HERTS AT WAR

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War Diary for November and December 1914

1-11-14. The Bn received orders to be ready by the 5th to embark.

2-11-14. Preparations for embarkation proceeded satisfactorily.

3-11-14. Preparations proceeded satisfactorily and the Bn was issued out with the Short Rifle. [Comment; this refers to the SMLE, or the "Short Magazine Lee Enfield" Rifle].

4-11-14. Preparations for embarkation proceeded satisfactorily.

5-11-14. The Bn left BURY ST. EDMONDS in two trains and in the evening embarked on the "CITY OF CHESTER", sailing at midnight.

6-11-14. Arrived at HAVRE on the morning and landed at HAVRE about 12 Midday and marched 3 ½ miles to No.2 REST CAMP.

7-11-14. Remained at REST CAMP. [Comment; Battalions first death in France - Private 2682 Charles CASTLE of Ware died from illness]

8-11-14. Bn entrained early and left in one train for ST. OMAR [sic; ST. OMER] at 9.19pm.

9-11-14. The Bn arrived at ST. OMAR [sic; St. OMER] at 7am and marched to billets about 3 miles away at TATINGHAM.

10-11-14. The Commander in Chief came up for a few minutes and inspected one of the Companies.

11-11-14. The Bn moved out to prepare an entrenched position. Shortly after arrival received orders to proceed by Motor Bus to VLAMENTINGHE. On arrival marched through YPRES and bivouacked KILO 3 ¾ Mile West of HOOGE. The Bn came under shrapnel fire passing through YPRES and had one Officer and one man struck but only one man needed medical attention.

12-11-14. Bn moved about 2 miles along the YPRES-ZONNEBEKE Railway and entrenched in a wood for cover against shrapnel. Returned to bivouac.

13-11-14. Remained in bivouac (and had an unburst shrapnel shell through the farm and one man was struck by splinters).

14-11-14. The Bn moved in the evening to NONNE-BOSSEN and took over trenches from the Oxfordshire Light Infantry - 3 Companies in trenches, 5 in support.

15-11-14. Same position. One man wounded.

16-11-14. Handed over our trenches to 153rd Regiment and marched back to 3 KILO YPRES-MELLEN [sic; MENIN] Road.

17-11-14. We were shelled in the morning and had to leave the farm shortly after had one man killed and two severely wounded. In the evening we went into the trenches again & took over from the 1st Royal Dragoons and 10th Hussars 1 mile S.E. of ZILLEBEKE. Had 4 Companies in the trenches, 1 in support, 1 in reserve, remaining 2 at KILO 3.

18-11-14. Remained in trenches. Corporal Boardman [2270 Ernest Arthur BOARDMAN] killed and one man missing. [Comment; Missing man was Private 2238 Frederick James DARLOW of Royston who was found to have been killed In action]

19-11-14. E Company was heavily shelled and lost 3 men killed, 19 wounded, 2.Lieut C.M. Down [Charles M. DOWN] wounded. In the evening we were relieved by the 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards and marched back to our own former bivouacs. Slight fall of snow. [Comment; Killed in action today - Privates 2504 William BUTTS, 2747 George Haslear CATLIN, 2518 George Edward ELLIS, 2426 Walter William FLANDERS, 2428 Joseph William JOHNSON, 1911 Frank PULLEY, 2636 Phillip James ROBINSON, 2746 Henry WEST]

20-11-14. Marched at 11pm to METEREN, about 18-20 miles. Had tea at OUDERDAM. A very cold night. Joined our Brigade 4th (Guards) Brigade for the first time.

21-11-14. Arrived at METEREN and went into billets.

22-11-14 to 21-12-14. Bn remained at METEREN refitting and training. [Comment; 29-11-14. Private 2598 Walter George WALKER of Hertford died in England from his wounds today]

22-12-14. Brigade marched from METEREN to BETHUNE and billeted there the night.

23-12-14. The Brigade marched to LES LACONS FARM and spent the day there. In the evening the Bn moved forward to Cross Roads - RUE DE BOIS and RUE L'EPINETTE in support of 2 ½ battalions of the Brigade in the trenches.

24-12-14. The Bn moved back to LES LACONS FARM and in the evening went into the trenches south of RUE DE BOIS taking over from 6th GHATS. 6 Companies in the trenches, 2 in support close to Headquarters.

25-12-14. L.Sgt Gregory [2301 Thomas Edward GREGORY] and Private Huggins [2701 Percy Henry HUGGINS] killed.

27-12-14. One Company was removed from the fire trenches to support. Each Company had 36 hours in support in rotation.


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