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2nd Battalion War Diary, April 1916

From the Lonsdale Battalion wiki
    2nd Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/1655 & WO/95/1656    
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Date Hour Summary of Events
X26c to E3c
1/4/16 &
In trenches (Casualties 1st & 2nd April:- 2 killed, 5 wounded).[1]
— " —
The Battn was relieved in trenches by 2nd Gordon Highlanders. A & C Coy and Battn Headquarters to billets at MEAULTE and B & D Coys to billets in Brigade Reserve at BECORDEL. A Draft of 14 Other Ranks joined the Battalion.
3/4/16 to
The Battn less B + D Coys. In billets.
— " —
The Battn less B & D Coys moved to billets at BRAY by platoons commencing at 2pm.
B & D Coys joined the Battalion in billets at BRAY. A Draft of 34 Other Ranks joined the Battn.
— " —
8/4/16 to
The Battalion remained in billets in Divisional Reserve coming under the command of GOC 91st Infantry Brigade.
— " —
The Battalion proceeded to trenches in Square F11e relieving 9th Bn Devons Regt.
14/4/16 to
During this period the enemy artillery was very active and was apparently registering on our trenches. An attack was expected and the fullest arrangements were made for defence of all lines.
— " —
At 7.25pm on 19/4/16 the enemy opened a violent bombardment on B2 subsector which the Battalion held. The front support and reserve lines were all shelled, the bombardment was most intense on the front from MANSEL COPSE to junction F10.1 and F10.2. At some time between 8.15 and 8.30pm the barrage was lifted between MANSEL COPSE and 71 Street and a party of the enemy approached our lines at the head of BLOOD ALLEY. They did not succeed in entering our trenches being driven back by bombs. They then appeared to have moved towards F.11.8 and they entered our front line trench somewhere in this subsector. A number of unexploded bombs were found in our trench. It is believed that the enemy left a few dead near MANSEL COPSE. The trenches were seriously damaged in many places both front line support line and communication trenches being blocked. Our casualties were 1 officer and 18 Other Ranks killed (Officer 2nd Lieut W.L. Johnson),[2] 2 offrs and 42 Other Ranks wounded (Officers *Lieut I.H. Hodgson, 2nd Lieut G.P. Lindsay.) *9 Other Ranks Missing.

    * Lieut I.H. Hodgson died of wounds 20/4/16.[3]

At 8.30pm on 20/4/16 the enemy opened a very violent bombardment on much the same front as was shelled the previous night but the bombardment was not nearly so long. A party of the enemy approached our line at the head of BLOOD ALLEY and threw bombs into the trench. We replied with Mills Grenades. After a short fight the enemy went over and attacked the line about the centre of F.11.8. Here they were again driven off by our bombers. The party appeared to consist of 20 men. No enemy bodies were seen in front of our trenches the next morning, but judging from cries which were heard they must have suffered casualties. Our artillery retaliated with good effect.

[Footnote at end of page referring to second star * entry of 19th]

*Up to May 11th the remains of 5 perhaps 7 of these missing men were recovered by the relieving unit during [clearing?] of the trenches but so shattered by shellfire the identification of bodies was impossible.

Later at 10.15pm and 10.45pm our Heavy Artillery retaliated on the enemy front line between the Craters and BLACK HEDGE with field guns co-operating. This retaliation was very successful the enemy trenches being blown in in many places. Our Casualties were 10 OR killed, 6 OR wounded.

Total casualties 13/4/16 to 21/4/16:- Killed 1 Offr & 20. Died of Wounds 1 Offr and 61 OR. Missing 9 OR.

The Battalion was relieved at night by 9th Bn Devons Regt and proceeded to billets at BRAY. 2nd Lieut F. Argles and 30 OR joined the Battalion.
The Battalion proceeded to billets at CORBIE.
23/4/16 to
In rest billets at CORBIE.
— " —
The Battalion proceeded to billets at VAUX sur SOMME.
A Draft of 62 OR joined the Battalion.
— " —
29/4/16 &
In billets at VAUX sur SOMME.
S.H. Worrall, Major for Lieut–Colonel
Commanding 2nd Bn The Border Regt.

References / notes

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/1655
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.
  • War diary transcribed by P. Bramham.
  1. The following two men were killed:
    • W. Warnock (8007 Pte.) Died 02/04/1916. Buried at Mericourt-L'Abbe Communal Cemetery Extension.
    • Richard Monks (6295 Pte.) Died 03/04/1916. Buried at Norfolk Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt.
  2. 2nd Lieut. Wilfred Lloyd Johnson. Age: 24. Buried at Citadel New Military Cemetery, Fricourt. Son of John Johnson, of Franklin Mount, Harrogate.
  3. Lieut. Isaac Harvey Hodgson. Age: 25. Buried at Laneuville Communal Cemetery, Corbie. Son of Isaac and Emily Catherine Hodgson, of Newlands House, Keswick, Cumberland.
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