8th Battalion War Diary, May 1916
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| 8th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)|
The National Archives WO/95/2251
|Place||Date||Hour||Summary of Events|
|TRENCHES||1st||During the day & night the Battalion provided necessary working parties & carrying parties for construction of Southern line & repairs of C.T.s.|
|2nd||Col. Bond returned to Battalion from the Divisional school at Buneville. The Battalion provided necessary fatigue parties for repairing CTs & building the Southern line.|
|3rd||During the day the Battalion provided fatigue parties as before and in the evening relieved the XI Cheshires in the trenches of the left sector of the Brigade front. A, B & D in firing line & C Coy in reserve. B Coy had little bombing on their Y Post. Bombing accident in D Coy lines.|
|4th||Battalion trenches. A start was made in the new Doublement line behind the front line. General repair & upkeep of trenches also engaged attention.|
|5th||3am||Enemy put up 3 mines simultaneously, 1 opposite right of 064 & 2 in front of 063. They had the effect of extending the old craters (063.1 &064.1) & much of our lip subsided. No enemy attack was made, nor were any of our works damaged. We suffered no casualties. There was no Artillery fire – Rifles & machine guns together with bombs being employed where necessary. During the day the Battalion was employed on general repair work & in strengthening & consolidation our listening posts. The new Doublement line was progressed with during the night.|
|6th||Nothing of importance occurred except in Y post where there was an occasional bombing duel. The old De la [Fonch?] trench leading from crater 063/1 was opened up as far as Doublement which latter trench was also progressed with during the night. Wiring the intervals of old 0/63 was begun.|
|7th||The Day was quiet with a little bombing at night especially in Y post work on the Southern was proceeded with & the Doublement was extended behind 065.|
|8th||In retaliation for some medium mortar bombs & some Stokes mortar bombs which we put over, the enemy [crumped?] the Southern line. No damage was done. Towards evening, by means of bomb & rifle grenades B Coy blew in an enemy post on the Eastern lip of crater 064/2.|
|9th||The day passed quietly except towards evening, when there was considerable Artillery activity. For blowing in his post yesterday the enemy retaliated by bombing our Y Post. We had one casualty. The Battalion was relieved by the XI Cheshire Regt. at night & reached the huts at ECOIVRES without incident.|
|ECOIVRES||10th to 15th||In billets.|
|16th||The battalion went into the front line trenches relieving the XI Cheshires. The S. Lancs on our right and the 1st Wilts on our left.|
|17th||The usual repairs and improvements were made. Quiet day.|
|18th||Considerable shelling by the enemy also they were throwing over more bombs & grenades than usual. We had 2 killed & 12 wounded.|
|19th||The enemy again active. We had 1 man wounded & Lt. Hinksman wounded.|
|20th||The Battalion went into Brigade Reserve at Neuville St. Vaast being relieved by XI Cheshires. The relief was carried out during the afternoon. No casualties.|
|NEUVILLE ST. VAAST||21st||The enemy shelled the village intermittently throughout the day and dropped "Tear Shells" those being the first the battalion had experienced. No casualties. The usual fatigues were furnished.|
|22nd||The enemy again shelled the village with Tear Shells otherwise the day was quiet.|
|23rd||About 20 large shells were fired into the village. No damage was done & no casualties.|
|24th||The Battalion relieved the XI Cheshires in the front line trenches. 2nd Batt S. Lancs on our right 1st Batt Wiltshires on our left.|
|25th||The enemy shelled our front line & support trenches during the morning. We had two men wounded.|
|TRENCHES||26th||The usual shelling took place, but little damage done. 2 Lieuts [Alday?] & Brown slightly wounded by a bomb also two privates.|
|27th||A quiet day no casualties.|
|28th||Our front line & support line trenches were subjected to Artillery fire and mortars for the greater part of the day, our casualties, 1 man of A Coy wounded, 6 wounded & 2 killed in B Coy and 1 wounded in D coy.|
|29th||A fairly quiet day. The Battalion was employed in opening up & strengthening new trenches especially on our let. We had two men of B Coy wounded by a bomb.|
|30th||The enemy blew a mine in front of our centre coy (B) a platoon was sent forward and immediately occupied & consolidated the rear lip of the crater. The only casualty was one man of A who died later. No damage was done.|
|31st||A quiet day on thewhole. We had one man L/Corp Wright of B Coy slightly wounded. We were relieved during the night by 1/5 Seaforth Highlanders. The Battn matched to ACQ where they went into billets till the following day.
P. Strachan, Major
Comdg 8th Border Regiment
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.
- According to the CWGC, no other 8th Battalion casualties around this date: Robert McLaughlin, (8/15756 Pte.) Date of Death: 08/05/1916; aged 20. Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-St. Eloi. Son of Catherine McLaughlin, of 38, Strand St., Whitehaven, Cumberland.
- Casualties both buried at Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-St. Eloi: Walter Elson (8/15130 Pte.) aged 22. "C" Coy. 8th Bn. Son of Thomas and Martha Ann Elson, of Kendal, Westmorland. Also, Francis William Snaith (8/14345 Pte.) aged 25. Son of Mrs. and the late Mr. Snaith, of 3, Dockray Hall Cottages, Kendal. Wife Nellie Snaith, of Mill Fold, Crook, nr. Kendal. Plumber/ painter apprentice in 1911 census. Mother Mary A. Snaith ran a bakery and sweet shop at Dockray Cottage home. Other children include Ann and Violet.
- Deaths from CWGC: R. Skinner (14662 Pte.), Etaples Military Cemetery; Herbert Howard (8/21354 Pte.) Age 31. Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-St. Eloi. Son of the late William and Sarah Maria Howard. Born at Barmer, Fakenham, Norfolk.
- John Henry Lickbarrow (14519 Pte.). Date of Death: 31/05/1916, aged 25. Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension. Son of Henry and Margaret Lickbarrow. A farm servant. Born Rowrah, Cumberland in 1891. Brother of Mary and Jane. On Holme Village War Memorial and Allhallows Church, Fellside, Kendal.
- Possibly: Leonard Wright (12209 L/Cpl.). Died 05/07/1916 aged 23. Thiepval Memorial. Son of the late Henry and Adelaide Wright of 13, Chapel St., Middleton St. George, Darlington. Or: C. Wright (12255 Cpl.). Died 21/10/1916. Stump Road Cemetery, Grandcourt.