The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1915 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
War Diary for August 1915
1 Aug 1915. At Sea Daily routine
2 Aug 1915 Daily routine
3 Aug 1915 Arrived at Malta 2.00pm. Left 5.00pm. Armourer Sgt. left behind.
4 Aug 1915 Daily Routine
5 Aug 1915 Daily Routine
6 Aug 1915 - Alexandria Arrived at Alexandria 2.30pm. Unloaded all transport except water carts. Left 1st Reinforcement behind. Nos. 2 Officers & 172 men. Left base kits.
7 Aug 1915 - at sea Left Alexandria about 5.00pm.
8 Aug 1915 At Sea
9 Aug 1915 At Sea
10 Aug 1915 - Imbros Arrived at Mudros 9.00am. Received orders from D.A.G.M.S. to go to Imbros arrived there 3.00pm.
11 Aug 1915 - Suvla Bay Received orders about 3.00am to go to SUVLA BAY - arrived about 5.30am. German aeroplane dropped bombs on shipping but hit nothing. Artillery fire continued all day. Commenced to disembark about 8.00am and finished about 5.00pm & bivouacked in view of harbour. Line held by our troops roughly 3 miles inland supported by Fleet
12 Aug 1915 Bivouacked on same ground. Received orders at 3.00pm to get ready for night attack parading at 6.00pm. 250 rounds to be carried & two days rations & water bottles filled. This order was cancelled, only 163rd Brigade of 54th Division taking part with 53rd Division. Stragglers returned to camp during the night who said Brigade had been wiped out - this proved untrue.
13 Aug 1915 Enemy shelled bay & camp without doing any damage - troops entrenched in case of renewed shelling. Two working parties told off for digging - 2 Coys. at 2.00pm - 2 Coys draw sandbags & proceed immediately afterwards - 600x of trench commenced - During the digging Coys. were shelled & sniped - 7.30pm Coys returned to Bivouac - 1 man wounded. [comment; Private 2983 P. MEEKS]
14 Aug 1915 Digging parties paraded - one at 8.15am - 2nd party 12.15pm.
15 Aug 1915 [Comment; the assault on the Kiretch Tepe Sirt, or Kidney Hill; see here for the story of the battle and here for related Appendices] Battalion paraded for attack at 12.15pm with the Brigade in connection with the 10th Division. The attack arrived through with tremendous dash - hills taken & entrenched Casualties 14 Officers and 300 men.
16 Aug 1915 Trenches improved - Sniping & shelling continued all day. All stores & water brought up at night owing to shelling
17 Aug 1915 One Tree Trenches improved. Shelling during day.
18 Aug 1915 Turks numbering roughly 300 advanced up spurs and entrenched themselves in front of our line.
19 Aug 1915 Improvement of trenches & communication trenches.
20 Aug 1915 Relieved at 8.00pm by 1/11 LONDON REGT. Battalion went into reserve at ONE TREE
21 Aug 1915 Battalion still in reserve at ONE TREE with orders to support line if it advanced in connection with advance of right on Hill 70 Lieut. Shoosmith [Frank Stewart SHOOSMITH] killed by sniper.
22 Aug 1915 Still in reserve awaiting orders to move forward if necessary. Orders received to proceed to Base camp for rest.
23 Aug 1915 - Base Camp Ordered to proceed to rest camp on NORTH side of hill. Awaiting orders to move forward if necessary.
24 Aug 1915 Still resting.
25 Aug 1915 Still resting.
26 Aug 1915 received orders to move to camp at LALA BABA
27 Aug 1915 - Lala Baba Arrived at LALA BABA at 2.30am - entrenched - Awaiting orders to move forward if necessary. Ordered to take over bivouac vacated by 1/4 NORTHANTS.
28 Aug 1915 Ordered to proceed to ANZAC at dusk. Marched & arrived at bivouac about 12 midnight.
29 Aug 1915 - ANZAC Rested during morning. Ordered to take over fire trenches occupied by 6th EAST LANCS REGT - 6th KINGS OWN. Trenches taken over by 4.00pm.
30 Aug 1915 Holding trenches - Work done & various improvements - Some sniping by hostile rifle & machine gun - Adjutant [Capt. Harold YOUNGHUSBAND] wounded. 31 Aug 1915 Holding trenches. Work of improving trenches continued. Sniping continues from enemies trenches.
War Diary for September 1915
1 Sep 1915. ANZAC Holding trenches occupied during previous month. Work of improving continued. Sniping from enemy's trenches
2 Sep 1915 Holding trenches occupied during previous month. Work of improving continued. Sniping from enemy's trenches
3 Sep 1915 Holding trenches occupied during previous month. Work of improving continued. Sniping from enemy's trenches
4 Sep 1915 - Finsbury Vale Holding trenches occupied during previous month. Work of improving continued. Sniping from enemy's trenches relieved by 1/11 LONDON REGT at 6.00pm & went into Reserve at Finsbury Vale. Lieut Woodhouse [Hugh Egerton WOODHOUSE] wounded.
5 Sep 1915 In Reserve. Improving rest camp and making new sap in place of Finsbury Vale unsafe. New sap called "New Bedford Road".
6 Sep 1915 In Reserve. usual routine parades. Bivouacs improved & sap continued. Four fatigue parties found for work at Div H.Q. & R.E.
7 Sep 1915 In reserve. Fatigue parties as on 6th & routine parades.
8 Sep 1915 In reserve. Fatigues as for 7th. AGHYLL DERE screened by Capt. Hill [John Edgar HILL] and party. Routine parades.
9 Sep 1915 In reserve. Fatigue party on Div. HQR.S. Parades as usual.
10 Sep 1915 In reserve. As before, usual routine parades
11 Sep 1915 - ANZAC Took over trenches held by 1/11 LONDON REGT. Relief effected by 1100. Holding trenches
12 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work of improving trenches continued. Continual sniping by enemy particularly from SANDBAG RIDGE. LT [F.H.W.] NICHOLAS attached with 50 men to AUSTRALIAN BGDE for 4 days.
13 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work of improvement continued. Our ships guns bombarded enemy trenches doing considerable damage at 1130. Capt Smythe [Rudolph Meade SMYTHE] wounded.
14 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as usual. Capt Smythe [Rudolph Meade SMYTHE] died of wounds.
15 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as usual. Enemy placed more barbed wire in HILL 100.
16 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as usual, with usual routine parades. Our guns shelled gun emplacement at 93 R A with good effect.
17 Sep 1915 - Finsbury Vale In trenches. Relieved by 1/11 LONDON REGT by 0600 & returned to bivouac at FINSBURY VALE.
18 Sep 1915 In Support. Usual routine parades, Work on Bivouac & new sap continued. Usual fatigue parties giving every man 6 hours digging per diem.
19 Sep 1915 In support. Usual routine parades and fatigue parties. Bivouac we hold is held jointly with 1/11 LONDON & when here we are Divisional Reserve.
20 Sep 1915 In Reserve. Usual parades and fatigues. Received notice that 10 officers had landed at ANZAC beach in evening.
21 Sep 1915 In Reserve. 9 officers arrived and posted to Companies. One remained at MUDROS sick. Batt strength 16 officers 461 other ranks. Usual routine parades & fatigues. [Comment; Lt's Ernest Roy CAMPBELL, Norman Holt PERKINS, Reginald Mark PLUMMER, Harold William CRONIN, 2/Lt's Leslie Perry NEW, Augustus Henry ORLEBAR, Gilbert Claude BARFORD, Arthur Grayson HARTLEY, Barlow Woollcombe SMYTHE, MC arrived]
22 Sep 1915 - ANZAC In Reserve. Orders received to relieve 1/11 LONDON REGT. Usual parades & fatigues.
23 Sep 1915 In Trenches Communication trenches deepened & forward saps to new trench line commenced. New fire posts on Australian ideas begun. Demonstration by AUSTRALIAN DIV at 20.00, lasted 20 minutes. Several bodies buried in night. Gurkhas & Turks. Dead about 3 or 4 weeks
24 Sep 1915 In Trenches. Work on trenches continued. 2 Lieut. Clarke [Robert O. CLARK] - went to hospital, dysentery. Several bodies buried again.
25 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as before. Lieut. Campbell [Ernest Roy CAMPBELL] sent to hospital with sunstroke. In all some 17 or 18 bodies were buried & quantities of arms & ammunition collected from them. Officer's patrol under Lt Perkins [Norman Holt PERKINS] went out & returned safe.
26 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as before. Enemy shelled trench line during morning. Capt Hill [John Edgar HILL] appointed Acting Staff Captain on 162 Bgde. Same patrol returned safe.
27 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as before. New trench line begun.
28 Sep 1915 In trenches. Work as before. Patrol under Lt New [Leslie Perry NEW] went out & returned safely.
29 Sep 1915 - Finsbury Vale relieved by 0600 by 1/11 LONDON REGT & returned to Bivouac at Divisional reserve Area, FINSBURY VALE.
30 Sep 1915 In Reserve. Usual parades and fatigue parties as usual. [comment; 5 OR's sick]
War Diary for October 1915
1 Oct 1915 - Finsbury Vale In Reserve usual routine parades and fatigue parties found [comment; 7 OR's sick]
2 Oct 1915 In Reserve. Usual routine parades and fatigue parties found. [comment; 1OR sick]
3 Oct 1915 In Reserve. Ditto. Ditto. Church parade at 1500. [comment; 7 OR's sick]
4 Oct 1915 In reserve. Violent firing on whole Corps front at 0900 lasting 30 minutes. Reason given - Turks trying to draw our fire. [comment; 11OR's sick]
5 Oct 1915 In (Divisional) Reserve. Usual routine parades etc. Received orders to prepare bivouac for winter according to plans in terraces. [comment; 10 OR's sick]
6 Oct 1915 In Reserve Usual routine parades etc. News of Ultimatum to Bulgarians by Russians. Capt Andreini [Ernesto V. ANDREINI] rejoined. [comment; 13 OR's sick]
7 Oct 1915 - Front Line Relieved 1/11 LONDON RGT in trench line (L. SUBSECTION, 162 INFY BDE No 4 SECTION) Relief complete by 0630. 5 officers joined, 4 from 10th Bedfords. Strong fighting patrol from 1/11 LONDON RGT went out at night to take & cut off TURKISH night post on BULGAR BLUFF*, with help of fire from 3 machine guns. No result. * Ref. ANZAC TRENCH MAP. [comment; Officers joined - one who was sick on Mudros from 21st September, plus 2/Lts Noel Rothwell TAITT MC, Leslie Charles Thomas GATE, Herbert Felix JOLOWICZ, Charles Reid WODEHOUSE. 1 OR wounded and 2/Lt BURGEON, RAMC and 3 OR's sick.]
8 Oct 1915 In trenches. Ordinary routine & digging work continued. Small officer patrol under 2nd Lt.Smythe [Barlow Woollcombe SMYTHE, MC] went out to reconnoitre last nights Turkish post on BULGAR BLUFF. [comment; 2/Lt W.P. HILL and 7 OR's sick]
9 Oct 1915 In Trenches. usual improvement of trenches continued & routine & inspection parades. Patrol of 4 under 2nd Lt.Smythe [Barlow Woollcombe SMYTHE, MC] went & reconnoitred ground of post at BULGAR BLUFF again. [comment; 1 OR wounded and 4 OR's sick]
10 Oct 1915 In trenches. Usual work and parades. Patrol again went out and routed Turkish post. [comment; 6 OR's sick]
11 Oct 1915 In trenches Usual work and parties [comment; 17 OR's sick]
12 Oct 1915 In trenches ditto, ditto
13 Oct 1915 - Hay Valley Relieved by 1/11 LONDON R by 0630. Left 1 Coy in local Support. New Bivouac in gully 92 X 6 afterwards known as HAY VALLEY. One squadron of SUFFOLK YEOMANRY attached for instruction for 3 days. [ref KURIJA DERE MAP] [comment; 9 OR's sick]
14 Oct 1915 In Reserve. Usual routine parades etc. Yeomanry still with us & shadowing men and officers. New bivouac being cleaned up. Found very dirty. [comment; Cpt E.V. Andreini [Ernesto V. ANDREINI] sick again and 10 OR's]
15 Oct 1915 In Reserve. Usual parades etc. No digging fatigues for trenches. Men to start work on own dugouts. Yeomanry still here. Search party found & buried body of man in 1/5 WILTS REGT. [comment; 10 OR's sick]
16 Oct 1915 In Reserve. As before Yeomanry left & "C" Coy returned from trenches. 9 men returned from Mudros. [comment; 23 OR's sick]
17 Oct 1915 In Reserve. Men digging at bivouac. Church parade at 0830. [comment; Lt. F.C.KEMPSON, RAMC - the Battalion's Medical Officer - and 37 OR's sick]
18 Oct 1915 In Reserve Usual Parades. Bn getting very weak. [comment; 32 OR's sick]
19 Oct 1915 - Front Line Relieved 1/11 LONDON REGT in trenches. 2 new officers joined from 2/5 & 3/5 Batts. "D" Squadron Suffolk Yeom again attached for 3 days instruction [comment; Officers joined - 2/Lt. Howard Watson WRIGHT from the 5th Battalion in England and 2/Lt. Hugh WILKIN, MC of the Royal West Kents. 1 OR wounded and 9 OR's sick]
20 Oct 1915 In trenches Usual parades. Received orders for new & shorter line. [comment; 2/Lt. H.S. TOOGOOD and 15 OR's sick]
21 Oct 1915 New trench line called L. SECTOR taken up, comprising Posts 10 to 25a only. Squadron of Yeomanry left. Usual parades & work done. 3 Officers returned and new medical officer. Usual patrols went out. Batt. strength only 236 [comment; which included 22 making bombs at ANZAC. Officers joined - 2/Lts Reginald Tracey BOYD, Cedric KELLEY MC, Robert Edward BASS. 6 OR's sick]
22 Oct 1915 In Trenches. Usual parades & patrols at night. No men available for extra digging. [comment; Cpt. Emil Theodore MAIER and 13 OR's sick]
23 Oct 1915 In trenches. Usual parades etc. Patrol stopped by enemy's post.
24 Oct 1915 In trenches. Usual parades. 2nd Lt Wodehouse [Charles Reid WODEHOUSE] went out to Cliff named after him & obtained some very useful information for which he was congratulated by G.O.C. Div. in the morning. [comment; 2/Lt A.H. Orlebar was wounded in the shoulder today, and 1 Other Rank, probably Private 4400 Herbert Charles Kendall, was wounded. 4 OR's sick]
25 Oct 1915 In trenches Usual parades & work. Patrol under Smythe [Barlow Woollcombe SMYTHE, MC] & Taitt [Noel Rothwell TAITT, MC] occupied enemy post on BULGAR BLUFF, for night & made useful reconnaissance. [comment; 2 OR's sick]
26 Oct 1915 - Hay Valley Relieved in trenches at 0630 by SUFFOLK YEOM. C & D squadrons. Returned to camp in HAY VALLEY. Work on terracing begun. [comment; 1 OR wounded and 3 OR's sick]
27 Oct 1915 in Reserve. Usual routine parades. Bomb, M.G. & Signal Classes. [comment; 3 OR's sick]
28 Oct 1915 In Reserve Ditto [comment; 2 OR's sick]
29 Oct 1915 In Reserve. Ditto. Sited new winter camp at Finsbury Vale. [comment; 1 OR sick]
30 Oct 1915 In Reserve. Usual parades classes etc [comment; 3 OR's sick]
31 Oct 1915 - Front Line Relieved the SUFFOLK YEOMANRY (2 Squadrons) in trenches Batt strength now 21 Officers and 235 O.Ranks. [comment; 3 OR's sick]
War Diary for November 1915
1 Nov 1915. ANZAC Usual parades and digging fatigues. Work on Winter Dug outs commenced. Patrol under Lts Wodehouse [Charles Reid WODEHOUSE] and Wilkin [Hugh WILKIN] went out & made a good reconnaissance. [comment; 2 OR's sick]
2 Nov 1915 Ditto ditto Patrol under two officers to BULGAR BLUFF. Battalion reorganized into 2 Coys 1 Coy & 2 Coy [comment; Lt. Leslie Perry NEW and 5 OR's sick]
3 Nov 1915 Ditto. Same patrol. [comment; 3 OR's sick]
4 Nov 1915 Ditto. Bomb catapult was erected on left of trench line opposite SANDBAG RIDGE & tried with success.
5 Nov 1915 - Finsbury Vale Rest Camp Relieved by SUFFOLK YEO. and went into new Rest Camp at FINSBURY VALE. Terraces laid out and work commenced. [comment; 2 OR's sick]
6 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Usual routine parades, inspections etc. No courses or classes, all time being put into training. [comment; 1 OR sick]
7 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Church Parade at 1600. Work continued. [comment; 1 OR wounded and 2 OR's sick
8 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Usual parades, inspections etc. Work continued.
9 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Usual parades etc. Terraces beginning to look well. 2 Coy particularly. Forward officers visited trenches prior to relief tomorrow.
10 Nov 1915 - Front Line Relieved SUFFOLK YEO. in trenches. Usual straightening up, men at stores completed new wire [?] laid out [comment; 2 OR's sick]
11 Nov 1915 In trenches. Usual parades and routine. Sniped party of enemy worked [sic] bagged six.
12 Nov 1915 In trenches TURKISH Deserter from SANDBAG RIDGE was interrogated and gave some useful information. News that Lord KITCHENER had arrived at ANZAC [comment; 8 OR's sick]
13 Nov 1915 In trenches. Usual parades etc.
14 Nov 1915 In trenches. Usual parades etc. Draft of 18 men returned to unit
15 Nov 1915 - Finsbury Vale Rest Camp Relieved by SUFFOLK YEO. & returned to FINSBURY VALE. Work on Terracing continued. [comment; 3 OR's wounded and 8 OR's sick]
16 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Usual parades & inspections. [comment; Captain Barlow Woollcombe SMYTHE, MC sick]
17 Nov 1915 Ditto. Classes in Bomb throwing, buzzer & M.G. [comment; 1 OR wounded, Lt's William Stuart CHIRNSIDE, MC & Bar and Arthur Grayson HARTLEY plus 3 OR's sick]
18 Nov 1915 Ditto. Concert organised by Lt Wodehouse [Charles Reid WODEHOUSE] held at 1800 [comment; 4 OR's sick]
19 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. All Classes held. Orders received for relief of LEFT SECTOR. [comment; 5 OR's sick]
20 Nov 1915 - Left Sector Front Line Relieved SUFFOLK YEO. in trenches. Usual trench routine. [comment; 1 OR sick]
21 Nov 1915 In Trenches. Usual trench routine. [comment; Lt Francis B. HOBBS and Lt Herbert Felix JOLOWIEZ plus 3 OR's sick]
22 Nov 1915 Ditto. [comment; 3 OR's sick]
23 Nov 1915 Ditto [comment; 1 OR wounded and 2 sick]
24 Nov 1915 Ditto. Lt Bass [Robert Edward BASS] completed bag of 50 sniped during his period on Peninsula. [comment; Robert Edward BASS had arrived on Gallipoli as Sergeant 3797 and was commissioned in the field. 1 OR wounded]
25 Nov 1915 - Finsbury Vale Rest Camp Relieved by SUFFOLK YEO. returned to FINSBURY VALE. Usual inspection parades. [comment; 6 OR's sick]
26 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Usual parades digging fatigue of 1 Officer and 20 men on new bombing portal. Orders received at 1530 to prepare for move to MUDROS to rest. [comment; Lt. L.J. HUNTER and 3 OR's sick]
27 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. All extra baggage moved last night. Storm made conditions bad & the AGHYLL DERE almost impassable. Move postponed.
28 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Weather bad with snow. Move again postponed. Dug outs reorganized.
29 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. Weather better but still very windy. Move postponed again. Usual parades and inspections. [comment; 1 OR sick]
30 Nov 1915 In Rest Camp. usual parades etc. Weather fine but embarkation of Division postponed. Orders received to move out of FINSBURY VALE tomorrow.
War Diary for December 1915
1 Dec 1915. Taylor's Hollow In Rest Camp at Finsbury VALE. Weather fine. Inspection & routine parades held. Orders received to move to TAYLOR'S HOLLOW. Moved there at 1430
2 Dec 1915 At TAYLOR'S HOLLOW. Usual parades. Weather fine. [comment; 33 OR's arrived as their first batch of reinforcements at Mudros but were left there until the Battalion joined them on the 9th Dec.]
3 Dec 1915 At TAYLOR'S HOLLOW. Usual parades. Orders received at 1830 to embark for MUDROS at 1930. Embarked at 2300 on EL KAHIRA
4 Dec 1915 - Portianos Arrived at MUDROS, disembarking at 0830 & marched to camp at PORTIANOS Tents allotted etc.
5 Dec 1915 In Camp. Inspection parades. Cleaning up tents & lines.
6 Dec 1915 In Camp. Inspection parades, drill & physical training
7 Dec 1915 In Camp. Camp struck & repitched as a Bde Camp.
8 Dec 1915 In Camp. Early morning physical drill, morning inspections by C.O. & drill parades
9 Dec 1915 In Camp. Usual parades & routine. Draft of 2 Officers & 54 O'Rs arrived inspected by C.O & posted to Coys. [comment; 21 of the reinforcements had been wounded on the 15th August, the remainder being a fresh draft from England who landed 2nd December, with 2/Lt. C.B. Draper]
10 Dec 1915 In Camp. Parades etc. as usual
11 Dec 1915 In Camp. Usual parades. Officers class under Brigadier. Medical inspection of battalion.
12 Dec 1915 In Camp. Usual parades. Orders received to embark for ALEXANDRIA.
13 Dec 1915 In Camp. Half 162 Bgde embarked on S.S.ALAUNIA, remainder remained at Camp under Lt Col Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD]
14 Dec 1915 - S.S.Alaunia Embarked on SS ALAUNIA & left harbour at 1600. Boat station parades & men settled in
15 Dec 1915 C.O's inspection of Troop decks at 0945. O.C. Troops inspection at 1030
16 Dec 1915 Usual inspections & boat station parades
17 Dec 1915 Usual routine, inspections & parades. Orders received for disembarkation.
18 Dec 1915 - Sidi Bishr Camp, Alexandria Disembarked from S.S. ALAUNIA & proceeded to camp at SIDI BISHR arriving at 1500. Arrangements for camp made.
19 Dec 1915 Camp struck & repitched.
20 Dec 1915 Routine parades & inspections held. Bathing parades.
21 Dec 1915 Usual routine & inspections. Parades during morning. Bathing in afternoon.
22 Dec 1915 Usual routine & parades.
23 Dec 1915 Usual routine & parades.
24 Dec 1915 Usual routine & parades.
25 Dec 1915 Church parade cancelled owing to rain. Men given Christmas dinner, Base details & all detached men of battalion invited.
26 Dec 1915 Church parade. Christmas tea given to men.
27 Dec 1915 Parades continue as before. 3 Officers & 63 men rejoined from Base Depot. [Comment; 2/Lt Francis J.W. GURNEY, with the balance being formerly sick and wounded 5th Battalion men]
28 Dec 1915 Draft medically inspected & posted to Coys. Orders received to move to DAMANHUR.
29 Dec 1915 Heavy baggage packed & moved to station. Draft of 14 NCO's & men rejoined
30 Dec 1915 - Damanhur Camp cleaned & handed over to 163 Bde. Moved to DAMANHUR at 1400. Took over barracks from 1st Composite Batt, 29th Div.
31 Dec 1915 Parades & inspections held. Barracks organized & thoroughly cleaned up.
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