-equip the men as far as possible
19 Mar 1917 - Orphanage, Bethune Relieved by 2/8 Manchester Regt 199 Bde, 66th Division & withdrew to Billets in ORPHANANGE BETHUNE see O.O. 63 dated 18.3.17
20 Mar 1917 Day spent in cleaning up
21 Mar 1917 Platoon training commenced under new organisation
22 Mar 1917 Bn ordered to be ready to move at 6 hours notice to support the 66th Division in CAMBRIN, CUINCHY, GIVENCHY & FERME du BOIS sectors in case of hostile attack. One officer per coy reconnoitred line Platoon training carried on
23 Mar 1917 Platoon training
24 Mar 1917 Platoon training. Inspection by B.G.C.
25 Mar 1917 - Allouagne Moved to ALLOUAGNE via ANNEZIN, LA BOURRIERE [sic], LAPUGNOY. Very bad training grounds & poor billets for men
26 Mar 1917 Platoon training wet morning
27 Mar 1917 Platoon training in woods E. of ALLOUAGNE
28 Mar 1917 Platoon training in woods E. of ALLOUAGNE
29 Mar 1917 Platoon training in woods E. of ALLOUAGNE Billets and Training Grounds very much improved
30 Mar 1917 Coys bathed at AUCHEL & were inspected by Cmdg Officer
31 Mar 1917 1st days Coy training
WAR DIARY FOR APRIL 1917
1 Apr 1917 - Allouagne In Billets at ALLOUAGNE - continued Coy training. Lt.Col.P.R.WORRALL M.C. [Percy Reginald WORRALL OBE, DSO, MC] DEVONSHIRE Regt. assumed command of the Battalion.
2 Apr 1917 Coy training
3 Apr 1917 Bn training
4 Apr 1917 Bn took part in Bde scheme over Flagged course see O.O. No.01 dated April 3.17
5 Apr 1917 Bn Training
6 Apr 1917 Bn Training
7 Apr 1917 - Bruay la Buissiere Bn moved to BRUAY (O.O. No.65 dated 5th). Move being postponed from 6th to 7th
8 Apr 1917 - Cambligneul Moved to CAMBLIGNEUIL O.O. No.66 dated 7th. 5th Division in reserve to CANADIAN CORPS. Bn ordered to be ready to move at one hours notice Major R.Le HUQUET [Reginald Le HUQUET] joined Bn & assumed duties of 2nd in command
9 Apr 1917 In Billets at CAMBLIGNEUL blankets & Haversacks dumped at Bde H.Q.
10 Apr 1917 Orders received for an officer to reconnoitre positions round GIVENCHY & THE PIMPLE at 2 a.m. 1 hours notice to move increased to 4 hours. Bn resumed training Bn Scouts under 2/Lt KINGDON [John Phillipps KINGDON] & Lt. MILLIAS [sic; Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS].
11 Apr 1917 C.O. & Adjt. reconnoitred line from MONT ST ELOY. Coy Training. Weather very bad.
12 Apr 1917 CAMBLIGNEUL. Training continued
13 Apr 1917 Bn moved to VILLERS au BOIS see O.O. No.67 dated 13.4.17. C.O. Adjt. Coy Cmdrs & C.S.Ms reconnoitred VIMY Ridge, GIVENCHY-en-GOHELLE. Lt.P.F. HART [Percival Frank HART], 2/Lts F. HAGUE [Frederick HAGUE, MC] & B.WILLIAMS [Basil Charles WILLIAMS] joined for duty
14 Apr 1917 - Zouave Valley At 2 a.m. Bn was ordered to move forward into close reserve in ZOUAVE VALLEY see O.O. No.68 dated 14.4.17. Bn at once commenced make a mule track from TOTTENHAM TUNNEL to GIVENCHY known as "HOOD" TRACK. 2/Lt HOOD [Douglas Edward HOOD] was killed, 2/Lt. DOLMAN [Leonard DOLMAN] wounded also 1 O.R. Killed & 4 O.Rs wounded.
15 Apr 1917 Bn carried on road making very bad weather 1 O.R. wounded
16 Apr 1917 As above. Hostile shelling increased 2 O.R.s Killed. 4 O.Rs wounded
17 Apr 1917 - Front Line, Cyril Section Road making as above. 6 p.m. Bn relieved 1/Norfolk Regt & detachment of 43 Canadian Bn in Cyril Section see O.O. No.69 dated 14.4.17 Preliminary Orders dated 15.4.17 O.O. No.70 dated 17.4.17. Relief complete 2.30 a.m. Bn dug in & connected up shell holes in a position from 200 yds to 500 yds from Enemy. 1 O.R. Killed 1 O.R. wounded.
18 Apr 1917 DEFENCE Scheme drawn up
19 Apr 1917 - Bois de la Folie As above. Heavy enemy shelling of communication Routes 2 O.R.s Killed & 6 O.Rs wounded also 5 pack animals Killed & one wounded (Ration party) Bn relieved by 1/Cheshire Regt & 16 R.War.R. in Front line. Withdrew to BOIS de la FOLIE see O.O. No.71 dated 19.4.17
20 Apr 1917 - Zouave Valley Bn relieved by 15 R.War.R. (13th Bde) & withdrew to ZOUAVE VALLEY dug outs see O.O. No.72 dated 20.4.17. 2/Lt TROTTER [Austin Stanley TROTTER] joined for duty.
21 Apr 1917 In position as above. Preliminary orders received for capture of LA COULOTTE
22 Apr 1917 Bn proceeded to take up position for attack see O.O. 73 & Timetable attached [not attached]
23 Apr 1917 - [The Battle of Arras; the attack on La Coulotte] La Coulotte/Berthonval. Bn. attacked LA COULOTTE. See C.O.'s report attached [comment; attached in Appendices]. Casualties: Killed - Capt C.A.S. MORRIS [comment; Charles Alan Smith MORRIS died as a POW 7/5/1917], 2/Lt.T.M.K. Fletcher [Thomas Murray Kilpin FLETCHER] & 2/Lt.V.E.CURRY [Vernon Edward CURRY]. Missing (believed killed) 2/Lt.T. AKROYD [sic; Thomas Noel ACKROYD]. Wounded & Missing - 2/Lt.F.R.D. ILLINGWORTH [Frederick Donald Roberts ILLINGWORTH]. Wounded - Lt. P.F.HART [comment; Percival Frank HART DOW 3/5/1917], 2/Lt.A.F.WOODFORD [Arthur Francis WOODFORD], W.M. STANTAN [William Martin STANTAN], A.J. FYSON [Arthur James FYSON], F. HAGUE [Frederick HAGUE, MC] & H.A. DEACON [Harold Augustus DEACON]. Other Ranks 320. Relieved by 13th Inf.Bde. & withdrew to camp at BERTHONVAL stayed night & moved on.
24 Apr 1917 - Cambligneul To Billets at CAMBLIGNEUL
25 Apr 1917 In billets as above, day devoted to cleaning up & re-fitting.
26 Apr 1917 Visited & inspected by Maj. Gen. R.B.STEVENS C.M.G. G.O.C. 5th Division. Bn inspected.
27 Apr 1917 - Gouy Servins Specialist training. Bn marched to GOUY SERVINS met 1st Bn. Devonshire Regt at Football & won 2-1 goals.
28 Apr 1917 Specialist training. Two Coys bathed at CAMBLAIN L'ABBE. 2/Lts C.O. WHITFIELD [Charles Owen WHITFIELD] & H.H. REYNOLDS [Harold Henry REYNOLDS] joined the Bn.
29 Apr 1917 In billets as above. Church parade (Brigade). The Corps Commander (CANADIAN) Lt.Gen.Sir Julian BYNG K.C.B. K.C.M.G. M.V.O. & G.O.C. 5th Division attended. Capt.E.G.FANNING M.C. [Eric Gerald FANNING, MC] joined the Bn.
30 Apr 1917 In billets CAMBLIGNEUL. Training proceeded with.
WAR DIARY FOR MAY 1917
1 May 1917 - Cambligneul CAMBLIGNEUL. In Billets. Training of Specialists carried on. Night Operations (Battn. in attack over open, special attention paid to Scouts)
2 May 1917 As on May 1st. No night operations
3 May 1917 In Billets as above. Training carried on. Received Warning Order from Bde to move to ROCLINCOURT Area. Tactical Exercise for Officers & N.C.Os. Lt. Col. F.N. BUTLER [Francis Noel BUTLER] proceeded to join 11th Battn ESSEX RGT.
4 May 1917 - near Roclincourt Battn moved to vicinity of ROCLINCOURT and bivouacked in open N. of village (see O.O. 74d/ May 3rd) Specialist training carried on.
5 May 1917 In bivouacs as above. C.O. Adjt & Coy Cmdrs reconnoitred route to 95th & 13th Bde H.Qs who were holding the line E. of ARLEUX & W. of OPPY. Battn received orders to be ready to move at 2hrs notice. Met 4th Battn. Bedfordshire Regt. who were in bivouacs S.W. of ROCLINCOURT.
6 May 1917 In bivouacs as above. Specialist training. Battn worked on Infantry Tracks & removed all barbed wire in vicinity of Camp. Played 4th Battn. football
7 May 1917 In bivouacs as above. C.O. Adjutant Coy Cmdrs & I.O. reconnoitred routes to Battalions of 13th Bde holding front line W. of OPPY. During night enemy shelled camp. No damage done
8 May 1917 - near Fresnoy At 9.30 a.m. Battn received orders to be ready to move at moments notice. At 10.30 a.m. received orders to move forward at once and be in close reserve to 13th & 95th Inf. Bdes. who had been attacked during night in FRESNOY VILLAGE. Battn. stayed in position, B.19.c.3/4, old German Trench, during night. Rifle Grenades, Extra S.A.A., tools etc. were issued. Officers reconnoitred CORP LINE East of WILLERVAL.
9 May 1917 - Corps Line East of Willerval and Farbus Station In position as above. 8.15 p.m. Battn moved forward and relieved 1st D.C.L.I. (95th Bde) in support and took over CORPS LINE E. of WILLERVAL with 2 coys and Line of Trenches E. of FARBUS STATION with other 2 coys. Owing to strength of Battn approx 400 Trench Strength, Coys were organized into 2 Platoons each Platoon having Extra L.G.Section attached. Battn. H.Q. 100yds W. of FARBUS WOOD (see O.O. No.74a d/9th). During night 2 Coys E. of FARBUS STATION were heavily shelled with gas & tear shells. A few men were slightly gassed
10 May 1917 In Support line as above. 5 men wounded by shell fire. Our artillery opened a heavy bombardment on enemy's front line at dusk. At 8.30 p.m. 2 Coys E. of FARBUS STATION were moved forward to CORPS LINE E. of WILLERVAL
11-12 May 1917 Working parties were put on roads and arty tracks running E from FARBUS RY Embankment to ARLEUX LOOP. Received orders to relieve 1st CHESHIRE Rgt in LEFT SUB-SECTOR of ARLEUX Sector on night of 13-14th. C.O. Adgt & Coy Officers reconnoitred line held by 1st CHESHIRE RGT.
13 May 1917 - Front Line, Left Sub Sector Arleux Sector In position as above. 10 p.m. Battn moved forward and relieved 1st CHESHIRE RGT in front line (see O.O. 75 d/12th). Relief complete by 2.30 am 14th. Line taken over was approx 700 yds in length and consisted of a series of pits which were not connected There were also saps of about 150 yds between ourselves and units on our Right & left where trenches had to be dug and posts established in order to get in touch. Front line was held by A & D Coys under command of Capt.M.W.HALFORD [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC].
14-15 May 1917 Nothing of importance to report. The whole Battn was employed on making a continuous Front line digging communication trench, Wiring front line and assisting RE who were making dug outs for Frnt line Coy H.Q. & Battn H.Q. 16 May 1917 "B" & "C" Coys under 2/Lt. HOPE [James Kenneth HOPE] relieved "A" & "D" Coys in front line A & D Coys withdrew into support in ARLEUX LOOP. Relief passed off quietly. Weather very bad. (see O.O. 76d/16th)
17 May 1917 Holding line; nothing to report
18 May 1917 - trenches S.W. of Farbus Wood near Commandant's House Battn was relieved on night 18th-19th by 1st CHESHIRE RGT (see O.O. No.77 d/18th) and withdrew into Bde Reserve in trenches S.W. of FARBUS WOOD near COMMANDANT'S HOUSE. Relief passed off quietly. Casualties during tour 2 O.R. killed 23 O.R. wounded. Attached as a report on work done and showing dispositions in Front Line, while Battn was in Front Line [not attached]. While Battn was in Line, 8 O.R. per Coy were left behind at Transport Lines for training in LEWIS GUN under 2/Lt J.P.KINGDON [John Phillipps KINGDON].
19-20 May 1917 Battalion in Bde Reserve as above. Enemy shelled position fairly heavily at intervals causing some casualties. Companies dug slip trenches near original trenches for better protection.
21 May 1917 Battalion in Bde Reserve as above. Occasional shelling. Battn relieved 1/CHESHIRE R in Left front line. A & B Coys in Firing Line, C & D Coys in Support. (see O.O. No.78 d/21st). Relief passed off quietly. Complete 1.50 a.m. Casualties during Tour in Reserve 1 Officer Wounded 1 O.R Killed 17 Wounded.
22 May 1917 - Left Front Line Battalion in Front Line. Enemy quiet; his artillery confined to Counter battery work and rear communication. Whole battn worked all night on consolidating Line. Lt. MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] assumed temporary command of "B" Coy and became O.C. Front Line, 2/Lt J.K. HOPE [James Kenneth HOPE] took over command of "C" Coy. Patrols out all night. No enemy Patrols seen. Fighting patrol under 2/Lt WHITFIELD [Charles Owen WHITFIELD] found no opportunity for procuring identification and reported German wire very thick.
23 May 1917 Battalion as above. Very occasional shells on Front Line and Communication Trench, otherwise quiet. Lt Col P.R. WORRALL M.C. [Percy Reginald WORRALL, OBE,DSO, MC] returned from leave. C.O. & Adjt of 17 R.F. came up to reconnoitre position prior to taking over Front Line. Also 1 Officer & 1 N.C.O. per Coy of 17 RF came up and were attached to corresponding Coys. Sent guides under 2/Lt NAILER [Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER] to reconnoitre route for guiding relieving Battn in and the Coys out the next night. Fighting Patrol under 2/Lt DALTON [John DALTON, MC] found DEVON TRENCH unoccupied but came on dead German, shoulder strap 73 and having a Fife in case on equipment. Inter Coy relief B & D Coys relieved A & B Coys in Front Line (see O.O. No.79 d/23rd)
24 May 1917 Battn as above. Enemy quiet. During whole tour in Front Line Enemy aircraft were active, aeroplanes occasionally flying very low over Front Line. These were engaged with Lewis Guns, but without success. During night the Battn was relieved by 17th Royal Fusiliers 5th Bde II Divn. Relief passed off quietly. Complete 1.50 am of 25th (See O.O. No.80 d/24th)
25 May 1917 - Camp south of Roclincourt Battalion withdrew to Camp S of ROCLINCOURT about G.10.b. Battalion in Camp by 5.30 a.m. Day devoted to Rest. Cleaning up, and clothing inspection.
26 May 1917 Battn in Camp as above. Commanding Officer inspected Battn. Officers & NCOs from each company reconnoitre routes etc. to Concentration Camp (A.24.d.) Corps Line (GREEN) on Ridge. Lt MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] sent in advance. Commanding Officer & A/Adj reconnoitre Green Line. Inter Platoon Football matches after tea.
27 May 1917 Battn in Camp as above. Battn found Working Party of 150 men for Road making on ARRAS - BAILLEUL Road. Remainder attended Church Parade and BATHS. 1 Officer 1 NCO & 1 Orderly from each Coy reconnoitred Battalion Concentration position West of Concentration Camp and N of air Line. Lt MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] and A/Adj reconnoitred route from Concentration position to Green Line - Draft of 8 O.R. arrived from Base.
28 May 1917 Battn in camp as above. Working party as above. Remainder of Bttn paraded from 8.30 AM till 12.30 P.M. Inter platoon football match final after tea; won by 13 Platoon "D" Coy. Lt BLANCHARD [George BLANCHARD] admitted to 15th Field Ambulance sick. 2nd Lt SHARPIN [George Colby SHARPIN] took over duties as Transport Officer. Lt MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] took over A/Adjutant from 2nd Lt KINGDON [John Phillipps KINGDON], who proceeded with 5 O.R. to XIII Corps Draft Training School. Commanding Officer 2nd in Command & Coy. officers attended lecture at ECOIVRES on "Patrolling & Self Defence" by Capt COUSINS-HARDY.
29 May 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Parades & Working parties as above. 4.0 P.M. Commanding Officer's lecture to Officers & N.C.O.s on "The Duties of Officers & N.C.O.s." After tea football match "D" Coy v Rest of Battn. 7.30 P.M. Open air concert by Capt SULLIVAN [John William SULLIVAN, MC] & Co.
30 May 1917 Battn in camp as above. Parades & Working parties as above. 2 P.M. Bayonet Fighting for Officers & N.C.O.s. Lt HANSSEN [Ernest Frederick HANSSEN] & 1 Sgt per Coy reconnoitred RED LINE East of WILLERVAL. 2nd Lt EVERETT M.C. [Horace John EVERETT, MC] & 2 O.R proceeded to WAILLY to see a display by TANKS. Bttn played football match against 1 D.C.L.I. Result we won by 2-1.
31 May 1917 Battn in camp as above. Parades & Working parties as above. In the afternoon enemy aeroplane attacked 2 of our observation balloons the occupants landed safely in parachutes. At 6 PM Bttn played football match against 11th East Lancs. Result, opponents won 2-0.
WAR DIARY FOR JUNE 1917
1 Jun 1917 - Camp south of Roclincourt Bttn in camp as above. Parades & Working party as above. Considerable hostile aerial activity over Camp during early hours of the morning. In the afternoon Bttn held a mounted Gymkhana. Draft of 58 O.R. joined XIII Corps Training Dept at FLORINGHAM [sic].
2 Jun 1917 - Concentration Camp near Willerval Battn moved to concentration camp at A.24.d. Bttn as strong as possible worked on strong point (WILLERVAL NORTH) in the RED LINE at B.4.a. with the exception of B Coy, from 10 P.M to 2 A.M. B Coy left camp at 2 A.M for RED LINE to take over day shift. Draft of 50 O.R joined XIII Corps Training Dept.
3 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Found same working party as above. King's Birthday. Bttn paraded at 12.30 P.M. with 1st NORFOLKS & presented Arms. Hostile aircraft active at night, several bombs being dropped near transport at ECURIE. 2 men wounded by shell fire, on working party.
4 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Working Party as above. Hostile aircraft dropped bombs near transport at ECURIE.
5 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Working Party as above, B & D Coys exchanged work. Draft of 34 O.R joined Bttn from the Base.
6-7 Jun 1917 Bttn in camp as above. Working Party as above.
8 Jun 1917 As above. Our artillery had two shoots during night on Enemy trenches.
9 Jun 1917 - Camblain-Chatelain Moved to CAMBLAIN CHATELAINE by Motor busses (see O.O. No.82 dated June 8th) good billets. C.O. second in command & Adjt rode round Billets & training grounds in evening.
10 Jun 1917 Swimming parade before breakfast. Church Parade at 11.15 a.m. Capt H.A.W.PEARSE [Hugh Armine Wodehouse PEARSE, MC], 2/Lt P.SISLEY [Percival Denis SISLEY, MC], Lt A.N.W.POWELL [Arthur Nugent Waldemar POWELL] joined Bn
11 Jun 1917 In Billets as above inclement weather interfered with training. Bn assembled in Church Army Hut lectures by Major Le HUQUET [Reginald Le HUQUET] on 'TRENCH ORDERS' by C.O. on 'Wood-fighting' also lectures by Subaltern officers. Competition in Bugle calls, turn-out saluting, march songs etc. 'D' Coy obtained most points the 'B', C, A Coys. BN Sports in afternoon. Highest numbers of points were obtained in following order: - A, D, B & C Coys.
12 Jun 1917 Bn training in Morning Bois des MOTTES (FRANCE 36b) Wood fighting. Dinners on ground Brigade sports in afternoon. Draft of 7 O.R. joined from Base depot
13 Jun 1917 All Coys did rapid firing on range. Bayonet fighting, Rifle grenade practice etc. Bde Horse Show in afternoon. Battn were 1st in G.S.Waggon turn-out 2nd in Wrestling 3rd in Officer Jumping Lt.Col P.R.WORRALL M.C. [Percy Reginald WORRALL OBE, DSO, MC] 3rd in Transport turn-out
14 Jun 1917 Musketry on range for each coy 1 1/2 hours. Rifle meeting (15 Inf Bde) in afternoon, every platoon entered a team of 1 commander & 10 O.Rs firing party 15 rounds rapid time minute. Received orders to move to ROCLINCOURT area Bde in Divisional Reserve.
15 Jun 1917 - camp near Roclincourt Bn moved in Motor Busses to Camp A.28.a (ROCLINCOURT Map) arrived 10.30 a.m. See O.O.83
16 Jun 1917 - Front Line near Oppy In Camp as above, received warning order that Battalion would move up to Front Line at night. At 7 p.m. moved up & relieved 1st Bn R.W.Kents in Front Line near OPPY. See O.O.84.
17 Jun 1917 In Front line as above, 2 men Killed & 4 wounded by shell fire
18 Jun 1917 In Front Line as above, situation quiet took over addl Trench see O.O.85
19 Jun 1917 In Front Line as above, 2/Lt R.W.HUNTER [Robert Moore HUNTER] & 4 other Ranks wounded, 2/Lt H.W.FLEMING [Harold Winning FLEMING] joined for duty, 1 Company relieved by a Coy of FAN See O.O.86
20 Jun 1917 - Camp near Roclincourt In Front Line as above, 1 man Killed, 1 Wounded. At night were relieved by a Battalion of 13th Bde (14/R.Warwick Regt) & withdrew to Camp at A.28.a.6/8 See O.O.87
21 Jun 1917 In Camp as above, day devoted to resting and cleaning up
22 Jun 1917 In camp as above, Battalion Training carried on, very inclement weather.
23 Jun 1917 In cam pas above, Battalion Training for future operations carried on, 20 Other Ranks, Artists Rifles, Candidates for Commissions, attached to Battalion for three weeks, to gain experience
24 Jun 1917 In Camp as above, Battalion Training as usual. 105 other ranks joined from XIII Corps Draft Training Depot
25 Jun 1917 In Camp as above, Battalion Training as usual. 10 O.R.s joined from Base Depot. 100 Officers & O.R.s attended Lantern Lecture, subject, Aeroplane Photographs, Commdg. Officer attended conference at Bde H.Q. Received Operation Order for move.
26 Jun 1917 In camp as above, Training carried on as usual, received orders to move up to Front Line next day. See OO88
27 Jun 1917 - Front Line near Oppy In camp as above. No Training, preparations for move at night being made. At night moved up & relieved 14/R.Warwick Regt, see O.O. 88, while bombs were being issued prior to move, an accident occurred, casualties 16 O.R.s wounded. 2.30 pm Lt E.F.HANSSEN [Ernest Frederick HANSSEN] in charge of Battalion Lewis Gun Teams proceeded to Trenches & arranged for guides to guide Coys up at night
28 Jun 1917 - [The capture of Oppy Wood] Oppy Wood Bn in assembly trenches, see attached map & O.O. No.88/1. The Bn attacked the German system at Zero 7.10 pm & gained all its objectives see attached DIARY. The night was spent in consolidating the new ground. Rations, water & S.A.A. & RE material were sent up to Front Line See C.O's report attached [Comment; see appendices]
29 Jun 1917 'B' Coy side slipped to the left & the line in OPPY Wood was taken over by 1/Norfolk Regt see O.O.No.90
30 Jun 1917 Orders received to take over posts L, N & Q from the 12/Glouc.R. see O.O.91 6.30 p.m. Orders received from Bde that Bn would be relieved by 2/KOSBs O.O.92. Owing to late arrival of relieving unit 2 Coys were unable to be relieved that night. Casualties during action were: 2/Lt.A.S.TROTTER [Austin Stanley TROTTER], 2/Lt C.O.WHITFIELD [Charles Owen WHITFIELD] wounded, 2/Lt HOPE [James Kenneth HOPE] dislocated Knee. A/C.S.M.SUMMERFIELD [9183 Walter James SUMMERFIELD, DCM] killed. 8 ORs Killed, 13 O.R.s missing, 95 O.R.s Wounded
WAR DIARY FOR JULY 1917
1 Jul 1917 - Camp near Roclincourt Two coys in front line N of OPPY. Two Coys in camp A.24.b. (ROCLINCOURT). Spent day in resting and cleaning up. Two coys in front line were relieved by 2/K.O.S.B.s and returned to camp see OO 93
2 Jul 1917 In camp as above
3 Jul 1917 In camp as above. Working party of 3 Officers and 150 O.R.s for work in forward area under R.E.
4 Jul 1917 - Reserve Line E. of Willerval In camp as above 9.0 PM Moved into reserve line E of WILLERVAL relieving 1st Battn Devonshire Regt. and came under orders B.G.C. 95th Infy Bde. see O.O.94.
5 Jul 1917 In trenches as above working parties found see Work Programme
6 Jul 1917 In trenches as above working parties found see Work Programme. 2/Lt H.W.WRIGHT [Howard Watson WRIGHT] wounded and 1 O.R. killed by shell fire. Draft of 152 arrived all of whom had previously served in France with the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battns. C.O. and Adjt proceeded to Transport lines to train draft
7-8 Jul 1917 In line as above. Two coys worked on front line E and N of WILLERVAL each night.
9 Jul 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp In line as above. Relieved by 15th Royal Warwickshire Regt (13 Infy Bde) and withdrew to ECURIE WOOD camp. Came under orders of B.G.C. 15th Infy Bde.
10 Jul 1917 Battn rested until noon. C.O.s parade in the afternoon
11 Jul 1917 H.M The King visited the Area. The Battn. lined the ARRAS - SOUCHEZ road. On way back to camp the Battn. did an exercise, the attack in the open.
12 Jul 1917 Battn training. P.T., B.F, Bombing L.G., Battn drill and Musketry. In afternoon Battn played 16/R.Warwickshire Regt Cricket - Draw. Night, Working party of 3 Officers and 150 O.R.s went up to front line, to work on TIRED ALLEY. C.T.
13 Jul 1917 Training carried on under coy. arrangements. Afternoon. Major General R.B.STEPHENS C.M.G. G.O.C. 5th Division inspected the Battn and presented Medal Ribbons for recent actions. Capt.CHIRNSIDE M.C. [William Stuart CHIRNSIDE, MC & Bar] awarded the Bar to M.C. for gallantry at LA COULOTTE [comment; reccomended for a D.S.O but awarded an M.C. Citation in Appendices]. For OPPY - No.7175 Sgt A.FAULDER Bar to M.M. [7175 Arthur FAULDER, MM & Bar], 43038 Pte F. DIGHTON M.M. [43038 Frederick W. DIGHTON, MM], 20337 Pte W. CLARKE M.M. [20337 William CLARKE, MM], 10196 Sgt H. HILL M.M. [10196 Herbert HILL, MM], 430239 Pte L.KING M.M. [sic; 43460 Leonard KING, MM], 10238 Sgt D. STONE M.M. [10238 David STONE, MM], 8311 Sgt H. NORMAN M.M. [8311 Harry NORMAN, MM], 8253 Cpl G. ILOTT (since promoted Sgt) M.M. [8253 George ILOTT, DCM, MM], 10667 Pte J.W. HOUSTON M.M. [James W. HOUSTON, MM]. The following were presented with parchment cards by G.O.C. for gallant conduct. 10052 Sgt G.E.NEALE [George E. NEALE], 17425 L/C COX [17425 Arthur COX], 12365 L/C PRICE [12365 James C. COX], 20374 Sgt.C.HUMPHRIES [20374, later Lieutenant Reginald Charles HUMPHRIES, MC]. Usual working party of 3 Officers and 150 O.R.s for Work on TIRED ALLEY.
14 Jul 1917 In camp as above. Training carried on. Working party 3 Officers 150 O.R.s on WILLERVAL line.
15 Jul 1917 In Camp as above. Church parade for two coys. Received warning order to move to CONCENTRATION camp at A.24.c.
16 Jul 1917 - Concentration Camp Relieved 1st Norfolk Regt in CONCENTRATION camp see O.O.96 Enemy shelled camp soon after relief. Camp moved 800 yds West at night.
17-21 Jul 1917 Work on TIRED ALLEY, RED line and WILLERVAL North. Three Coys for first two nights and afterwards 2 Coys each night.
22 Jul 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp Moved to ECURIE WOOD camp. See O.O.97. A and B Coys worked on range in this camp
23 Jul 1917 Training carried on, see appended programme of work, Musketry, and amusements.
24 Jul 1917 Training carried on according to programme. Lt.G.H.ANSTEE M.C. [Geoffrey Arthur ANSTEE, OBE, MC, DL] joined the Batt. Following honours appeared in Divisional Routine orders - MILITARY CROSS Capt.H.A.W. Pearse [Hugh Armine Wodehouse PEARSE, MC], 2/LT P.D.SISLEY [Percival Denis SISLEY, MC], 2/LT A.S. TROTTER [Austin Stanley TROTTER, MC]. D.C.M. - No.8721 Sgt (a/C.S.M.) R.T.C. LANSBURY [Reginald Thomas LANSBURY, DCM, MM], No.10055 Sgt PUDDIPHATT [sic; 10055 Reginald Henry PUDDEFOOT, DCM]. BAR TO MM - No 28207 Sgt SINCLAIR [James SINCLAIR, DCM, MM & Bar].
25 Jul 1917 In camp. Training as per programme.
26 Jul 1917 In camp. Training as per programme Following Officers joined Battn. 2ND LT. F. HAGUE [Frederick HAGUE, MC] A.COY. 2ND LT. S. ALLPORT [Sidney ALLPORT] B.COY. 2ND LT. A.W.MATSON [Arthur William MATSON] C.COY. 2ND LT. P.N.J. CHRISTIE [Paul Norman Jones CHRISTIE] C.COY, joined 16th inst. 2ND LT. A.E.CROOCKEWIT [Alexander Edward CROOCKEWIT] COY. 2ND LT. R.C. HARE [Robert Craigh HARE] B.COY. joined 15th inst. 2ND LT. F. FLAVELL [Frank FLAVELL] D.COY. 2ND LT. J. COTCHIN [Joseph COTCHIN] D.COY. 2ND LT. J.T. DICKINSON [John Thomas DICKINSON] A.COY. 2ND LT J.T.LAUGHTON [Joseph Thornton LAUGHTON] C.COY. joined 12th inst.
27 Jul 1917 Training as per programme. Night march to ECURIE STATION in Box Respirators, Successfully carried out.
28 Jul 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux Battn relieved 12th Bn. Gloucester Regiment in front line trenches S of ARLEUX. See O.O.98 relief complete by 10 PM.
29 Jul 1917 In trenches as above. A and D in front line C and B in front support
30 Jul 1917 As Above
31 Jul 1917 As above. Inter company relief
WAR DIARY FOR AUGUST 1917
1 Aug 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux In Front line trenches south of ARLEUX Following officers joined the Bn. 2/Lts W.HAYNES [Wilfred HAYNES], P.S.C.DANIELS [comment' possibly Percy Joes Charles DANIELS] & H.C.LOE [Harold Charles LOE, MC]
2 Aug 1917 In trenches as above
3 Aug 1917 - Red Line In trenches as above. In afternoon Bn. was relieved by 1/Cheshire Regt & withdrew to RED LINE see O.O.99
4-8 Aug 1917 200 men per night were sent on Bde working parties - carrying trench stores digging Bn Cook house also built
9 Aug 1917 - Kitchener Camp, Red Line and Sugar Post Relieved by 1/D.C.L.I. & 2 Coys & H.Q. withdrew to KITCHENER CAMP. Two coys remained in RED LINE & SUGAR POST & worked under 491st Fld Coy R.E. wiring & widening trenches. Task - work see O.O. 100.
10-11 Aug 1917 Work as above two coys in KITCHENER Camp worked on Roads in back areas.
12 Aug 1917 Inter company relief see O.O.101
13-14 Aug 1917 Work as on 10 & 11 Instants.
15 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts Bn relieved by 1/Norfolk Regt & withdrew to ECURIE Wood huts see O.O.102.
16-20 Aug 1917 - Ecurie Wood Huts and Bray Range Bn Training special attention being paid to Musketry on19 Inst. Bn marched to BRAY Range & spent two nights there. See training programme attached Bn moved back to ECURIE Wood Camp.
21 Aug 1917 - Front Line south of Arleux Relieved 1/D.C.L.I. in Front Line see ).).103
22-26 Aug 1917 In trenches Front line was heavily shelled with 5.9s & 8 inch on 24 inst casualties 3 O.R. Killed 4 O.R. wounded. Special attention was paid to wiring
27 Aug 1917 - Vimy-Lievin Line Bn was relieved by 1/Cheshire Regt (see O.O.104) & withdrew to VIMY - LIEVIN line working parties were supplied for Front line system. Railways & tracks
28 Aug 1917 As above
29-31 Aug 1917 3 coys employed each night on wiring Front line system, one coy working on tracks Railways etc. 2LTS E.F.K.GRAHAM [Edgar Francis Kirkham GRAHAM, MM], V.E. FARR [Vivian Eric FARR], L.J. HOBSON [Leonard Jack HOBSON] & H.G.BAKER [Howard George BAKER] joined Bn 30th inst.
WAR DIARY FOR SEPTEMBER 1917
1 Sep 1917 - Tunnel Dump, Vimy-Lievin Line Working parties as on 29th, 30th, 31st Aug. Draft of 5 casuals joined.
2 Sep 1917 Working party as on 1st. 1 O.R. wounded on wiring party - since died. [comment - Pte 33755 John FAIREY, DOW 5th September]
3 Sep 1917 Working party as above. Enemy Arty. active on FARBUS. Draft of 4 casuals joined. Played D.15. battery football - result 4-0 against.
4 Sep 1917 - Ecurie Wood Camp Battalion withdrew from Tunnel Dump to ECURIE WOOD CAMP.
5 Sep 1917 - Frevin-Capelle Battalion marched to FREVIN CHAPPELLE [sic]. Draft of 38 joined.
6 Sep 1917 - Grand-Rullecourt Continued march to GRAND RULLECOURT & billeted there.
7 Sep 1917 Day spent in cleaning up, making up deficiencies etc.; training grounds reconnoitred. B.G.C. congratulates Bn. on work.
8 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Company arrangements.
9 Sep 1917 Parade Service in Chteau grounds with 16th R.Warwick Regt. & M.G.Coy. First of Inter platoon football knockout played. Coy. Officers reconnoitred new billeting area at BEAUDRICOURT.
10 Sep 1917 - Beaudricourt Battalion marched to BEAUDRICOURT, and billeted there.
11 Sep 1917 Battalion was reorganised on a three platoon basis. 2 Lieut. J.P.KINGDON [John Phillipps KINGDON] & 10 O.Rs rejoined from XIII Corps Musketry & Reinforcement Camp 10/9/'17. Lieut. J.B.SPROSTON [John Broadhurst SPROSTON] & 11 O.Rs arrived from Base Depot 10/9/17. Battalion drill & lecture on Smoke Tactics. In the afternoon, Inter platoon Football.
12 Sep 1917 Battalion Drill & lecture on Smoke Tactics. Practice attack with smoke. Inter platoon Football.
13 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Coy. arrangements till 10.30. Commanding Officer's lecture on Smoke Tactics to visitors (G.O.C 5th Div., B.G's C. 13th, 95th & 15th Bdes. etc.) Demonstration by Battn. of attack & smoke. In the Afternoon, "Bedford Hunt", officers mounted. Visitors for tea & lunch.
14 Sep 1917 Firing on Range at N.12. & specialist training. Inter platoon Football. Night march in box respirators.
15 Sep 1917 Specialist training. Field Firing N.12.a & N.12.c. Inter platoon football.
16 Sep 1917 Parade service. Final of Inter platoon Competition won by D Coy. "Bedford Hunt".
17 Sep 1917 One platoon from each Coy. entered Brigade Inter-platoon competition. No.1 Platoon (2 Lt.H.H.REYNOLDS [Harold Henry REYNOLDS]) chosen for Divisional Competition. Rest of Battn. specialist training.
18 Sep 1917 Lecture by Major ANDERSON, 1st Army Suptd of P.T. & B.F. Specialist training.
19 Sep 1917 Specialist training. Battn. passed through Gas Chamber. 95th [?sic].Bde. Musketry Competition; teams entered, & team of Ptes. & Lcpls. was 3rd. Div. Inter platoon Competition; No.1 Platoon was 4th. on Sept. 18th.
20 Sep 1917 Battn. practised scheme.
21 Sep 1917 At 1.0 a.m. marched to Grand Rullecourt; Operations as per O.O.X. [comment' operations order No.10, in appendices] Zero hour 5.45 a.m. Breakfast there; marched back at 9 a.m.
22 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Companies. Baths allotted to Coys. Officers & Platoon Sergts. attended demonstration of platoon attack at 3.15.p.m. 2nd Lt.F.A.GARWOOD [Frederick Arthur GARWOOD] reported and posted to D Coy.
23 Sep 1917 Parade service at 11.30. Officers & L.G.N-C.Os attended lecture on L.G.Tactics.
24-25 Sep 1917 - Zuid Hove Marched to Tincques, entrained there, detrained at St.Omer & marched to ZUDROVE [sic], near SERQUES. See M.O. No.108. 2nd Lts W.W..WHITE [comment; possibly William WHITE] & H.HUTCHINSON [Herbert HUTCHINSON] joined.
26 Sep 1917 Specialist training under Specialist Officers. Lecture by C.O. in afternoon on "Fire & Movement".
27 Sep 1917 Battn. Parade, lecture & specialist training. 2nd Lts.A.H.WAKEFIELD [Albert Henry WAKEFIELD], A.W.ROPE [Arthur William ROPE] & H.W.CORNELIUS [Herbert Walter CORNELIUS] joined.
28 Sep 1917 - Staple 5th Div. transferred from 5th Army to 2nd Army and posted to X Corps on arrival. Bde. marched to STAPLE, leaving at 9.a.m. Billeted at STAPLE.
29 Sep 1917 - Thieushouck Bde. marched to THIEUSHOUX, leaving at 9.a.m. billeted there.
30 Sep 1917 Battn rested in THIEUSHOUCK. All officers, C.S.Ms & Platoon Sergeants went over taped course for future operations.
WAR DIARY FOR OCTOBER 1917
1 Oct 1917 - Thieushouck Battn in billets at THIEUSHOUCK
2 Oct 1917 - Westoutre Moved forward & spent night at WESTOUTRE under canvas. See OO No.109 2/Lt.A.E.OXLEY [Alfred Edgar OXLEY] joined the Battn.
3 Oct 1917 - ridge between Tor Top and Stirling Castle Moved to RIDGE WOOD had dinners there, dumped haversacks & moved forward to SANCTUARY WOOD less dumped Personnel O.O. No.110. C.O. Adjt & 4 Coy Cmdrs went on to reconnoitre xsite [opposite?] trenches. Major HALFORD [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] brought Battn on at dusk. All ranks dug in on Ridge between TOR TOP & STIRLING CASTLE. Battn in reserve to 13th Inf Bde. Heavy shelling
4 Oct 1917 [The Third Battle of Ypres - The Battle of Broodseinde] 13th Bde attacked N. of YPRES MENIN Rd on a Front of 1500 yds to include POLDERHOEK CHATEAU. Attack commenced at dawn 1/R.W.Kent took their objective on Right but 2nd K.O.S.B. were held up in Front of POLDERHOEK CHATEAU. 7 p.m. Cmdg Officer was called to Bde H.Q. & Battn was ordered to move forward & dig in N. of YPRES-MENIN Rd towards VELDERHOEK [sic] & be in close support to 1/R.W.Kents. This was completed by Dawn.
5 Oct 1917 - Front Line near Veldhoek Battn relieved 1/R.W.Kents in Front line from J.21.d.8.9 on Road to junction of THICK COPSE & the SCHERRIABEEK
6-8 Oct 1917 A defensive system was made & a continuous Front line dug with Supports. C & B coys were in Front line with A & D in reserve in O.B.L. Communication trenches were dug back from Front line to O.B.L. Battn H.Q. situated in Buildings & PILLBOXES at J.21.d.05.30.
9 Oct 1917 [The Third Battle of Ypres - The Battle of Poelcapelle] 15th Bde attacked POLDERHOEK CHATEAU with 1/Norfolks & 16/R.War R. The attack failed & they withdrew to their jumping off positions about 250 yds W. of CHATEAU
10 Oct 1917 - Ridge Wood Battn was relieved by 7th Bttn K.R.R.Corps relief complete by 11.30 pm Battn withdrew to RIDGE WOOD. From the 4th to 10th The Battn was subjected to Heavy shelling. Total casualties - 4 officers Killed, 6 wounded, 35 [Other Ranks] Killed, 97 wounded, 4 missing. Officers Casualties were 2/Lts. H.H.REYNOLDS [Harold Henry REYNOLDS] H.W.FLEMING [Harold Winning FLEMING] , J.COTCHIN [Joseph COTCHIN], P.N.J.CHRISTIE [Paul Norman Jones CHRISTIE] killed. Capt H.A.W. Pearse [Hugh Armine Wodehouse PEARSE, MC], 2/Lts LAUGHTON [Joseph Thornton LAUGHTON], E.F.K. GRAHAM [Edgar Francis Kirkham GRAHAM, MM], F. FLAVELL [Frank FLAVELL], S. NORRISH [Samuel NORRISH, MC], E.I.F.NAILER [Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER] wounded. A/R.S.M. FREER [6521 Walter FREER] wounded. The Battn captured 4 M.Gs. & Killed over 100 Germans by sniping & Rifle Grenades. Map Reference for above GHELUVELT 1/10,000.
11 Oct 1917 - Brooke Camp, Westoutre The morning was spent in cleaning up. In the afternoon Bn. moved to BROOKE CAMP WESTOUTRE for one night. See O.O. 111
12 Oct 1917 - Meteren Bn. continued to march to METERIN [sic] Area & billeted, billets included Farm & tents. [Comment; John Broadhurst SPROSTON also wounded and evacuated today]
13 Oct 1917 Cots were reorganised, Kit & equipment etc was completed.
14 Oct 1917 In billets as above, work + sports as attached programme
15 Oct 1917 Draft of 45 O.R's joined from Base Depot. Specialists training, Lecture by C.O. on "Part Played by the Bn in recent operations", Bn inspected by Commanding Officer.
16 Oct 1917 Specialist training & Battn drill. War game for officers & Sergts "The taking of Polderhoek Chateau". A Concert was given in Hq billet in the evening.
17 Oct 1917 Practised the Battn in the attack with special reference to Pill Boxes, Barrages, Counter attack, communication, sectional advances, rapid consolidation, Fire control, Bayonet, Lewis Gun, Rifle grenades & smoke. Afterwards the Commanding Officer gave a lecture on the subject. In the afternoon the 2nd in C. took all officers in Map Reading.
18 Oct 1917 Battn gave demonstration of a modern attack to Batt Commanders & Adjutants in the Brigade. Rugger match in afternoon Officers v Other Ranks. Officers won 9 points nil.
19 Oct 1917 Specialist training, Lt.Col.Lord AMPTHILL [(Arthur) Oliver Villiers RUSSELL, 2nd Baron Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP] visited the Battn.
20 Oct 1917 Lt.Col.Lord AMPTHILL [(Arthur) Oliver Villiers RUSSELL, 2nd Baron Ampthill, GCSI, GCIE, DL, JP] inspected Battn on parade
21 Oct 1917 - Micmac Camp, Dickebusch Battn moved from the area to DICKEBUISCH area, and stayed one night in MICMAC Camp
22 Oct 1917 - Ridge Wood Camp Battn moved to RIDGE WOOD Camp and stayed 1 night. See O.O. 113
23-24 Oct 1917 - Stirling Castle and Wiltshire Camp Battn less dumped personnel moved up to STIRLING CASTLE. LT.J.C.A.BIRCH [James Charles Abbott BIRCH] joined Battn. Dumped Personnel in WILTSHIRE Camp
25 Oct 1917 Battn in STIRLING CASTLE, heavily shelled at Intervals. Carrying parties were supplied for 1/Cheshire Regt also parties to bring cable near FITZCLARENCE Fm. 2/Lt.A.E.CROOKEWIT [sic; Alexander Edward CROOCKEWIT] was severely wounded and died the following day. 2/Lt.L.J.HOBSON [Leonard Jack HOBSON] wounded.
26 Oct 1917 - [The Third Battle of Ypres - The Second Battle of Passchendaele] Front Line between Reutelbeek and Scherriabeek 13th Bde attacked POLDERHOEK CHATEAU & lines between REUTELBEEK & SCHERRIABEEK. Zero 5.40 a.m. 10 a.m. message received saying all objectives taken. 12 noon message received saying 14 & 15 Warwicks had withdrawn to their jumping off positions & evacuated CHATEAU. In consequence the 2/K.O.S.Bs were ordered to re-inforce all three attacking Battns of 13th Bde. 1.30 pm Orders received from 15th Bde for 1/Bedf R. to support the 2/K.O.S.Bs. Coy Cmdrs called together & Battn moved to TOWER & dug in 700 yds EAST of this point by 4.30 p.m. 5.30 p.m. Battn ordered to take over Front line between REUTELBEEK & SCHERRIABEEK & relieve all troops of 13th Bde in this line - relief complete by 1.15 a.m. 27th
27 Oct 1917 Complete system of Front & support line trenches dug - also communication trenches. 5 Lewis Guns & 20 Rifles were salved & 30 stretcher cases of attacking units were evacuated.
28 Oct 1917 In Front line as above. 4 p.m. Orders received that Battn would be relieved by 1/Devonshire Regt. Our guides met 1/Devons at TOR TOP near OBSERVATORY RIDGE at 4.45 p.m. Relief complete by 7.30 p.m. Casualties during [time] Battn was in line 2 Officers Wounded 101 O.R. Killed & Wounded. Map Ref for above ZILLEBEKE 1/10000 [Comment; 2/Lt. Herbert HUTCHINSON also woudned 27/10/1917, 2/Lt. John DALTON evacuated sick 31/10/1917]
29 Oct 1917 - Ridge Wood Battn in tents & dug-outs in RIDGE WOOD
30-31 Oct 1917 Battn in RIDGE WOOD
WAR DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 1917
1 Nov 1917 - Tunnels at Tor Top and Stirling Castle Battalion moved from Ridge Wood. A & C Coys with H.Q. going into tunnel at TOR TOP, B & D Coys going into tunnel at Stirling Castle taking over from 1st Devonshire Regt. Bn. left Ridge Wood at 5 p.m. relief complete 7.45 p.m. See O.O. 115 One Officer was appointed to take charge of precautions against gas & gas sentries were provided by Bn.
2 Nov 1917 During the morning all quarters were cleaned, gas blankets were renewed & others fixed. Parties were provided for carrying water & rum to Battns in the line.
3 Nov 1917 Parties found to carrying rations, picks, sand bags etc. from limbers to Battns in the line - 300 ft. 2" x 3" timber taken to TOR TOP for fixing gas blankets. 2nd Lieut WILLIAMS [Basil Charles WILLIAMS] wounded.
4 Nov 1917 Parties found to carry boxes SAA to forward position of M.G.C. during day. After dusk 130 trench boards taken up to centre Bn. H.Qrs. Wire & stakes carried up to dump behind centre Bn. Hqrs.
5 Nov 1917 - Ridge Wood Battn. was relieved by 3 Coys 12th Gloucesters, 2 Coys & H.Qrs. at TOR TOP & 1 Coy at Stirling Castle. Relief complete by 3 p.m. Enemy shelled track but only 1 man was wounded. Party of one Officer & 30 O.R. remained behind to carry T.M. ammo to front line. See O.O. 116. Casualties while Battn was in line 1 Off. 4 O.R. wounded.
6 Nov 1917 Battn remained at Ridge Wood. Parties were found for R.E. construction parties.
7 Nov 1917 Battn. remained in Ridge Wood camp.
8 Nov 1917 Battn. remained at Ridge Wood
9 Nov 1917 Battn. remained at Ridge Wood
10 Nov 1917 Battn. remained at Ridge Wood
11 Nov 1917 - Clapham Junction and Railway Dugouts, Zillebeke Battn. relieved 10th Yorkshire Regiment., Bn H.Qrs, "C" & "D" Coys at Clapham Junction, "A" & "B" Coys at Railway dugouts Zillebeke. Casualties during relief 1 man wounded. [Comment; 2/Lt. Frederick Arthur GARWOOD left today, having been gassed 7/11/1917]
12 Nov 1917 - Polygon Racecourse Battn. relieved the 12/13 Northumberland Fusiliers in front line near Polygon Racecourse. Relief was shelled 6 O.R's being killed.
13 Nov 1917 Situation was quiet except for some area bombardment by enemy. Trenches were improved - drained & a continuous line was commenced. One prisoner 26th Prussian regt was taken.
14 Nov 1917 Improvement of line continued with.
15 Nov 1917 - Ontario Camp An enemy patrol of two men approached our trenches - one was killed & the other taken prisoner - Battn. was relieved by 2 1/2 Coys. 4th Bn. N.Z.R.B. & 1 Coy 1st. N.Z.R.B. Battn. was taken by busses to Ontario Camp.
16 Nov 1917 - Coulomby. Battn. entrained at Ouderdom and proceeded to Lumbres, from there marching to Colomby [sic].
17 Nov 1917 Battn. spent day in cleaning up, clothing inspections etc. Preparations were made to commence training on following day. 2/Lt.W.M.STANTAN [William Martin STANTAN] & 2/Lt.N.H.WILKINS [Noel Harry WILKINS] joined Battn. from 17th I.B.D.
18 Nov 1917 A 30yds range was repaired and made fit for use. Bombing & B.F. grounds were made & a 200 yds range prepared. Hours of training 8.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Football & Boxing matches were arranged.
19 Nov 1917 Training as above.
20 Nov 1917 Training as above.
21 Nov 1917 Training as above.
22 Nov 1917 Battn. marched to Val-de-Lumbres range and fired following practises. Grouping (100 yds). Application (200 yds) 15 rounds rapid (200 yds)
23 Nov 1917 Training from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Battn. then watched Football match between two teams previously chosen.
24 Nov 1917 - Merck-St-Livin In accordance with orders received overnight Battn. marched to MERCK St. LIEVIN & Billeted
25 Nov 1917 - Fontaine-les-Boulans March continued to FONTAINE LES BOULANS where Battn. billeted again.
26 Nov 1917 Battn. rested & commenced refitting. 2nd Lt E.C.HERBERG [Ernest Charles HERBERG] joined Battn. from 176th M.G.Coy.
27 Nov 1917 Refitting contd. & Training commenced. 2nd Lt. H.W.J.POWELL [Herbert William John POWELL], 2nd Lt.A.T.FRANKLIN [Arthur Thomas FRANKLIN] & 2nd Lt.B.WILLIAMS [Basil Charles WILLIAMS] joined Battn. from 17th I.B.D.
28 Nov 1917 C.O's parade in morning B.G.C's lecture to Officers & N.C.O's in the evening.
29 Nov 1917 Training contd. under Coy. arrangements
30 Nov 1917 Baths at LISBOURG allotted to Battn.
WAR DIARY FOR DECEMBER 1917
1 Dec 1917 - Fontaine-les-Boulans Battn. remained billeted in FONTAINE LES BOULANS. Parades for Church Service.
2-3 Dec 1917 Training continued.
4 Dec 1917 Training on morning parade. Battn. Sports in afternoon.
5 Dec 1917 Baths allotted to Battn. at Lisburg [sic].
6 Dec 1917 Training continued.
7 Dec 1917 Training continued. C.O's lecture to Officers & Sgts. on Smoke Tactics.
8 Dec 1917 Training continued.
9 Dec 1917 Church Services for all denominations.
10 Dec 1917 Training continued. Rugby match in the afternoon, Officers v. O.R's. Won by Other Ranks.
11 Dec 1917 - Anvin en route for Italy. Battn. entrained at ANVIN station for ITALY. 1st Train B & D Coys. C.O. in command of train. 2nd Train A & C Coys. Major CHIRNSIDE M.C. [William Stuart CHIRNSIDE, MC & Bar] in command. Transport & Q.M. employ equally divided between the two trains.
12-15 Dec 1917 Battn. on trains en route for ITALY.
16 Dec 1917 - San Giorgio de Brenta and San Giorgio delle Pertiche. B & D Coys detrained at Fontaineva & marched to St.Giorgio de Brenta & rested for a few hours resuming march to St.Giorgio delle Pertiche & billeted there. A & C. Coys detrained at Ospitale and billeted at St.Girogio de Brenta for the night.
17 Dec 1917 - San Giorgio delle Pertiche A & C Coys marched to join B. & D Coys and billeted at St.Giorgio delle Pertiche.
18 Dec 1917 Battn. Route march. Played 15th Field Am. at Football - Bn. lost.
19 Dec 1917 Battn. commenced Training under Coy. arrangements. B & D Coys marched to Campo San Pietro to Cinema and were allowed some time in the town. Battn. found 100 men for unloading ammunition.
20 Dec 1917 As above. A & C Coys. taken to Campo San Pietro. 2/Lt.S.D.HARROWER [Stuart Daniel HARROWER] joined Battn.
21 Dec 1917 Battn. Route March.
22-23 Dec 1917 Battn. continued training.
24 Dec 1917 10 Officers taken to reconnoitre reserve line near RUBIO.
25 Dec 1917 Christmas day. Church services for all denominations in morning followed by Cross Country Relay race and distribution of gifts from Bedford Comforts Fund. In afternoon 2 Performances by "The Bedford Boys" 2 Coys. at each performance.
26 Dec 1917 Battn. continued training
27 Dec 1917 Brigade Scheme
28 Dec 1917 Battn. Training continued. C.O's parade - Battn. drill.
29 Dec 1917 Battn took part in Brigade Ceremonial Parade.
30 Dec 1917 Church Parades for all denominations.
31 Dec 1917 Battn. Training. C.O's parade. Ceremonial etc. on Brigade training ground. Inspection by Brigadier Genl F.D.R.OLDMAN CMG, DSO Commdg. 15th Infy Bde. Commanding Officer's Lecture to Officers, N.C.O.s, Lewis Gunners & Scouts.
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