1st Battalion War Diary, January 1917

  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
HANGEST
1-1-17
9am to 1pm
Practice in the attack, with dummy barrage. No. 8589 CLR SGT. CRAINE granted Commission in this Btn. 2nd LIEUT CAMPBELL employed as TOWN MAJOR.
2-1-17
7.30am to 2pm
Inspection by MAJOR GENERAL B. de LISLE K.C.B., D.S.O., who afterwards watched a practice assault by ourselves and 1/R Inniskilling Fusiliers. He impressed his gratification both with the appearance of the troops and with the way they manoeuvred.
3-1-17
Bombing, musketry and other parades. 2nd LIEUT H.T. THOMPSON rejoined from Stokes Mortar Course. 4 O.R.[1] to grenade course. 4 O.R. rejoined from Stokes Mortar Course.
4-1-17
Company parades in moving. Btn paraded 3.30pm. Marched to LE MESGE and dug strong points in the dark. Returned to HANGEST 11pm.

2nd LIEUTS J.P.L. GAMON and W.L. ARMSTRONG rejoined from Divl. School.
2nd LIEUT A.M. CLARKE and 42 O.R. to course at IV Army Musketry School.
No. 18133 L/SGT LUCAS and No. 22957 L/CPL KEELING to England for Commissions.

5-1-17
9-1
[?] parades.
2-3
[?] and demonstration by Divl. Gas Officer.
6-1-17
9-1
Route march. Football match in afternoon.

Casualties week-ending 6-1-17.
To Field Ambulance other ranks 11.
2nd LIEUT C.F. SUTRO from F.A.
From Field Ambulance other ranks 3.

HANGEST
7-1-17
CHURCH PARADE in MAIRIE.
8-1-17
8-2pm
Practice assault before BRIG. GEN. BRAY, CMDG[2] 87th INF BDE. 2 O.R. to course of signalling. 1 O.R. to England for [? - munitions].
9-1-17
8-1pm
Marched to LE MESGES and did an assualt bedofre Divl. General, Major Gen. B. de LISLE.
10-1-17
9-12noon
Bombing etc. 2nd LIEUT C.F. SUTRO accidentally wounded. 2nd LIEUT A.M. CLARK and 42 O.R. rejoined from IV Army Musketry School. 4 O.R. to course of Lewis Gun.
11-1-17
9-12.30
Ordinary parades. Btn sports in afternoon.
10pm
210 O.R. joined from Base, all untrained.
12-1-17
10am
Billet inspection. LIEUTS S.C. CHEVERTON and G. LINDSAY joined from Base.
11am
Btn paraded and entrained at 12.40pm. 2nd LIEUT J.M. MORRIS to employ as TOWN MAJOR, HANGEST.
MERICOURT
12-1-17
3pm
Arrived, de-trained and marched to BRESLE.
BRESLE
13-1-17
Commanding officer inspected new draft.

Casualties week ending 13-1-17.
To Field Ambulance 10 O.R.
From Field Ambulance 6 O.R.

BRESLE
14-1-17
9.45am
Btn paraded and marched to MEAULTE.
MEAULTE
12.40pm
Arrived. 2nd LIEUTS A.H. CRAINE and G.H.S. McDONALD to course Divl. School and 2 O.R.
15-1-17
10.30am
Btn paraded and marched to CARNOY.
CARNOY
1pm
Arrived. 23 O.R. to labour Btn. 11 O.R. to Reserve Company. 3 O.R. employed with Road Construction Unit ABBEVILLE. 1 O.R. transferred to Filed Survey [?].
16-1-17
2.45pm
Marched to GUILLEMONT.
GUILLEMONT
17-1-17
4pm
Moved off to firing line.
FIRING LINE
18-1-17
Quiet.
19-1-17
6 O.R. joined from Base. 7 O.R. to XIV Corps [?] Workshops.
11pm
Relieved by 1/NEWFOUNDLAND REGT.
CARNOY
20-1-17
Casualties week ending 20-1-17.

To Field Ambulance O.R. 11.
From Field Ambulance O.R. 1.

21-1-17
2pm
Moved off to firing line.
FIRING LINE
22-1-17
Our guns bombarded the Boche in the afternoon.
8.30pm
Relief by 2nd S.W.Bs.
CARNOY
23-1-17
Resting.
24-1-17
Btn parade [? - practice] assualt.
25-1-17
Btn parade [? - practice] assualt.
26-1-17
5.30pm
Marched to firing line.
FIRING LINE
27-1-17
5.30am
[? - gas hour] [?] + 1/R Inniskilling Fus. in night attacked potion of LANDWEAR TRENCH, S of LE TRANSLOY.
7am
Prisoners starting to come through. Reports received that 1st and 2nd objectives gained. 117 prisoners passed Btn H.Q., ANTELOPE TRENCH.
7.15am
[?] written report from Right Coy received, confirming 1st Objective taken, 45 prisoners sent back by this Coy alone. Very few casualties.
8.12am
Report received by [?] “Mopper Up” that 1st Objective cleaned up, and prisoners sent back.
8.45am
2nd report from Right Coy saying sending back 75 prisoners. Consolidation very difficult owing to frozen ground. No shelling of captured position, but good bit hostile sniping.
11.45am
3rd report from Right Coy. No change, but enemy evidently aware of situation and shelling of captured position increasing.
12.45pm
Consolidation proceeding slowly, a certain amount of wire put down around strong point which we are digging. Lewis Gun emplacements being dug and entanglements put up [?] SUNKEN ROAD on right flank of strong point.
2pm/4pm
All objectives gained and consolidation proceeding very slowly owing to hardness of ground. Following received from Commander-in-Chief “Congratulate the 29th Div. warmly and in particular the 1st Border Regt and 1/R Inniskilling Fusiliers on the success of their operations carried out this morning. In forwarding this message the army commander wishes to add his congratulations to the 29th Div. in their most successful enterprise.”

In reply following message was sent to army commander “The 29th Div. is most grateful by your kind message which will be communicated to all ranks. The message from the Commander-in-Chief has been conveyed to the 1st Border Regt. and 1/R Inniskilling Fus. who wish to thank him for his kind message, which has given great pleasure to myself and all the Division”. (sd) General de Lisle.
Congratulations were also received from the Corps Commander - Lieut General The Earl of [?] and from LIUET GEN. SIR WILLIAM BIRDWOOD, 1st A + N.Z. A. Corps,[3] the 20th Div. and the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions.

The following telegram was received from the G.O.C.[4] 29th Div. “I send you warmed congratulations on the fine attack of your battalions. Messages have also been received from the Corps C. in C. which will be given to you later”. (sd) Gen. de Lisle.

27-1-17
11pm
Casualties week-ending 27-1-17.

Officers KILLED: LIEUTS. W. de H. ROBINSON, M.C., S.C. CHEVERTON, 2nd LIEUT. A.M. CLARKE, LIEUT. W.L. BEATTIE.
WOUNDED: 2nd LIEUT. H.T. THOMPSON.
Other Ranks KILLED 12, WOUNDED 87, MISSING 33, SICK to Hosp 44, from Hosp 2.

FIRING LINE
27-1-17
The total prisoners for the day was 6 officers and 355 O.R. unwounded, and about 25 wounded. 5 machine guns were captured, including 3 captured by the Btn. We also captured a very valuable map with all the enemy dumps, [?], railway tracks, and batteries marked on it. It also had most of ours marked pretty accurately.

We captured 4 officers and 200 prisoners.
1 O.R. to England under age.

28-1-17
11pm
Relieved by 1/K.O.S.Bs.
CARNOY
29-1-17
11am
The Coys Commander, accompanied by the Divl. Cmdr. paid a visit to the camp, and congratulated the officer Cmdg and all officers on the splendid action achieved in the 27 inst, afterwards entering each hut and thanking the men.
30-1-17
2.15pm
Commemoration service in Y.M.C.A. in memory of those Officers and men who fell on the 27 inst was held, the Battalion turning out in full strength.
31-1-17
3pm
Paraded and marched to GUILLEMONT.
[Signed] R.G. CULLIS, Lieut.
Adjt 1st Bt. the Border Regt.

References / notes[edit]

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/2305
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.
  1. Other ranks.
  2. Commanding.
  3. ANZAC: Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
  4. General Officer Commanding.