2/4th Battalion - Diary 1917

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January
January 1st New Year's Day Proclamation Parade under the G.O.C. 1st (Peshawar) Division.
January 3rd, 10th, 24th, 31st Tactical schemes at Kacha Garhi under Brigadier L. C. 10th, Dunsterville, C.B. Battalion proceeded to and returned 24th, from Bara on “Kitchener's Test.”
February
February 3rd Ten attached officers proceeded to Ambala.
February 4th Mobilisation of the Battalion for the Mohmand Blockade Line.
February 5th Inspection by the G.O.C. 1st (Peshawar) Infantry Brigade.
February 7th The Battalion (17 officers and 642 other ranks), under the command of Lieut.-Colonel J. F. Haswell, V.D., proceeded, with the 5th Gurkhas, to Sadar Garhi, for service on the Mohmand Blockade Line; camped for the night in the Perimeter Camp, Adozai, the whole force being under Brigadier-General N. Woodyatt, C.B.
February 8th Marched from Adozai to Sadar Garhi. Arrived at 13 hours, and took over blockhouses Nos. 4 to 16 (inclusive), in relief of the 1st Battalion The Durham Light Infantry (“C” Company, Nos. 4 to 7; “A” Company, Nos. 8 to 11; “B” Company, Nos. 12 to 16; Headquarters, “D” Company, and one section Mountain Battery in the Perimeter Camp, Sadar Garhi).
February 14th Lieut. L. MacGlasson appointed Adjutant vice Captain H. Thomson.
February 22nd Communication trenches completed from Nos. 5 to 16 blockhouses.
March
March 1st Lieut. R. T. Bruckman, 2 officers, and 100 other ranks, proceeded at 04.30 hours to join the column under Brigadier-General N. Woodyatt, C.B., for the destruction of the villages of Jahaugirpura and Wazir Kalai. Detachment returned at 18.45 hours, having marched twenty-six miles and destroyed the villages.
March 7th One officer and 50 other ranks arrived at Sadar Garhi from the Depot.
March 8th Ten officers arrived at the Depot at Peshawar for attachment to the Battalion.
March 10th Enemy sniped No. 15 Blockhouse during the morning from sangars on the hill to the north-west.
March 13th No. 7 Blockhouse and the listening post on the left attacked at 20.50 hours by tribesmen from the front and from the nullah to the east of the blockhouse. The tribesmen were driven off, the wire remaining intact.
March 22nd Tribesmen attempted to break through the wire near No. 11 Blockhouse at 23.30 hours. Driven off by the listening post.
April
April 5th Detachment, supported by armoured car, demolished the sangars 1,700 yards in front of No. 11 Blockhouse.
April 9th Five Afghans taken prisoners in front of No. 10 Blockhouse stated that they had come from Dakka and were proceeding to Peshawar to draw their allowance as pensioners of the Indian Army. Sent to Shab Kadr under escort.
April 10th His Excellency the Viceroy, Baron Chelmsford, visited the Mohmand Blockade Line and inspected No. 12 Blockhouse. The Battalion picketed the Abazai Road near Matta, and the three hills to the north of No. 12 Blockhouse. Mohmands sniped the picket on Hill 1461 from 14.00 hours to 17.30 hours, when the pickets were withdrawn, the enemy following up the retirement until dispersed by the fire from No. 8 Mountain Battery.
April 18th Took over Nos. 1, 2, and 3 Blockhouses from the Frontier Constabulary.
April 24th Took over Munda Kala Post (1 officer and 25 other ranks) from the 35th Sikhs.
April 26th Relieved at Munda Kala by the 35th Sikhs.
April 28th Four or five Pathans entered the Bhoosa Agent's tent sixty yards outside the Sadar Garhi Camp. Sentry fired on the raiders, and the raiders dispersed, The Bhoosa Agent was brought into the camp seriously wounded and died shortly afterwards.
April 29th Relieved by the 106th Hazara Pioneers, who took over Nos. 1 to 1C Blockhouses (inclusive) from the Battalion.
April 30th Left Sadar Ghari and marched to Nagamou. Bivouacked for the night.
May
May 1st Marched from Nagoman to Peshawar. Strength of Battalion returning 14 officers, 6 attached officers, and 627 other ranks. The Momand Blockade Line stretched for seventeen miles from the gorge on the Swat River to the Kabul River beyond Michni Fort. The line consisted of a chain of blockhouses from 300 to 1,000 yards apart, built on the north side of the Michni-Abazai Road, but clear of the foothills. A barbed wire entanglement was built from end to end of the line, with live wire placed in front. A communication trench was dug, connecting all the blockhouses, along which listening posts were stationed between dusk and dawn. Brigade Headquarters were established at Fort Shab Kadr, while Battalion Headquarters were established at Sadar Garhi, Shab Kadr, Suban Khwar, and Michni, a Detachment of the 35th Sikhs being at Abazai Fort and the Frontier Constabulary at Matta.
May 4th One officer and 71 other ranks of “D” Company took over the duties of the Infantry Detachment at Fort Peshawar.
May llth Headquarters and “A” Company proceeded to Lower Gharial, Murree Hills.
May 12th “D” Company proceeded to Gharial.
May 13th Detachment of 2 officers and 150 other ranks proceeded to Nowshera.
May 17th Headquarters and “A” Company arrived at Lower Gharial.
May 18th “B” Company arrived at Lower Gharial.
June
June 1st Lieut. E. P. Hardy and 18 other ranks proceeded to Mhow on transfer to the 4th Machine Gun Corps.
June 15th A draft of 40 N.C.O.'s and men arrived from the 3/4th Border Regiment, England.
July
July 1st Lieut.-Colonel J. F. Haswell, V.D., relinquished the command of the Battalion on transfer to the R.A.M.C.
July 8th Lieut.-Colonel J. F. Haswell, V.D., left Lower Gharial for Quetta.
July 25th Lieut. J. L. Strang and 40 other ranks proceeded to Mhow on transfer to the Machine Gun Corps.
August
August 6th Lieut.-Colonel F. W. Halton, T.D., from D.A.Q.M.G. 6th(Poona) Division, assumed command of the Battalion vice Major G. H. Heelis, relieved.
September
September 25th A draft of 123 N.C.O.'s and men arrived at Bombay from England, and proceeded to Cherat, N.W.F.P.
November
November 1st “B” Company left Lower Gharial for Cherat.
November 2nd Headquarters and “A” Company left Lower Gharial for Cherat.
November 5th Peshawar Detachment left Peshawar for Cherat, by road. Nowshera Detachment left Nowshera for Cherat.
November 7th The Battalion arrived at Cherat.
November llth “A” and “B” Companies proceeded to Dag on company training.
November 28th Inspection by G.O.C. 1st (Peshawar) Division (Major-General Sir F. Campbell, K.C.B.).
November 29th “C” and “D” Companies proceeded to Dag on company training; “A” and “B” Companies returned to Headquarters. A draft of 70 N.C.O.'s and men arrived from the 3/4th Border Regiment, England.
December
December 12th Celebrated “Arroyo dos Molinos” Day. Sports in the afternoon, football match and concert at night.
December 28th Brigadier-General G. D. Crocker assumed the command of the 1st (Peshawar) Infantry Brigade vice Brigadier-General L. C. Dunsterville, C.B., A.D.C., proceeded on service.