8th Battalion War Diary, March 1917

    8th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)
The National Archives WO/95/2251    
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Date Hour Summary of Events
EECKE 1st Companies continued training under new organisation. In afternoon officers classes of instruction for junior officers in Lewis Gun, also for NCOs & men in Lewis Guns, Bombing & Signalling & Stretcher Bearing.
2nd Two Coys fired on [Berthune?] Musketry Range. Coy training in morning - Bn route march via FLETRE, THIEUSHOOK in afternoon – cold & misty weather.
3rd Coy drill & training of specialist Lewis Gunners etc. in morning – Demonstrations of Smoke Bombs & Gas attack in afternoon. B Coy passed through Barrage of Smoke & Gas & 4th Coy on morning of 4th. Lecture by CO to Officers & NCOs on Advance Guards.
4th Church Parade & Recreational training – Also inter platoon football matches begun. OC of a 2nd in Com [acting second in command?] & Adj on staff ride. OC corps rode in afternoon to reconnoiter ground for next days practice attack.
5th Owing to high wind &much snow Attack Scheme postponed – Bn route march via STEENVORDE & practice of small attack.
EBBLINGHEM 6th Bn moved to EDDLINGHEM & billeted there for the night – 11 miles.
NORTBECOURT 7th Bn marched to NORTBECOURT – 16 miles, where billets had been arranged – Transport - with personnel billeted at LA WATTINE.
8th Day spent cleaning up – inspections of feet & kits.
9th Firing on range of 2nd Army Musketry School – abandoned owing to snow & high wind - coy training in billets - lecture to offices by Capt. Wilkinson on [Interior?] Economy.
10th Bn fired on musketry range "B" – 32 targets – firing practice 13, 14,& 19, the same as musketry school as the other 32 targets – Coys not firing–under Coy arrangements on miniature range – PT & BF Army Comdr inspected firing – afterwards G.O.C. also who criticised firing behind cover as wasted time.
11th Lecture to officers & NCOs by MO on first Aid – Voluntary Church Service in afternoon – Battn under Coy arrangements in billets – Football match between Bn & 2nd Army School – Score Border 8 – A.S. - O. CO on ride with 75Bde having left afternoon of 10th.
12th Bn fired on musketry Range – 14, 15, 16, & 17 practices. 80 men of B Coy to baths at HOULLE - (Musketry School baths)
13th Bn route march via LA WATTINE – MORINGHEM – INGLINGDEM thence practice attack on windmill at CHISLINGHEM returning 3pm. 40 [moun? – mountain?] battery at HOUILLE - weather rain & misty in morning afterward warm & sunny.
14th Btn fired on Musketry Range practiced 20, 21, 22, 23. Morning wet & windy – clear till 4 then dull. G) Bde visited billets.
15th Bn under Coy arrangements – night marching for companies for Officers - weathervery fine. Football with RFC postponed.
16th Bn fired on Musketry Range practice 23, 24 & 25 the 2 latter being shot at 200yds with Box Respirators.
17th Bn drill 9-10.15am afterwards Coy arrangements. Usual LG classes – cross country race 8th Border v musketry school (15 men per team) 8th Borders won 15 men out of first 17 home. Weather very fine – strong wind.
18th Church Parade. Staff ride from ACQUIN for Co 2 in C & Adj. Afternoon Musketry Field Practice – Day fine.
19th Coy training. In afternoon – preparation for marching off next day – football matches against musketry school detachment, Borders won 3 goals to 1 Boxing tournament in Evening. Col Bond to hospital with Rubella (German Measles).
ACQUIN 20th March to ACQUIN – Afternoon high wind & sleet.
EBBLINGHEM 21st March to Ebblinghem - cold & sleet.
BORRE 22nd March to BORRE – Inspected on march by Lt Gen GODLEY 2nd ANZAC Corps – cold & slight snow.
23rd Inspection & Coy training.
24th March to OUTTERSTEENE.
25th Church Parade in morning – LG & Bombing classes in afternoon.
26th Coy training & classes in L. Guns, Bombing etc. Offices classes & lecture by LG officer to officers & NCOS.
OUTTERSTEENE 27th Bn inspected by Gen Sir H. Plumer 2nd Army Commander Coy training & specialist classes – lecture by Capt Dawson on Reconnaissance. Day fine.
28th Coy training lecture by Bombing Officer & lecture to men by MO Usual classes – Showery. CAPT COXON reported – Brigade scheme for Adjt, Coy Commanders, Signal Officer & Bn signallers.
29th Coy training. Lecture by TMB [trench mortar battery] officer – 1st round of football match AVC coy for Brigade Cup. (A Coy won 5 -0) Bayonet instruction by Bde Staff Sgt. Col Bond returned.
30th Route march via FLETRE to 1 kilometre S of GODWAERSVAELDE. A coy beat Brigade 5-0 , 3-0, tie I Goal each.
31st Coy practice attack over flagged course at DUTTERSTEENE. B Coy beat D 3-1.
[Signed] T.S. Wilkinson, Major
8th Border Regt.

References / notes

  • 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.
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