Tag: 9th Bn

29 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

BROUSSY-LE-PETIT

Training.  The Divisional Commander (Brig-Gen. W.P. MONKHOUSE, C.M.G, M.V.O. Divl Artillery, Commanding during the absence of the G.O.C, inspected the Transport.  Two companies of the Battalion attended a tracer bullet demonstration (App K111).  An advanced billeting party was sent forward to BANNES.

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20 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th  Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

The Battalion moved off in accordance with Brigade Order No 127 (App K.105 (a)) at 4.50 a.m and marched to LE MESNIL, where billets were arranged for the night.  This move was completed by 11 a.m General PELLIÉ, commanding the French 5th Corps, presented the Croix de Guerre to the 56th Infantry Brigade and to certain Officers and Other Ranks of the Division.  This ceremony was carried out in the “PLACE” LE MESNIL.  Copies of the “Mention” of the Brigade in the French Corps Orders were received.

12 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th  Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

FORET de REIMS

40 Other Ranks Surplus Personnel proceeded as reinforcements to join the Composite Battalion.  Remainder of Surplus Personnel formed 3 classes, N.C.O’s Class, Lewis Gun Class, Drill Class, and carried out training in the FORET de REIMS.  A Signalling Class and Scout class was also formed at the TRANSPORT LINES.  The composite Battalion relieved the 105th Composite Battn in the front Line on the night 12/13th June.

8 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

BOIS de COUTRON

A Brigade Parade was held and the Divisional Commander presented to Officers and Other Ranks the  CROIX de GUERRE awarded by General Pellié, commanding 5th French Army Corps, for gallantry on the MONTAGNE de BLIGNY on the 6th June.  The following were recipients in this Battalion: – With Palms. Capt. R.H. GRIFFITHS, who was the first recipient.  With Star. –  2nd Lieut H.B. WRIGHT.  No 12053 Sgt. R. HAZEL, No 25401 LCpl. T. Bentley

6 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

MONTAGNE de BLIGNY

At 3.a.m the enemy put down a heavy barrage on the positions occupied by the French on the immediate right of the Brigade front.  This gradually spread to the left and by 3.30 a.m the battalion area was being subjected to the barrage fire.  The enemy was shortly afterwards observed to be advancing to the attack in a South-Westerly direction, covering fire also being given by his Machine Guns from both flanks.  Many casualties were inflicted on him by rifle, Lewis Gun, and Machine Gunfire.  He succeeded however by 7.a.m in driving the French out of the village of BLIGNY and into the BOIS de REIMS.  This left the Brigade right flank completely exposed.  The 8/N. Staffs. therefore formed a defensive flank by withdrawing to the road (about the letter E of CHAMBRECY – reference map SOISSONS 1/100,000).  By attacking in large numbers the enemy contrived to eject our front line troops and gain possession of their trenches.  The Commanding Officer immediately issued orders for a counter-attack, and Lieuts Clarke and Berry re-organised their men and assisted by the supports, launched a counter-attack up the Southern slopes of the MONTAGNE.  This attack was held up by heavy machine gun fire before reaching the final objective, and did not succeed in turning the enemy out, in spite of flanking tactics that Lieut. Clarke organised.  The parties were compelled to withdraw and took up a defensive position on the road immediately South of the MONTAGNE de BLIGNY.  The enemy had by now (10.a.m) strong forces in our late front line and attempted to advance.  All his efforts were however frustrated by fire from the line in the road.  About 10.30 a.m orders were received that the hill must be held at all costs.  The Commanding Officer commenced reorganising for further counter-attacks and at 12.30 pm the reserve battalion, 1/4th K.S.L.I. arrived to assist.  The counter-attack was duly launched about 1.p.m. – the details of the 8/N. Staffs. were on the right – those of the 9/ Cheshire in the centre and the 1/4th K.S.L.I. on the left.  Before the objective, our front line, was reached the K.S.L.I. and the N/Staffs had orders to stand fast until the arrival of French troops, this they did and took up positions on the Southern and Eastern slopes of the hill.  The Cheshire party pushed forward however, and on reaching the crest of the hill, where they came under heavy fire from the enemy established on our old front line, charged and recaptured our positions at the point of the bayonet.  Two machine guns and 50 prisoners were taken and passed down through the K.S.L.I.  This charge was led by Lieut. CLARKE – Lieut. BERRY (who was missing in action) and 2nd Lieuts WRIGHT and LEES also took part and amongst the men were N.C.O’s and men of other units, who had become attached to the battalion.  The situation on the Battn. right was now completely restored and remained intact from this time onwards.  On the left, however, the enemy still retained hold in our trenches and attempts were made by small parties of the K.S.L.I. to get into close touch with him.  The Commanding Officer took a small party up the Western slope of the hill to try and eject the enemy but hostile fire was too heavy and the party practically wiped out.  He again organised two parties to attack this left flank; one was led, very gallantly, by 2nd Lieut JONES (9th Welsh Rgt) but was unsuccessful, the officer being wounded; the other Captain Griffiths himself led and succeeded in capturing a small portion of the trench, Killing several of the enemy and wounding others – the remainder fled.  The attacking party, oddments of all Units, remained in occupation of this post.  The situation at 7.20 pm was as stated in the Commanding Officer’s report (App K99.) and remained unaltered.  About 8.0 pm. orders were received that the Brigade would be relieved by the 150th Composite Brigade that night, the 6/7th June.  The situation was now becoming quiet and by dusk all was quiet on the Brigade front.  Stretcher parties were able to get to work and many wounded were brought in.  Guides were despatched (as detailed in A/44 –App K 100 (b) to meet the incoming unit, the 151st Composite Battn. and this battalion arrived in the line at 11.30 p.m.  Owing to the darkness of the night the relief took some time to carry out and was not completed until 2.a.m (App K100(c)).

5 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

MONTAGNE de BLIGNY

Enemy artillery very active but no concentrated shoot was carried out.  At dusk the attached company of S.W. Bdrs. was ordered to leave the Battalion and marched away about 10.p.m.  A readjustment of the front line took place – the 9th Cheshire Regt taking over half the left company frontage of the 8th N. Staffs. on our right.  Patrols were sent out and the patrol detailed to investigate the suspected enemy post in the small wood (discovered last night) came into contact with about ten of the enemy there and shots were exchanged – two Germans being killed.  This was about midnight.