Tag: Germans

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].


12 February 1918

Extract from war diary of 6th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Trenches, WIELTJE

Battalion in line.   Continued artillery activity.   Front lines and C.Ts slightly damaged.   Fatigues engaged making good the damage caused, clearing dug-outs and relaying duck boards.

Enemy was unusually quiet between 6pm and 10-30pm. and as a relief was suspected our Lewis Guns played intermittently on his C.Ts and other points.  115 coils wire put out.

2 OR to hospital wounded.

11 February 1918

Extract from war diary of 6th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Trenches, WIELTJE

Battalion in line.   Considerable artillery activity all day.  Enemy retaliated heavily to our barrages and shelling with 77mm.  Generally engaged making good damage caused to trenches and putting out wire.   2 Patrols reconnoitred the front.

10 reinforcements joined.    3 OR rejoined.

3 January 1918

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

I went over to PADOVA today to see this wonderful old town. It has many beautiful buildings, perhaps the finest is the church of St Anthony. The Boche have been over this town each night of ……; they have done much damage to many of the fine old buildings, besides killing a number of civilians. We are not allowed in the town after 7.30 pm, so had an early but excellent dinner, returning by a local train to the village of PIAZZOLA, some two miles away from our billets. We have had to reorganise the men’s billets, as Staff require the factory; for a divisional laundry. A Coy have gone into local farms, being rather split up. B Coy stop at the Chateau, with men of Bn HQ, C and D gone to villages near by, and C Coy officers mess on their own, as they are quite a mile away. I dined with Tippett in the Warwicks Mess. Col. Deakin, their CO, is a great fellow, avid we had a Poker school afterwards. Deakin is a nephew of old Major Smart who was of BIDSTON Camp with me. English leave has opened today, but as one train each week is the only allotment, the percentage is very small; at present one officer each week from the Brigade.

24 November 1917

Extract from war diary of 13th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment


1am Sent reconnoitring patrol into NO MANS LAND enemy wire found to be bad.

2am Two Hunting Patrols of 1 N.C.O & 5 men and 1 Assault Patrol of 1 Officer and 13 O.R crossed to Enemy front line. Patrols remained out several hours obtaining valuable information as regards enemy wire & portion of line cleared. No prisoner captured.

3.20am Assault Patrol of one officer 11 O Ranks supported on both flanks by LGs & teams crossed to enemy line but on reaching parapet held up by M.Gs, rifle, hand grenades, rendering preventing further progress.

10am to 3 pm Our Artillery carried out wire cutting between Railway Crater & MAD POINT. Enemy Shelled our Support LINES heavily with 4.2s between RAILWAY ALLEY & MUNSTER TUNNEL.