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 - Selmeh The Battalion marched to SELMEH and occupied a bivouac area to the N.W. of the village
2 Jan 1918 The Companies under the direction of R.E.'s commenced drainage of Jaffa-Selmeh Road. Reinforcement consisting of 6 Officers and 148 Other Ranks arrived during afternoon [Comment; Sergeant 201240 Alfred HOLMES died of wounds at 75 CCS, Junction Station. Officers arrived - 2/Lts R.C. SHARMAN, R.C. WILSON, Harcourt George St. Croix ROSE, J.A. CHOAT and A.G. DERBY of the Bedfordshire's]
3 Jan 1918 Work as for yesterday continued
4 Jan 1918 Usual working parties
5 Jan 1918 Usual working parties: considerable rain fell during the day
6 Jan 1918 Too wet for digging. No Church Parade
7 Jan 1918 Digging resumed. More Rain
8 Jan 1918 Digging resumed. More Rain
9 Jan 1918 Digging resumed. More Rain
10 Jan 1918 Usual digging. Heavy storms
11 Jan 1918 Usual digging. Heavy storms
12 Jan 1918 Usual digging. Heavy storms [Comment; RQMS 200233 Edward SCOTT of Luton died from Bronchial Pneumonia at the 2/4th London Field Ambulance]
13 Jan 1918 Stormy day; and church parade was in consequence cancelled. Working parties as usual. Move Orders issued
14 Jan 1918 - Mulebbis Battalion marched to MULEBBIS, where it is billeted at one end of the colony. The Battalion is in Brigade Reserve, the Brigade having taken over the [blank]
15 Jan 1918 The Colony was shelled with H.E. during the morning, causing one casualty in the Battalion. No work; billets cleaned up and interior economy
16 Jan 1918 Part of the Battalion as [sic] engaged as digging parties on road draining. The remainder are on training and classes. Draft of 40 arrived [comment; draft included 2/Lt K.H. RICKETTS of the 5th Bedfords]
17 Jan 1918 Work and training continued [Comment; Private 201353 Arthur RICHARDSON of Clophill died of his wounds at 77 CCS in Jaffa]
18 Jan 1918 Usual work and training
19 Jan 1918 Usual work and training. This morning the billet area was shelled with Shrapnel for a short time.
20 Jan 1918 No work or training. Battalion Church Parade
21 Jan 1918 Work and training resumed
22 Jan 1918 Usual work and training
23 Jan 1918 Ditto. This afternoon the first Divisional Weekly Cross Country Run took place. The Battn secured 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th places.
24 Jan 1918 Usual work and training
25 Jan 1918 Ditto. Reinforcements consisting of 1 Officer [comment; Captain C. MELLOWS of the Huntingdonshire Cyclists] and 43 Other Ranks arrived today
26 Jan 1918 Usual work and training
27 Jan 1918 Heavy rain fell and Church Parade was consequently cancelled. No work etc. Draft of 48 O.R's joined
28 Jan 1918 usual work and training. The C.O. took over duties as Brigadier on the latter taking a short leave. Major James [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] assumed command of the Battalion
29 Jan 1918 Usual work and training. Draft of 20 Other Ranks joined today. The second Divisional Cross Country Run took place and the Battalion secured eight out of the first 14 places including 1st and 3rd
30 Jan 1918 Usual work and training
31 Jan 1918 Usual work and training
War Diary for February 1918
1 Feb 1918 - Mulebbis Usual work and training
2 Feb 1918 Usual work and training
3 Feb 1918 Brigade Church Parade
4 Feb 1918 Usual work and training. Orders received to find Guard of Honour for H.R.H. the Duke on Connaught [Comment; Private 271510 Loftus DAY of Clacton died of his wounds at 43 Stationary Hospital in Massaid, Egypt]
5 Feb 1918 Usual work and training
6 Feb 1918 Rainy day; much work curtailed
7 Feb 1918 Weather cold and wet; all work and training stopped
8 Feb 1918 Work and training as usual
9 Feb 1918 Work stopped owing to rain
10 Feb 1918 No Church Parades owing to inclement weather
11- 15 Feb 1918 Work and training as usual
16 Feb 1918 The Brigade came into Divisional Reserve. Battalion moved out of Billets into bivouacs
17 Feb 1918 Brigade Church Parade
18 - 21 Feb 1918 Company training
22 Feb 1918 Battalion Route March [Comment; Captain Stephen Douglas MILLS, MC of the Bedfordshire regiment arrived]
23 Feb 1918 Coy. training
24 Feb 1918 No Church Parades
25 Feb 1918 Coy. training
26 Feb 1918 Battalion Route March
27 Feb 1918 usual training
28 Feb 1918 Ditto
War Diary for March 1918
1 Mar 1918 - Mulebbis Coy Training. Nos 5 Platoon under 2/Lieut C.A.I.Damon [Cecil A. Ivan DAMON] and No 15 Platoon under No.200559 Sgt.C.MARLOW left to represent the Bn in the Divl Platoon Tournament at YAZUR where 2 Platoons from each Bn in the Div are concentrating for a six days competition. The Bn Team won the Final Divl. Cross Country Race which consisted of 15 runners from each Unit in the Division
2 Mar 1918 Battalion Training. Practicing the attack
3 Mar 1918 Church Parade at 1000. Town was shelled by the enemy at about 0600 for an hour by H.E. A few houses hit otherwise no damage
4 Mar 1918 Battalion Training. Practicing the attack
5 Mar 1918 Battalion Training. Practicing the attack. Move Orders received. the whole Brigade is to concentrate at R.24 on night 7/8 March. The Adjutant went with Staff Capt to see the area allotted to thus Unit. The Town Baths were allotted to us for Bathing and fumigation
6 Mar 1918 Coy Training 2 Platoons from 'B' Coy. left at 1730 as an advance party and to find working party for R.E's. Surplus Kit was sent on in advance. Final day of Platoon Tournament C.O. and several officers went to see the exhibition competitions. No.15 Platoon was 2nd and No.5 were 9th in the placing of the whole of the Platoons.
7 Mar 1918 - [Tarif] The 2 Platoons from the Tournament Camp went straight to the new area. The day was spent in packing and cleaning up. A Bde Dump was formed where all spare Kit and camp Equipment was left. The Btn Paraded at 1830 ready to move, proceeding via WILHELMA to the new area, arriving there at 2400 after a very rough heavy march. The ground at the new area is rocky.
8 Mar 1918 Morning spent in cleaning up, making paths etc. Rifle Inspections etc. during afternoon. B.G.C. gave a Lecture to all officers and Sergts on Hill and Open Warfare, he also congratulated everyone on the good results the Bde had obtained in the Divisional Competitions, which have been held recently
9 Mar 1918 Coy. Training
10 Mar 1918 No Church Parade. Bde Orders received for operations taking place on 12th inst. C.O., Adjt., and Coy.Comdrs reconnoitred the ground over which the Advance is to take place. Bn. Order No.14 issued
11 Mar 1918 Coy. Drill in the morning. Cleaning up and packing in afternoon.
12 Mar 1918 [Comment: Operations in the Jordan Valley] Bn paraded at 0530 and marched to point from which the attack was to start, accompanied by Coy. Limbers, Pack Animals and SAA Limbers. The attack commenced at 0745 proceeded by Artillery Fire. Our objectives were taken without opposition and without casualties. A heavy storm came on during the attack making observation very difficult. 0900 At about 0900 the 1/4th Northampton Regt and 1/10th London Regt passed through our line to resume the attack. About this time PT.489 was slightly shelled by the enemy, one shell bursting near a group of our men (A Coy.) and wounding six. 1/4th Northampton Regt gained their objective without opposition. 1/10th London met with some resistance at MEDJEL YABA but after a bombardment by the Artillery the place was taken by 1230. During this period the Bn had moved to KH DIKERIN. Here, during [sic] the afternoon a 2nd Line was formed by B C D Coys, A Coy with Bn HQ in Reserve. Blankets & water were brought up by camels. The Limbers were unable to reach H.Q. owing to the rocky ground. Whilst standing on the Plain they were bombed by enemy aeroplane, 4 Bombs being dropped. 2 Mules were Killed, 3 men wounded. A dump was formed in a Wadi near Bde H.Q. During the night the work on the 2nd Line was begun. The ground being too rocky for entrenching, the defences were made of sangars. Orders received to relieve 1/4th Northampton Regiment
13 Mar 1918 During morning roads and paths were made to Coys. C.O. Adjt., and Coy Comdrs went round the line held by 1/4th Northampton Regiment. Immediately after dinner (1300) relief of 1/4th Northampton Regt, in the Right Section 162 Bde Line, was begun. relief was complete by 1600. Distribution of Coys now is C Coy. on Right. B Coy. in Centre. D Coy. on Left and A Coy. at Bn. H.Q. in Reserve. Patrols were sent out during night to WADI RABAH and found all clear.
14 Mar 1918 During the night a Platoon from D Coy. salvaged about 100 shells, these were probably left by a mountain gun Battery which is known to have been somewhere in the vicinity. Work on roads was carried out by A Coy. The Coys in the line worked on their defences (sangars). Just before dusk it was reported by the Outram Rifles, on our right, that the enemy were concentrating in front of C Coy. but a patrol which was immediately sent out could find no trace of the enemy. At the same time one of our 'planes was dropping lights and firing tracer bullets about 1500 yds to the N. of the WADI RABAH. The 'plane did not leave until quite dark. Work on Roads and defences were continued in the evening. Patrols were sent our to WADI RABAH at dusk and returned about 2100 having found all clear of enemy.
15 Mar 1918 A further 100 shells were salvaged by D Coy. during the night. Sniper were [sic] sent out in the morning to remain out all day. The day was very dull the clouds hanging on the hills making observation very bad. Heavy Rain fell in the evening. Patrols were sent our at dusk, but found no sign of enemy
16 Mar 1918 Heavy Rain in the early morning. Major C.R.James [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC], Capt.F.B.Hobbs [Francis B. HOBBS, MC] & Lieut.W.A.Shaw MC, [William Arthur SHAW, MC], R.S.M.Milton MC, DCM, [2092, later 20007 and 5944210 Alec MILTON, MC, DCM], C.S.M.Chandler Sgts Sapsford, Sharpe, Cpl.Ball D.C.M's., Sgt.Marlow, Ptes Halfpenny, Andrews M.M's proceeding to YAZUR for presentation of decorations by the Duke of Connaught. Usual patrols were sent out in evening. Very heavy Rains. One Arab boy wandering in our immediate front was brought in and sent to Bde.
17 Mar 1918 Heavy rains. Work on posts continued. Defence Orders published. Patrol left our line as usual at dusk.
18 Mar 1918 2 Turks gave themselves up after being fired at by a Listening Post of B Coy. 2 Arabs were also brought into our lines & sent to Bde.
19 Mar 1918 Slight Rain in morning. Enemy aircraft active. usual patrols & snipers went out. Patrols distributed propaganda
20 Mar 1918 No Rain. Weather a great deal warmer. Enemy aircraft active. Front Line slightly shelled by 5.9. No casualties. usual patrols went out.
21 Mar 1918 Situation Quiet. 2 officers and 13 O.Ranks proceeded on leave to Egypt. Usual patrols & snipers
22 Mar 1918 Enemy Aircraft active one 'plane came right over our portion of line presumably taking photographs. Fired at by M.Gs & A.A. without result
23 Mar 1918 Special Patrol of 1 officer and 20 Other ranks proceeded towards Wadi Rubal at 0400 and returned at 0530. Communion Service at Battn H.Q. at 0900
24 Mar 1918 Very heavy hail storm in afternoon. Usual patrols & snipers sent out.
25 Mar 1918 Patrols & snipers as usual. One of our agents came into our lines & was sent to Bde.
26 Mar 1918 Patrol reconnoitred approaches to KH BUREID. Enemy Artillery active on our front line. 2 Arabs and one boy found wandering in our lines with two donkeys, sent to Bde.
27 Mar 1918 - Kurnet el Haramiyeh Orders for the advance of the line issued. We advanced our line to KURNET EL HARAMIYEH and M.27.c.d. New line occupied 1930 which was consolidated & wired during night.
28 Mar 1918 At 0700 enemy snipers ejected our day occupation from KH BUREID. Enemy Aircraft very active one driven to ground by our Airmen [Comment; Lance Corporal 200402 Stanley BOON of Kempston was posted missing and later presumed dead]
29 Mar 1918 Snipers took up positions & came into action with enemy Picquet. Usual shelling by our Artillery. Signalling observed from MULEBBIS and answering signals in enemy's line could be seen [Comment; the following men lost their lives today - Private 14997 Frank CAMP of Hunsdon in Herts. died of wounds in the trench, Private 36864 Ernest MILES of Kettering was killed in the trench Private 21502 Charles SIMPSON of Ofton in Suffolk was missing and later presumed dead Private 48787 Albert SMITH of Plaistow in Essex was killed in the trench]
30 Mar 1918 Snipers go out as usual. About 1530 about 150 enemy seen advancing down Green WADI disappearing behind ridge in front of WADI RABAH, making their way towards KH BURIED [sic] ay 1630 this party became visible on crest line M.21.a crossing in extended order. Our enemy shelled effectively. Heavy Rain. Front line shelled by enemy. [Comment; the following men died of wounds today, having been wounded yesterday: Private 26726 William BRACE of Hatfield died at 26 CCS in Ludd Private 21966 William FRY of Walthamstow died at the 1/2nd East Anglian Field Ambulance Private 47427 John RUSSELL died at 76 CCS in Ludd]
31 Mar 1918 Our snipers occupied position in M.20.a returned after dark our snipers also one L.G. are in position on M.19.d central 1730 The enemy in large numbers appeared on the erect line in M.20.a & b and M.21.a At dusk about 150 enemy in three waves crossed the crest & advanced down slopes, towards our post in KURNET EL HARAMIYEH. They were immediately engaged by Lewis Guns & eventually took up a line halfway down the hill. From this position as darkness fell they opened heavy fire on our post. Under cover of this fire a party of 15-20 Turks crossed WADI & advanced against two of our sangars some were bombed & dispersed by a Listening Post a few of remainder reached our wire, but were bombed out. Patrols who immediately searched the slopes in front of our wire could find no trace of enemy dead. Our patrol attempted to occupy M.20.a., but were immediately fired on by enemy picquets. Our casualties 3 slightly wounded [Comment; Officers joined - Captain Edmund Hy CASEY of the West Riding Regiment, Lts L.G.F. BERKELEY of the Bedfordshire's, H. POOLE of the Dublin Fusiliers and Donald Frank Parker SPURGEON of the London's]
War Diary for April 1918
1 Apr 1918 - East of Mejdel Yaba Usual patrols and snipers at M.20.a
2 Apr 1918 Usual patrols and snipers at M.20.a. Slight shelling of Wadi in rear of Battn H.Q. Orders issued for relief of A Coy (in the line) by C Coy. B Coy to come into reserve. Patrol to SNIPERS RIDGE (blank) Our Artillery and M.G. and LG fire opened at 0400.
3 Apr 1918 Snipers sent out as usual. Enemy aircraft active all day
4 Apr 1918 Two Patrols left our lines at 1930 and went in direction of M.20.c they opened fire at M.20.a. Very little enemy fire was drawn. After our Artillery Bombardment of M.20.a. Patrol pushed on to ascertain casualties they reached enemy sangars but no dead were found. 6 officers joined unit from Base. [Comment; Officers joined were 2/Lts Ernest J. STRONG, H.B. DAWES and Leslie William STRONG of the Devon's, 2/Lts S.L. ROBINSON, S.C. HORWOOD, A.W. LINCOLN and E.W. MOULTON of the Bedfordshire's]
5 Apr 1918 Quiet day usual routine patrols and snipers as usual.
6 Apr 1918 1615-1700 Enemy shelled whole of this sector with 5.9 no casualties or damage.
7 Apr 1918 3 officers joined from Base. [Comment; Officers joined were 2/Lts William Russell SYMONS and H.V. KING of the Devon's and W.E. GAME of the Suffolk's]
8 Apr 1918 0600 Vicinity of MEJDEL YABA shelled. Casualties 2 Killed 19 Wounded (7 remained with unit]. Burial service at 1400. Orders issued for attack on SNIPER'S RIDGE [attached] [Comment; Private 203455 Sidney CLEAVER of Harlington and Private 21902 John WALKER of Bethnal Green both killed in action and buried behind their trenches]
9 Apr 1918 75th Division started to advance on our right in accordance with Corps Order. Day quiet except for 75th Divisional front.
10 Apr 1918 0405 Enemy opened heavy bombardment along ridge occupied by HQ no casualties. Usual patrols and snipers sent out.
11 Apr 1918 0505 Normal except when enemy put down heavy barrage of small calibre shell (shrapnel) on a line 600x in rear of our front line. Patrol of 1 off and 7 OR's proceeded Coy snipers to SNIPERS RIDGE where snipers were left in position. Our Left Post was taken over by 1/10th London Regt., while we took over the Left Post of 2/4th Devon Regt., on our Right
12 Apr 1918 Brigade Operation Order No.57 and Battn Operation Order No.22 cancelled. Headquarters moved to new position.
13 Apr 1918 Very quiet day. Snipers sent out as usual.
14 Apr 1918 0425 Normal except when enemy put down a shrapnel and H.E. barrage over same area previously shelled. Casualties - 1 Killed; 1 wounded. [Comment; Private 21475 Charles COWLER of Buckhurst Hill in Essex killed in the trenches]
15 Apr 1918 Usual reciprocal artillery fire. Usual patrols & snipers
16 Apr 1918 - Wilhelma, Mazeirah and Orange Post 0830 Brigade Relief Order No.60 received. Battn Operation Order 34 issued APPENDIX C 1300 Advance Party left & proceeded to new area 2100 Battn relieved in the line by 1/6th Essex Regt., and proceeded via Rantieh to new area at Wilhelma, which was reached at about 2330
17 Apr 1918 Position of Coys: - 'A' Coy at Mezeirah; "B" Coy at Orange Post, "C" "D" and H.Q.Coys at P.33.c.
18 Apr 1918 0930 Commanding Officers Conference at Brigade Hqrs.
19 Apr 1918 No parades. Interior economy throughout Battn.
20 Apr 1918 0900 Instruction personnel left for Divisional School of Instruction at ROUGE FARM, YEHUDIYEH
21 Apr 1918 0900 Battn. Church Parade (less 'A' & 'B' Coys)
22 Apr 1918 Battn. fumigated and disinfected throughout day. Draining programme and Classes commenced.
23 Apr 1918 Orders issued for 1/11th London Regt. to relieve "A" and "B Coys. tomorrow
24 Apr 1918 "A" & "B" Coys relieved by 1/11th London Regt., less a working party left by "A" Coy. 'B' and 'D' Coys proceeded to O.35.a; 'A' Coy occupied area vacated by 'D' Coy.
25 Apr 1918 Route March and usual Instructional Classes
26 Apr 1918 Usual training and Classes, and working parties
27 Apr 1918 Hostile aircraft active all during day. Usual parades and Route March; and working parties.
28 Apr 1918 Voluntary Church Services. Working parties as usual.
29 Apr 1918 Parade and Working Parties as usual.
30 Apr 1918 0220 Hostile shelling of plain in vicinity of Railhead. Enemy aircraft active during morning. Route March, Classes and Working parties as usual.
APRIL 1918 Appendix "D" Other Ranks Killed 3. Wounded. 21 includes 9 remaining at duty. Sick Admitted 97. Drafts. Nil. rejoined from Hospital. 25.
War Diary for May 1918
1 May 1918 - Wilhelma All HQ Coy tents taken down and surplus material stacked i.e. Canteen Messes, Pioneers Stores, ready for the forthcoming move by this Battn. Battn Move Order No.25 issued to all concerned, Battn to relieve 1/5 Norfolk Regt in LEFT SUBSECTION LEFT SECTION and to leave WILHELMA at 1830 on the night of 2nd May 1918. Overcoats given in and dumped at No.12 WILHELMA. Selections given by massed bands of 162nd Inf Bde.
2 May 1918 - F.12.A.8.2. No training owing to move by this battn. Orders issued with regard to "Stand To" while in the line. 0330 "Stand To" Advance party left WILHELMA for F.12.A.8.2. at 1200 Battn left for F.12.A.8.2. at 1830 Battn arrived at F.12.A.8.2. t 2130 HQ established Relief complete 2320 A and D Coy in line B and C in reserve
3 May 1918 Reconnaissance of ISOLATED WOOD made by Commanding Officer and dump of 28 4.1 Turkish Ammunition Quiet Day.
4 May 1918 Orders issued to 2 Lieut H.B.DAWES for a Salvage Patrol to ISOLATED WOOD as follows (1) Recover dump of Turkish Gun Ammunition already located by you near Bridge at D.31.A.9.9. (2) Search vicinity for any other stores worth salving
5 May 1918 0100 Salvage Patrol of 1 officer and 27 OR's proceed to ISOLATED WOOD and brought in 28 rounds enemy 4.1 Gun Ammunition patrol returned without incident at 0400. 1430 LEFT SUBSECTION LEFT SECTION ORDER No 26 issued at 1430. Quiet Day
6 May 1918 Move by companies completed. 1830 Patrol of 2 officers and six ORs left D.31.B.5.0. at 1830 and proceeded to WADY [sic] DHAHEB and D.16.C.8.2. One prisoner was brought in by patrol. Patrol placed propaganda with 50yds of Railway line D.16.D.2.2. 2300 Patrol returned.
7 May 1918 1200 Operation Order number 27 issued. 2200 Patrol of 2 officers 18 OR's left D.31.A.2.0. and proceeded to D.31 central owing to mist patrol returned at 0130 without incident. Quiet day.
8 May 1918 2200 Order for redistribution of SUBSECTION received from 162 Inf Bde. 1845 Patrol of 2 Officers and 4 OR's left D.21.D at 1845 and proceeded along WADY DHAHEB. Propaganda was placed on the Railway and returned without incident at 2310 LAMP SIGNALLING from the direction of MULEBBIS seen when patrol were at D.27.B.0.7. and was answered from JILJULIEH. LAMP SIGNALLING was also seen from KEFR KASIM to the W but it was unanswered
9 May 1918 0400 LEFT SUBSECTION Order No.28 issued 1900 Patrol of 2 Officers 6 OR's left D.31.C.0.7. at 1900 and proceeded along WADY ISHKAR. Enemy picquet located at D.16.D.3.2. Propaganda was placed at D.16.D.0.3 abd D.16.D.0.9. Patrol returned to our lines at 2140 without incident. 1 Deserter Sgt Arab entered our lines at MILL RACE
10 May 1918 0330 Relief complete. Work on front line and Support Posts started and plans of work completed and proposed being prepared for Brigade
11 May 1918 Work continuing on all posts also wiring nearing completion. Ammendments [sic] added to ORDER No 27
12 May 1918 Orders Re Renumbering of Posts both Front and Support Line. 1930 Patrol of one Officer and 7 O.R. left D.13 marching on bearing of 55 degrees at 2400. A band was heard playing about 1500yds N of patrol probably from BIR ADAS. Patrol returned without incident at Post D.13 at 0320 [Comment; Private 200135 Frederick Marshall of Luton died from Typhus Fever and Pneumonia at 44 Stationary Hospital in Kantara]
13 May 1918 1930 Patrol of 1 Officer and 7 ORs left our lines at 1930 and proceeded towards Railway line, picquets were seen at D.22.central, D.16.A.1.0., D.16.D.3.9., D.16.C.9.8. Patrol returned to our own lines at 0300. [Comment; Private 200616 Robert PARROTT, M.M. of Marston Church End died from his wounds at 76CCS in Ludd]
14 May 1918 2350 Patrol of 1 Officer and 1 OR left our lines (see 15th)
15 May 1918 Patrol reached D.22.A.1.4. where a cavalry patrol of ten was seen moving N.E. up the WADY ISHKAR at D.16.G central, patrol proceeded to cross Railway at D.16.B.4.5. Enemy picquets were heard on the line no rails were seen; at 0400 two picquets were seen one at D.16.D.2.1 another at D.22 central. Strength of picquets eight each one picquet remained after daylight to cover working party of twelve who were cutting grass in front of D.22 central. Seven wagons came from BIR ADAS at 0400 with 6 men in each to D.20.B.8.5. Three parties of cavalry total 30 met at D.16.D.5.1 and moved to JILJULIEH where they evaded a machine gun on a pack mule. Patrol returned to our own lines at 0845 1200 SUBSECTION ORDER No.29 and amendments 2030 VII Indian Division heavily shelled
16 May 1918 Patrol of 1 officer and 7 OR's proceeded along BIR ADAS ROAD until 0100 when two rifle grenades were fired by enemy from D.14.D.6.10. Grenades burst to the West of the patrol in WADI West of road. Patrol then moved East 500 yds to D.15.central when movement was heard. Patrol located a picquet in D.15.B. A white Every light was sent up from JILJULIEH BRIDGE at 0215. Patrol returned to D.31.C.0.7 at 0445 without incident. Track from ISOLATED WOOD to BIR ADAS as far as patrol went is metalled but overgrown with grass 2300 Patrol of 1 officer and 3 OR's left post D13 at 2300
17 May 1918 0300 Patrol reached D.16.C.1.0 and moved towards JILJULIEH BRIDGE. Patrol crawled forward and was able to locate picquet, strength 8-10 men at D.16.C.10.8. A second picquet was located at D.16.A.5.3, no trenches were seen. Patrol then moved West to BIR ADAS track, and saw a party of the enemy loading grass at D.22.A. One enemy seen in trench at D.7 central and 3 men at D.14.A. 0625 Patrol returned. Notes made by patrol. The WADI ISHKAR has continuous water for about 1600 yds from ISOLATED WOOD. It is deep and in many places thick with weed and tall grass. Beyond, it widens and there is water at intervals only Picquets observed were at D.16.C.10.8 and D.16.A.5.3. 2115 Enemy signalling observed from KEFR KASIM only letters read were: VOM.ZUGE ABDTTTTT RD after which lamp ceased 2400 Patrol of 1 officer and 3 OR's left D13
18 May 1918 Patrol (mentioned above) proceeded NE along WADI DHAHEB for 1500 yds when WADI merged into surrounding country. Patrol marched by compass to railway in D.22.D.1.5. A single narrow guage [sic] line runs between two embankments which are covered with thick vegetation. At this point the officer with 1 OR crossed railway and moved to D.22.D. The knoll is about 25' high with what appeared to be an OP at the summit. Patrolled [sic] moved D.22.D.5.3, saw nothing of the enemy, so returned to railway embankment, to watch enemy picquet line as day was breaking. Nothing was seen of the enemy on the WADI DHAHEB east of the railway. The enemy picquet in D22 central remained in position and a number of men came out to cut corn. A M.G. and auto rifle fired at a British plane in D.22 central. 0630 Patrol returned. 1800 Signalling again observed from direction of KEFR KASIM; This was impossible to read. 2115 Patrol of 1 officer and 5 OR's left post D13 and proceeded up course of WADI DHAHEB to D.28.A.3.6. From here the enemy could be heard cutting grass. Patrol remained 1/2 an hour until 2300 then moved to South bank of WADI and waited at D.28.A.4.3. until the moon was observed when they moved ENE to a point D.28.A.7.4. from which point movement was observed along the WADI
19 May 1918 0030 Three of the enemy approached to within 20 yards of patrols position from about D.22.C.10.0. At this point a picquet could be heard 50 or 80 yds away also East of the railway about D.23.C. At 0100 patrol moved to D.28.A.9.7 and withdrew at 0245 returning to post D13 at 0415 without incident. Enemy picquets located at D.22.C.10.0 and in direction of D.23.C, propaganda being placed at D.22.C.4.0. 1800 to 1830 Stokes guns register on ISOLATED WOOD. 1930 lam signalling observed at bearing of 85 degrees from F.12.A.8.2; letters read were: TR AUJA JAP. It may be noted that TR is the code of one of our own units in that section of the line but on the other hand the spot from which the light comes is unmistakable and certainly not within British lines 2230 patrol of 1 officer and 7 OR's left our lines. Propaganda was placed at D.22.C.7.3.
20 May 1918 0445 Patrol returned 22.15 Patrol of 1 officer and 7 OR's left post D13 and moved up BIR ADAS ROAD to D.14.D.4.5. At this point 6 of the patrol were left and officer and 1 OR moved forward. At 2330 patrol heard a cry simulating a jackal; this cry was taken up all along the line including the two groups located by the patrol D.14.B.5.2 and D.15.A.4.5. patrol then moved on a bearing of 80 degrees for 600 yds when they were fired on by rifles from D.15.A.4.5. Patrol moved 100 yds further and a white Very light was fired from D.15.A.4.5. As a white Verey light was fired from JILILIEH, patrol saw 12 of the enemy in extended order moving towards them, so they withdrew 200 yds. Patrol did not see enemy again as they turned East. After waiting 1/2 an hour, they moved N.E. crossed the WADI ISHKAR and got on the JILJULIEH TRACK at D.22.A central along which they moved for 500 yds. At 0410 the mist was very thick and patrol returned to our lines.
21 May 1918 F.G. Court Martial on No [blank] Pte.H.Butler. Capt.R.C.HAUGHTON A.S.C. joined unit for duty and was posted to "A" Coy. B.G.C. inspected all books and papers of officers mess, P.R.I. and Bn. Orderly Room correspondence. 2200 1 Officer and 14 ORs left Post D.13. moved along WADY DHAHEB to D.27 central where voices and wheeled transport were heard N of the WADY.
22 May 1918 On moving on to D.21.D.1.2 patrol attempted to locate picquet at D.22 central but owing to a line of 12 enemy skirmishers each side of the Rly were unable to do so. Patrol withdrew to D.28.A.9.5. small KNOLL at D.28.A.3.3 patrol waited till daybreak to get observation but were shot at by rifle and MG from D22 central and skirmishers again appeared so patrol withdrew to own lines without incident at 0620. 0945 Two rounds 77 mm in front of Isolated Wood slight shelling on SW front at intervals during the morning 300 yds W of MILL RACE and shrapnel 600 yds E of it. 2005 Signalling again observed from about KEFR KASIM the following only was read SG a prefix denoting that an SG (urgent signal) message is coming. A call for light signalled by means of a succession of dots and a long dash was observed. Bde HQ wired in accordance with their instructions on commencement of signalling 2145 Patrol of 1 off and 13 ORs left post D13 and moved with its right flank on the N bank of WADY DHAHEB on arriving at about D.22 A and C the patrol came on a hobbled horse one N.C.O. and five men were sent to the right flank and when these were in position patrol commander and the seven men surprised and captured a picquet of eight of the enemy who were sleeping near the horse after searching surrounding country for without result patrol returned to own lines reaching Post D13 at 0315
23 May 1918 1800 Signalling again observed on bearing of 90 degrees from Cat HOUSE it appeared to come from a different position than previous occasions and was probably beyond KEFR KASIM. An unusual sign which was very much used by the enemy whilst signalling on this occasion was .-.-. Major C.R.James MC [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] assumed command of 1/10 London Regt from today. The signalling noted at 1800 read as follows. RH20 S.A.E. REGFLZLF EREULMNI TDBGUN E GEZENU WEK TNDIENI URESPK HABT H.R.S.P. P.W. VERR AURGED OMMIN K TRAMPE 2. STAND PEPOSTEN TRAMPE 12. AAA. 2115 One officer 7 OR's left post D.13, moved along BIR ADAS TRACK for 2000 yds Patrol then moved NE and located enemy picquets at approx D16 central, D.15.b.8.6., six to eight Turks in each. Patrol then moved W and located another picquet at D.15.A.0.2. and returned to Post D10 at 0425 without further incident.
24 May 1918 Signalling again observed with very powerful lamp apparently at BIDIEH and in communication with KEFR KASIM letters rec'd as follows: TR (called four times) AM LT III KU III TST ----III SM6 AB CD TST CVGEEE EE GEEE NNRSB III C MMEMI ETTAGTI AEUNE TST IK IKIK IK .-.-. K T T UA WGAA CH .-.-. message ends Orders issued for relief of A and D Coys by B and C Coys
25 May 1918 Relief of A and D Coy by B and C duly carried out Parties from 54 D.P.L.S. rejoins unit as course was broken off at beginning 1830 Signalling again observed from approx direction BIDIEH 2215 Patrol of 1 officer and 9 OR's left D13 Post and moved along BIR ADAS RD to a point 200 yds beyond ISOLATED WOOD then crossed WADY ISHKAR at D.25.D.8.8. and moved along JILJULIEH track to D.21.B.10.5 where a party of the enemy was seen moving south at D.22.C.8.4. Patrol leader then moved to D.15.A.9.7 where he saw 8 or 9 enemy in extended order advancing these he endeavoured [sic] to lead on by withdrawing but lost sight of them and they were not seen again. Patrol located enemy picquet at D16 central 2 sentries and several sleeping men seen 200 yds from this picquet 20 or 30 men were seen working at the front of a small hill. Patrol returned reaching D13 at 0420
26 May 1918 1830 Usual enemy signalling Quiet Day work on front and Support Line Posts both digging and wiring 2130 Patrol of 1 off and 6 OR's left D12 Post proceeding to a point about 300 yds east of Railway at D.28.A.9.4. Nine Turks seen moving NW at D.27.B.5.3. Five Turks seen E of WADY moving N. Party of four seen moving N along Rly at D.28.A.9.4. patrol returned owing to approach of daylight at 0400.
27 May 1918 Capt.H.Wilkin MC [Hugh WILKIN, MC] assumes duty of Adjutant having returned from Divl Platoon Leader School as Adjutant. 2030. Patrol of 1 off and 6 O.R's left D11 Post and proceeded to spot 500 yds south of SHEMS ED DINS following WADY DHAHEB to D.27.B.6.2. thence N.E. crossing Rly to track in D.23.C. which patrol followed no enemy and no track of trench marked in D.23.b were seen.
28 May 1918 1000 Course of lectures to young officers by the C.O. started today at 1000 with Introductory Lecture. Mess Etiquette 2030 VII Indian Division advanced their line on our left much shelling and machine gun fire in their sector all night 2040 Patrol left D11 Post and proceeded by WADY DHAHEB and crossing the Rly near its source reached JILJULIEH TRACK and proceeded up it at SHEMS ED DINS Patrol leader heard voices in the WADY ISHKAR at this point which he believes came from an enemy sentry group in the WADY patrol returned by same route at 0345.
29 May 1918 Great increase of enemy shelling and M.G. fire on VII Indian Division Front Patrol of 1 off and 8 OR's left D11 Post and proceeding by same route as yesterday patrol reaching Rly at D.22.B.3.3 50 yds N of this spot an enemy picquet was observed two or three of which crawled towards our patrol which withdrew S and E and crossed Rly at D.22.B.2.0. arriving on JILJULIEH TRACK they moved to D.18.C.3.5. from here patrol leader observed enemy picquet on S side of WADY ISHKAR at D.18.C.6.7. he also saw movement on road at D.17.D.8.7. returned by same route to our lines at 0345
30 May 1918 Battalion of 32 Sikh Pioneers arrived this area at 1900 to clear the banks of the River Auja of all vegitation [sic] Patrol of 1 off and 9 OR's left d13 Post, followed WADY DHAHEB and passing under a culvert in the Rly embankment and proceeded to the mound marked in D.22.D no enemy were found on the mound but voices and much movement were heard in the direction of about D.22.D.5.3. crawling [sic] in this direction patrol got to within 150 yds of them and 4 camels were seen to leave going N.E. Patrol then crawled N and the east in this manner getting within 70 yds of a sentry group at about D.22.D.5.3. this group they crawled towards when they suddenly came upon a sleeping picquet of eight Turks these they bayoneted but their screams gave the alarm and six more Turks whom they had not seen in the long grass humped up and fired at them, a sentry group was also alarmed and turned to reinforce the picquet. Patrols rearguard also reported more enemy coming from the mound whereupon the patrol fought its way through and saw two more Turks fall. The Turks did not follow up and the patrol got away under the culvert and arrived back in our lines at 0345 at least ten enemy were killed or badly wounded our casualties were one wounded.
31 May 1918 1000 G.O.C. 54th Division presents M.M. ribbon to Corporal S.WELCH outside Battn HQ all "A Coy was on parade". Balls Bridge Post being temporarily relieved by D Coy
MAY 1918 O'RANKS KILLED NIL WOUNDED 1 on Patrol 31st May 18 SICK ADMITTED 81 DRAFTS NIL REJOINED 58
War Diary for June 1918
1 Jun 1918 - F.12.a.8.2 Major CR James [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] rejoins unit from 1/10 London Regt and assumed duty as 2nd in command. 1930 Enemy signalling as usual.
2 Jun 1918 1 deserter gave himself up in our lines. Usual hostile aerial activity. 13 shells on RAS EL AIN.
3 Jun 1918 Patrol reached D.10.c.2.8 having located a picquet with two sentries which they saw in D.15.A. The barbed wire reported as being in D.10.c.2.2 was not seen 1900 2 Lieut. [A.W. LINCOLN and 76 OR's join and rejoin the regiment for duty. 2nd Lieut [A.W.] LINCOLN posted at "A" Coy. 1930 Enemy signalling as usual. 1900 Patrol 1 officer and 10 OR's left D13 post and another of 1 officer 7 O.Rs left D11 at the same time.
4 Jun 1918 First patrol last night reached D.17.A.3.6 seeing 1 enemy sentry at D.17.D.9.6. Second patrol reached D.10.C seeing no enemy and returned without incident. 0400 usual enemy aircraft activity. A falling bullet struck 1 OR in the head and he died 2 hours later [Comment; Private 201304 Reginald LYONS of Hoddesden, who was buried at Mullebis]. 1900 usual enemy signalling. Two patrols left D13 post. Strength 1 officer 16 OR's and 1 officer 13 OR's respectively.
5 Jun 1916 First patrol last night reached D.10.A.8.6 seeing enemy picquets at D.15.B.5.3 and D.15.B.3.5 strength about 18 rifles and one automatic rifle in all. Second patrol reached D.17.C.5.5 seeing enemy picquet estimated 5 strong at D.16.D. Left subsection defence scheme issued. Order No.30 regarding relief of this unit by 1/5 Essex Regt published to all concerned.
6 Jun 1918 - F.17.b.9.3 1200 Advance party leaves CAT HOUSE for new area. 2030 Relief complete by 1/5 Essex Regt. Battn moves to new area. 2130 Battn. arrives F.17.b.9.3.
7 Jun 1918 Working parties for tomorrow organised and orders issued regarding them.
8 Jun 1918 Every available man working on WADI ISHKAR from 0400-1200 otherwise nothing of note.
9 Jun 1918 Capt.H.Wilkin M.C. [Hugh WILKIN, MC] leaves Battn, for duty with XXI Corps. Working parties as for yesterday. Notification of awards of M.C.'s to 2nd Lieuts Gooderham and Mayers [Frank GOODERHAM, MC and William Henry MAYERS, MC] for good patrol work.
10 Jun 1918 Working parties as for yesterday. Usual aerial activity.
11 Jun 1918 The C.O. leaves battn. for tour of inspection of Schools of Instruction. Major CR James MC [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] assumes command. 1800 Presentation of Military Cross ribbons to 2nd Lieuts Gooderham and Mayers [Frank GOODERHAM, MC and William Henry MAYERS, MC] and M.M. to Pte Pennycock by G.O.C. 54th Divn. Usual anti-mosquito work.
12 Jun 1918 Routine and working parties as usual
13 Jun 1918 Orders received for Bn. to move to O34D and O34C tomorrow. Anti mosquito work completed.
14 Jun 1918 - Q.4.b.8.9. 0600 Coys. start to move off to new area independently. battn. H.Q. established in Q.4.b.8.9. Remainder of battn in Q.5.A, O.34.D, O.35.C in sector reserve.
15 Jun 1918 Day passed quietly. Coys at disposal of company commanders. Nothing happened worthy of note.
16 Jun 1918 Routine as for yesterday. Very quiet.
17 Jun 1918 Vicinity of WILHELMA STATION shelled. Little damage.
18 Jun 1918 Nothing to note.
19 Jun 1918 Order No.66 received from Bde regarding relief of 5th Norfolks by this unit. Bn. Order no.33 regarding same issued to all concerned.
20 Jun 1918 0600 Advance party to MEJDEL YABA. 1930 Bn. moves off arriving MEJDEL YABA 2130. Relief of Left subsection reported complete at 23.45. A and D coys in front line and B and C in support posts. Colonel Brighten assumes duties of Brigade Commander on return from ZEITOUN.
21 Jun 1918 Slight enemy shelling during the day. No damage. Day passed uneventfully.
22 Jun 1918 1200-1500 Slight shelling in vicinity of MEJDEL CASTLE and near Bn. H.Q. 1800 British observation balloon downed by enemy 'plane. Orders received for return of all extra regimentally employed. Information received that 162 Bde will be relieved by 9th Indian Bde on night 23/24.
23 Jun 1918 - O.34.b. Arrangements for relief arranged between officers of this unit and of 2nd Dorsets. 2400 Relief complete. Bn. moved off arriving O.34.B at 0400.
24th Jun 4 Jun 1918 - Surafend Orders received for Bn. to move to SURAFEND. 1830 Bn. left O.34.B marching at head of brigade 2200 Arrived SURAFEND
25 Jun 1918 - Ludd 0700 Orders received for Bn. to entrain at LUDD. 0830 BN. moved off for LUDD. 1030 Entrainment commenced. 1215 Entrainment completed and journey started
26 Jun 1918 - Kantara 0400 Train arrives KANTARA and Bn. marches into camp at KILO 4. Day spent shifting baggage. Orders received to entrain for Alexandria tomorrow
27 Jun 1918 0500 All baggage moved to station. Orders issued for Bn to be ready to move at 1535. 1100 All orders re move suspended. 1200-1500 All baggage brought back from station.
28 Jun 1918 50% of officers granted leave to PORT SAID or ISMAILIA. Quiet day, coys at disposal of coy commanders.
29 Jun 1918 Limbers and other vehicles sent back from Alexandria, arrived in camp area about 1300. Classes for signalling and Lewis Gun arranged.
30 Jun 1918 Church parade in the morning. 2nd Lieut Mayers [William Henry MAYERS, MC] assumes duty as a/adjutant vice 2nd Lt Damon [Cecil A. Ivan DAMON] to duty.
War Diary for July 1918
1 Jul 1918 - Kantara Reveille 0430. Pt & Bayonet Fighting 0500-0545. Battn Parade 0700. Musketry & Close Order Drill till 1000.
2 Jul 1918 Training as usual. System of relay runners established between unit & Bde H.Q. [Comment; Battalion Chaplain Rev. F. Breen joined]
3 Jul 1918 Battn. paraded by Coys at Bde Gas School for fitting & testing of SBR. Other training as usual. 54th Division returns to command of XXIst Corps. Marching out states for move from Kantara to Ludd to be rendered to Bde HQ by 0900 on 4th.
4 Jul 1918 Battn Route March 0600-0900. drew 25 pack animals from remounts. Return rendered to Bde HQ of tonnage for which extra transport will be wanted to move to Kantara station.
5 Jul 1918 Entrainment orders received 2100 A Coy & transport with part of baggage entrained for Ludd.
6 Jul 1918 Baggage moved 0800. Battn parade 1015. Entrained 1200. Halt of 30 minutes at El Arish. Tea made with boiling water provided. A Coy arrived Ludd about 1600.
7 Jul 1918 - Surafend Battn arrived Ludd 0330. Tea made at station. Marched to Surafend arriving 0600.
8 Jul 1918 Battn parade full strength 0700. CO spoke about discipline on move. Training as at Kantara.
9 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Bivouac area enlarged by moving out C & D Coys. Lena Ashwell party gave concert near Div HQ.
10 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Greatcoats and cardigans dumped at Wilhelma
11 Jul 1918 Route March 0600 to 0900 to Kh Surafend and back. Coys ordered to recommend 5 men per Coy for leave to UK. Divl Band played 1900-1945.
12 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Route march for details.
13 Jul 1918 Battn moved to Red House Wood O.34.d. Coys at 15 minute intervals starting at 1530. Move complete 1830. 25 tents drawn from DPLS.
14 Jul 1918 Church Parade 0730 with 11th London. CO interviewed all men recommended for UK leave. A few shells heard north of wood about 1230 & 1900.
15 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Training areas, ranges etc allotted by 162 Bde.
16 Jul 1918 Veterinary officers inspected transport. Training as usual. Musketry equipment drawn from DPLS.
17 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Rifle range allotted to Coys 2hrs each. [Comment; Battalion Chaplain Rev. F.T. Coules joined]
18 Jul 1918 Training as usual. 1 officer & 8 OR went on 2 days leave to Jerusalem.
19 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Battn 1300, rehearsal for GOC's inspection.
20 Jul 1918 GOC 54th Division inspected Battn in mass and at training
21 Jul 1918 Church Parade with MG Battn 0730. 14 OR left on leave to UK. Lecture by Mr.Charles Whitelaw "Why America was late coming into the War"
22 Jul 1918 Training as usual. 2 officers went on leave to Jerusalem. 1 officer & 8 OR to Rest Camp El Arish.
23 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Divisional Gas Officer inspected Battn during afternoon
24 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Party for bathing at Wilhelma. Concert near Bde HQ by "Barnstormers" 60th Div Concert Party.
25 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Concert by 484 Fld Coy RE 26 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Route march for specialist classes. Coys marched independently during the week
27 Jul 1918 Training as usual. Concert by 1/4th Northants.
28 Jul 1918 Church Parade with MG Batty 0730. 2 officers & 4 OR left on short leave in Egypt.
29 Jul 1918 - Mezeirah Breakfast 0700. No parades. Battn left for Mezeirah by Coys between 2000 & 2100. Move complete 2330.
30 Jul 1918 Battn worked on road making near Kuleh
31 Jul 1918 Battn relieved 1st Battn Manchester Regt in left Subsection Right Section, Centre Section Left bivouac area 2015. relief complete 0030. A Coy Right Front D Coy Left Front C Coy Right Support B Coy Left Support. One Coy 10th London Regt in works D1 2 3 & 4. 2 Platoons same Regt in CS 13, 14, 15 & 16.
July 1918 Other Ranks Killed. Nil. Wounded. Nil. Sick Admitted. 106 Drafts. Nil Rejoined from Hospital. 38.
War Diary for August 1918
1 Aug 1918 - Mejdel Yaba 0035 Relief of 1st Manchesters by this unit complete. Slight shelling of vicinity of KEFR KASIM. Enemy shelling nil. Patrol along MEJDEL YABA - KEFR HATTA track left D1 at 2015. Second patrol left M.25.c.1.9 at 1920 to reconnoitre M.13.central. Returned 2135 reporting sangar 12yds long at M.13.central unoccupied.
2 Aug 1918 0225 First patrol returned reporting double sentry at M.7.a.5.6. Desultory shelling of KEFR KASIM - WADI HATTA etc. 1700-1740. Enemy fired 2 rds HE near C10. & 6 rds shrapnel near C9 & HARAM RIDGE. Patrol left C12 at 1915, returning 2205. Reported double sentry same place as last night, approach difficult owing to long dry grass. Another patrol left M.26.a.2.6 at 2300 to reconnoitre M.14.a central. [Comment; 2/Lt S. Duncan of the Rifle Brigade joined]
3 Aug 1918 0220 Patrol returned reporting picquets of 8 rifles each in M.20.b.1.4 and M.21.a central, two large sangars in M.14.a & 3 small ones in M.14.b. Usual slight shelling. Enemy shelling nil, Patrol left D2 at 2030 for cross roads in M.7.a, other patrol left 26.a at 2200 to reconnoitre sangars in M.14.a central and distribute propaganda.
4 Aug 1918 0245 Patrol returned reporting sangar capable of holding 20-30 rifles, approach difficult. First patrol returned 0300, 1 off and 4OR remaining out till daylight. Reported picquet of about 10 on cross roads. Several enemy patrols heard. All quiet all day. Epidemic of sandfly started; 9 admitted to hospital. Patrol left Pt.479 at 2230 to reconnoitre sangar in M.7.d.8.8 and distribute propaganda.
5 Aug 1918 0245 Patrol returned reporting large sangar in M.14.a.0.6 manned by 30-40 rifles. Patrol was heavily fired on from here and forced to withdraw 0900. Hostile aeroplane flying low over our lines. Artillery ni, 13 admitted hospital with sandfly. Patrol left M.25.b.7.3 at 2200 to reconnoitre M.7.d.8.8
6 Aug 1918 0315 Patrol returned. Reported enemy sangars on forward slope facing SW about 50yds apart. One enemy patrol seen. Artillery as usual. 23 admitted to hospital. 10th London attempted raid on picquet in M.7.a.central. No prisoners taken, our casualties nil. One Lewis Gun lost.
7 Aug 1918 All 10th London had returned by 0700. CO of 7th Essex visited line having heard he was to take over in about a fortnight. 2 off and 37OR admitted to hospital with sandfly fever. Artillery as usual. Patrol left G.30.central to continue reconnaissance of MEJDEL YABA - KEFR HATTA road. Returned 2400. When they reached M.7.c.5.8 had been heavily fired on from right flank by 4 or 5 MG's and 30-40 rifles. Patrol to M.7.d.8.8 came under same fire.
8 Aug 1918 Quiet day. 0930 Enemy plane over our line flying east.
9 Aug 1918 Our artillery registered in M.26.a and M.25.b Enemy shelling near C10 about 1700, one shell doing slight damage to sangar.
10 Aug 1918 - U.1.c.8.3 Quiet day. Battn HQ moved to U.1.c.8.3 owing to number of cases of sandfly fever in old area. patrol patrol [sic] located sentry groups at M.7.d.8.3 and M.7.d.5.8 and distributed propaganda in vicinity. [Comment; 2/Lts Andrew HOPE and Arnot? HEPBURN of the Rifle Brigade joined]
11 Aug 1918 0800 Two ot three shells fell near Fig Tree Post. 1845 one of our planes fired on sangars in M.7.d and M.8.c & d. Patrol fired on by 2 MG's and about 60 rifles from position in M.7.d.8.8. Also located picquets in M.7.d.8.5 and M.13.b.central.
12 Aug 1918 Two 4.2s fell in MEJDEL YABA 0730; 1730 5 rds 77mm on HARAM RIDGE OP, 1800 10 rds 4.2 on C9. Our artillery generally active in neighbourhood KEFR KASIM
13 Aug 1918 B/272 Bde registered barrages. Enemy artillery quiet. Patrol unable to locate picquet in M.7.a.central. Small picquet seen in M.13.c
14 Aug 1918 0630 One of our planes dropped 2 bombs in KEFR KASIM. 0900 Two hostile planes over our line. Artillery nil. [Comment; 2/Lts Henry Lawrence HUGHES and H.D. BALL joined]
15 Aug 1918 Quiet day. patrol reconnoitred KEFR HATTA track as far as M.7.a.central. No enemy seen.
16 Aug 1918 Quiet day. List of suspected enemy HQ forwarded to 162 Bde. Patrol to M.13.c saw no enemy.
17 Aug 1918 Quiet day. 1615 5 4.2's on right of line. Orders issued for minor operation, date to be notified later. Patrol to go out and put up pairs of red lights (suspected enemy SOS) in front of enemy position, observers to be posted to register enemy barrages and night lines, if we succeed in drawing them.
18 Aug 1918 0845 22 77mm SW of MEJDEL YABA. 1110 8. 77mm on MEJDEL YABA - MEZEIRAH ROAD. Notified that Z night would be 18/19th and Zero hour would be 0150. Patrol of 3 officers and 40 OIR left C13 at 2320 and proceeded to M13.b.5.2. From this point patrol of 1 officer and 6OR proceeded to M.7.d.0.0. Patrol was fired on by 10 to 20 rifles.
19 Aug 1918 At 0050 remainder of patrol returned to our line. At 0200 the small patrol fired 2 pairs of red lights. Enemy guns opened fire immediately after second pair. Patrol returned reaching C13 at 0330. Following shells observed in our subsection, 0200 11 4.2's in G.30 Post. 0210 9 4.2's in M.25.a and 6 77mm shrapnel in M.13.d.0.2. Quiet day. Orders issued for relief on night 21st/22nd and move to BEIT NEBALA. Patrol from No.4 Coy 10th London located at K.31.c.0.4 apparently occupied in some force. Patrol to M.14.a.central saw no enemy.
20 Aug 1918 Quiet day. patrol fired on from M.13.B.6.1 and M.14.a.1.7 estimated 1 MG and 16 rifles. Recently built OP was found at M.13.b.5.6.
21 Aug 1918 - Beit Nabala Slight shelling of KEFR KASIM & vicinity 1730-1900. Enemy shelling nil. Relief of 1/7th Essex complete by 2200. battn HQ opened at BEIT NEBALA about 0100
22 Aug 1918 Settling down after move, 5th Essex area not taken over but new area near 10th London occupied.
23 Aug 1918 Routine as follows. Reveille 0600. Breakfast 0700. Dinner 1200. Tea 1800. Lights out 2200. Coys at disposal of Coy Commanders.
24 Aug 1918 Working party of 100 for putting up water tanks, Coy training. Major CR James MC [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] going on leave, Battn taken over by Capt SD Mills MC [Captain Stephen Douglas MILLS, MC].
25 Aug 1918 Church Parade 0730, 300yds west of Bde HQ
26 Aug 1918 Working party as for 24th. C Coy on 30yds range, CO returned from commanding 162nd Bde.
27 Aug 1918 Working party as usual. A & B Coys on rifle range. owing to working parties and range, routine altered. Reveille 0500. Breakfast 0600. CO proceeded on leave to Jerusalem. Draft of 2 officers & 50 arrived.
28 Aug 1918 Working party as usual. C & D Coys on 30yds range. Large number of appointments and promotions made to replace sick. A & B Coys paraded for gas training 1700 & 1745.
29 Aug 1918 Working party as usual. A & B Coys on range. C & D Coys gas at 1700.
30 Aug 1918 A & B Coys on 30yds range, C & D Coys went through gas chamber at WILHELMA.
31 Aug 1918 C & D Coys found working party cleaning ground for Bde Tournament. A & B Coys went through gas chamber. Draft of 4 officers & 150 OR arrived.
War Diary for September 1918
1 Sep 1918 - Beit Nabala Church Parade 0800 300yds W of Bde HQ. A, B & C Coys each sent 100 men for bathing and fumigation at Jindas. CO returned from leave in Jerusalem.
2 Sep 1918 0700 Heats for Bombing and LG Competitions in Bde Tournament were run off 1630 Heats for 100yds, 440yds and high jump.
3 Sep 1918 CO started a new course of lectures to newly joined officers. The Battn paraded at full strength at 1015 for a lecture on Venereal Diseases by Lieut.Col.POOLES RAMC. CO held a technical exercise for all officers WO's and sergeants at 1600.
4 Sep 1918 A & D Coys on A range, B & C went on a short route march. All Coys practising for tournament.
5 Sep 1918 B & C Coys on A range. Remainder on route march. Heats for Reserve LG Competition & Assault Competition 1630. Draft of 4 officers and 32 OR arrived. [Comment; Officers arrived were - Captain A. BULLICK of the Royal Warwicks, 2/Lts William DOBBINS of the Cheshire's and George Ralph CHEETHAM of the Royal Welch Fusiliers]
6 Sep 1918 A & D Coys on B range. All teams practising for tournament. Working party of 100 supplied for sports ground morning and evening. 7 Sep 1918 Heats for tournament 0700-1200. Tournament started 1400 Challenge Cup for Battn getting most points won by 11th London; this Battn second, Won Tug of War, Coy Cross Country, Relay Race & Officers Jumping
8 Sep 1918 - Mejdel Yaba CO and Coy commanders left at 0730 for the line and stayed there all day taking over from 1/5th Essex. Church parade 300 yds W of Bde HQ at 0800. battn passed staring point 1905 arriving in the line at 2330 and taking over Right Subsection, Left Section, Right Centre Section.
9 Sep 1918 Relief complete 0130. 0200 5 min bombardment of BUREID RIDGE by our guns. Patrol to BUREID RIDGE heavily fired on from about M.21.a.2.2. 1 officer Lieut D.Spurgeon [Donald Frank parker SPURGEON] killed. 1 OR Sgt P.BROWN wounded. A second patrol went out at 1130 and remained out till dawn but could not find officer's body.
10 Sep 1918 Quiet day. 2200 Bombardment of BUREID RIDGE & KH UM EL BUREID. 3 fighting patrols total 3 officers and 50 OR raided sangars in M.21.a and pushed a small patrol to KH UM EL BUREID which was found to be still occupied. At about 2210 enemy put down fairly heavy barrage of 77's, 4.2's& 5.9's on our front line and support areas, which continued intermittently throughout the night. [Comment; 2/Lts Ambrose COPPEN and Robert John BROWNE of the Middlesex joined]
11 Sep 1918 At 0100 the enemy barraged wadis MIYEH & HARAM and at 0130 delivered counterattack on BUREID RIDGE from 3 sides. Estimated strength 150 men. This attack was repulsed. At 0210 enemy bombarded BUREID RIDGE with all guns and counter attacked with about 300 men. Our party was obliged to fight its way out to avoid being surrounded, reaching our line about 0330. Casualties 1 officer 2nd Lt Hope [Andrew HOPE] wounded. 2 OR missing believed killed, 22 OR wounded of which 11 remained at duty. 15 dead Turks were counted but enemy casualties were considerably more than this figure. All day quiet. Patrol to BUREID RIDGE reported enemy in position as usual. [Comment; Samuel Needham won the Victoria Cross during these early morning operations]
12 Sep 1918 Quiet day. Patrol to about M.20.a.8.4. fired on from BUREID RIDGE. An enemy patrol was encountered, but on our patrol trying to surround it, it withdrew.
13 Sep 1918 Bde conference. CO's and adjutants. Patrol to M.21.c.5.3 sent small parties to junctions of wadis MIYEH & IKBA and to head of wadi MIYEH, also reconnoitred wadi IKBA for 300-400 yds from junction and found passable for limbers. No enemy seen.
14 Sep 1918 Quiet day. Standing patrol established as on 14th. 2350 Enemy fired 8 single rounds 4.2. One towards Battn on right, two towards Batt on left remainder near A.27.a.9.9.
15 Sep 1918 Quiet day. C of E, RC & Nonconformist services at Bn HQ. CO's of division met C in C and [sic] Wilhelma 1115. Standing patrol as for 14th. No enemy seen.
16 Sep 1918 Cleaning of surplus kit to dumps at Wilhelma completed. Second water bottle issued. Standing patrol as for 15th, no enemy seen.
17 Sep 1918 Quiet day. Standing patrol as for 16th. No enemy seen. 2 4.2 hows arrived and went into position behind A Coy. 1 gun from each battery of Mountain Bde took up positions near C Coy.
18 Sep 1918 Z-1 day. Baggage wagons loaded and sent to Div Train. Limbers loaded and parked at Battn HQ. Standing patrol as for 17th. Enemy shelled C Coy area about 2000 with 77's. May have heard mountain brigade coming into action. 1 OR severely & 1 OR slightly wounded.
19 Sep 1918 [Comment: The Battle of Megiddo] - Wadi Kanah Z day. Enemy again shelled C Coy area about 0330. No damage. 161 Bde deployed along line M.26.central - M.27.central and patrol withdrew through them. 0430 bombardment started all along the line and 161 Bde advanced. Enemy artillery replied and considerable number 77's fell in our area. Major F.G.Owens [Frederick Gordon OWENS] slightly wounded 0600 Battn advanced by Coys, A Coy leading. Halted for a short time about M.27.a as enemy were shelling wadi RABAH with 5.9's. While going down Wadi IKBA heavily shelled by 4.2's & 77's. About 12 casualties. Arrived area of concentration M.9.c 0845. Code word for move east received about 1000. battn moved to about M.9.a.9.1 to try and get touch with 4th Northants. About 1200 Battn moved into KASIM WOOD and Northants were found to be moving east past SIVRI WOOD. About 1245 A & D Coys advanced due east in artillery formation, coming immediately under heavy fire from 5.9's, 4.2's & 77's and having about 20 casualties. They halted in shelter of wadi running NW & SE through M.4.b. Capt.J.T.Yarde MC [John Tristram YARDE, MC & Bar] was seriously wounded at this point. B, C & HQ Coys moved to about M.3.central, and Battn remained halted till about 1400. Northants then moved on and Battn followed in support. No shelling till we reached K.29.d.1.2 when about 20-30 rds 77mm were fired from close range. No casualties. Final objective reached 1630. Battn HQ established K.30.d.2.8. A Coy moved on to about L.25.c.4.3 with post at well at L.25.b.2.3. Well found to be deep bore well with engine damaged. B Coy on hill in K.30.b. C Coy at road junction K.30.d.9.5. D Coy in reserve at Battn HQ. About 1830 C Coy sent to Bde HQ as escort. Men considerably exhausted and suffering from thirst, as day had been very hot and ground difficult. 1st Line Wheeled Transport arrived about 1900, camels about midnight. Large quantities of stores and material found left behind by Turks. [Comment; men killed today: Private 47161 Arthur Davies of Wednesbury missing in action, presumed dead. Private 203158 Walter White of Westmill in Herts missing in action, presumed dead. Private 200325 John Moore of Sherington, Bucks died of his wounds en route to CCS26 at Ludd Private 15194 Ernest Brazier of Toddington killed in action. His body was never found. Private 201167 Arthur Clarke of Clavering in Essex killed in action. Private 18685 John Cole of Homerton killed and buried east of Kasin Wood, Kefr Kasin Private 201265 George Howard of Hertford killed and buried on the field. Private 270182 Stanley Martin of Brentford killed and buried where he fell CQMS 200409 Jesse Moore of Wootton killed and buried where he fell. Private 268204 Lionel Seargeant of Notting Hill killed and buried where he fell. Also, Acting Corporal George Last of Bedford, who died from Dysentry in No 31 Hospital at Cairo]
20 Sep 1918 Battn moved to road junction in L.21.c. A Coy found 2 5.9 hows. Bivouacs pitched and men allowed to take off boots. Everything quiet. Drinking water drawn from RAS EL AIN. Animals watered in evening at Ey ZAKUR.
21 Sep 1918 Battn moved to L.25.d for salvage work in vicinity. Coys began work about 1000, 1 officer & 50 OR went to KEFR KASIM & WADI IKBA to look for dead. [Comment; Captain John Tristram YARDE, MC & Bar died of his wounds today at CCS 76, Ludd]
22 Sep 1918 Salvage work continued. large dumps of ammunition etc found and salved. 1 officer & 20 OR proceeded to wadi IKBA to bury dead. [Comment; Lt C.R. STANTON of the Rifle Brigade joined]
23 Sep 1918 - Hableh 0530 Battn moved to HABLEH area K.7.b. Bde concentrated in this area.
24 Sep 1918 Coys at disposal of Coy Commanders. Washing water drawn. All men bathed and washed clothes. Vickers party rejoined.
25 Sep 1918 Route march and tactical exercise E of HABLEH. Blankets, haversacks & SD caps fetched from dump. Told to be ready to move at very short notice.
26 Sep 1918 Coys at disposal of Coy Commanders for bathing and washing. 1100 Thunderstorm with heavy rain lasting about half an hour.
27 Sep 1918 - Kakon Close order drill of Coys. Orders to stand by. Left bivouac 1515 and marched to KAKON about 15 miles, arriving 2105.
28 Sep 1918 - Kerkur Moved off 0615 and marched to KERKUR arriving 0945. About 10 miles. Very hot day, and large number of men fell out.
29 Sep 1918 - Zimmarin Left 0600 and marched to ZIMMARIN arriving 0915. About 8 1/2 miles. Easy march
30 Sep 1918 - Athlit Moved off 0535 and marched to ATHLIT arriving 1040. About 13 miles very hot. Bivouac close to sea and all men bathed.
War Diary for October 1918
1 Oct 1918 - Haifa Battn moved 0520 and arrived HAIFA 0900. About 9 miles. Bivouac area on beach W of town near Franciscan Convent. Town out of bounds to all ranks. [Comment; Lt V.G. HANFORD of the Cheshire's joined]
2 Oct 1918 Coys at disposal of Coy Comdrs for interior economy. Short parade for practising guard mounting. Washing & mending clothes etc. Shorts in very bad condition. Troops allowed in town on pass up to 1800.
3 Oct 1918 Coys at disposal of Coy Comdrs. Orders received to move next day to ACRE. CO rode there to find out duties to be taken over from 7th Div.
4 Oct 1918 - Acre Battn moved 1100. Halted at 1300 for dinners. Went on 1415, arrived ACRE 1645. Going very good along beach. Bivouaced on beach S of town. A Coy took over guards from 7th Div, B Coy established line of picquets to prevent inhabitants leaving town. CO takes over OC Troops ACRE. [Comment; Major Frederick Gordon OWENS died]
5 Oct 1918 Owing to mosquitoes bivouac moved to edge of sea N of town. Duties organised as follows. Guard 3NCO 6 OR HAIFA gate and 5 picquets each of 1 NCO & 9 OR to prevent inhabitants leaving town. System of permits arranged by which villagers can enter & merchants can leave town between 0500 & 1700. Permit officer on duty at HAIFA gate 0500 to 1700 assisted by local gendarmerie. Main Guard of 1 officer 4 NCO's & 21 OR finding two guards of 1 NCO & 6 each and also all police patrols in town. Water Tower guard 1NCO & 9OR also doing duty of No.4 picquet. Guard of 1NCO & 6OR on bridge over Nahr NAMEIN. Men allowed in town without pass 1100 to 1700.
6 Oct 1918 Coy cash drawn from HAIFA. Draft of 68 OR arrived. Voluntary service 1500.
7 Oct 1918 A Coy went on to MUSHEIREFEH starting 0730 to protect 34th Sikh Pioneers & 495 Field Coy working on road.
8 Oct 1918 Working party of 1 Coy for RE working on bridge over Nahr NAMEIN. Coy parades
9 Oct 1918 RE working party. Coy parades etc. Particular attention paid to close order drill.
10 Oct 1918 Picquet line round ACRE withdrawn 1700. Guards except HAIFA gate guard as usual. RE working party and Coy parades.
11 Oct 1918 Working party & Coy parades as usual
12 Oct 1918 Divisional Comdr presented ribbons to recipients of DCM & MM in recent operations 1115. Training programme for following week issued.
13 Oct 1918 Church parade 0800.
14 Oct 1918 NCO's class of 5 NCO's per Coy started for instruction in drill, PT & BF Battn route march 0800. Through ACRE & out along NAZARETH road returning 1200. Route march for all employed men 1300. NCO's exam for all below rank of substantive Sgt 1300, 2 hr paper.
15 Oct 1918 CinC passed through on way to BEIRUT about 0630. Met by CO on S of town and guided through. Battn drill 0815-0900. remainder of morning Coy parades & specialist training. NCO's exam concluded by 1 hr paper 1300.
16 Oct 1918 Battn route march 0800 along road running NE from ACRE, return 1200 met by BGC.
17 Oct 1918 Battn drill 0800-0900. Coy parades & specialist training
18 Oct 1918 Battn Route March. Commenced list of old guns in ACRE with locations & positions [Comment; Private 200118 Frederick BOON of Luton died of Broncial Pneumonia at 27 General Hospital, Abbrassia]
19 Oct 1918 Battn Drill 0800-0900. Specialist & Coy Drill after 20 Oct 1918 Battn Church Pde 0800. C.C Conference 1000. List of Old Guns completed Toital Number 120.
21 Oct 1918 Battn Drill 0800-0900. Coy & Specialist Training after.
22 Oct 1918 Battn Drill 0800-0900. Coy & Specialist Training after. C.O. to meet Maj.CUMBERBACH Staff Training Officer at 0900
23 Oct 1918 Battn Drill 0800-0900 Coy & Specialist Training after.
24 Oct 1918 - Khirbet el Musherifye 0635 Battn moved with Brigade Group from ACRE to KH.EL.MUSHERIFYE arriving there at 1130. [Comment; Private 201348 Albert ROBINSON of Barkway in Hertfordshire died of Enteric Fever at 76 CCS in Ludd]
25 Oct 1918 - Ras el Ain 0540 Battn moved with Bde Group to RAS EL AIN arriving there at 1130. Thunderstorm with heavy showers in evening.
26 Oct 1918 - Nahr el Khasimye 0713 Battn moved with Bde Group to NAHR EL KHASIMYE arriving there at 1040. Heavy rain on arrival for 4hrs.
27 Oct 1918 - Ain el Burak 0723 Battn moved with Bde Group to AIN EL BURAK arriving there at 1120
28 Oct 1918 - Saida 0700 Battn moved with Bde Group to SAIDA arriving there 0930
29 Oct 1918 - ed Damur 0636 Battn moved with Bde Group to ED DAMUR arriving there at 1130
30 Oct 1918 - el Hadeth 0941 Battn moved with Bde Group to EL HADETH arriving there at 1430 [Comment; Private 201356 William Dan RATCLIFFE of Hemel Hempstead died from Pneumonia at 27 General Hospital at Abbrassia]
31 Oct 1918 - Beirut 0746 Battn moved with Bde Group through BEIRUT. Bde halted outside town & prepared for a Ceremonial march through. 1030 Bde Group less wheeled & camel transport marched through BEIRUT. When in the SQUARE Corps Commander with other General officers British & French took the salute. Troops were received by populace with enthusiasm. Bde bivouaced one mile E of town. Troops allowed into town until 1900. Official Wire received Re Armistice between TURKEY and the ALLIES. During the month an epidemic of fever has been experienced malarial cases being numerous
War Diary for November 1918
1 Nov 1918 - Antura 0630 Battn marched with Bde Group to ANTURA arriving there at 1020. Two fords crossed on line of march at NAHR BEIRUT & at DORA
2 Nov 1918 - Ras Mameltein 0655 Battn marched with Bde Group to RAS MAMELTEIN arriving there at 0920. Area unhealthy owing to mosquitos
3 Nov 1918 Battn resting washing clothes &c. Voluntary Church services. Area condemned owing to lack of water - malarial. [Comment; Private 200950 Sidney Leonard JARVIS of Sharnbrook, Beds, died of Pneumonia at 31 General Hospital in Abbrassia and Sergeant 201405 Harold George TAYLOR, M.M. of Ickwell Green in Bedfordshire died of Malaria at 32 CCS in Beirut]
4 Nov 1918 - Mar Dumit 0917 Battn moved with Bde group to MAR DUMIT arriving at 1030. Thunderstorm in evening [Comment; the following deaths occurred today: Private 200573 George COOK of Luton was taken prisoner on the 20th July 1917 and died in captivity on today at Afion Kara. Private 21474 Robert COOK of Clacton on Sea died from Pneumonia at 27 General Hospital in Abbrassia Private 31445 Charles Ernest HOWE of Bedford died of Bronchial Pneumonia and Malaria at 19 General Hospital in Alexandria Private 203329 Samuel NEEDHAM, V.C of Hull died from a gunshot wound to his head at No. 1 Base Depot in Kantara.]
5 Nov 1918 Time devoted to Interior Economy. Draining Camp & making camp roads.
6 Nov 1918 Draining Camp & Interior Economy. Compiling Training Programmes
7 Nov 1918 Plan of camp got out. 11 tents drawn & erected. Draining camp & Interior Economy
8 Nov 1918 Training as per Training Programme. Physical Training, Bayonet Fighting, Lewis Gun Range Finding, Signalling, Scouting & Sniping & Stretcher Bearers Classes [Comment; Private 12867 Charles Frank ALLEN of Ryde on the Isle of Wight died of Pneumonia at 15 CCS in Beirut]
9 Nov 1918 Training as per Training Programme. C.O. inspected C.Coy in Marching Order. Weather continues fine [Comment; Private 203126 William GREGORY of Markyate died of Pneumonia at 31 General Hospital in Cairo]
10 Nov 1918 Bde Church Parade at 0900. Voluntary service in the evening 22 tents drawn & erected. Heavy thunderstorm in afternoon.
11 Nov 1918 Training as per training programme to 0830. Working parties per 0830-1200. Building stables. 1810 News received Germany had signed Armistice. Great enthusiasm on receipt of news.
12 Nov 1918 Rain all day. Working parties engaged on building stables & Drainage. Mules moved on to beach owing to condition of former lines through rain.
13 Nov 1918 Raining most of the day. Lecture by Senior C.E. Chaplain on The Ethical Side of the Venereal Question.
14 Nov 1918 Raining all day. Working parties engaged on stables [Comment; Private 200157 Albert William WRIGHTING of Olney died of Malaria at 32 CCS in Beirut and 2/Lt Thomas William DAVIS died at home].
15 Nov 1918 Physical training 0800-0830. Working parties engaged on stables. Adjutants Conference 0630 Bde Hq.Qtrs re handing in of Ordnance Stores
16 Nov 1918 Physical training 0800-0830. Working parties engaged on stables. A & B Coys amalgamated to form Y Coy. C & D coys to form Z Coy. half holiday in afternoon. [Comment; Private 201230 J.R. HEDGES died of Pneumonia at 1/2nd East Anglian Field Ambulance, Beirut]
17 Nov 1918 Bde Church Parade 0900. Pte Hedges buried at MAR TATLAR at 1300 with Military Honours.
18 Nov 1918 - Antura 0800 Battn moved with Bde Group to ANTURA & arrived there at 1035. Camping on same area as before
19 Nov 1918 0800 Battn moved with Bde Group to PINEWOODS BEIRUT arriving there at 1240. Laying out camp. C.O's Conference at Bde.H.Q. at 1800. [Comment; Lance Sergeant 200464 George BARRETT of Luton died from Malaria at 87 General Hospital, Alexandria and Private 265072 Frederick FLINT of Berkhampstead died of Pneumonia at 78 General Hospital in Deir el Belah, Palestine]
20 Nov 1918 Coys at disposal of Coy Comdrs for washing, interior economy &c. Laying out camp. Orders No4 issued. [Comment; Private 203192 W.H. Noy died from Malaria N.T. and diarrhoea at 19 General Hospital in Alexandria]
21 Nov 1918 Coys at disposal of Coy Comdrs for Interior Economy and laying out of camp [Comment; Private 37143 Abel James Pomphret of Hertford Heath died from Malaria in 32 CCS, Beirut and Private 203166 Walter BEEDLE of Much Hadham, Herts died from malaria in 15 CCS, Beirut]
22 Nov 1918 Coys at disposal of Coy Comdrs for Interior Economy
23 Nov 1918 Ditto
24 Nov 1918 0900 Brigade Church Parade
25 Nov 1918 Training as per programmes. Physical training, squad drill, and organised games. Creation of Brigade baths. C.O. attended conference at Brigade H.Q.
26 Nov 1918 Training as per programme. Bayonet Training, Squad drill and organised games. Baths allotted to Coys 1 hour each.
27 Nov 1918 Training as per programme Running, Squad drill and organised games.
28 Nov 1918 Battalion Route March. South along Damascus Road and return 29 Nov 1918 On Brigade duty from Reveille. Training as per programme [Comment; Private 47156 William Sinclair BEATTIE of Aberdeen died from Dysentry at 21 General Hospital, Alexandria]
29 Nov 1918 Bayonet training. Squad drill and organised games. [Comment; Private 37215 G. GRIFFIN died of Malaria at 17 General Hospital, Alexandria]
30 Nov 1918 Training as per programme. Physical training, squad drill and organised games. C.O. held conference of all officers reference Educational Scheme Programme formulated, to begin on 2nd Dec. During the period the Battalion was at MAR DUMIT cases of influenza were prevalent
War Diary for December 1918
1 Dec 1918 - Beirut Batt found BEIRUT Town Guards. Training programme issued. Educational scheme formulated.
2 Dec 1918 Coy Comdr Conference to arrange final detail of education scheme. Harness taken for cleansing At 1100 instruction received from Brigade that the Battn would probably embark on the 4th 1200 Marching out state called for. 1400 received lists of Vehicles & Animals to be handed over before embarkation. 2150 Administrative instruction received for Embarkation
3 Dec 1918 Order No.6 issued. Tents struck. Surplus baggage stacked
4 Dec 1918 Battn passed starting point 0747, Embarked at 1000 on the "Ellengar" Sailed 1700 Party of Transport Officer & 48 ORs left to bring on Transport
5 Dec 1918 - at sea. On board
6 Dec 1918 - Kantara Disembarked at "KANTARA", marched f0r 3/4 of an hour to rest camp on Ismailia road, arriving at 0830. At 1930 Bn marched to KANTARA Station entrained for HELMEIH [sic]
7 Dec 1918 - Helmieh Bn arrived at HELMEIH at 0400, laying & marking out of the Camp
8 Dec 1918 A few tents & small quantity of camp equipment drawn & draft of 1 officer & 255 arrived from KANTARA
9 Dec 1918 A Draft of 63 ORs. Laying on of water completed [Comment; Captain Frederick Ernest BUCKTON, Lts R.R. PARKIN and J.C. DOWNIE. MC arrived]
10 Dec 1918 Draft of 80 OR. Tents struck & Camp reorganized, laying of camp completed. Contract for Men's Restaurant completed & Transport arrived
11 Dec 1918 Draft of 23. Officers Lines struck, Bn on Brigade duty [Comment; Lts John Joseph KNEAFSEY of the RWK's and A.J. CONWAY of the Cheshire's joined. Private 201224 H. GAME died of Pneumonia at 24 Stationary Hospital in Kantara]
12 Dec 1918 0900 Bn Drill. 1000 to 1200 Coys of at disposal of Coy Comdrs for Coy Drill [Comment; Captain R.M. DERRY of the Monmouthshire's arrived]
13 Dec 1918 0900 Bn Route March. Educational Officer appointed [Comment; Lt C. HODGSON of the RWK's joined. Private 201238 J HARDWIDGE accidentally drowned in the Suez Canal and was found today]
14 Dec 1918 0900 to 1000 Bn Drill, 1020 t o1200 Coys under Coy Comdrs
15 Dec 1918 Brigade Church Parade. Bn on Brigade duty.
16 Dec 1918 Inspection Parade by the C.O. preparatory to March to Cairo
17 Dec 1918 A Detachment was formed re presentation of the Batt at Thanksgiving Service at Gesuich & marched off under Capt [R.G.] FERGUSON. Day's Holiday
18 Dec 1918 CO's inspection of Coys preparatory to C in C's inspection
19 Dec 1918 Bn on Bde Duty. Picquets & Guards found, Coys at disposal of Coy Comdrs [Comment; 2/Lt E.V. THOMPSON of the RWK's joined]
20 Dec 1918 Bn marched with Division through Cairo for C in C's inspection & returned to Camp about 1330
21 Dec 1918 Classes up to 0915. Coy Drill from 0930-1030 Classes from 1045-1130
22 Dec 1918 Church Parade by Brigade on Race Course
23 Dec 1918 Brigade [unreadable] Committee formed [rest overwritten and unreadable]. Battalion on Brigade duty [overwritten and unreadable]
24 Dec 1918 Classes & Coy Drill as per Training programme
25 Dec 1918 Xmas Day. Brigade Church Parade
26 Dec 1918 General Holiday. Platoon Football Competitions.
27 Dec 1918 Bn on Brigade duty. Training as per programme. Classes. Coy Drill. Lecture on demobilization (introductory) by C.O.
28 Dec 1918 Training as per programme. Classes. Coy Drill
29 Dec 1918 Brigade Church Parade on ground [unreadable] track
30 Dec 1918 Classes reorganized educational Training, Batt Drill.
31 Dec 1918 Batt on Brigade Duty (APAR Picquets) Cairo. Training as per programme
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