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7th Battalion War Diary, August 1915

    7th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/2008    
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

This is the continuation of the July diary from the copy. Like July's, it too was written on graph paper in note form instead of the standard issue C.2118 Army Form. Each of the original pages are numbered on the top right hand corner. July and half of August are numbered from 1 to 5, whilst the remaining pages for August are numbered from 6 to 8. Each entry is signed, although it is unclear by whom. The adjutant at the time was Captain C.G. Page but the signature does not seem to match this.

The addition of appendices 1, 2 and 3 were originally typed.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events
August 1st
51st Brigade, being in Corps Reserve, proceeded to bivouacs near KRUISTRAAT arriving at 3.30am.
Aug 2nd
Nothing special occurred, a few shells in the vicinity.
Aug 3rd
“B” Coy returned from SANCTUARY WOOD.
Aug 4th/5th
In same bivouacs, B Coy, 2 platoons each day, went to St. ETOI trenches for instruction.
Aug 6th
Left bivouacs at 11pm and returned to billets RENINGHELST.
Aug 7th
Aug 8th
Heard sounds of terrific bombardment from 2am to 7am near HOOGE.
Aug 9th to 13th
In billets RENINGHELST. This period characterised by excessive number of night working parties. The parties were much too big and from reports much confusion & little work resulted.
Aug 14th
Bn took over the “P” trenches near VOORMEZEELE from 9th Noth’d[1] Fusiliers. Owing to misdirection relief not complete till 3am.
Aug 15th
A Quiet day and nothing of note occurred. The P trenches are about 150 yards from enemy on an [? - array]. Our trenches consist of breastworks in most cases. The difficulties of water are great there is no fit supply in trenches and all water has to be brought down a long C.T.[2] which takes nearly an hour to traverse.
Aug 16th
Quiet day. Some shelling of P4 by light field guns.
Aug 17th
Quiet day. At night enemy fired trench mortar into P1. Total casualties caused [illegible] 1 killed & 3 wounded.
Aug 18th
The Enemy appear to be Bavarian, a Bavarian & German flag was stuck up in enemy’s parapet last night and our bombers threw 12 bombs into a working party in enemy’s parapet last night. A signaler was killed in P3 from looking over the parapet. The men are inclined to do this at present.
Aug 19th
150 shells from light field gun (“whizz bang”) fired at P4. All missed parapet and went well over. Very noticeable how Germans seem to fire large number of shells at exactly the same spot without correcting. They put about 30 H.E.[3] Shells from Howitzer today in almost exactly the same spot midway between our first and second line.
Aug 20th
Should be mentioned 8th S. Staffords are on our left and 52nd Brigade on our right. Our Howitzers did some good shooting today and put about 30 shells into Enemy’s front and 2nd line trenches.
Aug 21st & 22nd
Very quiet days and nights, nothing worthy of note has occurred. [? - Array] [? - given] to [?] rations, water & trench stoves working well. Water is carried in petrol tins and each man gets about 1 ½ pints per diem[4] for all purposes. Rations are carried in pairs of sand bags, 12 men’s rations in each pair of bags.
Aug 23rd
Reports received that our parades has been hit several times by shots coming from the rear, probably 52nd Brigade snipers aiming at wrong mark. Quiet day!
Aug 24th
Quiet day and nothing to report.
Aug 15th
Enemy artillery searching for our batteries in rear, apparently without success. Only casual sniping from Enemy’s trenches. No activity of note.
Aug 28th
Bn relived by 10th West Yorks. Relief [illegible] successfully completed without casualty by 11.30pm. Bn marched back to billets at RENINGHELST.
Aug 27th – 29th
Aug 30th
Bn is to be lent to 3rd Division and proceed to SANCTUARY WOOD Nr HOOGE tomorrow night.
Aug 31st
Marched to KRUISTRAAT where met guides and took over A12. B1. B2. R4. R5. Trenches from 1st Lincolns.
Summary of BATTLE CASUALTIES for July & August see Appendix 2.

Appendix 1

Nominal roll of Officers and strength of Battalion on landing in FRANCE.
Lieut-Col. R.L. Norrington C.O.
Major W.R. Foran 2nd in Command
Major R.S. Irwin
Capt. C.G. Page Adjutant
Hon. Lieut. S. Ashby Quarter-Master
Capt. Q.V.B. Wallace (RAMC) [5] M.O.[6]
Lieut. D.F.K. Webster Machine Gun Offr.
2nd Lieut. A.G. Rigby Signalling Offr.
Capt. & Rev. L.G. Mannering Chaplain
Capt. J.H. Grogan B’de. Transpt. Offr.
Capt. J.H. Bowe
Capt. L.A. Newton
Capt. A.P. Nasmith
Capt. J.W. Tailford
Capt. W.F. Richardson
Capt. T.L. Crosse
Lieut. M. MacDonald
Lieut. J.A. Stirling
Lieut. D.J.G. Dixon
Lieut. A. Gordon
Lieut. R.M.B. Welsh
Lieut. H.C. MacMichael
Lieut. F.R.H. Morgan
2nd Lieut. L. Birch
2nd Lieut. C.H.M. Whiteside
2nd Lieut. J.C. White
2nd Lieut. J.M. Lee
2nd Lieut. J.P. Edgar
2nd Lieut. T.D. Noble
2nd Lieut. T.M. Swan
Number of other ranks = 932

Appendix 2

Regl. No.[7] Rank & Name. Date. Details.
12345 Pte. Brown C. 30.7.15
14921 Pte. Butler H.H. 4.8.15.
16166 Pte. Barnsley A. 31.7.15.
5404 L/Cpl Cameron J. 24.8.15.
13140 Pte. Cameron R. 18.8.15
14962 Pte. Hunter E.W. 23.8.15 Died of Wounds
18421 Pte. House. R. 26.8.15
12856 Pte. Walker J.D. 26.8.15 Died of Wounds
Regl. No. Rank & Name. Date. Details.
7/14842 Pte. Moss C. 6.8.15
7/12624 Pte. Allen T. 20.8.15 Accidentally Wounded
7/12868 Pte. Carr R. 26.8.15 Accidentally Wounded
7/14580 Pte. Buckham T. 19.8.15
7/20090 Pte. Bunting F. 27.8.15
7/12867 Pte. Colling A. 13.8.15
7/16545 Pte. Crooks F.C. 17.8.15
7/18454 Pte. Collins A. 19.8.15
7/14634 Pte. Davis C. 19.8.15
7/12617 Pte. Ellison J. 21.8.15
7/12637 Pte. Green F.A. 4.8.15 Accidentally Wounded
7/12682 Pte. Havelock R. 22.8.15
7/16552 Pte. Leach W.H. 17.8.15
7/12167 Pte. McCarth R. 20.8.15
7/17742 Pte. McCluskey M. 22.8.15
7/20102 Pte. Scott A. 31.7.15
7/12429 Pte. Sawyer S.J. 26.8.15

Appendix 3


References / notes

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/2008
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.
  1. Northumberland Fusiliers.
  2. Communication Trench.
  3. High Explosive.
  4. Per Diem is Latin meaning 'per day' or 'for each day'.
  5. Royal Army Medical Corps.
  6. Medical Officer.
  7. Please note that the Regimental prefix No. not scanned on copy.
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