3 September 1916

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

Trenches

1 AM

Relief complete by this hour and Battalion in slit trenches

7.30 AM

Commanding Officer saw all Company Officers and explained the situation namely, that the Battalion was to be prepared to move at 15 minutes notice after 9am in support of 13th Brigade, who were attacking FALFEMONT FARM at that hour.  The situation was fully explained to all Company officers.

8.45 AM

The commanding Officer and Adjutant reported to Brigade HQ awaiting orders.

10.15 AM

Warning order to move received and issued to Companies at 10:20am.

10.45 AM

Orders to move off to reinforce 13th Brigade received and issued to Companies.

The Commanding Officer and Adjutant reported on the way to Brigadier General Jones, Commanding 13th Infantry Brigade at Crucifix HARDECOURT.

He gave verbal instructions that we were to get in touch with the 15th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and to assist them, and occupy the front line if necessary.  Brigadier General Jones promised written orders as soon as possible.

12-8 PM

Battalion Headquarters arrived at ANGLE WOOD and got in touch with 15th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the 1st Company of the Battalion having just arrived.

   The Commanding Officer then consulted with the OC 2nd K.O.S.B., whose attack had failed, and the C.O., 15th Warwicks.

   “B” and “C” Companies of this Battalion sent into the front line with “D” Company in support near Battalion Headquarters, and “A” Company in reserve behind them.

   The situation at this point was very involved, and both the K.O.S.Bs and the Warwicks had suffered heavily and did not seem to be in a position to fully explain the situation.

12.55-2 PM

The 15th Royal Warwickshire Regiment attacked FALFEMONT FARM unsuccessfully.

Message despatched to Brigadier General Jones, commanding 13th Infantry Brigade, stating that the O.C. K.O.S.Bs believed the Companies or some of them had gone to the first objective but owing to the heavy carnage, no information was forthcoming, and asking for definite instructions

3.40 PM

O.C. “C” Company instructed to push forward patrols towards FALFEMONT FARM to try and clear up situation

4.25 PM

Message received that the enemy were retiring.  “C” Company again instructed to push forward strong patrols.

5 PM

Message received that enemy were not retiring, but reinforcing with a considerable number of troops.  B.G.C., 13th Infantry Brigade instructed us to reinforce the front line if not strongly held.

5:8 PM

Instructions received to send out Company to assist West Kents on left “A” Company sent to do this

5.40 PM

Report sent in to 13th Infantry Brigade, giving full disposition, ie. 2 Companies in front line, 1 Company in support and 1 Company supporting West Kents.

O.C. 15th Warwicks reports that he has now withdrawn all the men he can muster from the front line, and has assembled them in the valley below Battalion HQ

6 PM

Message received that enemy reinforcements are 50 and not 5000 as originally stated

6:5 PM

Order received from B.G.C 13th Infantry Brigade that we would attack FALFEMONT FARM 6.30pm.

    Order issued to O.C “D” Company to attack trenches on left of FALFEMONT FARM at 6:30pm

6.30 PM

2nd Lt A. GWYNNE-JONES came to Battln. Hdqrs and reported that he had been out on patrol to FALFEMONT FARM and had just returned. He had got right up to the German wire and under it and found the Farm still strongly held, by the enemy and reported accordingly to Brigade.

6.35 PM

OC”D” Company reports failure of attack, being stopped by cross machine gun fire.   Owing to the weakness of the battalion at this time with 1 company away, O.C. 16th Royal Warwicks undertook the right part of the attack, and attacked when we did, and also failed.

   Casualties very heavy.

   Lt. G.W. Richardson, O.C. “C” Company, very shaken by shell and sent down to Transport   2nd Lieut A Gwynne – Jones took over “C” Company.

6.45 PM

O.C. “B” Company instructed to remain in front trench and re-organise as quickly as possible.

6.55 PM

Report of failure of attack sent to B. G. C., 13th Brigade.

7 PM

Message received from O.C. “B” Company that his right flank was not in touch with anyone, and reporting that enemy still held front FALFEMONT FARM and front line.

   O.C. “D” Company instructed to get in touch with him.

8.50 PM

Position reported to 13th Brigade, pointing out that the front line was now full of various regiments, and asking for some other Battalion to take over to enable us to re-organise.

   Estimated casualties: – 3 officers, 300 other ranks.

9.25 PM

O.C. “D” Company instructed to get in touch with the French on the right and if necessary dig posts to ensure the protection of flank.

   Officer Casualties: – 2nd Lt C.V. BLAIN killed, 2nd Lt S.A. HARPER wounded.

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