The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1918 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
WAR DIARY FOR JANUARY 1918
1 Jan 1918 - San Giorgio delle Pertiche Battn. billeted in ST GIORGIO delle PERTICHE. Training continued.
2-3 Jan 1918 Battn. training carried on. (2nd Lt. C.G.WILKINS [Claud Gilbert WILKINS] joined Battn. also draft of 39 O.R.).
4 Jan 1918 Inspection of Battalion by Coys by Corps Commander.
5 Jan 1918 Battn. training carried on.
6 Jan 1918 Church Service (combined C. of E. & Nonconformist service by Royal Order it being a special day of Prayer)
7 Jan 1918 Platoon Training. 2nd party proceeded on reconnaissance scheme. Lt.G.M.BETTY [George MacMaster BETTY, MC], and Lt.W.T.MORRIS [William Thomas MORRIS] & 2nd Lt.L.J.HOBSON [Leonard Jack HOBSON] joined Battn. Boxing in afternoon.
8-9 Jan 1918 Battn. training continued.
10 Jan 1918 Battn. training contd. Lt.Col.P.R.WORRALL D.S.O., M.C. [Percy Reginald WORRALL, OBE, DSO, MC] proceeded on leave.
11 Jan 1918 Battn. training contd.
12-13 Jan 1918 Battn. training
14 Jan 1918 Battn. training. 2/Lt.F.H.FOX [Frank Herbert FOX] joined with 9 O.R's from Base Dept.
15 Jan 1918 Battn, training
16 Jan 1918 battn. training. C.S.M. E.JOHNSON M.M. [6863 Edward JOHNSON, MM] promoted to 2/Lt & posted to Battn.
17 Jan 1918 Battn. training
18 Jan 1918 Battn. training. Lecture in Evening by Major G.S.GORDON C.F. on "The Making of Modern Italy"
19 Jan 1918 Battn. training 20 Jan 1918 Divine Service for all denominations
21 Jan 1918 Battn. training
22 Jan 1918 Battn. training
23 Jan 1918 - Settimo Battn. marched to Settimo & billeted.
24 Jan 1918 - Paese Battn. marched to Paese & billeted.
25 Jan 1918 - Villorba Battn. marched to Villorba & billeted.
26 Jan 1918 Parades under Coy arrangements.
27 Jan 1918 Divine Services for all denominations
28 Jan 1918 Training under Coy. arrangements. C.O. Adjt. & Coy Commanders reconnoitred Front line
29 Jan 1918 Training under Coy. arranmegents, C.S.M's & Platoon Sgts proceeded with Platoon Officers to reconnoitre front line (2 Coys)
30 Jan 1918 As above. Reconnaissance of line by other 2 Coys.
31 Jan 1918 Remaining Officers & C.Q.M.S. reconnoitre line. Lt.H.W.J.POWELL [Herbert William John POWELL] returned from hospital. 9 Officers reconnoitred route to Left Battn. of Right Bde.
WAR DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1918
1 Feb 1918 - Villorba Battn. billeted at Villorba. 1 Officer per Coy & one for H.Q. reconnoitred route to line. Battn. carried on training under Coy. arrangements.
2 Feb 1918 - Rotunda Bidasio Battn. employed cleaning billets & preparing for move. Battn. moved up at dusk to relieve 14th Royal Warwickshire Regt. in support. Bn. H.Qrs. at Rotunda Bidasio (App I)
3 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. H.Qrs. shelled with 77m.m. shells Casualties 2 O.R's wounded. 1 Coy. employed at night clearing BERTI C.T.
4 Feb 1918 As above. All Coys. employed clearing & revetting PICCOLO & No.8. C.T's. Working hours 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. & 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Major W. ALLASON D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON, DSO & Bar], 2/Lt.J.C.MEADE [James Christopher MEADE] & 19 O.R's joined Battn.
6 Feb 1918 As above. Enemy shelled road in vicinity of Bn. H.Qrs. 2/Lt.F.HUGHES [Frank HUGHES] to Fd. Amb. sick.
7 Feb 1918 As above. Very quiet. Lt.Col.E.I.de S. THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG, DSO] joined Bn.
8 Feb 1918 As above. Situation very quiet.
9 Feb 1918 As above. About a dozen enemy light shells in rear of B.H.Q. Misty all day.
10 Feb 1918 - Front Line As above. Relieved 1st Norfolk Regt in Front line in the evening.
11 Feb 1918 In Front line as above. Very quiet.
12 Feb 1918 As above
13 Feb 1918 As above
14 Feb 1918 As above
15 Feb 1918 As above. Enemy Artillery active, Front line & Supports. Officers of E.Surrey Rgt. reconnoitred Bn. front.
16 Feb 1918 As above. Reconnaissance of line continued.
17 Feb 1918 As above. Very quiet. Bgde, O.O. recd re relief on 18.2.18.
18 Feb 1918 - Visnadello As above. Relieved by 1st E. Surrey Regt. in evening & marched to VISNADELLO & billeted there. Enemy aircraft very active at night.
19 Feb 1918 In billets as above. Bn. cleaning up, changing clothing, equipment &c. At night enemy aircraft bombed vicinity of village.
20 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training.
21 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training.
22 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training for operations to be undertaken in near future.
23 Feb 1918 As above. Training for coming operations.
24 Feb 1918 As above. Enemy aircraft very active bombing vicinity of village from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. 25th inst.
25 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training. Performance by Bedford Boys in evening
26 Feb 1918 As above. Bn. Training. Second performance as above.
27 Feb 1918 - Rotonda-Bidasio As above. Bn. preparing to move to the line. 7 p.m. Relieved 1st Devon Regt. in the Support line (ROTONDA-BIDASIO)
28 Feb 1918 In line as above. Bn. employed repairing trenches, Carrying parties &c. Evening our heavy artillery very active counter-battery work.
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1918
1 Mar 1918 - Rotonda Bidasio Battn. in support in neighbourhood of ROTONDA BIDASIO. carrying parties & working parties on communication & support trenches.
2 Mar 1918 As above.
3 Mar 1918 As above.
4 Mar 1918 - Front Line Battn. relieved 16. R.War Regt in Right Subsector.
5 Mar 1918 In front line as above C Coy on right 'A' Coy in centre holding Bridges PONTE PRIULA, B on left - D Coy in support.
6-8 Mar 1918 In line as above. Both artilleries very active.
9 Mar 1918 As above. 2/Lt. G.F.W.PERHAM [sic; William Francis George PERHAM] severely wounded during heavy bombardment of Front line.
10 Mar 1918 As above. 2/Lt. G.F.W.PERHAM [sic; William Francis George PERHAM] died of wounds in Field Ambulance. He was buried in British Military Cemetery at ARCADE. Several officers & men attended funeral.
11 Mar 1918 In line as above - relieved by 16.R.War R. & withdrew to Brigade reserve at ARCADE. Lt-Col.E.I.de S.THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG, DSO] took over command of 15 Inf Bde during absence of Brig Gen R.D.F.OLDMAN C.M.G. D.S.O. on leave. Major W.ALLASON D.S.O. [Walter ALLASON, DSO & Bar] took over command of Battn.
12 Mar 1918 In Reserve Billets as above. 2 Coys working parties on Roads, Camouflage work & making dug-outs emplacements etc. 2 Coys Bathing.
13 Mar 1918 As above
14 Mar 1918 As above, area shelled by enemy with large cal. shells, direct hit on H.Q. No casualties. Bn. H.Q. moved to other end of village.
15 Mar 1918 As above. Usual working pts. Artillery very active.
16 Mar 1918 As above. Enemy shelled village in afternoon. 1 casualty.
17 Mar 1918 - Santa Andrea As above. Bn. preparing for move at night. 8 p.m. Reserve line at Arcade evacuated & Bn. marched to S. ANDREA & billeted for the night.
18 Mar 1918 - Castagnola March resumed to CASTAGNOLA & billeted.
19 Mar 1918 In billets as above. Specialist training under Coy arrangements
20-22 Mar 1918 As above.
23 Mar 1918 - Pontocche Marched to PONTOCCHE & billeted.
24 Mar 1918 - Vigodazere resumed march to VIGODAZERE & billeted.
25 Mar 1918 - Creola Resumed march to CREOLA & billeted.
26 Mar 1918 As above. Battn. training carried on under Coy arrangements A & B Coys firing on Range.
27 Mar 1918 As above. Platoon training in attack & defence in morning. Specialist training in afternoon. B Coy on Range.
28 Mar 1918 As above. C Coy on Range.
29 Mar 1918 Good Friday. Church service at 6 p.m. Cricket & Football inter Coy & Platoon matches.
30 Mar 1918 Coy training in morning. Specialist training in afternoon.
31 Mar 1918 Billetted as above. Divine service for C. of E. & R.C's. Rugby match with 16th. R.W.R. in afternoon.
WAR DIARY FOR APRIL 1918
1 Apr 1918 - Creola. Battn. billeted at CREOLA. Training carried on. Lt.Col.E.I.de S. THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG, DSO] returned from 15th Inf. Bde. & resumed command of Battn.
2 Apr 1918 - Longare Battn. marched to LONGARE and billeted O.O. No.133.
3 Apr 1918 As above. Battn preparing for entraining for France.
4 Apr 1918 - Tavernelle en route for France Battn. marched to Tavernelle. 1st Train consisting of A & C Coys & 1/2 Transport left at 10.10 p.m. Personnel of 2nd train bivouaced for night O.O.132
5 Apr 1918 - en route for France Second train left Tavernelle at 6.15 a.m.
6-7 Apr 1918 In trains en route for France. Route Modane, Fontainebleau, Doulons [sic], Frevent
8 Apr 1918 - Neuvillette Both trains arrived at FREVENT & detrained. Each 'train' marched independently to NEUVELLETTE [sic] & billeted.
9 Apr 1918 As above.
10 Apr 1918 - Sombrin Marched to Sombrin & billeted O.O. 135. battn. in readiness to move at 1/2 hrs notice.
11 Apr 1918 - Lambres Marched to SAULTY & entrained. Detrained at AIRE & marched to LAMBRES. Battn. billeted with an outpost line round N. part of village.
12 Apr 1918 - [The Battle of the Lys - the defence of Nieppe Forest] la Croix-Mairesse Battn. less dumped personnel moved up to CROIX MARRAIS [sic] - Brigade being Brigade in support to the Division. Battn. bivouaced with outposts out & dug defensive position.
13 Apr 1918 Battn. commenced digging Support line (Divisional line) Dumped personnel moved to Tannay.
14 Apr 1918 - Divisional Line Battn. relieved the R.W.Kents in Divisional line. Work on line carried on, wiring & improving breastworks. Casualties 1 man killed, 5 wounded.
15 Apr 1918 As above. Artillery fairly quiet. Casualties 1 killed, 4 wounded.
16 Apr 1918 - Front Line 15th. Inf. Bde. relieved 95th Bde. in left sub-sector of Div. front. Battn. relieved 12th Gloucesters in support. O.O. 137. Lt.Col.E.I.de S. THORPE D.S.O. [Edward Ivan de Sausmarez THORPE, CMG, DSO] to command 152 Inf. Bde. as Temp. Brigadier. Maj. M.W. HALFORD M.C. [Montague Walter HALFORD, MC] Gloster regt. assumed command of battn.
17 Apr 1918 As above. casualties 1 killed 3 wounded. 18 Apr 1918 As above. Casualties 4 wounded.
19 Apr 1918 As above. Casualties 1 wounded.
20 Apr 1918 As above. Casualties 2 wounded. Draft of 31 O.R's joined. Work done while in support, All Coys built breastworks for protection in the wood. At night 2 Coys. wired whole of Brigade reserve line - double apron - 2 Coys. dug slit assembly trenches E. of wood to accommodate whole Battn. in case of alarm, or gas.
21 Apr 1918 Battn. relieved 1st. NORFOLK REGT. in right sub-sector of Bde. Sector. O.O. 138. Several casualties were caused later by our Arty. firing short. Casualties 1 O.R. killed & 4 O.R. wounded.
22 Apr 1918 Heavy gas shelling during night 21/22. Enemy fired T.M's on front line. Casualties 2 O.R. killed 9 wounded.
23 Apr 1918 As above. Large party of enemy in front of centre Coy. dispersed by L.G. & rifle fire & Arty. slow barrage. Active patrolling carried on. Work on line & wiring on whole front. 2/LT. [Edward] JOHNSON to F.A. 2/Lt.H.HUTCHINSON [Herbert HUTCHINSON] rejoined.
24 Apr 1918 Rt. Coy (A Coy) preparing for minor operation (see App.6) Casualties 3 O.R's wounded Officers patrol reconnoitred ground for minor operation.
25 Apr 1918 "A" Coy, supported by two platoons of "B" Coy took all objectives as detailed in O.O. 139 Zero hour 9.30 p.m. All objectives reported taken 10.35 p.m. See App.8. Capt.F.HAGUE [Frederick HAGUE, MC] wounded 1 O.R. killed 20 O.R. wounded. Lt.A.H.O.RIDDELL [Alexander Herbert Oliver RIDDELL] & E.I.F.NAILER [Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER], 2nd Lt F.L. RAY [Frederick Lee RAY] joined Battn.
26 Apr 1918 Situation quiet. 3 O.R's wounded.
27 Apr 1918 - camp in Nieppe Forest Enemy attacked Right Coy at about 4.30 a.m. [comment; 'appendix 9' in margin]. A/Capt W.W.WHITE [possibly William WHITE] wounded. 2/Lt.A.E. PEEL [Ambrose Ethelstone PEEL] killed, 7 O.R's killed 11 wounded. Battn. was relieved by 3 Coys K.O.S.B.'s and 1 Coy D.C.L.I. & withdrew to camp in wood O.O. 140.
28 Apr 1918 As above.
29-30 Apr 1918 As above. battn. supplied working party of 400 men to work on Divisional line, wiring and improving breastworks.
WAR DIARY FOR MAY 1918
1 May 1918 - Camp in Nieppe Forest, H.Q. at l'Epinette Battn. in camp in NIEPPE FOREST Head Quarters at L'EPPINETTE.
2 May 1918 As above.
3 May 1918 - Support Line and Tannay Battn. moved up to Support position, relieving 12th Gloucester Regt. Party of 2 Offrs. & 128 O.Rs Dumped Personnel moved back to TANNAY. See A327 attached.
4 May 1918 Battn. employed making tracks to front line battn H.Qrs, carrying parties, digging & wiring Support line.
5 May 1918 As above. Casualties 1 killed & 7 wd.
6 May 1918 As above.
7 May 1918 As above. 1 wounded
8 May 1918 As above
9 May 1918 - Left Sector Front Line Battn. relieved 1st. Cheshire Regt. in Front line, left sector Bde. front. 6 O.R's wounded.
10 May 1918 As above. Enemy machine guns very active.
11 May 1918 As above. 3 O.R's wounded
12 May 1918 As above. 6 O.R's wounded.
13 May 1918 As above. 3 O.R's killed.
14-15 May 1918 As above. Work while in front line was carried on, in improving trenches, making front line continuous and wiring the whole front. A new trench was dug by the right Coy. for Support platoon. R.E. put in 2 new small elephant shelters for R. & support Coy. H.Qrs. Bn. H.Qrs. worked on existing huts & bivouacs and new ones built.
16 May 1918 - Villorba Camp As above. 2nd Lt F.L. RAY [Frederick Lee RAY] & 1 O.R. killed. Bn. relieved by 14th R.W.Regt. & withdrew to VILLORBA CAMP.
17 May 1918 In camp as above. Battn. employed cleaning up, changing khaki etc.
18 May 1918 Battn. employed on Div. line. 2 Coys 9 am to 1 p.m. 2 Coys 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
19 May 1918 - Tannay and Thiennes Work on Div. line as above. Battn. relieved by 1st Norfolk Regt. & withdrew 2 Coys & H.Qrs to TANNAY, 2 Coys to THIENNES & billeted.
20 May 1918 In billets as above. 5.30 a.m. Test alarms sounded & Battn. proceeded by light railway to take up battle positions. Working parties found at THIENNES STN. etc.
21 May 1918 Battn. on Contact patrol scheme. Took up position at 7 p.m. Closed at 10 a.m. & proceeded by Coys to baths.
22 May 1918 - Spresiano Camp As above. Battalion found parties to work on Divisional Line, moved up to SPRESIANO CAMP at night & relieved 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regt.
23 May 1918 In Camp as above, Training carried on under Company arrangements
24 May 1918 In Camp as above. Draft of 5 O.Rs joined. Training carried on under Coy Arrangements Working party found for Bde H.Q.
25 May 1918 As above, training as above working party as above.
26-28 May 1918 As above. Party proceeded to Front Line at night to take over ready for relief next day. Casualties 2 O.Rs wounded
29 May 1918 - Front Line As above. Battalion preparing for move to the Line 9 p.m. Battalion moved up & relieved 1st Battalion the Norfolk Regt in Front Line
30 May 1918 In line as above. Enemy shelled considerably with gas shell. Casualties 1 O.R. wounded.
31 May 1918 In line as above. Enemy Artillery active on roads between Bn H.Q. & Coys Casualties 3 ORs wounded. 2/Lt E.C.HERBERG [Ernest Charles HERBERG] wounded
WAR DIARY FOR JUNE 1918
1 Jun 1918 - Front Line Battalion in front line 2/Lt. F.HUGHES [Frank HUGHES] was wounded 2 O.R.s Killed, 2 wounded.
2 Jun 1918 Battalion in line (front). There was considerable gas shelling - but no casualties.
3 Jun 1918 As above. Lt. H.J.EVERETT, M.C. [Horace John EVERETT, MC] slightly wounded 5 O.R.'s Killed & 4 O.R's were wounded. The Warwicks make a raid on our left.
4 Jun 1918 - Steenbecque Battalion was relieved by R.W.Kent Rgt. & withdrew to billets at STEENBECQUE. We had no casualties.
5 Jun 1918 Battn. in billets, rest & clean up.
6 Jun 1918 Training under Coy arrangements, baths are allowed at ARCADE, postponed [sic] early in afternoon owing to hostile shelling
7 Jun 1918 An attack scheme by the Battalion. Baths are allotted at NEUFRE. Cpl CONNOLLY [9222 Thomas Bradford Mills CONNOLLY] promoted to 2nd Lt. & posted to this Battalion.
8 Jun 1918 Battalion training, companies practice the attack.
9 Jun 1916 Church service for all denominations. A draft of 21 O.R's joined & were inspected.
10 Jun 1918 Battn. training under company arrangements.
11 Jun 1918 The Battn. practises the attack. 14 O.R's join from Reinforcement Camp. Warning Order & operation order received for move next day.
12 Jun 1918 - Support Line The Battn. moves to support line & relieves the 1st Bn. D.C.L.I. Rgt: no casualties.
13 Jun 1918 Battn. in support, frequent hostile shelling on the support line. 11 O.R.s wounded.
14 Jun 1918 As above. The line is shelled again. The Battn. is employed on improving their positions.
15 Jun 1918 Battn. in same position - the shelling is heavier - retaliation is asked for which neutralised this shelling. 1 O.R. Killed & 5 O.R's wounded.
16 Jun 1918 Battn. in same position. Enemy planes active. The position is again shelled from 10 p.m. to 12 mid-night. Companies carry & work for R.E's. A test "Stand to" took place at 3 a.m. 2 O.R's wounded.
17 Jun 1918 Battn. in same position. Our planes very active over Enemy lines. Gas cloud reported coming from S. between 5 to 6 p.m. but did not reach the Battn. A draft of 40 O.R's joined. 2/Lt.C.G.WILKINS [Claud Gilbert WILKINS] wounded at Duty & 2 O.R's wounded.
18 Jun 1918 As above. Enemy planes again active over our position. Major H.COURTENAY, M.C. [Hugh COURTENAY, DSO, MC] joined Battalion.
19 Jun 1918 - Front Line Battalion relieved 1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. in front line. Situation normal. 5 O.Rs wounded.
20 Jun 1918 As above. Situation quiet. 1 O.R. wounded by Sniper. Our patrol reports enemy M.G. emplacement.
21 Jun 1918 Battalion improves trenches, wiring & digging a C.T. 2nd Lt.SHELDRAKE [Archibald Douglas Farnsworth SHELDRAKE, MC] & 2ndLt.BLAKENEY [Henry Manwood Hope Grice BLAKENEY] joined Battalion in front line.
22 Jun 1918 Usual working party for R.E. 1 O.R. wounded. Lt.KINSEY R.A.M.C. [Edward Digny KINSEY, MC] joined for duty, Cpt.McKAY [Dr. James McKAY, MC] to Base for duty.
23 Jun 1918 Our patrol went out in search of enemy L.G. post & claim direct hit by bomb. 6 O.R's wounded, all returned.
24 Jun 1916 - Villorba Camp Battalion relieved by 1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. Enemy shelled Bde H.Q. bear Villorba Camp where we withdrew to. The B.G.C. & Staff Captain were gassed.
25 Jun 1918 Baths are allotted at ARCADE cleaning camp etc. 10 O.R's to Hospital effects of gas.
26 Jun 1918 Training under Company arrangements. Enemy active shelling rounds near to the Camp.
27 Jun 1918 Lt.KINGDON [John Phillips KINGDON] joined Battalion from Senior Officers course. 1 O.R. Killed with R.F.A. on liaison. 2 Officers 7 50 O.R. employed with 13 Bde as stretcher bearers.
28 Jun 1918 Company training - usual working party situation quiet. Enemy shelled TANNAY. C.O's horse badly wounded near VILLORBA CAMP.
29 Jun 1918 Draft of 39 O.R's join the Battalion. Battalion trains under company arrangements.
30 Jun 1918 - Front Line, le Sart Sector Battalion relieved 1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. in the front line.
WAR DIARY FOR JULY 1918
30 Jun - 1 Jul 1918 - Front Line, le Sart Sector Battalion relieves The 1st Bn. Cheshire Rgt. Relief complete & satisfactory. Major Major BARNETT, D.S.O. [William Harold Louis BARNETT, DSO] was wounded.
1 Jul 1918 Situation normal. Slightly increased activity of artillery at night. Patrols bring in correspondence as requested by Brigade. All Coys sent Salvage down. Leave party for England 1 Officer & 11 O.R's.
2 Jul 1918 Battalion strengthens wire & improves trench. Enemys T.M.s very active on "B" Coy. front. 1 Killed, 4 wounded.
3 Jul 1918 The G.O.C. (General Stevens) & B.G.C. visit Bn.H.Q. Enemy shelling our post with T.M.s. 1 O.R. Killed 4 O.R.s wounded.
4 Jul 1918 Coys. improve trenches. Our artillery active on back areas. 3 O.R.s Killed. 6 wounded
5-6 Jul 1918 The Battalion shortens the frontage & are assisted & relieved by mainly the D.C.L.I.s + 1 Coy. Warwicks with 1 Coy of R.W.Kents in support (to the latter). No Casualties.
6 Jul 1918 - Arcade Camp The Battalion withdrew to ARCADE CAMP, refits, baths & rests. See OO 157.
7 Jul 1918 Church Parade at 11.0. a.m.
8 Jul 1918 The Battalion goes on an 8 mile route march & rests during the afternoon. Major CHIRNSIDE [William Stuart CHIRNSIDE, MC and Bar] arrives from England
9 Jul 1918 During the morning training under Coy. arrangements. Swimming sports in the afternoon. We win all the races. 50yds, 100 & 250.
10 Jul 1918 Training under Coy. arrangements. Boxing in afternoon is interrupted by very heavy rain.
11 Jul 1918 Wiring demonstration in the morning, & concert. Battalion preparing for move to support lines left sector.
12 Jul 1918 - Support Line Battalion moved up in support lines in relief of the 2/K.O.S.B.'s Relief went off well - 1 O.R. wounded. See O.O.152.
13 Jul 1918 In support as above. Working party of 1 Officer & 30 OR found for R.E.'s. 1 officer & 30 O.R. digging communication trench. 2 Lieut.E.C.HOWLETT [Ernest Charles HOWLETT] joined from 1/Norfolks. Enemy Aircraft very active. 16 OR reinforcements from Reception Camp.
14 Jul 1918 Still in support. Found working parties for the R.E's and digging C.T. to front line. Our heavies active in the afternoon. Special attention being paid to MERVILLE.
15 Jul 1918 Still in support. Our Artillery very active again today. But no reply from the enemy. Also found working parties.
16 Jul 1918 Still in support. Artillery on our side still active, practically continuous day & night. Working parties found. Casualties 1 OR. wounded.
17 Jul 1918 - Front Line, Arrewage Sector As above. Our artillery again very active no retaliation from the enemy. Gen.BIRDWOOD and staff visited Battn H.Q. Relieved 1/Norfolks in front line in the ARREWAGE sector - OO 153. [Comment; Lt. Arthur Thomas FRANKLIN granted local leave but woudl nto return on medical grounds]
18 Jul 1918 In front line as above. Morning early one of our single seaters brought down by A.A. fire.
19 Jul 1918 In front line. This morning two E.A. brought down, in aerial combat, one came down in flames while the other crashed. Slight activity by the enemy artillery.
20 Jul 1918 At midnight "A" Company carried out a raid & attack. The raid was unsuccessful in that it did not yield any prisoners. But the attack was more successful. The enemy were driven back over the PLATEBECQUE, which ran between us & the enemy. Casualties 2Lt H.W.CORNELIUS [Herbert Walter CORNELIUS] Killed 2Lt H.M.G. BLAKENEY [Henry Manwood Hope Grice BLAKENEY] wounded, 3 O.R. Killed 2 OR Missing believed Killed & 10 OR. wounded. Heavy enemy shelling during the raid, a heavy barrage of T.Ms were put up. One enemy balloon brought down by one of our planes. See OO 155.
21 Jul 1918 Still as above. Both artilleries fairly active
22 Jul 1918 Ditto: the whole front remarkably quiet.
23 Jul 1918 - la Lacque Camp Relieved by the 1/Devons & withdrew to LA LACQUE Camp. See O.O.156.
24 Jul 1918 In camp as above. Whole Battn cleaning up.
25 Jul 1918 As above half the Battalion went bathing & the other half carried on with training under company arrangements. In the evening the whole Battn went to a performance by the 'BEDFORD BOYS' in the Theatre of the camp.
26 Jul 1918 As above. Concert at night by the 1 East Surrey Regtl. troup (The Thirsty First)
27 Jul 1918 As above. Concert at night by the 16.R.W. Regt troupe.
28 Jul 1918 Church parade in the theatre. Genl.PONSONBY divl commander attended. the Divnl band played.
29 Jul 1918 Training carried on with. In the afternoon Battn. sports. concert by the BEDFORD BOYS. at night.
30 Jul 1918 Battalion preparing to move up in Brigade reserve at VILLOBA CAMP. Move off 1 p.m.
31 Jul 1918 - Villorba Camp Battalion started training in new camp under company arrangements. Also coys. had to build buttresses against huts to stop splinters from penetrating. B.Coy & 'C' Coy found working parties.
1 Aug 1918 - Villorba Camp In VILLORBA Camp in the early morning camp was shelled with gas and H.E. & shrapnel. Casualties 5 OR gassed. Working parties found on Divisional line BEDFORD and CHESHIRE C.T.s also roads & tracks in vicinity of camp.
2 Aug 1918 Enemy artillery fairly active at night and early morning. H.V. guns shelled TANNAY and some fell around ARCADE Camp. No so much gas shells used. The usual working parties found. Raining hard all day.
3 Aug 1918 In camp as above, usual working parties & usual early morning artillery activity around camp.
4 Aug 1918 As above. 3 Companies on working parties. 1 Company on Church Parade in camp (Remembrance Day) Lieut J.P.KINGDON [John Phillips KINGDON] to 5th Army School as Instructor. Capt & Adjt. A.H.O. RIDDELL [Alexander Herbert Oliver RIDDELL] & Lieut. E.I.F.NAILER [Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER] to leave in France, usual enemy shelling in vicinity of camp.
5 Aug 1918 As above working parties as usual. Warning Order for relief received & Operation Order for move on following day.
6 Aug 1918 - la Lacque Camp Preparing for move to LA LACQUE Camp. Battalion left VILLORBA Camp at 6.35 p.m. arrived at LA LACQUE at 8.30 p.m. See O.O. 158.
7 Aug 1918 - Blaringhem Marched to BLARINGHEM Area C & billeted. Billets in very poor condition. Battalion employed bathing. See OO 159.
8 Aug 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion Training commenced. Football in the afternoon.
9 Aug 1918 In Billets as above. Brigadier General R.D.F.OLDMAN inspected the Battalion.
10 Aug 1918 In billets as above. Training continued.
11 Aug 1918 As above. Church Services for all denominations.
12 Aug 1918 Received Warning Order for move at any moment.
13 Aug 1918 As above. D Company moved off to WIZERNES Station to act as loading party. Remainder of Battalion preparing for move see O.O. 160.
14 Aug 1918 - Outrebois Battalion marched to WIZERNES Station & entrained. Detrained at DOULLENS & marched to OUTREBOIS & billeted.
15 Aug 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion allotted Baths.
16 Aug 1918 - Remaisnil In Billets as above. Battalion moved in the afternoon to REMAISNIL & billeted. See OO 161.
17 Aug 1918 Billetted as above. Training carried on.
18 Aug 1918 - Orville In Billets as above received warning order to move at short notice. Battalion marched to ORVILLE & billeted for one night. Dumped Personnel sent back to DOULLENS.
19 Aug 1918 - Sailly-au-Bois Battalion marched to SAILLY au BOIS & billeted in ruined houses for the night. Raining during whole march.
20 Aug 1918 - Bucquoy As above. Bde Operation Order received for move to forward position ready to take part in the attack. Battalion moved up at 8.55 pm to assembly position near BUCQUOY See OO 162.
21 Aug 1918 [The Second Battle of the Somme (1918) - The Battle of Albert] Battalion moved forward to the attack at 4.45 a.m. meeting with very slight opposition. The objective was about 1500 yards from original German Front Line which had already been taken by the 37th Division. Battalion gained objective which they consolidated, remaining there in support to the 1/Norfolk Regt. who passed through to take the next objective. Casualties Capts G. de C.MILLAIS [Geoffrey de Carteret MILLAIS] & H.J.WEST M.C. [Herbert John WEST, MC] wounded (since died of wounds) & 46 O.R.s Killed & wounded etc.
22 Aug 1918 Battalion still in Support. Enemy shelling heavily with gas shells, Casualties Lieut. W.M.STANTAN [William Martin STANTAN] (attd T.M.B.) wounded, 2.Lt.H.MAW [Harry MAW] Killed.
23 Aug 1918 - [The Second Battle of the Somme (1918) - The Second Battle of Bapaume] Brown Line, Achiet-le-Petit Battalion moved up in front of ACHIET Le Petit & moved forward to the attack at 11 A.M. All objectives taken, Battalion suffered rather heavily from Machine Gun fire. Casualties Lt.Col. H.COURTENAY, M.C. [Hugh COURTENAY, DSO, MC] wounded severely (since died). Lts. G.ABBOTT [George ABBOTT], H.J.A.WATSON [Henry James Arthur WATSON], E.I.F.NAILER [Edgar Ivan Fitzroy NAILER], A.R.C.EATON [Alexander Robert Charles EATON], R.H.ARNHOLZ [sic; Robert Henry Preuss ANRHOLTZ], 2/Lts. F.H.FOX [Frank Herbert FOX] & W.T.PAINE [William Thomas PAINE] Killed. 2/Lts. H.J.SNASHALL [Henry John SNASHALL, MC] & F.J.KELF [Frederick James KELF] wounded. 129 O.R.s killed & wounded etc. Battalion withdrew to Brown Line in reserve.
24 Aug 1918 [The Pursuit to the Hindenburg Line] In Reserve in Brown Line
25 Aug 1918 - Achiet-le-Petit As above at 9 A.M. Battalion moved forward to trenches two kilometres in front of ACHIET LE PETTIT [sic] still in reserve.
26-27 Aug 1918 In reserve as above.
28 Aug 1918 - Bapaume As above. Battalion & A & B echelons of Transport moved further forward Transport in front of ACHIET LE PETTIT, Battalion in vicinity of BAPAUME. 62 ORs joined from base Depot.
29 Aug 1918 As above. Battalion standing to, ready to move at moment's notice.
30 Aug 1918 Battalion situated as above.
31 Aug 1918 As above. usual artillery activity.
WAR DIARY FOR SEPTEMBER 1918
1 Sep 1918 - Fremicourt Battalion moved up to Railway Line in vicinity of FREMICOURT & dug in.
2 Sep 1918 Battalion advanced to the attack (in reserve) at 5.15 a.m. in front of FREMICOURT. Casualties Lt. C.G.HAYES [Charles George HAYES, MC] wounded etc. 94 Other Ranks Killed, wounded etc.
3 Sep 1918 - Lebucquiere Station B & D Coys went forward to the attack & found that the enemy had evacuated the position. These two Companies advanced about four miles until they came in contact with the enemy, they then dug in. relieved at night & marched back to LEBUCQUIERE Station & encamped. Casualties 9 Other Ranks wounded
4 Sep 1918 - Biefvillers-les-Bapaume Battalion withdrew to Camp near BIEFVILLERS
5 Sep 1918 In camp as above, employed in cleaning up and refitting
6 Sep 1918 In Camp as above Battalion Training Commenced.
7-11 Sep 1918 As above. Training carried on. Weather: - very wet, very rough winds.
12 Sep 1918 As above. The following Officers joined Battalion 2/Lt W.B.J.BRANDRETH [William Robert Turner BRANDRETH], 2/Lt F.WHATELY-KNIGHT [Frank WHATELY-KNIGHT], 2/Lt S.G.FISHER [Stanley George FISHER], 2/Lt K.W.J.HARVEY [Keith William Pittman HARVEY], 2/Lt E.W.P.ROBINSON [Ernest Walter Pillis ROBINSON], 2/Lt G.W.BLACKWELL [Greville William BLACKWELL], 2/Lt F.A. CLARKE [Frederick Augustus CLARKE] 2/Lt W.W.HUMM [William Walter HUMM], 2/Lt L.G.CALE [Lawrence George CALE].
13 Sep 1918 As above. Training carried on.
14 Sep 1918 In Camp as above. Received Warning Order to move up into Divisional Reserve
15 Sep 1918 - Villers-au-Flos Moved up to VILLA au FLOS [sic] in the morning & billeted in huts & dug-outs. Enemy aircraft very active bombing vicinity of village at night
16 Sep 1916 In billets as above. Training carried on under Coy. arrangements. Enemy active with H.V. Guns.
17-19 Sep 1918 In Divisional Reserve as above, warned to be ready to move at 1/2 an hours notice.
20 Sep 1918 - Ytres Received Warning Order to move. Moved at night to YTRES via BARASTRE & BUS. Battalion relieved at VILLER au FLOS [sic] by 2 K.O.S.B.s & Relieved 1/D.C.L.I. at YTRES. Some shelling by H.V. Guns in vicinity of village.
21 Sep 1918 In Camp as above. Enemy H.V.Guns very active shelling village.
22 Sep 1918 In Camp as above. Church services for all denominations. H.V. Guns again active 2/Lt R.J.CROPLEY [Reginald John CROPLEY] severely wounded & died later in the day.
23 Sep 1918 As above, frequent enemy shelling around Camp.
24 Sep 1918 As above.
25 Sep 1918 As above. Bde O.O. received for relief on following day. Battalion to remain in same camp.
26 Sep 1918 Battalion received orders to move up to assembly positions ready for forthcoming operations.
27 Sep 1918 - [The Battles of the Hindeburg Line - the Battle of the Canal du Nord] Beaucamps Battalion advanced over the top to the attack at 7.52 am & captured part of Beaucamp [sic] Village all objectives taken. During the afternoon German Bombing Party attacked which caused Battalion to draw back to Sunken Road & evacuate the village. Capt H.C.LOE, M.C. [Harold Charles LOE, MC] & 2/Lt. H.HUTCHINSON [Herbert HUTCHINSON] Killed. Capt. R.L. Shaw [Robert Leslie SHAW], Capt & Adjt.A.H.O. RIDDELL [Alexander Herbert Oliver RIDDELL], Lt.F.H.MELVILL [Frederick Henry MELVILL] & 2/Lts. W.T.MORRIS [William Thomas MORRIS], J.T.LAUGHTON [Joseph Thornton LAUGHTON, died on the Ambulance train that day], G.W. BLACKWELL [Greville William BLACKWELL] wounded. Other Ranks - 19 Killed, 96 Wounded, 1 Died of Wds. 19 Missing & 1 Wd. & Missing.
28 Sep 1918 Germans evacuated BEAUCAMP [sic]. Cheshires & Norfolks advanced with Bedfords & Warwicks in support. Lt.C.G.WILKINS [Claud Gilbert WILKINS], Wd. at duty. O.R. - 1 Killed & 3 Wounded.
29 Sep 1918 Bedfords passed through 95th Bde & attacked beyond railway & consolidated. 2/Lt.W.B.J. BRANDRETH [William Robert Turner BRANDRETH] Wd. 2/Lt.F. WHATELY-KNIGHT [Frank WHATELY-KNIGHT] Wd. at duty. O.R. - 1 Killed, 2 Died of Wds, 3 Wounded, 1 Missing.
30 Sep 1918 - Dead Man's Corner Germans retiring, Battalion moved forward. Relieved in evening by 13 K.R.Rs. 37th Division & withdrew to Dead Mans Corner. 5 O.R. Wounded 2 Died of Wounds
WAR DIARY FOR OCTOBER 1918
1 Oct 1918 - Neuville-Bourjonval Battalion withdrew to huts at NEUVILLE. "A" Line Transport heavily shelled. Casualties 1 O.R. Killed 1 O.R. wounded 3 horses Killed & 3 horses wounded. Capt. F.W.BALLANCE [Frederick William BALLANCE], Lts A.J.FYSON [Arthur James FYSON] & B.L.PAVEY [Bernard Lancelot PAVEY] & 2Lts F.FLAVELL [Frank FLAVELL] & W.H.T.COTHILL [William Henry Thomas COTHILL] joined Battalion for duty.
2 Oct 1918 In huts as above. Day devoted to bathing & cleaning up
3 Oct 1918 As above. Training carried on.
4-5 Oct 1918 Training carried on as above.
6 Oct 1918 Church services for all denominations. Capt.J.W.CAMPION [Walter John CAMPION, MC], Lt.R.CAULDWELL-COOK [Reginald CALDWELL-COOK] & 2/Lt W.R.HOPE [William Ross HOPE] joined Battalion.
7 Oct 1918 Training carried on as above. 2Lts HOLLINGSHEAD [John HOLLINGSHEAD], R.E.COLLINS [Robert Edward COLLINS, formerly Sgt. 12676 8th Bedfordshires] & C.O.FOWLER [Claude Oliver FOWLER] joined Battalion for duty.
8 Oct 1918 Training as above. Lt.A.C.HOLBOROW [Arthur Conrad HOLBOROW] & 2Lts D.J.ROBERTS [Daniel John ROBERTS], B.L.WALKER [Bernard Lionel WALKER], A.E.DAVIS [comment; unable to identify] & F.C.FOOTE [Frederick Charles FOOTE] joined Battalion. [Comment; officer draft appears to be from the Gloucestershire Regiment]
9 Oct 1918 - la Vacquerie Battalion marched to LA VACQUERIE.
10 Oct 1918 - south of Esnes Battalion marched to just S. of ESNES.
11 Oct 1918 - Ligny-en-Cambrsis Battalion marched to LIGNY en CAMBRESIS & Billetted in houses.
12 Oct 1918 - Caudry Battalion marched to CAUDRY. Town occupied by a large number of civilians. Troops billeted in houses.
13 Oct 1918 Church Services for all denominations
14 Oct 1918 Billetted as above. Training carried on. Concert in evening. Lt.Col.C.E.G.SHEARMAN D.S.O. M.C. [Charles Edward Gowran SHEARMAN, CBE, DSO, MC] joined Battalion & assumed Command.
15-18 Oct 1918 Billetted as above & training carried on.
19 Oct 1918 - Bethencourt and Caudry Ceremonial Parade Corps Commander presents Medal Ribbons to those awarded decorations in August & September. Battalion (less Dumped Personnel) moved to BETHENCOURT. Dumped Personnel remained in CAUDRY.
20 Oct 1918 [The Final Advance in Picardy - The Battle of the Selle] - Quarry near River Selle Battalion moved at 04.30 hours to Quarry near River SELLE afterwards crossing the river about 100 yards from the Quarry & dug in by railway line. Situation normal.
21 Oct 1918 In position as above.
22 Oct 1918 - near Beaurain Moved up from above position at night to assembly positions about E.22.c.7/8 to E.16.c.2.1. Enemy put down a barrage on the position (Counter preparation)
23 Oct 1918 - Caudry At 03.20 hours Bedfords & Cheshires went over the top to the attack but were held up on the right by M.G. Fire. Made good later on capturing the village of BEAURAIN. relieved during the day & returned to Billets in CAUDRY. Casualties 2Lts W.H.T.COTHILL [William Henry Thomas COTHILL] & C.O.FOWLER [Claude Oliver FOWLER] Killed. Lt.Col.C.E.G. SHEARMAN D.S.O., M.C. [Charles Edward Gowran SHEARMAN, CBE, DSO, MC], Capt.F.W. BALLANCE [Frederick William BALLANCE], 2Lts H.TRASLER [Henry TRASLER, DCM, formerly A/RSM 8341 1st Bedfordshires], S.G. FISHER [Stanley George FISHER], J.HOLLINGSHEAD [John HOLLINGSHEAD], B.L.WALKER [Bernard Lionel WALKER] & Rev.J.B.MAYAL [John Bardsley MAYALL, MC] wounded. 2Lt B.L.PAVEY [Bernard Lancelot PAVEY] sick 14 O.R.s Killed, 105 Wounded. 5 O.R.s missing.
24 Oct 1918 In Billets as above resting & cleaning up
25 Oct 1918 As above. Reorganisation of companies.
26 Oct 1918 As above. Battalion allotted baths. Other parades under Coy. arrangements.
27 Oct 1918 As above. Church Services for all denominations.
28 Oct 1918 As above. Battalion Training carried on.
29-30 Oct 1918 As above, training as above.
31 Oct 1918 As above. Training as above.
WAR DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 1918
1-2 Nov 1918 Battalion billeted in CAUDRY
3 Nov 1918 - Neuville-en-Avesnois Billetted as above, Battalion moved to NEUVILLE VIA BETHENCOURT, BRIASTRE, SOLESMES & BEAURAIN. Dumped personnel & 'B' Echelon remained at BEAURAIN.
4 Nov 1918 - [The Final Advance in Picardy - The Battle of the Sambre] Louvignies-Quesnoy Battalion moved from NEUVILLE between 15.00 & 16.00 hours & marched to LOUVIGNES [sic].
5 Nov 1918 - in action near Jolimetz Battalion moved from LOUVIGNES at 02.00 hours & marched to JOLIMETZ Passed through 1/Battalion Norfolk Regt at 06.00 hours & captured Black Line without opposition. Advanced towards Yellow Line, considerable Machine Gun Fire Casualties 7 O.R.s Battalion attacked at 15.15 hours & gained objectives. Headquarters at LA CABINE
6 Nov 1918 - la Poyquerie Battalion advanced to LA POYQUERIE, shelled out of the village in the morning & again at dusk. Casualties 13 O.R.s. During above operations Battalion captured 6" naval gun.
7 Nov 1918 Battalion billeted in village of LA POYQUERIE. No enemy shelling
8-9 Nov 1918 As above
10 Nov 1918 - Jolimetz Battalion marched to JOLIMETZ & billeted.
11 Nov 1918 - Louvignies-Quesnoy Armistice declared everything quiet. Battalion marched to LOUVIGNES & billeted.
12 Nov 1918 Battalion billeted as above.
13 Nov 1918 - Ramponeau Battalion marched to RAMPONEAU VIA LE QUESNOY & billeted.
14-15 Nov 1918 Battalion inspected by Brigadier General Commdg. Battalion billeted in RAMPONEAU. Battalion smartening up in readiness for proposed move to Germany.
16-18 Nov 1918 Billetted as above.
19 Nov 1918 As above Lt. Col.C.E.G.SHEARMAN D.S.O. M.C. [Charles Edward Gowran SHEARMAN, CBE, DSO, MC] rejoined from Casualty Clearing Station.
20 Nov 1918 Battalion moved to billets in LE QUESNOY
21 Nov 1918 As above Capt J.C.A.BIRCH [James Charles Abbott BIRCH] rejoined from sick leave Lt J.C.MEADE [James Christopher MEADE] & 2/Lt K.W.J.HARVEY [Keith William Pittman HARVEY] from Field Ambulance
22 Nov 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion working on Demobilisation Scheme, i.e. Educational, Recreational & Ordinary Training.
23-28 Nov 1918 Billetted as above. Training as above. Capt.H.W.KELF [Frederick James KELF], A.YOUNG [Archibald YOUNG], M.E.A.FARR [Mervyn Ernest Alexander FARR], J.C.M.TAYLOR [John Cameron Clarke TAYLOR], R.HALL [Robert HALL] & 2/Lt.E.C.HERBERG [Ernest Charles HERBERG] joined for duty.
29 Nov 1918 Billetted as above Brigade Route March
30 Nov 1918 Billetted as above, usual training carried on
WAR DIARY FOR DECEMBER 1918
1 Dec 1918 - le Quesnoy Battalion billeted in LE QUESNOY. Training carried on as usual. His Majesty The King passed through the Town in the morning.
2 Dec 1918 As above His Majesty again passed through the town.
3 Dec 1918 As above. Ceremonial parade for visit to the Town of His Majesty The King.
4 Dec 1918 As above. His Majesty continued his inspection of the Town
5-8 Dec 1918 As above. training carried on as usual
9-12 Dec 1918 As above. training carried on.
13 Dec 1918 - Bellignies Battalion marched to BELLIGNIES & Billetted. Bn. H.Q. in Chateau of Princess Leopold.
14 Dec 1918 - Neuf-Mesnil Battalion marched to NEUF-MESNIL & billeted.
15 Dec 1918 - Rousies Battalion marched to ROUSIES & billeted.
16 Dec 1918 - Croix-les-Rouveroy Battalion marched to CROIX LES ROUVEROY & billeted.
17 Dec 1918 Billetted as above. Battalion resting for 24 hours.
18 Dec 1918 - Haine-St-Pierre Battalion resumed march to HAINE ST PIERRE & billeted.
19 Dec 1918 - Manage Battalion marched to MANAGE & billeted.
20 Dec 1918 - Nivelles Battalion marched to NIVELLES & billeted. Regimental Colours joined Bn. from England.
21 Dec 1918 - Sombreffe Battalion marched to SOMBREFFE
22 Dec 1918 - Gembloux Battalion marched to GEMBLOUX & billeted (Final Destination) Billets very good.
23-25 Dec 1918 Billetted as above. Christmas Day Church Services for all denominations.
26 Dec 1918 Boxing Day Holiday
27-31 Dec 1918 Billetted as above School & Training carried on.
Site built by and © Steven Fuller, 2003 to 2017