1/9th Battalion War Diary - January, 1918

LISBOURG 1st On the 1st of the month the Baths were again allotted to this Battalion. The next few days the Battalion carried on with the usual training, which also included firing on ranges etc. The Signallers carried on with their own programme of training.
8th On the 8th inst. There was an inter Coy wiring competition held and although the weather was very cold some very good work was done. "A" Coy proved themselves to be the best Coy in the competition. During the next few days the usual training, including firing on the ranges etc. was carried out.
23rd On the 23rd inst a Staff Sergt. Major from the Army Gymnastic School reported for duty. During his stay his work consisted chiefly in training the junior N.C.O.s in Physical Drill and Bayonet Fighting. He also took the Companies over the Assault Course.
24th On the 24/1/18 the Battalion went on a route march, about 10 miles.
26th On the 26th inst Lieut. Colonel DREW received a private letter from the Major General Commanding the 55th Division intimating that a change was about to take place which would affect every Division in the British Armies, in so much that Brigades would only be composed of 3 Battalions instead of 4. Unfortunately, from information received from G.H.Q. the Major General regretted that this Battalion would have to leave 165 Infantry Brigade, and would be amalgamated with the 2nd line Battalion.
27th On the 27th inst we received official notification of the above, from the 55th Division which also intimated that we should be required to take only 12 Officers and 200 Other Ranks along to the 2nd line.
28th On the 28th inst a letter was received informing us that 3 Drafts would have to be found, which would consist of the following:
12th KINGS - 5 Officers, 100 Other Ranks 1st KINGS - 10 Officers, 200 Other Ranks 4th KINGS - 10 Officers, 200 Other Ranks
29th The draft for the 12th KINGS had to proceed by Lorries on the 29th inst. As we could not supply the full number of men asked for in three drafts, the men were posted to the Battalions in equal proportions. The draft to the 12th KINGS left on the 29th inst & consisted of 5 officers and 80 Other Ranks. The remainder carried out a route march, about 8 miles. On the 30th inst the two drafts for the 1st & 4th KINGS left for their respective units. The strength of these drafts were 1st KINGS - 10 Officers and 192 Other Ranks: 4th KINGS - 10 Officers and 189 Other Ranks: When these drafts left, all ranks were visibly affected, as the majority of them had fought together as a battalion during the past three years.
The Divisional Concert Party came along to LISBOURG on the 30th & gave a very good concert, which was enjoyed by everyone who were lucky enough to be present.
31st On the 31st inst the remainder of the Battalion left for the 57th Division to join the 2/9th Bn. There were 8 officers and 154 Other Ranks actually left LISBOURG, the remainder being either on leave or on Courses. Everyone paraded in the Square at LISBOURG and at 10.30 a.m. the Major General visited us and made a Farewell Speech. In this speech he gave a glowing tribute to the Battalion, dealing with the fine work done by them during the two years they have been together. There were also present the Brigadier General, Brigade Major & representatives from the 5th, 6th & 7th KINGS, to give the Battalion a good send off. The bands from the 5th & 6th KINGS were also present and rendered selections. As the Battalion eventually moved off in Lorries, the Band of the 5th KINGS played "Auld Lang Syne". Official notification was also received from G.H.Q. that the Commanding Officer of the 9th Bn. "THE KINGS" (amalgamated 1st & 2nd line Battn.) would be Lieut. Colonel F.W.M. DREW, D.S.O. and the 2nd in Command would be Captain (A/Major) G.B.L. RAE. Lieut & Quartermaster R.E. BURNETT is also appointed Quartermaster of the 9th Bn. "THE KINGS".
(Signed) C.B. Johnson
F.M. Drew
Lt. Col.