1st Battalion War Diary, April 1916

  1st Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/4311 & WO/95/2305   
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Place Date Hour Summary of Events
AMPLIER
2nd April
1345
Battalion paraded and marched from AMPLIER
BEAUVAL
1505
Marched past Gen Sir A. Hunter Weston (GOC 8th Corps) who expressed his pleasure at the march discipline of the men to Brigadier Comdg Bde, to be conveyed to all ranks.
ACHEUX
1720
Arrived and billeted in ACHEUX wood
3rd
1710
Battn. left for ENGLEBELMER prior to relieving 10th E. YORKSHIRE Regt in firing line.
1925
Arrived ENGLEBELMER
2005
Platoons leave at 5” interval for the front line. 'D' Coy. transport +2 [illegible] remain at ENGLEBELMER
FIRING LINE
4th
0100
Relief of 10th E. YORKSHIRE Regt. completed.
Enemy trench mortars active during the day. No damage done by them, and not definitely located by us.
1145
Telephone communications with Bde. interrupted
1730
Telephone communications with Bde. restored
Work of deepening the communications trenches proceeds during day
5th
Enemy trench mortars and artillery show activity during the afternoon. Fire trench deepened in places, parapet rebuilt partially and opening up of 'C' 'D' + 'E' streets, ESSEX Street and ROONEYS Sap commenced
FIRING LINE
6th
Reopening of BROADWAY communications trench between POMPADOUR and ESSEX Street completed. A patrol of 5 other ranks under Lt. E. A. CROSSLAND 13th DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY (attached) which left our trenches at 2130 on the 5th did not return till dawn on the 6th. Lt. E. A. CROSSLAND and one other rank failed to return.

Enemy artillery show activity. 'D' Coy. ordered to join Battalion tonight

2050
A party of the enemy attempted to bomb ROONEYS Sap.
2055
Heavy bombardment opened by enemy on communication trenches in our sector Enemy machine guns also show activity
2115
Capt. MEIKLEJOHN reports enemy infantry attacking on our front
2117
Our artillery retaliate, machine guns fire increases both enemy and our own
2147
All Companys report no infantry attack
2153
Communications with Brigade by telephone interrupted
2159
Bombardment of our communication trenches decreases slightly
2204
'A' Coy report although bombardment is heavy - no casualties so far
2205
Enemy machine gun fire increases
2228
Bombardment decreases appreciably
2230
Bombardment ceases altogether
FIRING LINE
7th
0015
Considerbale damage done to our parapet at Q16-7, Q16-8, Q16-9, Q16-2 + Q16-3 and to our wire by last nights bombardment, and work of repairing same, communication and evacuation of casualties very difficult owing to narrowness of trenches.

Traverses[?] commenced in DONEGAL PASS, BLOMFIELD, SANDY ROW 'C' 'D' + 'E' Streets and 1st AVENUE.

1015
Telephone communications with Brigade re-established.

Water supply cut off, pipes damaged by bombardment.

8th
2115
Enemy transport heard on the BEAUMONT-BEAUCOURT Road. Work of repairing damage of bombardment continues.

Casualties
Officers:- 2nd Lt. E. A. CROSSLAND 13th D.L.I. missing 5/4/16. Lt. J. B. SINCLAIR 10th BORDER Regt. wounded 6/4/16 to hospital 7/4/16.
Other Ranks:- killed 11, died of wounds 2, wounded 14, suffering shell shock 3, wounded and prisoner 1, sick to hospital 35, rejoined from hospital 38.
2nd Lt. F. T. WILKINS 15th N. Fus. and 12 other Ranks proceeded to VALHEUREUX for trench mortar course [illegible].
Lt. W. de H. ROBINSON 3rd BORDER assumed duties as Town Commandant MAILLY MAILLET 3/4/16.

9th
Re-opening of original trench sector C Street to B Street continues. Parapet improved in places. ESSEX Street, FETHARD Street + UXBRIDGE Road being prepared as fire trenches.
0600
Capt. J. W. STREATER + 2nd Lt. CARGILL left to examine our wire in vicinity of ROONEYS SAP. Discovered an enemy sniper and in attempting to capture him Capt. STREATER was wounded, the sniper escaped in the mist, but believed to be wounded.
FIRING LINE
10th
Listening patrols report enemy working during night 9th-10th, work on CLONMEL Street begins. Hostile anti aircraft gun believed to be located in front of Q10-5 about 1000+ yards distant.

Fire step + parapet finished in ESSEX Street and FETHARD Road.

2045
Enemy transport heard on BEAUMONT-BEAUCOURT Road.
2215
Our patrols report “all clear” in “No Mans Land”.
11th
Bombing traverse completed in 'E' Street, work connecting 'X' and 'Y' Street progressing.

'D' and 'E' Street finished. All work hampered by rain.

12th
0125
Enemy artillery fired about 12 rounds H.E. in vicinity of CLONMEL Street.

Rain continued at intervals throughout the day.
Our aircraft active, also enemy's anti aircraft guns, during day.
reparations made to hand over trenches tonight to 1st R. Dublin Fus.

2015
Relief commences 2015. Lewis Guns “all clear”.
2210
'B' Coy report “all clear”.
2245
'A' Coy report “all clear”.
13th
0015
'C' Coy report “all clear”
0330
'D' Coy failed to report, notrace of Coy. Report to Brigade relief complete.

Coys marched independently to billets in ACHEUX.

Casulaties week ending 15th April:-

Officers - 2nd Lt(Temp Capt) J. W. STREATER wounded 9-4-16, Lt J. B. SINCLAIR from hospital 13/4/16.
Other Ranks - to hospital 33. Rejoined from hospital 20, wounded (self inflicted) 1 other Rank.
Lt Col. A. E. [illegible] V. POLLARD to senior officers course (FLEXICOURT) 10-4-16.
87 Other Ranks joined from Egypt 10-4-16.
67 Other Ranks joined from England 11-4-16.

ACHEUX
15th
2 officers + 20 O Ranks commence course of Bombing. 3 officers +28 O Ranks commence course Lewis Guns
0900
Battalion attended lecture on gas + use of gas helmets. All Present on Parade entered room filled with gas.
16th
1030
Regimental tour for officers not on duty.
18th
1000
50 all ranks attended demonstration in Flammenwerfer and effects of Lachrymatory Shells.
20th
Indifferent shots + snipers practiced in Musketry
23rd
New course commenced of Bombing + Lewis M. Gun commence>

Casualties week ending 23rd
Sick to hospital officers - nil, O Ranks 23. From hospital 3.
Capt J. R. MEIKLEJOHN proceeded to take command of 1st Essex Regt 16th.
Lt Col. A. E. St. V. POLLARD rejoined from 4th army infantry school of instruction.

ACHEUX
2nd Lieut BREMNER + 48 O Ranks detatched for firing duties 21/4/16.

Lieut (T.Capt) W. CLAGUE struck off strength from 13th-4-16.
Captain H. MILLARD 8th NORTHANTS Regt. struck off strength 21-4-16.
10 O Ranks to ROUEN as instructor 15th-4-16. 10 O Ranks detatched for traffic control detail.
Armourer Sgt. Watson a. o. Corps attached 20-4-16.
2nd Lieut H. PALMER + 2 O Ranks to 4th army Infantry School of Instruction.
2nd Lt. G. W. N. ROWSELL appointed temp Lieutenant whilst performing duties of adjutant.

24th to 29th
Courses of Instruction continue:- Bombing + Lewis Gun.

36 O Ranks received instruction in wiring + making obstacles.

25th
All officers + effective ncos attend lecture on Bayonet Fighting.

Casualties week ending 29th:- killed 2, Died of wounds 2, Wounded 15. 2nd Lt. G. BADGER-CLARKE wrist injured by bomb 24th.
To hospital 24, Sick to hosp O Ranks 34, From hosp. 2.
2nd Lt (T.Capt) J. W. STREATER struck off strength 19-4-16.
6 O Ranks detatched for firing 26th-4-16.
2nd Lt D. MACLEOD + 3 O Ranks to CAMIERS for Lewis Gun course.
2nd Lt H. BUNTING + 4 O Ranks attend course of instruction in Bayonet Fighting at 29th Div School.
1 O Rank to hosp. self inflicted wound 29th.

ACHEUX
28th
1830
Battn. Parade to relieve 2nd Royal Fus in Front Line
2225
Relief complete
29th
2330
Bombardment by our artillery. Party of S.W. Borderers leave our trenches to Raid enemys li[illegible]
2340
Enemy retaliate + Bombard our trenches heavily, all telephone communications interrupted.
30th
0035
Our Bombardment ceases.
0045
All quiet for the remainder of the day.

Great difficulty experienced in moving casualties from firing line.
Casualties O Ranks 2 killed, 2 Died of Wounds, 16 wounded, 2 self inflicted wounds to hospital, 1 shell shock to hospital.
Sick to hospital 2 O.R.

[signed] G.W.N. Rowsell Lieut.
a/adjutant 1st Border Regt.

References / notes[edit]

  • National Archive Catalogue Reference: WO/95/2305
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.