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War Diary 1st Dorsets

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GraemeClarke

Hi Malcolm

Thanks for the posting. Yes you are right, my man, Samuel KEATES, Private 34258, 1st Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment

Died of Wounds in France on Tuesday 20 August 1918

so may heave been wounded on or about 10th.

Cheers,

Graeme

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Malcolm Linham

Graeme

On the 10th August 1918 1st Dorsets were on the extreme right of the British Fourth Army.

They were detailed to attack towards Damery, the intention was that 14th brigade should carry out the attack with tanks but it was not possible to get the tanks forward to attack at dawn, therefore the hour of attack was fixed at 09:30 hrs.

The Brigade attacked on the two Battalion front, each battalion having 2,000 yards this meant that all four companies had to be employed in the front line.

The battalion (minus D comp) found it possible to get forward to the old British front line east of 101 Copse but the situation was very uncomfortable, fighting contiuned to be serve up till nightfall.

At dawn on the 11th August futher reconanise took place and covered approoachs were found as far forward as Bois 101, A, B & C companies got forward to this locality and inftrated left and right along th efront line trenches.

D company were on the extreme right alongside the Roye, the advance was to take place at 09:20 hrs.

Whilst the companies were forming up C Company were hit by 2 5.9 shells in the middle of thier midst which turned the place into a shambles.

As they stepped off they were met with deadly machine gun fire from Parvillers. Due to a concealed anti tank gun six of the eight tanks were put out of action almost immediately.

D Company discovered that Fresne Wood was occupied by Lancashire Fusiliers, so they passed through the wood and gained touch with the French on thier right.

The attack was evetually checked around Payen Copse - this action covers nearly four pages in the History .

At night the Division was replaced - Casualties had been heavy Other ranks 24 killed , 42 Missing 240 Wounded

I can also confirm that your man Samuel Keates is included in the Roll of Honour.

Cheers

Malcolm

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GraemeClarke

Hi Malcolm

Sorry its took so long to get back to you, many thanks for the reply.

Yes the other date is (about) correct, researching Private 34258 Samuel KEATES

who died OF WOUNDS on that date, so it could be anytime before hen,

Cheers,

Graeme

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Jack Johnson

While looking for something on an old back up I found these photos I made copies of in 1999. They are off the 1st Bn. Dorsets in the first few months of the war.

They came from my Nans next door neighbour, and I am afraid to say after 11 years my memory has let me down and I can't remember the full story behind them. I do know that they had been shown to Rose Coombs, and I think she may have had a hand with the annotations on them. Sorry not to have more info to hand!

Click on the photographs to see the complete set on flickr, there are 10 in all.

5121626718_fb6aa6e010_z.jpg

"A halt during the retreat about 31st August 1914.

Lt-Col. Bols (sitting), Sgt. Miller standing and leaning by him. Maj. Roper (with pipe), 2 i/c. Capt. Fraser commanding 'A' Coy. Capt. A.L. Ransome (1st Bn. Dorset Regt.)

Date was 29th August. We halted most of the day but had to move soon after 5pm."

5121024875_1202d3ea33_z.jpg

"No 15A Trench, Wychaete, about February 1915. My Coy. HQ. German trenches by trees in background. Taken by Capt. R.E. Partridge.

(If this was the date this trench was SE of Ypres between the

Bluff and the various international 32A)"

5121023753_a0814eeab5_z.jpg

"My Coy. Orderlies, in trenches opposite Wychaete in November, writing letters home.

(I dont think these trenches were opposite Wychaete - in front of Wulverghem would be more correct.)"

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SPotter

Jack,

Sent you an email by return (well almost). Just wondered whether you had picked it up?

Regards

Steve

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SFayers

Hi Steve,

Is your offer of 1st Dorset war diary look-ups still open?

Best regards

Steve

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SPotter

Certainly - as long as you don't mind waiting till I'm back home again!

Regards

Steve

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SFayers

Thanks Steve,

There's no hurry - as and when you can manage it! :D I actually have two look-up requests if that's okay.

I don't know if you're familiar with Lt Charles Douie's book 'The Weary Road', but in this he refers to an incident that happened shortly before the 1st July 1916 when he performed a recce of the route the battalion was to take from the dugouts at Blackhorse Bridge on the Ancre to the frontline east of Authuille Wood, from where it was to attack on the 1st July. In the book there's no mention of a day or date for this recce, but there's inference for it being just a few days before the attack. Could you please tell me if there's any indication in the war diary for June 1916 as to which date he may have performed it? I suspect it probably won't be mentioned at all - but here's hoping!

I'd also be interested if you could tell me the diary entry for 27th June 1916.

Many thanks and all the best

Steve

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