2nd Battalion War Diary, April 1917

  2nd Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1914-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/1655 & WO/95/1656   
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Place Date Hour Summary of Events
ERVILLERS
1/4/17
The Battalion remained in billets.
2/4/17
The Battalion were in reserve to 20th Infantry Brigade in an attack on ECOUST-ST MEIN and LONGATTE on 2nd April 1917. At 2.30am the Battalion was reported in position at and in the neighbourhood of the QUARRY at B22c.33.

Zero was at 4.15am.

C Company was moved forward in support of 2nd Gordon Highlanders and remained in support to thaet Regiment South of LONGATTE until 3am on 3rd instant when they were withdrawn and proceeded to billets at MORY.
The remainder of the Battalion were moved forward to the valley approximately B18a.

3/4/17
Here the Battalion dug in and remained in reserve until 3am on 3rd April when it withdrew to billets at MORY. On the night of 3rd April the Battalion relieved the 2nd Royal Warwicks Regt. in the front line.
4/4/17
The Relief was completed by about 2am on 4th April and the Battalion was then in position as follows:-

Right Half
B Company garrisoned posts at U26.b.2.6; U26.a.8.8; U26.c.7.5.
C Company in support at U26.c.7.2.
Left Half
A Company garrisoned posts at U19.d.85.65; U19.d.4.9.
D Company in support at U25.b.4.3.
Strong point at U25d.2.8.

The Day passed quietly. Casualties were 4 men wounded.
The Battalion was relieved at night by 2/8th West YorksRegt. The relief was completed by 12 midnight and the Battalion proceeded to billets at ERVILLERS.

5/4/17
The Battalion marched to camp at ABLAINZEVILLE starting at 2pm and arriving at about 5pm.
ABLAINZEVILLE
6/4/17
The Battalion commenced its training.
7/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
8/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
9/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
10/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
11/4/17
The Battalion marched to billets at COURCELLES starting at 1.55pm and arriving at 2.30pm.
COURCELLES
12/4/17
The Battalion marched back to camp at ABLAINZEVILE starting at 9.50 am & arriving at 10.30am.
ABLAINZEVILLE
13/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
14/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
15/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
16/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
17/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
18/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
19/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
20/4/17
The Battalion continued its training.
21/4/17
The Battalion relieved 22nd Bn Manchester Regt in the Support Line. Battalion Headquarters & A & B Companies moved at 10am C & D Companies moved at 2.30pm.

On arrival the Battalion was distributed as follows:
C & D Companies in dug outs & cellars in ECOUST ST-MEIN.
A & B Companies & Battalion Headquarters in shelters on Sunken Road B24b.8.9.
Casualties 1 wounded.

22/4/17 to
25/4/17
The Battalion remained in position in support. During this period ECOUST ST MEIN was intermittently shelled by the enemy. Our Casualties were:-

24/4/17 1 killed[1] 2 wounded.
26/4/17 2 wounded.

26/4/17
The Battalion relieved the 8th Bn Devons Regiment in the front line at night. The relief was completed at about midnight and the Battalion was then in position as follows:-

Right:
D Company in Posts at U28.c 1.4, U27.d.25, U27.a.9.5, U27.74.
Company Headquarters C3.a.5.6.
Right Centre:
B Company in Posts at U27.a.35, U26.b.9.8, U21.c.4.1, U21.c.1.4.
Company HdQrs. U26.c70.05.
Left Centre:
A Company in Posts at U26.c.65.15, U26.c.70.05. C3a.05.05.
Left:
C Company in Posts at U20.d.6.1, U20.d.25.55, U20.d.8.8, U26.b.20.65, U25.b.7.2—U26.c.1.7.
Company HdQrs. U26.c.0.8.
Enemy artillery was active during the night.

27/4/17
Enemy artillery was active the railway embankment and some of our forward post were shelled with tear shells. No enemy movement was observed. Patrols went out from Right Centre, Right and Left Companies during the night. Several enemy posts were located but none of the enemy were encountered.
Casualties 3 wounded.
28/4/17
The enemy shelled our posts, the railway embankment & battery positions intermittently during the day. Several of the enemy were observed on the right of BULLECOURT. The enemy wiring party were seen at U27.b23 at 11.30pm & dispersed by Lewis Gun fire.

Patrols went out from Right, Right Centre and Left Centre during the night but it could not be ascertained in what strength the enemy was holding the line.
During the night the enemy was holding the line. Casualties 6 killed, 5 wounded.

29/4/17
Enemy artillery was again active throughout the day. Some enemy trench mortar shells fell near post of Right Company. Patrols from Right, Right Centre, & Left Company went out at night. The Battalion was relieved in the line by 22nd Bn Manchester Regt. The relief was completed by about 2am and the Battalion marched to camp at ABLAINZEVILLE.

Casualties: - 1 wounded.

ABLAINZEVILLE
30/4/17
The Battalion remained in billets.

The following officers joined the Battalion during the month. 5/4/17: 2nd Lieut. J.A. Stephen.
13/4/17: 2nd Lieut. J.S.Greenwood.
15/4/17: Lieuts. A.J.R. Hamilton, G. Neil. 2nd Lieuts. W. Carr, S.J. Stevens, R. Paynter, J. Coulthwaite.
20/4/17: Captain H.L. Chatfield, 2nd Lieuts. J.R. Bartlett & A.R. Barnes.

Drafts as under joined the Battn during the month:- 1/4/17: 8 O Ranks. 5/4/17: 9 O Ranks; 8/4/17: 5 O Ranks.
15/4/17: 7 O Ranks. 21/4/17: 5 O. Ranks.

51 Other Ranks were evacuated sick during the month. The strength of the Battalion on the last day of the month was 41 Officers 685 Other Ranks.

[signed] E. Thorpe, Lt-Colonel
Commanding 2nd Bn The Border Regt.

References / notes[edit]

  • 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. S.L. Banks (Pte. 9957). H.A.C. CEMETERY, ECOUST-ST. MEIN.