War Diaries – East Surrey regiment – 13th Battalion October 1916

13TH BATTALION EAST SURREY REGIMENT.

1916. Appendix.

October MAZINGARBE

1st The Battalion occupied the
Southern Huts in MAZINGARBE.
Report on attempted raid by party
under Lieut. E. B. BUCKLAND is
given in APPENDIX I.

2nd The Battalion were resting and
cleaning up. The Baths at the
Brewery were allotted to the
Battalion – no change of
underclothing was, however,
available.

3rd Thorough rifle, kit and equipment
inspections were held.

14 BIS

4th The Battalion relieved the 14th
Battalion Argyll & Sutherland
Highlanders in the left Subsection,
14 bis Sector. Headquarters
were established at G 30 b.35
near the Junction of RESERVE TREACH
and HUGO LANE.
During the night three bursts of
rapid fire, each of three minutes
duration were fired from every
rifle and Lewis Gun in the front
line. Our Trench Mortars opened
a five minutes heavy bombardment
at 8.4 pm, and another at 10.34 pm.
A patrol went out under Lieut
T.F.DAVIS and was reported missing.
Casualties: Lieut. E.B.BUCKLAND killed.

5th In cooperation with the 8th
Division, on our left, three gas
and three smoke attacks were
launched against the enemy. At
specified times our Trench Mortars,
machine guns, Lewis guns and
rifles opened rapid fire on the
enemy front line, support line
and communication trenches.
Report on patrol under Lieut DAVIS
is riven in APPENDIX II
Report on Minor operations is
given in APPENDIX III.
Casualties:- 4 o.r.killed ;
Lieut T.F.DAVIS and 3 o.r. wounded;
1 o.r. slightly gassed.

6th Situation very quiet.

2.

1916. Appendix.

October

7th The enemy sent a few trench mortar
bombs into POSEN ALLEY and MEATH
TRENCH. Our Stokes guns retaliated.
Casualties:- 1 o.r. killed.

8th The Battalion was relieved by the
14th Battn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
and moved into Brigade Support.
Headquarters were established near the
junction of TENTH AVENUE and
SOUTHERN SAP.

9th Situation quiet. Large working parties
provided for the R.E.

10th Situation quiet. Large working parties
provided for R.E.

11th All available men on working & fatigue
parties.

12th The Battalion was relieved by the 13th
Battn. Yorks. Regt. (121st Inf.Bde)
and proceeded via TENTH AVENUE to the
left subsection HULLUCH Sector. The
subsection extended from VENDIN ALLEY
to Boyau 77 and WINGSWAY.
Headquarters were established in
MULLINS WAY near the junction of
NINTH AVENUE and HAY ALLEY.
On our left was the 12th Battn
Northumberland Fusiliers, on our right
the 11th Kings Own R.L. Regt.

HULLUCH

13th Situation active. Throughout the day
the enemy threw Rum jars & minenwerfer
into our front and support lines behind
the HULLUCH CRATERS. Our howitzers
(4.2″) 18 pdrs, stokes guns and trench
mortars retaliated with considerable
effect.
Casualties : 1 or killed; 1 or died of
wounds, 2 or wounded.

14th Situation active. Enemy continued to
throw rum jars and minenwerfer into
GREEN CURVE. Our stokes guns and
artillery retaliated.
Casualties 1 o r killed 2 or wounded.

15th At intervals throughout the day the
enemy threw rum jars & minenwerfer
into our trenches behind HULLUCH CRATERS.
Slight artillery retaliation
Casualties: 6 O R. wounded

3.

1916. Appendix.

October

16th The enemy sent large numbers of
aerial darts and a few rum jars
into our front and support lines.
Casualties: 3 or wounded.

17th Our artillery sent a number of
shells into the enemy’s front &
support lines opposite the
HULLUCH CRATERS. Enemy fairly quiet.
Casualties: 1 o.r killed 2 or wounded.

PHILOSOPHE.

18th The Battalion was relieved by the
14th Battn Argyll & Sutherland
Highlanders and marched into Brigade
Reserve billets at PHILOSOPHE (W)
Casualties 4 or wounded.

19th The Battalion bathed at MAZINGARBE
BREWERY.

20th Parades under Company arrangements.
Large working parties supplied to R.E.

21st Do Do

22nd Do Do
Major E.B.POCIE was attached for
instruction

23rd The Battalion bathed at MAZINGARBE.
Divisional Schools closed.
Major F.S.B.JOHNSON took over command
of the 17th Bn Welsh Regt.
(119th Bde)

24th Large carrying parties were provided
for the removal of empty gas
cylinders from HULLUCH Sector.
Small Box Respirators were issued
to the Battalion.

25th The Battalion was relieved by the
1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment
(24th Division) and marched to
billets at PETIT SAINS. Headquarters
were established at 209, Rue de
Mazingarbe.

PETIT SAIN.

26th Parades under Company arrangements.

BRUAY

27th The Battalion marched to BRUAY.
Headquarters were established in
RUE DE LA MAIRIE.

4.

1916. Appendix.

October MAGNICOURT EN-COMTE.

28th The Battalion marched into billets
at MAGNICOUT-BN-COMTE.
Headquarters were established at the
Ecole (Garcons). Brigade Headquarters
were at LA THIEULOYE.

AVERDOINGT
29th The Battalion marched via BAILLEUL-
AUX-CORNAILLES to AVERDOIGT.
Headquarters were established at the
Ecole & the Brigade Hqrs. were at
FOUFFIN-RICAUETZ. Lieut T.F.DAVIS
rejoined.

30th Parades under Company arrangements.

31st The Battalion carried out a Programme
of Training in Physical Drill, Arms
Drill, Box respirator drill & musketry.

W.NEWTON
Lieut-Colonel
Cmdg 13th Battn East Surrey Regt.

APPENDIX I.

Report on Minor operation carried out by the 13th
Bn. East Surrey Regt on the night of the 29/30th
September 1916.

1 The party responsible for laying of line from
Boyau 63 to enemy’s Sap Head left at time
appointed & experienced no difficulty in
executing the duty allotted to them.

2. The Bangalore Party left Boyau 63 at 10 pm.
and arrived with the torpedo at the mouth of the
enemy’s sap without being discovered by the
enemy. This party experienced some difficulty
in getting the torpedo into position. Lieut
CORBEN returned to Boyau 63 and reported the
matter to Capt L.B.MILLS. The Corporal of the R.E.
then proceeded to the Sap head and succeeded after
taking one section out of the torpedo, in
placing it in position. He then returned to
Boyau 63.

3. The Raiding and Covering Parties left Boyau 63
at the time appointed.

5.

4. The Artillery appeared to be a couple of minutes
late in opening fire. The torpedo was sprung
immediately the bombardment commenced.

5. Immediately the torpedo was sprung the Raiding
Party rushed forward and entered the enemy’s Sap.
They found that the torpedo had done its work
with great efficiency. The concertina wire
which had previously filled the Sap and the
wire which had stretched across the top of it had
disappeared and the way was clear. On proceeding
down the Sap it was found that a corner existed
in it and that from this corner to the enemy’s
fire trench the Sap was filled with a second lot
of wire both in and over it and that their further
progress was barred. The Party spent 40 minutes
in & about the Sap endeavouring to find a gap
through which to enter the enemy’s lines but were
unsuccessful.

6. The whole operation was carried through without
any hitch whatever and the existence of the second
line of wire, was, in my opinion the only bar
to bringing the raid to a successful issue.
It appears to have been a complete surprise and
our movements were unhindered by hostile fire.
No casualties were sustained during the operations,
nor did the enemy retaliate on my line afterwards.

7. I consider that the R. Corporal (Cpl RAMBER)
did his work in a very efficient and
praiseworthy manner which I wish to bring to your
notice.

(signed) W.Newton Lieut Col
Commanding 13th Bn. East Surrey Regiment.
1/10/16.

APPENDIK II
H.Q.120th Infantry Brigade.
I beg to report that the Patrol under LIEUT.
DAVIS which left my lines on the night of the
4/5th October and was reported by me on the morning
of the 5th as MISSING has since returned
Lieut Davis is slightly wounded; one O.R.killed,
two O.R.slightly wounded.
This Patrol consisting of one Officer and
3 O.R. left Boyau 54 on the night of the 4th/5th
October at 12.30 a.m. and proceeded to the enemy’s
lines at H25.d.2.2 for the purpose of Keeping the
enemy wire which had been out by our T.M’s under
observation and to prevent its being repaired; also
if possible, to capture a prisoner or bring back
an identification

6.

On reaching the gap in tho wire Lieut Davis
discovered that some coils of fresh concertina
wire had been placed close to the Gap.
He anticipated that this had been so
placed for the purpose of repairing the Gap, so waited
on the chance of capturing a prisoner from a working
Party. He heard no sign of life in the enemy’s
trenches, and as daylight was approaching he decided
to withdraw.
On reaching the neighbourhood of our wire a
Machine Gun opened fire, and inflicted the casualties
mentioned. Lieut Davis being uncertain of his
whereabouts, withdrew the party into a neighbouring
Shell-hole and awaited daylight. They remained there
without food or water until 7 p.m. when it was dark
enough to return to our lines.
The man killed has been located to-day and will
be brought in during the night.
I consider the conduct of Lieut Davis, under very
trying circumstances, is very praiseworthy, for the
coolness and resource shown by him in a sudden
emergency. He states that the men behaved excellently
under the very trying circumstances in which they were
placed.

6/10/16 (Signed) W.Newton Lieut. Col.
Commanding 13th Bn East Surrey Rogt.

APPENDIX III

H.Q.120TH INFANTRY BRIGADE.
MINOR OPERATION.Right 5th/6th Oct 1916

The operation carried out on the night of the 5th/6th.
Oct 16, as far as the LEFT BN.14.BIS SECTOR was
concerned, passed off without a hitch.
The Programme and Time Table was carried through in
its entirety.
On my Left front the Trenches which contained “RATS”
were evacuated with the exception of Lewis Gunners and
Orderlies at the time laid down, altho’ “ZEPPELIN YORK”
had not then been received by me. It was reported to me
that the Lewis Gunners in this sector did specially
good work. On the other two Company fronts, the Smoke
Attacks were launched at the appointed time, and
worked well.
The enemy’s retaliation was weak, and consisted
of a fair number of Aerial Darts and Rifle Grenades, fired
on the Front and Support Lines, causing little or no
damage. .About 20 rounds of Shrapnel and a few 4.2 were
fired on the support Trench by CHALK PIT WOOD. These
caused little damage to the Trench. Some T.M’s were
fired on POSEN ALLEY.

7.

There were no Casualties in the Battalion under
my Command. One Officer and 3 O.R. of the R.E.
were slightly gassed, and 3 O.R. of R.E.Killed.
I might mention, that owing to the delay of the
Fatigue Party bringing up the Stores for the Smoke
Attack, arrangements were delayed and only just
completed in time. Also the CODE messages “ZEPPELIN
LONDON” never reached me, and that “ZEPPELIN YORK”
did not reach my Signals until 7.15 p.m. It has
been reported to me from every source that the men
of my Battalion carried out their duties in a
satisfactory manner, and all the minor arrangements
made by the Battalion worked smoothly.

(signed) W. Newton Lieut-Col.
Commanding 13th En East Surrey Regt.

Common British Military Abbreviations in 1914-18

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