8th Battalion War Diary, October 1917
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| 8th Border Regiment War Diary Transcriptions (1915-1918)|
The National Archives WO/95/2251
|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, 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, 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 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 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 (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
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.
- 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.
- 2nd Lieut. Ernest George Dowdell, MC, killed at Vaux Wood - 22.3.18. Commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
- John Wilson Cuthbertson (13190 L/Sgt.) attd. XI Corps School. Age 30. Buried at Merville Communal Cemetery Extension. Also commemorated on Lamplugh Memorial.
- Lieut. John Davidson. Age 32. Buried at Neufchatel churchyard. Son of the late William and Annabella Davidson of Colmonell, Ayrshire. M.A. (Hons.) Edinburgh.
- Possibly a celebration of the attack on Regina trench a year earlier, similar to "Arroyo Day".