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Lonsdale Battalion events that took place on 10 February.
- In the F1 sector near Aveluy. The front is fairly quiet.
- Casualties: One other rank is killed, one wounded and two suffering from Shell Shock.
- “Edge of a night strafe; an anxious time; the people who have been here for months made no proper dug-outs; the Germans are 16 feet underground. Lachrymatory shells, 9 inch, filled the valley with dense smoke which entailed the use of gas helmets instantly...This business near us was no small matter. The battalion that got it (K.O.Y.L.I.) had been at Loos and Ypres, and never saw anything like it. I hear the Boches have travelling outfits of very heavy guns, which go about and make hay at different points.” – Lt-Col. P. W. Machell
- Battalion parades in full fighting order and marches to Beaumont Hamel in accordance with Operation Orders received and Battalion Operation Orders No.10 – the 97th Brigade being detailed to drive the enemy from the ridge running out of Ten Tree Alley on the night of the 10/11th.
- Whilst at a quarry in Beaumont Hamel, tea and a ration of rum is issued. Bombs and Lewis Gun ammunition are also issued. At 6pm the first platoon (from D Company), move off from the quarry. Guides are left along the route to be followed up to the tape: 'Wagon Road' – 'Walker Quarry' – Top of 'Walker Avenue' across to 'Gough Post' – 'Franfort Post'. Other platoons follow at an interval of 100 yards along this route.
- 'C' Company, under Capt. Ross, is the first to move along and takes up this position at the tape.
- 'B' Company, under Capt. Walker, follows 'C' Company and takes up position on the tape in same formation as Battalion Center.
- 'A' Company, Capt. Greenhill, follows 'B' Company and takes up position on the left in different formation.
- 'D' Company, under Lieut. Harris, with two platoons closes up in rear and right of 'C' Company to deal with enemy posts, plus two platoons as Battalion Reserve.
- The Battalion is in position at 7.30pm with HQ located at 'Frankfort Post'. The Battalion frontage is 350 yards. Zero hour is 8.30pm, when an artillery barrage opens up. On commencement the Lonsdales advance from their position closely follow a creeping barrage towards their objective. The men behaved splendidly and kept well up with the barrage right on to their objective.
- The first message is sent back from the Reserve Company (D) at 9.30pm to say all objectives had been captured and consolidation in progress. The first batch of 35 prisoners are sent back soon after positions are captured and the Commanding Officer, Col. Girdwood, moves HQ forward, examining the ground won and the dispositions of troops.
- Posts are established in front of captured line 'Gunpit Trench' and work is carried out to put position won into a state of defence.
- Two Officers & approximately 100 other ranks are captured by the Battalion and sent back as prisoners of war. One dug-out in which the enemy refuses to leave is bombed, unfortunately catching fire and the enemy inside perishes. Company patrols are sent out and an attempt is made to re-establish communication with the 2nd KOYLI.
- A strongly held enemy post is discovered on left flank. Two Vickers machine guns are sent to the position by the C.O. and under his orders also a Stokes Mortar detachment, under Lieut. Simcocks, which opens fire on the enemy post.
- Deaths: William Kendrick (27772 Pte.) and Samuel Lakin (15316 Pte.)
- Battalion situated in the field. Lt-Col. Beasley, DSO, assumed command of the Battalion as Major Lowthian, MC, is at the disposal of the officers commanding Companies. Battalion involved in specialist training.
References / notes
Material from Timeline/Chronology of the Lonsdale Battalion (September 1914 - May 1915) are sourced from the DLONS/L/13/13 Lowther Estate Archives. Entries from this timeline are reproduced here with kind permission of Jim Lowther and are not available under the license of this site. Please do not publish these extracts on other publicly visible media without prior permission from the copyright holder.
- Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/109
- 11th Battalion War Diary, February 1916
- A chemical weapon that causes severe eye, respiratory, and skin irritation. It also causes pain, vomiting, and even blindness.
- Record of the XIth (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale) - In France
- 11th Battalion War Diary, February 1917
- King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
- Soldiers Died in the Great War (1921) cross referenced with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database.
- 11th Battalion War Diary, February 1918