11th Battalion War Diary, August 1916

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  11th Border Regiment (Lonsdale) War Diary Transcriptions (1915—1918)
The National Archives WO/95/2403   
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Place Date Hour Summary of Events
NOYELLE
1/8/16
10PM
8 Officers and 218 O.R. doing running fatigues at HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT 4 the HAIRPIN MINES. Draft of 89 O.R. joined the Battalion during the morning.
NOYELLE
2/8/16
10PM
Parties still doing running fatigues.
NOYELLE
3/8/16
10PM
All working parties relieved by the 25th Infantry Brigade at 12.30PM from HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT & HAIRPIN MINES. They proceeded to NOYELLE for rest. At 1.30PM a party of 4 officers and 110 O.R. proceeded to ANNEQUIN to form working parties for the 2nd Manchesters.
NOYELLE
4/8/16
10PM
During morning there was kit inspection by Company Commanders.
CAMBRIN SECTOR
5/8/16
10PM
Battalion left NOYELLE for support trenches in the CAMBRIN SECTOR arriving at 5.15PM. Battalion relieved the 1st SHERWOOD FORESTERS.

Battalion strength in trenches 20 officers (including M.O.) and 280 O.R. Battalion H.Q. MAISON ROUGE. During afternoon hostile observation balloons were up they were taken down at 6PM. The Commanding Officer visited SIMS KEEP & ARTHURS KEEP and found all correct.

CAMBRIN SECTOR
6/8/16
10PM
Day spent in improving trenches etc. Artillery on both sides was quiet but aeroplanes were continually over the German lines observing. Hostile aeroplanes made several attempts to cross our lines but were quickly driven back by our artillery. The Commanding Officer visited SIMS KEEP & ARTHURS KEEP at 10PM and found both in good order. Machine guns on both sides were very active. Enemy Trench Mortars were active along our line doing no material damage. Our T.M.[1] replied effectively.
CAMBRIN SECTOR
7/8/16
10PM
The Corps Commander G.S.O.[2] & C.R.E.[3] of 32nd Division visited Battalion H.Q. during morning. At 2PM the Commanding Officer visited the right of the sub-sector (portion of line Battalion takes over) In HIGH ST the enemy were very active with Trench Mortars there was no retaliation from our guns. At 8PM the engineers exploded a mine in the left sub-sector, there was considerable artillery activity for about an hour.
CAMBRIN SECTOR
8/8/16
10PM
4 Officers commanding the Battalions in the 96th Infantry Brigade visited Battalion H.Q. They called for the purpose of getting information of the trenches which they are to take over.
CAMBRIN SECTOR
9/8/16
10PM
Brigadier General Yatman of the 96th Infantry Brigade visited Battalion HQ.
FRONT LINE Trs[4] (RAILWAY KEEP) Battalion H.Q.
10/8/16
10PM
Battalion took over the front line trenches in the right of the sub-sector (CAMBRIN SECTOR). Battalion relieved the 17th H.L.I. at 2PM, the relief was carried out successfully without any casualties. The 16th K.O.Y.L.S[5] relieved our Battalion in support line. At 9PM Major Chamberlayne visited the trenches and the Commanding Officer at 1am. During the day, T.M.s were very active both Hostile and our own. A M.G. was buried by a T.M. just by a [?] near [?] 4 it was not damaged.
11/8/16
10PM
Day was comparatively quiet. A few Hostile T.M.s were sent over during the day doing no material damage, our T.M.s replied with good success. During the night of the 10th parties of the 17th H.L.I. were sent up to act as working parties for clearing tracks etc. The Commanding Officer visited the trenches at 9PM and Major Chamberlayne at 1am.
12/8/16
10PM
Early this morning 1 N.C.O. & 4 O.R. (M.G.) was hit by an explosive bullet, the M.G’man was killed. Hostile artillery was very quiet during morning. At 4.10PM our artillery bombarded for 15 min the German lines. At 8PM, the Germans started a bombardment which lasted about an hour, our artillery replied very effectively causing the enemy to cease their fire. There were 3 O.R. wounded in the bombardment. The Commanding Officer visited the trenches at 9.30PM.
13/8/16
10PM
Day was quiet. At 5PM the enemy exploded a mine near the HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT, clouds of dust was seen to rise. At 4.30am a bombing group in no.1 sap heard movement S. of sap when 6 men (Germans) appeared and one of them threw a bomb amongst our men who at once replied driving the enemy away. At 7.30PM the Officer Commanding the K.O.Y.L.S visited Battalion H.Q.
ANNEQUIN (RESERVE)
14/8/16
10PM
At 2PM the Battalion was relieved by the 17th H.L.I., the relief was carried out successfully, it being completed by 6PM. The Battalion retired to ANNEQUIN to billets. 37 O.R. joined the Battalion at 6PM.
15/8/16
10PM
14 O.R. joined the Battalion at 7PM. Half the Battalion had baths and clean clothes were issued. The bombing officer delivered a lecture on intelligence at 5.30PM.
16/8/16
10PM
Brigadier General Jardine visited Battalion H.Q. at 12.30PM and selected a place for Advanced Brigade H.Q. Half Battalion had baths and clean clothes were issued.
CAMBRIN SECTOR (FRONT LINE TRs) RAILWAY KEEP (BATTn. H.Q.)
17/8/16
10PM
Battalion left ANNEQUIN for front line trenches in the CAMBRIN SECTOR and relieved 17th H.L.I. in the right of the sub-sector at 2pm. Relief completed by 4.15pm. Enemy comparatively quiet.
18/8/16
10PM
G.S.O.s[6] visited Battalion H.Q in morning. Commanding Officer visited front line trenches in the right sub-sector at 8.45pm returning at at 11.30pm. During morning it was very quiet along the whole sector. T.M.s were active in afternoon (Hostile) & evening.
19/8/16
10PM
Day comparatively quiet. An R.E. + Artillery officers visited Battn H.Q. during morning. The Commanding Officer visited right of the right sub-sector (trenches) at 9.15pm returning 10.15pm. Weather wet & trenches in bad condition.
20/8/16
10PM
Day comparatively quiet but for a few T.M.s fired from both sides also rifle grenades, etc.
BETHUNE
21/8/16
10PM
Battalion relieved in trenches by 15th Lancashire Fusiliers. Relief commenced 1.30pm, completed at 4.30PM. Battn took over billets in BETHUNE.
22/8/16
10PM
Battn found the following guards (4). Kit inspection by Company Commanders. 2nd Lt Allcroft returned to Battn for Lewis Gun Course.
PHILOSOPHE
23/8/16
10PM
Commanding Officer & Company Commanders left BETHUNE at 10AM to inspect trenches in HULLUCH SECTOR. Battalion left BETHUNE at 12 noon to take over billets at PHILOSOPHE from Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Men bathed. 5 officers returned from Divisional School, Trench strength 305 O.R. and 15 officers.
(SUPPORT TR) HULLUCH SECTOR
24/8/16
10PM
Battalion left PHILOSOPHE at 11AM for support trenches in HULLUCH SECTOR relieving Royal Irish Rifles. Relief completed 1.30pm. Our aeroplanes very active during afternoon & evening over German lines. Trench strength 15 officers, 305 O.R.
25/8/6
10PM
At 11.40PM on the 24th instant a raid was carried out by the 25th Brigade on the left of the sector. Our Artillery bombarded for an hour. Day was comparatively quiet. Brigadier General Jadine visited Battn H.Q. during morning.
26/8/16
10PM
Day very quiet. At 10.30AM the Commanding Officer visited the 17th H.L.I. Battn H.Q. At 2pm Commanding Officer visited front line trenches which will be taken over by the Battalion on the 28th instant.
27/8/16
10PM
Day very quiet. At 10AM a conference was held at Battn H.Q. by Brigadier General Jardine. Officers Commanding Battalions were present.
FRONT LINE TRENCHES (HULLUCH SECTOR)
28/8/16
10PM
At 12.30pm battalion relieved the 17th H.L.I. in the front line trenches (left of HULLUCH SECTOR). Relief completed by 2.45pm. Day very quiet. Commanding Officer inspected this front line trenches during the night.
29/8/16
10PM
A bombardment of the enemies lines from (H.19.a1½ 4) to (H.13a.5½ 5½) was carried out at 4.20pm by our Field Guns, 4.5 Hows[7], medium & light T.M.s & rifle grenades batteries, it lasted for 30 mins, there as very little retaliation. The enemy trenches were badly damaged. From 4.30pm to 10.30pm it rained very heavily causing some damage to our trenches + dugouts.
30/8/16
10PM
Day comparatively quiet. Officers of 8th Brigade 3rd Division visited trenches before taking over the line from the 32nd Division.
BETHUNE
31/8/16
10PM
Battn was relieved at 2.30pm by Royal Scots, 3rd Division. Relief completed at 4pm. Battn proceeded to BETHUNE to rest billets.
[each entry during August 1916 was signed with the initials JBL]

[1st signed] JB Lowthian Lt.

[2nd signed] GC Girdwood Lt.Col.
Comdg 11th Border Regt.

References / notes[edit]

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/2403
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.
  1. Trench Mortars.
  2. General Staff Officer.
  3. ? - Commanding Royal Engineers.
  4. Front Line Trenches.
  5. Supposed to be K.O.Y.L.I. - King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
  6. General Staff Officers.
  7. Abbreviation for Howitzers.