8th Battalion War Diary, October 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
CITE CALLONE 1st Weather excellent. Usual working parties (2 coys 100 men each 7pm, 2 coys 100 men 7am) Casualties 2 killed,[1] 5 wounded.
2nd Weather continued very fine. Usual working parties supplied – Aeroplane activity–nil.
3rd Fine - Btn moved out into NOUEX-LES-MINES – working parties supplied during day.
4th Day spent cleaning up & resting – Cold & windy.
CUINCHY support 5th Bn left at 4pm to march to Le Preol – on arriving at BOURY guides informed CO the Bn was to go into trenches CUINCHY sector in Bde support. A coy in front line. B, C & D supports. Day cold - no activity.
6th Wet & cold.
7th Morning fine – Afternoon wet – G.O.C. Bde also [Col. Legge?] GOC discussed readjustment of Bn – arrangement taking out two coys in front line – this to be filled by another Bn (2nd S.L.)
8th Fine Col. Maxwell (2nd S. L.) discussed with CO – taking over sector occupied by A Coy 8th Borders – Arranged to move with effect tomorrow 9th.
9th Wet in morning - GOC & Brigadier round front line in morning - A Coy relieved by A coy 2nd S. Lancs – Quiet. 2nd Comd – 2 S. Lancs staying at Bn HQrs.
10th Wet in morning – Fine afternoon – Major MOTT 2nd Comd – 2 S. Lans shown round line taken over by his Bn from A Coy – quiet.
11th Wet. Major Denny - 19th Hussars attached to Bn. - 4 Officers Lts Dowdell,[2] Gibson, Watts, Conley - reported for duty & posted – Quiet.
LA BASSEE 12th Wet. Bn was relieved by 2nd S. Lancs & took over right sector of Brigade front from 11th Cheshires. Relief complete 2am 13th.
13th Wet. Line reconnoitred for organising working parties - day quiet.
LA BASSEE 14th Fine in morning- Wet in afternoon. News received of death of Sgt Cuthbertson[3] whilst on a course at Merville. Quiet. A coy supplied working parties 15 to B, 15 to C, 10 to D Coy.
15th Fine – usual working parties supplied by A Coy – word received of death of Lt Davidson[4] found shot while on a course at [illegible]. Quiet at night.
16th Fine - Slight Enemy activity – Retaliation by our Stokes. Enemy registered on his own line. Our wiring party & reconnoitring patrol prevented by MG fire on R sector.
17th Slight enemy activity – fine – Enemy aeroplane active.
18th Our artillery bombarded enemy front & support trench – Enemy retaliated – Bn relieved by 11th Cheshires & moved into reserve at Le Preol.
LE PREOL 19th Cleaning up & baths.
20th Baths. Working parties carrying Stokes bombs to trenches. Inter platoon football.
21st REGINA DAY[5] (21.10.16) Church Parade. P[??] concert by [local?] troupe followed by History of Border Regiment by Capt. Stewart, MC – working parties supplied.
22nd Demonstration of wiring by B coy – coy training – inter platoon football in afternoon. Unsettled weather – Sgts dinner. Lt Col Birt went on leave.
23rd Lecture by Major Wilkinson on Trench discipline – Demonstration of sandbagging by Acoy. Wiring parties practised new GHQ method of Apron wire – coy training. Unsettled weather.
Trenches CANAL sector – LA BASSEE 24th Batt relieved 11th Cheshires in front line trenches relief completed by 10am. B, A, D, Companies in front line C Coy in support. Considerable enemy activity during morning. Morning fine turned wet in afternoon.
25th Fine morning but wet afternoon. Wire cutting shots by our artillery and trench mortars from 11.05 to 12.05. Gas sent over to enemy’s support line from projectors and Stokes mortars at 8.30pm – patrols reported little damage done to enemy wire on Batt front.
26th A wet day - poor visibility – very quiet – usual working parties.
27th Fine day - some enemy artillery and aeroplane activity.
28th Fine day – our front very quiet – some trench mortar & artillery activity N of canal.
29th Fine cold day. Artillery activity on both sides above normal – moon too bright for night patrols.
In support PONT FIXE 30th Some rain. Battn moved into support, being relieved by 11th Cheshire – relief completed 12.10pm. B coy Maryleborne Line (support to 11th Cheshire). A Coy Gunner siding and Hun View. D Coy Keeps. C Coy Pont-Fixe.
31st Very fine day. Considerable artillery activity. Much aerial work on both sides. One British aeroplane brought down on fire behind enemy line near canal. Kite balloon brought down near GIVENCHY in flames by enemy planes. Gas alarm sounded about 5.45pm
[Signed] F.S. Wilkinson Major

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 two men were killed:
    • J. Walsh (23786 Pte.) 01/10/1917. Buried at Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery, British Extension.
    • H. Cohen (34137 Pte.) 01/10/1917. Age: 26. Buried at Loos British Cemetery.
  2. 2nd Lieut. Ernest George Dowdell, MC, killed at Vaux Wood - 22.3.18. Commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
  3. John Wilson Cuthbertson (13190 L/Sgt.) attd. XI Corps School. Age 30. Buried at Merville Communal Cemetery Extension. Also commemorated on Lamplugh Memorial.
  4. Lieut. John Davidson. Age 32. Buried at Neufchatel churchyard. Son of the late William and Annabella Davidson of Colmonell, Ayrshire. M.A. (Hons.) Edinburgh.
  5. Possibly a celebration of the attack on Regina trench a year earlier, similar to "Arroyo Day".