18 February

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For events that took place elsewhere in the Great War, see The Great War:18 February.

Lonsdale Battalion events that took place on 18 February.

1915 (Thursday)[edit]

Events preceding the Lonsdales' arrival in France
  • Lt-Col. Machell's draft letter to the local press: By the courtesy of the Cummersdale Miniature Rifle Club, the Battalion under my command has already been able to obtain a good grounding in elementary musketry on the Miniature ranges situated within twenty minutes’ march of our Camp, with the result that the Musketry Staff Officer of the Western Command, after his recent inspection of the Lonsdales, reported that he was well satisfied with the progress we had made. Having passed through the 'grouping' practice stage, we now feel the urgent need of field glasses for the use of our Non-commissioned officers; if good results are to be obtained, it is necessary for these NCO’s to be able to observe the effect of each shot fired in the 'Application' and 'Disappearing Target' practices. Further, as we now proceed with training in Outpost work, and other Minor Tactical Exercises, we feel more keenly than ever the necessity of providing our Section Commanders with reliable field glasses, in the efficient use of which they need careful practice before going to the front.
    There are many keenly patriotic people in these counties who, while not able to enter upon active service themselves, are anxious to help on the training of the New Army in every way they can. They have done much for us already, and it has been suggested that, in this matter of providing field glasses for our non Commissioned Officers, they will be generous enough to give us further assistance, by lending or giving a sufficient number of glasses, either for the period of our training or (and this would be far better for the Battalion, of course) for the duration of the War.
    The Lonsdale Battalion is now over 1300 strong. We are all Westmorland and Cumberland men, bent upon doing credit to the Border Counties, if we can, during the present national crisis. It is this that emboldens us to ask the patriotic men and women of these counties to give us their generous assistance in a matter of great practical importance. Every one of our non Commissioned Officers needs a pair of Field Glasses, in order that he may be placed on even terms with the enemy he will presently have to face. I venture to think the people of Westmorland and Cumberland will help us to supply this need. As is generally known, there are 16 section commanders in each Company besides other NCO’s, and four Platoon Sergeants. There are, of course, four Companies in every Service battalion. Officers provide their own glasses, but we should be very grateful for one hundred pairs, or even fifty pairs for our NCO’s. Glasses are urgently required now, and later they will be indispensable. Glasses may be sent to this Camp....Each pair received will be properly listed, with the name and address of the sender, and every effort will be made to return them in due course, where that is desired.[1]
  • Battalion Orders: The Brigadier-General promised to make an urgent representation on the subject of the necessity for the immediate issue of service rifles and ammunition. The Officer Commanding observed that all ranks did their best throughout, and takes this opportunity of expressing his satisfaction with the progress the Battalion has made.[2]

1916 (Friday)[edit]

1917 (Sunday)[edit]

  • Battalion parades in full marching order, leaving Acheux at 8.30am. Arrives Mirvaux 1pm.

1918 (Monday)[edit]

  • Battalion is situated in the field. Nothing done during the day except specialist training. At night a raiding party of 2 officers (2nd Lieuts. Joseph Nixon Macrae and McDonald) along with 60 other ranks of C Company carry out a raid on enemy posts.
  • Zero hour 11pm: Heavy artillery barrage for eight minutes preparatory to advance. Right & left parties reach their objective and penetrate 150 yards behind the enemy's front system. The center party is struck by machine gun fire, which was unscathed by the barrage, and results in two casualties: 2nd Lieutenant Macrae is killed and 1 Sergeant is wounded. The result of the raid finds 12 of the enemy dead, one machine gun bombed and destroyed and one wounded prisoner brought in.
  • Captain Ross attempts to search for the body of 2nd Lieutenant Macrae.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/73
  2. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/136

Acknowledgements[edit]

Various sources contemporary to the war have been used to compile The Lonsdale Battalion On This Day. The majority of the events shown on this day (18 February), including any supplementary notes, enlistments and statistical data etc., have been primarily sourced from the Lonsdale Battalion War Diary (November 1915 to June 1918), Record of the XIth (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale) and abridged material from Timeline and Chronology of the Lonsdale Battalion (September 1914 - May 1915), which are sourced from the original DLONS/L/13/13 Lowther Estate Archives. Events from that chronology are reproduced here with kind permission of Jim Lowther (2016). They are identified and referenced separately by their unique DLONS numbers. Please do not publish these events without prior permission from the Lowther Estate. All casualty names, numbers, ranks, date of deaths and places of burial/commemoration have been sourced from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19, Volume 39, The Border Regiment and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database respectively.