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11th Battalion War Diary, April 1918

From the Lonsdale Battalion wiki
11th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/2403  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Date Hour Summary of Events
In the Line
1st Apr
The battalion is at present No.2 Bn of No.3 Bde and is holding the line in front of MOYENVILLE and COURCELLES. D,B and C Coy's, in the front line each holds approximately 300yds, having 3 - 5 outposts and a length of old German trench to accommodate their supports. A Coy in reserve along sunken road 300yds behind front line. BHQ in embankment at X.19.d.5.8.

Day quiet except for shelling around sugar factory in X.19.b. Enemy planes active. Wiring by night. Wounded prisoners captured by B Coy and numerous identifications brought in from dead Germans.

2nd Apr
Heavy shelling of C Coy's line causing a few casualties. Day otherwise quiet Snipers very active, numerous hits observed. Aeroplanes active. Patrols report on various enemy posts. A Coy relieved C Coy in the left Coy Sector and C moved into reserve. Wiring by night.
3rd Apr
Enemy reported massing in front of B Coy. Later 500 - 600 seen leaving trenches behind first [?] in small parties; these were probably reinforcements rushed up to hold up expected attack. Situation normal again 11 a.m. Day quiet. Advance party of A & SH arrive. Ours reconnoitre purple line.
3rd/4th Apr
Batt'n relived by 10th A & SH. Relief complete at 11.20 p.m. Moved back to PURPLE LINE with HQ in ADINFER.
4th Apr
B, C and D Coys in trenches in Purple Line F.2.b.9.1 to X.22.d.00.00. A Coy in shelters on northern side of ADINFER. Day wet, spent in improving trenches and shelters. Wiring by night.
5th Apr
Another wet miserable day. Trenches in bad condition. Shelling of valley in X.27.b. Wiring by night.
6th Apr
Weather brighter. Men clean up and have a chance to recuperate after a long spell in the line. Officers look round the new sector. ADINFER heavily shelled and cooker hit.
7th Apr
Day quiet. Advance parties proceed to take over from 2nd KOYLI in the No.1 sector of No.3 Brigade. Transport heavily shelled at BIENVILLERS, 2 limbers smashed and 7 O.R. Wounded.
7th/8th Apr
Batt'n relieved 2nd KOYLI in right sector of Bde. A and B Coys in line, C in support and D in reserve. Relief complete 10.30 p.m. HQ in old German dugout at X.29.b.9.8
In the Line
8th Apr
Line held similarly to left sector. Right Coy has 4 posts and 200 yds of support trench, left Coy has 5 posts and a similar length of trench. Work in hand during whole tour, wiring in front of posts by night, cutting old Boche wire by day + waiting in readiness for an enemy attack any hour. Day quiet, patrols at night located various enemy posts.
9th Apr
Enemy patrol surprised outside our wire at 6 a.m. in the morning and fired on. Party retired, but came on again and gave themselves up. 10th A & SH got 7 prisoners, we got 4. Hostile artillery active on COJEUL VALLEY. BHQ moved into new dugout at X.29.c.0.7.
10th Apr
Day quiet. Enemy appear to be registering tracks and woods. Patrols located enemy posts in A.2.c. Good results obtained from O.P. at A.1.a,20.85. 90 coils of wire put out by night.
11th Apr
Day quiet except for shelling of front line shortly after dawn. Protective and reconnoitring patrols went out as usual in the early morning. From O.P. Movement [?over...] was seen in enemy outposts at A1c+d and A8a+b, round MOYENVILLE and along the roads opposite our front.
11th/12th Apr
D Coy relieved A Coy and C Coy relieved B Coy. C Coys old positions in support were abandoned. B Coy occupied old reserve positions and A Coy moved into the Bde. Reserve in sector X.28.b. and dug themselves in.
In the Line
12th Apr
Artillery active on both sides. Much enemy movement seen + various posts and trenches reported to Bde. and Artillery. Aeroplanes and snipers active. Usual patrols and wiring by night.
13th Apr
Visibility poor and little activity on either side. Men occupied by day bathing in Nissen hut[1], carrying forward material and improving shelters. Little wiring by night on account of intense darkness. A Coy commenced wiring in front of their reserve posts.
14th Apr
Our Artillery very active, but many round of shrapnel falling short of enemy posts. Slight retaliation. Visibility good and various posts, parties of enemy reported.
15th Apr
Artillery active on both sides. Posts at F.18.b. central reported and fired on by artillery. Patrols out as usual, wiring continued at night. Coys continued bathing.
16th Apr
Visibility poor. Day quiet. Bn Reserve Coy dug fire positions in front of their trench. Advance parties of A & SH arrived and arranged for relief.
16th/17th Apr
10th A & SH relieved Batt'n in line + on completion at 10.30 p.m. we moved back into Bde reserve.
Bde. Res.
17th Apr
H.Q., C and D Coys in trenches and embankments at RABBIT WOOD, B Coy in

PURPLE LINE + A COY with Bde between MONCHY and BERLES-AU-BOIS. Coys resting and cleaning up. Batt'n is in reserve ready to man the PURPLE LINE in case of enemy attack. O.P. established at ADINFER.

18th Apr
Coys for training under Coy arrangements. Rain interfered. Bathing commenced at MONCHY. Men are getting new clothing and boots repaired + are greatly benefited by rest. No shelling.
19th Apr
Same as yesterday. Coy's at disposal of O.C's for training, but rain largely interfered. Baths.
20th Apr
Day spent quietly in preparations for going into line tonight. Officers and advanced parties reconnoitred line. No shelling. Battalion finished bathing at MONCHY.
20th/21st Apr
Batt'n relived 2nd KOYLI in the left subsector, A+B Coy's going into front line, D into support + C into reserve. Relief complete 10.30 p.m.
In the Line
21st Apr
Batt'n holding line from S.26.c.1.1. to S.27.a.0.0., comprising 11 outposts + 10 piquets. Enemy quiet but aircraft active. Our patrols were very active by night. Forward and reserve Coy's moved very little by day, but spent the night wiring. Support Coy engaged in carrying.
22nd Apr
Enemy quiet by day, but seen moving about by day in the distance. Our patrols wiring parties active by night.
23rd Apr
Heavy shelling of Sugar Factory in X.19.a., day otherwise quiet. Enemy found close to No.10 post. At night C + D relieved B + A Coy's respectively.
24th Apr
Hostile artillery more active by day. Attempted raid on enemy post in front of No.10 failed because Stokes Barrage overshot the post + enemy saw the party in the moonlight.
25th Apr
Preparations for relief, Guards reconnoitred line. Enemy quiet. Guards relieved Batt'n at night.
25th/26th Apr
On completion at 12.10 a.m., battalion marched back to RANSART - MONCHY road and embussed for LAHERTY arriving about 4 a.m.
26th Apr
Reveille 12 noon. Battalion is billeted in a scattered village about 10 miles from the line and is at 1 hours notice to move. Men are billeted in barns and huts, officers in houses. Day spent cleaning up, re-clothing and replacing deficiencies.

Assembly position reconnoitred.

27th Apr
Training commenced. Batt'n paraded from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Coy's at disposal of O.C.'s thereafter and during afternoon. Football competition arranged.
28th Apr
Church parade for Brigade held at Bazéque Farm at 11 a.m., thereafter the whole brigade marched past the G.O.C., the battalion leading. The afternoon and evening saw the final round of the football competition decided and the four teams of our battalion all lost.
29th Apr
Battlion parade from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., thereafter company training same as the 27th. Concert held at 7.30 p.m. in B Coy billets.
30th Apr
Battalion and Company training same as yesterday.
[signed] R.L. Beasley, Lt. Col.
Commanding 11th Border Regiment

See also

References / notes

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/2403
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.
  1. The semi-circular prefabricated multi-purpose hut designed and developed during the WW1 by Peter Nissen of the 29th Company Royal Engineers and was usually made from corrugated steel sheets. It was patented in 1916 and brought into production in August of the same year.
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