19 December

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Lonsdale Battalion events that took place on 19 December.

1914[edit]

  • The Lonsdale's route march from Alston to Haltwhistle, then on to Gilsland and train back to Carlisle: It is hoped that a number of fine recruits will be forthcoming in various villages through which the Lonsdales will march, and a number of or private soldiers, many of whom occupy important positions in private life, intend to avail themselves of the opportunity to explain first hand what soldiering in the Lonsdales means. [1]
  • Letter from the Recruiting Officer in Appleby to local farmers: ... at this particular moment when your Country is in the gravest danger it may appeal to your patriotism as a father, and also to the patriotism of the male members of your family between the ages of 19 and 38 years. The opportunity for the young men of Westmorland to join this splendid Regiment has occurred again and the Battalion is now open to receive 500 more Recruits. We want these men to join immediately after Christmas. [2]
  • Letter from the City Water Engineer: A complaint which I am bound to make with respect to the men in your Battalion who are using the Public Baths under the present arrangement. On some occasions the men do not seem to be under proper control and evidently use a large number of towels and drawers [swimming trunks] for the cleaning of their boots. This is a most improper thing to do. [3]
  • Letter from Major Harrison Officer Commanding D. Company: I have to report that the following men are absent without leave....S. Lowe of Whitehaven, W. Mumford of Workington, J.W. Oglethorpe of Workington, J. Donaughee of Workington, E.F. Hall of Whitehaven and J. McGee. Some of these men applied....for leave and I refused. The absence of these men together points somewhat to a conspiracy and a defiance of the regulations. Do you think it is worthwhile to notify the Police? [4]

1915[edit]

  • Battalion moves from Bouzincourt and takes over the F1 sub-sector from the 1/6th Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders.[5]
  • One other rank is sent to base for dental treatment.[5]
  • Major P. G. W. Diggle: The trenches we had first to take over were very bad, the soil was chiefly a loamly clay, with chalk only on the extreme left of our sector. In many places there were no duckboards, and, in consequence, the mud and water was four or five feet deep. It was impossible to get all along the front line trench without going "overland," as there were two stretches of about 100 yards each that were impassible. However, we got them right eventually. The men used at times to get quite stuck and unable to move in the mud. Then the gum-boots[6] had to be left [7]
  • Corporal J. Smith, writing home to his parents: Just a few lines to let you know that I have been wounded, but I am going on champion. A piece of shrapnel went clean through my right thigh while I was going into the trenches with my mates. There were two of us knocked out at the same time. We had a bit of rotten luck that day, and the trenches are four feet deep with mud and water. It was very hard for us, seeing we were new to the place. I went through an operation on Wednesday night… They took the tube out of my wound today. I expect I’ll be sent home any time about Christmas....The doctors and nurses are very nice to the wounded. They will do anything to help you… How is everybody at Workington? Give my kind regards to all. [8]

1916[edit]

  • Battalion situated at Puchevillers. Battalion bombers parade under Bombing Officer. Remainder of Battalion prepare new training grounds.[9]
  • One Officer per Company attends Gas School for one day.[9]

1917[edit]

  • Battalion situated at 'Wurst Farm' involved in working parties.[10][11]

References / notes[edit]

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.

  1. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/77
  2. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/7
  3. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/?
  4. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/?
  5. 5.0 5.1 11th Battalion War Diary, November to December 1915
  6. Another term used for the Wellington Boot (or Wellies), worn and popularised by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. During the First World War production of the Wellington boot increased dramatically as the need for suitable footwear to cope with the perpetually muddy, battle-torn lands across Europe were essential. The War Office approached the North British Rubber Company to construct a suitable boot for difficult, flooded terrains in the trenches. They produced a total of 1,185,036 pairs to meet the British demands. – Wikipedia:Wellington Boot
  7. Record of the XIth (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale) - In France
  8. Workington Star and Harrington Guardian, published 24 December, 1915.
  9. 9.0 9.1 11th Battalion War Diary, December 1916
  10. A group of soldiers (or prisoners) that are assigned to perform manual tasks or duties, for their own or other units.
  11. 11th Battalion War Diary, December 1917