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War Diary, 1/18th London Regiment – September 1916

Sept 1st to 10th – Bresle.
On 6th, practised Div attack.
On 8th, practised Div Attack at 10 am.
On 9th practised Div Attack at 6 am.

Sept 11th to 14th – Bresle.
Moved to support area.
Moved into front line. Bttn was on the left with 17th on right. 19th & 20th being in support. No casualties during relief or up to midnight.

Sept 15th – High Wood.
Bttn attacked at 6.20am. There was no barrage, it being apparently hoped that the three tanks attacking through the wood would keep down the machine gun fire. This they entirely failed to do and in consequence the first attack was held up and there were heavy casualties from machine gun fire. Lt Colonel P Hamilton of the 19th Bttn immediately organised a number of men & attempted a rush but was killed together with every man who went over with him.
After a consultation it was decided to bomb round the flanks – word was sent to Bde HQ stating the situation & asking for Artillery support. These tactics proved highly successful & between 9 & 10 am the enemy all along the Bttn front surrendered with the exception of a few snipers in shell holes behind the German line.
These caused a number of casualties including Major J R Trinder who was shot through the head whilst superintending the removal of German prisoners. As soon as the snipers had been rounded up the Bttn pushed through the wood & consolidated a line beyond. In the afternoon, Major B M Mahon came up and took command & a new line was dug out 150 yards clear of the wood.
Total casualties were 233 all ranks. The wood was heavily shelled at 8pm for about 2 hours without causing heavy casualties.

Sept 16th – High Wood.
Spent in digging new line 200 yds further forward which on the left connected with the 50th Division.
Owing to heavy shelling on the right flank a continuous line was not dug to connect with the 17th Bttn on our right. This was protected by a concentration of machine guns & was constantly patrolled.
The lines in front of the wood were constantly shelled but with few casualties.

Sept 17th – Mametz.
Relieved about 4 am by 24th Bttn & moved to Mametz Woods during afternoon.
Draft of 96 ORs formed unit & orders were then received to move up at 4pm and relieve 24th Bttn.

Sept 18th – High Wood.
In lines in front of High Wood. Relief effected at 10pm without any casualties. Very heavy rain impeding all work – Trenches in very bad condition – Shelling heavy – casualties slight.

Sept 19th – High Wood.
In same position – Heavy enemy shelling – slight damage.

Sept 20th – Albert.
Relieved by 1st Cameron Highlanders at 2am & marched to Albert arriving there about 7am.

Sept 21st – Bresle.
Moved to Bresle.

Sept 22nd/23rd – Bresle.
In Bresle.

Sept 24th – Bresle.
Draft of 150 ORs arrived.

Sept 25th – Bresle.
Bde ceremonial.

Sept 26th – Bresle.

Sept 27th – Becourt,
Moved to Becourt – left Bresle 1.30 pm arrived Becourt 5.20 pm.

Sept 28th – Becourt/Bazentin.
Moved to Bazentin as Bttn in Bde reserve.

Sept 29th – Bazentin.
In Bde reserve – at 1 pm A Coy moved to High Wood. B Coy moved to “Switch” line at 7 pm. A Coy moving to FLAG line. Rest of Bttn did not move.

Sept 30th – Bazentin/High Wood.
In reserve.