24 July 1916

Extract from the official war dairy of the 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Support trench

During the day a new trench was begun S.W. of LONGUEVAL, parties were working on it all day being shelled periodically.  LT. G. R. SIMPSON was wounded in the face during the afternoon.  Transport moved from F BECORDEL to a field S. of ALBERT on the ALBERT – MEAULTE road.

Extract from the diary of Harrison Johnston, the 15th (Service) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, 105th Infantry Brigade, 35th Division

Writing on my knee, sitting on a biscuit box in an OLD German dug-out, 10 am.

We had had no grub since last night, and only one hour’s sleep. What a life, what a life, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

Relief complete 11.30 pm and we marched back a mile or so. Formed up amongst a large bed of thistles on a hill and were soon fast asleep. It was late morning when we had breakfast after a shave and a wash. My knee felt better, but gone green and blue for a distance round the place I got the whack.

I recommended two NCOs for good work in the trenches ; they both got MM.

Our friends the Sherwoods had a rather bad time – in fact, very bad – casualties not mentioned. They mad an attack which did not come off. I think they tried too big a thing. The 16th had a bad time and did very well under a severe test. They repelled the Hun attack and young Ryalls distinguished himself – in fact, covered himself with glory – so much so that Colonel Brown Clayton called him out in front of the Battalion and thanked and congratulated him. (He was awarded the DSO, as also was Colonel Brown Clayton). Hodson got the MC.

Hodson was sent up as reserve to the 16th and he says they all did splendidly. He particularly admired the CO.

We lay about the hillside all day. The men resting after a rifle inspection and cleaning up of equipment.

My gramophone which was ordered two months ago, was delivered here! Heaven knows what we’ll do with it now. However, we got it going and it cheered us all up splendidly. It was a nice bright day and we enjoyed ourselves.

Orders were issued that we were attached to another Brigade, and one Company was to go up and dig a strong point, whilst the other three carried bombs and ammunition during the attack to come off that night. This was cancelled later and we had to put our men in some old trenches to save them from the shells – SOME rest for our shaken nerves.

Our artillery bombarded the Huns from 8 till 12 am and from 3 to 5 am. Some attacks were made, perhaps you know how they went, we have nothing definite. Our artillery gave him gyp and the sight was comforting.

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