8th Battalion War Diary, October 1915

    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
LEBIZET 1st One platoon from A, B,and C Co. proceeded to the trenches that night relieving D Co.
2nd 8am Another platoon from A, B, and C Co. relieved those already in the trenches at 6.30pm. One lance Corp of [B W?] notes shot returning from a listening post on the night of the 1st.
3rd 8am Orders received to get into the trenches that night, billets soon vacated, and transport [removed?] all baggage. Left for trench at 6.20am, marching by platoon. The entire handing over was completed by 9pm, and 48th Canadians vacated trenches.
Right on the section of trenches
4th 8pm A good deal of firing at night by the Germans. Casualties one man killed about 6.30AM. One slightly wounded by shellfire. Repairing of parapet being done and revetting in communication trench, which was damaged by [ourt?]. artillery observation post found out by enemy.
5th 8am Much less firing but a good deal of sniping on the German side who seem very active at daylight and in the afternoon. Two Germans were seen, one wearing black spiked helmet, the other soft round dark blue cap. Work continued in repairing parapets, and strengthening trenches. Latrines inspected & cleaned. Three or four shells came into A Co‘s trenches, and [c?nv?t – convent?] again shelled.
6th 8pm A noisy night and a good deal of sniping. Two machine guns opposite C Co. on our left were very active. The [Co Comp] informed artillery, and with 3 or 4 rounds the machine guns were completely silenced, the range being perfect, and the machines guns are believed to be knocked out, as observed from the trenches. Very little firing from our lines, silence being maintained. Repairs to trenches carried out all day under supervision of RE officer.
7th 8pm A good deal of sniping at night. Repair to trenches continues under RE officer’s supervision.
8th 8pm A quieter night our snipers believed to have accounted for two of the enemy, one sniper and one man at work. Repairs go on as usual.
9th 8pm A quiet night. Relief completed by 8pm, and our Co’s occupy the farm where the X Cheshire were in billets
PLOEGSTREET 10th 8pm General cleaning up of billet.
11th 8pm Physical drill in morning. Short route march. B Co. Furnished fatigue in second line trenches.
12th 8pm Physical drill. Route marching. Improving trenches near billets.Baths commenced.
13th 8pm D Co. furnished fatigue at 1.30pm all second line trenches manned till 7.30pm, [which?] guns bombarded enemy’s trenches. 20 casualties.
14th 8pm Drills as usual, and fatigue party Church of England service carried out in W’s quarters in rotation.
15th 8pm Relieved X Cheshires in the trenches. Relief completed by 7pm and trenches handed over.
16th 8pm A quiet night. Some shelling in afternoon in reply to our guns,three shells dropped close to our communication trench and some other[near?] Lancashire support [???] [No?] damage done. A clear night.
17th 8pm Enemy in action at night they turned a machine gun on to our communication trench and tram line. It is evidently well marked but they just missed the ration party on the way up.
18th 8pm The Germans shelled a good deal today, both in the morning and afternoon, and inflicted some casualties amongst [??nking] parties especially at Le Touquet [Borthe?]. One casualty amongst the patrol party in front of our lines at night. Pte Willan shot thro’ the arm.
19th 8pm A little more firing at night, the enemy shelled the trenches a little in the morning, and two casualties from shrapnel. L C[Bownes?] seriously wounded in lung, and L C Bell wounded both of C Co. All work proceeding under direction of RE officer as usual.
20th 8pm A noisy night much more firing on German side, apparently due to new reliefs. Capt McCulloch severely wounded in the leg. [putting?] up[soon?] about 5AM. Another casualty in B W the same night. A quiet day, and work proceeded as usual. Hope [???] have located a German battery which has been shelling our trenches and informed the artillery.
21st 8pm A quiet night. Heard of Capt McCulloch’s death at No 2clearing station from collapse. Relief was completed by 5pm and[stores?] and trenches handed over to X Cheshires.
PLOEGSTREET 22nd 8pm General cleaning up.
23rd 8pm A & B Co’s on fatigues. C Coy sent to baths. A memorial service held for Capt McCulloch for officers & C Coy at 5pm.
24th 8pm C & D Co on fatigues. Divine service for A & B Co’s.
25th 8pm Relieved X Cheshires in the trenches. C Coy [???] [dig?] and part of communication trench between 1875 [ posn?- position?] and Batt HQ impassable owing to walls fallen in. Relief completed at 4.30 and trench handed over.
TRENCHES 26th 8pm A fine day, and several aeroplanes. One man slightly wounded by shrapnel from anti aircraft gun and another by a German shell. A quiet day repairs carried on all day.
27th 8pm A quiet day. Two officers and 65 men went to attend the review at Bailleul. Work proceeded as usual. Communication trench between [Lavina?] [posn? / farm? – very poor copperplate writing of four letter word] and 1875 [posn?] still impassable. And from [ Lavinaposn/farm?] to Lancashire support [posn?] only kept open by pumping.
28th 8pm A very quiet night, and most day. Trench work to be done owing to walls falling in when not revetted.
29th 8pm A quiet night. Communication trench again blocked in places by water, and walls falling in Howitizers fired over our D Co this morning on earthworks. One man S.W. Borderers killed & 5 men of D Co. wounded by shell dropping in cookhouse of D Co. Relief carried out in afternoon by 2nd S. Lancs Regt. Relief completed by 5pm and trenches handed over.
PLOEGSTEERT 30th Men resting after tour in trenches. The shell which wounded the men in the cookhouse yesterday appears to have been fired by the German from a Captured French gun from a pt. N. of Messines. This is the conclusion arrived at by Brig 2 [Battle CRA].
31st B Company were away nearly all day working with the engineers,improving communication trenches. D company proceeded to Ploegsteert Wood to gather fire wood. The remaining two companies improved trenches at the own billets.

[H?] Brander Col.
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.
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