4 September 1916

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

Trenches

12.7am

Joint Operation Order No1, 13th -15th Brigades received, detailing us to hold the right of the line with the 16th Warwicks in support, the Bedfords to hold the left of the line, with 1st Royal West Kents in support.

1.7am

“A” Company recalled from supporting West Kents.

3.25am

Joint Operation Order No2 13th-15th  Brigades received, cancelled Joint Operation Order No1, and arranging the following relief:-

                1st Norfolks to take over right of front line.

                1st Cheshires to take over left of front line.

                1st Bedfords to remain on left of 1st Cheshires.

                16th Warwicks to be in support.

5.30am

The movement detailed in Joint Operation Order No2 now completed.  We moved to Battalion HQ of 1st Royal West Kent Regiment in trenches between HARDCOURT CRUCIFIX and the crest of the hill, at about point B1c 2/2.

8am

The Commanding Officer reported to Brigade HQ at HARDCOURT CRUCIFIX for instructions.  (At 10am a message was received telling him to do this at 9am.  By pure chance he had already gone there).

9am

15th Brigade Operation Order No 58 handed to Commanding Officer at Brigade Headquarters, detailing further attacks this afternoon.   This Battalion to assault the trenches from the left of FALFEMONT FARM to B2a 4/9.

10.15am

The Commanding Officer returned to Battalion HQ and issued Operation Order CH.203, attached, which went out at 10:55, detailing “A” Company to attack at 2 minutes before zero hour; “D” Company into support behind “A” Company, and “C” Company behind “D” Company.  “B” Company in reserve.

11am

Battalion Headquarters move up again to ANGLE WOOD.

12 noon

Total estimated casualties at this time, 3 Officers (2 killed 1 wounded) and 220 other ranks.

12.55pm

Message received from Brigade that zero hour will be 3:10 pm.  O.C. Companies instructed accordingly.

1.53pm

Other instructions as to barrage received and forwarded to O.C “A” Company with instructions that the assaulting infantry would leave the trenches at zero hour.

   “B” Company instructed to change places with “D” Company so as to be directly behind “A” Company as originally ordered.

3.10pm

Assault carried out.  Fire very heavy, and from all accounts, the assaulting Company went forward excellently.

3.30pm

Assault carried out.  Fire very heavy, and from all accounts, the assaulting Company went forward excellently.   Message received from Brigade that the 95th Brigade would attack southern edge LEUZE WOOD at 6:30pm

4.5pm

Message sent to 2nd Lieut GWYNNE-JONES, now O.C. “C” Company as no news had been received to proceed to the front line and organise all men there, and if necessary reinforce the objective which we held.

4.10pm

Report to Brigade on situation and asking for contact aeroplane if it could give any information

4.20pm

Reports from wounded at this point show that the objective had been attained and immediate consolidation would render the position tenable.  A message was therefore sent to 2nd Lieut I. GLEDSDALE to advance on the objective at once with all available men of “D” Company and help to consolidate the position

“B” Company were told at the same time to move their Company forward

Report sent to Brigade that objective was gained and that we were endeavouring to work to the right to reach the Norfolks, about whom no definite information had come through

5.30pm

Message received from 2nd Lieut A. GWYNNE-JONES who was at the objective, that he had plenty of men but required more tools.  A reply was sent to him to consolidate and tools were sent up.

5.25pm

Report to Brigade that consolidation was being proceeded with and as to strength of the Battalion

6.15pm

A report was received from Lieut E. J. GROVES, who had also been sent up to ascertain the position and he had got further to the left with some of our men and some of the Bedfords.  It appeared from his report that he was attempting to advance too far towards LEUZE WOOD.  Instructions were immediately sent him to consolidate where he was and endeavour to get in touch with 2nd Lieut GWYNNE-JONES, and instructing him to light flares at 7pm and also sent him up a Lewis Gun and team from “B” Company.

6.30pm

Message sent to 2nd Lieut GWYNNE-JONES informing him that Lieut GROVES was on his left, and instructed him to try and get in touch with him and the Norfolks

6.50pm

Commanding Officer went over to see Commanding Officer of the Bedfords after Lieut GROVES had reported personally.   The Commanding Officer of the Bedfords had taken over situation on the left, and our Commanding Officer made arrangements with him as to the future action.

7.15pm

Arrangements made with O.C “B” Company to send up rations and further report received from 2nd Lieut GWYNNE JONES.  He does not seem as yet to have got in touch with 1st Norfolk Regiment.

7.25pm

Report to Brigade as to the position, and that we were in touch on the left with 95th Brigade

7.50pm

Report to Brigade that DEVONS were now in LEUZE WOOD and that our artillery were shelling it.   The right flank of the advance were not in touch and the 16th Warwicks were not in touch with the Norfolks.

9.5pm

Further message sent to O.C. “B” Company that rations had not turned up (Previous orderly wounded)

9.10pm

At this point the situation appears as follows:-

   1 party of the Cheshires under 2nd Lieut GWYNNE-JONES holds the objective from   FALFEMONT FARM to the left with the Bedfords on his left.

9.25pm

In advance of the Bedfords there is a party of the 1st Cheshires under Lieut L.C. KNOCKER who took over from Lieut E.J. GROVES, the Bedfords having all withdrawn on the spur behind us.

   This situation was fully explained in CH. 292 sent at 1:30 pm on the 5th

10pm

The Commanding Officer went up himself to reconnoitre positions and also saw the ration parties up.

  Officer Casualties to-day:- Capt F. WHITE, killed     Wounded:- 2nd Lieut E.S. SAUNDERS  Lieut F.C. HELME, 2nd Lt. R.D. BROWN, Capt G.A. GLEED, Lt E.W. BIGLAND, 2nd Lt A. GWYNNE-JONES  2nd Lieut I. GLEDSDALE  (the last two still at duty.)

 

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