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1st Battalion War Diary, October 1915

From the Lonsdale Battalion wiki
    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
October 1
Received orders to be prepared to move to CAPE HELLES in the evening.
Received orders to load baggage on carts at 14.30 & to march to [? - K] Beach by platoons at 10 minutes interval commencing at 18.50.
Commenced to march out of 87th Bde Rest Camp KEPHALOS.
Commenced embarking on lighters, the Batt. then transhipped to 3 trawlers and one other boat. 2Lieut J.B. CARGILL (3rd Border Regt) goes sick to hospital.
Battalion commenced to disembark at LANCASHIRE LANDING.
The guides provided not knowing our destination the Battn. had to await the arrival of the DAAG[2] who personally guided us to our trenches in Rest Camp vacated by [?-marine] B[?] arriving at 04.00 with baggage at place on map 17.I.8.
Baggage left behind at SUVLA BAY arrives in Rest Camp CAPE HELLES.

Everything very quiet here, very little firing from either side.
Casualties for week ending 2.10.15 Officers Sick 1
Rank & File Killed Nil, Wounded Nil, Missing Nil, Sick 52.

[It appears that a page is missing from the copy of the war diary between the 2nd and 10th of October; the first page appeared twice instead so this is error on the NAs part, the missing page not available in the download]
October 10
Draft of 2 Officers, Lieut J.W. EWBANK & 2/Lieut S.C. CHEVERTON 1/BORDER Regt and 150 Rank & file joined the Battn from ENGLAND.
Work on our winter quarter dug-outs continued all day in reliefs.
A few enemy shells fell near our area, one falling in the MG section dug outs.
Arrangements made to take our portion of the firing line trench, about 100 yds from the 82nd Div on their right & 450 yds from the French on their left.
Coys commenced to move up into firing line at half hour intervals between coys. 3 Coys in the firing line with the Regtl. 4 MGs & 3 SWB[3] MGs, 1 Coy in support in trench E11 about 400 yds behind, & Regtl. H.2.[4] with 1 Coy S.W.B. in 2nd line trench PARSONS Rd. about 600 yds behind firing line. Firing line trench [illegible] sq. 23.X.7. from ACHI BABA NULLAH (KANLI DERE) & left to the right for about 550 yds connecting up with French left. Behind the left of our line is a strong trench called the HORSESHOE & manned by one platoon from the coy in support. When we took over this portion of the line, it was renamed the 52nd Div right sub-section. The 89th Bde is at HELLES by itself, it has been attached to the 52nd Div.
October 16 to 19
Continuous sniping by day & night & also bomb throwing from catapults, of which we have 3 & 3 trench mortars. The TURKS rifle fire at first was brisk, but fell off a bit each day. Their trenches vary from 40 to 120 yds away from ours. On most nights we opened fire on their working parties & also sent out patrols & bombing parties to various portions of their trenches. The trenches when we took them over were very narrow, the parapets were not bullet proof & the trench in some places enfiladed, the fire step was so low as to be impossible to fire over the parapet. We put in a lot of work both by day & night remedying these defects & also improving the communication trenches. Before we left the Battn was complimented by Gen. LAWRENCE G.O.C. 52nd Div. on the good work done in no short a time.

Casualties for week ending 16.10.15. Officers nil.
Rank & File Killed 1, Wounded 3, Missing nil, Sick 10.

October 18
[?] C Coy reported hearing TURKS mining under our most advanced post. This report was at once forwarded to the Brigade H.2. and RE[5] were sent to investigate. The sound of mining was again heard twice during the night.
A counter mine was started under RE supervision, to make the post safe even if the enemy had not already mined us already
The Battn relieved in the firing line trench by 2/SW Borderers, 3MGs were left in the firing line & 1 Coy went into 2nd line trench PARSONS Rd. The rest of the Battn went into Divisional Reserve in ESKI LINES sq 17. P.4/5.
The Battn remained in ESKI LINES for this period, & every night the whole Bn worked in reliefs on the new 87th Bde H.2. dug outs a short distance in rear, by day one coy continued the work on their dug out. One coy improved our own lines & one coy carried water for the SWB to the firing line. The coy in 2nd line PARSONS Rd. were employed improving the 2nd line & communications.

Casualties for week ending 23.10.15 Officers nil.
Rank & File Killed nil, Wounded 1 (died of wounds), Missing nil, Sick 23.

Capt H. MILLARD (8th NORTHANTS) rejoined from ALEXANDRIA.
October 24
The Battn was relived by 1/KOSB[6] & returned to 87th Bde [[rest camp]] sq 17.I.8. 2 MGs were [? - mounted] & left in ESKI lINES as anti aricrft guns.
25 to 31
The Battn remained in the winter quarters, occupied during this period in digging fresh winter quarters on the edge of the cliff sq 16.X.3. as the present quarters are very unsafe from enemy shell fire from ASIA.[7] The [? - Bn.] received new issue of clothing for the first time since leaving ENGLAND. B Coy & ½ A Coy went to LANCS LANDING for [?] & [?] relieving the KOSB.

Casualties for week ending 30.10.15. Officers Sick 2, 2/Lieut M. DUFF (3rd Border) 2/Lieut G. BURNS (10th Border) 24.10.15.
Rank & file Killed nil, Wounded 3 (1 died of wounds), Missing nil, Sick [space left blank]

Temp Lieut F.H. CHAMBERS rejoined from being wounded. 2/Lieut R.G. CULLIS (from 3rd training Bn) & [?]J.M. TAYLOR (from 4th training Bn Egypt) joined the Battalion. Rank & file 56 rejoined from sick & wounded list & 3 from ENGLAND.
Casualties for the 31st, Officers Sick 1, Lieut R.M. BONE RAMC[8] (att. 1/Border Regt).

Rank & files Killed nil, Wounded nil, Missing nil, Sick 4.

October 1 to 31
During this month at HELLES everything had been very quiet, nothing of military interest happened. A little shelling every day which seemed to do marvellously little damage on our side, a great many enemy shells did not burst. No attacks on either side were made. The Battn was very lucky in moving up to the firing line in the early morning of the 15th [illegible] as later that day the vacated dug outs were heavily shelled from batteries in ASIA.

A very large percentage of the sickness in the Battn is due to dysentery, jaundice & septic sores.

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. Assuming this means 00.05 as five minutes past midnight.
  2. Deputy Assistant Adjutant General.
  3. South Wales Borderers.
  4. Originally thought this to be H.q. but on closer look, this instance and others, says H.2.
  5. Royal Engineers.
  6. King's Own Scottish Borderers
  7. Most likely referring to the Asian side of the strait.
  8. Royal Army Medical Corps.
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