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Remembered Today:

4th Kings Liverpool Meteren April 1918


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The Bn Diary of the 4th Bn Kings Liverpool says " Bn in action " on the 15th, 16th, 17, and 18th April 1918. In a report on the events of that time. ( Lt ???? can't read name ) says.

" At 5.0 am on the 16th inst, OC 'c' coy reported to Bn HQ that the Tank Corps had evacuated the front line on his left, without letting him know.Two platoons were at once sent forward by Cpt Warburton, to try and fill the gap, but did not succeed in reaching the position before the enemy launched his attack. "

As a result of this, there seems to have been a successful attack by the Germans, who must have noticed the gap left by the Tank Corps.

I have the Bn Diary, but can't see any explanation for the Tank Corps vacating the front line. As a result of this, the 4th Kings suffered casualties, 20 Officers, and 469 OR's.

Were the 4th Kings let down?

Can anyone point me to a thread, or book that will shed any light on this action?

Any help much appreciated.

Cheers Mike

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Is there no reference of which unit of the Tanks was on the left of the 4KL ? A read of their Diary might give a reason.

There is also a 33 Divisional History (Naval and Military Press) which might have a story.


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Thanks Sotonmate. I have had a look and don't see the unit named.

On the 13th April 1918 Bn moved to Meteren to support 19th Inf Bgde.

14th. In support to 1st Bn The Queens

15th-18th Bn in action see separate report.

19th Relieved by 1st Middlesex

In ' separate report ' 5th Scottish Rifles on right, and Tank Corps on left. Then the incident described in post # 1.

I just wondered if this was perhaps a well known incident. It seems strange that one unit would leave the other in such dire straits, without a word. Perhaps there was a goos reason for leaving them?

I will order Lt Col G S Hutchisons 33d Div History

I will have a look further back/forward of the diary, and see if there is more on the units involved.

Any other thoughtd welcomed.

Cheers Mike

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I wouldn't bother with the 33rd Div history just for that, Mike.

It was a pretty fragmented and difficult defence. The unit concerned was the 5th Tank Battalion, and it was only men fighting dismounted as Lewis Gun detachments. No tanks! News came in during the morning that the enemy had advanced south of the Meteren/Bailleul road. The Battalion diary reports that it had formed a flank and was in touch with 4th KLR. 18th Middlesex then came up in support and took over on both flanks. B Company of the 5th Bn, on the right, was heavily attacked, then partially surrounded and cut off. This may explain the comments. Orders from 19th Bde failed to reach the Bn during the day, which underlines how chaotic things were.

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