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Remembered Today:

1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment 1914-15


rpetersfh
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Hi Listers,

This is the first time I have posted on the forum, I read sometime ago, that there were members of the forum who were interseted in the 1st Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment! I am trying to find out about this Battalion's movements, as an ancestor served with them, his name was ALBERT EDWARD HABENS and his details are: service number 8163, he was a Private, who died as a result of gas on Saturday 1 May 1915 . Age 27.

I have his army documents and details of his medals. I know he enlisted at Portsmouth on 5th November 1906, but that I think is out of te scope of this forum? Iwould love to hear from anyone who may be able to help, I have heard a rumour that he died during something called 'HILL 60'?

Many thanks,

Ray Peters

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Ray

If you can get hold of a book called "A Sgt Majors War Hill 60 to the Somme" it will help with some excellent diary accounts of the fighting around Hill 60. The author, Ernest Shephard was a regular soldier in the 1st Dorsets and describes the action on Hill 60.

Michelle

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I agree with Michelle the book by Ernest Shphard is superb reading.

You can also get the History of the Dorset Regiment in three volumes Vol 1 deals specifically with the 1st and 2nd Bns and is easily obtainable.

Roger

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I agree with Michelle the book by Ernest Shphard is superb reading.

You can also get the History of the Dorset Regiment in three volumes Vol 1 deals specifically with the 1st and 2nd Bns and is easily obtainable.

Roger

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  • 3 months later...

Does anyone know where i can get a copy of Shephard's book, please?

Regards,

Brian.

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There are 5 available on AbeBooks UK site starting from £15 and if you use the link in green top left of the home page the forum will benefit as well!

Michelle

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Ray,

I can confirm that 1st Dorset's were at Hill 60 on the 1st May 1915.

From The History of the Dorset Regiment 1914 - 1919.

" At 3.00pm 30th April 1915 the Dorsets relieved the Devons, A , C & D Companies holding the front line B Company in support.

C Company were holding the trench on the crest of the hill.

1st May was fine sunny day with a slight south easterly breeze. Nothing of iportance occured indeed the enemy was unusally quiet.

The first gas attack against the French had of course thrown everyone in the High Command into ferment to discover a form of protection against this new weapon.

Make shift respirators of bits of flannel and pieces of gause were issused to everyman in the Battalion with instuction's to wet it should a gas cloud come near.

At 7:15 pm the enemy opned up a severe bombardment on the hill and the trenches right and left , followed almost immediately by by gas shot out of nozzles oppoiste trenches 38,40,43,45 & 46 because of the concentration of the gas it took an immediate effect ( The first gas attack on the French started quite some distance from thier front line, the gas attack on Hill 60 took place in approxamate 40 yards)

With the assistance of other units around them the Dorsets hung on and by 10pm the situation was nearly normal however casualties were heavy.

Lt Butcher and 52 other ranks died that day, 32 other ranks posted as missing and 200 other ranks admitted by the medical services many of this later succumbed to the poisioning. "

Hope this assists

Malcolm

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