Tag: rain

12 October 1917

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

[In Salonika] 

Came down to transport line in an awful storm. Fell in ravines; valise came off twice in rain. Got soaked through. Johny got wind up and put up a lot of flares which helped us on our way.

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20 September 1917

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

Berthen

At a quarter past twelve a message came from Brigade stating Zero hour to be 5.40 am – this was communicated to Coy Commanders immediately.  In spite of the darkness and the rain, which soon soaked the mens clothes through, the Battn was all assembled and H.Q. established in IMPERFECT COPSE by 1-45 A.M without casualty.  The Battn was to attack in two waves of two lines each and the four lines all formed up close behind one another.  There was no cover or protection for the lines of assembled troops, who had to lie out in the open, and unfortunately no Rum was issued.  However, silence was maintained and no movement made, the troops lying there confident and quiet.  The following is a list of Officers who went into action with the Battn:-

Headquarters Lt Col J.A. SOUTHEY Commanding, 2LT D. GREVILLE acting Adjutant, LT J.R. MALLALIEU Signal Officer, 2LT A.C.W. BENETT DAMPIER, intelligence Officer, and attached Capt. L. ROSE M.C. 5th S.W.B.

“A” Coy Capt H.E. QUAYLE M.C. commanding, 2/Lts’ F. FULLER, PLATT, attached 2LT DAVIES R.W.F.

“B” Coy Capt R.D. TONGE Commanding, 2/Lts’ N. SCARRATT, and J.H. McKEEVER

“C”    “    “      J.G. WOOD Commanding, 2/Lts’ A.D. ELSTUB, N. SUTHERLAND M.C. and F.L. WALSH

“B” Coy Major W.H.JONES Commanding, 2Lts’ H. COLVIN, T.H. TEARE and 2Lt BUCK R.W.F. attached.

The strength of the Battn going into action was 20 Officers 556 other ranks except for the normal activity of our Artillery and machine guns the night passed quite quietly until 5.40 am, when our Artillery and machine gun barrage opened and the troops advanced to the attack:- the four lines moving forward at once to clear the enemy barrage, which came down within a few minutes of Zero hour.  Once clear of our front line, the lines corrected their distances and experienced no difficulty from the enemy artillery, but hostile machine gun fire was very heavy, coming from the front and flank, especially from the direction of HOLLEBE CHAETAU [sic].

6.9 AM

Other than this no opposition was met with, JERROCKS FARM, PIONEER HOUSE, and the intermediate objective, all being easily carried according to Schedule time, only slight casualties were sustained and many (GERMANS) were killed & captured.

Major W.H. JONES and Capt R D TONGE MC were wounded by machine gun bullets before the capture of the intermediate objective. The consolidation of the GREEN LINE was immediately carried out.  As they had now gone beyond the crest of the ridge, the Battn was now in full view of the enemy, who started to make full use of his machine guns and brought rather disconcerting enfilade fire to bear on our troops both while digging in and on their subsequent advance.  This was the cause of the greater of the Battns casualties.  Capt J.G. WOOD was wounded soon after the arrival of [at] the intermediate objective. [sic]

6.44 AM

The advance on the final objective commenced at 6.44 am and more resistance was met with.  On the left “A” Coy under Capt H.E. QUAYLE experienced difficulty with machine guns on the ridge in front about MAY FARM, but on receiving a reinforcing platoon from “B” Coy captured POTSDAM FARM and all their final objectives and established touch with the Worcesters on their left.  On the right matters were more obscure and more difficult.  The WELCH REGT the attacking troops on our right flank suffered heavy casualties and were help up by HESSIAN WOOD.  2Lt. H. COLVIN who had taken over “D” Coy  on Major W.H. JONES becoming a casualty, took two platoons with him and went to their assistance the remainder of “D” Coy had to go up to reinforce “C” Coy of our Battn who had sustained about 50 casualties and were held up by SNIDERS POST  on their extreme right. [sic]

6.58AM

With this assistance the final objective was taken on the Battn front by Schedule time, but touch was not established on the right flank as HESSIAN WOOD was not cleared until after 7.30 AM.  Then it was found necessary to withdraw to the NORTHERN edge of this wood on account of the swamp it proved to be, to conform with this, 2Lt H. COLVIN who had been mainly personally responsible for the clearing of HESSIAN WOOD and had now returned and taken over command of “C” & “D” Coy, with 2Lt F.L. WALSH to assist him, withdrew his right flank and the line of final objective consolidated by the Battn ran from 50 yards N of the N.E corner of HESSIAN WOOD to POTSDAM FARM.  The estimated casualties of the Battn were returned as 200.  This proved however to be too great.  Officer casualties during the advance from the intermediate line were:- wounded:- 2Lt A.D. ELSTUB; 2Lt J.H. TEARE; 2Lt J.H. McKEEVER, last named died later in the day from his wounds.  Consolidation was pushed on with all speed and a double line of posts prepared.  Wire had been carried up by a Battn carrying party under the direction of Sgt WILSON who was performing the duties of R.S.M.  This wire was put out protecting the line of posts.  Intermittent shelling was kept up by the enemy on our new positions and especially on Battn H.Q in IMPERFECT COPSE.  The posts were subjected all day to continual sniping and heavy machine gun fire, but no further casualties were sustained.  A party of R.E.’s under an Officer had reported to Battn about 6.30 AM to go forward beyond the final objective and blow up enemy dugouts likely to cause Battn trouble.  Owing to the strength of the enemy in these Shelters this was impossible.

7PM

 

 

At dusk both sides put up artillery barrages – these lasted until 8.30 PM, from which time until 4 AM the situation was very quiet.  Wire was again carried up and the consolidation and organisation of the position completed.  Water and rations were also brought and distributed to the men before dawn.

2 August 1917

Extract from war diary of 10th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Bellewarde Ridge

The Shelling Continued throughout the day – though except at intervals it was not so heavy as the previous 24 hours.   Weather conditions still remained bad and it rained almost the whole day.  Companies were organized as far as possible and collected together in shell holes and dry bits of trench[e]s.   G.C. Companies visited the front line.   All Officers received their meals at Bn HQ and slept in turns on the two bunks Bn HQ dugout.

1 August 1917

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

St Julien

Battalion consolidating position gained previous day and making strong points under continuous hostile shell and machine gun fire.  Operations were held up owing to the very inclement weather, everywhere having become a quadmire [sic], and considerable difficulty was experienced in the getting up of rations and supplies.  During the evening the Battalion was relieved and moved back to the trenches in “X” Lines, 3 Officers and 57 Other ranks strong.

Extract from war diary of 11th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Westhoek Ridge

On the morning of the 1st about 7 a.m. the Battalion moved up from the position of readiness in RAILWAY WOOD and relieved the 2nd Batt. West Yorkshire Regt., who were holding the line on the WESTHOEK Ridge. During the whole of this tour the weather remained very bad and the trenches, where they existed, were knee deep in water. A large number of casualties were caused by enemy shell fire which was exceptionally heavy throughout the tour.