Home » First World War » War Diaries – First World War » War Diary, 1/18th London Regiment – June 1918.

War Diary, 1/18th London Regiment – June 1918.

1st June – In the Line.

Map Ref SE413 1/30000. The Battalion was holding the Front Line System of the Lavieville Sector from E 7 a 90 . 60 on the right to E 2 a 4 . 0 on the left with the 20th Bttn. London Regt. in the right flank and 7th Bttn. London Regt. 58th Battalion on the left flank and the 9th Bttn London Regt. in Support. The disposition was as follows:- “A” Company on the right, “C” Company in the centre, “B” Company on the left with “D” Company in Support. The day was generally quiet with the exception of a little artillery fire on our front line.

Casualties: 2 other ranks wounded

Capt C S Hardy moved from Divisional Brigade and Lieut A F Mackenzie. Both were posted to “D” Company.


2nd June- In the Line.

The Battalion was holding the line as for June 1st. The enemy was comparatively quiet with the exception of a little shelling of the front line.

Casualties: 2/Lt Downes and 2 other ranks killed.

The 18th Battalion came into the line on the left.


3rd June – In the Line.

The Battalion was holding the line and disposed as for June 2nd. Considerable amount of work was done on Yarra and Pioneer Trenches, on the new support trench and on Dirty Trench.The enemy showed a brisk bombardment with their Artillery about 2.30 am but no infantry attack followed. Intermittent shelling on our front line continued throughout the morning and afternoon

Casualties: Lt Curwen killed and 1 other rank wounded.

2/Lt Mc ? removed from the Gas School and sent up to assist “C” Company.

2/Lt Whittaker was admitted to hospital sick.

The 19th Bttn London Regt relieved the 30th Bttn London Regt on our right.


4th June – In the Line.

The Battalion was holding the line as for June 3rd. The Divisional Commander and the Brigadier visited H Q at 9.30 am and proceeded to go round our sector of Trenches. The enemy was inactive all day.

Casualties: Nil.


5th June – In the Line.

The Battalion was holding the line as for June 4th. Two baths and a dressing room were erected in Dirty Trench in order to bathe the men. The work was continued in Yarra Trench and the new Support Trench. The enemy was quiet throughout the day. His heavy trench mortars came into action at last.

Casualties: Nil.


6th June – In the Line.

The Battalion was holding the line as for June 5th with the distribution of the Companies slightly changed. “A” Company on the right with two Sections South of the Albert-Amiens road. “B” Company on the left. The two platoons of “C” Company were withdrawn from the front line into the support trench. The remaining two platoons and Company H Q being in Pioneer Trench between the support platoons of “A” and “B” Companies. “D” Company remained in Dirty Trench while two Lewis Gun batteries of four guns each was established in the new Reserve Trench and at the junction with Digger Avenue, and in a small trench at E. 7. a. 60. p. to fire on the S. O. S. lines.

Work was continued on Yarra Trench and on the fire steps on Yarra and Pioneer Trench. The digging of the new support trench was continued.

Wiring was carried out by “A” and “B” Companies and a new trench from “B” Company Sap spit – locked to a trench in the Bank at E. 2. a. 4. 0. Forty men were bathed at our baths during the day. Hostile activity was very slight very little movement being detected in the back areas. A German patrol captured two men who were the garrison at Bush Post at E. 2. C. 35. 15.

Casualties: 2 OR missing


7th June – In the Line.

The Battalion was holding the line as for June 6th. Work was continued on the new fire steps in Yarra and Pioneer Trenches and on the new Support Trench. There was practically no hostile activity beyond a little Artillery fire. A patrol from “B” Company whilst out on our front captured one prisoner. The 19th Bn, London Regt. made a raid in the night. They failed to penetrate into the German trenches or to secure identification. Gas projectiles were fired into the enemy lines at 2.30 am. This produced no retaliation whatsoever. About 40 men were bathed during the day.

Casualties: Nil


8th June – In the Line.

The Battalion holding the line as for June 7th. Work was continued on the fire steps in Yarra and Pioneer Trenches and on the new Support Trench.

The 8th Royal Berks relieved the 7th Queens 18th Division on our left.

Hostile artillery became very active during the night. Large numbers of gas shells were rained on our forward and back areas reaching its maximum about 2.30 am. The bombardment raged more intensely at our outer South and it turned out to be their preliminary bombardment for their attack between Montdidier and Noyon on the morning of the 9th.

Casualties: 1 OR killed 1 OR wounded.


9th June – In the Line.

The Battalion holding the line as for June 8th. There was practically no activity on our front but the bombardment continued several miles away on our right. The 24th Bttn London Regt. relieved us in the line, the relief being complete about 2 am. On completion the Battalion moved back into Divisional at C. 21. b.

Casualties 1 OR wounded.

Divisional


10th June – In Reserve.

The Battalion was reported all present in bivouacs at C. 21. b. at 7 am. Bathing was done in the afternoon commencing at 2.30 pm.


11th June – In Reserve.

The Battalion in bivouacs at C. 21. b. The Companies are at the disposal of the Company Commanders for cleaning purposes, reorganisation and training.


12th June – In Reserve.

The Battalion in bivouacs at C. 21. b. Companies at the disposal of the Company Commanders for training. The Divisional Follies gave a concert at 5.30 pm. The band of the 23rd Australian Battalion opened the show with several splendid selections of music. The following Officers joined the Battalion from the Divisional Staff. Lt R Sleaman, Lt C A Tea, Lt A Ruffett, Lt T G Vaiflor, Lt A Poulter, Lt A Bunfs, together with 62 other ranks.


13th June – In Reserve.

The Battalion in bivouacs at C. 21. b. Operation orders were received to relieve the 20th Battn London Regt in the Lavieville Line. Major WH Hughes D.S.O. M.C. and Capt TTG Caless went up in the morning to reconnoitre whilst representatives of the Companies and HQ went up in the afternoon. The Battalion moved off at 8.30 pm and the relief was reported complete at 11.50 pm. The disposition of the companies is as follows:- Lavieville Line three Companies “A” Company on the right from D. 6. b 10. 35. to D. 10. d. 60. 15. “B” Company from D. 10. d. 60. 15. to D. 11. a. 30. 15. “D” Company from D. 11. a. 10. 15 to D. 6. d. 10. 50. “C” Company in Support at D. 4. c. 5. 4. HQ Dressing Station 3. a. a. Reserve at D. 9. b. 45. 60. The 4th Battn Royal Welsh Fusiliers probably to Lavieville Line on our right. Tactically the Battalion is at the disposal of the GOC 142nd Brigade. C S M King left for England to take up a Commission.


14th June – In the Line.

The Battalion holding the Lavieville Line. The companies were finding 40 men each to work in shifts on the construction of Machine Gun dug outs. The remainder were trained in Musketry and Lewis Guns. “C” Company Lewis Guns were fired on the range. R S M – J B Lishman M M left for England to take up a Commission. Father Hurley visited the Battalion for the first time in many months whilst in the line.


15th June – In the Line.

The Battalion holding the Lavieville Line. Forty men per Company being engaged in building Machine Gun dug outs, the remainder were employed on making a “burn” of 3″ on the parapet and 6″ on the parados, this being now considered priority work.

The Lewis Gunners of “A” & “B” Companies carried out firing on the range, together with the snipers.

The Brigade Transport competition took place at 9.30 am.

Lt Ricks M.O.R.C. USA proceeded to England on 14 days leave. Capt. Dellar R.A.M.C. taking his place.

Casualties: Nil.


16th June – In the Line.

The Battalion holding the Lavieville Line. Ten men per Company were engaged in building Machine Gun dugouts, the remainder on cleaning the “burn” on the parapet and parados. The latter work was countermanded by telephone about 10 pm and the men were ordered to build additional fire steps as the result of the Corps Commander’s visit to a position of the line during the afternoon. Good work was accomplished on the fire steps.

The R. Cs attended Divine Service at Baisieux.

The Officers of the 6th Battn London Regt 58th Division came up to reconnoitre the line.

The Battalion put up 1.800 francs for the Divisional War Loan Sweepstake.

The result of the transport competition was as follows:-

20th Battalion

19th Battalion

18th Battalion.

About 11.30 pm a Brigade message was received to send down our billeting parties to proceed to the new billeting area on the early morning of the 17th. Lieut L G Dominy went in charge of the party. Another message was received at 1.15 am to send down our surplus stores and Lewis Guns. The limbers arrived for same about 3 am.

Casualties: 3 other ranks wounded.


17th June – In the Line.

The Battalion holding the Lavieville Line. Operation Orders were received that the relief by the 6th Battn London Regt 58th Division would take place that night and on completion of relief the Battalion would embuss to Picquigny. The advance parties of the 6th Battn arrived at 3.30 pm. The relief was reported complete at 11.50 pm.

On completion of relief the Battn moved to BOIS RUPERT, had breakfast, and embussed at 4 am to Picguigny (Ref AMIENS sheet) arriving there about 7.30 am.

Casualties: Nil


18th June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. All troops fairly well billeted. The following officers joined from Divisional wing Lieut E Hammond, D. Coy. Lieut ? Stevens, C. Coy. Lieut A V O Steele, B. Coy, and Lieut A L Jones A. Coy from hospital having previously served with the Battalion. 187 other ranks joined the Battalion.


19th June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. The Companies were at the disposal of the Company Commanders for re-organisation and cleaning of guns and equipment. The Commanding Officer and the Adjutant attended a Brigade Conference at 10 am re training.


20th June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. The Battalion paraded for training at 9 am and were inspected by the Colonel after which training was carried on under the supervision of the Company Commander.

Lt V C Cannon and 2/Lt G R R Stancourt rejoined the Battalion from the Divisional wing Capt C S Hardy and Capt C R G Vincent MC were sent to Field Ambulance. Capt A McKenzie-Smith rejoined the Battalion.


21st June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. The Battalion paraded at 9 am and continued training under the Company Commanders until 12.30 pm and in the afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm.

The Divisional follies gave a performance at 5.30 pm.


22nd June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. Training carried out under the supervision of the Company Commanders.


23rd June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. The Brigade held a Church Parade. The Divisional General was present and presented ribbons to various NCO’s and men after the service.

The Colonel and the Adjutant went to reconnoitre the front of the XXXI French Corps


24th June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny, and paraded for training under the Commanding Officer at 9 am.

Capt G F A Knight rejoined the Battalion.


25th June –Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny, and paraded for training at 9 am under the Company Commanders. Lt General Butler the Corps Commander visited the men during their training.

Major D H Hughes, D.S.O. M.C. and Capt E M Ellis M.C. went to reconnoitre the XXXI French Corps Front.


26th June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny, and paraded for Company training at 9 am. The heats of the men swimming were run off at 5.30 pm preparatory to the Divisional Sports Carnival.

Lt S R Roney joined the Battalion and 2/Lieut J D Baxter went on a Course


27th June – Picqugny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny training under the Company Commanders. The Commanding Officer went to interview the Army Commander.Br> A Swimming Gala was held at 5.30 pm; in the whole the results were good. The “Shamrocks” the Battalion Concert Party entertained the men at 6.30 pm.


28th June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. Company training being carried out. The Battalion football team played the remainder of the Battalion at football during the afternoon. The remainder won 2 – 1. The Shamrocks gave a concert in the evening.


29th June – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. Company training was carried out. Several men were sent to the Field Ambulance with P V O whereas hitherto the health of the troops has been much better than other units in the Brigade. Lieut F F Curling rejoined the Battalion.

A meeting of all Officers DO’s and Sergeants was held at 3 pm to nominate the representatives of the Sports Committee and the Canteen Committee. The following were elected to be members of the Sports Committee.

President – Major D D Hughes D.S.O. M.C.

Father Hurley

2/Lt A L Jones

2/Lt A Mackenzie (Sports Officer)

Lieut H D Hoole

2/Lt D G D Martin

CSM S Dixon

CQMS Collins, G (Secretary)

S/Srgt Allen, R A

Transpt Srgt Hitchman, G

CQMS Thane, A T

The following to represent the Canteen Committee

Major D D Hughes D.S.O. M.C.

Capt E M Ellis M.C.


June 30th – Picquigny.

The Battalion in billets at Picquigny. The Brigade Commander took the Commanding Officers and Adjutants in three tactical exercises at 5.30 pm.

Lieut G F Keane rejoined the Battalion from a Course.

2/Lieut L A Mann joined the Battalion.