1/2nd MONMOUTHSHIRE REGIMENT - WAR DIARY - 1st-21st APRIL 1814
LA BRIQUE 1.4.18
A Coy - Two platoons continued the work of maintenance & repairs of Nos 5& 6 Duck board tracks; also the construction of a new track - GRAF TRACK.
Two platoons rested.
B Coy - Two platoons worked on Strong Points at MOSSELMARKT & SNIPE HALL under Right Brigade.
Three platoons lived forward in SOMME Dug-outs.
One platoon worked on maintenance of Tramway Lines under the instructions of OC No 5 ARMY TRAMWAY COY.
One platoon worked on the completion of ruined dug-outs - MARTHA - and lived forward in MARTHA dug-out
C Coy - Two platoons continued the work of digging and wiring the BELLEVUE - WALLEMOLAN Intermediate Defence Line under the Left Brigade.
One platoon worked on digging & revetting the ABRAHAM HEIGHTS C.T.
One platoon continued with the maintenance of the BELLEVUE - GRAVENSTAFEL Road
In addition to above a party of 2 N.C.O.s and 20 men worked on deep dug outs under the instruction of OC 171 TUNNELLING COY R.E.; also party of 1 N.C.O. & 20 men on felling trees near WIELTJE for S.S.O. 29th Div.
Lieut L.B.ROSEBAUM returned from leave to U.K
LA BRIQUE 2.4.18
The Batt. worked as on previous day with the exception that 2 platoons "A" Coy relieved the 2 platoons of "C" Coy working on the BELLEVUE - WALLEMOLAN Defence Lines; the 2 platoons of "C" Coy rested.
A draft of 8 Other Ranks joined the Batt. from the Base.
LA BRIQUE 3.4.18
The Batt. worked as on previous day
Casualties - 3 Other Ranks "B" Coy wounded
LA BRIQUE 4.4.18
The Batt. worked as on previous day with the exception that 2 platoons of "C" Coy relieved the 2 platoons of "B" Coy working on the Strong Points ar MOSSELMARCK & SNIPE HALL. The 2 platoons of "B" Coy rested.
LA BRIQUE 5.4.18
The Batt. worked as on previous day with the exception that the platoon working SNIPE HALL was withdrawn for the work of maintaining the duck board tracks in new sector - the 29th Division having extended its front on the right & taking over from Left Brigade 33rd Division.
An excellent Battalion Concert took place in the evening at the Batt. Recreational Hut.
LA BRIQUE 6.4.18
The Batt. worked as on the previous day with the exception that 2 platoons "B" Coy relieved the 2 platoons "A" Coy working on the BELLEVUE - WALLEMOLAN Defence Line - the two platoons "A" Coy rested.
LA BRIQUE 7.4.18
The Batt. worked as on previous day
Courses - VIII the Corps SCHOOL OF SANITATION - 266668 Pte WARREN H.E. returned from the above course with report "Progress Excellent"
265694 Pte LEE M proceeded to above course
LA BRIQUE 8.4.18
The Batt, was relieved by the 19th MIDDLESEX REGT as part of the relief of the 29th Division by the 41st Division & moved by train from ST JEAN 5pm to POPERINGHE, then by march route to SCHOOL CAMP, ST HAN TER BIEZEN.
A draft of 5 Other Ranks joined the Batt. for duty from the Base.
Casualties - One Other Rank from "A" Coy died from wounds at No 3 AUSTRALIAN C.C.S. 4.4.18
LA BRIQUE 9.4.18
The Batt. paraded for inspection, re-organisation to ynder Coy arrangements from 9AM - 12.30PM
Capt H.W.E.BAILEY joined the Batt. from ENGLAND
Lieut P.A.ROBERTS joined the Batt. from ENGLAND
LA BRIQUE 10.4.18
The Batt had received orders to move by rail to the ST POL Area as part of the 29th Division to join the XIIIth Corps but owning to a sudden enemy advance the order was cancelled & orders issued for the Batt. to be ready to move with the 88th BRIGADE at one hour's notice - destination unknown - 10% of strength to be left behind at SCHOOL CAMP. At about 12.30pm the Batt embossed on the PROVEN - POPERINGHE Rd and de-bussed on the BAILLEUL - NIEPPE Rd near LA CRECHE at about 5pm.
The following officers went into action with the Batt:-
Lt Colonel J EVANS, Commanding
MAJOR A.H.EDWARDS, 2nd in Command
" C.R.HARDING, attd
CAPT. T.L.IBBS, ADJUTANT
" W.M.STEWART, Medical Officer
LIEUT R.T.SAUNDERS, Asst/Adjutant
" I.E.OWEN, Lewis Gun Officer
2 LIEUT D.MORRIS
2 LIEUT R.S.DAVIES
2 LIEUT J.W.WALTERS
Batt. Headquarters was established in a house on the BAILLEUL - NIEPPE Rd. and the Companies proceeded to dig themselves in as follows:- "A" Coy along SOUTH side of main road to A6a; "C" Coy round Cross roads at DE SEULE; "B" Coy platoons posts round PAPOT and PONT d'ACHELLES.
About 8pm Batt. Headquarters moved forward to a more central position near Cross Roads at DE SEULE.
The night proved to be quiet & by the morning the 3 Companies were connected up and holding strong positions.
LA CRECHE 11.4.18
LIEUT W.COLLINS attached to DIVISIONAL Hdqrs was killed by shell fire.
About mid-day the Batt. received orders to move forward immediately and take up a position from B9d to B3a, and , if necessary, counter attack in order to take up this position which was considered of vital importance. The position was occupied without difficulty by 3.30pm. - "B" Coy on the left flack, "A" Coy on the Right flack, and "C" Coy in the centre. During the night of the 11th it was decided that the troops in front of the Batt were to be withdrawn & would dig in along lines from PAPOT B8a to B3d and the Batt was to hold on to the line at all costs. Later it was discovered that the Batt on our left flank had not connected up properly & our left flank was obliged to be brought back to ensure connection at B3a. - Two platoons "C" Coy were handed over to O.C. "B" Coy to enable this to be done. Orders were then received that the Batt. was to extend its right flank south of the main road & endeavour to connect up with the 2nd HAMPSHIRE REGT. - One platoon "c" Coy was detailed for this purpose & to dig posts at about B8a 5.4 but as the HAMPSHIRES were found to be occupying Posts back at the MILL B7d 4.5 connection was impossible. Under very trying conditions the line was held all night and on the morning of the
LA CRECHE 12.4.18
12th a company of the 1st NEWFOUNDLAND REGT was sent up in support & the line held intact until 4pm when the enemy cam in on the flanks (a) along RABOT - PAPOT road in B8a and (b) left flank near LAMPERNISSE. The day proved to be a severe one for the Batt & the casualties were very heavy. During the morning the enemy bombarded hourly with Trench Mortars & used Machine Guns to a large extent with the result that the Batt early in the day had lost 4 officers wounded & 75 Other ranks killed & wounded. When the enemy came in on the flanks there were 8 Officers & about 400 Other ranks absolutely cut off - these people had been ordered to hold the positions at all costs. A company of ROYAL SCOTS was sent up to our support & proceeded to dig in behind centre company but the situation became an impossible one & as many as possible were withdrawn, the men rallied & a position taken up along Light Railway Embankment in B1d and B2a. The strength of Coys was then 4 officers & 150 Other ranks. In conjunction with the NEWFOUNDLAND REGT the line of Embankment was held until about midnight when Batt. received orders to withdraw to line originally occupied along south of BAILLEUL - NIEPPE road.
2nd LIEUT A.R.HOPKINS rejoined the Batt in the forward area.
LA CRECHE 13.4.18
The Batt. continued to hold line taken up previous night until 9pm when the Coys were moved forward to road junction in B1 central - "A" & "B" Coys NORTH of the road, "C" Coy SOUTH of the road - in order to cover the withdrawal of the 88th Brigade according to plan. This position was to be held at all costs until the withdrawal of the Brigade was complete. At midnight orders were received that the withdrawal was complete and companies moved down the road to about S29a 2 3. when it was discovered that the troops had not been entirely withdrawn. The Batt then occupied the trench in this locality until 2pm on the
LA CRECHE 14.4.18
14th when word was received that the troop was all clear and that the Batt was to withdraw & move to the support of the 88th Brigade in the BAILLEUL - CRUCIFIX CORNER LINE. The Batt arrived in new position about 4AM & dug in. Enemy bombarded this position hourly during parts of the day & we suffered about 20 casualties in Other ranks (Killed & wounded). During the
CROIX de POPERINGHE 15.4.18
night 14th/15th the Batt. was relieved as part of the relief of the Brigade by a Batt - LINCOLN REGT - of the 59th DIVISION & marched back to CROIX de POPERINGHE, a distance of about 6 miles. It is interesting to note that 2 hrs after the relief the enemy attacked & the LINCOLN REGT was completely cut off. The Batt. rested during the day until 4pm, when owing to the attack referred to above, orders were received to move forward & dug in on the left side of CROIX de POPERINGHE - BAILLEUL road to support the counter attack of 4th WORCESTERS should the situation demand such an action. The Batt dug in in the vally M33d in two lines & remained there during the night.
CROIX de POPERINGHE 16.4.18
The Batt. remained in the position held previous night. Enmey was now well held & no counter attack, as anticipated, was launched. During the evening the Batt. found working parties for the Brigade - 1 Officer & 70 Other ranks per Coy for each of the 4th WORCESTERS, 1st R NEWFOUNDLAND & 2nd HAMPSHIRE REGTS.
LIEUT C.W.TACON rejoined "A" Coy from the Transport Lines
CROIX de POPERINGHE 17.4.18
Same as the previous day
CROIX de POPERINGHE 18.4.18
CAPT W.M.STEWART admitted to Field Ambulance sick & LIEUT W.OWENS-MORRIS joined the Batt. from the 88th F.Amb as Medical Officer
CROIX de POPERINGHE 19.4.18
The Batt. was ordered to find nucleus garrison for ARMY LINE in M33 central as far as entrance to LOCRE - BAILLEUL road. Working parties for Brigade as on previous day.
CROIX de POPERINGHE 20.4.18
The Batt. stayed in the same position during the day & at 10pm the Batt. was relieved so part of the relief of the 88th Brigade by the FRENCH. Marched to field S.W. of ABEELE - distance about 8 miles - and spent the night in bivouacs. LIEUT F.S.DUCK rejoined the Batt from Hospital. A draft if 26 Other ranks joined the Batt. from the Base.
LIEUT TC.W.TACON admitted to Field Amb sick (N.Y.D.N.)
The Batt. embussed at 12 noon & rejoined the 29th Division at HONDEQHEM
Casualties during period 10th - 20th
(a) Officers Killed LIEUT W. COLLINGS
2nd LIEUT R.S.DAVIES
Died of Wounds LIEUT I.E.OWENS
Wounded & Missing CAPT G.E.FOSTER
Wounded MAJOR C.R. HARDING
Admitted to Hospital CAPT E.J.JOHN
(N.V.D.N.) LIEUT E.G.JENKINS
(b) Other Ranks Killed 29 }
Wounded 187 }= 472
Wounded & Missing 11 }
Missing 245 }