WAR DIARY

1/8th (ARDWICK) BATTALION MANCHESTER REGIMENT

FEBRUARY 1918


FEBRUARY 1 1918 - BEUVRY
B Coy. on working party for R.E. A Company bathing & cleaning equipment. C Coy. on Range at LE QUESNOY in moring & D Coy. in afternoon. D Coy. in morning and C Coy. in afternoon, section & platoon drill, bayonet fighting, respirator drill, etc.

FEBRUARY 2 1918 - BEUVRY
Weather much warmer and brighter. All Companies on working party for R.E.

FEBRUARY 3 1918 - BEUVRY
Weather quite mild. Church Parades for all denominations. 2 Officers & 150 O.R. on working party. Afternoon the Regimental Football Team played the Cumberland heavy Artillery. Result a draw 3-3.

FEBRUARY 4 1918 - BEUVRY
A & D Companies on working parties. B & C Coys. training, smartening up drill, elementary musketry, P.T. & B.F., Respirator Drill.

FEBRUARY 5 1918 - BEUVRY
Weather cold & sharp. B & C Coys. on working parties. A & D Coys. engaged in training. The Divisional Gas Officer gave a lecture & demonstration to these Companies.
Evening at 5:30 pm the Brigadier gave a lecture to all Officers & N.C.O.s on "An Offensive Defence".

FEBRUARY 6 1918 - BEUVRY
A & D Coys. on working Parties. B & C Coys. training - Platoon & Company Drill, Arm Saluting Drill, Musketry, Respirator Drill. Afternoon Football & Games.

FEBRUARY 7 1918 - BEUVRY
B & C Coys. on working Parties. A & D Companies on training - Platoon & Company Drill, Musketry, P.T. & B.F., Respirator Drill. Afternoon Section Training in own weapons. During the day the Lewis Gun & Signalling Classes continue. Revolver practice for all available officers.
6 Officers were taken in a Bus to visit 2nd Squadron R.F.C. They were shown round the Aerodrome & the machines explained to them.

FEBRUARY 8 1918 - BEUVRY
Weather cold. A & D Coys. on working parties. B & C Coys. on training as yesterday. Lewis Gun & Signalling Classes, Revolver Firing continued.
Evening a Concert was given in the Cinema Hall by the Regimental Troupe under 2 LT. SMART.

FEBRUARY 9 1918 - BEUVRY
B & C Coys. working party cancelled so the whole Battalion available for Training during the morning. Afternoon Football & games. Received warning that the Battalion is to be transferred to the 126th Inf. Bde.

FEBRUARY 10 1918 - BEUVRY
Half of each Company working on Ammunition Dump at LE QUESNOY. Church Parades for Remainder during the Morning.

FEBRUARY 11 1918 - BEUVRY
The whole of the Battalion on working party - (?unknown?) (?)under(?) 461st Field Company R.E.

FEBRUARY 12 1918 - BEUVRY
The Battalion proceeded by march route to the new training area at ECQUE. It is expected that the Battalion will be out of the line for training for at least a month. The Battalion arrived in ECQUE about 12.30 pm. ECQUE is a long straggling industrial village inhabited by rather a poor and dirty population. The men are very crowded and not very comfortable. There is very little latrine & washing accomodation. There are no halls, etc. for Concerts & Lectures and there is little in the form of recreation for the men.

FEBRUARY 13 1918 - ECQUE
The weather was wet & cold. During the morning men spent their time cleaning up billets & washing equipment. Afternoon although set apart for football & games was too wet so cleaning up, etc. was continued.
The C.O. inspected billets.

FEBRUARY 14 1918 - ECQUE
The Battalion began training at No. 5 Training Ground (D10). The training ground is a very good one and includes a 100 yds. range, an assault course & trenches and three drill grounds. Today the ground is very wet & sodden but will probably be alright after a day's fine weather. Section & Platoon Drill, Saluting & Smartening up drill. Short Lectures on discipline & smartness. Respirator Drill, Elementary Musketry, P.T. & B.F., Assault Course. D Coy. on range. Afternoon Section Training in own weapons. B Coy. on range. Lewis Gun & Signalling Classes Continue. Refresher Lectures in the evening.

FEBRUARY 15 1918 - ECQUE
Weather cold & sharp. Training continued. The Battalion bathed at CHOQUES. In the evening a cinematograph show was arranged in CHOQUES for the men of the Battalion. In the afternoon 6 Officers & 168 O.R. arrived from 2/10th Bn. Manchester Rgt. (Total number posted to us 10 Officers & 200 O.R.)

FEBRUARY 16 1918 - ECQUE
Training Continued in the morning. Battalion Parade and march past. Section, Platoon & Arms Drill. Musketry - Bolt Manipulation, Arming, (?)Fire(?) Discipline & Respirator Drill. B Coy. on Range.
Afternoon Football & Games - the ground very hard on account of the Frost.

FEBRUARY 17 1918 - ECQUE
Very cold. Divine Service for all denominations - the C. of E. parade was in the open owing to lack of any suitable building. Afternoon Football - Battalion v. Reinforcements. Result 4-0 for Battalion.

FEBRUARY 18 1918 - ECQUE
Training continued. 9 am - 12.30 pm Battalion Parade & March Past. Platoon & Company Drill, Saluting & Arms Drill, Musketry - Trigger Pressing, Bolt Manipulation & Muscle Exercises, Fire Direction & Control, P.T. & B.F. A Coy. on Range. Afternoon C.O. inspected the Companies in turn in Full Marching Order. During the day orders were sent and cancelled for the move to the 126th Inf. Bd. on the 19th inst. Final orders for the move were received.

FEBRUARY 19 1918 - ECQUE to L'ECLEME
The Battalion left ECQUE & 127th Infantry Brigade to march to L'ECLEME to join the 126th Infantry Brigade. The Regimental Band headed the column and the Bands of the 1/5th, 1/6th & 1/7th Battalions Manchester Regiment (the remaining Battalions of the 127th Infantry Brigade) each played out a Company of the Battalion. A Company of the 1/5th Battalion Manchester Regiment and most of the Officers of that Battalion paraded for us as we left the Brigade Area. Representatives of each Unit in the Brigade met us to say Good Bye at the Cross Roads (V28 a83). Here the Divisional Band played the Battalion past the 127th Infantry Brigade Commander and the Divisional Commander, both of whom expressed themselves pleased with the turn out and march discipline of the men.
The Band of 1/10th Bn Manchester Regiment played the battalion from here into L'ECLEME where we marched past the Brigade Commander of the 126th Inf. Brigade (Brigadier General W. W. SEYMOUR) who also expressed himself pleased with the appearance of the men.
LT. COL. E. G. K. CROSS returned from short leave to U.K. & assumed command of the Battalion.

FEBRUARY 20 1918 - L'ECLEME
The Battalion paraded in mass in a small field at V10 a66 for inspection by the Brigadier. After the inspection the General addressed the parade expressing himself pleased with the Battalion appearance and welcomed the Battalion into the 126th Infantry Brigade.
The remainder of the day was spent in smartening up drill (on the roads) & cleaning up billets.
The billets are fairly good for the men - good barns (much better than they were at ECQUE). The village is a long straggling one stretching about two miles long. There are no training grounds near and most of the training will have to be carried on the roads in the village.

FEBRUARY 21 1918 - L'ECLEME
The 400 yds. Range near LA BUISSIERE was allotted to the Battalion as A & B Companies used it starting their route march to the range at 8 am and 12 noon respectively.
C & D Coys. used No. 16 Training Ground in D6 d (the S.E. of CHOQUES) as this ground was also allotted to this Battalion this day.

FEBRUARY 22 1918 - L'ECLEME
Training carried out in the neighbourhood of the village - along the roads. Smartening up drill, complements on line of march, guards, box respirator drill, P.T. & B.F. Afternoon Section Training in own weapons.

FEBRUARY 23 1918 - L'ECLEME
All available officers proceeded by Motor Lorry to LOCON to reconnoitre a line of posts of the Corps Second Line, behind the Section of the Front occupied by the PORTUGUESE Corps. After the Reconnaissance the Brigadier held a Conference at LA COUTURE for Commanding Officers.

FEBRUARY 24 1918 - L'ECLEME
A platoon of the H.A.C. gave a demonstration on range discipline and assault course practice at the Corps Reinforcement Camp Range ALLOUAGNE. The C.O., Adjt., & O.s C. Coys. attended.

FEBRUARY 25 1918 - L'ECLEME
All available officers carried out a reconnaissance of the GORRE Area to select a site for a reserve trench from which to counter attack and to reconnoitre all suitable routes and tracks leading to the Line of Defense - Village & Line. Remainder of the Battalion training in accordance with programme.

FEBRUARY 26 1918 - L'ECLEME
The Battalion carried out training in the vicinity of the village according to the training programme.
Evening a Regimental Concert held at BUSNES was a great success and much appreciated by all ranks.

FEBRUARY 27 1918 - L'ECLEME
Training continued according to programme. Whilst at the Training Ground Lieut. Colonel CLIVE lectured to the Battalion on War Savings Scheme. C. O. Conference at Brigade Headquarters (VENDIN-les-BETHUNE). LIEUT. A. JACQUES reported his arrival.

FEBRUARY 28 1918 - L'ECLEME
Training continued according to programme. LT. COL. CLIVE again addressed the men on the Benefits of War Savings Certificates. Great (?)business(?) was (?)arroused(sic)(?) and although this was the only day that steps were taken to ensure that every man understood the Scheme, a sum of �2,505.7..0 was raised by the Battalion for Savings Certificates.

March 1918

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