11th Battalion War Diary, February 1917

The home of the Lonsdale Battalion and the Border Regiment in the First World War
Jump to: navigation, search
  11th Border Regiment (Lonsdale) War Diary Transcriptions (1915—1918)
The National Archives WO/95/2403   
Home font awesome.svg
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
Place Date Hour Summary of Events
SUB SECTOR R1
BEAUMONT HAMEL
1/2/17
10pm
Battn in the line. Two companys in front line, one in support, one in reserve. C.O. visited line.
"
2/2/17
10pm
Battn in line. Two patrols sent out, enemy being discovered active near L.31.d.6.3. C.O. visited posts.
LYTHAN CAMP
3/2/17
10pm
Battn received order to move to LYTHAN CAMP near BEAUSSART.
"
4/2/17
"
Battn practised drill for an attack to take place. C.O. explained general practice scheme to Officers. Practice ground laid out to correspond to actual.
"
5/2/17
"

Battnhad practice drill for attack. C.O. supervised practice in morning & evening making necessary alterations in scheme.

"
6/2/17
"
Practice 'stunt' in morning. C.O.took all Officers & Platoon Commanders up to front line, explaining to each the way, direction and place the Battalion would attack from. The jumping off tape also laid.
"
7/2/17
"
Practice parade by Battn for the attack morning & evening.
"
8/2/17
"
Operations received. Tape on actual ground re-laid and pegged.
"
9/2/17
"
Battn spent day in making necessary preparations for an attack, re equipping, drawing of bombs etc. Operation orders read and discussed to Company Commanders and Officers.
R.1.a.55 SUB SECTOR
R1 BEAUMONT HAMEL
10/2/17
11pm
Battn paraded in full fighting order & marched to BEAUMONT HAMEL in accordance with Operation Orders received & Battalion Operation Orders No.10,; the 97th Inf. Bgde being detailed to drive the enemy from the ridge running R.1.a 8.8. to R.1.a 0.9. & out of TEN TREE ALLEY on the night of 10/11th.

The Battn halted at QUARRY in BEAUMONT HAMEL where tea and a ration of rum was issued. Bombs and Lewis Gun ammunition was also issued.

At 6p.m. the first platoon being one of D Coy, moved off from the QUARRY. From this guides were left along the route to be followed up to the tape viz. WAGON ROAD - WALKER QUARRY - Top of WALKER AVENUEacross to GOUGH POST - FRANKFORT POST. Platoons followed at an interval of 100 yds along this route. C Coy (Capt ROSS) being the first to move along taking up this position at the tape on the right flank in four waves viz. two platoons in front, forming 1st and 2nd waves, two sections of each platoon being in extended order in front& two in rear 20 ds distance. One platoon 40yds in rear again extended right across company front making 3rd wave. One platoon 70 yds in rear making 4th wave in sections in file.

B Coy.(Capt WALKER) followed C Coy & took up their position on the tape in same formation as Battn Center.

A Coy (Capt GREENHILL) followed B & took up their position on left in different formation. One platoon in front to form 1st and 2nd waves. Two platoons close in rear of Left Flank to deal with hostile posts running through L.31.c.5.3. One platoon in reserve in artillery formation.

D Coy (Lieut HARRIS) with two platoons close up in rear of right flank of C Coy, to deal with enemy posts on bank R.1.a.55. & two platoons as Battn Reserve.

The Battn was in position at 7.30 pm. & H.Q. being established at FRANKFORT POST. Battn frontage being 350 yards. Zero Time 8.30 pm. on which Artillery Barrage opened up. On the Barrage commencing, the Battn advanced from their position, being a line running from a point S. of FRANKFORT POST to KYLE, and closely followed the creeping barrage towards their objective, a line running from R.1.a.8.6. to L.31.c.5.3.& hostile posts along rear andfront of that line.The men behaved splendidly and kept well up with the barrage right on to their objective.

The first message was sent back from the Reserve Coy D at 9.30 to say all objectives had been captured and consolidation began. Our left flank was exposed & had to be strengthened. The 2nd KOYLI which was onthe left flank had one company not yet up to position on our immediate left. At the time of advance commencing Battn moved off with this flank exposed. The first batch f 35 prisoners was sent back soon after positions being taken. The C.O. Col GIRDWOOD moved his H.Q. forward to point R.1.a.55. He then examined the ground won & dispositions of troops, sending two platoons of the reserve Coy,D across to the exposed left flank.

Posts were established in front of captured lind GUNPIT TRENCH & work carried out to put position won into a state of defence.

Two Officers & approx 100 O.R. were captured by the Battalion and sent back as prisoners of war. One dug out in which the enemy had refused o come out was bombed and unfortunately caught fire, the enemy inside perishing. Patrols from Coy's were pushed out & also patrols sent to try and establish communication with 2nd KOYLI.

A strongly held enemy post was discovered at on the Battn left flank> two Vickers Guns sent along by the C.O. and under his orders STOKES MORTAR detachment under Lieut SIMCOCKS were sent along to that flank. The STOKES MORTAR opening up on the hostile post.

R.1.a.55. SUB SECTOR
BEAUMONT HAMEL
10/2/17
11pm
At 4.30 a.m. enemy delivered a counter attack from N.E. direction. Rapid Rifle fire was brought in conjunction with Lewis and Vickers Gun fire, onto the enemy. The hostile attack waned and was held up with the exception of along the left flank. Under cover of the smoke from the burning dug out he managed to get up to our lines. A fight, mainly with bombs ensued in which the enemy was repulsed.

The area covered by smoke was swept by Rifle and Lewis Gun fire and barraged by all available Rifle Grenades. The S.O.S. signal for artillery was sent up. Soon after the Artillery opened up a barrage & attack was completely broken. The enemy retired into valley & away up opposite slope. Observation was hampered owing to heavy mist. At daylight a patrol went out & found enemy still in numbers on left flank and holding a post with three M.G.'s. When mist cleared and visibility was good several of enemy were shot who could be seen retiring up opposite slopes. Both Rifles & Lewis Gun fire with good effect being brought onto parties moving away.

R.1.a.55.
11/2/17
10pm
Remainder of day quiet with exception of hostile sniping and occasional active artillery fire. When it became dark, two attempts by the Coy on the left, were made to capture Strong Hostile Post near that flank. Both attempts were unsuccessful owing to the post being too strongly held.

At 8.30pm., firm orders were received that the Battn must act in conjunction with the Naval Division on our right in another advance to be made along the PUISIEUX RIDGE, C Coy (Capt ROSS) and two platoons of D Coy were detached. They took up their position on the left flank of the Naval Division & on the barrage opening up at 9pm., the advance started. Some 330 yards ground being taken, The advance was at right angles to the line the Battn held. A new line of posts was established connecting up with the Naval Division.

BEAUMONT HAMEL
12/2/17
10pm
The Battn was relieved by the 16th HLI, relief being complete at 4 am & the Battn withdrew to dug outs at STATION ROAD BEAUMONT HAMEL and dug outs in the Y RAVINE.
"
13/2/17
"
Battn in dug outs STATION ROAD & Y RAVINE.
"
14/2/17
"
Battn in dug outs STATION ROAD & Y RAVINE.
ACHEUX
15/2/17
10pm
Battn withdrew to ACHEUX. The 32nd Division being relieved by the 62nd Div.
"
16/2/17
"
Battn remained in huts at ACHEUX.
"
17/2/17
"
Battn remained in huts at ACHEUX.
MIRVAUX
18/2/17
10pm
Battn paraded full marching order & left ACHEUX 8.30 am arriving MIRVAUX 1 pm.
"
19/2/17
"
Battn remained in MIRVAUX. General parades for training and instruction.
"
20/2/17
"
Battn remained in MIRVAUX. General parades for training and instruction.
CAMON
21/2/17
10pm
Battn paraded in full marching order & marched to CAMON.
near AMIEN
22/2/17
10pm
Battn paraded in full marching order & marched to WEINCOURT.
WEINCOURT
23/2/17
10pm
Battn remained in WEINCOURT. General parades for training etc.
"
24/2/17
10pm
Battn remained in WEINCOURT. General parades for training etc.
QUESNEL
25/2/17
10pm
Battn paraded full marching order & left for QUESNEL leaving 12.30 pm arriving 4.15 pm.
"
26/2/17
"
Battn remained in QUESNEL General parades of inspection & improvement of billets.
"
27/2/17
"
General parades for training & instruction.
"
28/2/17
"
Battn paraded full marching order for Brigade inspection by Divisional Commander.
Stuart D, WEBB 2Lt
I.O. 11th Border Regt.
A.C. GIRDWOOD, Lt Col
Cmdg 11th Border Regt.

References / notes[edit]

  • Transcription by K. Johnstone.
  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/2403
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.