Tag: trenches

26 November 1917

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

Givenchy

9-11am The enemy bombarded B Coy front line & the communication trenches leading to it for two hours 9 – 11 a.m, much damage was done to the trenches but no casualties were incurred.

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8 November 1917

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

ANNEQUIN

Morning Parades, Inspections Arms, Kit, Gas Helmets.

1.30pm Battalion moved up to CAMBRIN LEFT Subsector and relieved 2nd Bn Royal Irish Rifles. Three patrols sent out to gain information, & procure prisoner if possible. Patrols report no movement in No Mans Land. Enemy working parties located at A.28.c.30.75 Map Ref. Enemy front line

4 November 1917

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

Front line

Enemy artillery active.  A direct hit on a “pill box” occupied by men of the support Coy caused several casualties.

Our artillery laid down an Army barrage at 5-15 a.m. which caused the enemy to retaliate with a very heavy barrage.

Gas shells fell in the vicinity of the support Coys forcing them to wear their respirators.

3 November 1917

Extract from war diary of 7th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Jerusalem

Battn advanced as an advance Gd to 159 Bde & in about 15 minutes from start came under heavy rifle & MG fire & some enemy shrapnel. A.B. & C. Coys were in front line, D Coy less one platoon in support, one platoon under Lt E.C. Baines was detached to left flank to give cover to left of A Coy in the Direction of SHERIA.

08.30 C.O. pointed out to Brig. Gen. situation as regards the dispositions of the Battn   

08.40 sent back to Bde for ammunition

08.45 orders received from Bde you are not to act as left Flank Gd &not as adv.Gd   & will not advance until further orders

09.20 Lia[i]son officer (2Lt R Martin) reported that he was in touch with supporting Batty

09.50 2Lt R D Hunder  returned from Front line where he had been sent by C.O. & reported that 2nd Lt H WAGSTAFFE (16 Platoon) had advance on left of Battn with his platoon

10.20 C Coy reported short of Lewis gun ammo & that he was sending mules back for further supply

11.00 D Coy report M.G. Sub Section attached to me is in position of WADI Bank 300x from my Right & have been firing with good effect against the enemy in the Foot Hills on my Right

12.00 Artillery fired at a Target pointed out by A Coy several Hits were obtained

16.00 Train was observed going N.E. of SHERIA heavily laden  17.00 Battn Consolidated its position & outpost line was formed, the enemy was quiet all night. Casualties 2Lt  D Hall & 15 OR wounded.  Killed 2 OR.

31 October 1917

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

“Zero day”, or the day of our attack on the Turkish trenches. There was a good deal of bombardment in the night, mostly towards Gaza. We saw a distant bombardment on the right, towards Beersheba, at about 6 AM, & then it ceased & dust arose, as of big forces going forward. From the cessation of fire we judged things were going well. We had to move in the morning to Imara, about four miles. We heard that “Hill 1070” was taken at about 8.30 this morning, with slight casualties, & were also told that the Turks cheered our men who went forward to cut the wired! What the foundation for this strange rumour is, I cannot say. The absence of reliable news here is absolutely damnable.

[follow-on] In this damned re-inforcement [sic.] camp, where a few officers & about 120 to 150 men of each battalion of the division are assembled, perhaps 1500 altogether, we are derelicts, utterly without any importance in the operations. The whole lot are pooled, & if a re-inforcement [sic.] is wanted for any part of the division, any of us may be sent at a moment’s notice. We send off officers & men as escort to camel convoys going up, and provide parties for any purpose, for instance to fetch up horses from Rafa to replace those killed. There is practically no organization for our transport as we follow the troop, & no arrangement for giving us any news of our friends & our men. We have parades and inspections of the lines, even as we have done all the time, & of course I have to do everything for our lot, while the old C.O. sits in his chair roorkee [sic.] chair, or rides about on his infernal grey pony. Somehow I hate that pony, for while the men are sweating under their packs in the dust, & I with them, the C.O rides along on it, carrying his stalking glass & nothing else, & talks afterward about march discipline, & not drinking out of their water-bottles. The men are on short rations of water, nominally half a gallon a day, though usually we have got a bit more. A cup of tea (1 pint) at 6 AM breakfast & again at 5 PM tea, & a water-bottle, always tepid, for the rest of the 24 hours, including shaving, is very little, & then there are orders about being sure of having the waterbottle full at night in case of moving etc etc.

We heard practically nothing on Oct 31st, the opening day, but on Nov 1st were told that Beersheba had been taken, & that our 20th Army Corps had only had 400 casualties. As 1400 prisoners are said to have been taken, with nine guns, this is extraordinarily good, if true. Some of the Welsh Horse are reported to have got knocked about, having four officer casualties, but not a word can we hear of the 10th KSLI. They were only in reserve & ought not to have suffered except from shell-fine, so I hope they are all right. When we shall be allowed to re-join is quite unknown to us, & I am afraid that if we are pressing hard upon the Turk, nobody will think of us, for they have matters so much more important to occupy them. Probably the Turk will have retired to his Hareira & Sheria positions, reported to be very strong. Of the left of our line, near the sea, where we were digging four weeks ago, we have not heard a single word, though the guns have been firing very hard at times. I believe an attack will have taken place there at about the same time as ours, but do not know. Nov 2nd . Rumours of the taking of Umbrella Hill, Rafa trench & other trenches near the sea reached us today.