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War Diary, 1/18th London Regiment – September 1918

1st September.

On the morning of the 1st the Battalion attacked in support to the 19th & 20th Battalions and reached its objective 600 yards short of St Pierre Vaast – Moislans Wood. That night we were ordered to relieve the Civil Service Rifles who held the left of the Divisional Front. We did so with a draft of 200 recruits who came up that night.


2nd September.

On the morning of the 2nd we took advantage of an attack proceeding on our right to mop up a pocket that had been left by the 21st Battalion in Amazon and Amulet trenches. During this operation we captured 2 officers and 65 other ranks and drove a party of about the same strength into the 142 Bde lines where they surrendered. On the night of the 2nd we were relieved by Companies of the Machine Gunners and moved back to Hospital Farm.


3rd September – HOSPITAL FARM.

Resting and reorganising.


4th September – HOSPITAL FARM.

Resting and reorganising. On the evening of the 4th we moved forward. In Alf Cut just east of the Bouchavesnes – Rancourt Road.


5th September.

On the morning of the 5th, the Battalion advanced behind the 19th and 20th Bns across the Canal du Nord just north of Moislains under heavy shell fire and advanced between the Quarry west of the Peronne – Nurlu Road. The leading Battalions were held up 600 yds short of their objective when we joined them. The attack was resumed at at 7am. The Right half of the 20th Bn and the left half of the 19th Bn failed to attack. Our objective was the Quarry. As it was impossible to mop up the QUARRY unless the lines of the Main Road were captured and made good. Two companies were pushed through the 19th & 20th Bns. They captured and consolidated the line of the main road. The remaining two Companies mopped up the Quarry.


6th September.

On the morning of the 6th, the 19th & 20th Bns were ordered to capture the line of trenches 800 yds east of the Peronne – Nurlu Road by 8 AM. Related to Brigade HQ that they had done so, whereupon the London Irish were to receive orders to push through them capture the village of Lieramont and establish a line running north and south 400 yds east of Lieramont. The 12th Division on the left and the 74th Division on the right were to conform to the advance of the 47th Division. At 8.10 AM the 19th & 20th Bns were still held on the Peronne – Nurlu Road by some machine gunners. A patrol of the London Irish advanced on the right flank of the 19th Bn across the road, shot half the enemy gunners and captured the remainder and the advance was then resumed by the 19th & 20th Bns. The London Irish following immediately behind pushed through them and advanced on Lieramont. The 74th Division on the right did not move forward from Epinette Wood till 11.30 AM and the 12th Division on the left debouched from the village of Nurlu at 1.47 PM. We captured the village of Lieramont and reached our objective 600 yds east of the village at 1.12 PM. The Battalion was relieved from this position the same night by units of the 58th Division. On completion of relief the Bn moved back to huts east of Moislains where Bn was met by cookers, etc


7th September.

Battalion arrived in huts about 5.30 AM. Orders received to prepare to embus W of Moislains at 7 AM. The Battalion had breakfasts, obtained their packs, which had been brought to the huts by transport in the early morning and moved off to the embarking point at about 8 AM. After waiting for about an hour the Battalion was 100 men under 2/Lt Denby, for whom buses had not been provided embussed and proceeded to CORBIE, which was reached about 4 PM. Billets Good.


8th September – CORBIE.

Morning spent in resting and bathing. At 6 PM a concert was given by the “Shamrocks” in the concert hall of the Anzac Coves. This concert was undoubtedly the best the troupe has given to date and the audience was over 700, very largely Australians


9th September – CORBIE.

Orders received to entrain at 10 AM – did not do so until 3 PM leaving Corbie for Callone – Riguart at about 4.30 PM. Callone was reached about 6 AM 10th inst.


10th September.

Battalion marched from Callone to billets in Rambert. Billets clean and comfortable but very scattered. Remainder of day spent in resting


11th September – RAIMBERT.

Companies at disposal of Company Commanders for refitting and cleaning up


12th September – RAIMBERT.

Bn parade at 11.0 AM on the Main Road outside HQ Mess from where the Battalion marched to Ferfay Chateau grounds for drill and address by the Commanding Officer. Battalion Dinner at 7.30 pm in the evening at Bn HQ Mess at which the Brigadier and his staff were guests of the Battalion. The following officers joined the Battalion during the evening and were posted to Companies as follows Lieut F L Haines “B” Coy, 2/Lt C H Gipp “B” Coy, 2/Lt Y S Sanderson “C” Coy, 2/Lt G H Picton “D” Coy. The Battalion less Band and Runners changed again from “Shorts” into trousers owing to the cold weather.


13th September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion parade 9.15am. Marched to Château Grounds, where Battalion Drill and Company training was carried out. A concert was given in the evening by the “Shamrocks” to which 150 inhabitants of Raimbert were admitted free. The show was not good owing to the rowdiness of the village children. The following Officers joined the Battalion and were posted to Companies as follows:- 2/Lt G Tannatt “A” Coy, 2/Lt F Garside “A” Coy, 2/Lt “R G Appleby MM “B” Coy, 2/Lt “A J Harwood” “C” Coy, 2/Lt F W King “C” Coy, 2/Lt S A Coverdale “D” Coy, 2/Lt L J Dewson “D” Coy.


14th September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion parade at 9.15am – had to be washed out owing to the bad weather. Companies carried out indoor training, especially Lewis Gun classes. Lieut R Sheridan rejoined the Battalion from hospital and rejoined “B” Coy.


15th September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion paraded for Divine Service at 11.30am. Rev Hodge officiated. On completion of service the Battalion formed up in line on the road for inspection by the XIII Corps Commander Lt Gen Sir T L N Morland KCB KCMG DSO. On completion of which the Battalion marched back in column of route. A men’s smoking concert was held in the evening in a large marquee.


16th September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion parade at 9am. Marched to Ferfay Château grounds for the Bn drill after which Company Commanders had companies for training. At 6pm the “Shamrocks” gave a concert in the school on completion of which the orchestra went to Brigade HQ to play for a dinner which the Brigadier was giving to commanding officers.


17th September – RAIMBERT.

The Battalion proceeded to the range at B6d (Sheet 44 B) for the whole day. Cookers were taken out and dinners had on the range. In the evening the Orchestra went to play at Dinner at Divisional HQ.


18th September – RAIMBERT.

Baths allotted to the Bn for the whole morning; whilst not bathing the training of Lewis Gunners was continued by the Companies. The “Shamrocks” went to Cauchy-a-la-Tour to give a concert to the Machine Gun Battalion (proceeds 45 frs).


19th September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion Parade 9.15am after which companies at once continued training. Platoons being under platoon commanders for the whole morning. Parade finished at 12 noon owing to the Battalion Sports in the afternoon held at 3pm in the Ferfay Château Grounds. The afternoon was most successful all the open events being won by the Battalion whilst the Commanding Officers won the Polo Bending. Also the jumping, classes A & B. Capt Sir Charles Frederick XIII Corps HQ being 2nd in class A. On conclusion of the sports the Corps Commander very kindly presented the prizes


20th September – RAIMBERT.

A very rainy day on which very little except interior economy could be done. Lewis Gun classes were continued in billets.


21st September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion paraded 9.15am and marched to Ferfay Château Grounds where training was carried out.


22nd September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion attended Divine Service in the concert hall. The following officers joined the Bn and were posted to Companies as follows:- Lieut J P Ashridge “A” Coy, 2/Lt E P Johnson “A” Coy, 2/Lt A R Smyth “B” Coy, 2/Lt K R Shrewsbury “C” Coy, 2/Lt J K O’Donoghue “D” Coy.


23rd September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion paraded at 9.15am and marched to Ferfay Château grounds for training. “B” Coy on the range. 2/Lt A Jagger joined the Bn and was posted to “B” Coy.


24th September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion paraded at 9.15am and marched to Ferfay Château Grounds. Company training carried out, the smallest unit used being the platoon. “A” company on the range


25th September – RAIMBERT.

Battalion paraded at 9.15am. Battalion training carried out at Ferfay Château Grounds


26th September – RAIMBERT.

The same as for previous day


27th September – RAIMBERT.

Left Raimbert at 9am and proceeded by march route to Pierremont via Pernes and Tangry. Billets very bad and scattered.


28th September – PIERRE-MONT.               .

Raining hard. Battalion employed on cleaning up


29th September – PIERRE-MONT.               .

Battalion paraded for Divine Service at which the Major General and Brigadier were present. Warning order received to move northwards


30th September – PIERRE-MONT.               .

A very wet day. The Battalion paraded early in the morning but had to return to billets owing to heavy rainfall. Companies carried on in their billets with armed drill. Lewis Gun instruction and interior economy.