WAR DIARY

1/8th (ARDWICK) BATTALION MANCHESTER REGIMENT

MAY 1918


MAY 1 1918 - FRONT LINE
Very fine day. Artillery on both sides very quiet. Small parties of enemy seen moving towards enemy support trench systems at early dawn fired on by our L.G.s with good effect. Dispositions of Bn. changed on left and left centre. 6 Supporting (centre) posts were established between L7 b22 and L2 c51. These posts were dug during the night and manned by a section in each post. Dispositions of Cos. in BASS Trench were accordingly changed.
2 Patrols went out but owing to extreme darkness no good information was obtained.

MAY 2 1918 - FRONT LINE
Sunny day with result trenches quickly became dry. Visibility only fair. Little artillery activity on both sides. Advance parties of 1/7th Bn. LANCS. FUSILIERS reconnoitred Bn. front previous to their relief. Whilst accompanying relieving Officer round the Bn. front Lieut, HARRIS O.C. A Co. was wounded by M.G. fire. This was in broad daylight.
Orders for relief received. Relief of our companies by 1/7th L.F.R. commenced about 10.0 pm. B, C & D Cos. reliefs were complete by 12.45 am. The relieving company of our A Co. owing to loss of direction and did not relieve our Co., who therefore remained in position till following day.

MAY 3 1918 - COIGNEUX
Whole day was spent by 3 Cos. in cleaning up and bathing at baths in COIGNEUX. Men quite comfortable. 3 Cos. in farms and hutments around BN. H.Q. J9 a63. A Co. were relieved by 10:30 pm. arriving at COIGNEUX without casualties.

MAY 4 1918 - BDE. RESERVE - COIGNEUX
Cleaning of equipment and painting of helmets continued. 2 Companies fired on range. Working parties supplied. Remaining portion of Bn. bathed.
Morning wet, remainder of day unsettled. RED LINE reconnoitred by officers and N.C.O.s.
The following decorations were awarded to the following N.C.O.s and appeared in Bn. orders.
Distinguished Conduct Medal: 300279 Sgt. G. Evans, 300164 Cpl. J. Waterhouse, 34181 L/Cpl J. Costello, 16248 L/Cpl J. Quine. Military Medal: 300448 Cpl. H. Harrison, 301447 L/Cpl. T. Derrig, 301307 L/Cpl A. Walker, 300131 Pte. E. Slowe, 300550 Cpl. G. Bradshaw, 301118 Pte. Quin [Quinn], 35182 [351822] Pte. H. S. Bogey [Bogie].

MAY 5 1918 - BDE. RESERVE - COIGNEUX
Warm day till afternoon when there was heavy rain. 2 Companies fired on range J3 b77, 1 Company supplied working parties. 1 Company - drill on parade ground - general smartening up. Warning Orders for relief received.

MAY 6 1918 - ARMY RESERVE - PAS
Bn, proceeded to PAS where it relieved the 2/8th Bn. King's Liverpool Regt. of the 57th Division. Camp consisted of 65 tents, in C17 b not pleasant situation. Owing to nature of soil ground is absolute quagmire after smallest amount of rain. Tent accomodation small, 15 men to a tent.
Bn. as part of Bde. forms part of Army Reserve. Certain defence schemes were taken over from outgoing Bn.

MAY 7 1918 - ARMY RESERVE - PAS
Rain fell during the night and during the course of the day. On this account no training was carried out. RED LINE again reconnoitred by officers.

MAY 8 1918 - ARMY RESERVE - PAS
Fine day. Section, platoon and company drill on parade ground in C11 d. Preliminary Musketry instruction near 50 yds. range. 12 men per Co. were selected to undergo L.G. training under the L.G. Officer.
Administrative orders received from Bde. with reference to the manning of RED LINE.

MAY 9 1918 - ARMY RESERVE - PAS
At 7.40 am message received "(?)Mann(?) RED LINE". Bn. moved off at 8.45 am and proceeded by COUIN to position as RESERVE in J8 a and J8 b. Companies were dispersed in artillery formation by 10.10 am. Officers, N.C.O.s and runners from each Co. were sent to reconnoitre the positions of Headquarters and sectors of the 2 Bns. holding the line.
(?)Visual(?) communications were well established with the Bde. forward command Post. After making all necessary tactical arrangements and occupying positions till 3.40 pm orders were received to return to camp.

MAY 10 1918 - PAS
Training day. 3 Companies used ground in C11 a. Sectional training, saluting drill, P.T. & B.F. and Musketry exercises. 1 Company fired on 50 yds. range. Signallers under Signalling Officer carried out very successful Contact Patrol scheme with Aeroplanes specially detailed. Communications was maintained by means of the "POPHAM PANEL". 32 men were detached for training with Bde. School for Lewis Gun. 1 officer detached as instructor.

MAY 11 1918 - PAS
Fine day. Training on ground in C17 b. Great attention paid to Musketry training - bolt manipulation, rapid aiming and rapid loading with Lewis cartridges, Bayonet fighting prior and preparative to use of Bullet and Bayonet course.

MAY 12 1918 - PAS
Church parades services were held. R.C. services in church in PAS. C. of E. services close to camp directed by Deputy Asst. Chaplain General. Football matches were played - Inter Bn. and inter Company.

MAY 13 1918 - PAS
During morning 2 Cos. fired rapid practices and Lewis Guns on 300 yds. range instructed under Bde. arrangements. Position in C9 b. Live bombing with No. 36 grenade using cup discharger carried out.
Heavy rain fell in afternoon. No further training on account of rain.

MAY 14 1918 - PAS
Special gas training carried out by 3 Cos. Respirators were worn for 50 minutes during which time musketry and other exercises were carried out. Instruction also given to Lewis gun N.C.O.s in use of BARR & Stroud range finder.
The Commanding Officer conducted a tactical scheme with platoon commanders and Company Commanders during the afternoon in the trench systems N. of the camp.
Lecture on "Tank Tactics" at Bde. H.Q. was given by an officer from Tanks. All officers & senior N.C.O.s attended.

MAY 15 1918 - PAS
This Bn. provided working parties 3 Cos. were employed. One company trained in C17 b and used 50 yds. range. Concert was given in evening by Bn. inter- party. Bn. made arrangements for a practical welcome of American contingent.

MAY 16 1918 - PAS
All Companies fired application and rapid practice on 300 yds. range.
At 5 pm Colonel, Major and all Co. Commanders met officers from 3rd Bn. 307th Regt. U.S.A. at tea at Bde. H.Q.s. Discussions on training took place. One company of the 3rd Bn., M Co., was to be attached for training only to this unit. The M.O. Capt. H.C. Galster, U.S.A. M.O.R.C. received decoration Military Cross for services rendered during recent offensive.

MAY 17 1918 - PAS
All the box respirators in Bn. were tested at the DIVNL gas hut in PAS. Training carried out on Bullet and Bayonet course.
One platoon of the Americans Company was attached to one of our Companies and platoon of Americans carried out exactly similar training to our own Company. One officer per Company paid all his attention to the Americans offering suggestions and giving criticism. Bn. orderly room (?)instructions(?) arranged to submit daily Bn. orders & daily training programme. Every effort was executed to Secure complete liasion with (?)them(?) our Allies. Invitations were sent to attend Boxing tournaments and concerts.

MAY 18 1918 - PAS
All water bottles sanitised under Bn. arrangements. 3 Companies again on working parties. Remaining Co. trained. Armourer Sgt. inspector commenced inspection of all rifles and Lewis guns.

MAY 19 1918 - PAS
Church parade. Collection on behalf of Church Army.
Boxing and rifle competition. Concert in evening.

MAY 20 1918 - PAS
Without exception, all employed men on Bn. H.Q., Transport, etc. and all men in Companies fired on 300 yds. range. All Lewis guns fired.

MAY 21 1918 - PAS
Bn. bathed. Training on Bullet & Bayonet Course and 30 yds. range.
All blankets fumigated at PAS.
The C.O., 2nd-in-command, Intelligence Officers and O.C. Cos. proceeded to make a reconnaisance for counter attacks on BEER trench running E. of FONQUEVILLERS.
Adjutants conference at Bn. H.Q.s and discussion on "Courts - Martial".

MAY 22 1918 - PAS
Training on Bullet & Bayonet course and tactical exercises by platoon practices. During the afternoon recreational training. Rifle competition consisting on 1 - 2 Rifle Sections 1 N.C.O. & 6 men each to fire 5 rounds application, 5 rounds Snap targets, rapid fire for 1 minute, fire control of Section commanders being taken into consideration. Great keenness amongst the men. Boxing training carried out in 1 Company.
At 5 pm lecture was given by D.G.O. on "Mustard Gas" to all Subaltern officers of Bde. Lecture in PAS.
During the afternoon the C.O. and Co. Commanders attended at tactical Scheme conducted at ROSSIGNOL FARM in J3 c.
Concert given in evening by concert party of 10th Manchester Rgt.

MAY 23 1918 - PAS
Lt.-Col. Cross proceeded to England and ceased to command the Bn. Major W.F. PANTON (LEICESTER REGT.) came from the 1/5 Bn. Manchester Regt. to take over the command of the Bn. All Cos. fired on the 300 yds. in C9 b. One platoon of C Co. under 2/LT. HART carried out a platoon scheme. DIVNL commander and Bde. Staff being present. The former expressed great satisfaction in the sound working of the scheme.

MAY 24 1918 - PAS
Heavy rain fell all day. No training was therefore possible. Lectures in each (?)tent(?) were conducted by Platoon Officers and Sgts.
All officers in charge of working parties detailed for 25 inst. reconnoitred the routes to work and the work done and work still required. This was done to ensure continuity of work.

MAY 25 1918 - PAS
Duty Bn. (?)i e(?) Bn. provided 3 Cos. for various working parties, chiefly engaged in work on dug-outs in RED LINE and thereabouts.
1 Company trained in C29 b - special attention being paid to platoon tactical schemes. One hour's parade about midnight in gas masks.

MAY 26 1918 - PAS
Major W. F. Panton relieved on his Command of Bn. by MAJOR TETLEY (Lincolnshire Regt.) who came from Second-in Command of 1/5th Manchester Regt.
1 Company and details attended presentation of decorations by DIVNL commander to those recipients of awards since Xmas 1917. Bde. assembled in C28 a. Decorations made by DIVNL Commander of this unit were 1 M.C.; 3 D.C.M.; 7 M.M.; 1 Croix de Guerre.
Remaining 3 Cos. worked as yesterday.

MAY 27 1918 - PAS
C, D & A Cos. continued work on RED LINE. B Co. training at C29 a carrying out tactical exercise. Battalion paraded at 8.15 pm to practice night movements in Box Respirators. 2Lts. parade under Major Bowen at 5.0 pm for instruction. W. Holdaway receives Military Cross.
Weather fine.

MAY 28 1918 - PAS
A, B, C, D Cos. Training on Bullet & Bayonet Course - 30 yds range and C28 d Musketry tactical exercises - The assault - Box respirator Drill included in Training. 2Lts. parade at 5.0 pm under Maj. Bowen.
Warning order received with reference to relief of 57th division.
(?)Conference(?) of Co. Commanders and C.O. at 5.0 pm.
Night (?)gas(?) training from 9.0 to 12 pm.

MAY 29 1918 - PAS
Training continued. 300 yards Rifle Range in C9 b allotted to the battalion and used by each Company in turn during the day. A portion of the Battalion was who bathed at Brigade Baths.
Evening Companies carried out half an hour's gas drill.

MAY 30 1918 - PAS
Training continued in the morning on the assault course, the range (30 yds.) and the Training Ground in C11 d.
Afternoon organised sports & games.

MAY 31 1918 - PAS
A & D Companies carried out a tactical scheme on C11 d ground, particular attention being paid to the formation of a defensive flank both in the attack and defence. The 30 yds. range and the Assault Course also used. C Co. carried out live bombing (36 Grenades).


Casualties

Killed

Nil

Wounded

Nil

Died of wounds

2Lt J. McAdorey 5/5/18

Missing

One other rank 1/5/18

Sick to hospital

120 other ranks

 

June 1918

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