1st Battalion War Diary – October 1914
In August 1914 the 1st Bn. was in Londonderry, Ireland. At the outbreak of War it became part of 15th Brigade, 5th Division. The War Diary was begun on the day War was declared, 4th August 1914, and is transposed below as written at the time by the C.O.
Key: Bde. = Brigade; Bn. = Battalion; Coy. = Company
…. Casualties for that day
Details of Entry
11.0 p.m. Remained in Billets. Company Parades, etc
Arrived in Jury at 1 a.m. having crossed by Pontoon Bridge and went into original billets.
7.0 p.m. Left for DROIZY where we went into Billets.
6.15 p.m. Marched to LONGPONT. Billeted at LA GRILLE Farm
7.15 p.m. Marched via COURCY to PONTDRUN
Remained in Billets. Major C B Vandeleur, 1st Battn. The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) joined the Battalion and assumed Command
2.40 p.m. Marched at 2.40 p.m. & reached billets in VERBERIE at 11 p.m.
5.30 a.m. Marched at 5.30 a.m. Reached PONT ST. MEXENCEAT 8.0 a.m. Commenced training with Hdqrs. Of Bde. & Hdqrs. No. 4. train at 9.0 a.m. and completed 10.30 a.m.
Train left at 12.40 p.m. and arrived ABBEVILLE about 8.30 p.m. Commenced to detrain at 10.30 completed 12.45 a.m. and marched to billets in NEUILLY-L’HOSPITAL arriving about 3.30 a.m.
6.30 p.m. Marched to BOUFFLERS and billeted about midnight.
4.40 p.m. Marched to HARAVESNES and billeted about 8 p.m.
2.0 p.m. Embussed at FILLIEVRES and proceeded at LA THIEULOYE to billet at 6.0 p.m. Light entrenching tools completed to 48 per Coy.
7.5 Marched to BETHUNE and went into billets about 8 p.m. 1 horse (absolutely necessary) requisitioned for 1200 francs at OURTON
7.30 A.m. Advanced guard as far as FESTUBERT where took up a position 3 Coys. in firing line, one in support. Battalion on outpost duty at night. Captain Butterworth missing, 1 N.C.O. 5 men wounded.
4.45 a.m. ‘A’ Coy made dawn attack on RUE D’OUVERT without success, casualties Major Vandeleur, 2nd Scottish Rifles, Major Young, Captain Harbord, D.S.O., Lieut. Harrington, 2nd Lieut Thomas, 55 N.C.O.s & men missing, 8 N.C.O.s & men wounded.
Took up position with remainder of Battalion on the FESTUBERT – LAQUINQUE Road and entrenched. Battalion on outpost duty at night – captured 2 Uhlans.
CAPTAIN SHORE took over command of the Battalion.
Remained in same position – 2 men wounded – Battalion on outpost duty at night – Enemy’s night attack repulsed.
Remained in same position – Enemy shelled position, especially machine guns, and ‘B’ Company’s trenches – 12 N.C.O.s & men wounded.
3.0 p.m. Battalion advanced in direction o RUE D’OUVERT, found village unoccupied. At 8 p.m. advanced to RUE DU MARAIS. ½ ‘A’ Company advanced along VIOLAINES ROAD & came into touch with enemy patrol. Enemy opened fire which was returned.
CAPTAIN MAHONY took over command of Battalion and brought up 2/Lieuts Napier, May, Woodhead, Carr, Anderson and 248 reinforcements.
FESTUBERT – RUE DU MARAIS – VOILAINES
12.30 a.m. ‘A’ Company returned to billets in RUE DU MARAIS 12.30 a.m. 3 platoons of ‘C’ Company under Captain Lloyd advanced along LORGIES ROAD to obtain touch with D.C.L.I. 400 yds down road met strong German Patrol. Enemy opened fire which was returned. Captain Lloyd with his men turned German patrol out of their trenches.
1.30 a.m. One Company (‘A’ Company) sent out in support to ‘C’ Company but could not obtain communication with them. Captain Lloyd (wounded) with 3 wounded men returned about 6 a.m. made an attack with D.C.L.I. in direction of VOILAINES twice, but were repulsed on each occasion. Held RUE DY MARAIS for remainder of the day.
Casualties: Captain Lloyd wounded, 2/LIEUT NAPIER missing, 1 man killed and 3 men wounded.
6.15 p.m. Occupied VIOLAINES and entrenched NORTH and EAST and SOUTH EAST.
Held VIOLAINES with D.C.L.I. on left and NORFOLKS on right were heavily shelled. 1 man killed, 17 wounded. 2/Lieut NAPIER rejoined. Battalion on outposts
10.0 a.m. Attempted to occupy LA BASSEE, and came under heavy fire of each arm. Finally entrenched 450 yds in front of former positions.
Casualties: 2/Lieut. Andrews, 2/Lieut. Sidebotham, 2/Lieut Napier wounded, 9 men killed, 20 wounded. Battalion on outposts.
Held VIOLAINES, artillery shelled LA BASSÉE. Battalion on outposts.
2/Lieut MAY, 2/Lieut ADDISON wounded, 3 men killed, 24 men wounded. 3 p.m. German attack repulsed. Battalion on outposts.
9.30 a.m. Again attacked LA BASSÉE without success. Came under heavy shell fire. 1 machine gun out of action. Battalion on outposts.
Casualties: CAPTAIN MAHONY wounded, 3 men killed, 6 wounded. Battalion on outposts. ‘B’ Company went into billets.
Captain Shore took over command of the Battalion.
5.10 a.m. Enemy made heavy attack, and took the trenches at the point of the bayonet. Battalion retired to RUE DU MARAIS under very heavy fire. Manchesters came up in support.
8.0 p.m. Battalion withdrawn and went in bivouac at last E of RUE DE BETHUNE.
Casualties: Captains Shore, Rich, Hartford, 2/Lieuts Atkinson, Leicester, Greenhalgh missing, Captain Forster, 18 N.C.O.s & men wounded, 200 N.C.O.s & men missing including Sergeant Major.
CAPTAIN MAHONY died in hospital. Lieut. T L Frost took over command of the Battalion.
RUE DE BETHUNE
Battalion went into billets about 3 p.m. Battalion went into reserve at 5 p.m. in second E of BETHUNE
Returned to billets at dawn. Came into reserve to Brigade at second E of Bethune at 6 p.m.
Returned to billets at dawn. At 5.30 p.m. went into reserve to the Brigade returned to billets about 12.30 a.m.
CAPTAIN WOODS, Munster Fusiliers, took over command of Battalion.
Battalion on working parties digging trenches at RUE DE BETHUNE.
Battalion went into billets at LE TOURET. ‘B’ & ‘C’ Companies working parties digging trenches at RUE DE BETHUNE. At 7 p.m. Battalion marched to RICHEBOURG ST VAAST, from thence to ST VAAST.
5.0 a.m. Battalion in support to attack on NEUVE CHAPELLE, came into firing line at 3 p.m. Entrenches on East side of ESTAIRES – NEUVE CHAPELLE road at PONT LOGY. Battalion on outposts with ‘B’ Company in reserve.
Casualties: 2/Lieut. Woodhead wounded, 1 Sgt, 1 Private killed, 4 wounded, 5 missing. Enemy opened fire, which was returned about 9 p.m.
Battalion in trenches, sniping and artillery fire. Battalion on outposts.
Casualties: 4 wounded, 5 missing.
NEUVE CHAPELLE – LE TOURET
1.30 a.m. Relieved by Seaforths & Jats. Marched back to billets in LE TOURET.
3.0 p.m. Battalion marched to CALONNE & billeted for night
Lieut. T L Frost took over command of Battalion.
Battalion marched to BORRE & billeted at 8 p.m.
Lieut. & Qr. Mr. J C Sproule took over duties of A/Adjt. 31.10.14
T. L. FROST
Lieut. O.C. 1st Cheshire Regt.