2/9th Battalion War Diary - January 1918

CANAL BANK, BOESINGHE 1st One company in the line attached to 2/4th Bn. SOUTH LANCS REGT. Remainder of Bn working parties.
2nd The Bn less one company moved by road and rail from CANAL BANK to DYKES CAMP.
DYKES CAMP 3rd Composite Company attached to 2/4th SOUTH LANCS REGT in the line, rejoined at 2 a.m. having completed six days in the Front Line system. Hard frost continues. The physical condition of the men was good.
4th The Battalion entrained at INTERNATIONAL CORNER at 10 a.m. for BAILLEUL arriving at 1 p.m. and thence by road via STEENWERK to WATERLANDS CAMP near ERQUINGHEM.
WATERLANDS CAMP 5th Cleaning billets and Horse Lines, also inspection of kit.
6th Divine Service. Inspection of Box Respirators
7th Routine, Instructional Parades.
8th Observed as Christmas Day.
9th Instructional Parades. 2 Platoons working under R.E. Officers and specialists reconnoitred the right EPINETTE Sub-Sector.
10th Physical Training under Brigade P.T. Instructor, Platoon Commanders reconnoitred Front Line.
11th Routine. Close Order and Saluting drill. Musketry and Bombing on Range. Battalion bathed and received clean change of clothing.
12th Preparation and kit inspection prior to going into the line.
L'EPINETTE SUB-SECTOR 13th The battalion relieved the 2/8th Bn LIVERPOOL REGT in the L'EPINETTE Sector.
14th Very little hostile artillery fire. Machine Guns very active on roads and communication trenches between 4.30 and 6 p.m.
15th A quiet day. A heavy fall of snow, and thaw following caused the earthworks to fall in many places. Constant working parties had to be employed to keep the Communication Trenches cleared and drained. The front posts and approaches to them were for the most part under water. Everything was done to try and improve the various posts but owing to the enormous amount of water it was impossible to effectively drain them.
16th A quiet day. Machine Guns active at night. Heavy rain fell continuously making the condition of the trenches very bad. Work was continually in progress on Communication Trenches and posts to keep them clear and as well drained as possible. During the night large quantities of wire was carried up and laid round front and Support posts.
17th A quiet day. Rain fell continuously during the day. Work was carried out during the day on keeping trenches clear and repairing damage caused by shell fire. During the night the wiring in of all posts was completed. Clean sockes were received for the first time during the tour in, although socks were applied for on the 15th and 16th, but were unobtainable.
18th A quiet day. The Bn. was relieved at 11 p.m. by the 2/4th SOUTH LANCS REGT and came back to ARMENTIERES to act as Reserve Bn of Brigade in the line.
20th Companies employed on working parties. Wiring of posts and Right Flank of L'EPINETTE Sub-Sector.
21st Two companies employed on working parties. The battalion was relieved at 6 p.m. by the 2/7th Bn. LIVERPOOL REGT and proceeded to WATERLANDS CAMP.
WATERLANDS 22nd One company working party, remainder of Battn kit inspection.
23rd Working parties all companies on ARMENTIERES DEFENCES.
24th Working parties on ARMENTIERES DEFENCES.
25th Working parties ARMENTIERES DEFENCES. Baths at PONT NIEPPE at disposal of Battalion.
26th Working parties ARMENTIERES DEFENCES.
27th Working parties. Church Parade. Battn relieved 2/6th Bn. KING'S LIVERPOOL REGT as Battn in Brigade Reserve with Headquarters in the CONVENT ARMENTIERES, three companies in the JUTE FACTORY and one in the ECOLE DES GARCONS. Relief complete at 8 p.m.
28th Working parties on TOWN DEFENCES night and day.
29th Working Parties on TOWN DEFENCES night and day. A special Patrol of 1 N.C.O. and 8 men under Lieut. L. H. COCKRAM, went out from the Right Company Sector of L'EPINETTE Sub-sector to examine the enemy wire at 5.15 p.m. Whilst the work of examination was in progress, one of the enemy was noticed coming over the parapet, and making his way towards a gap in the wire. The patrol laid low until the Bosche was within a few yards of them and they then captured him and returned to our lines. Although there was a number of the enemy in his front line, not a shot was fired. The prisoner thus captured was a Corporal of the 131st J.R. lately come over from Russia, and was wearing the Decoration of the Iron Cross (2nd Class).
L'EPINETTE SUB-SECTOR 30th The Battn relieved 2/4th Bn SOUTH LANCS REGT in the L'EPINETTE Sub-Sector, relief being complete at 8.30 p.m. One Coy of the 2/4th SOUTH LANCS attached for duty owing to this Battn being reduced in numbers. At 9.45 p.m. a barrage was put down on Enemy Front and Support Lines opposite to the left Company Sector, and dummy figures were shown on our parapet in order to give the impression that a raid was in progress. Owing to a heavy ground mist it is almost certain that these figures could not be seen by the enemy. Retaliation was only slight, in fact there was none at all until about 8 mins after our barrage started. The barrage lasted until 10.5 p.m. All quiet after about 10.30 p.m.
31st A quiet day. Intermittent Machine Gun Fire at night.