Diary of the 1/4th Battalion (TF) – The Gordon Highlanders,  1915.

Transcribed from National Archives WO/95/1421

 

The following is an initial draft transcription of the first year of the Battalion war diary. At the moment it is a direct verbatim transcription. It has not been checked for accuracy in every respect and also contains several omissions where writing was illegible. Eventually this diary will be linked to outher resources as they are added to the site. One of the projects here is to begin to link names from casualty lists with particular incidents, actions and locations. Unlike some battalion war diaries, that of the 4th Gordons does not record casualties by name. The primary exception to this being officers who are more likely to be metioned. As this site evolves I hope to post corrected versions of this diary hyperlinked to individual records and accounts. It is posted in this draft form simply to make it available to those who may be interested. Where words were illegible or ambiguous I have substituted "?"

 

Place

Date

Hour

Summary of Events and Information

BEDFORD

1915-02-19

 

Battalion left BEDFORD in three trains between 5:45am, 7:10am and 9:45am arrived at Southampton and embarked on transport Archimedes sailed at 7pm

HAVRE

1915-02-20

 

Landed at HAVRE 12 noon, marched to No2 Rest Camp were completed with clothing and necessaries

 

1915-02-21

 

In rest camp

 

1915-02-22

 

Marched from rest camp at 4am, entrained and started at 9:30m

BAILLEUL

1915-02-23

 

Arrived at BAILLEUL at 10am detrained and billeted in the GRAPPARIES

 

1915-02-24

 

Still in the GRAPPERIES

 

1915-02-25

 

Still in the GRAPPERIES

 

1915-02-26

 

Still in the GRAPPERIES

LA CLYTTE

1915-02-27

 

Marched out of BALLIEUL to LA CLYTTE joined 8th Inf Bde 3rd Division 2nd Army Corps.  Billeted in Huts

 

1915-02-28

 

Still at La Clytte

 

MARCH

 

 

 

1915-03-01

 

Still at La Clytte

 

1915-03-02

 

A Coy went into trenches with the 4th Middlesex Regt for 4 days of instruction, Platoon to each Coy

 

1915-03-04

 

B Coy went into trenches with the 1st Gordon Highlanders

 

1915-03-06

 

C Coy went into trenches with the 2nd Royal Scots & 1 MG section to 1st Gordon Highlanders 1 man of which was severely wounded by shell.

 

1915-03-08

 

D Coy went into trenches with 2nd Suffolk Regiment. 1 man killed and 2 wounded of B Coy while in reserve from bursting outside (?) 1 signaller wounded with Royal Scots died in Hospital on the 9th

 

1915-03-09

 

1 man wounded with the 2nd Suffolks and 1 man wounded with 2nd Royal Scots

 

1915-03-10

 

A Coy went into trenches with 4th Middlesex Regt. Given L5 to hold by themselves with ½ Company

 

1915-03-11

 

Batt still in huts. D Coy in trenches. 1 man killed

 

1915-03-12

 

B Coy went into trenches with 1st Gordon Highlanders. 2 men wounded

 

1915-03-13

 

Officers of C Coy reconnoitered G3 &4 Trenches. B Coy with 1st Gordons 1 man wounded

 

1915-03-14

 

Ordered to take over trenches G3 & 4 and H1 with 2 Coys remainder to take up billets in LOCRE. C & D Coys paraded for trenches but whole move cancelled on account of German attack on St ELROI [D Coy officers reconnoitered H.1.2.3 & 4 trenches] 1 man wounded.

 

1915-03-15

 

Inspection of transport by BGC] A Coy came out of trenches.

 

1915-03-16

 

Battalion took over G3 & 4 H1, 2, 3 &4 trenches with C and D Coys A Coy in support. B Coy rejoined from trenches with 1st Batt. In Reserve at ROSIGNAL.

 

1915-03-17

 

Batt holding G3 & 4 H1 2 3 & 4 trenches changed that night to K2 A,B & C with C Coy and 2 MG. D Coy in reserve. A & B Coy back to LA CLYTTE. 2 men wounded C Coy, 1 man killed D Coy.

 

1915-03-18

 

C Coy still in trenches. D in reserve.  Officers of A & B Coys reconnoitered new M trenches

 

1915-03-19

 

C Coy relieved by D Coy. 2 men killed one man wounded C Coy. A & B Coy took over new part of line. Headquarters attached to 1st Gordons at VIERSTRAT. B Coy in trenches 2 men killed one man wounded.

 

1915-03-20

 

A & B in “N” Trenches C&D in “K” trenches. 1 man accidentally shot.

 

1915-03-21

 

A & B in “N” Trenches C&D in “K” trenches.

 

1915-03-22

 

A & B in “N” Trenches C&D in “K” trenches. 1 man killed, one wounded.

 

1915-03-23

 

A & B in “N” Trenches C&D in “K” trenches.

 

1915-03-24

 

A & B in “N” Trenches C&D relieved in K2 trenches by the East Surreys returning to huts at LA CLYTTE. 1 man killed.

 

1915-03-25

 

B Coy relieved. A Coy in trenches. C&D in huts at LA CLYTTE

 

1915-03-26

 

A & B Coys came out of N trenches being relieved by 1st Gordon Highlanders and rejoined the rest of the battalion in huts

 

1915-03-27

 

Battalion in huts at LA CLYTTE

 

1915-03-28

 

Battalion in huts at LA CLYTTE

 

1915-03-29

 

C & D Coys relieved 2 Coys of 1st Gordons in N trenches.  Also 2 trenches from 2nd Royal Scots

 

1915-03-30

 

C & D Coys in N2 and M3 trenches

 

1915-03-31

 

C & D Coys in N2 and M3 trenches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SP McClintock (Capt & Adj) 4th Gordon Highlanders

 

APRIL

 

 

LA CLYTTE

1915-04-01

 

C & D Coys in N 1, 2 & 7 & MS trenches. A &B in LA CLYTTE. 1 man killed

 

1915-04-02

 

C & D Coys in N 1, 2 & 7 & MS trenches. A &B in LA CLYTTE. 1 man wounded (died on the 10th)

 

1915-04-03

 

C & D Coys in N 1, 2 & 7 & MS trenches. A &B in LA CLYTTE. 1 man wounded (died on the 4th)

 

1915-04-04

 

A & B Coys took over K2 ABCD&E K3 & L1 from 1st East Surreys. C & D Coys relieved by them. 1 man killed 1 man wounded.

 

1915-04-05

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3 & L1 trenches

 

1915-04-06

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 6 men wounded 4 by rifle grenades

 

1915-04-07

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches

 

1915-04-08

 

A & B Coys in K2 &  3&L1 trenches

 

1915-04-09

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 2nd Lieut. Hopkinson slightly wounded in shoulder. 3 men wounded.

 

1915-04-10

 

C& D Coys relieved A & B Coys in K2 and 3 & L1 trenches. A & B back to huts. 1 man killed, 1 man wounded.

 

1915-04-11

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches

 

1915-04-12

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches

 

1915-04-13

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches

 

1915-04-14

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 2 men wounded

 

1915-04-15

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 1 man killed, 1 wounded.

 

1915-04-16

 

A & B Coys relieved C & D Coys in K2 and 3 & L1 trenches. C & D back to huts. 3 men wounded.

 

1915-04-17

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 1 man wounded

 

1915-04-18

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 2 men wounded

 

1915-04-19

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 1 man killed, 5 wounded

 

1915-04-20

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 2nd Lieut. Calder wounded – left side. 1 man killed, 1 wounded.

 

1915-04-21

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. Capt McClintock accidentally wounded in leg falling on bayonet. Capt Wilson wounded in thumb.

 

1915-04-22

 

C & D Coys relieved A & B Coys in K2 and 3 & L1 trenches. C & D back to huts. Lieutenant Crombie slightly wounded, 2 men killed, 1 wounded.   Battle north of Ypres began. A & B Coys ordered to hold themselves in readiness to move at ½ hrs notice.

 

1915-04-23

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 1 man wounded

 

1915-04-24

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 5 men wounded 4 with rifle grenades. Coy in trenches ordered to hold itself in readiness to receive a possible German attack.

 

1915-04-25

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 1 man killed, 1 wounded.

 

1915-04-26

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 1 man killed, 2 wounded.

 

1915-04-27

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches.  3 men wounded.

 

1915-04-28

 

C & D Coys in K2 & 3&L1 trenches. 1 man killed 4 wounded. A & B Coys relieved C & D Coys in trenches

 

1915-04-29

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3 & L1 trenches. 3 men wounded

 

1915-04-30

 

A & B Coys in K2 & 3 & L1 trenches. 1 killed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Casualty totals Killed 15 W 5+44

 

Ian A Clarke Lt a/adj 4th Gordon Highlanders.

 

MAY

 

 

LA CLYTTE

1915-05-01

 

A & B Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. No casualties D Coy moves to SIEGEFARM at dark relieving Coy of 1st Gordon Highlanders to act as Brigade reserve in trench area.

 

1915-05-02

 

A & B Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3.

 

1915-05-03

 

A & B Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. . Practice in trenches in putting on special respiratory pads to guard against asphyxiating gases. Work on CT. de MOL – trenches ? on. No casualties.

 

1915-05-04

 

A & B Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. No casualties

 

1915-05-05

 

C & D Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. C & D relieve A & B in trenches 1 killed 2 wounded – 1 killed, 1 wounded

 

1915-05-06

 

C & D Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. no casualties

 

1915-05-07

 

C & D Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. Heavy day of shelling – 1 killed

 

1915-05-08

 

C & D Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. 1 wounded – quiet day.

 

1915-05-09

 

C & D Coys in trenches K2, K2A, K2B, L1 and K3. Received orders 6:15am to hand over trenches at right to Notts and Derby Regt. And to proceed to ROZENHILL huts. Ordered to be ready to move at shortest possible notice. 1 man wounded.

 

1915-05-10

 

Whole battalion reassembled at ROZENHILL huts by 4:30am. Rest day- Practiced attack in the afternoon and emergency turn out in the evening.

 

1915-05-11

 

ROZENHILL huts. Practiced attack before GOC 8th Bde.

 

 

 

 

ZILLEBEKE

1915-05-12

 

 

2:50pm

 

8:30pm

ROZENHILL huts. Inspected by GOC 2nd Army Corps

 

Moved with rest of Bde to CHATEAU 1 ½ miles SW of YPRES

 

Moved from CHATEAU to dugouts ¾ mile WSW of ZILLEBEKE

 

1915-05-13

 

At night dug a new switch line. 12 men wounded.

 

1915-05-14

 

Fatigues and guiding parties. 1 man wounded.

ZILLBEKE

1915-05-15

 

Carrying and Working parties

 

1915-05-16

 

Carrying and Working parties. 2 men wounded

 

1915-05-17

 

Carrying and Working parties. 1 man wounded

 

1915-05-18

 

Carrying and Working parties. 5 men wounded

 

1915-05-19

 

Carrying and Working parties. 2 men wounded

 

1915-05-20

8:30pm

Moved with rest of Brigade back to LA CLYTTE area. When into huts at ROZENHIL. (B Coy billeted at farm near LA CLYTTE huts)

REZENHIL

1915-05-21

 

Resting in huts.  B Coy moved to ROZENHIL in afternoon

 

1915-05-22

 

Resting in huts.

 

1915-05-23

 

Resting in huts.

 

1915-05-24

 

Resting in huts. 8pm A & B Coys proceed to K and L trenches. HQ, C & D Coys proceed to La CLYTTE huts

Above order for 24th cancelled and the following substituted:

5pm Marched with the rest of Brigade to a point ½ mile E of VLAMERINGHE. Held as 5th Corps reserve.

VLAMERTINGHE

1915-05-25

 

Remained as 5th Corps Reserve. Got orders to reconnoitre trenches W of HOOGE to be taken over following night from 80th Brigade.

 

1915-05-26

 

Took over line trenches from 1) Rifle Brigade 2) Shropshire light infantry in part 3) Kings Royal Rifles in part.  Took over HQ of KRR.  A and B Coys in firing line C& D in reserve on EHQ line One man wounded during relief.

 

1915-05-27

 

A & B Coys in firing line, C & D in reserve trenches. Shelling fairly continuous but no casualties.

 

1915-05-28

 

A & B Coys in firing line, C & D in reserve trenches. One man killed and one wounded.

 

1915-05-29

 

C & D Coys relieve A & B Coys in fire trenches. No casualties

 

1915-05-30

 

C & D in fire trench. A & B in reserve trenches. Heavy shelling of advance post. 4 killed and 13 wounded

 

1915-05-31

 

Heavy shelling of fire trench. 2 killed and 3 wounded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casualties 10 killed 35 wounded

 

?signature Illegible? for a/adj 4/Gordon Highlanders

 

 

JUNE

 

 

VLAMERTINGHE

1915-06-01

 

C and D Coys in fire trenches. A and B Coys relieve C and D Coys at night. 1 killed 1 wounded.

 

1915-06-02

 

A and B Coys in fire trenches, C and D in reserve. Very heavy bombardment on HOOGE. 1st Gordons and our trenches. Casualties however comparatively slight with only 11 men being wounded by shrapnel. All slight except one. Germans made two infantry attacks at night on trenches in neighbourhood of HOOGE but both were driven back by the Cavalry.

 

1915-06-03

 

A and B Coys in fire trenches, C and D in support. Very quiet today. 2 wounded.

 

1915-06-04

 

A and B Coys in fire trenches, C and D relieve A and B Coys at night. Some heavy shelling in the evening. One officer wounded (2nd Lt Simpson)

 

1915-06-05

 

C and D Coys in fire trenches, A and B in reserve. Quiet day

 

1915-06-06

 

C and D Coys in fire trenches, A and B in reserve. Quiet day. One man wounded.

 

1915-06-07

 

C and D in fire trenches. A and B relieve C and D at night. 2nd Lt Hopkinson and 4 men wounded.

 

1915-06-08

 

A and B Coys in fire trenches. C and D in reserve. Quiet Day 2 men wounded.

 

1915-06-09

 

A and B Coys in fire trenches. C and D in reserve. Lieut. Cook, 2nd Lt McKinnon wounded. One man killed and 6 wounded.

 

1915-06-10

 

A and B Coys in fire trenches. C and D in reserve. In the evening C & D relieve A & B in the fire trench. No Casualties.

 

1915-06-11

 

C & D Coys in the fire trenches A & B in reserve. Quiet day.

 

1915-06-12

 

C & D Coys in the fire trenches A & B in reserve. Very quiet.

 

1915-06-13

 

C & D Coys in the fire trenches A & B in reserve. A & B relieved C & D in the evening. Fairly heavy shelling all day. 3 men killed and 3 men wounded in

 

1915-06-14

 

A & B Coys in the fire trenches C & D in reserve. During the day and night the wire entanglements of the enemy’s front trenches were carefully inspected. At night the wire in front of our own trenches was cut sufficiently to allow easy exit. Orders received from 8th Brigadier attack by 3rd Division on the 18th.  This order subsequently cancelled. During the day and especially at nightfall the Germans shelled the roads heavily. No casualties.

 

1915-06-15

 

A & B Coys in the fire trenches C & D in reserve.  In the evening D Coy occupied a support trench. The 7th and 9th Brigades occupied assembly trenches. A quiet day of preparation. One man wounded.

VALMERTINGHE

1915-06-16

2 am

 

3am

 

 

 

 

 

4am

 

 

 

7-10am

 

10am

 

 

 

 

 

 

11am

 

12noon

 

 

 

1pm

 

 

 

2pm

 

 

 

3pm

 

 

 

4pm

 

 

 

5pm

 

 

6pm

 

7pm

 

8pm

 

9pm

 

10pm to 12 midnight

Dawn broke on a very quiet morning. There was considerable mist.

 

The artillery bombardment commenced on Y wood at 2:50am. The ranging was very accurate.  The bombardment almost ceased for 15 minutes between 3:30 and 3:45 then it commenced again. The mist had to some extent cleared but was still thick in the hollows.  This combined with the great smoke made observation difficult.

 

Bombardment heavier and fairly accurate. It ceased at 4:15am.  The 7th Brigade then advanced to attack.  They had little difficulty capturing the first line of German trenches then very little could be seen of the advance.

 

Fairly quiet. Germans were firing a few shells – mostly shrapnel.

 

Verbal orders from Brigadier General afterwards confirmed, to send a company to Y wood with shovels.  They were to occupy a portion of German trenches captured in the morning. At 10:30 D Coy advanced to K wood undergoing heavy shelling from shrapnel. No room could be found in Y Wood all the trenches being occupied and more men coming pouring back being driven back by German bombs.

 

Shrapnel and machine gun fire in Y wood

 

D Coy dig themselves in, in Y wood having failed to discover any trench unoccupied by out men or any means of working. There was considerable confusion and no orders could be got of any sort.

 

Severe bombardment of Y wood lasting for ¾ of an hour. The shelling continued during the afternoon and evening. All trenches were severely shelled

 

Shelling slackens slightly. Message received from Brigade that 42nd Brigade would attack and attain original objective.  This to be started later.

 

42nd Brigade arrive in our front line trenches but unable to advance further because of heavy German shellfire.  They also suffered from German GAS shells. The Battalion crowded into our fire trench.

 

Trenches in Y Wood visited with a view to moving two companies there to support D Coy.  These trenches were found however to be very much congested with 42 Brigade and no move was made.

 

German shelling very fierce for 1 hr especially at Y wood. 42 Brigade withdrew to Ypres

 

Shelling slackens considerable. Fair number of “GAS” shells

 

Only occasional German shells.

 

Quiet

 

A few shrapnel and gas shells falling

 

Collection of wounded. Received orders that the Batt was to go with the Brigade reserve at GHQ line. D Coy relieved in Y Wood at midnight. Casualties: Major G A Smith, Lieut. DSP Douglas, Lieut. J A  Clarke and 2/Lt D Pratt all wounded.  7 men killed, 46 wounded 1 missing.

 

1915-06-17

 

Whole battalion in GHQ line in reserve. The Germans shelled the communications trench for the first time. 3 killed 5 wounded.

 

1915-06-18

 

A and D Coys in GHQ line sent south of MENIN ROAD, B Coy North of road C Coy in Support Trench 23. C Coy to go to Y Wood to bury dead.  Quiet day no casualties.

 

1915-06-19

 

Battalion duties as for the 18th. Some shelling during the day. Were relieved by KRR about 9:30pm and marched back to bivouacs behind VLAMERTINGHE. 1 man killed 5 (?) wounded.

 

1915-06-20

 

At rest in bivouacs. 1 man accidentally wounded.

 

1915-06-21

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-06-22

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-06-23

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-06-24

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-06-25

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-06-26

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-06-27

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK Orders that the Batt move to the trenches night of 28th 29th Trench reconnoitered then move cancelled

 

1915-06-28

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-06-29

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-6-30

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

 

 

 

James Watson a/Adj 4th Bn Gordon Highlanders

 

 

 

 

JULY

 

 

VLAMERTINGHE

1915-7-01

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-02

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-03

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK Draft of 71 men from 2/4 Gordons

 

1915-7-04

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-05

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-06

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-07

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-08

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-09

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-10

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-11

 

Resting in bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-12

 

Brigade relieved 7th Brigade in trenches at HOOGE. Bn remains at BRANDHOEK until further orders.

 

1915-7-13

 

In bivouacs near BRANDHOEK.  Practices emergency move – alarm given at 9:43pm. Turned out ready for trenches with transport in 55 minutes

 

1915-7-14

 

In bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-15

 

In bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-16

 

In bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-17

 

In bivouacs near BRANDHOEK

HOOGE

1915-7-18

 

Batt went to trenches C1 and C2 in SANCTUARY WOOD relieving the 2nd Royal Scots. 2 wounded

 

1915-7-19

10am

 

 

 

7pm

 

 

8pm

 

9pm

 

9:30pm

 

 

 

11pm

Operational Orders regarding mine explosion at HOOGE received at 10am Batt ordered to assist by fire from trenches.  During afternoon some shelling by guns and large trench mortar.

 

Mine successfully exploded. Artillery bombardment for 20 mins by our guns. German artillery replied immediately and considerable volume.

 

German artillery very active for about an hour

 

German artillery fire much slacker

 

Orders received to send on Coy to report to OC 4th Middlesex Regt at ISLAND POINT. A Coy started from dugouts at 10:50pm along with 8 bombers who reinforced 4th Middlesex in the mine crater

 

Much quieter. Casualties 4 killed and 13 wounded including 2nd Lt J Ratt wounded.

 

1915-7-20

1am

 

3am

 

 

4am

 

 

 

 

8pm

 

 

 

 

11:30pm

Orders received to send all available bombs to OC 4th Middlesex Regt

 

Orders received to all bombers to report to 4th Middlesex at ISLAND POST One officer and 12 bombers left at 4:20am

 

A Coy returned leaving 8 bombers under Sgt Allardyce in communication trenches forward from crater.

During the day Germans shelled us heavily and with increased force from 6-8pm

 

Orders received as to disposition in case of German counter-attack. 2nd  Suffolks came in from reserve.

During evening our bombers were employed in German trenches forward of crater

 

German shellfire ceased.  Casualties 3 killed 18 wounded.

 

1915-7-21

 

Fairly quiet day – a few German shells and Trench Mortar bombs.  Bombing squad relieved by fresh squad at about 5pm. Casualties 1 killed.

 

1915-7-22

 

Very quiet day. Bombers returned from crater at 3:30pm. Casualties 2 killed 1 wounded.  Batt relieved at night by KRR returning to bivouac at BRANDHOEK

 

1915-7-23

 

In bivouac at BRANDHOEK orders received to take over trenches 31 and 32 from 14th Brigade on night of 24th

BRANDHOEK

1915-7-24

 

Batt relieved 1st DCLI in trenches 31 and 32 in wood 100yds SW of Hill 60. A and B Coys in fire trenches 2 Suffolks, C and D coys in reserve 2 Dug outs

 

1915-7-25

 

Day passed quietly

 

1915-7-26

 

Day quiet except for 1 hours shelling with shrapnel from 7:30 to 8:30 pm

 

1915-7-27

 

Quiet day. Batt relieved by 2nd Royal Scots who entered the line from our left.

 

1915-7-28

 

Returned to bivouacs about 1 mile W of DICKEBUSCH

 

1915-7-29

 

In bivouacs C and D Coys digging fatigue cutting trench for telephone wire from 1st BN HQ to batteries in rear

 

1915-7-30

 

In Bivouacs. A and B Coys on same digging fatigue 1 man wounded

 

1915-7-31

 

In bivouacs

 

 

 

 

SPMcClintock actAdj 4th Gordon Highlanders TF

 

 

 

AUGUST

 

 

DICKIEBUSCHE

1915-08-01

 

In bivouack one mile N of DICKIEBUSCHE

 

1915-08-02

 

In bivouack, C & D Coys on digging fatigue during day digging trench for telephone wire. 4 men wounded by shrapnel. 1 man sick. Lieut RA Hughes M.O. sick

 

1915-08-03

 

Battalion took over ½ 28, 29, 30 & 31 support trenches from 1st Gordon Highlanders. Capt Jenkins in command of Battalion. Major Lyon on leave. Capt Adj McClintock sick. Trenches left of YPRES-COMMINES Canal.  3 men sick and 2nd Lt C R Brander.

 

1915-08-04

 

Battalion in trenches 4 men sick

 

1915-08-05

 

Battalion in trenches 1 man killed, one man accidentally wounded, 1 man sick

 

1915-08-06

 

Battalion in trenches 1 man wounded, Draft of 72 men arrived at bivouack

 

1915-08-07

 

Battalion in trenches 1 man wounded 1 man accidentally wounded, 1 man sick

 

1915-08-08

 

Battalion in trenches.  Major Lyon returned from leave and took over command that night. Two men wounded one man sick

 

1915-08-09

 

Battalion in trenches. As 6th Division were attacking at HOOGE. Battalion was ordered to try and create a diversion by grenade and rifle fire.  Trenches were shelled intermittently by enemy. 1 man killed, 2 wounded.

 

1915-08-10

 

Battalion in trenches.  Some shelling by enemy of our trenches by high explosive and shrapnel.2 Lt Rose FA killed. 2 men killed 6 wounded. Battalion relieved by 1st Gordon Highlanders. D Coy left at Bedford House as Brigade Reserve

 

1915-08-11

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. Capt J H Begg sick.

 

1915-08-12

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 1 man sick

 

1915-08-13

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 3 men sick

 

1915-08-14

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. A & B Coys working at fortified farm at point Sheet 28 H 16 D 22

 

1915-08-15

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE.  2 men sick

 

1915-08-16

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE.

 

1915-08-17

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 2 men sick

 

1915-08-18

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 3 men sick

 

1915-08-19

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 3 men sick

 

1915-08-20

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 1 man sick

 

1915-08-21

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 2 men sick

 

1915-08-22

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE.

 

1915-08-23

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. Draft of 59 men arrived

 

1915-08-24

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE.  B & C Coys on wood collecting fatigue in YPRES.  1 man killed

 

1915-08-25

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. A & D Coys digging telephone cable in rear ZILLEBEKE LAKE  1 man sick

 

1915-08-26

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. A, B & C Coys working at fortified farm at  28 H D 11. 1 man sick.

 

1915-08-27

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 1 man sick

 

1915-08-28

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. Brigade Sports. 1 man sick

 

1915-08-29

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 1 man sick

 

1915-08-30

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE. 1 man sick

 

1915-08-31

 

Battalion in rest billets one mile N. of DICKIEBUSCHE.

 

 

 

 

SR McClintock Capt Adj

4th Gordon Highlanders

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

 

1 mile east of OUDERDOM

1915-09-01

 

Still in rest billets. Party of 5 officers and 150 men on digging fatigue at night at moated Grange (?) at z16 c.5.8. N of ZILLIBEKE lake.  New drums received for battalion having brought out none.

¾ mile east of OUDERDOM

1915-9-02

 

Battalion changed rest billets to field on main OUDERDOM-VLAMERINGGHE road. 12 huts for men 6 for officers. Rest of Battalion in bivouac. Remainder of brigade quite near, some in huts some in bivouacs.  Very wet night. Lt Coutts (?) evacuated sick & 5 men

 

1915-09-03

 

Still in same hutments. Still wet. (2 men sick)

 

1915-09-04

 

Still in same hutments. Still wet

 

1915-09-05

 

Still in same hutments. Still wet

 

1915-09-06

 

Still in same hutments. Base(?) digging fatigue plus 1 officer and 50 men digging trench on ZILLIBEKE SWITCH

 

1915-09-07

 

Still in same hutments. 1 man sick. C.Sgt Major Low commissioned while on leave (gazetted? arrived?) today.

 

1915-09-08

 

Still in same hutments.  During last 10 days all officers went 2 or 3 at a time and visited the trenches at HOOGHE and SANCTUARY WOOD reconnoitering the front and enemy’s trenches as we are informed that brigade is to make an attack shortly. During the same period our artillery of all sorts have been bombarding the enemy’s trenches at intervals and keeping up intermittent fire day & night.

 

1915-09-09

 

Still in same hutments. Same digging fatigue as on the 6th. 4 men sick.

 

1915-9-10

 

Still in same hutments. Lt Waddell and 49 men went up to SANCTUARY WOOD and built 6 dugouts for ? and ? and bombstores etc in view of attack.  Attack ?? .  Bn. warned for the Trenches on the 12th

 

1915-09-11

 

Still in same hutments.

 

1915-09-12

 

Still in same hutments.  Batt. paraded at 5:45 to march to trenches B8 and C1 in SANCTUARY WOOD.  2 occupied trenches C1 and C15

SANCTUARY WOOD

1915-09-12

cont

.1/2 BB B.8.S.G?R 2RS relieving 1st Lincolnshire Regiment. Weather very fine (1 man sick)

 

1915-09-13

 

Quiet day. Our artillery bombarded enemy’s trenches from 10:30-11:15am C1 had to be cleared during this.  Throughout the day various batteries registered various points in enemy’s trenches on our front. Enemy’s guns in early morning and afternoon very active but not against trenches held by the battalion. Weather fine.

 

1915-09-14

 

Fine day. Guns bombarded enemy’s trenches with 400 rounds of H.E. Field Guns. Also 8 inch and 6 inch registered (one man wounded).  Lt J.D. Knott(?) wounded in right forearm when approaching point A 95 N at night with a party to hold this point. Germans were already there and opened fire. They retired afterwards and we occupied this post. One man employed with advance (?) Coy. Wounded.

 

1915-09-15

 

Fine day. Our guns as usual active against the German trenches.  Battalion working very hard every day reconstructing our old front line C2 and C1 also making CTs Dugouts, bombstores etc in preparation for the attack.

 

1915-09-16

 

Fine day. Our guns as usual active throughout the day but particularly during the afternoon. Enemy retaliated about 4pm giving about 100 whizzbangs into our area but as out frontline trenches were cleared did little damage wounding slightly 2 men.  During this tour in the trenches Sgt Forbes did very useful work in crawling out in front of our trenches and reporting on wire, enemy’s lines and all kinds of useful information.  At times he crawled in daylight to within 10 yards of the German trenches.

 

1915-09-17

 

Fine day. Usual activity by our guns.  Q95 occupied by day as well as night. This was the first time this was held by day since our troops had been driven out about 5 weeks ago.  Germans at various times during the day and night tried to get up to it along their communication trench but always retired as soon as fired at or on throwing 2 or 3 bombs.  Two Germans were shot while trying to come up CT.

 

1915-09-18

 

Fine Day. Heavy bombardment by us at 5:30pm on N. of Menin Road for about an hour. Enemy retaliated but not on our trenches. Our guns bombarded ? and ? in afternoon about 2pm enemy retaliated only some whizzbangs came over our trenches, our front line trenches were cleared.  Relieved by 1st Lincs Regt. But our usual working parties worked up to 12 midnight so as not to lose a day.  Battalion marched back to rest billets about ½ a mile East of OUDERDOM. 2 men wounded while crossing our  dump? Leaving trenches (2 men sick)

Barrack ¾ mile East of OUDERDOM

1915-09-19

 

In rest billets. Sgt Forbes and 6 snipers left out in Trench area to report on condition of enemy trenches and wire etc and any changes or additions made. Fine

 

1915-09-20

 

In rest billets. Fine. (1 man sick)

 

1915-09-21

 

In rest billets. Sent up some pioneers at night to trenches to make dugouts for HQ, water cans water tank with material for same.  Very good reports received daily from Sgt Forbes. 2 men sick

 

1915-09-22

 

In rest bivouac. Field Marshall Lord Kitchener inspected 4th GH , 1st GH and 2nd R. Scots.  Addressed troops afterwards and said that 8th Brigade had done excellent work so far and he was sure they would the same in the events which were to take place in the next few days. Bn Warned for trenches tomorrow night. Fine. 3 men sick.

 

1915-09-23

 

Battalion left for trenches, strength marching out 27 officers and 614 other ranks.  Took over trenches C1 B8 C15 B8.5 CIR & r51 all in  SANCTUARY WOOD from 1st Lincoln Regt.

SANCTUARY WOOD

1915-09-24

 

In trenches in SANCTUARY WOOD busy getting everything ready for attack.  Copy of operation orders attached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1915-09-25

1:30am

 

 

 

3:50am

 

 

 

4:05am

 

4:10am

 

 

4:18am

 

 

4:20am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:50am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:50-12:00noon

 

 

5am – 5:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About

11-12 noon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1pm

 

 

1:30-2 pm

 

 

9pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A small ration of coffee distributed in Dixies to men; immediately afterwards all ranks moved into assembly positions, everyone in correct positions by 3:40am

 

Our bombardment commenced. Almost at once Germans started bombarding our trenches, mostly with  (?)  causing some casualties mostly in CI 5 and Half Moon Street

 

Our bombardment lifted off German front line trenches

 

½ of B Coy crawled forward to German line

 

 

½ of D Coy and ½ of C Coy advanced and the other half advanced from our second line trenches.

 

Our 1st and 2nd line got into German trenches with little loss. Found many Germans in it most of whom bolted.

3rd line advanced over this trench and along with second line, advanced to objective. Certain amount of confusion. Germans met with in considerable numbers in the open and in the trenches and a good bit of rifle fire and hand to hand fighting but all were soon captured, killed or escaped.

Reports gradually got back saying the objective had been gained.

At the same time 1 off and 9 RE attached and 25 Battalion pioneers under Lt  Waddell started to work on CT from Appendix to German line, but after a short time had to stop owing to heavy fire from artillery several of the pioneers being killed.  They went forward to help consolidate the furthest line taken by us.

 

Germans started heavy bombardment of captured trenches in redoubt, reports came back telling of this and asking for shovels and sandbags to strengthen trenches.  Some were sent up but did not arrive owing to shelling.

It was almost impossible to get up bombs etc to the furthest line held by us as the German CTs were blocked by shell fire and anyone coming out into the open was fired at by rifle and machine gun fire coming from North of the MENIN ROAD.

Reports came back from Capt Hopkinson that he was at point J.13. A 6 and that a field gun had been captured there. Sgt Forbes was killed at this point by a shell.

Lieut. Henderson now in command of C Coy (Capt Reed having been wounded in the middle of the redoubt and carried back to our own lines by his servant) reported that he was at point J13 C 79 with 6 men he was afterwards driven back from this by shellfire.

 

Heavy shelling from Germans all the time. Reinforcements were asked for by Coys in German 3rd line and half of B Coy under Capt Watson were sent up. Capt Watson was wounded in Appendix by a shell.

 

One half of A Coy in reserve in B.8.S was sent to take the place of B Coy in C1 as supports.  All out old trenches were being fairly heavily shelled by whiz bangs which made it very difficult to get up supplies of bombs etc even as far as the Appendix but it was don alright and a bomb reserve was made in German first line at point S13 C 3.9 but it was found almost impossible to take them further forward than there.

 

Germans collected North of the Menin road and at about 11:30 – 12noon attacked from N and NE with bombing parties up the trenches and others over the open.

Our bombers with some of the 1st GH who were isolated from their own battalion were driven back for want of bombs and the German bombers working along their old front line from the North forced out men to retire, but not before they had opened rapid fire on them killing a good many.

Our men retired to the Royal Scots trenches and across the open through the wood to Appendix 2 B 8 where they were collected and lined the parapet of Appendix C1 and B8. They were well handled by 2Lt Bain. The Germans 4 times tried to advance from their own front line into C1 and Appendix but each time were stopped by accurate fire of these men.

The men of C and D coys who were in the German 3rd line were cut off and are missing

The remainder of A coy were at once sent for to reinforce and hold our old front line all this time the Germans were accurately shelling our trenches with field guns, inflicting several casualties.

The brigade was at once informed of the situation and asked to send reinforcements.

 

1 Coy of the 49th Middlesex Regt was sent to relieve men in appendix C12B8

 

Men in C1 B8 were relieved and went back to Middlesex dugouts in Sanctuary wood. One machine gun in new trench not relieved until later when it was relieved by 2 MG of the Suffolks

 

Battalion marched back to rest billets near OUDERDOM

 

Casualties as far as at present known:

 

Officers

Killed

Wounded and Missing

Wounded

Missing

2nd Lt GP Dawson

Lieut AR Henderson

Capt  CD Setiskain

Capt S Hopkinson

 

 

Capt C Reed

Lt J Morrison

 

 

Capt LE Watson

Lt RD Coutts

 

 

Lt C R Branden

2LT WJC Sangster

 

 

2Lt ER Watts

2Lt W Addison

 

 

2Lt W Inkster

2Lt G Low

 

 

2 Lt EM Tennant

 

 

NCOs and Men

A Coy

B Coy

C Coy

D Coy

TOTAL

Killed

 3

10

6

4

 23

Died of Wounds

 1

-

-

-

    1

Wounded

23

43

36

46

148

Wounded & Missing

-

-

  4

  2

    6

Missing

  5

 19

65

52

141

TOTALS

32

72

111

104

319

 

Total of all ranks 334

Copies of operation order No1 and 2 attached

 

 

 

(out of 641 strength to trenches  ed)

 

Rest Bivouac ¾ mile NE of OUDERDOM

1915-09-26

 

Battalion resting. Church parade at 6pm in evening

 

1915-09-27

 

Corps Commander Lt Gen Sire EHH Allenby KCB came and addressed the battalion, explaining situation and complimenting the battalion on what they had done.  (5 men sick to F. Amb)

 

1915-09-28

 

Divisional Commander Lt Gen JAL Haldane came and addressed the battalion, explaining situation and the necessity of containing attacks & complimented the battalion very strongly on the way they attacked.

 

1915-09-29

 

In rest billets

 

1915-09-30

5am

 

 

 

8:30am

 

9:30am

Orderly arrived direct from 3rd Division with a message ordering the battalion to be (ready) to move as soon as possible and to march to Dug outs in H 23 B near KRUISSTRAAT

 

Arrived at 8:30 am

 

Got a message from 3rd Div to supply a party of 150 men to carry bombs from KRUISSTRAAT to MAPLE COPSE.  Total strength out about 300. Very heavy work as the men in marching order and very wet underfoot.  Carrying parties sent off in small parties of 10 to arrive at MAPLE COPSE after about 2pm 3 men wounded by shell on the way.

ZILLEBEKE VILLAGE

1915-09-30

2pm

 

 

3pm

 

 

 

4pm

 

 

 

5pm

 

9pm

 

 

10pm

Battalion sent back to ZILLEBEKE VILLAGE to remain hidden there

 

Our bombardment started on B4 and salient there.  2nd Suffolks and Middlesex Regts did a bomb attack to try and recover some of the lost trenches.  Only partially successful.

 

One of our aeroplanes fell about 70 yds E of ZILLEBEKE street Communications Trench. Our stretcher bearers brought in officer wounded in both legs.

 

Battalion told to move to MAPLE copse

 

Battalion put into dug-outs A&B Groups in SE Corner of SANCTUARY WOOD

 

50 men carrying ammunition from MAPLE COPSE to SANCTUARY WOOD. Men very tired also very wet. Had nothing hot all day.

 

 

 

Signed 4/10/15 SR McCLINTOCK

     4th Gordon Highlanders.

 

OCTOBER

 

 

SANCTUARY WOOD

1915-10-01

 

Battalion remained in A and B group Dug Outs till the evening when we relieved the 2nd SUFFOLK Regt. In B8 & B8S and dug outs in rear. B* much knocked about since the attack. Wood much thinner. 2nd Lt WADDEL, GEDDES and WALKER admitted to hospital sick (2 men sick)

 

1915-10-02

 

Battalion still in trenches day passed quietly work of reconstruction of trench p??? with 26 men sent back to transport lines sick. All ranks feeling the strain not having properly recovered from the attack. Men a bit grumpy? (Sgt Crichton wounded) (2 men to ?? )  Draft of 9 rejoined men and 15 new men arrived.

 

1915-10-03

 

Battalion still in trenches. Quiet day. (4 men sick)

 

1915-10-04

 

Battalion in trenches.  Germans fired a good many high explosive shells near B 8 and B8 S & Dugouts in rear, also some trench mortars at B 8 but no casualties.  Battalion relieved by 1/Royal Scots Fus. 9th Bde. Rather late relief owing to darkness and state of roads.  Battalion marched back to rest billets.

¾ mile East of OUDERDOM

1915-10-05

 

Battalion in rest billets

 

1915-10-06

 

Battalion in rest billets. 12 officers arrived from 3/7th Bn

 

1915-10-07

 

Battalion in rest billets. Major Smith rejoined (1 man sick)

 

1915-10-08

 

Battalion in rest billets. (1 man sick)

¾ Mile E of OUDERDOM

1915-10-09

 

Battalion in rest billets. 4 new officers went for 3 days instruction to 1st Bn in the trenches with 1st Bn.

 

1915-10-10

 

Battalion in rest billets (1 man sick)

 

1915-10-11

 

Battalion in rest billets Lt Col OGILVIE returned

 

1915-10-12

 

Battalion in rest billets 4 officers went to the 4th Middlesex Regt in trenches (2 men sick)

 

1915-10-13

 

Battalion marched off to the trenches. B3 junction sap. ROBB Street. B7 and relieved Xth Middlesex Regt.  Trenches very bad, large working parties of Suffolk Regt and others working on our line improving it. 1 Coy Royal Scots attached to us.  Strength of the Battalion marching to trenches 268. Lt  I. A. CLERKE wounded by shrapnel while attached 4th Middlesex Regiment. 2 men wounded. Weather fine mist at night (2 men sick)

SANCTUARY WOOD

1915-10-14

 

Battalion is same trenches. Quiet day. Some bombing at night. 2 bombers wounded. Fine weather (3 men sick)

 

1915-10-15

 

Early in the morning at 5am enemy started sudden shelling of wood behind front line trenches. Lasted for about 15 minutes but did not do much damage (2 men wounded) Weather fine.  7th RSLI one company attached to us as reserves. (6 men sick)

 

1915-10-16

 

Quiet day on the whole, our trench mortars under RGA registered and bombed enemy’s trenches during night of 15/16.  Enemy started throwing bombs, but our bombers threw more back and stopped them.  3 men wounded (12 men to field ambulance). Men very tired& many coming sick with temperatures. Cannot relieve men in front line trenches as we have not sufficient men to do so. 1 Coy Kings Liverpool Regt attached for instruction the KSLI ?learning?

SANCTUARY WOOD

1915-10-17

 

Quiet day on our front except for a few trench mortars and 2 rifle grenades.  Enemy bombarded for about 4 hours on our left in direction of ZOUAVE WOOD and F1. Battalion relieved by 1/R.Scots Fus. (8 men sick from rest billets)

¾ mile E of OUDERDOM

1915-10-18

 

In rest billets

 

1915-10-19

 

In rest billets.  The batt. Was transferred to 76 Bde composed of 1st GH, 2nd SUFFOLKS 8th KINGS OWN R. LANCS, 10th R. Welsh FUSILIERS(1 man sick)

 

1915-10-20

 

In rest billets. Got orders to be ready to move in the evening to POPERINGHE as all the Division was going back for a rest.  Batt marched at 5:30pm and were billeted in two places a brewery and a school.

POPERINGHE

1915-10-21

 

Batt got orders to move to EECKE at 5:30pm leading the Brigade via BOESCHEPE and GODEVAERSVELDT arrived at about 11pm. Men and officers in billets but very crowded.

EECKE

1915-10-22

 

Got more billets for the men so now fairly comfortable

 

1915-10-23

 

In EECKE. Did little apart from settle down

 

1915-10-24

 

In EECKE. (1 man sick)

 

1915-10-25

 

Started training the battalion, especially men of the latest draft. All ranks need smartening up. Very wet day (1 man sick)

 

1915-10-26

 

Battalion route march (1 man sick)

 

1915-10-27

 

Drill and Training. Lt GIBBON and 20 other ranks gone over by busses to RENINGHELST to be inspected by the King along with detachments from other regts in the 3rd Div. Sgt CAMERON reports by letter from Germany that he 223 others are prisoners in Germany also 5 men wounded and prisoners and Lt ADDISON is also a prisoner.

EECKE

1915-10-28

 

Still in billets. Drill & Classes (1 man sick)

 

1915-10-29

 

Still in billets. Drill & Classes (3 men sick)

 

1915-10-30

 

Still in billets. Drill & Classes

 

1915-10-31

 

Still in billets. Drill & Classes (2 men sick)

 

NOVEMBER

 

 

 

1915-11-01

 

Still in billets. Drill & Classes Capt BEGG and Lt DOUGLAS rejoined(1 man sick)

 

1915-11-02

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Usual parades. Draft of 50 men arrived including 4 rejoined. 2 men admitted hospital

 

1915-11-03

 

Still in Rest Billets.  New draft inspected by CO 1 man admitted hospital

 

1915-11-04

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Usual parade.

 

1915-11-05

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Quantity of ammunition carried on men reduced to 120 rounds. 1 man to hospital.

 

1915-11-06

 

Still in Rest Billets. Final of divisional football competition at STEENVOORDE.  Arrangement made for battalion boxing tournament. 2289 L/Sgt Bridges awarded the “Croix de Guerre”

 

1915-11-07

 

Still in Rest Billets. Communion Service 50 men joined the church. Kit and equipment inspection by CO. 2 men to hospital

 

1915-11-08

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Men instructed in the use of Tube Helmets.  Battalion practiced blocking trenches.

 

1915-11-09

 

Still in Rest Billets. Practiced “outposts”

 

1915-11-10

 

Still in Rest Billets. Battalion route march. Batt supplied working party to construct brigade rifle range. Interpreter ?JAQUEN….? leaves to be attached to 8th Bde.  Sgt BURNS returned to England pending Commission. 3 men arrived including 2 rejoined.

 

1915-11-11

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Practiced building parapet and blocking C.T.s No1 Coy practiced shooting on rifle range.

 

1915-11-12

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Usual parades. Football matches played in the afternoon.

 

1915-11-13

 

Still in Rest Billets. Practice in building parapet, blocking trenches and drainage.  Times and material used noted.

 

1915-11-14

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Church parade in School playground.  Inspection of billets by CO A draft of 50 men arrived including 4 rejoined

 

1915-11-15

 

Still in Rest Billets.  New draft inspected by CO. Usual parades. No2 Coy drilled in afternoon wearing Tube Helmets.  First – round boxing (Light weight) wrestling and pillow fighting 1 man to Hospital.

 

1915-11-16

 

Still in Rest Billets. The recent drafts put under Capt BRANCHER? For training. Parades as usual. Finals of Battalion sports.

 

1915-11-17

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Battalion route march.  Afternoon devoted to football. Major A  LYON returned from instruction at 8th Bde H.2.and took over duties of Adjutant.  6 men arrived including 1 rejoined.

 

1915-11-18

 

Still in Rest Billets.  Kit inspection of A & B Coys by the Brigadier General who also inspected the transport.  He expressed himself pleased with both.  Fatigue parties sent to H2  last Riding RE to make Gabions and new pattern trench.  Six officers proceeded by motor bus to attend exhibition of aeroplane photos at RENINGHELST. The journey each way lasted 1 ½ hours the exhibition 25 minutes. Party very disappointed. 1 man to hospital. Weather very cold and wet.

EECKE

1915-11-19

 

Still in Rest Billets. Battalion warned to proceed on 20th to trench area with a view to occupying a position as Reserve and Pioneer Batt on right 21/22.  Filled in al practice trenches . Weather very frosty and much colder.

 

1915-11-20

 

Battalion marched to Rest Billets in RENINGHELST. Marched at 10am and arrived at 2pm. Weather fine and frosty.  Had to wait 2 hours in a field until 8th East Surreys departed.  Dinners were taken during the wait.  Specialists conveyed from EECKE to RENINGHELST by motor busses arrived at 10pm a proportion of them were ordered to proceed at 2:30 am to take over from2nd London Regiment.  Rest camp consisted of tents and a few huts.  Ground fearful state of mud.

 

1915-11-21

 

Specialists left at 2:30am to take over. Church parade at 10 am in barn. Battalion paraded for trenches at 2:40pm A Coy and 25% of specialists left in camp. Battalion marched at 3 pm to trench area and relieved 2 London Regiment in Dugouts on canal in rear of Bluff. ( I .33a .4 .b) 5h 28.  Relief completed at 7 39pm. No casualties. Night was clear and very frosty.  Details in camp ordered to leave for another billet and given two days to move. 1 man to field ambulance.

RENINGHELST

1915-11-22

 

Quiet day. Very frosty. Mist worked all day improving dugouts and surroundings. Provided fatigue for miners material, no casualties. 1 man to field ambulance.

Details

Site for new camp G35 C3.2 clear grass field. Drew 25 tents form Ordinance and erected camp with trench boards down centre.

 

1915-11-23

 

Details: Moved to new camp and busy whole day on improvements. Started to erect officers mess, latrines etc.  Pte BEGGS sentence to 9 months hard labor by Court Martial was promulgated today before details. Very quiet in trench area frosty in morning but mild and raining at night. Work of reconstructing dugouts continues slowly as ground everywhere is in a very bad state 1 man wounded by bullet while on ration fatigue. 3 men to field ambulance.

 

1915-11-24

 

Details: 20 on sick parade. Chiefly colds. Carried on work in camp. Men all very keen on getting things into order.  RE Park have been of great assistance in supplying us with wood for building purposes.  In trench area things very quiet in our sector but considerable shelling all day to our north. Our snipers shot one German from the BLUFF and harassed several working parties. Our snipers have taken over the “Shootings on the BLUFF” from the RW FUSILIERS. Weather dull with some rain. Continued work on dugouts and on supporting points. 1 man to Field Amb.

RENINGHELST

1915-11-25

 

“A” Coy relieved “B” Coy in dugouts. Commenced new M.Gun emplacement in GORDON POST. Also making loopholed dugout in R10. Continued improving dugouts. 1 man to Field Amb.

 

1915-11-26

 

Continued work as above.  Dugouts now in much better condition. LANKHOF CHATEAU bombarded for about 3 minutes by 15 cm guns apparently trying to find a battery of ours. 1 man to Field Amb.

 

1915-11-27

 

Major SMITH and other officers relieved CO and officers in trench area. Very quiet day. 2 men to field Ambulance.

 

1915-11-28

 

Very cold and frosty all day.  Work in dugouts R10 and R11 carried on as usual. 2 men to Field Amb.

 

1915-11-29

 

Our HAR registered on trenches opposite 33 & 35. otherwise quiet. Camp improvement continues but hindered by lack of wood. 1 man to field Amb.

 

1915-11-30

 

German trenches opposite 34 and 36 bombarded with field guns and howitzers.  Results appear to have been satisfactory.  Last day of work on dugouts as we are warned to commence work on CTs 3 men to Field Amb

 

 

 

 

Alexander Lynn Major

A/Adj 4th Gordon Highlanders.

 

 

DECEMBER

 

 

RENINGHELST

1915-12-01

 

Weather fine and warm but wet in evening.  Heavy firing from south which sounded as if in the vicinity of KEMMEL.  Commenced work repairing CTs but work rather held up through shortage of material. 1 man to Field Amb

 

1915-12-02

 

Weather fine and warm. Work continued on dugouts and CTs Our guns rather active. 1 NCO wounded by shrapnel in CT 33 left. 4 men to Field Amb.

 

1915-12-03

 

“C” Coy relieved “D” Coy in dugouts. Officers’ relief also carried out. Weather misty and rainy. Work in CTs continues.

 

1915-12-04

 

HAR fired at enemy’s mine shaft with good results. A sheet of flame was seen to rise up after the burst of one shell.  Taped out enemy proposed trench located and registered on by a filed gun placed at Lt Barne’s (Intelligence Officer) disposal. Arrangements made to send over some shrapnel during the night. Work as usual. Cpt BRANDER? Left for ROUEN to relieve Lt RL MacKinnon appointed to Divisional Staff.

1 officer and 40 men East Yorks attached to Bde for work accommodated in out dug-out area. Carried on camp improvements.

RENINGHELST

1915-12-05

 

Taped trench found still undug in morning. Snipers saw working party and dispersed them with shellfire. 1 German shot by snipers in a fire trench. A tower of  HOLLEBEKE CHATEAU fell down in the afternoon. Good amount of shellfire on both sides.  The dump beside HQ dug outs shrapnelled about 5pm all bursting fairly high. Work as usual. Machine Gunners relief. Suffolks take over one position from us on the south side of Canal . Men in camp church parade in YMCA Hut.  Inspection of kit of the men returning from the trenches.

 

1915-12-06

 

Fine Day. Good deal of shelling in the direction of Brigade Headquarters in the evening, otherwise quiet.

 

1915-12-07

 

Fairly dry today. With the exception of a few shells which landed in the rear of headquarters things were relatively quiet.  Around PEAR TREE WALK however a considerable number of small shells dropped.

 

1915-12-08

 

Colder this morning. About 10am a considerable number of shells dropped around CHESTER FARM and one man (?Webster? a cook?) severely wounded in right leg by HE Shrapnel. He died later in the day. Major Lynn left this forenoon for the 8th Brigade. One man (Mitchell) killed and another (Logan) severely wounded at the entrance to PEAR TREE WALK about 2pm by a whiz-bang.

 

1915-12-09

 

Heavy shelling early this morning over on right. Hazy and dull and about 11am rain commenced to fall and continued throughout the day.

Private Mitchell was buried in front of headquarters this afternoon; the Padre came out for the burial. Officers’ relief affected this afternoon and evening.

 

1915-12-10

 

Heavy rain overnight and dull and misty in the morning. Comparatively little shelling near dugouts but near PEAR TREE WALK several small shells were dropped

 

1915-12-11

 

Raining heavily overnight. Very heavy shelling by both sides three or four times during the night

 

1915-12-12

 

Dry overnight and a clear morning. Slightly colder.  Some of our heavies registered on the German front line this afternoon.  The Germans sent over several heavy shells in reply but nothing came near us.  A good bit colder tonight.

 

1915-12-13

 

Colder this morning and dry ???. About 9am shelling by our heavies commenced. Lasted until 10:30am. Very feeble reply by Germans on Bluff and around trenches. Frost at night.

 

1915-12-14

 

Frosty this morning and very quiet. A little shelling overnight but hardly anything during the day

DUG OUTS

1915-12-15

 

Roads ????  KRUISSTAAT heavily shelled and also in the trench area Our artillery  ???

 

1915-12-16

 

Weather very misty. Enemy shelled a good deal around PEAR TREE FARM. Major SMITH appointed temporary Command 8th KINGS OWN LANCASTER REGIMENT

 

1915-12-17

 

Very quiet today and hardly any shelling at all

 

1915-12-18

 

Quiet day. Draft of 250 men arrived at camp today.

 

1915-12-19

 

Heavy rifle fire early this morning. About dawn a strong smell of gas from north and heavy bombardment Guns busy all day and 1st Gordons heavily shelled

 

1915-12-20

 

Shelling heavy again today.  Work interfered with.  L/Cpl STARNACH of  B??? S????? killed in the evening near light railway on road. 

 

1915-12-21

 

Dull and wet and very little shelling

 

1915-12-22

 

Dry weather in the morning, recommenced to rain about noon. Some shelling in the vicinity of Peartree during the forenoon

 

1915-12-23

 

Dull and misty. Hardly any shelling at all.

 

1915-12-24

 

Heavy rain overnight but dry and clear in the morning. Almost an entire absence of any shelling

 

1915-12-25

 

Dry and Clear in the morning and practically no shelling whatever throughout the day

 

1915-12-26

 

Clear and bright this morning. No shelling in the forenoon but in the course of the afternoon the enemy sent over a good few shells across to the right of BEDFORD HOUSE. Had a gas alarm practice at 11:30 pm

 

1915-12-27

 

Raining overnight but clear and bright in the morning. Very quiet all day.

 

1915-12-28

 

Quiet all day

 

1915-12-29

 

Quiet early part of the day but a good deal of shelling in the afternoon.

 

1915-12-30

 

Clear and bright this morning and very little shelling

 

1915-12-31

 

Dry night and hardly any shelling during the day.  At 11pm some heavy shelling by our artillery without receiving any reply from the enemy

 

John R Harrison (?) 2Lt A/Adjutant

4th Gordon Highlanders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Field Strengths 1915

 



Brigade Orders  Copy No5

 

 

8th Brigade Operational Orders No2                                                          18th July 1915

 

1.                  The mine under Y.2 will be fired at 7pm tomorrow (19th).  It is anticipated that the mine crater will ?? about 30 yards in diameter and that debris will be piled up in a ring of about 10 yards in width around the outside of the crater

2.                   

a.      Advantage will be taken of the explosion to improve our condition at HOOGE

b.      (b) The objective is a limited one and no enterprise beyond the enemy’s front line trench is to be undertaken.  The bombers however will push down the trenches allotted to them so as to give freedom to the parties consolidating the captured trench.  Barriers in the trenches will be made by filling in a space of at least 20 yards,

3.                  O.C. 1st Gordon Highlanders will arrange for the removal of our wire tonight as far as possible without attracting the attention of the Enemy.  This battalion will also fill all available sandbags and stack them at convenient places between ISLAND POST and the STABLES.  These sandbags will be held available either for building up the parapet of our new lines or for repairing the old line where it may have been damaged by the force of the explosion.  OC 4th Middlesex Regt will draw what sandbags he requires from the OC 56 Coy RE for consolidation of the new line.  Entrenching tools will also be carried forward with the assaulting party for the same purpose.  OC Middlesex will demand without delay any tools or equipment he requires and which are not now available in the front line.

4.                  OC 4th Middlesex Rgt will, 40 seconds after the explosion has taken place move from his position assembly close to but S. of the MENIN Road and  ??? ??? the mine crater and the trench to the right of it as far as point H. Bombing parties will be detailed to block the trenches leading to the crater from Y.20 and points E and C.  The joining up of the enemy’s trench with our present lines will be proceeded with at the soonest possible moment and be completed by daylight on the 20th

5.                  The bombers of the 1st Gordon Highlanders and 2 sections of 56 Coy RE are placed at the disposal of the OC 4th Middlesex Regt.  The trench howitzer and rifle grenade thrower of the 1st Gordon Highlanders will cooperate in the attack by firing at German Trenches along which reinforcements might be moved.  These trench howitzers and rifle grenade throwers will be registered at points selected beforehand.  The Machine Guns and Snipers of the 1st Gordon Highlanders and 2nd Suffolk Regt will remain in the present line until orders are issued for their withdrawal.  They will cooperate in the attack as opportunity offers.  OC Middlesex will arrange storage for grenades, sandbags, tools, VERY lights and ammunition and  inform all concerned of their location.  They will be under the supervision of an officer detailed by him.  Owing to the uncertainty as to the safety of a loaded grenade on the explosion of a mine all grenades at 7pm will be so placed as to ensure the safety of those in their neighbourhood.

6.      Prior to the explosion no troops should be in dugouts or in places where falling masonry may cause them injury.

7.      Men with hand axes and wire cutters will be attached to all bombing parties  Wire cutters will be attached to the person by lanyards.   Special parties must be told off for ?? the parapet of the captured trench and for placing ?knife? wire? In front of it.

8.      It is essential that not only each officer but each man know exactly what is being undertaken and what is expected of him personally.

9.      OC Trench Mortar Battery will cooperate in the attack by firing at points which will be indicated to him and at such other points as the OC Middlesex may wish fire to be directed on from time to time.

10.   The 2nd Group HAR and Howitzer Batteries of 3rd Divisional Artillery  open fire at 7pm and bombard the following points from 7pm to 7:20pm

a.      Two 9.2” Howitzers – ANNEXE and trench junction (C)

b.      130th Battery -  Trench junction at (D) one section on (X19)

c.      One 9.2” Howitzer – Trench junction (Y 19)

d.      Two 6” Howitzers – Half way between (B) and (C)

e.      Four 6” Howitzers (14th Division) Y20 to half way between Y20 and (K)

f.        Four 60 pndrs – (F) and (G)

g.      Four 4.7” – Y22 to MENIN road

 

Field batteries of 3rd Division are ready to open fire if required as follows One Brigade on point (A) (B) (D).  Two Batteries in Y14 (F) and (G).  The object of these batteries will be to prevent the approach of Hostile reinforcements after the Heavy Artillery has ended fire.

 

11.             4th Gordon Highlanders will cooperate from their trenches by fire.  The 2 Coys 2nd Suffolk Regt now in SANCTAURY WOOD will withdraw tomorrow afternoon by small parties to the GHQ line S. of the MENIN road.  One Coy 2nd Royal Scots will remain in the present position of its reserve Coy at I.17.C.  1st Gordon Highlanders will be located at H.11.d

12.             Aid posts will be established at I.24.G.2.5 and at the W end of the assembly trenches at I. 18.A. 2.6

OC 4th Middlesex Regt and 4th Gordon Highlanders will detail their MOs and Stretcher Bearers for duty at the former and the OC 2nd Suffolk Regt will detail his MO and Stretcher Bearers for the latter

13.             The watches of all officers will be set by a time that will be communicated tomorrow.

14.             Base HQ will be in the CT at I 17 D 2.7 but a forward Staff Officer will be on duty with the 4th Middlesex Regt from 5pm

15.             Acknowledge by ?

 

HP - ?

Brigade Major

5th Infantry Brigade

 

To –

OC 2nd Royal Scots

OC 2nd Suffolk Regt

OC 4th Middlesex Regt

OC 1st Gordon Highlanders

OC 4th Gordon Highlanders

OC 24th Trench Howitzer

OC No 3 Motor Machine Gun Btry

OC 40th Bde RFA

HQ 14th Division

OC 56 Coy RE


OC 4th Bn Gordon Highlanders

 

Sir John French has communicated to the Divisional Commander through Sir H. Plumer his gratification at the success of the 8th Bde at HOOGE

 

        The Divisional Commander desires that the following be communicated to all ranks of the Brigade:-

 

        The G.O.C. 3rd Division has noted with satisfaction the excellent work carried out by the 8th Infantry Brigade since it moved east of YPRES at the end of May.  The Brigade has  executed a vast amount of field fortification and did valuable work after the action of the 16th of June in gaining ground of importance.  Lastly it captured the important tactical feature north of HOOGE on the 19th of July and has maintained itself there under trying circumstances.

 

        Altogether its work on the YPRES Salient is such as to reflect credit on Brigadier-General Hoskins and all ranks under his command.

 

 

23rd July 1915 

 

??  Bde Major 8th Infantry Brigade


SECRET

                                                                                                                                                Copy No 8

Operational Order No1

???????

 

1.       The 8th Bde will attack the enemy’s position on the morning of 25th September 1915.

2.       3rd RA and HAR will bombard the front to be attacked from 3:50 to 4:20am. The ?support? trenches will be bombarded from 3:50-5am and fronts and rear from 4.05 to 4.20am. Our mine will be exploded under the enemies trenches about J 13.C.0 and J 13.C.8.1. Two of these will be exploded at 4.19am and two at 4.19½ am. The assault will be delivered all along the line at 4.20am.  Absolute silence will be maintained during the assault.  Bayonets will be dulled in every way possible.  All ranks must be made to realise the importance of their not overrunning their respective  ?? line which must be made good and strengthened without delay with unremitting energy

3.       Objective From J.13.C.4.8  -- J.13.C.6.8—J.13.C.7.9.—J.13. a C76.19—J.13.a.2.2—J.13.a.2.1 all inclusive.

4.       ?? To Assembly

½ D Coy and 1 Platoon B Coy in C.2 & ½ C1 front line

½ C Coy and 1 Platoon of B Coy in half of C1 old front line – Appendix and New Trenches

 

Bombing squads distributed along front line according to where the trenches they are to bomb are situated – see bombing ???

 

½ D Coy in Half Moon Street

½ C Coy in C.1

 

3 machine Guns will assemble in this line

 

½ B Coy Pioneers and RE in C.1.5

 

A Coy in reserve in B.85

 

5.       Orders for Advance

½  B Coy in front line will move forward at 4.10am and get as close to the German front line as possible. Cutting barbed wire on the way. At 4.20am they will occupy the German front line from J.13.a.2.1—J.13.C.4.8.  Reserve bombers of this Coy will move on point J.13.A.2.1 and work along the trench towards J.13.A.2.2 and get in trench with 1st GA

 

½ D Coy and ½ C Coy move forward at same time and go straight for their objective.  3 machine guns will accompany this line.

 

The dividing line between C and D Coys will be J.13.C.3.9 – J.13.A.6.0 both points inclusive to D Coy.

 

All company reserve bombers will keep together in parties of 4 and will be used as bombers if necessary to clear German CTs  Bombers also to deal with any dug-outs etc

These bombers will not use bombs unless absolutely necessary and will be fully armed and carry 6 bombs each, which if not required when position is secured will be passed to Bttn Bombers in front.

½ B Coy in C.1.8 will at 4.20am reoccupy our old front line from juncture of old C.2 to Piccadilly Circus.

 

?? ?? Coy will dig a CT from this point to German Trench near J.13.C.?.9.  This will be done as soon as attack has secured objectives

The Pioneers and RE will at once open up CT from APPENDIX to near J.13.C.4.8.

 

6.       ????? ????? Bombers

½  Section to Bombing??? Will accompany ½ B Coy making for point J.13.C.3.9 and will bomb up towards J.13.C.4.8

??? 2nd Line

½ Section J.13.A.2.1—J.13.a.1-J.13.a.?.2

½ Section J13.a.2.0 bomb towards J.12.a.5.0. divide at J.12.a.5.0 to J 13.a.5.3.- J13.a.6.1.

??? Squads will not get into German CTs until J.13.a.?.1 & J.13.a.- is ??? as possible

½ section ??? advance with the second line to J.13.c.4.9 from which they will move towards trench junction 30 yards south of J.13.C.4.8-J.13.C.6.8-J.18.c.6.9

½ section ?? there ½ J.13.c.7.9 ??-to J.13.a.7.1

 

Two minutes after third line has started ½ section Gordon Hrs from Bomb Store in next trench carrying bombs will make for J.13.C4.d  1/2 Section ???? from bomb store on Piccadilly Circus will make for J.13.C.3.9 these squads will move backwards and forwards to bring up bombs.

 

Economy of Grenades is to be strictly enforced

Bomb Stores will be established at

                  Piccadilly Circus

                  New Trench

                  Centre of CIP

Reserve Store at Bn Headquarters

 

7.       The 3 Machine Guns will follow up 3rd line to J13.a.2.0 and J.13.C.3.9 – J13.C.4.8 and will take up approximate positions J.13.a.5.0 , J 13.a.6.0, J.13.c.6.9

1 Machine Gun will remain in CY from New Trench to C1

       One in reserve in rear of CIR M.Gun reserve ammunition in New Trench

 

8.       Signallers. The following permanent stations will be established.

1         ????

1         In Advanced ??? 10 yards ??? to ???? C1 & C1.8

1         Station Piccadilly Circus

1          Station will advice with 3rd line and establish station at J.13.C.3.9

 

9.       Reserve Ammunition  nr Battn Hd Qtrs also in front line trenches

 

10.    Company Commanders will?? out their lines at every opportunity 

 

11.   Reserve Sandbags and Tools will be dumped at Piccadilly Circus and sides of CT to New Trench

 

12.   Every man in the attack will carry 3 sandbags in back of waist belt 1 in 3 will carry a tool in proportion of 6 shovels to 1 pick

2 Platoons  - B Coy in C.15 will all carry tools

 

13.   All CTs leading from the captured trenches to the enemy’s lines will be closed by bombers posts

 

14.   ½ of B Coy in enemy’s front line will ??? CTs ??

 

 

15.   Supports – RE stores at West end SANCTUARY WOOD and in rear of C1

 

16.   Men will carry their ?? rations in their haversacks.

 

 

17.   Watches will be set to the correct time at an hour given later

 

18.   Battn Dressing Station in rear of B.8.3

 

19.   ??? in rear of B .8.? During bombardment and attack all messages will be sent to advanced Hdqtrs 10 yards south of junction of C.1. and  C.1.8

 

(Cd) SR McCLintock – Capt

                                                                                      Adj, 4/Gordon Highlanders

 

Not to be taken forward of your dugout. To be returned here today.

 

Copy No1 8th Inf Brigade

Copy No2 OC A Coy

Copy No3 OC B Coy

Copy No4 OC C Coy

Copy No5 OC D Coy

Copy No6 OC M/Gun Section

Copy No7 OC Bombers

Copy No8 Sgt  Snipers


Operation Order No 2                                                                             Copy No 8

By Lt Col A Lyon

Commanding 4th Gordon Highlanders

 

  1. ½ B Coy in front line.  MG and bombers will be in position by 2.45am.

All others by 3am except ½ of B Coy RE and Pioneers in C15 who will be in position by 3.15am

  1. Arrangements should be completed prior to this hour for trench ladders to be placed, sandbag steps made and any other contrivance made to ensure easy exit from our trenches
  2. Men bust be warned to move silently to their places of assembly.  Great care being taken not to show themselves on their way there, or when there special care being taken to conceal bayonets.
  3. OC C and D Coys will arrange that our wire in front of their trenches is cleared by midnight.
  4. Rifles will be inspected before dark
  5. Attention is again drawn to the order that the assault is to be done in silence
  6. Reference O. Order No1 para3 erase J13 and 7.1 and substitute J.13.C.6.9 and J 13 A. 6.1 It will be see n that point Y1 is not included in your objective.

 

Copy No1 Retained

Copy No2 OC A

Copy No3 OC B

Copy No4 OC C

Copy No5 OC D

Copy No6 OC Bombers

Copy No7 OC MG

Copy No8 OC Snipers

 

24/9/15                                   J.R. McLintock Capt/Adj

                                                4th Gordon Highlanders

 

 
 

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