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8th Battalion War Diary, May 1917

From the Lonsdale Battalion wiki
    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
OUTTERSTEENE 1st Col Bond arrived from leave also Capt Turner RANC – 2nd Lieut Drew (4th Border) reported for duty - Brigade Conference 10am - 1 officer platoon HQrs & 1 section Riflemen reported to Brigade platoon – Coy training. Day very fine & warm.
2nd Coy training – Bde signalling scheme in afternoon – attended by OC’s & sig officers – also Border signallers – Beautiful Day.
3rd     do. [ditto Coy training] – XI Cheshire v 8 S. Lancs - draw 1 goal each – conference for OC coys & CSM – to draw up Btn Sports Programme.
4th     do. [ditto Coy training] – Coys visited by Brigadier & WA QMG & expert from Army S of Cookery – Coy Bombing contest B v C, B won. Field arranged for sports.
5th     do. [ditto Coy training] - Btn Sports in afternoon & Cross Country Race. 11 Cheshire 1st, 8 Border 2nd.Open Air Concert at night. Day fine - wet at night. Iron rations turned over.
6th Church Parade in barnat HQrs. Day fine. OC Coys reconnoitred ground for practice attack tomorrow. Fine.
7th Half Brigade Practice Attack over Mont Lille training grounds afternoon officers reconnoitred ground for night compass march. Day fine.
8th Half Brigade Practice Attack postponed – coys attack over same area. Officers night compass march. Day Cloudy & wet in morning – fine later.
9th Coy training. 24 men paraded before A.D.M.S.
STEENT-JE 10th Coy training. Major Wilkinson, Company Cdrs, & Qr Mr [Quartermaster?] to Cookery School Hazebrouck for instruction. In afternoon Battalion moved to billets in Steent-Je area. Photos taken. Warm.
11th Coy training. Col Bond to Brigade & Major Wilkinson on leave. Fine & warm. Major Birch Commanding. Capt Smith to A coy.
12th Battalion to Mont de Lille training ground. Practice attack. C Coy 50 men Strazeele area working party. Warm.
13th C & D Coys away at 5am to Neuve Eglise – detached for several days working party. Church parade. Cricket match A versus B coy in afternoon – won by B coy 36 runs to 28. Capt Dawson to cookery school for day instruction. Thunderstorm.
14th A & B Coys to Mont De Lille training ground for company training & Firing exercises. Boxing contest evening. Cloudy & little rain in afternoon.
LA CRECHE 15th A & B Coys & Headquarters moved to billets & bivouac at La Creche. C & D remaining at Neuve Eglise. Cloudy & Cool.
16th A & B coys to Mont De Lille training ground for company training in Attack &firing exercises. 200 men to DE KENNEBAC sidings to unload munitions. Working all night. Cool Day. Very wet night.
17th Wet - only a few men available for training. Major Birt, Capts Coxon,[1] Lay, Stewart[2] & Dawson to view model enemy trenches at LOCRE. 200 men to DE KENNEBAC Siding. C & D at NEUVE EGLISE.
18th Wet only a few men available for training. C & D Coys still at Neuve Eglise.
19th A & B Coys provided working parties 200 men for unloading at DE KEENEBAC Siding. C & D at NEUVE EGLISE.
20th Fine. A & B Coys provided working parties 200 men for unloading at DE KEENEBAC. Church Parade at 10.30 am. CO & Major Birt to C & D Coy in afternoon. CO returned from Brigade.
21st Fine. C & D at NEUVE EGLISE, A & B resting & bathing. Officers & NCOs to MONT DE LILLE to watch attacks by 8 S. Lancs. Brigade Boxing Competitions in evening. L/C Shields beaten in 10 rd. contest by Pte. Newbiggin XI Cheshires.
22nd Close & muggy with little rain. C & D coys still at NEUVE EGLISE. A & B coys to MONT DE LILLE for practice attack in conjunction with XI Cheshire . Divisional Cdr present. Attack was done well. Coy training in morning.
23rd Cool. A & B Coys doing company training. LG sections firing on small range at STEENWERCK. C & D Coys at NEUVE EGLISE. Officers & NCOs to watch practice attack by 8th & 2nd S. Lancs on MONT LILLE in afternoon. Corps, Div, & Brigade Cdrs present. Capt W.O. LAY came down to HQ on way to take post as Staff Capt 70th Brigade. 200 men to DE KENNEBAC siding unloading munitions. Away all night.
24th Fine. C & D Coys returned from Neuve Eglise area, relieved by 2 coys 8 S. Lancs. Company training. 80 men A Coy to DE KENNEBAC Siding as working party at night.
25th Warm. Coy training in morning & D Coy to baths. In afternoon the Battalion did a practice attack on MONT DE LILLE training ground.
26th Battalion took part in Brigade exercise at MONT DE LILLE with XI Cheshire in morning. Working party of 80 men from B Coy to DE KENNEBAC Siding. Back 11pm. Nos 1, 2, 3 Lewis Gun teams on Range & Rifle Grenadiers on bombing pit. Warm. Bathing.
27th Very warm. East wind. Church Parade 9.30. Lewis Gun 1, 2, & 3 on Range & Rifle Grenadiers on Bombing pit. Bathing.
28th Very warm. A, B,C, & D Coys to MONT DE LILLE training area for attack under Brigade arrangements. Concert in evening – good. Major Birt & [Sjt? –Serjeant] Anderson up to see trenches.
RAVELSBURG 29th Cool & cloudy. Battalion marched to Ravelsburg in morning – tents & bivouacs. Cross country run – Borders beaten by XI Cheshire recreation in afternoon.
30th Warm. A & B Coys Company training – musketry & Bayonet – C & D coys supplied 200 men working party SOUVENIR FARM. Shell burst as C Coy were going down NEUVE EGLISE Road killing 4 & wounding 6 men.[3][4] Lewis Gun teams on range. Lt Col Bond (OC) received notice of his appointment to command of 51st Brigade.
31st Fine. A & B Coys on fatigues. C & D doing company training. Lewis Gun teams on Range. "B" teams of Battalion under Major Wilkinson left for Morbecque.
[Signed] C W H Birt, Major
O/C 8th Border Regt.

See also

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.
  1. Capt. Percy Hunter Coxon, killed 13/4/18 near Neuve-Eglise. Age 25. Son of Thomas and Mary Coxon of 8, Vernon Parade, Whitehall Rd., Gateshead. Gazetted Sept. 1914; wounded at Thiepval, July 1916. Buried Messine Ridge Cemetery.
  2. Capt John Ebenezar Stewart, MC, Killed 28/4/18 8th Border Regiment (attd. South Staffordshire Regiment). Son of William A. Stewart of 37, Kildovan St., Coatbridge, and the late Isabella Shaw Stewart. Commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
  3. Four men died 30/5/1917 all buried at Kandahar Farm: Edward Wray (241861 Pte.); William Porter (25718 Pte.); Matthew Irving (17321 Pte.) & John Bostock (33275 L/Sjt.)
  4. One of the wounded men could have been Robert Willock (1501131 L/Cpl.), of Castle Street, Kendal, Westmorland. Born 1890. Clerk. Parents George Harrison Willock & Isabel. Brother of Martha. Buried at Bailleul Cemetery.
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