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 - trenches near Hollebeke Battn in the line near HOLLEBEKE
2 Jan 1918 Battn Hdqrs heavily shelled with Gas Shells. Two men wounded.
3 Jan 1918 Quiet day.
4 Jan 1918 Quiet day.
5 Jan 1918 - Tournai Camp Battn. relieved. Moved to support in TOURNAI CAMP. 2nd Lt.W.A.S.Ogden [William Arthur Spencer OGDEN] and 2 O.R. wounded.
6 Jan 1918 Resting.
7 Jan 1918 Working parties.
8 Jan 1918 Working parties. 10 reinforcements.
9 Jan 1918 Transport moved to SERCUS AREA via TRAZEELE.
10 Jan 1918 - Sercus Battn. entrained DICKEBUSH [sic]. Detrained EBBLINGHAM [sic]. Marched to billets in SERCUS.
11 Jan 1918 Training.
12 Jan 1918 Training.
13 Jan 1918 Training. Weather bad.
14 Jan 1918 Training. Weather very bad.
15 Jan 1918 Training. Heavy Gale.
16 Jan 1918 Training. 1 Drummer killed owing to barn collapsing.
17 Jan 1918 Training. Weather Bad.
18 Jan 1918 Training.
19 Jan 1918 Training. Inspection of the Battn by Divisional Commander & G.O.C.Brigade.
20 Jan 1918 Transport moved to Forward Area.
21 Jan 1918 - Maida Camp Battn entrained EBBLINGHAM [sic]. Detrained DICKEBUSCH & marched to huts at MAIDA CAMP.
22 Jan 1918 Working parties. 1 OR. Killed 8 wounded including 1 at duty.
23 - 31 Jan 1918 Working parties
23 Jan 1918 1 OR wounded.
27 Jan 1918 Resting. Lt.Barnard.L.E. [Lionel Edward BARNARD] to 153rd Field Coy for duty.
30 Jan 1918 1 OR wounded.
WAR DIARY FOR FEBRUARY 1918
1 Feb 1918 - Maida Camp Working Parties. 1 Man wounded.
2 Feb 1918 Working Parties.
3 Feb 1918 Working Parties. 1 O.R. wounded. 2nd Lieut.PLOWRIGHT Struck off Strength.
4 Feb 1918 - Heuringhem Entrained DICKEBUSCH. Detrained EBBLINGHAM [sic] & marched to Billets in HEURINGHEN [sic].
5 Feb 1918 Training. 2nd Lt W.A.S.OGDEN [William Arthur Spencer OGDEN] transferred to ENGLAND wounded.
6 Feb 1918 Training. 2nd Lt.G.A.Binns [George Alfred BINNS] joined the Battn from 1st H.A.C.
7 Feb 1918 Training.
8 Feb 1918 Training. 96 O.Rs joined the Battn as reinforcements. Officer Reinforcements 2nd Lieuts L.E Hadfield [Lawrence Edward HADFIELD], P.A. O'SULLIVAN, J.W.Drummond [John Watson DRUMMOND], E.A.S.White [Eric Archibald Stuart WHITE].
9 Feb 1918 Training.
10 Feb 1918 CHURCH Parade. 115 ORs (reinforcements) from 8th Battn Bedford Regt. joined the Battn. Officer reinforcements Capt.A.W.Elliot [Arthur Winterbottom ELLIOT, MC], 2nd Lt.H.Williams [Harry WILLIAMS], 2nd Lt.W.O.WILSON (from 8th Bedf Regt).
11 Feb 1918 Training.
12 Feb 1918 Training. 10 O.R joined Battn from 8th Bedford Regt. Officer reinforcement from 8th BEDF.Regt Lt H.W.CLARK, Major G.W.COURTNEY left Battn for ENGLAND.
13 Feb 1918 Training.
14 Feb 1918 Training.
15 Feb 1918 - Malplaquet Camp Marched to EBBLINGHAM [sic] and entrained for DICKEBUSCH & marched to MALPLAQUET CAMP.
16 Feb 1918 - Polderhoek Sector trenches Battn moved to front line (POLDERHOEK SECTOR) Battn Hdqrs STIRLING CASTLE.
17 Feb 1918 In trenches. 1 O.R. wounded.
18 Feb 1918 In Trenches. 1 O.R wounded (at duty). Officer reinforcement from 8th Battn BEDF.R. 2nd Lt.R.Bland [Robert BLAND].
19 Feb 1918 In Trenches.
20 Feb 1918 In Trenches. 3 O.R.s wounded.
21 Feb 1918 - Maida Camp Battn moved to Reserve. MAIDA CAMP. 5 O.R. (reinforcements) joined from 8th Battn BEDFORD.REGT.
22 Feb 1918 NIGHT working parties. 1 O.R. wounded.
23 Feb 1918 Resting. 2nd Lt.D.Kew DCM, MM [Daniel KEW, MC, DCM, MM] reinforcement from Royal BERKSHIRE REGT.
24 Feb 1918 Church Parade.
25 Feb 1918 Training.
26 Feb 1918 - Menin Road trenches Battn moved into front line (MENIN ROAD SECTOR)
27 Feb 1918 In Trenches. Officer reinforcements from 8th Battn Bedf.R. Lt.H.W.Wright [Howard Watson WRIGHT], 2/Lt.W.Ambridge [William AMBRIDGE].
28 Feb 1918 In trenches. 1 O.R. Killed. 6 OR Wounded.
WAR DIARY FOR MARCH 1918
1 Mar 1918 - front line Front Line - Enemy artillery lively
2 Mar 1918 Front Line - 2 O.Rs gassed 1. off (2Lt H.Williams [Harry WILLIAMS]) & 1: other rank wounded.
3 Mar 1918 Front line - quiet.
4 Mar 1918 - support trenches Front line - quiet. Battn relieved by 13th Bn R.Fusiliers & moved to Support. 4 Other ranks wounded.
5 Mar 1918 In Support - quiet.
6 Mar 1918 In Support. 29 Other Ranks reinforcements.
7 Mar 1918 In support - quiet
8 Mar 1918 Enemy put down heavy barrage throughout the day & attacked 111th Bde front at 5.30 pm. S.O.S. sent up on the divisional front. Enemy gained a footing in the left Sector but were ejected before dawn.
9 Mar 1918 Fairly quiet.
10 Mar 1918 Quiet.
11 Mar 1918 - Maida Camp Battn moved back into reserve at MAIDA CAMP. 1 Other Rank wounded.
12 Mar 1918 Battn resting.
13 Mar 1918 Work done on camp, bomb-proofing huts. Battn Football team beat Divnl H.Q. 4-1.
14 Mar 1918 ditto
15 Mar 1918 ditto
16 Mar 1918 - front line trenches Battn moved to Front Line & relieved 1st Battn Essex Regt.
17 Mar 1918 Quiet. Bn Hdqrs shelled with gas.
18 Mar 1918 3. Other Ranks wounded.
19 Mar 1918 1 Other Rank wounded. 18 other ranks reinforcements
20 Mar 1918 Front line. 2 Other Ranks killed 5 O.Ranks wounded. 8 O.Ranks gassed
21 Mar 1918 Front Line 2 Other Ranks killed. 4 other ranks wounded.
22 Mar 1918 - support trenches Moved to Support & relieved 1st Bn Essex Regt.
23 Mar 1918 Support. 3 O.Ranks Killed 2. OR wounded. Lt J.M.Hendrie [James Matthew HENDRIE] joined Bn for duty. 2 O.Ranks reinforcements.
24 Mar 1918 Support.
25 Mar 1918 - Malplaquet Camp Moved to Reserve at MALPLAQUET CAMP.
26 Mar 1918 Reserve - 51 O.Ranks Reinforcements.
27 Mar 1918 - Borre Moved to BORRE by lorry. Transport moved by road.
28 Mar 1918 - Mondicourt Battn & Transport entrained CAESTRE STN detrained MONDICOURT.
29 Mar 1918 - Toutencourt Arrived MONDICOURT & marched to billets in TOUTENCOURT.
30 Mar 1918 - Couin Marched to billets in COUIN.
31 Mar 1918 Battn moved to Front Line. Transport & details at COUIN.
WAR DIARY FOR APRIL 1918
1 Apr 1918 - front line trenches near Rossignol Wood Battn in the line, ROSSIGNOL WOOD sector, Three Coys in front line 1 in support - Two prisoners captured. Fairly quiet. Artillery active on "D" Coy front. Transport & details moved from COUIN to BAYENCOURT.
2 Apr 1918 Battn in line. Four O.R Killed & seven wounded.
3 Apr 1918 Battn in line. Six O.R. Killed & 10 wounded.
4 Apr 1918 - support trenches and Bucquoy Battn moved into support. - 'A' Coy sent up to reinforce left Battn at BUCQUOY Capt Carthew [Reginald Caunter CARTHEW, MC]. Reinft.
5 Apr 1918 [The First Battles of the Somme 1918 - the Battle of the Ancre] - support trenches A Coy moved back after a bad time in line. Back areas heavily shelled from 5 AM to 9.AM - 1 O.R. Killed 1 mule wounded & a cooker damaged at transport lines. 1 OR Killed 4 wounded, 1 off & 27 O.R. Gassed (1 died of gas). Details & Transport moved to COUIN.
6 Apr 1918 - front line trenches A.C. & D. Coys to Front line. B Coy to Support, one prisoner captured. 13 OR Killed 3 died of wounds. 29 wounded. 1 officer & 23 OR Gassed.
7 Apr 1918 Front line - 8 OR wounded 5 O.R. Gassed. 21 O.R. reinforcements.
9 Apr 1918 - Gommecourt support trenches Battn moved to support in GOMMECOURT System. 3 O.R. wounded.
10 Apr 1918 In Support - 2 ORs reinforcements.
11 Apr 1918 In Support. 1 O.R. Gassed. 4 O.R. reinforcements.
12 Apr 1918 - front line, Rossignol Wood Battn moved to front line - ROSSIGNOL WOOD. 2 Coys in line, 2 coys in Support, very quiet indeed - 1 OR Killed 2 wounded 1 Gassed.
13 Apr 1918 Battn in line - quiet - 1 O.R. wounded.
14 Apr 1918 Battn in line - quiet.
15 Apr 1918 Battn in line 9.OR reinforcements.
16 Apr 1916 - Bois de Warnimont Battn moved to Reserve in BOIS DE WARNIMONT & took over from 8th Battn Lanc Fus Very bad accommodation in Tents.
17 Apr 1918 Battn Resting. 58 ORs reinforcements.
18 Apr 1918 Training.
19 Apr 1918 Training. 6 OR Reinforcements
20 Apr 1918 Training. 3 OR reinforcements. 11 off reinforcements. Lt.R.F.S.Denning [Reginald Francis Stewart DENNING, later Colonel of the Regiment], 2/Lts F.W.Crake [Francis William CRAKE], A.A.Watson [Albert Addis WATSON], A.Foll [Arthur FOLL]. C.H.Flood [Charles Henry FLOOD], E.Hardy [Edgar HARDY], E.A.J.Chandler [Ernest Alfred John CHANDLER], A.L.ALLEN, H.G.Kaye [Hugh Gordon KAYE], P.J.Holt [Percy James HOLT], E.F.Gowler [Ernest Frank GOWLER].
21 Apr 1918 Training.
22 Apr 1918 Training.
23 Apr 1918 Training. Lt.R.Robinson [Robert ROBINSON] & 4 ORs reinforcements.
24 Apr 1918 - Foncquevillers reserve trenches Battn moved to Reserve (Bde) at FONQUEVILLERS [sic] - Transport to SOUASTRE, accommodation good in line.
25 Apr 1918 Battn in Reserve. 10 ORs reinforcements
26 Apr 1918 Battn in Reserve very quiet. Working parties 7 off 250 O Ranks.
27 Apr 1918 Battn in Reserve very quiet. Working parties 7 off 250 O Ranks
28 Apr 1918 FONQUEVILLERS [sic] shelled intermittantly. Working parties 7 off 250 O Ranks.
29 Apr 1918 Very quiet. Working parties 6 off 250 O Ranks
30 Apr 1918 Very quiet. Working parties 6 off 250 O Ranks orders received to proceed to support RETTERMOY FARM on night 1/2nd MAY.
WAR DIARY FOR MAY 1918
1 May 1918 - Rettermoy Farm support trenches Battn in support near RETTERMOY FARM West of BUCQUOY. Working parties found. 2nd Lt. R.P.Dereham [Robert Percival DERHAM] 2nd Lt. H.T.Lovell [Horace Thomas LOVELL] arrived 52 O.Rs reinforcements; Line quiet.
2 May 1918 Battn in support. Working parties found. Line quiet.
3 May 1918 Battn in support. Working parties found. Line quiet.
4 May 1918 Battn in support, line very quiet.
5 May 1918 Battn in support, line very quiet. Lieut Carles [Richard Eric CARLES] to R.A.F. 7 O.Rs reinforcements arrive.
6 May 1918 Battn in support, line very quiet. 1 O.R. killed, by Aeroplane bomb. Major Beal [Leonard Frank BEAL, MC ] to England on 6 mths tour of duty.
7 May 1918 - front line near Bucquoy Bn relieved 13th Bn R.FUSILIERS in front line S.W. of BUCQUOY. A.B.Coys front line, C support D reserve. Bn.Hd.Qrs RETTERMOY FARM. 4 O.Rs wounded - line very quiet. 1 prisoner captured. Most import identification. 1 AMERICAN officer attached for 3 days for instruction
. 8 May 1918 Line very quiet. 41 O.Rs reinforcements arrive. 3 patrols sent out; 2nd Lts Bailey [Tom Edmund Geoffrey BAILEY] & Chandler [Ernest Alfred John CHANDLER] congratulated by B.G.C. 112th Inf. Bde. for good patrol work.
9 May 1918 Line very quiet. 2 O.Rs wounded 2 patrols sent out. Information received that Bn. is to be absorbed by 1/1 HERTS. Regt.
10 May 1918 RETTERMOY FARM intermittently shelled. No casualties. 2 patrols sent out. T.M. activity against "B" coy.
11 May 1918 Enemy shelled FONQUEVILLERS [sic] for 3 hours with gas shells. Casualties heavy. Lt.AUSTIN [?] gassed. 4 O.Rs wounded 2 patrols sent out.
12 May 1918 RETTERMOY FARM shelled. 1 O.R.killed. 22 O.Rs attached R.Es gassed on 11/5/18 to hospital 2 patrols sent out.
13 May 1918 Line very quiet. 4 O.Rs wounded. 2 O.Rs reinforcements. 2 patrols sent out.
14 May 1918 Line very quiet. 2 O.Rs reinforcements. 2 patrols sent out.
15 May 1918 Line very quiet. 2 patrols sent out. Information definitely received that the Bn is to be absorbed by 1/1 HERTS.
16 May 1918 Line fairly quiet. T.Ms fairly active RETTERMOY farm shelled. 1 American officer attached for instruction. 4 O.Rs wounded.
17 May 1918 - Louvencourt Battn relieved by 2nd Bn 5th WEST Yorkshire Regt. Battn relief complete midnight 17/18th by lorry from SOUASTRE to LOVENCOURT.
18 May 1918 Battn warned to prepare Training Staff for an American Bn. 7 O.Rs reinforcements.
19 May 1918 Battn clean up.
20 May 1918 Orders received that Bn less American training staff will proceed to 1/1 HERTS on 21/5/18. Dinner provided to Bn and officers have farewell dinner in evening. Brigade Staff present. No speeches made.
21 May 1918 - Audruicq Training staff consisting of Lt.Col.F.H. Edwards [Francis Hyde EDWARDS, MC] (C.O.) A/capt D.M.SAUNDERS (adjt) Capt. A.W.Elliot [Arthur Winterbottom ELLIOTT, MC], A/Capt O.E.Hobson [Owen Ellis HOBSON], 2nd Lt. W.JOHNSON, 2nd Lt. A.E.Iliffe [Alfred Eldred ILIFFE, MC] (coy commanders) Lt.D.J.Greig [possibly Dennis George GREIG] (L.G.O.) Lt.C.C.Clifford [Cyril C. CLIFFORD] (I.O.) 2nd Lt.E.E.Ashby [Edward Ernest ASHBY, MC] (signals) Capt. J.A.M.Hislop [Joseph Archibald Martin HISLOP] (Q.Mr.) R.S.M., R.Q.M.S., 4 C.S.Ms, 4 C.Q.M.S. and 48 O.Rs proceeded to MONDICOURT to entrain for AUDRUICQ. Remainder of Bn. proceeded to 1/1 HERTS Regt. 6th Bedford Regt. still exists.
22 May 1918 - Nielles-les-Ardres DEtrained at AUDRUICQ 1.30 p.m. marched to NIELLES 13th R.SUSSEX REGT. lent band for march, provided tea for all ranks on arrival; staff very cordially received into 39th Division. Very comfortable billets.
23-30 May 1918 Specialist training from 9.0 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. daily. & Intensive Recreational Training (consisting of Physical training, football, hockey, running) carried out each afternoon. Bathing parades, inspections, etc. carried out. Lectures by Lt.Col.F.H.Edwards, M.C. [Francis Hyde EDWARDS, MC] to all officers
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