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War Diary, 2/18th London Regiment – January 1918

1st Jan.

Bttn in the line holding Beitin sector. Dispositions as follows: A & D less two platoons holding high ground V12 central. B Coy V126 central – high ground V1c93. C Coy high ground V7b09 – V8a43. Two platoons D Coy holding Burj Beitin V13a79 (pt 2900). Bttn H2 moved to Beitin village.


2nd Jan.

Bttn in line as above.

Weather fine and bright.


3rd Jan.

Bttn in line as above.

Weather fine.


Night 3rd/4th Jan.

Three prisoners, apparently an enemy patrol captured by C Coy. They approached our lines unsuspectingly.


4th Jan.

Bttn relived in the line by 6th Royal Welch Fusiliers (53rd Division). Relief complete at 1130 hrs. On completion of relief, Bttn marched to Shafat (y23b) arriving there about 1645 hrs and coming into Brigade Reserve in support to 2/20th London Regiment.

Weather fine and bright.


5th Jan.

Bttn resting in billets at Shafat. Two platoons proceeded to Hismeh (Z3a) coming under command of OC 2/20th Bn. B Coy working on Anata Road under OC 519 RE Coy. At 1500hrs, a Brigade Parade at which the following unis were represented: 2/17, 2/18, ME Coy TM Battery, Artillery and FA.

General Shea, the Divisional Commander, presented ribbons. The following officers and ORs of this unit (2/18 Bttn) were decorated:

Capt Standrick and Lieut Gray MCs; L/Cpl Gregory DCM; Cpl Bone, Rfn Maccabbe and Sgt Super MMs.

Day fine and cold.


6th Jan.

Bttn resting in billets at Shafat. B and C Coys at work on Anata Rd. Party of 40 ORs under Chaplain Hickey proceeded as a burial party to Khurbet Adaseh and buried two officers (Lts Whyte and Burke) and 11 ORs. Work was retarded by climate conditions. Weather boisterous cold and heavy snow. Draft of 30 ORs reported and posted to companies. Lt-Col AE Norton Commanding 2/18 Btnn proceeded on short leave.


7th Jan.

Battalion resting at Shafat. A and C Coys detailed to work on Anata road but unable to proceed on account of weather. Burial party for Khurbet Adaseh was unable to carry on.

Heavy snow fell all day.


8th Jan.

Bttn in billets at Shafat. A and B Coys at work on road. Party of 30 ORs proceeded to Khurbey Adaseh and succeeded in burying remainder of men killed in action on 23rd Dc 1917.

Weather fine but cloudy and overcast at intervals.


9th Jan.

Bttn in billets at Shafat. (B and C Coys at work on Anata – Hismeh road). 15 ORs detailed to proceed to Tel-el-Ful for salvage purposes. Draft of 30 ORs reported and posted to coys.

Day fine and bright.


10th Jan.

Bttn in billets at Shafat. A and C Coys at work on Anata – Hismeh road.

Weather fine and bright.


11th Jan.

Bttn in billets at Shafat. B and C Coys at work on Anata – Hismeh road.

Weather fine and bright.

Draft of 1 officer (Lt Hurley) and 15 ORs reported and posted to coys.


12th Jan.

Bttn in Billets at Shafat. A and B Coys at work on Anata – Hismeh road.

Weather fine and bright.


13th Jan.

Bttn in Billets at Shafat. A and C Coys at work on Anata – Hismeh road.

Weather – heavy rain commencing about 1400 hrs and continuing throughout the night.


14th Jan.

Bttn in Billets at Shafat. A, B, C and D Coys on important road work on main road near Shafat. Orders received that Bttn will be relieved by 2/23 Bn London Regiment on the 16th inst.

Weather – overcast and raining.


15th Jan.

Bttn in Billets at Shafat. Whole battalion on road work less 1 officer and 90 ORs detailed to proceed to Jerusalem to take over Guards from 181 Brigade.

Weather fine and bright.


16th Jan.

Bttn in billets at Shafat in Brigade Reserve. At 1030, Bttn was relieved by 2/23rd Bttn and marched into Jerusalem with Brigade Band and Pipers coming into Divisional Reserve and occupying original billets.

Rest of the day spent on internal economy.

Day fine, bright and slightly warmer.


17th Jan.

Bttn in Divisional Reserve in billets in Jerusalem. Day spent on internal economy, reorganising companies etc.

Weather fine and bright.


18th Jan.

Bttn (less duties that is the 90 men under Lt Patrick finding guards in Jerusalem) training in vicinity of billets as per training programme. Day is divided into three parts – training from 0830 to 1130 hrs, afternoons being devoted to sports and the evenings to concerts and boxing competitions.

300 ORs proceeded to Roosters Concert Party at Palestine Pavilion at 1730 hr.

Day warm, fine and bright.


19th Jan.

Bttn (less duties and 80 men being inoculated with TAB) training as per training programme. Day – warm, fine and bright. The Commanding Officer (Lt-Col AE Norton) returned from short leave in Egypt.


20th Jan.

Sunday – no training. Voluntary Church Services. Day – warm, fine and bright. Duties – Lt Patrick and 90 men relieved of Guard Duties by 2/20 Bttn.


21st Jan.

0800 hrs. Battalion paraded for route march. Route – main road west of Jerusalem via Lifta to Kulonieh (B5a) and back. About nine miles, accompanied by Pipes and Brigade Band.

Day warm, fine and bright.


22nd Jan.

Tuesday. Bttn training from 0830 to 1200 hrs. Bttn attended performance of Divisional Concert Party ‘The Barnstormers’.

Day fine and bright.


23rd Jan.

Bttn on brigade duties. Remainder of Bttn at work on Nablus main road. Wire from General Shea commanding 60th Division to Lt-Col AE Norton commanding 2/18 London Regiment informing him of the award of the DSO.

Day fine and bright.


24th Jan.

Whole battalion being disinfected. Training carried on as programme.

Day fine, warm and bright.


25th Jan.

Bttn on Nablus road working under OC 519 RE Coy.

Day fine and bright.


26th Jan.

Bttn in billets in Divisional Reserve in Jerusalem. At 0900 hrs, coys moved off independently to relieve the 2/15 Bn London Regiment and one coy 2/13 Bn London Regiment. (D Coy 2/Lt Harris relieving the coy of the 2/13 Bn) on the “Jerusalem Defences” Centre Subsector. Relief complete at 1300 hrs.

Dispositions as follows:

A Coy (Lt Gray) at Snipers Ridge (J17 central), D Coy (2/Lt Harris) on Kent Ridge (J23b), Sussex Ridge (J23d), Scraggs Hill (J29b) and Bullocks Hill (J35b). B and C Coys in support in billets at El Aziriyeh (J20b). Bttn HQ in billets at El Aziriyeh.

Day fine and bright.


27th Jan.

Bttn in line. Dispositions as above. At 0900 hrs, a ceremonial parade took place at El Aziriyeh. Units of the Brigade represented – two coys 2/18 London Regiment (Support Coys B and C). – 2 platoons 2/17 London Regiment, 2 platoons 2/19 London Regiment. Following were recipients of ribbons distributed by General Shea, commanding 60th Division. Lt-Col AE Norton commanding 2/18 London Regiment DSO, 590594 Sgt AS Parkes DCM, 592990 Rfn RD Bale MM.

Rain commenced to fall at 0915 hrs and continued throughout the day and at intervals during the night. A draft of 30 ORs reported and were posted to companies.


28th Jan.

Bttn in line. Dispositions as follows: A Coy (Lt Gray) at Snipers Ridge (J 17 central), B Coy (apt Murray) in support at El Aziriyeh, C Coy (Capt Standrick) two platoons in support at El Aziriyeh and two platoons on Kent Ridge under Lt Patrick (J23b). D Coy (Lt Harris) on Sussex Ridge (J23d), Scraggs hill (J29b) and Bullocks Hill (J35b). D Coy’s original garrison of Kent Ridge (J23b) at Rally Post (J29b28) with Coy HQ.

Day dull and overcast with rain at intervals. Cold and boisterous in the afternoon.


29th Jan.

Bttn in line. Dispositions as for 28th. Capt Murray and 50 ORs of B Coy as covering party for RE working party. One prisoner chased and captured on Jericho road by the covering party. Remainder of B Coy and C Co at work preparing a path from Bttn HQ to Rally Post (D Coy HQ).

Day slightly overcast but no rain.


30th Jan.

Bttn in line. Dispositions as above. B Coy at work on Snipers Ridge (J17 central) preparing a defensive work. The GOC Division and Brigade Commander visited Snipers Ridge during the morning. Remainder C Coy at work on path to Rally Post.

Day fine but slightly overcast.


31st Jan.

Bttn in line. Dispositions as above. B Coy at work on Snipers Ridge. Remainder of C Coy at work on Rally Post. Corps, Division and Brigade Commanders visited the line during the morning.

Day fine and bright.

Effective strength – 18 officers, 632 ORs.