8th Battalion War Diary, July 1917

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    8th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/2251    
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Place Date Hour Summary of Events
ERNY ST JULIEN 1st Threatening. Church parade on Bn Parade ground with 8 S. Lancs & Bde HQrs & 76FA. Football match on Battalion parade ground. 8th Borders v XI Cheshires. Won by Borders 5 goals to 1.
2nd Beautiful day. Battn (less LG teams) to LONG Range near BOMY for rifle shooting L.G. teams on miniature range at ERNY ST JULIEN.
3rd Warm. Battn doing individual training. LG teams on miniature range. CO Adjt & CoyCdrs to CUHEM for Brigade Staff Ride.
4th Very wet. Battn marched to CUHEM for Bde practice attack. Attack cancelled owing to rain. Returned to billets & carried on with individual training –musketry & Bayonet fighting.
5th Fine. Brigade practice attack from CUHEM – BOMY road. Battalion attacked thro ERNY ST JULIEN to the high ground North West of village. Attack repeated in afternoon. Ceremonial parade in front of church for presentation of medal ribbons by GOC Brigade & Guard mounting. Football Battn team played 77th F. Ambulance on our ground & won 3 goals to 1. LG teams on miniature range.
6th Beautiful Day. Battalion ceremonial parade in morning. Coys on Long Range afternoon. L.G. teams & classes on miniature range.
7th Fine. Bathing parties to BOMY morning. Battalion practiced attack in afternoon. LG teams on range & new draft at Bombing pits.
STEENBECQUE 8th Very wet overnight – Cloudy all day. Battalion moved in Buses & Lorries to STEENBECQUE (billets).
WINNIPEG CAMP 9th Cloudy & cold. Battalion moved in with rest of Brigade OUDERDOM area – in huts at WINNIPEG Camp (per Buses & Lorries).
OUDERDOM 10th Fine. Company parades in morning. Resting & cleaning up afternoon. Party of 502 all ranks under Capt COXON moved on in lorries at night to SWAN CHATEAU. New drafts paraded under RSM for drill. Capt Reade (8th S. Lancs) arrived to take over second in command temporarily.
11th Fine. Cleaning up. Drafts paraded under RSM & new LG classes (6 per coy) started under Lt Strong. Signallers paraded under 2 Lt [Dodd?].
12th Fine. Range finding class (2 per coy) started under 2/Lt Laycock. Work of other instructional classes continued. Working parties supplied from SWAN CHATEAU for road making & earth laying. Capt Stewart returned from leave.
WINNIPEG CAMP OUDERDOM 13th Fine Day rain during night. Fourteen of draft sent to SWAN CHATEAU to take place of men withdrawn to attend instructional classes. Work of parties during night hindered by hostile shelling. Casualties 7 killed[1] and 17 wounded.
14th Close during day. Thunderstorm at night. Work of instructional classes continued Scouts also taken by LT Laycock in range finding. Casualties from working party 1 killed[2] 7 wounded.
15th Fine. Church parade at WINNIPEG CAMP & SWAN CHATEAU. Men attending Lewis Gun classes returned to SWAN CHATEAU to strengthen working party (6 per coy).
16th Fine. Remainder of draft (totalling 33) and range finding class (8 men) returned to SWAN CHATEAU to strengthen working parties whose members were depleted owing to sickness caused by lacrymatory gas. Lt Duggan returned from base.
17th Fine. Trained signallers only available for instruction. Casualties among working party - 5 wounded.
18th Showery - During the evening demonstration given to all available men of use of Yukon Pack[3] Only one working party of 270 men required from today at SWAN CHATEAU. Remainder to be relieved by 8th South Lancs. 2/Lt H. MacTavish returned from rest camp. 2/Lt John Davidson,[4] 2/Lt James [Silva Kamislin?], 2/Lt Robert Smith.[5] These officers reported today from base and were taken on the strength of the Battn.
WINNIPEG CAMP OUDERDOM 19th Fine. Day spent by men returned from SWAN CHATEAU in cleaning equipment and ammunition. Men paraded for inspection at 3pm. 20 men returned to SWAN CHATEAU to make strength of working party there of 270, exclusion of Sergeants, stretcher bearers & duty men. Casualties on working parties 4 wounded.
20th Fine 33 men sent to reinforce detachment at SWAN CHATEAU. Deficiency caused by casualties & sickness. Classes of instruction continued. Working parties totalling 67 detailed from camp for work during night. Casualties nil.
21st Fine. Work of instructional classes continued. Working parties supplied as on previous day. This work was considerably interfered with through gas casualties. 2 killed 4 wounded, 24 gassed.[6]
22nd Fine, Church parades at WINNIPEG CAMP and SWAN CHATEAU. Working parties supplied from both the above places in night work (270 and 76 respectively). Remainder of Battalion moved out at 9.45 to RENINGHELST STAGING AREA A. Working parties on completion of tasks were conveyed by motor buses to the above camp.
RENINGHELST STAGING AREA A 23rd Fine – Day spent by men in cleaning equipment. Also kit inspection & reorganisation throughout Battalion.
24th Fine Programme of training as follows: 7am-7.30 Physical training. 9.15-9.45 Battalion Parade. 9.45- 12.30 Classes of instruction & coy training. 2 to 4pm classes of instruction and recreational training. A party of 50 men & 5 officers assembled at Brigade headquarters to hear an address given by Archbishop of York.
25th Fine. Physical training. 7am-7.30. Batt parade 9.15-9.45. 9.45-12.30 Special Instruction classes. Remainder musketry & bayonet fighting. The Brigade assembled at 2.15pm on 8th S. Lancs parade ground and were addressed by the Divisional general.
26th Fine. Physical training. 7am-7.30. Batt parade 9.15-9.45. Specialist classes 9.45-12.30. Lewis Gun Classes continued 2-4pm. During afternoon, inter Company football & tug of war competition.
27th Fine. Training programme continued. Battn football played 13th Cheshire in semi final Dival competition and lost 1-0. Lt [Glodd?] gave demonstration of use of Yukon Pack to Battns of 7th Brigade. No classes were held during afternoon.
29th Heavy thunderstorms during morning. Church parade at 11.30am. Men rested during remainder of day.
30th Showery. Battalion paraded during morning in fighting order for inspection. A draft of men joined the battalion at 6pm. 1 NCO & 55 men - At 2pm B team (including CSM) marched to OUDEZEELE. At 7.30pm – T team under Capt Reade marched to transport lines. The remainder of Battalion left camp at 9.30pm & marched to position of assembly SOUTH of BELGIAN CHATEAU.
BELGIAN CHATEAU 31st Fine. Battalion moved from Assembly Area at 7.40am to position of readiness. During the night we took over lines gained by the 2nd West Yorks. Regt - the 8th Division having attacked during the morning. Casualties 9 wounded including Lt King wounded at duty.
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See also[edit]

References / notes[edit]

  • National Archives Catalogue Reference: WO/95/2251
  • The transcription above is available under the National Archives Open Government Licence for public sector information.*War diary made available by M. Deacon and transcribed by P. Bramham.
  1. The following men were killed, all of which are buried at Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery:
    • Anthony Barnes (240552 Pte.) Age:27. Son of Margaret Barnes of Water St., Wigton, and the late Alexander Barnes; husband of Millicent Barnes of 75, Water St., Wigton, Cumberland.
    • Enoch Butterworth, Private. Age:25. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William James Butterworth, of 75A, Todmorden Rd., Bacup.
    • Thomas Capstick (25287 Pte.) Age:30. Son of James and Charlotte Capstick of 21, Walton St., Colne.
    • J. Clark (240689 Pte.) Age:21. Son of William and Elizabeth Clark of 5, South St., Fletchertown, Carlisle.
    • Herbert Newton (26666 Pte.) Age:33. Son of Samuel and Jane Newton of Roundthorn, Oldham; husband of Violet Newton of 31, Rochdale Rd., Oldham.
    • Harold Ogden (260119 Pte.) Age:19. Son of Bethel and Annie Ogden of 42, Cardinal St., Burnley.
    • Edgar Eagle Rogers (26864 Pte.) Age:36. Husband of Isabella Agnes Rogers of 28, Fleming St., Maryport.
  2. CWGC lists two casualties on this date, both buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery:
    • G. Dixon (12506 Pte.)
    • W. J. Tucker (33004 Cpl.) Age: 22. Son of Kentley Sidney and Mary Tucker of 5, Palalwyf Avenue, Pontyclun, Glam.
  3. A type of rucksack frame for carrying assortment of items.
  4. Lieut. John Davidson. Date of death: 15/10/1917. Age: 32. Buried at Neufchatel-Hardelot (Neufchatel) Churchyard. Son of the late William and Annabella Davidson of Colmonell, Ayrshire. M.A. (Hons.) Edinburgh,
  5. 2nd Lieut. Robert Smith. Date of death: 09/08/1917. Buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery.
  6. CWGC records no 8th Border Regiment deaths on 21 July – but listed instead on 22 July is: John Dupre (28471 Pte.) & Frank Berry (260137 Pte.) Age:22. Son of Richard Berry of Skirsgill, Penrith, Cumberland. Both men are commemorated on the Menin Gate.