Diary of 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders
With grateful thanks to Mrs Mary Cox (M.O.D) for all the hard work in documenting
this valuable history from the original diary
1915 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1916 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1917 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
1918 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov
1914 After the very heavy losses at Mons; Le Cateau; 1st Marne; Aisne; La Bassée
and 1st Ypres, suffered during the first months of the Great War. By late
November 1914, the old British Army had virtually disappeared.
The first winter 1914/1915 was relatively quiet, and saw a period of training,
with the 1st Gordons joining its brigade at Locres on 2nd December 1914.
Drafts were arriving to bring the battalion up to strength, with Territorial
battalions sent out from the UK, towards the end of 1914.
1st Gordons on 14th December 1914 were engaged in an operation at Messives
Ridge with 8th Brigade, and again lost heavily.
1915 Into the New Year the 1st Gordons were in billets at Westoutre and Locres, later
in trenches at Vierstraat with shelling and some casualties. Later at La Clytte,
Westoutre in billets, drafts arrived to augment strength, some 200 NCOs and men, including
3rd Battalion, and reservists amounting to a further 160 men.
La Clytte Quiet spell in trenches, alternating in billets, further draft of 166 men joined
27th January 1915, with very little training. Intermittent shelling.
February 1915, Blue Balmoral bonnets issued replacing the Glengarry, but not
to be worn in trenches until Khaki covers arrived; too conspicuous. Relieved
by the 2nd Suffolks, and alternating trenches and billets during month with
casualties, with this battalion.
March saw further alternating relief at billets, with trenches near Vierstraat,
with casualties from shelling. Later relieved by 1st Royal Scots and Suffolks,
with Bn relieving Camerons 18th March at Vierstraat. Losses of two and three
men from snipers and shelling.
April continued with occupation of trenches north of Vierstraat; relieved by
Worcestershire Regt. Back in billets at La Clytte. Mid April, quiet virtually
no casualties. Half Bn in billets and half in trenches, quiet continued until
22nd April, first reports of gas being used. Month ended as before, few casualties.
May began quietly, heavy shelling on 6th, killed 3 and wounded 5. By the 11th May,
Brigade was ordered to relieve 13th Brigade in front of Hill 60. Bn relieved South
Lancs; many rifles and equipment found, left by West Riding Regt due to gassing,
many corpses; cleaning up carried out. By mid-May patrols carried out at Hill 60,
with bombing continuing and parapets blown in. Relieved by Dorsets on 20th, marched back
to billets at La Clytte. Preparations leading up to 2nd Ypres begin, with Bn engaged
in trench work at Hooge, and quiet conditions at night. Some shelling in mornings.
June began with very heavy shelling, with 22 men killed and 46 wounded. Later
conditions quieter and relieved by 2nd Suffolks on 7th/8th. Bivouac at
Poperinghe/Vlanmertinghe. Ypres heavily damaged. 15th June attack began after
bombardment at 3 am by 5 am German trenches captured.
June 15th, respirators were used, proved quite effective, 16th saw many wounded in
trenches, sent back under cover. Bn HQ and C and D companies heavily shelled,
about 80 casualties suffered. 17th, relieved by KRR (New Army) more gas shells used by Germans.
June 18th, returned to Bivouac at Brandhook, losses by the 20th June
totalled 126. Remainder of month at Brandlock with games, route marches, concert
in evening of 26th June; 27th Church parade. Last day at Poperinghe, Baths!
July. First days at Brandlock; relieved the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles on 12/13th July
at Hooge, Ypres salient. In trenches at Hooge, mortars fired with some casualties
Sniper forts set up, good results with Express Rifle, enemy snipers loopholes targeted.
18th July, relieved by 4th Middlesex Regt and returned to bivouac, but ordered back
to Ypres ramparts to deliver bombs to front trenches at Hooge. Attack delivered by
Middlesex and 1st Bn Grenadiers snipers, and machine gunners. Some losses,
but attack successful. Bn returned to trenches, some shelling for further 3 or 4
days, and some losses; relieved by 7th Rifle Brigade 22nd July. Bivouac, and
return to trenches after 2 days, balance of July at Verbrandenholen with relative quiet.
August 1915 began quietly, relieved by 4th Gordons 3/4th August, at Verbrandenholen.
General Allenby inspected 1st Bn at Oudendown in bivouac, delivered great speech
of thanks. DCM awarded Pte P McKay for Gallantry on 19th July at Hooge; attempt to
present ribbon to Private McKay by Major General Haldane CO 3rd Division on 10th August
fails, McKay failed to show up!! Relieved 4th Bn 10/11th in trenches Square 134C.
Continuous occupation of trenches through to 23rd, relieved by Sherwood Fusiliers. Some
damage and casualties suffered during those days. Back to Oududown bivouac for
remainder of month.
September. Bivouac at Farm 119C 0.3. Inspected by Genera Herbert Plummer Commanding 2nd
Army, very complimentary of appearance of men. Battalion took deliver of Khaki
Balmoral Bonnets to which was added a rosette of Gordon tartan and regimental cap badge.
Moved bivouac; again heavy rain very difficult move, very poor conditions and dreadful
accommodation with canvas sheets and waterproof sheets. DCM ribbon presented to L/Sgt
W Smith, for conspicuous gallantry on 16th August for rescuing 2/Lt Webster wounded on
patrol enemies wire emplacements.
Return to trenches at Hooge, relieved 3rd Worcesters; 12th September. Heavy bombardment
by our artillery following three or four days, with enemy responding. Return to farm
H.13D.55 for rest, relieved by 3rd Worcesters on 18th. Substantial work carried
out on trenches. On 22nd September Lord Kitchener inspected brigade (2nd Royal Scots,
1st and 4th Gordons) delivered speech. Returned to Hooge trenches, relieved 3rd Worcesters.
Big attack on 25th by 3rd and 14th Divisions, with Royal Scots Fusiliers, and 1st, 4th
Gordons with 2nd Royal Scots; 2nd South Lancashire Regt, and Royal Irish Rifles involved.
This attack was repulsed by the enemy whose trenches and wire were not affected by the
heavy bombardment, the wire could not be cut by our cutters, very heavy casualties suffered.
Returned to bivouac 26th, back to trenches 29th September attacked enemy occupied trenches.
October proved to be very quiet month in trenches, some shelling, reinforcements arriving,
training for visiting battalions carried out on trench warfare and duties. Bivouac
at Vlamatinghe, and move to barns on 15th October, relieved 7th Shropshires; DCM
ribbon presented by Major General A Haldans to 3598 Sergeant P Rennie for conspicuous
gallantry at Hooge on September 25th. 22nd October moved to new billeting area at
Eeke; training and route marches carried out. Football tournament, battalion won first
match 4-0; lost to Kings Own Lancaster Regt 2nd round.
November, in billets at Eeke very wet, many classes of instructions. Football final,
holiday, cinema visit at Divisional HQ. Later moved to Reninghelst and trenches, cleaning
up, drainage, wire repaired, etc. Some shelling continued, grenades fired, some casualties,
work on drainage continued, relieved and returned to rest billets at Reninghelst. Quiet
spell and month ends.
December First days, inspection by CO, trench boards laid, training camp. Drill and
grenade throwing; specialists left for trenches at 3am, followed by battalion. Enemy
mortars for 2 days, quiet otherwise. Continued mortar fire, Belgians shelled the German
front line. Relieved and returned to base camp. Baths, lectures, kit inspections,
Wing Commander visited. Grenade throwing, bayonet fighting, specialists left for
trenches, battalion relieved KORL trenches at 6 pm. Brigade CO visited and inspected
trenches. Some shelling, few casualties. 18th and 19th saw heavy bombardment, tear
gas shells, heavy rifle fire, very intensive shelling with a number of losses. Following
four days with visits from GOC Brigade, General Staff Officer inspecting trenches. Bn
relieved by 8th KORL Regt. 23rd December at Baths, 24th Kit inspection, smoke helmets
lecture on Espirit de Corps by CO. 25th, holiday, short service at 11 am. 26th,
Church parade; lecture on gas by Major Maitland. Drill and bayonet fighting, lecture
on History of the Regt. Last days of 1915 in trenches, quiet, inspection by Brigade Co.
New year very quiet, senior officers visited.
The most significant event of 1915 was the battle of 25th September when an attack was
launched, a major offensive, which became know as the Battle of Loos. The 1st and 4th
Gordons suffered very heavily (the 'U', Student Soldiers were particularly hard hit)
as were the 2nd, 6th, 9th, and 10th Battalions, a disastrous failure with incredible
losses. See Sir John MacConachie's book "The Student Soldiers", (4th Bn
1916 January.The early months of 1916 were relatively quiet, January was a repeat of billets
and trenches, Reninghelst rest area not particularly comfortable. Route marches,
training, Reninghelst fatigues, cable laying, map reading etc. Concerts in the
evening! Back in trenches with enemy firing, trench mortars and HE, some casualties.
Aerial activity considerable. Further relief by 8th KOLR of specialists and Bn.
Return to Reninghelst for kit inspections, baths, training lectures. Fatigue
parties laying cable. Last days of January return to trenches, relatively quiet.
Reninghelst February. First couple of days quiet; back to Reninghelst for kit inspection,
Serques paying out; followed by move to St Omer/Serques for rest. Training quite intensive,
Trenches visits by C in C Sir Douglas Haig; CO returned to Bn 15th February left by
train for Poperinghe, marched to Oudendon for trenches, relieved 7th Border Regt.
Some serious problems from snipers. Heavy shelling of positions by enemy,
retaliation by our artillery brought intense barrage on wood behind our lines.
Some casualties. Further aerial activity and aerial torpedoes fired by enemy,
Poperinghe several Zeppelins seen. Further casualties from shelling. Bn relieved by 12th
Reninghelst Manchester Regt 22nd February and marched to Reninghelst. Frost and snow on ground;
baths. Further training and practised attacks with 8th KORL Regt, continued for last
days of month.
March. Opened with final preparations for attack. Reached assembly points; 9th
Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by Bn. Assault began at 4.30 am on 2nd March
Reninghelst with some initial success on the night, left section failed, 3 platoon practically
annihilated ('A' Company). Very heavy casualties suffered, totalling 245 killed and
wounded. All counter attacks repulsed, heavy shelling our lines, and reserve and
Scottish Lines Bn relieved by east Yorks on 4th March at 3.30 am, conveyed by buses to Scottish Lines,
reached at 8 am. Men continued to struggle in throughout the day. More shelling,few
casualties. Heavy snow falls in following days. Visits from Army Commander, expressed
thanks for good work: Some reinforcements arrive on 6th. Refitting, kit inspections;
deficiencies and reorganisation continued. GOC visited.
Trenches In reserve at Gordon Terrace 11th and 12th, working parties. Relieved 8th KORL in trenches,
clearing up work, training, burying dead. Work practically all done at night. Sniping very
active. Some casualties. Specialists relieved by 8th KORL, Bn later in evening marched to
B camp, Reninghelst. During this recent spell in trenches, repaired and rebuilt 850 yards
of parapet - 20,500 sandbags filled and used. Dugouts were built, also general repair and
Reninghelst Notice of gallantry awards DSO MC DCM. Further time at Reninghelst, training, working parties
filled sandbags for St Eloi sector. Visit from C in C. Some casualties from gassing. Bn left
for reserve at Voormezecle and Scottish Wood employed on fatigue parties all night of 25th.
Heavy shelling at Voormezecle, few casualties. Back to J camp Reninghelst. Div Commander
Scottish Wood awarded ribbons to officers and men granted in recent operations early March. Last days of
Dickelbusch month at Dickelbusch with 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Stormy weather serious difficulties with
St Eloi April. Early days at St Eloi craters the Bn was not directly involved in fighting by were
Craters but were heavily bombarded before being relieved and returned to Reninghelst by bus on the
Reninghelst 4th. Heavy casualties in B company. Visit from 27th Canadian Regt officers. Bn moved to
Thieushoer Thieushoer into rest billets, good farms and barns. Following days spent in refitting, kit
inspections, baths. Reinforcements arrived, church parade, paying out.
Some further parades; lectures on discipline. Football matches between companies. Training
La Clytte continued for remainder of time at Thieushoer, moved to La Clytte on 20th April, working on
pioneer duties, strong points around Vierstraat. Returned to Thieushoer on 22nd, church
parade; boxing matches arranged, bayonet fighting, further talks on discipline. Cross country
running, football matches.
Locre Reached Locre on 27th April; specialists left for trenches at 1.30 am, BN later in evening
relieving 5th Durham LI. Prisoners gave warning of gas attack pending, but did not reach
our lines, bombardment casualties 35 killed and wounded. Quiet end to month.
Kemmel May. Trenches at Kemmel first week of month. Some trench mortars fired by enemy, gas alarms
sounded, fishtail bombs in left company sector. 5 casualties. Sniping increased at night. Bn
HQ received about a dozen shells. 6th May Specialists relieved at 1.30 am by 8th KORL and
Locre Bn relief completed at 11 pm. Returned to billets at Locre. Training and football, working
party of 150 supplied at night. Baths, gas demonstration, further 150 for working party.
Route march on 10th. Patrol competition with selected from each platoon. Prizes of matchboxes
with embossed Regt Crest.
Kemmel Relieved 8th KORL on 13th; at Kemmel for further week. Some shelling with trench mortars with
casualties. 20th May relieved by 8th KORL marched to Kemmel shelters. Training and lectures,
football RWF. Concerts in evenings; Bn relieved by 4th Yorks marched to Wivsmond Rest Area
Fletre near Fletre via Baillenil and Meteren. Kit inspections drills and lectures. Some drafts
arrived. Month ended quietly.
June. Practice drills and march pasts first days, celebrate King's Birthday. Some free time.
Thienshoek Standing by ready to move on 4 hours notice from Thienshoek and on the 5th Bn marched to
billets near Bailleuil, took over from 12th West Yorks. Paying out in afternoon. Following
days, working parties, bayonet fighting, baths, training in extended order. Bn sports day
in afternoons 9th and 10th.
Zermezeere 11th June Bn marched to training area via Meteren, Caestre, Cassel, to billets at Zermzere. On
12th at Wulverdinghe then to Houlle. Training for attack formations on following days, firing
Houlle 18th some officers and men proceed for day at Calais. Remainder of the month on training for
attack, firing ranges, musketry.
SOMME July. 1st Bn not involved in first attack on 1st July. Days at Houlle, Gezaincourt, Naours,
Franvillers, Bois Les Celestin by 7th/8th. Bronfay farm for seven days, practising assaults
night and day. Some shelling and few casualties. Attack on 14th German 2nd line positions
Trenches at 3.45 am, line captured. Bn moved to Caterpillar Valley and position men High
Wood/Longueeral. Some casualties from heavy shelling.
18th Patrols sent out at 2 am, orders to attack Longueeral village next morning. Assembly at 2 am,
assault at 3.45 am, successful, but strong points North of Derville Wood remained in enemies
Derville Wood hands. Counter attacks, intensive shelling for 7 hours, very heavy losses, 4 officers killed,
Caterpillar) 7 wounded, 321 ORs killed wounded or missing. Evacuated village. 7th Division, 3rd Division
Valley) involved with 2nd Bn and 1st Bn respectively.
19th Bn relieved on 19th by DCLI marched to Carnoy. Retrospective view on events (regimental
Carnoy history see pages 88/89.)
20th Reorganised, reserved officers joined.
21st Moved into trenches Lonueral/Derville Wood relief of 8th Norfolks and Essex Regt.
22nd Trenches in poor state, reorganising defence, draft of 240 at Happy Valley. Corporal Mearns on
patrol killed 6 Germans, wounded 3.
23rd Heavy shelling on village and BHQ, 6 casualties
24th Heavy shelling 20 wounded at BN HQ (orderlies and servants.)
25th Relieved by 1st KRR.
26th Bn Marched to Bois des Tailles
27th At Bois Tailles, reorganising; draft inspected by CO. Bn bathed is Somme River.
28th Very hot; marched to Meriecourt l'Abbé for rest period, fairly comfortable billets.
29th Very hot; reorganising, bathed in river Ancre, Brigade concert in evening.
30th Church Parade.
31st Rifle inspection, squads and arms drill for remainder.
Meriecourt August. First days at Mericourt l'Abbé in training, route march, inspection of draft by GOC
5th Cards for gallant conduct 18th-25th July given out. 5 pm working party 5 officers and 221 NCOs
and men proceed to Citadel for trench work S and E of Troves Wood.
6th Church Parade, lecture by CO on recent events.
7th-9th Bn training and route march via camps of 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Bns of Regt.
10th Work on range butts Marrett Wood.
Sandpits Marched to Cironces at Sandpits, joined by Citadel party.
12th Practised assaults over flagged course at 4 pm. Citadel party baths at Ville am Aube,
13th-14th Assault practise; moved to bivouacs at Great Bear. Carrying party of 80 ammunition for MGC
Great Bear in evening.
15th Bn at rest; officers visited Maltz Horn branch system, heavily shelled on return journey.
Talus Bois Bn moved to Talus Bois 2 pm and forward to Dublin trenches.
17th Carrying party of 44 to Stanley Dump 6 am. 3 companies moved to Chimpanzee Trench; heavy
Chimpanzee shelling, lost 6 killed, 3 severely wounded.
Maltz Horn Bn moved to trenches in front of Maltz Horn farm for assault at 2.45 pm. 1st objective gained
but attack failed with heavy losses: 260 Casualties.
19th New line taken over by Royal Scots Fusiliers. Evacuation of wounded proceeded. B, C, D
companies returned to Dublin Trench at noon. A Company remained to bury dead, later relieved
Happy Valley by 12th Manchester Regt (The Bantams) Bn proceeded back to Happy Valley.
20th Voluntary service in evening.
21st Bn marched to Morlancourt; draft of 220 ORs arrived at 4 pm; chiefly men from 2/4, 2/5, 2/7
22nd Transport left for new area at 10.45 am. Further draft of 125 ORs from 2/5, 2/7, Bns.
23rd Bn train to Candas from Mericourt Station, 2 pm arrival, marched to Maillard. 7 miles.
24th Draft inspected by CO. Rev W H Leathem arrived.
25th 9 am marched to Boubers 8 miles. Several 2/Lts arrived viz Lyle, Berry Davidson, Russell,
Thorburn, Simmill, Cook, Forbes, Merrilees.
26th 8.50 am marched to Oeuf, 8 miles. Good billets
27th 7.50 am marched to Heuchin, 11 miles.
28th 10.30 am marched to Bours, 9 miles.
29th 11.30 am marched to Bruay, 8 miles billets in mining village.
Bruay Baths for whole Bn in mine bath houses mine No 3. Very good!
31st 2.15 pm Bn marched to Noeux les Mines, 7½ miles.
Noex les Mines September. Bn at Noex les Mines for first week of month; in Brigade Reserve area much engaged
in training, drill, bayonet fighting, PT. Carrying parties employed and paraded at 6.30 pm.
Further Bn training.
8th Bn took over trenches at Bis 14 sector from 8th Kings Own. 3 companies occupied front line,
great deal of work required, little or no wire existed - enemy front heavily wired.
9th-15th Trench mortars fired on enemy wire. Nests dug for gas cylinders. Quiet days.
16th Bn relieved by 8th Kings Own; in support for B Coy in Gun Trench, A Coy village line, remainder
Bn HQ in 10th Avenue.
17th Bn finished working and carrying parties chiefly trench mortar ammunition.
18th C Coy left for baths at Mazingarbe.
19th Similar working parties as 17th, A Coy at Baths.
20th Similar working parties as 17th, B Coy at Baths.
21st Bn repaired support trench and wiring support line.
22nd Bn Cleaning and tidying trenches.
23rd Bn relieved by 10th East Surreys, billets in Mazingarbe.
24th Bn 9.30 am for Lozinghem, 12 miles joined brigade west of Noex les Mines, reached Lozinghem
billets for night.
25th Bn 9.00 am for Estree Blanche, 12 miles.
26th/27th Kit inspections, artillery formations, a march past, musketry practice in afternoon.
28th Bn marched to training area, carried out 1st phases of attack, musketry practice.
29th Bn at training area, practising attack as normal and ceremonial.
20th Bn at training area; carried out "attack". Brigade march past Brigadier General R Kentish DSO,
who later presented ribbons including 2 VCs to the 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Made farewell
Estree Blanche; Training area, trench practise grounds for first few days. Funeral of Private
Temple accidentally killed by train. Regimental mascot fox terrier 'Pyper' died.
Big fire in village, Bn worked to salvage all night. Thanks from Brigadier for efforts.
5th Bn marched to Heuchnin at 2 pm welcomed by local inhabitants cordially.
6th Bn rested.
7th Bn marched to St Pol at 8.40 am. Train to Raincheral arrived Belle Ezlise at midnight.
8th Marched to Acheux, billets in huts at Acheux Wood.
9th Bn resting.
10th-16th Bn practised assault of trenches over flagged courses with KORL. Combined sports day.
17th Bn marched to Vauchelles.
18th Bn 6.30 am parade, practised assault over flagged courses
19th Bn marched to Courcelles. Fatigue party of 300 men to trenches at 9 pm.
20th Digging party to trenches at 6 am (200 men).
21st-25th Kit inspections, Divisional practice of trenches to be captured over flagged courses. 200
fatigue party. Carrying trench mortar ammunition to front. Bn resting for day.
26th Raiding party tried to enter enemy trenches failed owing to barrage opening 1/4 hour too soon!
27th Trenches at Serre sector taken over from 8th KORL. Very muddy conditions, quiet later.
28th Enemy shelled Observation Wood and support trenches during day. Very severe on Bn HQ, Railway
Ave, and Brigade advance HQ, several shells struck. One casualty. Gas attack from our 2nd
Division drifted over our front line. Helmets had to be put on.
29th Considerable counter artillery at 6 am. Bn relieved during morning by 7th KSLI, marched to
Bus Bus, billeted in wood.
30th Bombing practice in morning, heavy rain pm.
31st Bn in bombing practice, drill for whole Bn.
Bus Bn at Bus for first 12 days of month. Practice musketry at ranges, concerts, football,
cinematograph shows at YMCA! Lectures on history of the Regt. Combined sports with 2nd
Suffolks. Church parade. Preparations for attack; 'it' were going ahead. 300 men on road
works! night patrolling practice. Football match with Balloon Sect RFC, Bn won 3-0.
12th-13th Bn moved to assembly trenches and attacked enemy lines at Serre. Unsuccessful outcome owing
Serre to mist and muddy conditions, heavy machine gunfire from enemy. Failure left us with 141
14th Bn relieved the 10th RWF in evening, after quiet day. In front line Rob Roy at night. Bn HQ
Trenches moved into advanced Brigade HQ. CO took over command left sub sector. 6 casualties.
15th Quiet. Improving positions. Wiring of posts in front line at night. Divisional General
visited 5 wounded.
16th Quiet. Reconstruction of our line proceeding 4 casualties.
17th Bn relieved at night by 10th RWF marched to Courcelles, reached by 11 pm.
18th Bn at baths.
19th Bn moved to Vauchelles, billets
20th Bn kit inspections by companies, 247 ORs joined.
21st Bn training musketry.
22nd Companies arrangements. 2nd Bn marched through village; passes issued for visit to 2nd Bn.
Col Crawford commands 3rd Brigade.
23rd Musketry training. Draft from base 19 ORs.
24th Bn received orders to move to Lourencourt, but later cancelled.
25th Fatigue party 150 men at 6.30 am. Lectures in pm.
26th CO and OC coys visited trenches at Serre.
27th Bn relieved 13th Kings Liverpool. Trenches wet and muddy.
28th Bn working constantly improving sector as defensive position.
29th Wiring continued as mist permitted.
30th Continued wiring due to misty conditions.
Trenches 1st day of month, Bn relieved by 8th Kings Own marched back to huts at Courcelles.
2nd-5th Bn kit inspections, working and fatigue parties. Party at front line wiring opposite Luke
copse later on 5th left for Louvencourt.
6th Bn had 300 men on various working parties. Specialists training undertaken.
7th 250 men on fatigue. Specialists continued training.
8th 130 men on working parties. Baths for rest.
9th 250 men on working parties, fatigues. Specialists on training.
10th-13th At Louvencourt, working parties, tea at Courcelles. Relief completed at midnight with 13th
14th-16th In trenches, very quiet.
17th Bn relieved by 8th KORL, and moved to billets at Courcelles.
18th Bn inspected by Brigade CO.
19th Bn and 2 companies moved to Couin.
20th-28th At Couin, Beausort, Bus, through till relief of 13th Kings Liverpool on 29th.
29th Trenches, some shelling, few casualties and little activity in last days of year.
30th-31st Our guns opened fire at 11 pm. Very quiet.
1st January. Prisoner walked over to trenches; Bn relieved by 8th KORL, marched to billets
3rd Trenches relieved 8th KORL.
4th 'D' company stood down 5.30 pm; heavy shelling Fort Briggs, direct hit, 4 killed 2 wounded.
5th Heavy shelling Fort Briggs; 16 men buried, dug out by KORL, 2 wounded; 10 pm relieved by 8th
6th Bn marched to Berrancourt, played through village by 2nd Bn; bus to Rubempre, arrived 6 pm.
7th Bn rested at Rubempre; 24 from 3rd Bn.
8th Marched to Pernois, 12 miles, bad billets.
10th Rested. Organised companies each platoon.
11th Rested. 1 bombing section; 2 rifle sections; 1 reserve Lewis gun section.
12th Bn Training.
13th Bn Training.
14th 3rd Bn draft arrived; 4 officers.
15th Bn march past.
16th-26th Bn Training and Football.
27th Prepared to move.
28th Bn marched to Amplier
29th Bn marched to Neuviellette.
30th Bn marched to Flers.
31st Bn marched to Penin. 3rd Div transferred to XVII corps.
1st Rested, new helmet drill with new respirators.
2nd Training continued.
3rd Practised new attack formation,.
4th Voluntary church parade; Div band present.
6th Practise attacks.
8th Bn marched to Wanquentin via Aresnes le Cormte. Hauteville, billets. CO and 2I/C. Gas
9th Bn rested; officers visited trenches in front of Arras.
10th Bn prepared for trenches.
11th Bn church parade; prepared to march for trenches via Warlus and Dainville. Relieved 11th
Middlesex. Quiet and trenches in very good condition.
In the line
12th 2 casualties from trench mortar 'A' company.
13th Quiet; work done on reserve line. GOC visited.
15th Relieved by 10th R Welsh Fusiliers reserve billets at Arras.
16th-17th Rested, supplied work parties.
18th Voluntary church parade 6 pm
19th Tested new box respirators. Relieved 15th Royal Welsh Fusiliers in afternoon.
In the line
20th Bn suffered from trench mortar activity 'A' Coy. 2 killed, 2 wounded.
21st Quiet; Trenches falling in owing to thaw.
22nd Quiet, work support lines.
23rd Quiet, Bn relieved by 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers: billets at Arras.
24th Bn Supplied working parties.
25th Church service; 'C' Coy practised "Raid".
26th Bn supplied working parties and carrying parties.
27th Bn relieved by 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers. Marched to Wanquentin.
28th Bn marched Houvin-Houvigneul via Hanteville-Asesus le Compe. Good billets. 'A' Coy worked in
wood-cutting. 'C' Coy at Liencourt practised 'Raid'. Bn rested.
1st 'B' and 'A' Coys on training.
2nd-3rd Training continued.
4th Church service: 'C' Coy left Liencourt for Arras to carry out raid.
5th Successful raid; 21 prisoners taken; 11 killed.
6th 'C' Coy rejoined Bn.
7th Bn training; 26 ORs joined.
9th March to Magnicourt, poor billets.
10th Bn marched for 12 miles on route march. 23 ORs joined.
11th Rain; voluntary church service.
12th-13th Bn Training.
14th Lt Gen Haldane CO 6th Corps inspected Bn presented MMs to L/Cpl Christie, Ptes Black, Lambie
and Garside for gallantry on recent raid.
15th-17th Bn training. Officers observed 9th Brigade attack over practice trenches.
18th Bn billets at Liencourt; draft 51 ORs arrived.
19th-20th Bn Training.
21st-31st Attack practice; baths at Berlencourt, football, training in attack with grenades.
1st-8th Diary page missing! OO's record arrival in Arras occupied caves on 6th, assembled on 8th.
9th-11th Bn attacked at 5.30 am (Arras trenches) ordered to take part in assault on the first four
German lines of trenches. Bombardment began, Bn advanced in two waves of two companies.
German line extended over 420 yards frontage and with little opposition the objectives were
taken by 5.50 am; casualties 60. For further details, (see photocopies attached).
12th Bn in tunnel at 8 am.
13th Bn left tunnel for billets at Arras.
14th-16th Bn rested, cleaned up.
17th Bn on parade, cards for recognition presented by GOC.
18th Bn in billets.
19th Bn practised wiring. Armourer Sgt inspected rifles.
20th Bn prepared to move to join 6th Corps.
21st Bn training practised attack. Massed bands played (1st,6th,8/10th, and 9th) in barbed wire
22nd Bn church service at Salle des Concerts.
23rd Bn trenches west of Bois de Boeuf 6 pm. Div in reserve.
24th Bn took over line W of Monchy le Preux. During relief hostile artillery opened fire; 38
25th Bn suffered heavy shelling, no casualties. Bn HQ blown in!
26th HQ moved to dugout of HQ RWF, KORL and KSLI: Heavy shelling, much sniping by night.
27th Further heavy shelling; hostile aeroplane brought down. Enemy attacked KORL and 'B' Coy,
repulsed, 4 prisoners.
28th Front support lines shelled; Captain Bothwell and 2/Lt Huntly killed. Sniping worse!
29th-30th Intermittent shelling; snipers killed 5 men. Platoons ordered to fire at ground level and
1st Bn relieved by 1st RSF moved into Div reserve trenches.
3rd Bn moved to Brown line to relieve 7th KSLI.
4th-6th Bn rested. Working parties of 300 on Communication trench south of Monchy.
7th Brown line; 1420 yards of CT completed.
8th-9th Bn relief of 9th Brigade put off.
10th Bn relieved 9th Brigade.
12th Quiet: London Scottish attacked and captured Tool trench; enemy shelling; front line shelled by
own artillery; 1 officer killed 6 ORs wounded.
13th Bn suffered 8 casualties from enemy shelling.
14th Bn relieved by Inniskillings; 6 Ors
15th Bn took tea at Tilloy; embussed for Duisans and slept for rest of day. Completed 23 days in
trenches, longest spell since 1915. Total casualties 3 officers killed, 89 ORs.
16th Bn cleaned up and rested.
17th Bn moved to Noyellette. Men and officers to Nissen huts - comfortable billets.
18th Bn moved to Ambrines. Coys at disposal. Billets fair but cramped.
19th-31st Bn at Ambrines; training; football; medal parade; drafts arrived; inoculations; lectures;
ranges and field firing.
1st Bn preparing for move to Arras.
2nd Bn paraded at 6.55 am, buses to Arras, good billets.
3rd Bn church parade.
4th Bn training for coming operations, moved billets owing to shelling.
5th-11th Bn training and assault practice with the suffolks.
12th GOC 3rd Div visited. Assault practice.
In the line
13th Bn relieved 1st RSF in Hill trench East of Monchy.
14th-19th Bn attacked at 7.20 am took trench and established posts on the mound and high ground. Very
heavy fighting from counter attacks. Successful operation; but heavy losses. 70 killed, 160
wounded, 27 missing.
20th Bn relieved and embussed for Grenas, good billets.
21st-23rd Bn resting and clearing up.
24th-30th Church parade; training; drafts arrived officers and 330 ORs: cricket; medals parade; Corps
Commander congratulations at recent success against Infantry Hill. Prepared to move to
1st Bn paraded at 10 am, marched to Doullens arrived by train at Achiet le Grand at 4.15 pm. 2nd
Bn billeted at Morny, pipes and drums played us in.
2nd Bn specialist training in morning; football, lost to 2nd Gordons 3-0; massed bands played.
3rd Bn paraded at 4 pm, marched to Beugny bivouacs and tents.
4th Bn training: 2nd Gordons football team again played and won 3-1.
5th Bn training: Relay race, tug-o-war with 2nd Bn lost again.
6th Bn training continued. Rugby match and Australian gunners (lost)
7th-9th Bn inspected by GOC IV Corps; training and draft of 19 pipers and drummers from 3rd Bn.
In the line
10th Bn relieved 1st RSF.
11th Bn sent out patrols; night patrol encountered enemy strong post not known previously, some
12th Bn quiet day, working on widening up front line posts; 4 ORs casualties.
13th-18th Bn generally quiet period but casualties from enemy firing on working parties, some shelling.
19th Bn relieved by 2nd Suffolks.
20th-24th Bn rested, cleaning up after baths; church parade, march past, competitions.
25th Bn relieved 2nd Suffolks.
In the line
26th-31st Bn engaged in wiring work, some casualties from trench mortars; enemy raid on 'C' Coy driven
off. Further wiring carried out. Draft of 6 officers arrived.
In the line
1st Bn engaged in improving posts. Quiet.
2nd Bn relieved by 2nd Suffolks, marched to Beugny.
3rd-11th Bn training, church parade; Div band concert. Drafts of officers arrived, relief prepared.
In the line
12th-17th Bn took over from 2nd Suffolks, worked on joining up posts, 3 casualties, shelling. Bn in
quiet period in front line; Brigade fired gas shells, some casualties from retaliation.
18th Bn relieved by 2nd Suffolks.
19th-25th Bn rested and baths; parades, training, erection of huts; drill demonstration etc.
26th Bn relieved 2nd Suffolks.
27th-31st Bn worked between posts; some shelling with a few casualties. Total strength 36 officers 991
In the line
1st-2nd Very quiet.
3rd Bn relieved by 2nd Suffolks. This finished the town in this sector. Work had improved trench
communications and outposts. Fresh wiring completed, duck boards laid.
4th Bn rested, Baths!
5th Bn on gas chamber training at Fremincourt. Moved to Barastre area.
6th-13th Bn training with 8th KORL and practice attacks with 8th KORL for coming operations. Brigade
attack witnessed by Army Commander Gen Gough.
14th Bn training; boxing competition.
15th Bn on long range at Le Transloy.
16th Bn church parade GOCs' Corps, Div and Brigade.
17th Bn prepared for move.
18th Bn marched to Bapaume, train for Goodersuelte billets near Watou.
19th-20th Bn rested, in reserve 1 hours notice.
21st Bn training; CO and officers visited Corps HQ, to see model of operations area.
22nd Bn moved at 3.15 pm marched to Brandhoek, OC Coys went up to line.
23rd Bn rested, detachments to line.
24th Bn paraded at 5.30 pm, train for Ypres, marched to area next to Ypres, bivouacked for night.
25th Bn bivouac in open, prepared to move assembly positions.
26th-28th Zero Hour; 5.50 am Bn attacked, then relieved on 29th/30th, out of action.
29th Camped near Veaamertinghe.
30th Moved to Winnezeele to rest and recoup.
1st Bn rested and cleaned up.
2nd Bn present for speech by GOC 76th Brigade. Bn was paid.
3rd Bn parade for march past at 11 am. Draft of 265 ORs arrived.
4th Bn marched to Campagne, 14 miles in rain. Good billets.
5th Bn rested, marched to Wizerne, train for Bapaume at 9.30 pm.
6th Bn arrived 8 am, marched to Barastre.
7th Bn paraded for recommendation cards. Church parade in local cinema.
8th Bn training; range in afternoon.
9th Bn training; 140 ORs joined. 46 from the Cameron Hldrs; 94 from 9th Gordons.
10th Bn prepared to move to trenches.
11th Bn embussed (less two last drafts) for Mory, marched to Ecoust - St Mein, relieved 2/5th West
Yorks in Bullecourt sector; very quiet.
12th Quiet day, Bn worked on trenches wiring commenced.
13th-17th Quiet day, Trench repairs, usual work no casualties.
18th Bn relieved by 2nd Suffolks.
19th-24th Bn rested and cleaned up. Bn training; church parade; specialist training.
25th Bn training; 50 ORs on working parties for work on Abboye!
26th Bn relieved 2nd Suffolks; Bullecourt sector.
27th Bn in the line, 3 am gas projectiles fired by Bn on left at 10 pm, some casualties from MG
28th-29th Bn had quiet day; TM and 59 activity but no casualties.
30th-31st Bn work as before. Quiet.
1st-2nd Quiet day, work continued on trenches.
3rd Bn relieved by 2nd Suffolks; slight shelling in morning; no casualties.
4th Bn rested, baths, church parade, football.
5th Bn training.
6th Bad weather; rested.
7th A and B companies moved into Abbay Mory also HQ Coy. Poor conditions.
8th Bn. Heavy rain, football beat KORL 2-1 and RWF 8-0.
9th-10th Rain, no training.
11th Bn relieved the 2nd Suffolks. No casualties.
12th Gas projectiles fired from our lines on left; no retaliation, quiet, no casualties.
13th Quiet day, very misty, used TMs on enemy, no casualties.
14th Enemy shelled Tower Support, some casualties. Support coys; ammunition supply carried up.
15th Quiet day; evening relieved by 2nd Suffolks rest billets at Abbay Mory.
16th Bn rested and cleaned up.
17th Bn medically inspected, baths at Mory.
18th Bn church parade.
19th Bn practised 'advanced guard' scheme between mory and Behagnes.
20th Brigade (9th) attacked German front line near Bullecourt. Bn under orders to move at 1½ hours
notice. (officers at conference)
21st Quiet day, brigade boxing contest at Abbaye in afternoon.
22nd Bn. Quiet day.
23rd Bn paraded 10.30 am.
24th Bn practised scheme for following up enemy in case of retreat.
25th Bn voluntary church parade.
26th Bn relieved 1st Northumberland Fusiliers; 2 Coys 4th Royal Fusiliers in newly captured
trenches. Tiger Trench and Tower Support, no casualties.
27th Quiet day; some TM activity; Cleaned up.
28th Quiet day; work on trenches.
29th Heavy enemy barrage; some casualties 2 platoons 'C' coy relieved by 1st Royal Munster
30th Bn relieved by 2nd Suffolks, two casualties went to billets at Abbaye Mory.
1st Bn rested and cleaned up.
2nd-3rd Quiet day Col Burnett left to command Brigade.
4th Bn relieved 2nd Suffolks. Tower Support and Tiger Trench no casualties.
5th Bn working parties on wire in Front. 3 am report to expect attack. Nothing
6th Bn warned of impending attack. Nothing.
7th Bn had quiet day, some slight shelling.
8th Bn problems with thaw, trenches caving in.
9th Bn repairing and strengthening wire, attack still expected.
10th Bn HQ shelled in Railway Reserve, quiet otherwise. 2nd Suffolks relieved Bn by 9.30 pm. Bn
went into close support at Ecoust and Railway embankment, Tiger Trench.
11th Bn 'stood too' at 6.30 am - 8 am warning of attack, nothing; worked on improving shelters and
ammunition. Ration carrying and work continued.
12th Bn warned by Brigade of impending attack. Heavy enemy barrage on 9th Brigade front. Attack
developed on their front to our left. Very little activity; some casualties.
13th Bn 'stood down', rest for the day, working parties at night. Ration carrying etc.
14th Bn. Quiet day; improved positions on Embankment and Ecoust Noveuil Road; Pipe Sergeant
15th Bn quiet day; some raiding parties out. Quiet day continued.
16th Bn worked on shelters by day.
17th Relieved 2nd Suffolks, no casualties.
18th Some shelling on Railway Reserve, otherwise quiet. Some casualties from own artillery firing
19th Quiet day, work as usual, no casualties.
20th Bn rested owing to heavy frost, some wiring carried out.
21st Bn. Frost still holding, wiring in afternoon, curtailed owing to MG firing.
22nd Quiet day; relieved in the line by 2nd Suffolks, no casualties.
23rd Bn rested and cleaned up, baths. Still frosty.
24th Bn companies arrangements, armourer sergeant inspection rifles.
25th Bn inspected in the morning by CO. Free issue of beer, plum puddings, concert in theatre at
26th Quiet day; CO inspected 'D' Coy. Court martial held. General Campbell GOC 119th Brigade
27th Bn paraded coy arrangements. Intensely cold, rapid marching and running.
28th Quiet day; Bn visited by CO 19th Middlesex Regt, who relieved us in Brigade Reserve. Bn
prepared to move on 29th.
29th Bn reveille at 7 am; paraded at 9.40 am to move off to new area, arrived at 2.30 pm. Nissen
No 5 camp pm huts at camp, bad condition.
30th Bn employed in cleaning up and improving the camp generally. Coys commanders' conference in
31st Bn paraded by companies at 9.30 am for rapid running and marching. RSM parade at 12 noon.
Hogmanay celebrated by dinner, GOC present. Sergeants' mess smoking concert and GOC attended
with all officers.
In the field
1st Bn on New Years' Day Holiday, Brigadier's instructions.
2nd Bn training begun in earnest. Parades arranged but intensely cold, training curtailed.
3rd Bn training parades; still frosty; great difficulty in obtaining wood for stoves.
4th Bn training parades; officers reconnoitre corps second line at Croiselles.
5th CO inspected companies; hut competitions, lectures in afternoon.
6th Church parade, farewell sermon by Padre McIvers.
7th Platoon training; CO's parade and practise for march past of GOC inspecting next day. American
Doctor Ewans left.
8th GOC inspection at 10 am. Snowstorm and blizzard at march past. Trench cleaning and camp
inspection. Lewis guns training all cancelled.
9th Bn on training, thaw begun.
10th Bn addressed by GOC Brigade at conclusion of march past. Very soft and muddy conditions.
11th-12th Bn training. Thaw continued.
13th Frosty weather returns; Bn training coys drill; MO reported (US Army).
14th Church service; thaw setting in.
15th Bn training, everything soft.
16th Bn training, visit from General P W Brown.
In the field
17th Bn practised attacks, postponed an attack in conjunction with aeroplane, poor weather.
18th Thaw continues, companies training. Bn marched to see demonstration by 76th TMB.
19th Bn practised counter attack conjunction with aircraft. Range work in morning.
20th Weather fine. Church service.
21st-23rd Bn training continues, ground wet. (Field firing on 22nd)
24th Bn paraded and marched to Wailly for demonstration before brigade, officers and NCOs of 3rd
Division. Excellent conditions.
25th Bn moved from rest area to Carlisle Lines south of Beaurains.
26th Bn moved to trenches relieved 25th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers at Wancourt Givemappe Sector, no
27th Very clean trenches, shallow in places and not revetted. Quiet, good view of enemy.
28th Very misty, cleared later, 'B' Coy made concertinas in afternoon. 1 man killed by TM.
Permission to alter dispositions at 2 Corps front at N/East of Wancourt.
29th Div Commander changed back to old dispositions, substantial changes. 400 yards of concertina
entanglements put out.
30th-31st Bn relieved by 10th RWF. Few casualties.
1st Relieved 10th RWF front line all quiet. (Report of disbanding of RWF).
2nd Col Wolfe-Murray on leave. Raid by Bn on our left 8.30 am. Retaliation shelling on our front.
3rd Bn worked on improving trenches; hostile artillery, gas and HE, some casualties.
4th Quiet; usual work, trenches dry.
5th Quiet; usual work, trenches dry. No casualties
6th Bn relieved by 8th KORL; return to support behind Wancourt. No casualties.
7th-8th Bn. Baths at Neuville Vitasse; new support Bn HQ under construction. Fatigues at night. (8th
January Weather fine and dry.)
9th Some hostile artillery response to raid by our brigade tonight. Relieved 2nd Suffolks in night
subsection. All quiet.
10th Bn HQ, received some gas shells in morning. Stand to ordered, quiet otherwise.
11th Quiet day; our snipers active, no retaliation.
12th All as usual.
13th Bn HQ some shelling Shikai Avenue in the day. Usual work.
14th Very clear and dry conditions. Our snipers active again. Usual work.
15th Bn relieved by 8th KORL who moved into new Bn HQ. Back to support.
16th Bn at Neuville Vitasse. Usual work and wire carrying for KRRC
17th Usual work on new HQ, and wire carrying for KRRC.
18th Bn relieved 2nd Suffolks left subsection no casualties; some gas shells at Bn HQ.
19th Quiet day; trenches dry, no casualties.
20th Quiet day; but some TMs on EE post at 'C' Coy at 9pm. Our 4-5s retaliated.
21st More TMs on 'C' Coy, during 'stand to' retaliation by our artillery; our snipers very active.
22nd First rain for weeks; work on Key and Cavalry trenches in new reserve line.
23rd Raid by 7th Camerons on our left at 3.30 am, retaliation brought 1 killed and 2 wounded.
24th Bn relieved by 8th KORL no casualties back to support.
25th-26th Baths; work on new HQ and fatigues in the line as usual CO back.
27th Bn relieved 2nd Suffolks night subsection, new dispositions with 2 Coys in front line and 2 in
support. No casualties.
28th Bn working on new trench on Kestrel Avenue and wiring. Ape support, 2 wounded.
1st Bn had quiet day; some shelling, snowing later, work on new trench continued, also wiring.
2nd Work continued in trenches; snowing later; relieved by 8th KSLI and 2 platoons 2nd Suffolks.
Bn moved back to support dugout. 1 wounded.
3rd Quiet day.
4th Quiet day, very cold. 'A' Coy worked on new trench.
5th Quiet day. Bn worked on cable and new trench in front of Buzzard Wood. 'C' Coy relieved by
6th Quiet day, worked on new Bn HQ. No casualties.
7th Quiet day. Brilliant sunshine, work on support dugouts, relieved 2nd Suffolks on left of
8th Quiet day after relieved by 8th KORL further work on new trench; 1 killed., 1 wounded.
9th Quiet sunny day; some shelling on HQ. Captain Horswell and 5 ORs wounded.
10th Quiet sunny day; work on Rake trench continues, also Shovel, HQ moved from Rake to Key support.
11th Quiet day; very bright, trench work still continuing as before. Relieved by 8th KORL.
12th Companies disposed in trenches in support.
13th-14th Our artillery began harassing fire on enemy lines. No casualties.
15th Quiet day; cold North wind. Artillery fire continued on enemy lines. 1 wounded.
16th Enemy shelling in response. 1 wounded.
17th-18th Bn companies relieved each other in trenches.
19th Quiet day; raining: no casualties.
20th Bn. Quiet day, Coys followed relief arrangements (weather good).
21st Very heavy enemy offensive began on our right. Our front quiet except for heavy barrage.
22nd-29th 76th Brigade, 3rd Division and Bn involved in German march offensive. Diary record missing;
see Reg History pages 187-194.
In the field
30th Bn relieved by 3rd Canadian Infantry battalion at Neuville-Vitasse and marched to Raviere.
After breakfast all ranks slept until 13.30 am dinner, then marched Warluzol, Beametz, Artois.
Good spirits prevailed.
31st Bn rested and cleaned up.
En route April
In the field
1st Bn marched to Liencourt, embussed at 11 am for Bruay area. Arrived Ourton at 3 pm. Good
billets, men rested thoroughly.
2nd Bn cleaned up and reorganised. Weather good men began to recover after events of past 10 days.
3rd Bn still reorganising; looking smart again, specialist work and Lewis gun training.
4th Bn marched to (Sains en Ganelle) at 2 pm. Billeted in miners houses, very comfortable.
5th Bn. Baths; raining, training coy arrangements.
6th Bn training continued; draft of 5 of Ors arrived mostly boys of 19, very keen type.
7th Church parade, BTC Coys work on Maistre Line.
8th Bn on training A and D Coys work on Maistre Line.
9th Bn on ranges and training; very foggy.
10th B and C Corps on Maistre Line; orders for action.
11th Bn ready for move to Barlin Mersin area but order cancelled. At 1 pm embussed for battle area
in area of Hinges. Moved forward to Les Cauldrons. No enemy encountered.
12th Bn HQ, in front of Hinges, companies in area of surrounding farms. Enemy shelling Bn HQ moved
13th Quiet day; shelling and rifle fire, enemy seemed far off. Crossed to other side of canal bank
14th Bn relieved by 1st Royal Warwicks. Bn moved to Oblinghem.
15th Bn rested and re-equipped. Quiet day and night. No casualties.
16th Bn quiet day; 4th Div on our left successful local attack.
17th Quiet; warned to expect attack.
18th Quiet; Pioneers wiring proceeded.
19th Some shelling; attack expected after heavy barrage on either flank. Prisoners captured; no
20th Quiet; CQMS Jackson killed when bringing up rations. 'C' Coy moved to take over 6OO yards of
line on canal bank from Arelette drawbridge.
21st Enemy shelling, failed to hit.
22nd Quiet day; our guns creeping barrage at 4 am, slight retaliation.
23rd Bn relieved by 1st Bn Royal Fusiliers. Bn moved to billets.
24th Bn spent day cleaning and refitting.
25th Bn parades cancelled, no movements allowed.
26th Bn specialist training in billets then relieved 1st Hampshires at Bn HQ Chocques Bethane Rd.
27th Bn in hangars, quiet day, 'C' Coy carry wire to front at Hinges.
28th-29th Quiet day; wiring continued.
30th 'B' and 'D' Coys shelled in hangars, 21 casualties.
1st Quiet day.
2nd 'A' and 'C' coys to Shropshire Lane West of Hinges due to shelling of Abbaye, Lannoy and
Clarence River Areat.
3rd Some shelling in morning. B and D coys confined to shelter trenches and B coy preparation for
attack on orchard; held up by casualties, 8 wounded.
4th Assembly at midnight, zero hour 2.30 am. Parties of D Coy carried up ammunition, haversacks,
water bottles for assaulting platoons, left in breastwork forming part of battle HQ, across the
canal. 5 platoons involved.
5th Attack proved successful, plan of attack according to programme: objective secured 42
prisoners, 3 machine guns. 3 officers wounded, 3 ORs killed, 8 wounded. 'B' Coy relieved and
8th KORL relieved by 1st Bn Northumberland Fusiliers. Brigade reserve relief by 13th Kings
Liverpool Regt. 'D' coy remained open trench South of Chocques Vendin. Quiet day.
6th Bn at baths Lapuenoy; Corps Commander visited to congratulate the Bn on B Coys success.
7th Bn had quiet day.
8th Bn relieved 1st RSF at night Brigade section 'D' coy lost 3 ORs and 8 wounded on way up.
9th Shelling, warning of possible attack.
10th A Coy heavily shelled on left front, 2 officers wounded.
11th Quiet in front line. Shelling of back areas.
12th Further shelling; officer wounded.
14th Some aircraft activity, fine weather.
16th Relieved by 4th Royal Fusiliers, back to Chocques, no casualties, all coys in billets.
17th Cleaning up, inspections; and Bn pay out.
18th Bn at baths. 2 officers joined.
19th-20th Church service in orchard beside HQ, 2 working parties on cable laying in Hinges Chateau
grounds, 1 party lost 2 officers killed and 7 casualties. Other party suffered gas bombardment
of Hinges grounds, 7 wounded later over 120 cases of gassing reported. Bn relieved 2nd Royal
Scots that evening in Brigade Reserve; they suffered very heavily and much reduced, withdrew to
Shropshire line from Suffolk line in Hinges.
22nd One company worked for front line Bn on the canal bank.
23rd Usual work.
24th Heavy rain in morning, relieved 2nd Suffolks on left, no casualties.
25th Quiet; Garrisons of posts worked at connecting up posts at night. Platoons made concertinas
every day (50) put out in front line.
26th Bn shelled at night, Bn HQ, mainly gas. Usual work and wiring. Some casualties.
27th Quiet; 5 new officers arrived.
28th Quiet, no casualties.
29th Some shelling day, gas shells at night on Bn HQ at Pont Hinges.
30th Quiet day usual work.
31st Quiet day, no casualties.
1st-3rd Quiet, some gas shells and HE; Bn HQ, gas shelled, mornings 'stand to'.
4th Bn relieved in the line by 2nd Suffolks, went into Brigade reserve at Chocques Hill.
5th Cleaning up, routine inspections.
6th Inspections, 1 coy on ranges.
7th-8th 2 coys on ranges, practice attacks in open warfare by platoons. Sports in afternoon and
9th 2 coys on ranges, practice attacks in open warfare by platoons. Tug of war and football.
10th Bn continued practise attacks over flagged course. Sports evenings.
11th-12th Bn continued practise attacks; sports later. GOC Div present.
13th Bn moved into line for attack; relieved 1st Bn Northumberland Fusiliers in left subsection, and
2nd Suffolks and Bn HQ shared HQs in surplus house. All carrying for attack finished,
14th Anniversary of Infantry Hill; Quiet day, our artillery registering, normal enemy shelling. All
officers moved forward (CO, Adjt Signals, Adjt 2nd Suffloks) to battle HQ at 10 pm. A and D
coys advanced under barrage at zero hour 11.45 pm, B and C in support. Occupied our old front
15th No reports until 2 am from walking wounded, at 4 am definite word received that both assault
coy commanders were killed; CSMs wounded shortly after zero hour. Both flanks were on their
objective and in touch with 2nd Suffolks on right and 1st Rifle Brigade on left. 2 other
officers were killed, 3 wounded. At 5.30 am in broad daylight platoons of support coys rushed
the machine gun posts which had held up the centre platoons. Several machine guns taken, with
25 prisoners. The whole objective was now taken. Enemy shelling on Canal bank every hour in
afternoon and night, no casualties as our men were not there. Telegraph congratulations from
General Deverill, Comm 3rd Division and General Moreland Corps Commander.
16th Some shelling on our old front line and Canal Bank, but no counter attack. Dispositions
altered during day; 2 Coys Suffolks taking over Bn front. Bn moved into Brigade Reserve in
Chocques, no casualties.
17th Quiet day cleaning up. Corps Commander and Div General visited Bn HQ. 3 officers joined.
18th Bn at baths, on range later. Bn marched to Sandpit Cemetery for funeral of 4 officers killed
19th Bn relieved 8th KORL in Battle Zone trenches running in front of and through Hinges, no
20th Quiet day.
21st Quiet day usual carrying and work parties.
22nd Quiet day some shelling at night.
23rd Quiet day Bn relieved 8th KORL: some shelling evening; enemy machine guns and snipers very
active, 1 officer wounded, 2 ORs killed, 4 wounded.
24th Bn HQ, subjected to shelling; machine gun fire on coys in front line, rifle fire, with 1 OR
killed and 7 ORs wounded. 7 new officers joined today and 71 ORs.
25th Quiet day light shelling.
26th Inter coy relief in front line, some machine gun fire.
27th Noisy day! 24 hours intermittent shelling.
28th Quiet day; slight enemy fire round Bn HQ.
29th Bn relieved in front line by 2nd Suffolks and moved back into Brigade Reserve.
30th Bn at cleaning up and baths.
1st Bn organised in coys on range and baths, some shelling. Sergeants Mess and Mens' Reading Room
set up in the Brassiere.
2nd 3 coys training, 1 on range. At night 400 men on cable burying fatigue near Hinges back at 6
3rd No training; Bn resting. Football later.
4th 1 coy on range, 1 coy on training area. Platoon football competition. CO on leave.
5th Bn on ceremonial parade in morning. Relieved 8th KORL in Battle Zone, very quiet.
6th Bn occupying lines; very hot, flies very bad. Work on Canal Bank, Gordon line.
7th Very quiet, work as usual, 1 casualty.
8th-9th Very quiet.
10th Div Commander visited the line.
11th Very quiet. Bn relieved 8th KORL in forward zone.
12th Rain, work parties laying duck boards, fire positions, putting out wire.
13th Usual work. 1 Casualty.
14th Shelling day and night, machine gun fire; 1 officer killed on patrol, 7 ORs wounded during
carrying parties from support to front line.
15th-16th Quiet; usual work.
17th Relieved by 2nd Suffolks.
18th Clearing up; Bn paid out, 2 coys baths.
19th 2 coys on ranges; 2 coys baths. Sports day. Football, played 20th KRRC, lost 2-1. Concert
in Brassiere in evening.
20th Reveille at 4.30 am, Bn on cable laying fatigue. Officers and men on tactical exercise in
manning trenches, 6-9 pm, east of Youdin and Oblingham.
21st Church parade, enemy shelling, long range over Chocques and San Savour. War Savings
Certificates campaign begun.
22nd Bn marched to tracer bullet demonstration. Some shelling afternoon. 2 ORs wounded.
23rd Heavy rain all day. Parade cancelled. Bn left Brigade Reserve relieved 8th KORL at Battle
zone. War Savings Certificate campaign ended.
24th-29th Savings Certificates set new record, 2059 sold. Normal tour over recent 5 days, some shelling
work on Gordon line and Canal Bank. 2 platoons carrying each night for the front line Bns.
Relieved 8th KORL forward zone, nil casualties.
30th Front line much as before, very dirty.
31st Some shelling of Park Lane and Bn HQ during night: 1 OR wounded.
1st-4th Bn under heavy shelling; very heavy rain. La Banoriere and Chocques shelled, light shelling of
front line. Heavy snow. Back areas shelled.
5th Quiet day.
6th Bn relieved by the Wiltshires, moved back to embussing point at Chocques, served hot meal at 4
7th Bn at Lieres 6 am, billeted in barns, very comfortable; paid out in evening.
8th 2 coys at baths, 2 at ranges.
9th 2 coys at baths, 2 at ranges. Army commander visited in evening. Sports in afternoon.
10th All coys at training. Bn paraded and marched to main road between Ferfay and Bellery, saw HM
The King pass in car. Cheers lustily.
11th Church parade. Div Commander present. Boxing competition
12th Bn training morning; marched to Ferfay where XIII Corps Sports day held. Bn Tug-of-War took
13th 4 coys at training; Bn visited by Corps Commander and Brigadier General. CO inspected Mobile
Reserve and Transport loaded up ready to move to Sus-st-Leger.
14th Bn marched to Permes, train to Sus-st-Leger. Great search for billets, Bn in GHQ reserve under
24 hours notice.
15th Corps parade, platoon training, sports, football.
16th Corps parade, platoon training, sports, football. Bn paid out Div General visited.
17th Bn at billets and training, rounders match between officers and 2nd Suffolks.
18th Church parade. Div Commander presented medal ribbons; sports in afternoon. Div band played.
19th Bn ready to move, marched to Berles-au-Bois arriving at midnight.
20th Bn lay out in orchards all day, paraded ready to move off at 10 pm, proceeded to assembly
position behind Ayette. Bn at zero hour 4.50 am, moved forward through dense mist for a mile,
thereafter splitting into artillery formations. Difficulty in seeing more than 100 yards; Bn
reached most of Courcelles but Railway not taken.
21st Failure to take objectives, heavy casualties. Bn withdrawn after dark to Blue Line; rested all
22nd Bn rested; Major Pearson took command; moved up after dark with remainder of Brigade for
assembly positions for attack on Gourniecourt next morning. Bn was to guard Right Flank of
attack by the other Bns of the Brigade as the taking of Gourniecourt above would make a
pronounced salient in our line. Enemy had ME in assembly position and this had to be dislodged
before the assembly.
23rd Attack began and the two right flank coys met some opposition on Railway Embankment, half way
to the objective. Considerable MG fire forced them to dig in on the flank thus saving a large
number of casualties. The 2nd Division went through at 11 am, relieved the pressure - at 4 pm
Bn moved forward to South East of Gourniecourt and dug in for night.
24th Bn rested all day, movements restricted because in view of the enemy at Bahagnies and Sapiqnies
about 1 mile in front. Bn later withdrawn at 8.30 pm to the Purple Line west of Douchy.
25th Bn rested all day - heavy rain.
26th Fine day; Bn moved in the evening to trenches in front of Hamlincourt.
27th Enemy shelled intermittently.
28th Bn moved forward at night and relieved the 2nd Grenadiers in the front line SW of Ecoust.
29th Bn patrols out to keep in touch with enemy, one platoon of the left coy advanced too far and
was practically wiped out by MG fire from the flank. Bn co-operated with the 8th West Yorks
(62 Div), but the operation planned did not take place.
30th Bn advanced with the 2nd Suffolks who took Ecoust on our left, but because of a heavy attack
our left coy was left in the air and suffered heavy casualties. On the right the Bn reached
its objective with few casualties and dug in to consolidate the position. The Brigade was
relieved at night except the Bn and 1 coy of 8th KORL who came under the orders of the 9th
31st Brigade attacked on a 3 Bn front in the morning, Ecoust was retaken. Bn reached objective, dug
in; the adjutant Captain Gammell MC was killed.
1st 9th and 76th Infantry Brigade took objective, the 8th KORL achieved this before daylight
without barrage. Patrols found Noreuil strongly defended, much sniping and shelling - Bn HQ
moved forward to Ecoust - Mory road.
2nd 8th Brigade passed Bn at 5.30 am. Quiet, no shelling. 1st Scots Guards moved in behind Bn at
dusk. Captain Gammell buried in cemetery at Douchy les-Ayette.
3rd Bn withdrawn at 1 am, marched to rest trenches at Moyenville and Ayette, arriving 5 am. Rested
and paid in afternoon. Fine and warm.
4th Baths at Boiry-st-Martin. 2/Lt D Kennedy buried at Douchy les-Ayette in afternoon. Bn rested.
5th Coys practised compass marching and extended order in forenoon. Major Pearson presented
gallantry cards. Lt Col The Hon W Fraser DSO MC took over Bn.
6th Bn moved to Gaudiempre morning. Half for diner 2-4 pm. Billets at 6.45 pm.
7th Bn cleaned up and improved billets. Brigadier General Burnett DSO visited Bn.
9th Inspection 7,30 am. Extensive training.
10th Bn inspections; extensive training; drills, lectures; musketry at 2 pm.
11th Parade at 7.30 am. Bn marched to Adinfer Wood at 2 pm, reached trenches at 5 pm. Draft of 51
ORs arrived - all out for first time.
12th Bn moved at 10 am. Rain, arrived 1 pm. Billets comfortable. Bn Paid out.
13th-14th Bn inspections, demonstrations of movement with tanks, general training. 114 ORs all under 19,
from 52nd Grading Bn, arrived.
15th Church Parade. Bn moved to Fremicourt at 2.30 pm. Poor billets. Some bombing. 1 enemy
aircraft brought down.
16th Bn moved to sunken road at Beaumetz-les-Cambrai at 8.30 am. Poor shelters. Timber and iron
used to improve them. Bn soaked by heavy rain.
17th Bn engaged in extensive training.
18th Bn practised attacks, arms handling, wire cutting; lectures by CO.
19th/ Bn on tactical exercises; awards parade; extensive attacks practised; helmets painted.
25th Bn continued extensive practise, model of ground to be attacked inspected. New draft of
26th Reveille at 7.30 am. CO addressed each coy. Bn rested 2-5 pm. Evening at assembly trenches.
27th Bn attacked, after heavy barrage by our artillery at 5.20 am, going forward at 6 am with the
8th KORL (76th Brigade), some difficulty at the start owing to the inexperience of the young
platoon commander but pressed on ahead, leading companies suffered considerable loss. Enemy
resistance was strong at this stage, but 62nd Div passed through but halted 1000 yards short of
the main objective. Thereafter, the Bn rested at Havrincourt Chateau.
28th-29th For 2 days, poor accommodation.
30th Bn reorganised in forenoon. CSM Rollo DCM MM buried in cemetery N of Havrincourt. Bn moved to
trenches at Ribecourt at 5.30 pm. Orders received at 11 pm to attack Rumilly and marched off
at 1.30 am.
1st Bn at assembly points beyond canal with 2nd Suffolks. Attacked west of Rumilly continued
successfully, and objectives taken. Elsewhere the attack was renewed and consolidated.
2nd-7th Bn occupied trenches and rested; reorganising as far as possible. Draft of 20 ORs sent to each
coy. Relieved the 2nd Suffolks East of Rumilly. Little enemy activity.
8th Advance of the VI Corps resumed 4.30 am. 3rd Div on right, 2nd on left; Bn stood by till
afternoon. Attack in trouble. The 9th Brigade called upon Bn CO to take position at La
Targette and attack at 6 pm. This was successful and the objective reached, and next morning
the Guards Division passed through.
9th Enemy began to retire. Tactics were designed to halt the British advance by a multitude of
machine gun posts but the rear guards usually retired. The retreat was 12 miles. Enemy
brought in fresh divisions and artillery.
10th Bn rested, cleaning up trenches.
11th-12th Awards for gallantry announced, lessons in Lewis gun arranged. Baths organised.
13th Inspections of rifles by armourer. Box respirators inspected. Drafts of officers and men
arrived. Clean clothing issued. Leather jerkins issued. Bn marched off and reached Marcoine
at 12.30. Poor billets.
14th-15th CO inspections. Gallantry cards issued. Training programmes followed. Large draft.
16th Routine duties, inspections, wet weather. Training on lewis Gun, musketry, lectures. Some
17th-18th Bn on routine duties; inspections and training.
19th Bn moved to Cattenieres at 2 pm, good billets.
20th Bn moved to Quievy at 11 am. Rum ration was issued after the rain during the long march Co
21st Bn on 2 hours notice to move. Cleaned up and coys training. CO lecture on 'open warfare'.
22nd Bn on routine duties. All ammunition was made up. Bn moved to Solesmes, arrived at 5 pm.
Good billets. Assembly positions for following morning were inspected.
23rd-24th Bn attacked and took Romeries. Took over billets at 9.00 am.
25th Bn remained in Romeries, reorganising.
26th Bn moved to Escarmain took over billets from 2nd RSF 8th Brigade.
27th Bn on routine duties. Moved to Ruesnes. 2 casualties, shellfire.
28th Bn in posts on main front. Heavy gas shelling during night.
29th Quiet day. Bn relieved by 52nd Light Infantry at 4 pm moved to St Python. Hot meal on
arrival. Captain Lee DSO MC wounded during relief.
30th Reveille and routine duties. Bn paid out.
31st Bn at baths, issue of clean clothing. Took over billets at Carnieres from 1st Irish Guards.
1st-2nd Bn on reveille; Inspections, iron rations at 7.45 am breakfast at 8 am. Training routines
followed; Baths for 'D' coy and clothing change, musketry exercises, rapid loading, aiming and
firing, lecture and drill.
3rd Bn moved to Quievy at 6 pm arrived at billets at 6 pm, very wet conditions. Billets good, hot
meal at 19.30 rum ration at 20.30. Officers posted to coys.
4th Bn moved in fighting order to Romeries.
5th Later moved to Orsinval. Very wet.
6th Inspections. All parades cancelled, very wet conditions. Lectures, Lewis gun classes.
7th Company inspections; warning order from Brigade prepare to move. Lecture by CO on 'Open
8th Bn moved to Gommegnies, occupied billets in civilian houses.
9th Reveille at 7 am. Bn moved to Le Grand Sart, billets required for Corps; arriving at 10 am,
training by corps. Worked on cleaning roads.
Le Grand Sart
10th Bn moved to Longueville, billets taken over from 2nd Scots Guards, barns mainly.
11th Bn received news of Armistice!!
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