The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1917 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
WAR DIARY FOR JANUARY 1917
1 Jan 1917 - Ferme du Bois Battalion in the trenches at FERME du BOIS (S. of NEUVE CHAPELLE)
3 Jan 1917 - Le Touret Battn to support billets at LE TOURET. Draft of 50 O.R. arrived as reinforcements.
8 Jan 1917 Four officers arrived as reinforcements.
9 Jan 1917 - Ferme de Bois Battn to trenches in same sector.
10 Jan 1917 Heavy bombardment of enemy trenches by our artillery & trench mortars. Four men wounded during the retaliation.
11 Jan 1917 50 O.R. arrived as reinforcements.
15 Jan 1917 - le Touret 31 O.R. arrived as reinforcements. Battn to LE TOURET.
17 Jan 1917 1 officer arrived as reinforcement.
21 Jan 1917 - Ferme du Bois Battn to trenches in same sector. Weather very cold & frosty.
22 Jan 1917 38 O.R. arrived as reinforcements.
23 Jan 1917 2 Prisoners captured by wiring party.
24 Jan 1917 3 officers arrived as reinforcements. C.S.M.Abbott awarded the D.C.M. [8541 Alfred ABBOTT, DCM]
28 Jan 1917 - le Touret Battn to LE TOURET.
29 Jan 1917 - Zelobes Battn relieved by 10th Yorks & Lancs Regt of the 63rd Inf.Bde & returned to the reserve brigade area at ZELOBES.
WAR DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1917
1 Feb 1917 - Rebecques Marched to REBECQ [sic]
3 Feb 1917 103 O.R. arrived as reinforcements.
10 Feb 1917 - Noeux-les-Mines Marched to NOEUX-LES-MINES.
11 Feb 1917 - Les Brebis Marched to LES BREBIS.
17 Feb 1917 - Loos-en-Gohelle Front line trenches LOOS (2 Offrs arrived).
18 Feb 1917 2 Killed 4 wounded.
19 Feb 1917 1 Killed 2 wounded.
21 Feb 1917 1 wounded.
23 Feb 1917 - Haroc To HAROC (in support).
25 Feb 1917 11 O.R. arrived as reinforcements.
26-28 Feb 1917 - Loos-en-Gohelle Front line trenches LOOS.
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1917
1 Mar 1917 - Loos-en-Gohelle In trenches (1k & 5w).
2 Mar 1917 - les Brebis To billets LES BREBIS (1k & 6w).
3 Mar 1917 - Bethune To billets BETHUNE.
4 Mar 1917 - Robecq To billets ROBECQ.
5 Mar 1917 - Ecquesdecques In billets ECQUEDECQUES.
6 Mar 1917 - Flechin In billets FLECHIN.
8 Mar 1917 - Valhuon In billets VALHUON.
9 Mar 1917 - Estree-Wamin In billets ETREE-WAMIN [sic].
15 Mar 1917 2Lts Wilkins [Noel Harry WILKINS] & Smith [Clement Roy Blackshaw SMITH] arrived. as reinfts.
18 Mar 1917 6 O.R. reinfts.
23 Mar 1917 2Lt Iredale [?] arrived.
31 Mar 1917 Battn in training at ETREE-WAMIN [sic].
WAR DIARY FOR APRIL 1917
2 Apr 1917 - Estree-Wamin In billets In training. Bde. Efficiency competition won by the Battn.
5 Apr 1917 - Hauteville Marched to HAUTEVILLE.
7 Apr 1917 - Wanquetin Marched to WANQUETIN.
8 Apr 1917 - Warlus Marched to WARLUS.
9 Apr 1917 - Feuchy Marched to ARRAS & drew Lighting Equipment. Advanced to road running N,S thro' FEUCHY CHAPELLE & dug in.
10 Apr 1917 [The Battle of Arras - The First Battle of the Scarpe] - La Bergere Captured LA FOLIE FERME & LA BERGERE in conjunction with attack of 111th Bde. on MONCHY-LE-PREUX. Lt.Shaw [Giles Havergal SHAW] killed. Battn entrenched on line LA BERGERE cross-roads - GUEMAPPE. Lts Iredale, Hedges, Pattison, Davidson, Foreman wounded.
11 Apr 1917 - La Bergere Remained in the above line. Lt Thompson [Frederic George THOMPSON] killed. Relieved at night by 12th Divn.
12 Apr 1917 - Wanquetin Marched to wet trenches in TILLOY. Several men suffered from exposure. After daylight marched to ARRAS, thence by busses to WANQUETIN.
14 Apr 1917 - Givenchy-le-Noble Marched to GIVENCHY-LE-NOBLE. to billets.
16 Apr 1917 Lts Rose [Ronald Henry Evan ROSE], Love [John Henry Addington LOVE], Foskett [Herbert Edward FOSKETT] & Nokes [J.B.I. NOKES] arrived. [Comment; all would be killed or wounded by end of April]
17 Apr 1917 Lewis Gun carts finally given up.
19 Apr 1917 - Lattre-Saint-Quentin Marched to LATTRE-ST-QUENTIN.
21 Apr 1917 - St-Nicholas Marched to St NICHOLAS & bivouaced.
23 Apr 1917 - Roeux-Gavrelle Road Assembled in EFFIE TRENCH for attack on GREENLAND HILL position at 4.25 am Battn was ordered to support the 63rd Bde. & finally dug in E of road etween ROEUX & GAVRELLE.
24 Apr 1917 [The Battle of Arras - the Second Battle of the Scarpe] Capts Blake [Dennis Henry BLAKE] & Williams, Lts Wilkins [Noel Harry WILKINS], Stables [Leonard Theodore Drury STABLES], Parsons [George PARSONS], Nokes wounded. Lt Colchester [Bernard Valentine COLCHESTER] killed.
25 Apr 1917 Battn remained in trench it had dug.
26 Apr 1917 Battn remained in trench it had dug.
27 Apr 1917 Battn remained in trench it had dug.
28 Apr 1917 [The Battle of Arras - The Battle of Arleux] - Berlencourt Battn assembled for attack (at dawn) on GREENLAND HILL. Objective almost gained. Parties dug in where they could. Suffered from enfilade fire from CHEMICAL WORKS where 34th Div were held up. Lt Love [John Henry Addington LOVE] & a party missing after relief by 26th Bde. Marched to ARRAS after relief & proceeded by busses to BERLENCOURT. Only 58 men actually came out of the attack. Lts Rose [Ronald Henry Evan ROSE] & Foskett [Herbert Edward FOSKETT] killed. Lts Nathan [Charles Henry NATHAN] & Smith [Clement Roy Blackshaw SMITH] wounded. Capt Williams again wounded.
WAR DIARY FOR MAY 1917
1 May 1917 - Berlencourt-le-Cauroy Work of reorganising battalion continued.
2 May 1917 Battalion started training.
9 May 1917 Divl Transport Competition won by battn by 87 points from all other regiments in the division. Divl Field Firing Competition open to one Coy. from all regiments of the division won by A.Coy.
14 May 1917 Lt.Col.F.H.Edwards MC [Francis Hyde EDWARDS, MC] transferred to Home Establishment for three months rest. Lt.Col.W.R.Campion M.P. [William Robert CAMPION, MP] took command of the battalion.
15 May 1917 Battn won Brigade Band Competition.
18 May 1917 - Montenescourt Battn moved to billets at MONTENESCOURT.
19 May 1917 - Tilloy-les-Mofflaines Battn moved to trenches at TILLOY, relieving 3rd London Regt. 168th Bde 56th Divn & becoming part of the Bde in support.
20 May 1917 - near River Cojeul 112th Bde relieved 167th Bde, 56th Divn in front line trenches from the COJEUL RIVER (O.14.c.1.1) yo O.8.a.8.9. (Ref. Map 51.B.S.W. 1/20000) Battn relieved 1st London Regt. in trenches from N.17.d.7.3. to N.11.b.9.2, becoming battn in Bde Support.
21 May 1917 Hostile artillery active on support trenches in the morning. Casualties 2 killed & 8 wounded. Much work done in the way of salvage & improvement of trenches.
22 May 1917 Very heavy shelling by hostile artillery towards evening, followed by gas shell bombardment at night. Casualties 7 killed & 14 wounded. Lt.Col.Edwards [Francis Hyde EDWARDS, MC], Capt.Blake [Dennis Henry BLAKE], Capt.Williams & Lt.Hislop [John HISLOP, MC] mentioned in despatches.
23 May 1917 Quieter day.
24 May 1917 Took over left sector of Bde front from 8th E.Lan.Regt.
25 May 1917 Hostile artillery active all day, especially towards evening. Very quiet in the front line. Considerable work done in the way of salvage & improvement of trenches.
26 May 1917 A quiet day. A strong party was sent out at midnight 26/27 under 2/Lts Cranswick [Jessie CRANSWICK] & WRIGHT [?] to obtain a prisoner if possible & get information about the line of shell holes held by the enemy in O.14.b. Before reaching the objective, a covering party was encountered who were protecting a large party of the enemy who were wiring in front of the line of shell holes. Further progress was impossible as our party were considerably outnumbered but a lively encounter with bomb (and) rifle grenades took place. Several Germans were killed & the whole enemy party appeared considerably frightened & surprised. Fire was opened all along the line & our party withdrew, all men, except three, regaining our trenches. Casualties were 1 officer & 3 men wounded & 3 men killed. The whole operation was conducted with great determination & was highly successful considering the opposition that was met with.
28 May 1917 - Achicourt Battn relieved by 8th E.Lan.Regt & 13th Rifle Brigade & retired to billets at ACHICOURT. Total casualties during tour of duty - 49 killed & wounded (includes two officers).
29 May 1917 Battalion resting.
31 May 1917 - Duisans Battalion moved to billets at DUISANS. Fighting strength of battalion, (includes regimental details); on 31.5.17 - 691. 1 D.C.M. & 10 Military Medals were allotted to the battn during the month.
WAR DIARY FOR JUNE 1917
1 Jun 1917 - Duisans Battalion in training.
3 Jun 1917 - Izel-les-Hameaux Battn moved to IZEL LES HAMEAU [sic] - starting at 4.30 a.m. 2 officers & 16 O.R. arrived as reinforcements.
4-5 Jun 1917 Battn in training.
6 Jun 1917 Bde tactical scheme.
7 Jun 1917 Battn moved to BOURS. Starting at 4.10 a.m.
8 Jun 1917 - Delettes Battn moved to DELETTE [sic] in busses.
9 Jun 1917 Battn in training. 20 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
10 Jun 1917 2 officers reinforcements arrived with 12 O. Ranks.
11 Jun 1917 126 O.R. arrived as reinforcements.
12 Jun 1917 29 O.R. Training still going on
13-16 Jun 1917 Battn continued training.
17 Jun 1917 Bde Church Parade & Sports. Battn very successful at the latter & won practically all the events.
19 Jun 1917 Battn. digging scheme under 153 Coy. R.E.
20 Jun 1917 Officers mess dinner to celebrate the winning of the silver bugle in efficiency competition of April 1917.
23 Jun 1917 Battn moved to LES CISEAUX.
24 Jun 1917 Battn moved to HONDEGHEM.
25 Jun 1917 - Locre Battn moved to LOCRE.
28 Jun 1917 Bde inspected by Army Commander.
29 Jun 1917 - Kemmel Battn relieved 12th R.I.R. (36th Divn) in Divl Reserve at KEMMEL. (N.22.a.2.4. Sheet 28. S.W. 1/20000)
30 Jun 1917 Battn in Divl Reserve.
Strength of battn 1.6:17. 709 O.R. Strength of battn 30:6.17. 935 O.R. Decorations awarded during the month were 5 Military Crosses, 2 D.C.Ms, 1 Bar to M.M, 21 M.M's. Casualties during month. NIL.
WAR DIARY FOR JULY 1917
1 Jul 1917 - Bailleul Battn in billets. Large working parties to front line at night.
3 Jul 1917 D.Coy sent to R.E. Farm, KEMMEL for attachment to R.E. for work. Lieut.D.M.SAUNDERS rejoined from hospital.
4 Jul 1917 Battn in training. Visit of H.M. the King to 2nd Army Area. 11 O.R. arrived. reinforcements.
5 Jul 1917 Battn in training.
10 Jul 1917 - Mont Kemmel 112th Bde. relieved 63rd Bde in support. Battn moved to KEMMEL HILL taking over camp from 8th Lincoln. Regt.
11 Jul 1917 Large working parties all day. Enemy aeroplanes very active - four of our balloons brought down E. of KEMMEL.
12 Jul 1917 Capt.A.T.Hitch rejoined & took over B.Coy.
13 Jul 1917 Large working parties all day & night. Reconnoitring parties to front line.
18 Jul 1917 Capt.G.Peel [Geoffrey PEEL] killed whilst on a reconnoitring party.
19 Jul 1917 Relieved 10th York. & Lancashire. Regt in the right sub. sector of Bde front.
20 Jul 1917 - trenches Intermittent shelling all day - very heavy on the front line during the night. 2 officers arrived as reinforcements.
21 Jul 1917 Casualties, 2 Killed, 3 Wounded. Fairly quiet day - a lot of gas shells at night.
22 Jul 1917 Heavy shelling all day. A lot [sic] of men feeling effects of new gas used by the enemy.
23 Jul 1917 Thirty men evacuated suffering from gas - some very bad cases. Casualties, 2 killed, 4 wounded. Inter Coy. reliefs at night.
24 Jul 1917 Hostile aeroplanes very active in the early morning. Heavy shelling at times during the day. Casualties, 1 Killed, 1 Wounded, 5 Gassed. 3 officers arrived - reinforcements.
25 Jul 1917 - Mont Kemmel Battn relieved by 10th York & Lancashire. Regt. & returned to camp on KEMMEL HILL. Casualties. 1 Killed, 1 Wounded, 5 Gassed.
26 Jul 1917 - Bailleul Battn to billets near BAILLEUL relieving 13th K.R.R.C.
27-30 Jul 1917 Large working parties to front line at night.
30 Jul 1917 Battn completed two years service in France
WAR DIARY FOR AUGUST 1917
1 Aug 1917 - Bailleul Battn in billets at HILLE FARM near BAILLEUL. Weather very bad.
2 Aug 1917 - Mont Kemmel Battn moved to camp on KEMMEL HILL relieving 8th Lincoln Regt.
3-4 Aug 1917 - Kemmel Battn in camp at KEMMEL. Weather still very bad indeed. Large working parties in the front line.
5 Aug 1917 Major F.G.Mackenzie to hospital - sick. Capt.A.T.Hitch took over the duties of 2nd in command. 2/Lt C.E.Kirk [Charles Edmund KIRK] & 4 O.R. killed & 4 O.R. wounded on a working party.
6 Aug 1917 - Rossignol Wood Battn moved to support area at ROSSIGNOL WOOD.
7 Aug 1917 - trenches Battn took over the front line held by the 57 In Bde 19th Division relieving the 10th R.War.Regt. & 8th Gloucester Regt. [O.11.b.2.1 - O.17.b.3.0. (Sheet 28 S.W. 1/20000)] 2/Lt R.Caldwell-Cook & 9 O.R. wounded.
8 Aug 1917 Hostile artillery active throughout the day. 2 O.R. killed, 2 O.R. wounded.
9 Aug 1917 Very heavy shelling at intervals particular near GREEN WOOD. Capt.F.G.B.Lucas M.C. [Frederic Gerald Bazalgette LUCAS, MC] killed & 1 O.R. 3 O.R. wounded.
10 Aug 1917 5 O.R. wounded. Quieter day.
11 Aug 1917 - Dammstrasse Bdr General R.C.MACLACHLAN D.S.O. killed. 2 O.R. killed, 3 O.R. wounded. Battn relieved by 8th E.Lan.Regt & returned to support at DAMM STRASSE.
12 Aug 1917 Large working parties for front line. Capt.R.C.Carthew [Reginald Caunter CARTHEW, MC] rejoined.
13 Aug 1917 - trenches 1 O.R. wounded. 2 officers arrived reinforcements.
14 Aug 1917 4 O.R. wounded. Large working parties to the front line.
15 Aug 1917 - Siege Farm 1 O.R. killed. Bde relieved by 63rd Bde & battn by 4th Middlesex. Battn returned to camp near SIEGE FARM.
16 Aug 1917 Br General A.E.IRVINE D.S.O. took command of the Bde.
17-19 Aug 1917 Battn in rest.
17 Aug 1917 12 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
21 Aug 1917 - trenches 112th Bde relieved 63rd Bde in the line, the battn relieving the 8th Lincoln. Regt. in the same sector as that which it held previously. 1 O.R. killed, 1 wounded. 5 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
22 Aug 1917 Very quiet day.
23 Aug 1917 Very quiet day. 1 O.R. killed, 1 O.R. wounded.
24 Aug 1917 - Dammstrasse Battn relieved by 8th E.Lan.Regt. & returned to support at DAMM STRASSE. 1 O.R. wounded
22-24 Aug 1917 Some excellent patrol work done by 2/Lt Rogers [John Chrissy ROGERS, MC] & 2 men of C.Coy during this period.
26 Aug 1917 Heavy shelling of DAMM STRASSE at 8.30 a.m. Large working parties to front line at night.
27 Aug 1917 - Chinese Wall Bde relieved by 111th Bde & battn by 13th R.Fusiliers. Returned to support area at CHINESE WALL.
28 Aug 1917 8 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
29 Aug 1917 - Kemmel Shelters Battn moved back to KEMMEL SHELTERS. (N.19.d.5.5.). 5 officers arrived reinforcements
WAR DIARY FOR SEPTEMBER 1917
1 Sep 1917 - Kemmel Shelters Orders to relieve 39th & 41st Divisions.
2 Sep 1917 - trenches Battn relieved 12th Sussex & 8th Buffs & took over front line from I.36.d.5.0 - J.31.c.2.9 (Ref Map SHREWSBURY) Hdqrs in railway cutting at Hill 60.
3 Sep 1917 Very quiet day. One petty officer & 8 sailors attached to the battn for 24 hrs.
4 Sep 1917 Quiet day. Enemy attempted to raid out trenches E. of KLEIN ZILLEBEKE, but was driven off by rifle fire. A Coy under 2/Lt.R.K.Wright [Robert Kenneth WRIGHT, MC] who was slightly wounded, did very well on this occasion & were mainly instrumental in bringing about the failure of the raid. A patrol sent out after the raid brought in a dead Hun who provided a valuable identification. The enemy came over in some strength & were provided with explosive charges.
5 Sep 1917 Heavy shelling of back areas all day. Capt.L.F.Beal M.C. [Leonard Frank BEAL, MC] posted to the battn as Major on hdqrs (duty).
7 Sep 1917 Battn relieved by 10th L.N.Lan.Regt & became battn in Bde support.
8-9 Sep 1917 Battn in support. Large working parties at night to the front line.
8 Sep 1917 11 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
10 Sep 1917 Attempted raid on enemy trenches in J.31.c. by B Coy under 2/Lt.D.W.Wright [Dudley William WRIGHT] proved a complete failure owing to the artillery shooting short & putting the barrage between ourselves & our objective. Fortunately no casualties.
11 Sep 1917 - Westouter Battn relieved by 10th Worcesters & 8th N.Staffordshire & withdrew to camp at SIEGE FARM. Moved back to camp near WESTOUTRE at night.
12 Sep 1917 Battn in rest. 2/Lt J.C.Rogers [John Chrissy ROGERS, MC] rejoined from hospital. 1 O.R. reinforcement arrived.
14 Sep 1917 Working parties in back area all day.
16 Sep 1917 Church Parade & holiday for the battn.
17 Sep 1917 Working parties all day in back area. Bde communication scheme in afternoon.
19 Sep 1917 - R.E. Farm Inspection by the Brigadier after which the following letter was received from the Bde Major: - "The Bde Commander desires me to inform you that he was more than satisfied with the splendid turnout of your battn on parade this morning. The cleanliness of every article of kit as well as the general turnout spoke well for the organisation within your battn & was a credit to all concerned. It gave the Bde Commander very great pleasure to see such a fine parade & he feels confident that in any possible offensive operations, your battn will continue to show as it has in the past that good interior economy & organisation are half the battle." Battn moved up at night to R.E. FARM. 10551 Cpl.S.W.Sawford awarded the Military Medal.
20 Sep 1917 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 - the Battle of the Menin Road] General attack on Army front. 112th Bde not used, battn remained at R.E. FARM.
21 Sep 1917 - Westouter Battn moved back to WESTOUTRE. 2 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
22 Sep 1917 - trenches Battn relieved 39th Divn - (6th Cheshires) - in front line at 5 hrs notice. Taken up in busses. Extremely difficult relief & battn heavily shelled on the way up. Capt.J.Hislop M.C. [John HISLOP, MC] & 2/Lt C.E.Inch [George Edward INCH] killed & 4 O.R, 20 O.R. wounded. Took over line J.26.c.9.4 - J.26.d.6.9.
23 Sep 1917 Very heavy shelling all day, but only 2 O.R. wounded.
24 Sep 1917 Heavy shelling continued. 2 O.R. killed, 7 wounded. Relieved at night by 10th L.N.Lan.Regt. Became battn in bde support.
25 Sep 1917 Continued shelling. 2/Lt N.W.Rycroft [Nelson Wynne RYCROFT] & 11 O.R. killed, 16 O.R. wounded Lt.R.E.Carles [Richard Eric CARLES] & 20 O.R. arrived as reinforcements. Battn maintained an unbeaten record in cooker & limber competition at 37th Divl Horse Show held near St.JEAN CAPEL.
26 Sep 1917 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 - The Battle of Polygon Wood] General attack on the left continued. Hostile artillery very active all day. 6 O.R. wounded.
27 Sep 1917 - R.E. Farm Hostile artillery considerably diminished & a much quieter day altogether Battn relieved by the 10th Worcesters (19th Division) & returned to R.E. FARM.
28 Sep 1917 - Bois Carre Battn moved into Divl Reserve at BOIS CARRE. Hostile aircraft active at night - several bombs dropped.
29 Sep 1917 Battn resting. 5 Officers joined reinforcements
WAR DIARY FOR OCTOBER 1917
1 Oct 1917 - Bois Carre Battn resting. 2nd Lt.F.J.BLAKE and 2 O.Rs reinforcements arrived.
2 Oct 1917 21, OR's reinforcements arrived, Officers reconnoitred routes to trenches.
3 Oct 1917 Battn. still resting, warning orders received; two O.R's wounded attached RE's.
4 Oct 1917 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 - The Battle of Broodseide] - trenches near Mount Sorrell Battn. to trenches at 2.0 p.m. Capt & Adjt H.J. Cunningham [Harold John CUNNINGHAM] killed, 2nd Lt.C.C.Clifford [Cyril C. CLIFFORD] wounded. 2 OR's wounded. Battn. lent to 63rd and 111th Bdes. spent the night in trenches near Mt.SORRELL
5 Oct 1917 - trenches A, C coys moved up to support 111th. Bde S. of MENIN-YPRES road; guides sent to reconnoitre Route to HQrs of 10th YORK & LANCS. REGT., 4th MIDDLESEX & 8th LINCOLNS. Battn relieved these three REGTS with front line from J.26.b.60.10 to J.26.b.90.75, rather heavy shelling round the support coy's trenches and Battn. Headquarters. 2nd Lt A.G.Jones [Alan Gwynne JONES], 2nd Lt W.B.Collins [Walter Blacey COLLINS] wounded. 2 O.R's killed, 8 O.R's wounded. This relief was extremely difficult, and was much impeded by practice barrages.
6 Oct 1917 Rear positions again shelled fairly heavily; front line pretty quiet, Lt/Col.CAMPION [William Robert CAMPION, MP], who was left behind by order of the Brigade comes up to command Battn. Lieut Hobson [Owen Ellis HOBSON] reported from transport lines as A/Adjutant. 1 O.R. wounded. 12012 Pte [R.] DICKINSON, 10494 L/Cpl [A] GREEN awarded the Military Medal.
7 Oct 1917 Heavy artillery bombarded the GERMAN front line throughout the day with success. Our front line coys pushed forward patrols to ascertain if the ENEMY was still holding his same position. He was! Inter-coy relief took place between D & A coys - "B" would have relieved "C" coy but got badly shelled and was unable to do so. 10 O.R's killed 15 O.R's wounded.
8 Oct 1917 A very quiet day indeed in the front line; but some shelling round Battn Headquarters, 1 O.R. killed, 11 O.R's wounded. 4 O.R. missing, 2 O.R's killed 12 O.R's wounded.
9 Oct 1917 [The Battles of Ypres 1917 - The Battle of Poelcapelle] General attack on army front. Bn. ordered to be prepared to advance if ENEMY made a voluntary retirement which he did not make. Very severe shelling generally. 1 O.R. killed 11 ORs wounded. 2 ORs missing. The weather broke, trenches very wet and cold, men suffering from the exposure.
10 Oct 1917 - Little Kemmel Camp A quiet day except for practice barrages. 2nd Lt Craven [Alexander Colin CRAVEN] wounded. 1 OR killed, 2nd Lt ROBINSON to England for 6 months tour of duty. The Battn relieved by the 8th S.L.I. (63rd Bde). Very heavy shelling in the back areas but we suffer very slightly. Buses from SPOILBANK to Little KEMMEL CAMP. Battn. under bivouacs suffering very badly from Trench foot.
11 Oct 1917 Resting at LITTLE KEMMEL.
12 Oct 1917 Resting. Lt.Col.CAMPION [William Robert CAMPION, MP] to ENGLAND on 6 months leave.
13 Oct 1917 - Epsom Camp, Westouter Battn to EPSOM CAMP near WEST OUTRE [sic]. 1.O.R. wounded attached R.E's.
14 Oct 1917 Battn. resting, 2nd Lt.J.Blanksby [Joseph BLANKSBY, former Warrant Officer 7119] reinforcement.
15 Oct 1917 - Westouter and Ieper 8 officers, 250 O.R's to YPRES for work on roads in ANZAC CORPS area. H.Q.S remained at EPSOM CAMP. 250 OR's under command of the 11th R.WARWICKSHIRE REGT.
16 Oct 1917 Lt.E.S.Dyer [E.F.S. DYER] and 90 reinforcements arrive. Details left at EPSOM CAMP start training.
17 Oct 1917 ENEMY bomb camp N.E. of YPRES where the working party stops, no casualties.
18 Oct 1917 2nd Lt.S.Van der Linde [Simon VAN der LINDE] killed, 2nd Lt A.Foll [Arthur FOLL] and 3 OR's wounded by bomb dropped by E.A. N.E. of Ypres, training carried on in EPSOM CAMP as usual.
19 Oct 1917 - Westouter Battn. HQrs and details at EPSOM CAMP. 200 ORs at YPRES. 28 ORs reinforcements.
20 Oct 1917 ditto. two officers sent up to replace casualties at YPRES.
21 Oct 1917 2nd Lt A.STONE M.C., 2nd Lt.F.J.Smith [Frederick John SMITH] and 14 OR's reinforcements.
22 Oct 1917 250 ORs returned from YPRES; inspection of all drafts by C.O.
23 Oct 1917 All men returned from YPRES resting, remainder paraded from 9.0 AM to 12.30 pm.
24 Oct 1917 - Berthen Battn. moves to billets in BERTHEN. 350 in billets, remainder in barns; 50 men carried on buses, suffering with Trench foot.
25 Oct 1917 Training begins, range for two companies 12779 L/Cpl.L.ORPIN, 12051 L/Cpl F.LEE, 32120 L/Cpl R.GRUBB, 16484 L/Cpl W.WRIGHT, 43225 Pte.B.SMITH awarded the Military Medal.
26 Oct 1917 Lt.Col.G.W.COURTNEY arrived to take command of the Battn.
27 Oct 1917 - Doncaster Huts, Loker Battn. marched to DONCASTER HUTS in LOCRE
28 Oct 1917 Training carried on.
29 Oct 1917 2nd Lt D.W.Wright [Dudley William WRIGHT], 2nd Lt.A.Waller [Alfred WALLER], 2nd Lt ARTABOR [?], 2nd Lt.J.BLANKSBY [Joseph BLANKSBY] wounded, 1 O.R. killed, 4 O.R's wounded (two at duty) by bomb (E.A) which exploded inside "B" Coy officers MESS. Training carried on.
30 Oct 1917 Inter-Battn. Transport competition. The Battn took first place. Training carried on.
31 Oct 1917 Inter Battn. Drum competition. The Battn. took second place. 2nd Lt E.E.Ashby [Edward Ernest ASHBY, MC] awarded the Military Cross
DIARY FOR NOVEMBER 1917
1 Nov 1917 - Loker Battn. resting at LOCRE. Training carried on.
2 Nov 1917 Battn. resting at LOCRE. Training carried on.
3 Nov 1917 Battn. resting at LOCRE. Training carried on. 2 O.R's reinforcements arrive. Brigade memorial service for all those who fell in the fighting from 5/10/17 to 11/10/17. The BRIGADE commander congratulated the Brigade on the fine bearing and turnout of all Battns. Brigade Rugby XV play 42nd Squadron, lose 12-Nil.
4 Nov 1917 Battn. resting and training carried on. Warning order to proceed up the line on 8th.
5 Nov 1917 Battn. resting and training carried on. C.O. visited the line that Battn. has orders to hold on 8th.
6 Nov 1917 Battn. training. 6 O.R's reinforcements arrive.
7 Nov 1917 Battn. prepares to move up the line on 8/11/17. Inter Brigade transport competition, 6th Bedfords represent 112th Inf.Bde. 112th Bde win the competition and receive 500 francs as prize for same.
8 Nov 1917 - Bois Confluent Battn. moves to BOIS CONFLUENT. Advance parties reconnoitre the line and stay the night in the line.
9 Nov 1917 - trenches Battn. to line relieved the 10th R.WARWICKS of 57th Bde holding trenches from P.1.a.90.31 J.26.b.27.28 HOLLEBEKE sheet 1/10,000; the sector very much quieter than any trenches previously held by the Battn. this year. 1 O.R. killed, 3 ORs wounded.
10 Nov 1917 A quiet day, great difficulty experienced in taking up rations, material etc. but great deal of work done; The southern sector very wet indeed. All 4 companies in the line. 1 O.R. wounded.
11 Nov 1917 The two southern coys relieved by 8th E.Lancs.regt. Battn. sector now runs from J.32.a.85.80 to J.26.b.27.28. the left coy very well off, with pill boxes, right coy not good, several cases of trench foot, quite unavoidable.
12 Nov 1917 'A' coy do a great deal of damage sniping Bosches. Kill two (one officer) obtain identifications.
13 Nov 1917 'B' coy relieved by 'D' coy in the right coy sector, very quiet all day.
14 Nov 1917 Very quiet day, a certain amount of sniping, artillery fire very little.
15 Nov 1917 'D' coy relieved by 'C' coy in the right sector. 'A' coy on the left remains in front the whole 8 days.
16 Nov 1917 'A' coy heavily shelled by our own heavies, no casualties inflicted. A great deal of salvage work done by reserve coy at CORNER HOUSE. 13th R.B. send reconnoitring party up the line, with a view to relieving the Battn. in the line on the night 17/18 November.
17 Nov 1917 Battn. in trenches & relieved by the 13th R.B. very bad relief, chiefly owing to the bad state of the ground, completed 5.0 AM 18/11/17
18 Nov 1917 - Bois Confluent Battn. to BOIS CONFLUENT. 100 ORs and 2 officers for fatigue.
19 Nov 1917 230 ORs and 7 officers on fatigue. 1 O.R. wounded.
20 Nov 1917 Capt Hitch [A.T. HITCH] to 11.R.Warwickshire Regt as 2nd in command. 240 ORs and 7 officers for fatigue - taking every man.
21 Nov 1917 Fatigues as above - great difficulty in finding men.
22 Nov 1917 5 ORs sent as furlough men to England, fatigues as above.
23 Nov 1917 Fatigues as above. ENEMY bombed Moated Grange, dropped about 50 bombs, no damage.
24 Nov 1917 Fatigues as usual.
25 Nov 1917 - Tournai Camp Battn. to TOURNAI CAMP near VIERSTRAAT. Very comfortable camp, not quite finished. Fatigues found as usual.
26 Nov 1917 Battn. have baths and clean up. No work done. No.41034 Pte.NEWBY [?] awarded the Military Medal. 2nd Lt.C.C.Clifford [Cyril C. CLIFFORD], 2nd Lt.H.A.Balls [Hedley Albert BALLS], 2nd Lt.S.E.Cline [Shirley Eric Douglas CLINE] report for duty.
27 Nov 1917 2nd Lt.F.C.Cook [Frederick Charles COOK] to R.F.C. on probation as an observer. 6 reinforcements arrive.
28 Nov 1917 2nd Lt.Plasom [Arthur Louis PLASOM] to hospital with apendicitis [sic]. Whole Battn. out on salvage, an enormous quantity of material salved.
29 Nov 1917 Battn. on salvage work. Inter platoon football competition.
30 Nov 1917 Battn. out on fatigue for R.E's round the camp. No training possible; inter platoon football competition.
WAR DIARY FOR DECEMBER 1917
1 Dec 1917 - Tournai Camp Battn. in reserve at TOURNAI CAMP. Working parties.
2 Dec 1917 Battn. in reserve; training. Dinners given to transport in celebration of winning the Divisional Competition.
3 Dec 1917 Working parties & great difficulty in finding sufficient number of men.
4 Dec 1917 Training at TOURNAI CAMP. 5 O.R's reinforcements arrive.
5 Dec 1917 - trenches Battn. to Trenches. Very quiet relief, completed 9.0 pm owing to hard state of ground.
6 Dec 1917 Very quiet day. 2 Prisoners captured, one wounded by a 'D' Coy sentry, not having answered the challenge.
7 Dec 1917 Front line shelled a little, otherwise very quiet.
8 Dec 1917 Very quiet day. Ground became very bad owing to thaw.
9 Dec 1917 Great difficulty experienced by carrying parties owing to bad state of the ground.
10 Dec 1917 Very quiet indeed; an enemy party fired on by LEWIS GUNS, several seen to fall.
11 Dec 1917 Weather very bad, creating difficulties for working parties; Enemy very quiet.
12 Dec 1917 Very quiet day.
13 Dec 1917 - Spoilbank Battn. moves to dug outs in SPOILBANK. Forward Battn. of support Brigade.
14 Dec 1917 Resting.
15 Dec 1917 Whole Battn. on working parties. Lts.D.J.Greig [Dennis George GREIG?], T.J.PEMBERTON and 2nd Lts.H.Skipp [Harry SKIPP], W.A.S.Ogden [William Arthur Spencer OGDEN], A.B.WARNECKE joined the Battn. for duty.
16 Dec 1917 Working parties. 1 O.R. killed. 1 O.R. died of wounds. 2 O.R's wounded.
17 Dec 1917 Working parties.
18 Dec 1917 Working parties.
19 Dec 1917 Working parties. 12 OR's reinforcements arrive. 1 O.R. wounded.
20 Dec 1917 Working parties. 83 OR's reinforcements arrive.
21 Dec 1917 - Curragh Camp, Loker Battn. to CURRAGH CAMP near LOCRE into reserve. 3 O.Rs wounded on working parties.
22 Dec 1917 Major F.H.EDWARDS M.C. [Francis Hyde EDWARDS, MC] arrived and takes over command of Battn.
23 Dec 1917 Working parties.
24 Dec 1917 Battn. training. 25 Dec 1917 Resting. Christmas dinner for men, great success.
26 Dec 1917 Battn. training.
27 Dec 1917 Working parties, a case dysentery diagnosed. Officers reconnoitre near sector of line.
28 Dec 1917 17 OR's reinforcements arrive. Battn. on working parties.
29 Dec 1917 - trenches near Hollebeke Battn. to trenches. Take over right sector of Divisional front from CANAL BANK to HOLLEBEKE (exclusive), relief difficult owing to clear night & snow on the ground.
30 Dec 1917 2 OR's killed, 3 OR's wounded, slight shelling.
31 Dec 1917 Quiet day.
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