20 March

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For events that took place elsewhere in the Great War, see The Great War:20 March.

Lonsdale Battalion events that took place on 20 March.

1915 (Saturday)[edit]

Events preceding the Lonsdales' arrival in France
  • ...my medical inspector of recruits reports the Lonsdale Battalion under your command is being very much overcrowded. Is it possible to arrange to billet your depôt company and prevent this overcrowding?[1]
  • Depot Company already billeted. If remaining longer would possibly recommend building additional accommodation but under circumstances useless. Cubic space is some cases technically inadequate but men perfectly fit and happy. Also several being discharged unlikely become efficient soldiers.[1]
  • ...it should be understood that, as the new clothing of each soldier is marked and fitted, it will at once be taken into wear by him without further order for walking out. From tomorrow inclusive Khaki will be worn on guard. For the present the grey caps will continue to be worn with either the grey or the Khaki uniform.[2]
  • I beg to report that two prisoners have broken out of cells....Private J. Telford and Private T. Richardson both of B Company. These two men were placed in cells at 9.40 a.m....charged with being drunk. They were visited at 2.30 p.m....and were then taken to the latrines....At 3.30 p.m. the prisoners shouted to the guard that they wanted to go to the latrines....did not take the prisoners to the latrines because the Sergt. considered that they had no real need to go. They were at this time using foul and abusive language....At 4.45 p.m. the Corporal of the Guard took tea to the cells, and found that the louvers in lower part of the door had been broken out and that both prisoners were gone....The Sergeant of the Guard has been relieved of his duties and placed in open arrest.[3]

1916 (Monday)[edit]

  • Hénencourt: In the E1 sector. Front very quiet.

1917 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Leaves Herley at 9am and marches to Nesle. Arrives 11am and finds billets.

1918 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Battalion situated in the line. Hostile artillery active around 'Egypt Ho'.
  • Raid is carried out at 11pm on enemy posts by 3 Officers: 2nd Lieut's Hunt, Oliver and Goodwin and 60 other ranks.[note 1]
  • Raiders advance under a heavy barrage, meeting stubborn machine gun resistance. They pushed forward to within bombing distance of the machine guns, which were unscathed by the barrage. They withdraw after accounting the enemy. Casualties incurred: 2nd Lieut. Oliver and 1 other rank wounded and missing, 1 other rank killed and 6 wounded.
  • Deaths: Frederick William Brown (28134 Pte.)


  1. The raiding party is divided into 3 sections of 20 other ranks and one officer.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/58
  2. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/135
  3. Record No. DLONS/L/13/13/105


Various sources contemporary to the war have been used to compile The Lonsdale Battalion On This Day. The majority of the events shown on this day (20 March), including any supplementary notes, enlistments and statistical data etc., have been primarily sourced from the Lonsdale Battalion War Diary (November 1915 to June 1918), Record of the XIth (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale) and abridged material from Timeline and Chronology of the Lonsdale Battalion (September 1914 - May 1915), which are sourced from the original DLONS/L/13/13 Lowther Estate Archives. Events from that chronology are reproduced here with kind permission of Jim Lowther (2016). They are identified and referenced separately by their unique DLONS numbers. Please do not publish these events without prior permission from the Lowther Estate. All casualty names, numbers, ranks, date of deaths and places of burial/commemoration have been sourced from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19, Volume 39, The Border Regiment and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database respectively.