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2/4th Battalion War Diary, March 1915

    2/4th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/????    
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Transcribed from the War Diary of the 2/4th Border Regiment (1914-1919) and not the original war diary. This book was published by Carlisle book company Chas. Thurnam and Sons in 1920.
Entries from this source have been heavily abridged from their original form. This version of the war diary should be seen as a brief summary of events rather than a comprehensive account of the battalion's actions.
Place Date Hour Summary of Events
Two officers and 329 other ranks were transferred to the Depot. In order to partially equip the men proceeding to Burmah it was necessary to take practically every serviceable article of clothing from the men transferred to Kendal.
The Battalion, consisting of 28 officers and 767 other ranks, left Blackpool in two parties for Avonmouth. The final destination of the Battalion was changed from Burmah to Poona, Bombay Presidency, India. The Battalion had no mess property, but money grants were received in lieu.
The Battalion arrived at Avonmouth at noon, and immediately embarked on H.M.T. Dongola, together with a draft of East Lancashire R.E.'s and other drafts proceeding overseas to various places in the East, and Naval ratings proceeding to Aden and Bombay. The transport, escorted by two torpedo boats, sailed at night, but collided shortly after midnight with a steamer in the Bristol Channel off Barry, which necessitated the landing of the troops and women and children in tugs and the ship's boats at Barry, and the dry docking of H.M.T. Dongola. The Battalion was thanked for its conduct by the Army Council. (Copy of the Army Council's letter is appended.)
“C” and “D” Companies were landed at Barry and quartered at the docks; “A” and “B” Companies were taken to Cardiff, quartered at the docks, and most hospitably treated by the National Reserve Detachment of the Manchester Regiment.
“A” and ” B” Companies returned to Barry, the stores were transferred from H.M.T. Dongola to H.M.T. Tunisian, the Battalion embarking on H.M.T. Tunisian the same night, with Captain John Hall as captain of the transport.
H.M.T. Tunisian left Barry Docks at 10.00 hours, anchored outside owing to the presence of a German submarine in the Bristol Channel, and sailed at 23.00 hours, with all lights out, escorted by two torpedo boat destroyers. Owing to the fusing of an electric wire a fire broke out at the moment of sailing, but was extinguished by the ship's crew.
2/Lieut. G. H. Mc.Vittie (Penrith) died from meningitis and was buried at sea. Owing to the danger of submarines, a course was steered well to the West of the usual steamer route, and land was not sighted until Gibraltar, which was reached on the morning of the 12th.
After six hours the transport proceeded to Port Said, passing the Island of Pantalaria on the morning of the 15th.
Port Said was reached early on the 19th. Officers and senior N.C.O.'s were allowed two hours ashore, and after coaling, the transport passed through the lines of the British and French warships (assembled for the attack on the Dardanelles) and into the Suez Canal.
Suez was reached the next day, and Aden on the night of the 24th. The majority of the Naval ratings transferred at Aden to the Empress of Japan, which was being employed in maintaining the blockade of the German East African ports. Aden was left on the afternoon of the 25th, and on the morning of the 31st Bombay was reached.
The Battalion disembarked in the evening, and left by train at night for Poona.

References / notes

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/????
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.
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