Tag: 1st Bn

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.


24 February 1918

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

Cartiera, Italy

Practice in crossing of bridges at 8-45 a.m.

Brigade Church Parade at 12 noon.   Cpl BOWCOCK and Pte BOWYER of “D” Coy were presented with Military Medals for patrol work near NERVESA by G.O.C. Division.

Lecture by C.O. at 3-30 p.m. to all ranks.

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].

17 February 1918

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

Trentini sector front line, Italy


Hard frost at night, observation good in the morning.

“C” Coy provided a covering party for R.E. work.

A fighting patrol of 2 Officers and 8 other ranks from “D” Coy also went out at 7 p.m. across the PIAVE, one prisoner was captured alive and brought back, one Austrian killed.  Patrol returned at 11-30 p.m.  No casualties.

This celebration of MEANEE provided the 1st AUSTRIAN captured by British troops on the Italian front.

15 February 1918

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

Having now got a nightly ferry, and the hopes of a future ‘stunt’, British HQ want to know all about the other side. Early this morning, Lt Bradstock Lockett and a sergeant, went across to stop all day with orders to get as near the enemy trenches as possible, and get general information.  It was a very plucky effort; when daylight came, we could see them well up the scrub, near the enemy wall.  They had to use the greatest caution and the weather was not good, with heavy snow showers at intervals. We arranged to have the ferry over at dusk, but by 4 pm, they were so cold that they ran back in a heavy storm, and forded the river.  I consider young Lockett ought to have been honoured for this days work, but I doubt if he even got the thanks of Brigade.  An officer in D Coy got wounded by a splinter in the eye; this officer only joined us last night so I have never seen him.  The enemy have been doing quite an extra amount of shelling today; ‘whiz-bangs’ have been hovering around. No damage has been done and nobody seems to be disturbed by them.