7th Battalion War Diary, November 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
Place Date Hour Summary of Events
1st to 9th Nov
Bn in billets at OUDERDON. Billet consist of huts for men and tents for officers. Huts leaked badly and became practically uninhabitable. After some days work RE working party covered huts. Ground in a very bad condition and practically impossible to drain. Very bad accommodation for Officers. Great difficulty in obtaining timber for making “duck-walks”.
In Billets. 51st Bde take over line occupied by 16th Bde namely Trenches C7 (exclusive) to A2 inclusive. 8th South Staffordshire and 7th Lincolnshire in firing line, 10th Sherwood Foresters in Ypes Ramparts. 7th Border Regt in Bde Reserves in billets as above.
In Billets.
In Billets. Wire received at 3.15AM stating vague rumour that enemy might attack. Btn would have been able to march out in one hour from receipt of message and has marched out having had breakfast in 1 ½ hrs – Much rain.
In Billets. Much Rain.
13th to 17th
In Billets.
Battn relieved 8th South Staffords and took over “Front line” H20, S20, S21, A1, A2. “Supports” Cambridge Rd, W2, R3, S22. “Reserves” F14. Battn Headquarters I10d 8/4. Sheet 28.
Rly[1] Trenches
Battn marched out of billets by Companies with intervals of half and hour. Companies took cookers and had tea en route. Men Served out with Gum boots at MENIN GATE. YPRES. Relief complete at 9.30PM. Night Quiet. Rain all day till 4PM.
Day quiet. Frosty. Condition of trenches bad. No duckwalks in place, water anything from 3 inches to 2ft 6ins at such points. This is a gap between right of A1 and left of H20 with no firing line but old trenches with M.G. and bombing posts. The ground there is very bad and nearly impassable. Communication trench in very bad state, waste deep in water and mud up to support line. Impossible to approach A1 and A2 by day. Rations are sent up on railway on [? - tracks or trucks]. At 9.30 PM enemy put up mine on the railway at I11b 9/9 50 yds short of our parapet. This not followed by any firing. New crater wired. Rest of night quiet.
Enemy quiet except for shelling of Menin Rd. Enemy has ‘Whizzbang” guns trained on certain points of MENIN Rd and fire at any party observed going along road.
Day very quiet. Enemy’s old crater trench mortared in afternoon, large frames of timber seen flying. Rifle grenades fired in evening stopping working party of enemy. Night quiet.
Frost and thick fog. 7.30 AM outbreak of fairly heavy rapid fire on right of Brigade – it did not spread to our Brigade. In afternoon our trench-mortared enemy’s old crater again. The enemy retaliated with aerial torpedoes on Cambridge Rd. Night exceedingly quiet.
Morning quiet. In afternoon, in reply to our attempt to cut wire around enemy’s old crater with trench mortars and fire on enemy trenches & supports by our artillery, enemy shelled and aerial torpedoed our front line & supports. A good deal of damage was done to front line. It was intended to raid the crater and find out what work was going on there. Wire was not cut because the trench mortar broke down. Raid did not take place. Artillery on both sides ceased at 5pm. Later some bombing in craters by both sides.
We exploded small mine to cut enemy’s cross shafts. Bttn relieved by 8th South Staffordshires Regt. Relief completed 8.5PM no casualties. Bttn went into Bde Support in YPRES Ramparts. Headquarters and 2 companies in Ramparts – One company in cellars at Hospit Notre Dame. One company in cellars of Town School buildings. Two latter companies had their cookers up from billets. Cellars left in very dirty condition by last Bttn.
In Ypres.
Transport sent up in daylight arriving at Ramparts about 4.15PM. Night working party numbering in all 370 men under RE constructing breastwork behind line and improving communication trenches.
Working parties as above.
Working parties as above.
Machine Gunners, Bttn Bombers and 12 Signallers and one officer per Company proceed to some trenches as above on page(1) of this month. To take over from 8th South Staffordshire Regt.
Battn relieved 8th South Staffordshire Regt. Companies passed MENIN GATE at quarter hour intervals beginning 4.45PM when just getting dark. Guides met on ROULERS Rly. Relief completed by 7.55PM. Major Irwin in command. C.O.’s and 2nd in Command by Div. Generals orders has not to be both in the trenches at the same time. 9.10 PM and 9.50 PM Enemy swept ground in area F13, MENIN Rd and Batn Headquarters for 15 mins with Whizzbangs. We retaliated with a few salvos each time. Rest of night quiet.

Appendix I

Battle Casualties for Month of November 1915
Killed in Action
Regtl No.
Rank & Name
D 10/17864. Pte. J. Peak. Killed in Action 20.11.15
A 7/12848. A/Cpl. Thompson. R. do. 22.11.15
C 7/18406. Pte. P. Crack. do. 24.11.15
B 7/14618. Pte. J. Leach. do. 29.11.15
B 7/14606 Pte. Gounary. J. Wounded 7.11.17
C 7/18399 Pte. Barron. R. do. 19.11.15
C 10/11929 Pte. Craig. R. do. do.
D 7/20088 Pte. Iddon W.[2] do. 20.11.15
C 10/12018 Pte. Sharp. H. do. do
D 7/18383 Pte. Carter. W. do. 22.11.15
B 7/18390 Pte. Atkinson. A. do. 23.11.15
C 10/15912 Cpl. Whittle. C. do. do.
D 7/12675 Pte. Wilsen. W.B. do. do.
C 7/19929 Pte. Elsen. S. do. 24.11.15
C 10/19240 Pte. Brown. J. do. do
D 7/18405 Pte. Procter. T. do. do
A 7.17251 Pte. Bennett. do. 24.11.15.
A 7/12813 Pte. Langwerthy. R. do. 22.11.15
B 7/18436 Pte. Millar. T. do. 24.11.15
B 7/18396 Pte. Black. W do. 29.11.15
A 7.12829 Cpl. Nicholson. J. do. do.
Wounded Accidentally
C 10/16674 L/Cpl. Ogden. A. (Slightly) 21.11.15
Died of Wounds
Admitted to Hospital during November
92 Other Ranks
Evacuated Sick during November

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. Most likely the abbreviation meaning Railway.
  2. Private W. Iddon landed in France on the 24th July 1915 and was discharged 16th Aug 1918. He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and the Silver War Badge.
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