1st Battalion War Diary, December 1915

  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
CAPE HELLES
1st & 2nd Dec.
In Brigade Rest camp employed on fatigues on Breakwater at LANCASHIRE LANDING and on 52nd Div. H.Q. dug-outs. Night 2nd and 3rd frost broke.
3rd
0930
Commenced to relieve R.I.F.[1] in Brigade Reserve ESKI LINES and by noon the relief had been completed. 3 Coys in ESKI LINES and 1 Coy and 1 Gren Section in PARSONS Rd with the M. Guns in firing line and supports. Commenced work on water pipe line from ROMANOS' WELL to TANK Rd.
4th & 5th
Work as on 3rd.

Casualties for period ending 4.12.15.
Officers: nil.
Other ranks: Wounded 2, Sick 9.

6th
Relieved S.W.B.[2] in firing line + E11 - 3 Coys, 4 M. Guns + 3 Gren Sections in firing line - C Coy + 6 Half Gren Secs in E11.
2230
Enemy opened heavy rifle fire which lasts 1¼ hours and was eventually silenced by ¼ Lancs Battn.
CAPE HELLES
7th
0130
Again lasting ½ hr and again at 0600 for 20 minutes. It is thought new enemy troops occupy the trenches in front of our sub-section or they very much feared at attack. An enemy artillery mark consisting of a white cone was observed behind the enemy's front line opposite P.7. Work was continued on bombardment shelters and on No. 1 mine.
1430
Turkish trenches at O33 opposite P7 bombarded by Japanese mortars until 1600. A Turkish artillery mark consisting of a red and white flag 2' x 1' blown up. No other damage. Turks trenches F12A + F12B + F13 enfiladed for one hour. Damage and repairs to Oxford St was carried out by E11 (C) Coy.

2Lt G.W.N.ROWSELL rejoined from hospital - sick - 2Lt R.E. CRANFIELD and 41 other ranks rejoined from Rest Camp - MUDROS - 2Lt A.C. RANDALL joined from England.

8th
2Lts F.R. JESSUP, W.P. RETTIE, H. PALMER and 94 other ranks joined from England, of these 39 rejoined convalescent from wounds and 42 from sickness.
9th
0830
Relieved HOWE Bn R.N.D.[3] in firing line + E11 and by 1230 the Battn had arrived back in Rest Camp. H.Qs., B and C Coys were accommodated in old quarters and A and B Coys in new winter Qs on cliffs.
10th to 17th
A and D Coys worked on new B'de winter Qs on cliffs and H.Q. Coys on 52nd Div H.Qs. and R.E. fatigues.
CAPE HELLES
17th
Casualties for week ending 11-XII-15.

Officers - none.
Other ranks: Killed 1, Wounded 2, Missing nil, Sick 12.

13th
2Lt A. CAMPBELL 10Border Regt and draft of 12 other ranks joined from England, of these 8 rejoined convalescent, sick.
18th
Casualties for week ending 18-XII-15.

2Lt G.R. CULLIS sick to hospital 13-XII-15.
Other ranks: Killed nil, Wounded nil, Missing nil, Sick 14.

0545
The Bn commenced to relieve the R.I.F. in the firing line and supports B and C Coys, M. Guns and Grenadiers in firing line - 30 Reserve M. Gunners as a close support in ESSEX PARALLEL, A Coy in FUSILIERS ST and D Coy in ESKI LINES. By 1330 the relief was completed. The line taken over is that vacated by the R.N.D. on the 8-XII-15. Work was carried on on the new fire trench by day and night. loopholes were rebuilt and bombardment shelters continued. Work on new FUSILIER ST carried on by day and night by Coy in support. The Coy in ESKI LINES was employed in deepening and draining MULE TRACK.
CAPE HELLES
19th
1430
The left of our line was heavily shelled by the enemy until 1600. During the counter bombardment of the Turkish trenches three of our shells landed on our [? - parades] wounding three men.
20th
1430
Enemy again heavily shelled our trenches with H.E. and shrapnel and again at 2300 but did little damage. 50 yards of the enemy's parapet was demolished by bombs.

New fire trench between N and S Barricade is now occupied throughout.

21st
0145
Enemy heavily bombarded our trenches for over half an hour. Heavy rain fell most of the day, many parts of the [? - parades] of the old fire line falling in. The trenches were in a very bad state from water but by noon the following day most of it was cleared by bailing and draining where possible. Complete ascendancy has now been obtained over the enemy's snipers. During the night the enemy appeared very nervous opening wild [?] fire, very often, without any apparent reason.
22nd
0500
Turks attempted to bomb our listening post but were easily driven back.
1915
B Coy in ESKI LINES was brought up to FUSILIER ST and 1 platoon of C Coy placed in CHELMSFORD Rd in close support to D Coy on the right.
23rd
0630
Took over a further length of trench to the left up to but exclusive of BIRDCAGE. Complete ascendancy obtained over enemy's snipers and bombers, the latter throwing their grenades very inanimately. A concealed M.G. position behind Turkish first line trenches opposite BIRDCAGE WALK EAST and also one across the GULLY on the ground [?] were locazted. Numerous enemy loopholes were systematically knocked out by rifle fire. A M. Gun put on WEST of enemy's N. Barricade was spotted and knocked out by grenades, three Turks being hit by one grenade.
24th
1145
Enemy heavily shelled our front line trenches, but no damage was done.
25th
1700
To 2000 all fire ceased under Brigade orders. Parties of enemy's bombers came out during this time and bombed our line but were driven back. The enemy again heavily shelled our trenches all communication wires being cut.

Casualties week ending 25-XII-15.
Officers Killed 2Lt A.J.M. TAYLOR, Wounded, Missing and Sick - none.
Other Ranks Killed 3, Wounded 12, Missing none, Sick 8.

26th
M. Gun emplacement behind Turkish front line may be a gun emplacement as it is so large and strongly built.
27th
0700
Relief by R.I.F. commenced and by 1300 the whole Battn was back in B'de reserve in ESKI LINES.
CAPE HELLES
27th to 29th
Battn was employed on new FUSILIER ST and in deepening of all communication trenches and THE MULE TRACK.
30th
0700
Commenced to relieve the K.O.S.B. in firing line and supports and by 1030 the Battalion was in position - 3 Coys, M.Guns and 3 sections of Grenadiers in firing line and 1 Coy (D) in support. Section of line held is from Bomb Sap 8 on the RIGHT to Sap H in RUE de PARIS on the LEFT. Support Coy in RUSSEL'S LOOP, WEAVERS VENELL and Sap 11 to WORCESTER FLAT. Reserve M. Gunners and Grenadiers in close support trenches. One Coy of KOSB in reserve in FUSILIER ST REDOUBT LINE.
1830
Two platoons of Coy of KOSB in reserve as a support to 5 R.S.F.[4] on our right who reported every man of theirs were in firing line and had no support or reserve.
1945
One officer and a Grenadier Section were sent to assist 5 R.S.F. in Sap G11 which had been blown in. They soon had the sap head rebuilt and the situation well in hand.
31st
M.Guns G'2 and G'4 were moved into MUNSTER TERRACE.
2100
60x of wiring on left and 40x on right centre of RUE de PARIS were put out.

Casualties for period ending 31-XII-15.
Officers: 2/Lieut A.C. RANDALL wounded.
Other ranks: Killed 1, Wounded 17, Missing none, Sick 14.


[Signed] W. Clague, Capt.
A/Adjt 1/Border Regt

See also[edit]

References / notes[edit]

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/4311
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.
  1. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
  2. South Wales Borderers.
  3. Royal Naval Division.
  4. Royal Scots Fusiliers.