9th Battalion War Diary - June to August, 1918

1st to 2nd The tour of duty in the line (GOMMECOURT Sector) was drawing to a close and the situation remained very quiet.
AUTHIE 2nd to 3rd The Battalion was relieved in the line by the 3rd NEW ZEALAND RIFLE BRIGADE, and proceeded to camp near AUTHIE and encamped under canvas. The Battalion then became troops in Corps Reserve.
4th All Officers, W.O.s and platoon Sergeants reconnoitred the assembly positions in the RED LINE and PURPLE LINE. The remainder of the battalion were engaged on general cleaning up, etc.
5th The Battalion practiced the manning of the RED LINE under Brigade supervision.
6th The morning was devoted to general training. A nail hunt was organised throughout the battalion during the afternoon, the total weight of nails collected being 12lbs. 5ozs.
7th This being Sunday, Divine Service was held. Afterwards baths were allotted to the battalion.
8th to 9th During the next two days general training was carried out. Representatives from each Coy also reconnoitred the PURPLE LINE during these two days.
10th The battalion furnished working parties on the PURPLE RESERVE LINE ( ). This work consisted of digging and also wiring the line.
11th "B" "C" & "D" Coys carried out general training. "A Coy carried out Tactical Scheme, consisting of attack on a strongpoint, on the training ground at 18a. During the afternoon the Regimental Sports were held and a very good show was put forward. An open air concert was also given in the evening, but unfortunately this was abruptly brought to an end on several occasions owing to inclement weather.
12th "A & "D" Coys carried out general training while "B" & "C" Coys carried out a tactical and outpost scheme at I.8.a.0.0.
13th "B" & "C" Coys carried out general training and wiring while "D" Coy practiced Attacks on Strong-points, &c. "A" Coy practiced an Outpost Scheme including advanced, Flank and Rearguards, at J.24.a approx.
14th Today being Sunday, Divine Service was held. Afterwards the Brigade Sports were held. Great intrerest was manifested by all ranks. The Bn. did very well at the Sports obtaining 7 First Prizes, 8 Second Prizes, and one Third Prize.
15th The usual General training was carried out by the Bn on the training ground at I.8.a.0.0.
16th The Rifle Range at I.8.d. was allotted to "A" Coy today, the remainder of the Battn carried out the usual programme of training at I.18.A & C.
17th The Bn. again practiced a tactical scheme which consisted of of a practice attack on a line of trenches at J.19 & 20. Two Coys at a time practiced this and when not engaged on this scheme they carried out general training on training ground I.8.a.0.0. Major (Brt. Lieut. Col.) Lord H.C. SEYMOUR, D.S.O. GRENADIER GUARDS reports for duty as Commanding Officer.
18th The same training as on the 17th was again carried out.
19th One platoon of each Coy fired in the ARA Eliminating Competition on range at 18.d. The remainder of the Bn carried out usual training on ground at 18.a.
20th The Bn again carried out Tactical Scheme involving "Advance Across Open Country - Assault of enemy's position - Consolidation and Exploitation". Bn assembled along track I.16.D. and attack enemy position I.29.C & D.
21st Divine Service was held. Afterwards the Div. Horse Show was held, and large numbers proceeded.
22nd The Bn. took part in an attack on points presumed to be held by the enemy along VAUCHELLES-AUTHIE ROAD. The Bn assembled for this attack on the reverse slope I.24.a.60 - I.19.d.60.60. Afterwards the Div Sports were held, this being attended by large numbers from this Bn.
23rd The inter-platoon competition in connection with the ARA Eliminatiing Competition was held on the range at 18.d. Owing to very bad weather no further training was carried out.
24th Nos. 6 & 15 platoons fired off to decide which platoons would represent the Bn in the Bde Eliminating Competition. No. 6 platoon were the winners and therefore represented the Bn in the Bde Competition.
25th The Bn took part in a Tactical Scheme, consisting of a Practice in the Attack on enemy positions along VAUCHELLES-AUTHIE ROAD. Bn deployed on the reverse slope at I.24.a.60 - I.19.a.60.60. Great keenness was shown by all ranks during the scheme.
26th "B" Coy were allotted range at I.8.a and "C" Coy carried out general training on gorund at I.8.a. "A" & "D" coys carried out a route march. No. 6 platoon won the bde Eliminating Competition to-day by 9 points.
27th Bde Tactical Scheme was to be carried out but owing to the inclement weather this was cancelled until Tuesday the 31st.
28th Brigade Church Service was held on Battn. Parade Ground. Remainder of day was devoted to cleaning up etc.
29th Battn moved from Camp at AUTHIE to billets at WARLUZEL, by the following route, PAS, GRINCOURT, COUTRELLE, arriving at destination at 2.0 p.m.
30th Battn moved from WARLUZEL at 6.15 a.m. to AGNEZ-LES-DUISANS. Move being completed by 4 p.m.
ARRAS 31st Battalion moved at 8.30 to ARRAS preparatory to going into the line in Brigade Reserve. The move was complete about 1.30 a.m. on the 1/8/18, the Battalion being billeted in cellars etc. in ARRAS. During this month the leave allotment greatly increased.
Lieut. Colonel
Cmdg. 9th Bn. "The King's" (Liverpool Regt.) T.F.
The following is a comparison of the strength of the Battalion at various times during the month.

Effective Strength O/R
5/7/18 - 908
12/7/18 - 910
19/7/18 - 912
26/7/18 - 928
31/7/18 - 953

The following Officers became non-effective:-
Lieut. F.W. VOYSEY - Inv. to England
Lieut. W. DAVENPORT, M.C. - Inv. to England

Capt. J. WRIGHT att. H.Q. 57 Div - Proceeded on a course to Aldershot.

2/Lieut. J. LAMB, inv. to England

Capt. L.L.S. RICHER, M.C. and Lieut. R.C.H. ELLAM, M.C. were Medically Boarded whilst on leave in England and pronounced unfit to return.

1 O/R was wounded at duty 31/7/22 (sic) by Aircraft Shrapnel.

53 O/R were evacuated and struck off the strength.

The following officers joined for duty:-
Lieut. Col. Lord H.O. SEYMOUR, D.S.O., Grenadier Guards, reported for duty on 17/7/18 as Commanding Officer.

H. SEYMOUR Lieut. Colonel. Commdg. 9th Bn. "The King's" Liverpool Regt. T.F.
1st to 2nd Various inspections were held during the day, whil in ARRAS, under Coy arrangements. At 5.30 p.m. orders were received that the Battalion would proceed to WAKEFIELD and COLLINWOOD CAMPS A.26.d.15.15. The Battn moved at 9.50 p.m. and arrived in camp at 11.15 p.m. 3 Coys & Bn Hqs were accommodated in WAKEFIELD CAMP and one Coy (A) in COLLINWOOD CAMP.
2nd Clearing up, overhauling of Lewis Guns and the usual inspections were held during the day.
3rd Two Coys were on the range and 2 Coys route march. Coy Cmdrs proceeded to reconnoitre assembly positions for Reserve Bns in the event of an enemy attack.
[SHEET 51.b.NW] 4th This being the 5th (sic) Anniversary of the declaration of War, a voluntary Service was held in COLLINWOOD CAMP A.28.c.1.2. 40 men from each Coy attending. A voluntary Service was also held in the evening at 6.30 p.m.
5th Two Coys carried out a route march and 2 Coys carried out General training in vicinity of Camp. Various classes were also held. Coy Cmdrs again reconnoitre assembly positions. The baths at ST. CATHERINE and ANZIN were allotted to this Bn. During the afternoon inter coy football matches were played "A" v. "D" & "B" v. "C" - "B" & "D" Coys proving winners.
6th Two Coys were allotted the range, while two Coys were on a route march. All N.C.O. & Nos 1 & 2 of L.G. Sections received instruction in the use of German Machine Gun kindly lent by the 57th M.G. Bn. Baths were again allotted to this unit for 120 men. The final of the Inter-Coy football match took place this afternoon "B" v. "D", "B" Coy proved winners. The Battn found working party of 400 diggers for work on CHANTERCLER SWITCH from H.1.d.80.38 to H.8.b.10.90.
[SHEET 51.b.NW] 8th The Bn. again found working party, strength of same being 400, for work as above.
9th The Bn. relieved the 1st R.M.F. in the left Bn. Section of the left Brigade Front, FAMPOUX NORTH SECTOR.
10th, 11th, 12th The usual duties were carried out in the line. On the following dates the Bn. sustained casualties as under:-
10th 2/Lieut. D. TOMLINSON & 1 O.R. Killed
11th 2 O.R.s Killed and 2 O.R. Wounded
12th 1 O.R. Killed.
13th Bn. Headquarters was movd forward to POINT DU JOUR at H.30.o.60.90.
14th, 15th, 16th The usual duties were carried out in the line. During this tour in the line the weather was fine and it was exceptionally quiet, excepting at night when the usual harassing fire was carried out by both the enemy and ourselves.
16th On the night of the 16th a discharge of Gas Projectors was carried out, just south of the GAVRELLE ROAD in H5. There was practically no retaliation.
17th & 18th The Bn was relieved in the front line by the 6th Bn. BLACK WATCH. After relief the Bn proceeded to ANZIN where they assembled & Breakfast was served at 4.45 a.m. Afterwards, at 6.0 a.m., the Bn entrained on the light railway and proceeded to CHELERS where they detrained and marched into billets at BAILLEUL and CORNAILLES, arriving there about 10.15 a.m. After dinner the day was devoted to REST, and in the evening the usual inspections were carried out.
19th Today was spent in cleaning up, taking of indents &c.
BAILLEUL 20th "A" Coy carried out a tactical scheme in conjunction with the 1st R.M.F. 3 Officers and 3 N.C.O.s per Coy attended. Two Officers reported for duty - 2/Lt J. ROBERTS and 2/Lt. H. LEAK.
21st The baths were allotted to this unit at TINQUES. The Battn moved by Route March, at short notice from BAILLEUL-AUX-CORNAILLES to FOSSEUX, arriving in billets at 5.45 a.m. Immediately on arrival, breakfast was served, afterwards the Battn resting until 1 p.m. when dinner was served.
FOSSEUX 22nd The Bn received orders to move again to BOUCQUEMAISON arriving in billets at 6.15 a.m. Breakfast was again served immediately on arrival. The Bn again rested until Dinner was served at 1 p.m. Rifle inspection etc. was also held afterwards.
BOUCQUEMAISON 23rd The Bn. received orders to move to BARLY, arriving in billets about 3.15 a.m. Breakfast was served on arrival. Afterwards there was a period of 7 hours silence, no noise or movement to take place during this period.
BARLY 24th The Bn remained in billets in BARLY, enjoyed a good rest.
25th The Bn received orders to be prepared to move at 10 a.m. However it was 1 p.m. when the Bn left for BELLACOURT. Only Officers and men proceeding into action went forward. The surplus personnel remaining in BARLY for further orders.
BELLACOURT 26th During the day the Battn was equipped with Bombs, Rifle Grenades etc. ready for proceeding into Battle. All men's packs etc were stacked at Q.M. Stores. At 11 p.m. the Battn paraded and moved via FICHEUX, BLAIRVILLE, to vicinity of MARGATEL where they bivouacked. The Battn rested during the day until 5 p.m.
HENIN 27th The Battn paraded in Fighting Order at 6 p.m. & proceeded to vicinity of HENIN, where they had tea at about 8 p.m. At 9.30 p.m. the Battn moved forward to the HINDENBURGH LINE & took over trenches in U.7.c relieving a Battn of 52nd Division, the relieving unit being unknown. Occupation of trenches was complete by 4 a.m.
HUMBER REDOUBT - FAG ALLEY etc. 28th Verbal orders were received at 6 a.m. on the 28th inst. That the Battn would attack during the day. At 9 a.m. Bn.H.Q. which was established at BLOCK HOUSE at T.6.d.5.3. moved forward to U.7.c.9.6. While moving, written instructions were received from Brigade detailing the Battn to attack the following objectives. Zero hour, to be at 12.30 p.m. this Battn to be on the right.
First objective:- U.15.c. Central - HOOP LANE - to junction of CRUX TRENCH with HOOP LANE.
Second objective:- RIENCOURT.
Bn. Operation Orders were issued at 10.5 a.m. Coys to be in position by 11.30 a.m. had warning order not been received from Brigade early in the morning it would have been impossible to have got into position to commence the attack at 12.30 p.m.
The Order of Battle was:-
"D" Coy Right Front
"C" Coy Left Front
"A" Coy Support
"B" Coy Reserve
The 2/4th S.L.REGT on the Left - Final objective HENDICOURT.
The 1st Q.W. RIFLES on the right - Final Objective - BULLECOURT.
The Companies assembled as under:- "D" & "C" Coys - along S.E. side of HUMBER REDOUBT and MOLE LANE. "A" Coy - in rear along TUNNEL TRENCH: 2 platoons to follow up each Coy and mop up as leading Coys advanced. "B" Coy - 2 platoons on MAIN ROAD in U.8.a.3.7. to U.7.b.7.4. 2 platoons in DENBURGH LANE. "B" Coy were responsible for dealing with the rest of M.G.s which were in U.8.c.
Coys reported assembly complete & synchronised watches at 12.10 p.m. at 12.18 p.m. the barrage for the Right Bn came down - there was slight retaliation on our trenches. At 12.30 p.m. our barrage opened, & the Battn commenced to move forward. The going was not too good owing to the wire, & numerous shell holes. Shortly after ZERO, the contact Aeroplane received a direct hit from a shell, this being rather an unfortunate incident on the eve of the attack. "B" Coy came into contact with enemy M.G.s along SUNKEN ROAD in U.8.c., but these were very effectively dealt with a No.36 Grenade barrage, and three prisoners together with 1 M.G. were taken. Very heavy fire was directed against the leading Coys both from the vicinity of COPSE TRENCH and also from RIGHT REAR, somewhere in vicinity of U.13.b. After advancing about 500 yards the leading troops came under our own barrage, but owing to troops on both flanks continuing to advance the Battn still pushed on. Several casualties occurred in consequence. An enemy M.G. in U.13.b. became very troublesome as troops were advancing on FAG ALLEY. Two enemy M.G.s and crews were taken prisoners in vicinity of FAG ALLEY. Several Dug-outs in COPSE TRENCH were dealt with by throwing bombs down them & a few of the enemy were killed whilst trying to escape. Three light M.G.s were also captured in this vicinity and the crews either taken prisoner or killed. From this point to the first objective very little resistance was encountered. Flares were lit on reaching the first objective. "A" & "B" Coys followed up the leading Coys, mopping up as they went forward.
At about 1.50 p.m. the Battn continued the advance from the first objective and swung left in the direction of HENDICOURT. Heavy M.G. fire was encountered from the direction of SPANIEL ALLEY in U.16.b. Major BOWRING together with about 10 men outflanked and captured a M.G. also capturing or killing the crew. When in front of SPANIEL ALLEY in U.16.b. a considerable amount of gas was encountered and several casualties resulted. The enemy also put gas shells over in the vicinity of CRUX and CROSS TRENCHES in U.16.b. and a. and U8.b. and d. Two parties of about 15 men each under a Sergeant advanced on the S. of HENDICOURT, took several prisoners together with three light M.G.s but as they got mixed up with the 56th Divn they side-stepped and rejoined "D" Coy. At about U.10.c. a Strong Point was encountered most of the enemy were killed, and three M.G.s were captured. A little further on Major BOWRING was killed. A party under 2/Lieut C. STENT, advanced into the village of HENDICOURT and were met by enemy m.G. fire; also the village was being heavily shelled. As the party was pushing on through some ruined houses Lieut. WILLIAMS, "B", 2/Lieut. DALE, "C" and 2/Lieut MAXWELL, "A", came along with small parties of men. Lieut WILLIAMS took command of all parties and sent out scouts, the latter reported there were none of our troops on either side of the village. It was therefore decided to withdraw to CEMETERY AVENUE, and trenches in U.10.c. and d. While withdrawing Lieut WILLIAMS and 2/Lieut DALE became casualties. While the above parties were in the village, an attempt was made by a portion of "D" Coy, to advance round the N. side of the village, but they were held up by heavy M.G. fire from CROWS NEST, and from trenches in U.16. central.
A Strong Point at about U.10.d.90.70 was captured by the party above, and 8 prisoners taken. Owing to the very heavy M.G. fire which was coming from the direction of CROW'S NEST, and the fact that the left flank of the Battn was in the air, and our own artillery shelling the village, it was decided to withdraw to trenches in U.10.d., consolidate these, and hold on. 2/Lieut. STENT went back into the village after the withdrawal and informed the party of the 1st Q.W.R. that the Battn was consolidating CEMETERY TRENCH. This party then withdrew to CEMETERY TRENCH. Flares were lit shortly after 4 p.m. on consolidated line. As soon as the consolidation had been started, 2/Lieut MAXWELL proceeded to find Bn.H.Q. and succeeded in doing so at 4.30 p.m. Between 4.30 p.m. and 6 p.m. about one Company of the enemy were seen forming up in U.5.c. to counter-attack, but they were dispersed by M.G. and L.G. fire.
After re-organisation the following were the dispositions:-
1 Q.W.R. - 2 Officers and about 30 O.R.s together with 3 Officers and about 15 O.R.s of the 2/4th S.L.R. in vicinity of CEMETERY AVENUE, U.10.d.80.80.
Lieut C.G.R. HILL - 2 Officers and about 120 O.R.s holding a front and Support Line trenches U.10.d.30.30 to U.10.d.50.63. and CEMETERY TRENCH in rear thereof.
One Officer and 20 O.R.s of the L.R.BRIGADE formed a Strong Point and defensive flank in vicinity of U.16.b. central. No touch was obtained with any troops on either flank of the above dispositions, but it was known that a few Canadian M.Gunners, together with a small party of this Battn under C.S.M. McCARTEN were established at the junction of ULSTER AVENEUE with ULSTER TRENCH. From 4 p.m. to Dusk, the positions occupied by this unit were heavily shelled by our own 18 pounders, and also enemy 8" and 5.9s. The Battn suffered numerous casualties in consequence.
The above dispositions were held until 10.30 a.m. on the morning of the 29th inst. When orders were received by Bn.H.Qrs. to withdraw to COPSE TRENCH, owing to the 170 Brigade attacking at 1 p.m. Companies of the 2/4th L.N. LANCS moved into and occupied trenches which were being vacated by this unit.
Battn H.Qrs moved forward from HUMBER REDOUBT at 1.30 p.m. on 28th & came under very heavy M.G. fire from trenches in U.13.b. sustaining several casualties. Advance Bn. Hqrs. Was established at about 3 p.m. in shell holes in U.9.a.60.40. The Comdg Officer Lieut. Colonel Lord H.C. SEYMOUR, D.S.O. & the adjutant Captain W. RAINE, M.C. then went forward to ascertain the situation. While doing this a platoon of "A" Coy under C.S.M. McCARTEN came up out of the Valley in U.3.c. and were advancing on HENDICOURT. This party was met with heavy M.G. fire from SUNKEN ROAD in U.4.c.50.10. This party then advanced under the command of the C.O. (Lieut. Colonel Lord H.C. SEYMOUR, D.S.O.) by short rushes to ULSTER TRENCH near the junction of ULSTER AVENUE, with this trench, where a line was consolidated, and the party of "A" Coy, placed under the Command of a Canadian M.G. Officer, who also had several men and a few M.G.s at this Point. There were in addition to the above about 15 to 20 O.R.s of the 2/4th S.L.R. at this point. This position was very heavily shelled and Trench Mortared, the Comdg. Officer (Lieut. Colonel Lord H.C. SEYMOUR, D.S.O.) being wounded at the junction of ULSTER TRENCH with ULSTER AVENUE, at about 4 p.m. Advanced Battn. H.Q. were afterwards established at U.9.a.50.10. where they remained until 11 a.m. on the 29th. Many attempts were made to effect communication with Brigade, but owing to casualties to Battn runners during the advance, this was not successful.
Capt. W. RAINE, M.C. assumed command of the Battn at 5 p.m. on the evening of the 28th inst.
The Battn suffered fairly heavy casualties during the attack, particulars as below
11 Officers, 231 Other ranks
Lieut. Colonel Lord H.C. SEYMOUR, D.S.O - wounded
Major F.H. BOWRING - killed
Capt. J.A. MAIR - wounded
Lieut. A.G. WARDE, M.C. - wounded
Lieut. D.A. WILSON - wounded
Lieut. E.W. THOMPSON - wounded
Lieut. T. G. POVEY - wounded
Lieut. A. POTTER - wounded
Lieut. H.B. BRIGGS - wounded
Lieut. H. M. WILLIAMS - wounded
2/Lieut. J.H. DALE - wounded
28th to 29th The following morning at about 9.30 a.m. information was received that 170th Brigade was going to attack at 1 p.m. It was therefore decided to withdraw the Battn to COPSE TRENCH. This was completed by 12.15 p.m., the 170th Brigade attacking at 1 p.m. At 11 a.m. on the 29th inst., Major S.C. BALL, M.C. reported, and assumed command of the Battn from then onwards. The Battn moved out of COPSE TRENCH in the afternoon, and returned to bivouac area in HENIN, arriving there about 6 p.m. on the evening of the 29th when dinners were served to the men.
30th & 31st The Battn reorganised on a 2 Company Basis during the 30th & 31st day of the month.
The following identifications were obtained:-
103rd Regt. 58th Division
11th Coy., 172nd I.R. - 39th Division
180th I.R. - 26th Reserve Division
121st I.R. - 26th Reserve Division

The Battalion captured:-
1 Trench Mortar at U.9.c.10.15
19 prisoners
14 Machine Guns

Major Commanding
9th Bn. The King's L'pool Regt.
HENIN 1st The Bn moved from Bivouack Area, HENIN, at 4 p.m. to trenches in vicinity of FARMERS LANE, Bn.H.Qrs being established at T.6.a.50.45., move being completed by5.50 p.m. Lieut R. DARLING, M.C. & party of guides left H.Qrs at 6.30 p.m. for forward position; as this party was passing through FONTAINE, they were dispersed by shell fire resulting in the loss of 9 O.R.s (1 killed, 8 wounded) Lieut DARLING reported incident and returned to rendezvous at 9.30 p.m. At 10.30 p.m. the Bn moved forward to positions East of HENDICOURT in V.17a.45.20 arriving at 4.45 a.m. on morning of 2nd. Coys had just enough time to occupy positions before our barrage commenced at 5 a.m. for 172nd Infantry Brigade Attack.
HENDICOURT TRENCH 2nd The 172nd Brigade attack was quite successful, all objectives being reported taken by 1st Bn ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS. A little enemy resistance was encountered by 2/4th SOUTH LANCS REGT on right.
At 9 a.m. the 63rd (Naval) Division moved up for the attack which proved a brilliant success. All objectives were taken and very little opposition was confronted by them. The enemy were seen scurrying over the numerous ridges in this undulating sector and our Artillery, Horse & Motor transport moved up with the consistent advancing troops. Visual and telephonic communication between Coys, Bn & Brigade H.Qrs. was successfully accomplished. During the afternoon the enemy heavily shelled vicinity of Bn H.Qrs with 5.9s and 77s.
Casualties 1 O.R. wounded, 1 O.R. Killed. Lieut. P.W. KNEEN became a casualty during the afternoon. During the morning a patrol was sent out to reconnoitre CALLING WOOD with a view to silencing the enemy Machine gun, reported being very active. On reaching the objective, our men found the gun to be one of our own. This party was commanded by Lieut. J.M. PARKES. No enemy were found in the vicinity.
"T" Coy under Capt R.C. WILDE, D.S.O., M.C., was sent forward & occupied trenches in V.19.a. & b. at 12 noon.
"X" Coy under Capt E.H.G. ROBERTS, M.C. was sent forward & occupied trenches in V.24.b. at 4 p.m.
The enemy continued to shell Bn. H.Qrs & vicinity during the evening.
3rd Orders were received from Brigade, for the Bn to withdraw to trenches in U.13.a. & c. (in vicinity of TUNNEL TRENCH). The Bn moved off at 3.30 p.m., & proceeded via HENDICOURT & FONTAINE-CROISELLES ROAD to new Area. On arrival (4 p.m.) dinner was served, the rest of the day being devoted to erecting shelters & bivouacs.
4th to 6th From the 4th to the 6th the Battalion reorganised. On the 6th the Battn received warning order from Brigade that the Brigade would relieve the 188th Inf Brigade in Support on the 7/8th September.
7th Orders were received from Brigade that the Battn would move on the 7th & relieve the ROYAL IRISH REGT of the 188th Inf Brigade.
The Battn moved off from area V.13.a.00.30. (QUARRY) at 11.40 a.m.
Route:- HENDICOURT, RIENCOURT & CAGNICOURT. The surplus personnel remained at Transport Lines under the command of Capt J.L. LEE-JONES. Dinner was served en route (HENDICOURT) march being resumed at 2 p.m. A regrettable incident occurred as the Bn was passing through RIENCOURT, the adjutant Capt. W. RAINE, M.C. being severely wounded; he was immediately despatched to Field Ambulance.
The Battn relieved the R.I.R. relief being complete at 5.10 p.m. Bn. H.Qrs established at V.28.a.50.50.
Lieut C.B. JOHNSON reported from Transport Lines & assumed the duties of Adjutant. The situation was somewhat quiet on our front; except for hostile shelling of batteries. During period from 12 midnight to 6 a.m. 8/9/18 about 50 bombs were dropped around Batteries in vicinity of 7 Coy. No material damage reported.
8th A reconnaissance party composed of Major BALL, M.C., Capt. ROBERTS, M.C., Lt. DARLING, M.C., Lt. PARKES, Lt. ROE, M.C. & 2/Lieut. YOUNG left Bn H.Qrs at 10.45 a.m. to reconnoitre forward area and lines of approach to INCHY EN ARTOIS, in event of the Battn being called upon to deliver a counter attack in this vicinity. Party reported to Brigade H.Q. in V.28.a.0.0. & thence proceeded via HINDENBURG SUPPORT LINE to Battn H.Qrs of 2/7th K.L.R. in Dug-out at D.6.a.30. From this point the party reconnoitred BUISSY SWITCH in D.6.d. and ground from this trench S.E. to INCHY. The party returned to Battn H.Qrs via INCHY-CAGNICOURT ROAD, arriving at Bn. H.Qrs about 4 p.m.
At 7 p.m. 5 '9' Hostile Howitzers were firing H.E. & Shrapnel on batteries in V.28b. Flashes from these guns were observed and a hearing taken 98b T.B. from V.28.a.7.4. This was immediately reported to Brigade by runner.
9th Lieut. DARLING, M.C. took a party of 3 Offrs. & 4 N.C.O.s to reconnoitre position reconnoitred by C.O. on 8th inst.
C.O. called at 172 Inf. Bde. H.Q. to attend Conference with G.O.C. Division.
10th The Battn relieved 2/4th S.LANCS REGT. B.H.Q. moved from V.28.a.7.4. and took over H.Q. from 2/4 S.L.R. in HINDENBURG SUPPORT at D.4.d.6.4. "B" Coy moved into position in trench D.4.d., "C" Coy in D.5.e., "A" Coy relieved "D" Coy of 2/4 S.L.R. in BUISSY SWITCH in D.6.d. "D" Coy relieved "A" Coy of 2/4 S.L.R. in D.6.b. relief being complete by 10 p.m.
11th Information was received at 1 p.m. that the 171st Inf. Brigade would attack advanced positions of the enemy West of CANAL in E.2.-E.8.E.14. Major Ball, M.C. received instructions from 172nd Brigade to reconnoitre WARCBURG TRENCH from E.13.a.7.8. to where it joins the CANAL-DU-NORD, HOBART STREET from E.13.b.3.2. across CANAL & up to QUARRY WOOD. Also where HINDENBURG SUPPORT runs into MOEUVRES.
Major BALL, M.C. with lieut. DARLING, M.C. proceeded via South of INCHY through HINDENBURGH SUPPORT to B.H.Q. of 2/8th K.L.R. thence to O.P. at E.13.b.2.3. where a good view was obtained of ground to be reconnoitred. They returned to B.H.Q. D.4.d.6.4. at 4.45 p.m.
For the attack ZERO was fixed for 6.15 p.m.
At 6.12 p.m. batteries on Right of Corps Front opened fire putting down smoke barrage S.W. of BOURLON WOOD. Barrage was very good, in 3 minutes the wood was obscured. At 6.15 p.m. batteries on Corps front opened with Shrapnel & H.E. on Enemy's positions West of CANAL, E.2.e.8-E.14. Creeping barrage very good. Enemy fired many "S.O.S." Signals, but very feeble reply from his Artillery. Our Infantry attacked. No information received regarding operations until 8 a.m. 12/9/18, when rumours were confirmed that our attack had failed. Right Battn got forward and established touch with GUARDS BRIGADE west of MOEUVRES. Left Battn was held up by M.G. fire, & were compelled to withdraw to their starting positions, their casualties being fairly heavy.
The enemy kept up harassing fire during the hours of darkness on the whole front to a depth of 5,000 yards. Hostile aeroplanes flew over our lines at 10 p.m. and dropped 10 bombs in vicinity of INCHY. Slight gas shelling N.E. of PRONVILLE at 9.30 p.m.
At noon orders were received to prepare for "Fighting Order". Major BALL, M.C. summoned to a Conference at Batt. H.Qrs at 8.30 p.m.
12th At 4 a.m. Orders were received to move forward Battn H.Q. together with "B" & "C" Coys to support 2/6th K.L.R. who had moved forward their two supporting Coys to reinforce their front line. B.H.Q. was established in BLOCK HOUSE in D.6.d.6.8. "B" Coy moved into position in HINDENBURG SUPPORT from D.12.d.60.80. to D.12.d.9.2., and "C" Coy in HINDENBURG SUPPORT D.6.c.
The Battn relieved the 2/7 K.L.R. in the Left Sector during the night. "A" Coy took up position in front line on the left of the Battn Sector in E.1.d. & b. "D" Coy took up position in Right Sector of Battn area in GRABSBURG POST at E.1.d.9.2. "B" Coy took up position at D.6.d. in BUISSY SWITCH & HINDENBURG SUPPORT. "C" Coy were established at Battn H.Qrs as Counter-Attack Coy. Battn H.Qrs was established in SUNKEN ROAD at D.6.a.60.70. Relief was complete at 9.45 p.m. The night was very wet.
13th The enemy shelled INCHY very heavily during the afternoon & night. Brigadier called at Battn. H.Qrs about 4 p.m. "A" Coy was relieved during night by "C" Coy. The relief was delayed by enemy shelling, but only one casualty was reported. 2/Lieut. J. ROBERTS went out with a patrol of 1 N.C.O & men, and was proceeding towards the CANAL, when an enemy M.G. opened fire on them. 2/Lieut. ROBERTS was killed & the Sergt slightly wounded. Enemy shelled vicinity of Battn H.Qrs and roads at intervals during the night. The Corps Commander (Sir Charles Fergusson) visited Battn H.Qrs about 1.15 p.m.
14th Divisional Commander visited Battn H.Qrs about 2 p.m. C.O. & Company Commanders of 1/6th HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY visited Battn H.Q during afternoon to reconnoitre prior to relieving the Battn.
Lieut. DARLING, M.C. went out on patrol at 10 p.m. to locate enemy M.G. Our Light Trench Mortars were notified and fired 20 rounds on the post at STAND TO next morning. Enemy shelling during the day was normal, Battn area was only slightly shelled. 1 N.C.O (Sergt. JOHNSON) was killed by M.G. fire.
15th Enemy shelled MOEUVRES and TADPOLE COPSE heavily from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. INCHY was also shelled, some gas being used.
Brigadier called at Battn H.Qrs at 9.30 a.m. & went round the line with the C.O.
Advanced parties of the 6th H.L.I. arrived during the afternoon. "B" Coy relieved "C" Coy in Left Front Sector during the evening, relief being complete at 10.20 p.m.
16th Enemy shelled vicinity of Battn H.Qrs with 77s about 10 a.m.
Lieut. DARLING M.C. left B.H.Q. at about 10 a.m. accompanied by the Intelligence Officer of 1/6th H.L.I. to reconnoitre the Battn frontage. It is regretted these officers failed to return alive, having met a Bosche daylight Patrol during the tour. Their bodies were brought in by a party of Canadians assisted by 2/Lieut. KNEALE & 3 O.Ranks of this Battn.
BULLECOURT 17th On the night 16/17th the Battn was relieved by 1/6 H.L.I. & proceeded to Bivouac area at BULLECOURT, arriving there about 4 a.m. About 2 a.m. a terrific storm was encountered, which made the conditions very unpleasant as they arrived at the Bivouac area.
18th On the 18th the Battn proceeded by route march & train to billeting area at BAILLEULMONT arriving there about 2 p.m. The remainder of the day being devoted to rest.
19th On the 19th Coys were placed at the disposal of Coy Comdrs for thorough inspection etc.
20th The Battn utilised the Rifle Range & 3 Coys carried out Tactical Scheme.
21st The Battn carried out Training on the following lines:-
Close Order Drill, Musketry, Arms Drill, etc.
22nd This being Sunday, Divine Services for the Battn were held. In the afternoon the Brigadier General presented the recipients of the Military Medal, which had been gained during the action on 28th August, with the riband.
23rd The Battn, with the exception of Lewis Gunners, Rifle Grenadiers, again carried out a Tactical Scheme, the latter specialists proceeded to the Range and carried out firing practices.
24th The Battn paraded at 9 a.m. & carried out Tactical Scheme similar to previous day.
On the evening of the 24th the Battn received warning order that the Brigade would move from present area, to VAULX VRACOURT, by train on 25th inst.
25th The Battn, less Transport Section, paraded at 10.30 a.m. & marched to BEAUMETZ STATION, entraining at 12 noon, & detraining at VAULZ VRACOURT at 5 p.m. The Battn then proceeded by route march to Bivouac Area at LAGNICOURT (C.17.d. & C.18.c.& d.) The Transport Section, which proceeded by road, arrived at new area, about 6 p.m. Surplus personnel, Capt E.H.G. ROBERTS, M.C. in command, proceeded to Reception Camp, BOYELLES.
LAGNICOURT 26th During the day the Battalion was warned to prepare for action. Bombs, Grenades Etc. drawn and distributed to men.
27th At 12.30 a.m. the Battalion moved from Bivouac Area to positions of assembly in the HINDENBURG LINE. At 1.10 a.m. the Battn joined on behind the 2/7 Bn. K.L.R. & followed them along track as per allocated route. The going was very bad on account of mud and heavy rain. The Battn arrived at place of assembly in HINDENBURG LINE D.16.a.65.40. at 3.40 a.m.
5 a.m. - The Commanding Officer & Liaison Officer reported at Divisional H.Qrs for final Conference. Battalion moved forward at 5.30 a.m. following 2/7 Bn. K.L.R. Progress slow until getting out into the open beyond TADPOLE COPSE, passed through MOEUVRES and crossed CANAL-DU-NORD at 8.30 a.m. Continued advance towards S.W. corner of BOURLON WOOD. At 9.15 a.m. got into Artillery Formation. Occasional checks and Battalion was held up from 9.20 to 9.45 a.m. when advance continued. Enemy Aircraft overhead fired on troops. Machine Gun fire also from the right. Again held up, when advance continued and Battalion getting over the crest came under heavy Machine Gun & 77 fire.
BOURLON 28th Pressed on and got into position N.E. of ANNEUX and S.W. corner of BOURLON WOOD going through the 2/7 K.L.R. We suffered many casualties. The Commanding Officer found the C.O. of the R.M.L.I and got information that the 63rd Division had not taken ANNEUX. The R.M.L.I were badly scattered and only one party of 15 had been located at all. At 3 p.m. a barrage was put down on GRAINCOURT and ANNEUX and these places were taken. The enemy were seen retiring behind ANNEUX and country South. The Commanding Officer saw the C.O. of 73 CANADIAN BATTALION who was moving forward from N & SW of BOURLON WOOD on to FONTAINE and decided to follow his Coys doing the Southern part and then to endeavour to capture CANTAING TRENCH. This was held up on account of receiving instructions from 171st Infantry Brigade that a barrage was being put down on the trenches. The troops were therefore hastily withdrawn. As no barrage was given an attempt was made at 6.30 but was held up by M.G. fire from the trenches and also from BOURLON WOOD. Capt. G.F. BUCKLE and 2/Lieut. T.W. WILKINSON and four Other Ranks were wounded. The Battn withdrew and took up positions between ANNEUX and BOURLON WOOD.
From arrival, throughout the day & night the whole area was subjected to intermittent bursts of gun fire. After the taking of ANNEUX and GRAINCOURT it eased off considerably, but until this occurred the fire was very hot also from M.G.s. After dark the line was readjusted and the men dug themselves in.
The following were in action:
Major S.C. BALL, M.C. Commanding Officer
Lieut. C.B. JOHNSON, Adjutant
Lieut. N. LEES, Signalling Officer
Lieut. H.J. HALLETT, Intelligence Officer
2/Lieut. KNEALE attd. Bn. HQ
2/Lieut. C.E. KEEP liaison with Bde
"A" Coy:
Lt. A. ROE, M.C. (O.C.)
"B" Coy:
2/Lieut. F.W. YOUNG (O.C.)
2/Lieut. A.W. NELSON
"C" Coy:
Capt. G.F. BUCKLE (O.C.)
2/Lieut. A.W. RIGBY
Lieut. A.E. HUNT
"D" Coy:
Capt. A.F. ATKINSON (O.C.)
2/Lieut. A.R. HILL
2/Lieut. WYATT
& 490 Other Ranks
The casualties sustained during the day and night were:-
Capt. G.F. BUCKLE, Lieut. A.E. HUNT, 2/Lieut. F.W. YOUNG & 2/Lieut. F.W. WILKINSON wounded, and Other Ranks; 9 Killed, 47 wounded, 27 Missing.

At 8.30 a.m. the Battalion received orders to withdraw to the new Transport Lines 1½ miles behind ANNEUX but later to proceed down the CANTAING LINE and occupy trenches in about f.26 Central. The night was spent here.

29th Quiet day in the same location. Overhaul of Stores & Equipment, deficiencies &c replaced and men given a restful day.
30th The Battalion paraded at 3.30 a.m. and moved off at 4.30 a.m. as follows:-
Major S.C. Ball, M.C.
"A" Coy:
Lt. A. ROE, M.C. (O.C.)
& 81 O/Ranks
"B" Coy:
2/Lieut. L. BUTTERWORTH (O.C.)
2/Lieut. A.W. NELSON
2/Lieut. HOWE
& 75 O/Ranks
"C" Coy:
2/Lieut. A.W. RIGBY (O.C.)
2/Lieut. WYMARK
& 78 O/Ranks
"D" Coy:
Capt. A.F. ATKINSON (O.C.)
2/Lieut. A.R. HILL
2/Lieut. WYATT
& 98 O/Ranks
77 O/Ranks
Total 407 O/Ranks
2/Lieut. CHALLONER & 2 guns, 172 L.T.M.B. & 1 Section M.G. of 57 M.G. Coy marched off with Battalion.

Battalion reached canal bridge at 5.30 a.m. prompt. 2/lieut. KNEALE who had been sent ahead at 5.10 a.m. to reconnoitre rejoined the Battalion at 5.35 a.m. Arrived at junction of roads all in touch where the R. MUNSTER FUS were to be met at 5.40. As the latter Battalion had not arrived by 5.50 a.m. and it was getting light the Commanding Officer decided to get the Battalion out into artillery formation, at once without waiting any longer for the R.M.F. While this was being done the R.M.F. began to arrive at 5.55 and were passed through forward. During this, fairly heavy M.G. fire was continuous and immediately it got light and before all the troops were in position a barrage was put down on the assembly position and the M.G. fire increased. The battalion was assembled by 6 a.m.
6.30 a.m. - Troops began to move forward, we following the R.M.F.. B.H.Q. followed up at 7.0 a.m. 7.5 a.m. - B.H.Q. joined up with "D" Coy and found whole Battalion held up. Heavy shelling in Battalion area. Withdrew to trenches at old B.H.Q.
7.10 a.m. - 2/Lieut. KNEALE reported Battalion entirely held up in conjunction with R.M.F. on ridge in A.20.d.
7.12 a.m. - Despatched 2/lieut. KEEP to find gunners, and endeavour to get hold of O.C. Battery.
7.25 a.m. - 2/Lieut. KEEP returned and reported Major ATKINSON forward with R.M.F.
7.30 a.m. - 2/Lieut. KNEALE with small patrol went forward to get further news of situation. M.G. fire mainly from PROVILLE district and crossfire from the right. Whizzbangs and 4.2s - mainly from direction of front and right. Suffering many casualties.
7.40 a.m. - Sent small patrol forward to find Medical Officer and staff who had failed to report at B.H.Q.
7.50 a.m. - Sent small patrol out to locate H.Q. of R.M.F.
8.25 a.m. - 2/Lieut. KNEALE returned from his reconnaissance. Found Companies somewhat mixed. "A", "C" & "D" (about 60 men) at A.26.a.4.7. to A.26.a.9.6. Remainder from SUNKEN ROAD in A.25.b.50.90. to PARIS COPSE. Held up by M.G. fire from front and flanks. Enemy occupying trenches from A.19 central to A.20.d and A.20.d.60.70. and 80.
Gunners informed.
R.M.F. visible only on line in A.26.a.2.7. to A.25.b.50.95. Our T.M.B.s engaged on enemy trenches from A.19 central to A.20.d. Troops endeavouring under cover of this to get forward.
9 a.m. - Medical Offcier not having arrived sent out a second party to endeavour to find him.
9.25 a.m. - Not having seen anything of S.L.R. sent 2/Lieut. KEEP and party to locate S.L.R. and keep in touch.
9.55 a.m. - 2/Lieut. KNEALE returned from his 3rd reconnaissance forward, and reported that the 2 right forward Coys had been unable to get forward, but effect of our artillery fire on trenches in front appeared to have quietened the enemy a little. He could obtain no news of R.M.F. H.Qrs. Coys being reorganised to push forward to right and try to reach trenches. HOOD Battn on our right still held up. R. MUNSTER FUSILIERS not yet gone ahead. M.G. fire still heavy in this locality. Shellinglowered for a while, but is now becoming heavier again.
9.56 a.m. - 2/Lieut. KEEP got in touch with S.L.R. who are now coming forward behind us. The Company Commander to whom he spoke was unable to inform him where B.H.Q. was. He was given location of ours.
11.0 a.m. - From observation troops still held up. No further progress forward.
11.10 a.m. - O.C. "A" Coy reported that part of his Coy & part of "C" & "D" Coys were still unable to get further forward; that left flank of 63rd Div on his right were equally held up; that certain parties of R.M.F. had gone ahead of him in early part of morning well to his right in an easterly direction. He believed they had been held up and could not get further forward. He was instructed to send out a patrol, get in touch with them, and obtain news of situation as regards sunken road and trenches beyond.
11.20 a.m. - R.A.P. established near Bn. H.Q. Medical Officer reported area still being shelled and M.G. firing.
11.21 a.m. - Sent to Brigade for more Stretcher Bearers.
11.50 a.m. - Second patrol, which had been sent out to find R.M.F. H.Q. returned and reported location of their B.H.Q. Sent 2/Lieut. KNEALE to obtain and bring back information & leave 2/Lieut. KEEP there as Liason.
12.3 p.m. - Instructions re fresh attack (B.M. 251) received and acknowledged. Commanding Officer sent for CompanyCommanders and conferred with them on the new attack to be made at 1 p.m. & issued orders.
1 p.m. - Barrage put down and later small parties of R.M.F. moved forward to take original objectives. This was not successful as they were held up by heavy M.G. fire and only progressed about 3/500 yards. This battalion therefore did not move, as any further advance was contingent only on the R.M.F. being successful. Situation report sent in Commanding Officer spent afternoon visiting Coys and liaising with R.M.F. and S.L.R. Endeavoured to get messages through to Brigade but line broken.
3.30 p.m. - Sent report on situation by visual.
4 p.m. - Got through on 'phone to Brigade and spoke to Brigade Major on situation; a little later to the Brigadier. Commanding Officer visited C.O. of ANSON Battalion and got information as to situation in PROVILLE and trenches in A.27.a & b.
5 p.m. - Commanding Officer went to R.M.F. H.Q. to meet the Brigadier.
6 p.m. - Commanding Officer went to Companies and readjusted positions.
8 p.m. - Instructions received that Battalion would vacate positions during night and come back to bivouac E. of FONTAINE.

Cmdg. 9-Bn. The King's (Lpool Regt)