1st Battalion War Diary, January 1916

  1st Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/4311 & WO/95/2305   
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The dates in this month's diary do not follow on in strict order so you will find that particular dates, namely those regarding the actions of the evacuation (9th, 10th, 11th) are repeated a couple of times, with further mentions and details as to what happened on those dates.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events
CAPE HELLES
January 1st
0700
Enemy displayed a large red flag about 5 feet square on front line trench parapet opposite Sap 8.
0835
Flag replaced by one 3 feet square on a pole. No bombardment took place the enemy being very quiet during the day.
2nd
0330
Patrols reported seeing enemy patrols who retired without any hostile act.
3rd
0230
Patrols reported that the enemy had put out trip wires in front of their trenches and that there was a lot of talking and work going on as if the enemy's front line trenches were strongly held.
0500
Relief by R.I.F.[1] commenced and by 1000 the Battalion was back in Brigade Rest Camp (old dug-outs).
3rd to 7th
The Battalion was employed making defences on W and X Beaches.

The Battalion moved from winter dug-outs rest camp to Beach defences covering W Beach working all night on them.

8th
The Battalion was detailed as Left Sub-Sector of the covering force on “Z” night of the evacuation under Bd-General Tufnell as G.O.C.[2] Covering Force. During the day the Battalion was gradually moved to and into dug-outs behind the position it was detailed to occupy during the evacuation.

The night of the 8th and 9th January having been decided upon for the final evacuation, the Battalion by 1830 was position covering the embarkation at W Beach (LANCASHIRE LANDING). A Coy and 2 M. Guns on the left from BAKERY GULLY to about the Cemetery with a post of 1 officer and 10 men on the road below the cliffs. B Coy and 1 M. Gun from the CEMETERY to the right covering both approaching roads. C Coy with 1 officer and 40 other ranks K.O.S.B.[3] and 1 M. Gun on HUNTER-WESTON HILL. D Coy in support to the Battalion.

CAPE HELLES
9th
0140
The last of the 29th Division with parties of RE[4] together with the RA[5] demolition parties had passed through the defences.
0145
The G.O.C. Covering Force issued orders for the withdrawal of the Battalion, these being received at 0156.
0200
C Coy with 1 M. Gun and party of K.O.S.B. were ordered to withdraw from HUNTER-WESTON and proceed to Divisional Forming [?] place 'B'.
0205
A Coy were then withdrawn from the left.
0210
B and D Coys with Battn HdQs were then withdrawn. 2LT FRASER and 25 men were left as a small force covering both approaching roads with 2 signallers at Bn H.Q. < 2 in the transmitting station at the NAVAL CANTEEN connecting Lt FRASER with the P.M.L.O. from whom he would receive orders for his withdrawal. An orderly was also left in case the telephonic communication were interrupted.

Bn H.Q. with A, B and D Coy and M. Guns on reaching the forming up place 'B' Divisional Rendezvous were immediately despatched to No.2 Pier where they embarked in lighters, taken out a short distance and transhipped onto H.M. T.B.D. STAUNCH.[6] At about 0420 whilst the transhipment was taking place the ammunition magazine on W Beach was blown up, 5 men being injured by the falling debris.

0500
The destroyer left CAPE HELLES and attempted to make MUDROS but owing to the rising wind and the very large number of men on board had to put into IMBROS where between 3 and 400 men of different corps were transhipped on to the PRINCESS IRENE.
MUDROS
10th
0900
The destroyer left for MUDROS arriving about 1230. The troops were then transhipped on to the S.S. KAROO. The number of the regiment who had so far been kept together were 9 officers (including H.Q.) and 214 other ranks (A Coy 104, B 30, C 6 and D 74).
11th
1200
This party were then transhipped on to S.S. NESTOR.
CAPE HELLES
9th
0345
C Coy (4 officers and 130 other ranks) with 1 M. Gun, who had taken longer than the remaining companies to reach Divisional Rendezvous 'B' having had to come from HUNTER-WESTON HILL, embarked on a lighter and were transhipped on to H.M.S. MARS at 0430. They proceeded to IMBROS leaving for MUDROS at 1800 arriving at MUDROS at 0800 on the 10th and at about noon on the same date were transhipped on to S.S. NESTOR where they were joined by H.Qs. on the 11th.
CAPE HELLES
9th
5 officers with 25 other ranks and 1 M. Gun who were with H.Qs. and on the second lighter which broke away from her moorings to the T.B.D. STAUNCH drifted past FUSILIER BLUFF for some considerable time until picked up by H.M. T.B.D. SCORPION which towed them to IMBROS. They were taken thence to MUDROS by the trawler PEARL and transhipped on to S.S. ARAGON on 10th and then to S.S. NESTOR where they joined C Coy and eventually H.Q. One man of this party had his arm broken in two places by the falling debris from the explosion on W Beach.
IMBROS
10th
4 Officers and 184 other ranks who had been transhipped from T.B.D. STAUNCH to PRINCESS IRENE proceeded to MUDROS and there transhipped at 1630 to the S.S. MINNEAPOLIS.
CAPE HELLES
10th
2LT FRASER and 31 other ranks (having picked up 1 man of C Coy) received orders for this withdrawal at 0350 and to proceed to No.3 Pier. There they embarked on a lighter and proceeded under their own steam to IMBROS arriving at about 0800. They then transhipped to H.M.S. CHATHAM and at about 1200 left for MUDROS arriving there about 1800 where they were transhipped on to S.S. MINNEAPOLIS about 1930 joining the party already on board.
MUDROS
11th
0700
The MINNEAPOLIS left for ALEXANDRIA arriving there at about 1000 on the 14th.
ALEXANDRIA
15th
2100
This party entrained for SUEZ leaving ALEXANDRIA AT 2300 and arriving at SUEZ at 1300 on 16th.
MUDROS
12th
0800
HdQs with A, C and D Coys and details on board the S.S. NESTOR left for ALEXANDRIA arriving there there at about noon on the 14th.
ALEXANDRIA
16th
0700
Entrained for SUEZ leaving ALEXANDRIA at 1010 arriving SUEZ at 0100 on the 17th.
SUEZ
17th
1030
Inspected by the G.O.C. M.E.F.[7]

Casualties for 1-1-16
Officers nil.
Other ranks: Killed none, Wounded 2, Missing none, Sick 1.

Casualties for week ending 8-1-16
2Lieut S.C. CHEVERTON sick to hospital.
Other ranks: Killed 1, Wounded 3, Missing none, Sick 4.

Casualties for week ending 15-1-16
Officers nil.
Other ranks: Killed on railway 1, Injured in explosion at CAPE HELLES 6, Sick 1.

17th to 31st
The training of the Battalion in Platoon, Company and Battalion drill, musketry and maneouvre movements was carried on.
20th
A draft of 3 officers (Lt J.B. SINCLAIR 10 Border Regt, 2Lt G.B. CARGILL 3 Border Regt. snd 2Lt E.A. BARRY unattached list) and 343 other ranks joined from England.

2Lt CARGILL and 2 other ranks rejoined from sick to hospital and 1 man convalescent from wounds.

Casualties for week ending 22-1-16
Officers none.
Other ranks: Sick to hospital 9.

Casualties for week ending 29-1-16
Officers none.
Other ranks: Sick to hospital 7.

SUEZ
21st
Lt. Col. A.E. St. V. POLLARD proceeded on sick leave.

Capt. J.R. MEIKLEJOHN took over command of the Battalion.
Casualties period 30th to 31st January.
Officers none.
Other ranks: Accidentally wounded 1, Sick 3.

31st
2Lieut S.C. CHEVERTON rejoined convalescent sick in hospital.

[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. General Officer Commanding.
  3. King's Own Scottish Borderers.
  4. Royal Engineers.
  5. Royal Artillery.
  6. A Destroyer class ship that was eventually sunk on the 11th November 1917. T.B.D. an acronym for Torpedo Boat Destroyer; this class of ship was designed and specifically used to destroy torpedo boats, having more emphasis on gun armament and less on torpedo.
  7. General Officer Commanding the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.