Author: cheshiremilitarymuseumgreatwarblog

1 March 1918

Extract from war diary of 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Italy – front line trenches

Battalion in trenches.

Artillery activity slightly above normal.  No casualties.


27 February 1918

Extract from the diary of Maj P K Glazebrook, Cheshire Yeomanry, Egypt Expeditionary Force

It was raining hard in the morning, & we had to pack up tents & everything and march along the Nablus road, through Birch, to a point about a mile North of a lake called Balua. The march was bad, rain mud & hail, but the arrival was worse, as our camp area was a muddy swamp and we got these about noon. Somehow we got the tents up, & then collected stones to have them with raising the stove floors above the mud level. It rained furiously nearly all the time with a strong cold wind. Our cooks managed to get a fire going & made tea. Nearly everything was wet through, but once we had got into our tents, life became bearable again. A shell or two fell within about half a mile.

26 February 1918

Extract from the diary of Maj P K Glazebrook, Cheshire Yeomanry, Egypt Expeditionary Force

I was in charge of the road making party, & worked on the main Nablus road , interrupted by traffic all the time, During the morning I got orders to send No1 Company in at once, as they had to go up into the line under Tom. We came in for lunch & Tom’s company got away about two o`clock. Corporal Fairbrother & Lawley were up before Peter, John for Slackness on guard, & I attended the utter abscence of all service of justice in the Lonsdales is astounding. Nothing that the accused says he has the best influence, & he accepts a note from the brigade major as absolutely accurate in every detail, against the evidence of the men. We hear that we move up tomorrow into reserve behind the line, in the war area again.

25 February 1918

Extract from the diary of Lt Eric M Stuart, 12th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment  [In Salonika]

Did P.T. and gas drill in morning also a full inspection by D Coy dugouts in afternoon. Allen and Sammy came round to nuts and port after tea. Kenyon came and played Kulu Khan for a short time after tea. Gowland went round 2 line with C.O. in evening. Letters from Nichols, Kuubbs, and 2 from Dad.

23 February 1918

Extract from the diary of Capt Ferguson, 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment 

I went to dinner at Bn HQ last night, as I had a number of points to discuss with the CO. He is a very genial fellow, but I find it difficult to get any definite orders from him, and I should not call him a good leader of men; he is far too ready to take the ideas of others than to suggest a point himself. Even though I went to Bn HQ to discuss the operations, he would hardly mention the subject and would always branch off into other matters of fact. Tonight I went with him to dine at division, a great honour, and I was very pleased to tell the General what my own ideas were on the ‘stunt’. I found him a ready listener, and he cleared up a number of points I wanted him to know. I was rather alarmed at the thought of food supply and SAA running short, in case we are forced to stay longer than 48 hours on the other side; this was quite likely if the river flooded, which is usual at this time of year. He had not thought about this, and promised to have supply ready by air if required, He also told me that a big German offensive was expected in France, and that two divisions in Italy were under orders to return; however the 5th would not go back, but we were under orders to leave the PIAVE, and go into training for the mountain front, and we should eventually go to the ASIAGO plateau. Altogether, we had an interesting evening, and I was feeling much more confident of a big success when I returned home. I also got to know many of the staff, whom I had not met before. On leaving we noticed a big fire on the enemy lines of trenches in the mountains and thought it must be Austrian gas flares which had been lit. The Italians also have this idea of making a fire along the trench if they smell gas, thinking the heat will send the gas over the line. It might do good but cloud gas is now not much used. The weather is wonderful & the sun is as hot in the daytime as the warmest day we ever get at home, but we still have about 20 degrees of frost at night. The moon is very bright, & the bombing is very bad; each time he comes over, he lets 4 or 5 bombs drop in this village. Last night, I was much disturbed, as the house rocks & bits of the plaster keep tumbling down, also last night the window fell out. I stuck to my bed, but the other fellows got up and went to the funk hole. The nearest bomb last evening was 100 yds away in the fields, and I am told that the total damage done all night was 1 man and 1 horse killed and 4 or 5 wounded; he also hit houses that were unoccupied. The safest spot out here is the front line. With 14 hours sunshine each day, and the beauties of this country and the spring flowers in bloom, everybody is happy & full of ‘bits’[sic].