1st Battalion War Diary, November 1915

    1st Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/4311 & WO/95/2305    
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Date Hour Summary of Events
November 1st to 30th
During the month everything has been very quiet, and except an attack by us in which the 87th Bde did not participate & counter attacks by the enemy, nothing happened of very great military interest. During the latter part of the month the enemy have been using a great deal more shells than formerly.

On the 26th a spell of very cold weather set in. On the morning of the 28th between one & two inches of snow fell which mostly disappeared during the day. Frost set in during the night of the 29th - from two to three inches of ice forming by morning. The pumps in our wells were frozen. The frost still continues.
The sickness in the Battalion is largely due to rhumatism and persistent dysentery.

The Battalion left the 87th Brigade Rest Camp & relieved the R.I.F.[1] at Brown House - ESKI LINES - the relief being completed by mid-day. One Company at W Beach was relieved by KOSB[2] & one platoon at H.Q. LANCASHIRE LANDING BY R.I.F.

Work was at once commenced on the parapets of OXFORD & CENTRAL Streets.

1900 to 0300
Working party of 80 men supplied for work on E11.

Capt G.H. HONTER RAMC[3] joined as medical officer.
Lt. R.A.M. Bone sick.

2nd & 3rd
Beside carrying on with work as shown on 1st, work was commenced on bombing posts in OXFORD & CENTRAL STREETS.
4th to 7th
We relieved the S.W.B.[4] on the right sub section of the fire trench by 13.30.

Continuous sniping & trench firing by day & night was indulged in, also bombing of the enemy's trenches by catapult & trench mortars. We have now completely obtained the upper hand of the enemy's snipers on this section of the fire trench.
The work of making T. shelters from bombardment was carried on, together with the improvement of the trench generally.
Officers [writing unclear] patrols were sent out each night who reported that the Turks were very quiet & generally no work was being carried on by them in their front trenches.

2 Lieut J.G. ROWAN 3rd BORDER REGT joined from England. Casualties from 1st to 6th, Officers: - nil. Rank & File: - Killed - nil, Wounded - 2, Missing - nil, Sick - 9.
2 Lieut R.E. CRANFIELD & 48 other ranks proceeded to Rest Camp, MUDROS.
No. 18799 Sgt J. COOPER a Sergeant in our right Company in the Firing Line suddenly told the man on either said of him to stop shooting, leapt over the parapet and ran quickly over to the enemy's trenches about 120 yards away. He was then seen to stand on the enemy's parapet & cooly empty his magazine into the trench below him. He then ran quickly back to our trenches & leapt in quite unhurt. His retreat to our trench was covered by the men firing rapid at the Turks who had by then manned their trench, several bobbing up waist high - Sgt. COOPER reported having shot 5 Turks in their trench, 3 of them being at breakfast just below him and 2 a few yards to his right.

The sniping of the enemy during our tour in the trenches was very weak. Sniping and bombing of the enemy trenches continued until we were relieved by the S.W.B. The relief commenced at 0900 & by 1300 the whole Battalion was in the 87th B'de Rest Camp.
Lt COL A.E. St. V. POLLARD took over command of the 87th B'de until 9th November 1915.

9th to 15th
Work continued by day on the 87th B'de Rest Camp Winter Quarters on the cliffs between LANCASHIRE LANDING and X Beach.
Casualties for week ending 13-11-15.

Officers: - nil.
Rank & File: - Killed - 1, Wounded - nil, Missing - nil, Sick - 12.

Relieved the RIF in the fire trenches the relief being completed by 12.30. All was quiet on our front but the enemy made an attack in the neibourhood of G12 at about 2130 and again at about 0130. work continued on the trenches generally, especially on the bombardment shelters. Alternative gun positions were made during the night which enfilades F12, F13 & F13A.
The enemy opened a rapid fire on our trenches which continued about 20 minutes. We did not reply & it died down. A catapult bomb accident occurred at dawn killing one man & wounding two. At about 1900 a heavy rainstorm broke which lasted for nearly two hours. The trenches were bailed dry and the following day the draining of the trenchess was completed. No parapets however fell in.
18th & 19th
Work continued on the trenches as usual. The enemy were very quiet on our immediate front.
Relief by S.W.B. commenced & by 1230 the Battalion was back in B'de reserve at ESKI LINES leaving the 4 M Guns in the firing line & 1 Company in PARSONS ROAD.
Casualties for week ending 20.XI.15.

Officers: - nil.
Rank & File: - Killed - 1, Died of Wounds - 2, Wounded - 7, Missing - nil, Sick - 10.

20th to 26th
Work was carried on draining OXFORD & CENTRAL STREETS & also the new ESKI LINES continued. Relieved by K.O.S.B. in ESKI LINES and PARSONS ROAD and M. Guns in firing line. The Battalion marched back to the B'de Rest Camp, the last Company arriving by 1200.
A heavy bombardment and rifle fire by the Turks on the left of our sector of the firing line commenced. The bombardment was practically over by 1815, but the rifle fire continued for some time afterwards.
27th to 30th
The Battalion formed fatigue parties daily in connection with the work on the breakwater at LANCASHIRE LANDING and on dugouts at 52 Div H.Q.

2 Lieut CHAMBERS and 50 other ranks were sent on permanent fatigue duty on the breakwater. One platoon of D Company relieved one platoon of S.W.B. at HUNTER-WESTON HILL for H.Q. duties.

Capt FORBES-ROBERTSON proceeded to SUVLA to take up duties of Actg.

Staff Captain, 32nd B'de. Capt W. CLAGUE appointed Actg. Adjutant.
Casualties for week ending 27.XI.15.
Officers: - Sick 1 (2 Lt G.W.N. ROWSELL).
Rank & File: - Killed - nil, Wounded - 1, Missing - nil, Sick - 15 of whom 1 died of disease.

Capt J.R.C. MEIKLEJOHN joined from India ([?] 4th Border Regt).

Casualties for period 28 to 30.XI.15.
Officers: - nil.
Rank & File: - Killed - nil, Wounded - nil, Missing - nil, Sick - 8.

See also

References / notes

  • 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. King's Own Scottish Borderers.
  3. Royal Army Medical Corps.
  4. South Wales Borderers.
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