WAR DIARY

1/8th (ARDWICK) BATTALION MANCHESTER REGIMENT

AUGUST 1918


AUGUST 1 1918 - FRONT LINE
Weather dull & showery. Our Artillery very active on enemy front systems & back areas. Our aircraft was active, also that of the enemy (6 of their planes crossing our line during the day) all of which were driven off with A.A. & L.G. fire. Our patrols were out during the night.

AUGUST 2 1918 - FRONT LINE
Weather unsettled. Our artillery active during the day, & during the evening was "wire cutting" in front of Watling St. Enemy artillery below normal.
At 6.30 pm a bosche deserter was brought in by A Coy. He was a private in the 183 R.I.R. & a poor specimen. Harassing fire on various targets on Bn. front during the night.

AUGUST 3 1918 - FRONT LINE
Weather fine. Visibility fairly good. At 3.25 am enemy put down a barrage of 4.2 & T.M. on LA SIGNY POSTS. At 3.55 am parties of men (enemy) were seen approaching our posts & the Bn. on our left. They were immediately engaged with L.G. & rifle fire. At one point did they succeed in entering our Line, but threw a considerable number of bombs & withdrew hurriedly.
They were followed by a party of our men who brought heavy fire to bear upon them. The ground afterwards gave evidence of many wounded & bosche being captured by Battn. on our right.
During the afternoon the enemy shelled LA SIGNY FARM causing 4 casualties. In accordance with Bde. order No. 191 the Bn. was relieved by the 1/10th Manchester Rgt. without incident, relief being complete 6.30 pm. The Bn. then moved into Bde. Support S. of COLINCAMPS with the Bn. H.Q. at J36 b7.9 taking over the positions vacated by 1/10th Manchesters as per sketch. The move was completed by 8.30 pm.

AUGUST 4 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather fine, visibility fair. Artillery fairly active on front line positions. Battn. mostly on working parties under R.E. and their Coy. Localities. In the evening a gas projection was made on enemy positions opposite Bde. front as per sketch. All necessary precautions taken to meet enemy retaliation on Bn. area.
Casualties: 1 Killed 4 Wounded 2 O.R. sick to Hospital.

AUGUST 5 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather bad very wet. Quiet day on both sides. Working parties & bathing. C Coy. practiced small raid to be carried out on the night of 6/7th.
Casualties 3 sick to Hospital.

AUGUST 6 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather changable. Artillery again active on both sides mostly counter battery work. An uneventful day.
Casualties 2 O.R. sick to Hospital.
Capt. C.J. Thody & 2/Lt F. Shaw joined the Battn.

AUGUST 7 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather fine & warm. At 12:30 am a party of C Coy. consisting of 1 Offr. & 17 O.R. [entered] enemy trench at K34 a3.6 but found same unoccupied. The Offr. in charge took his party along to hedge at K34 a35.30 but owing to thickness of wire could not get to grips with the Bosche. After throwing some bombs & being subjected to heavy M.G. fire & bombs the party returned to our lines at 3 am. 2/LT B. HIBBERT had a slight... [part of image missing] ...of the necessary steps were taken to meet same. Our Artillery put down "annihilating fire" during the early hours 3 am to 4 am. Four 10 minute bursts. Between 6.30 & 7 pm enemy fired a few gas shells into COLINCAMPS.
Casualties 1 Offr. Wounded.

AUGUST 8 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather fine & warm. Artillery fairly active on both sides. Orders received to relieve 1 Coy. 1/5 East Lancs. Rgt. (Rt. Bn., Rt. Bde.) & 2 Coys. 1/10th Manchester Rgt. (Lt. Bn., Rt. Bde.). Arrangements were made with the C.O.s concerned & the relief took place in accordance with Bn. Order No. 36 during the early part of the evening, the same being complete by 8.40 pm. After the relief A & C Coys. came under the orders of O.C. 1/10th Manchester Rgt. & B Coy. under the orders of O.C. 1/5th E.L. Rgt. The two Coys. 1/10th Manchesters & 1 Coy. 1/5th East Lancs. then occupied the positions vacated by A, C & B coys. respectively.

AUGUST 9 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather fine & warm. Visibility fair. Our artillery active during early morning. Combined gas & smoke bombardment put on WATLING ST. at 7 am.
Bombardment of Basin Wood & WATLING ST. during afternoon. Wire received that "enemy have commenced demolitions in ALBERT report any sign on your front" from Bde.
Casualties 1 O.R. sick to hospital.

AUGUST 10 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather fine & hot. Visibility good. Aircraft active. Enemy planes several times attempted to cross our lines but were driven off. Our Artillery active throughout the day. Enemy artillery carried out a (?)short(?) (?unknown?) along the Rly. below (?)cork(?) point at noon. Gas Bombardment arranged for 10.30 pm postponed on account of unfavourable wind.
Casualties 2 Wounded 5 O.R. sick to Hospital.

AUGUST 11 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather very fine & hot, visibility good. Aircraft busy on both sides. Our artillery fairly active, enemy artillery quiet. During the evening a few 4.2s fell around COLINCAMPS - COURCELLES ROAD junction.
Casualties 2 O.R. Killed 1 O.R. Wounded.

AUGUST 12 1918 - BRIGADE SUPPORT
Weather fine & Hot. Artillery active on both sides. During the afternoon the Bn. was relieved by the 1/7th Manchester Rgt. taking up dispositions as shown in sketch (App II). The coys. detached A & C were relieved by 2 coys. 1/6th Manchesters. B coy. by 1/5 Manchesters. The relief was carried out without incident & was complete by 6.55 pm. After relief Battn. took over billets vacated by 1/7 Manchester Rgt. in LOUVENCOURT. Casualties 2 O.R. Sick to Hosp.

AUGUST 13 1918 - DIVISIONAL RESERVE, LOUVENCOURT
Weather fine. Hot. Day spent in cleaning up, bathing & inspections, etc.

AUGUST 14 1918 - DIVISIONAL RESERVE, LOUVENCOURT
As for the 13th with the addition of Medical Inspection.

AUGUST 15 1918 - DIVISIONAL RESERVE, LOUVENCOURT
Weather as above. Parades for all companies & Bn. H.Q. 9 am to 12 noon on training grounds in vicinity. (Bathing). A company carried out practice attack using discs as means of communication between Infantry and Aircraft.
Battalion sports commenced 2 pm on field near transport lines.

AUGUST 16 1918 - DIVISIONAL RESERVE, LOUVENCOURT
Weather still fine & hot. Training as yesterday. A company carried out demonstration practiced yesterday. B company carried out range practices at I23 c. Special arrangements were made for all accomodations required by battalion at Divisional Theatre, BUS.

AUGUST 17 1918 - DIVISIONAL RESERVE, LOUVENCOURT
Dull & cooler. Training as yesterday. A company on range. Football competition & other games in the afternoon. Warning order reference relief of 125 Bde. night of 20/21st received 7.15 pm.

AUGUST 18 1918 - DIVISIONAL RESERVE, LOUVENCOURT
Fine. Parade services in the morning. Football afternoon. C.O. & O.C C Coy. reconnoitred route to & positions of 1/8 Lancs. Fus.

AUGUST 19 1918 - DIVISIONAL RESERVE, LOUVENCOURT
Rain in evening. Battle Surplus marched to HALLOY at 2 pm. O.C. A & B, & 2nd I/C D reconnoitred as yesterday. Battalion (less transport & rear H.Q., but with workshops) moved to billets in BERTRANCOURT.

AUGUST 20 1918 - BERTRANCOURT
Fine. Orders received during afternoon by fullerphone to move to positions forward of BERTRANCOURT. First company moved 8.30 pm.

AUGUST 21 1918 - BERTRANCOURT
Very heavy mist all during previous night & during morning. Towards noon battalion warned to be prepared to move at short notice: detailed warning order giving dispositions issued to companies. Order to move received 6 pm. Bn. H.Q. left windwill at J34 b2.6 at 7.00 pm & moved to dug out K26 a 5.2. Dispositions shown in App. X.

AUGUST 22 1918 - COLINCAMPS
Order received 5.55 am to stand to as front positions being gas shelled. Stand down received 6.45 am. Warning order B.M. 44 received. C.O. & mounted officer from each company reconnoitred routes to positions likely to be taken over. Move cancelled about 7.50 pm.

AUGUST 23 1918 - COLINCAMPS
Still fine. Warned about 7 am to be ready at 1/2 hrs. notice. Warning order issued to companies. S.O.S. rockets, ground flares & grenades issued to companies.
Moved to positions near PUISIEUX, commencing 7.15 pm. On arrival orders to relieve N.Z. Bn. received and carried out, commencing midnight.

AUGUST 24 1918 - PUISIEUX
Relief complete about 4 am. One company lent to C.O.D. temporarily.
About 7.40 pm instructions received by telephone to proceed through MIRAUMONT & PYS to positions in support 1/5 East Lancs. who had been forced to 'side-step' to the Left, resulting in our contact with the enemy. Several casualties with M.G. fire.
Capt. B.C. Hall O.C. A Company killed.

AUGUST 25 1918 - PYS
During afternoon Bn. H.Q. moved slightly west to M3 a4.3.
Warning order for concentration of division received about 8 pm.

AUGUST 26 1918 - PYS
Bn. H.Q. moved back to M3 a4.6 & company dispositions slightly altered in conjunction with Divnl. Concentration scheme. 1st Line transport moved up to about M2 a7.9. Warning order for relieving 189 Bde. received.

AUGUST 27 1918 - PYS
C.O. & O.s C. Coys. reconnoitred routes to & positions of 189 Bde.
At 7.00 pm one officer from Bn. H.Q. and one from each Coy. reconnoitred fresh positions - situation obscure. Finally arranged to relieve 4th Bedfords & orders issued.

AUGUST 28 1918 - BAPAUME ROAD NEAR LE BARQUE
First company marched off at 1 am & Bn. H.Q. at 2.20 am. Relief complete by 4.20 am. Several daylight patrols sent out. A good deal of sniping on battalion area & considerable shelling near Bn. H.Q. & on BAPAUME road.

AUGUST 29 1918 - BAPAUME ROAD NEAR LE BARQUE
Enemy reported clear of THILLOY & LIGNY-THILLOY, advance ordered. Positions taken up along road running N.N.E. & S.S.W. through N9 b & N10 a (57C S.W. 1/20,000). Advance ordered on RIENCOURT companies moved forward at 7.30 pm.

AUGUST 30 1918 - RIENCOURT
Information as to position of companies very vague. C.O. reconnoitred & discovered A, B, & D companies about BAPAUME - PERONNE ROAD. C Company supposed on N.W. outskirts of RIENCOURT but out of touch.
Previously - 4.15 am - operation orders received from brigade for further advance providing RIENCOURT had been established. Operation orders prepared but not issued as this condition was not fulfilled.
Information received from wounded of deaths of officers including O.s C. B & C Companies, Captains Thody & Forbes. Whole battalion position under heavy machine gun fire, also gas shelled. Orders received (by telephone) to withdraw battalion to high ground to N4 a & b as RIENCOURT & area was to be bombarded at 7 pm, prior to an advance by 1/10 Manchester Regt. The whole of A company & the greater portion of B withdrawn in time. D company withdrew with little less & met guides. C company same out in small detachments having suffered heavy casualties. B.M. 106 (relief order received). Stretcher bearers sent out during the night to bring in wounded.

AUGUST 31 1918 - SOUTH OF LOUPART WOOD
Before marching out arrangements made for stragglers. Positions taken over in LOUPART ROAD and in trenches S. of LOUPART WOOD by 5 am. Order BM 108 received.
Relieved by 1/5th Bn. Lancs. Fusiliers by 4.50 pm. Marched by companies to new area in G33 c & M2 b. Bn. H.Q. at G32 d75.15.


Casualties
The above listings unfortunately do not detail the casualties the Battalion suffered, especially in the fighting experienced in the August 24th-30th period, where it is only noted that the Officers Commanding A, B, and C Companies all were killed. Listings only detail 3 O.R. killed, 1 Officer wounded, 7 O.R. wounded, and 13 Sick to Hospital (plus an undetailed mention of 4 casualties on August 3rd).

 

September 1918

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