1st Battalion War Diary, September 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
1st to 4th Sept 1915
Remained in Rserve in square 117.D.5. with one coy in the firing line. This coy is changed at the end of a 48 hours tour of duty in the trenches.
2nd Sept
MAJOR NELSON left on special duty with orders to report to I.G.C. MUDROS.
1st to 4th
Casulaties for week ending 4th September 1915.

Officers Killed NIL, Wounded NIL, Sick NIL,
Rank & file Killed NIL, Wounded NIL, Sick 10.
Information received that the following officers had died of wounds received on 21st Aug 1915, CAPT. TENNANT, LT. ADAIR, LT. LAKE & 2 AMPT.

5th Sept
The following officers joined the Battalion from ENGLAND, 2 LTS. CARGILL, DUFF, LEDWARD, McDONALD, WISE & FRASER.
5th to 11th
The following names are officially notified to designate certain places on the map.

Redoubt on KIRETCH TEPE SIRT at sq 135 U.1. known as JEPHSONS POST
Redoubt on KIRETCH TEPE SIRT at sq 135 U.6. known as BENCH MARK
Hill at KIRETCH TEPE SIRT at sq 136 Q.5. known as KIDNEY HILL
[new page]
Hill at 105.L.8 known as CHOCOLATE HILL
Hill at 105.T[1].9 known as SCIMITAR HILL
Hill at 105 T 5-6 known as W HILL Hill at 92 J 4 known as HILL 60.

Orders received to hand back portion of firing line taken over from K.O.S.B.[2] to them & to take over a corresponding amount of new trench from S.W.B.[3]
night 9th - 10th
Readjustment of line in accordance with above instructions carried out.
Enemy fired several rounds of percussion shrapnel & opened a heavy rifle fire from their trenches. This went on for about an hour but no movement of any sort by the enemy was observed.
Everything quiet again.
Casualties for week ending 11th Sept., Officers NIL

Rank & files Killed NIL, Wounded 3, Sick 12.

[new page] GALLIPOLI (SUVLA BAY zone)
15th Sept
Draft of one officer LT. DE ROBINSON (rejoined convalescent from wounds) and 99 Rank & files from ENGLAND joined the Battalion.
Enemy opened a brisk fire demonstration & the Battlion was ordered to stand to. This went on for about an hour but no movement of any sort was made by the enemy & [?] resumed their normal course.
12th to 18th
Casualties for week ending 18th September, Officers NIL Rank & file Killed NIL, Wounded 2, Sick 16.
Information received that relief of RMF[4] which should have taken place on the night of 21st - 22nd delayed 24 hours.
Draft of one officer 2nd LT MACKENZIE & one [? - private] from ENGLAND joined the Battalion. In the evening a party of 2 officers & 100 rank & file of NEWFOUNDLAND REGT. sent up to the Battalion to be instructed in trench warfare. The whole of these were accommodated either in the firing line or close support trenches in proportion of one man of the BORDER REGT. to two of the NEWFOUNDLAND REGT.
[new page] GALLIPOLI (SUVLA BAY zone)
22nd Sept
Relieved by R.M.F. after dark & marched back to BORDER GULLY.
Move postponed another 24 hours owing to inclement weather.
Battalion embarked at LITTLE WEST BEACH in two lighters & proceeded on board S.S. ERMINE.
Disembarked at KEPHALOS, IMBROS & marched to rest camp.
19th to 25th
Casualties for week ending 25th Sept., Officers NIL

Rank & file Killed NIL, Wounded 4, Sick 8.

Draft of one officer 2LT LILL 6th LINCOLNSHIRE REGT & 54 rank & file from ENGLAND joined the Battalion.
26th to 30th
The Battalion rested at 87th Bde Rest Camp & trained in discipline, bomb throwing & night advancing.

Casualties, officers sick 3, Maj & Adj ELLIS, 2LT COES & 2ND MACKENZIE.
Rank & file Sick 42.

Sept 1-22
General remarks for the period.

During this time a very great deal of hard work was performed by the Battalion & fall chiefly under four headings:
1st Work in firing line; support & second line trenches,
2nd Work on communication trenches
[new page]
3rd Work on improving [illegible] accommodation in the gullies for troops to live in & constructing fresh dug-outs in places where they would not be flooded out
4th Sending working parties to work on the communications belonging to other regiments.
As regards I[5] the fire trench when taken over was most unsafe as not only was the parapet not bullet proof, but the trench itself was taken in enfilade from the BENCH MARK & direction of THREE POPLARS & required many [?] putting in & the trench itself deepening. Owing to the rocky nature of the subsoil, it is impossible to get down more than a couple of feet anywhere with pick & shovel, & blasting was to be resorted to very largely which makes progress slow. The readjustment of the line on the 10th [illegible] meant a lot of additional work as the Regt. had to hand over 70 yards of good safe trench & take over 70 yards on which practically nothing had been done. A store sangar[6] to accommodate about 50 men was constructed about 50x in rear of the fire trench & this was manned each evening at dusk & evacuated at dawn, the function of this party being to act as a close support so the firing line, in the event of any portion of the firing line being rushed.
[new page]
A 2nd line consisting of a fire trench for 100 rifles & 9 machine gun emplacements was constructed on E slope of knoll just E of Batt Head in [? - other] gully.
2. Communications. After the readjustment of the line, a communication trench running back from the firing line over the knoll & down into the S.W.B. nullah was taken in hand, but owing to the shortage of men, lack of sandbags & the rocky nature of the soil, it has not progressed sufficiently to be considered safe except for a few men at a [?] during daylight.
3. The accommodations for the troops in the two gullies was nearly doubled & some especially substantial dug-outs were constructed by B Coy on the side of H.2 gully.

16th - 21st
4. A party of 2 officers & 100 rank & file were called for to dig communication trenches for the S.W.B. who were holding the portion of the line on our right.
1st - 22nd
All relief of the Company in the firing line had to be done at night & all work on the traverse in the firing line & the construction of the support sangar, communication trench & 2nd line trench had to be done at night.

As regards actual military operations the period was lacking in interest [new page] & nothing more than long range [[sniping]] occurred. Opportunity was taken to improve the musketry of backward men[7] & also to instruct the new drafts in patrolling by night.
The enemy were quiescent on our front the whole time with the exception of two brief fire demonstrations & the usual sniping which went on fairly continuously day & night with practically a negligible effect. The TURKS made a good loopholed fire trench about 600 yards to our front.

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. Could be I instead of T.
  2. King's own Scottish Borderers.
  3. South Wales Borderers.
  4. Royal Munster Fusiliers.
  5. Referring to the 1st (of the 4) points made earlier.
  6. Otherwise known as a fortification, a small fortified position most likely using sandbags and other such materials. The word sangar means 'Barricade' in persian.
  7. Copied exactly as it is written in the diary!
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