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Remembered Today:

25th Infantry Brigade, 8th Division.


Chris Noble
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Hi all.

On the back of another thread, i have been trying to compile for a friend, a time-line for his relatives service in the Great War.

This really 'stumped' me today as regards what little information i hold as regards these later actions of the Somme.

I would be particularly interested in the actions of the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment on the day in question and their attack on 'Zenith Trench.'

I know that the 2nd Royal Berkshire's followed up the attack of the latter commiting two companies, but i would be most interested in the 25th Infantry Brigade's formation of attack, plus, any additional information would be most welcome.

Kindest regards.

Chris.

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Chris

Boraston & Bax - History of the 8th Div, may have more info. Unfortunately my copy has been lent out but I am sure there are a few members with this book, if you haven't already checked that source.

Regards

Paul

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Hi all.

On the back of another thread, i have been trying to compile for a friend, a time-line for his relatives service in the Great War.

This really 'stumped' me today as regards what little information i hold as regards these later actions of the Somme.

I would be particularly interested in the actions of the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment on the day in question and their attack on 'Zenith Trench.'

I know that the 2nd Royal Berkshire's followed up the attack of the latter commiting two companies, but i would be most interested in the 25th Infantry Brigade's formation of attack, plus, any additional information would be most welcome.

Kindest regards.

Chris.

If you PM me your email address can send you accounts of 2/Lincs and 2/Royal Berks attacks on Zenith Trench. The units taking part are mentioned

Regards

Martin

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Hi all.

On the back of another thread, i have been trying to compile for a friend, a time-line for his relatives service in the Great War.

This really 'stumped' me today as regards what little information i hold as regards these later actions of the Somme.

I would be particularly interested in the actions of the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment on the day in question and their attack on 'Zenith Trench.'

I know that the 2nd Royal Berkshire's followed up the attack of the latter commiting two companies, but i would be most interested in the 25th Infantry Brigade's formation of attack, plus, any additional information would be most welcome.

Kindest regards.

Chris.

I've a copy of the Lincolnshire Regt History - I cut and pasted the following regarding the action.

HISTORY OF THE LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT

The sub-sector taken over by the 25th Bde (Gusty and Misty Trenches) lay opposite a salient in the German line formed by the two trenches, Zenith and Eclipse. The 23rd Brigade was on the right of the 25th Brigade and the 24th on its left.

Hardly had the Lincolnshire settled down in the line when it became evident that the battalion was in for a bad time. The trenches were in a poor condition, for that portion of the line was of recent capture and the troops who had held it, in the midst of rain and mud, expecting counter-attacks and subjected to heavy shell-fire, were unable to do a great deal of work.

The 20th, 21st and 22nd were days of great artillery activity; the opposing guns shelled one another’s trenches (forward and back areas) and generally made existence in the front line uncomfortable. One officer of the Lincolnshire (2nd Lieutenant W-J Rawson) was wounded during this period. On the 2Ist the battalion lost one other rank killed, seventeen wounded and eight missing. That night assembly trenches for the attack were begun.

The assault was originally timed to begin at 9.30 a.m., on the 23rd, but owing to fog was postponed until 2.30 p.m. At daybreak on the 23rd the 2nd Lincolnshire moved to their assembly trenches, which were just behind Gusty Trench. The battalion formed up with A (right) and D (left) Companies (under 2nd Lieutenant J.B. Drysdale and Captain A.H.W. Burton respectively) in the front line, and C (2nd Lieutenant C.W. Spicer) and B (2nd Lieutenant H.W. Coneybeare) in close support in the second line.

At 2.30 p.m. a creeping barrage fell and, keeping close up to the screen of fire, the 2nd Lincolnshire, flanked on right and left by the 2nd Middlesex and 2nd Rifle Brigade respectively, advanced to the attack. The battalion went forward in fine style : the first waves kept so close to the barrage that an officer and several men were wounded by our shrapnel.

Three-quarters of an hour before zero the enemy was observed working down Zenith Trench from the right, with the evident intention of getting back via Eclipse Trench, but our guns had so damaged this trench and blocked it with debris that he was unable to carry out his intention. The consequence was that the trenches in front of the Lincolnshire at zero hour were packed with German troops.

The battalion had advanced about ten yards, when there occurred a deed of great gallantry on the part of a German officer. All the records speak of this man’s actions in glowing terms. The Diary of the 2nd Lincolnshire records that “ as soon as the battalion started to assault a very gallant German officer ran down his own parapet and got his men up and stopped us by rifle-fire,”

The two front companies (A and D) were brought to a standstill. “ The enemy,” states the report of the Brigadier commanding the 25th Brigade, “ got up very quickly and stood shoulder high on the parapet, firing ‘ rapid ’ at our men. . , . All this took place in the midst of our standing and creeping barrages.”

The first wave of the Lincolnshire was shot down almost to a man, only one section on the extreme right, where the 2nd Middlesex had reached their objective, entered the German trench, which at that particular point was empty. This party bombed some little way down the trench and maintained its position during the night. The second wave, coming under violent machine-gun fire as well as the rapid rifle-fire already mentioned, also failed to reach Zenith Trench.

“ By about 5 p.m.,” reports the Brigadier, “ the information available was to the effect that the and Lincolnshire appeared to have been wiped out, that the Officer Commanding, Rifle Brigade, could find very few of his men-it (Zenith Trench) was also strongly held and had been reinforced over the open during the afternoon.”

The Lincolnshire were not quite wiped out, but had lost very heavily, and just after 5 p.m. were ordered back to Rose Trench in Brigade Support : all but the small party in Zenith Trench on the extreme right of the 25th Brigade front, in touch with the Middlesex of the 23rd Brigade. It is impossible to state when these gallant fellows were withdrawn. A second attack on Zenith by other troops also failed.

The strength of the end Lincolnshire on going into action was sixteen officers and four hundred and seventy other ranks ; they came out of action having lost thirteen officer and two hundred and seventy-two other ranks.

Until the 27th the remnants of the battalion remained in Rose Trench, and after they had reorganized provided carrying parties for bringing in the wounded ; they were then relieved by the 1st Royal Irish Rifles and marched back to bivouacs near Trones Wood. The end of October found them once more incamp at the Citadel, near Meaulte, reorganizing and training.

If you're interested I can dig out a copy of the 2nd RB and 2nd Mx War Diaries for the month if they'd be of any interest?

CWT

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Hello Colin.

That is fantastic. Many thanks for taking the time to post, much appreciated.

The War Diaries for the 2nd Rifle Brigade and 2nd Middlesex would be a real bonus if you could.

I will send you a PM.

Kindest regards.

Chris.

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