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swizz

13th Royal Irish Rifles

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swizz

I was wondering whether any kind soul has a copy of the war diary for the 13th Royal Irish Rifles for August 1917 that they wouldn't mind sharing a copy of? I had a look on the National Archives website and it doesn't seem to be amongst those available for download.

I'm particularly interested in the attack on the 16th and the few days leading up to it.

Swizz

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Tim Smith

Hello Swizz,

I'm researching my Great Uncle (Rfmn G F Warby) who was killed on 16th Aug 1917 with 13th RIR. I visited Kew and took photographs of the diary in the week or so before and after and also transcribed it. Also have the account of the day itself. I've just returned from Ypres with some pals where we walked the area of battle and then visited Tyne Cot to pay our respects to George. I would be pleased to let you have copies as well as everything else that I have found.

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swizz

Hi Tim

Sorry, I have only just noticed your reply. Thanks so much for your offer - I would love to take you up on it.

I am a bit reluctant to post my email address here, but when the Personal Messaging system is functioning again I will send you a PM and we can get in touch that way. I have been helping to research the war dead from Newtownards, County Down, and quite a number of them are killed on or around 16 August with the 13th Rifles.

I do hope you 'enjoyed' (if that is the right word) your trip to the Salient.

Swizz

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Tim Smith

Hi Swizz,

No worries - would have been quicker to respond but the topic reply notification ended up in the junk mail, sorry!

Maybe I'm braver than some with email addresses, but I have a pretty good spam filter and am not afraid to hit delete!!

Drop me a mail at tim.smith@sandbachrufc.co.uk and I can get the stuff to you.

The trip to the salient was, as ever, a mixture of emotions.

ATB

Tim

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pietro

Hi y'all

Keep me informed with any diaries for the 13th - I'm just up round the corner from Swizz. Near Killinchy!

Regards,

Peter

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Tim Smith

Gents, didn't hear from you, but have now worked out how to post the original images, so please see below transcript of the diary and battle report as well as the original pages from 16th Aug 1917.

War Diary for 13th RIR 1.8.17 - 17.8.17

WATOU No 2 AREA

1/8/17 - Rained continuously all day. Parades under Company arrangements

2/8/17 -Rain continued all day. A party of officers inspected a model of ground to be traversed by Division in the forthcoming operations.

3/8/18 -Battalion moved at 1pm up to the old British support line by march route to near Vlamertinghe – from there by train to Ypres and from Ypres by march route to just behind old British front line. Headquarters were established at the Vinery on the N. of the Zonnebeke – Ypres road. Battalion took over from 5th Bn King's Liverpool Regt. Counter battery was carried out by the artillery on both sides during the night. A few gas shells were sent over by enemy but did no damage.

TRENCHES

4/8/17 - The enemy continued shelling during the day and night apparently searching for our batteries.

A shell dropped close to where 'A' & 'B' Coys. cooks were and killed No. 17602 Rfn. J. Elliott & wounded No. 1286 L/Cpl J. Foy & No. 16359 Rfn. D. Cromil. A number of gas shells were sent.

DERBY CAMP

7/8/1917 - A working party of 12 OR proceeded to Headquarters, 107th Brigade for Salvage work under Divisional Bombing Officer. Parades under Company arrangements included Platoon Drill and Physical Training. The enemy artillery shelled near the Camp, apparently trying for the Vlamertinghe-Poperinghe Road.

8/8/1917 - A working party of 1 N.C.O. 7 15 O.R. was found by "B" Coy for R.E.s work at H.8.a.5.9 (Sheet 28) for work on divisional dump. Parades under Company arrangements. Commanding Officer inspected Kit & Arms of all companies at 12 noon. The enemy again shelled near the Vlamertinghe-Poperinghe Road. A party of 2 N.C.O.s and 23 O.R. was also found by "B" Coy for 109th Field Ambulance as stretcher bearers.

9/8/17 - Working parties as previous day found by "C" Coy. The 55th Divl. Baths were allotted to Battn. from 8am to 12 noon. Parades as follows:- "A" "C" & "D" Coys carried out Physical Exercises for 1 hour. The C.O. inspected Kit & Arms of "B" Coy at 12 noon.

10/8/1917 - Working parties as usual found by "D" Coy. Various training carried out as usual, Drill, physical training etc. afternoon no parades. Some shelling by enemy of our back areas but none near camp. Considerable aerial activity by both our own and hostile planes.

11/8/17 - Working parties found by "A" Coy. Training carried out in camp as usual. Some aerial activity by both sides as previous day and same sort of back area shelling.

12/8/17 - Working parties found by "B" Coy. Church parades and kit inspection in the morning, no other parades. Usual aerial activity

13/8/17 - Working parties found by "C" Coy. Usual parades carried out. Drill physical training etc. Same aerial activity and hostile shelling of back areas

14/8/17 - Working parties supplied by "D" Coy. Usual parades in the morning. Some aerial activity and hostile shelling.

15/8/17 - Bn resting prior to going into the line for action. Bn went by train to YPRES at 8pm to garrison Black Line previous to attack on following morning. Pack transport moved to near YPRES same night

16/8/17 - Narrative of events on Aug 16th 1917 attached. Also list of casualties in the Bn

17-8-17 - Bn on being relieved from line which they were holding by 107 Bde marched to the Vinery on YPRE-POTEGE Road. Same afternoon, Bn proceeded to camp near VLAMERTINGHE where they remained for one night, the Division having been relieved by the 61st Div.

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Tim Smith

REPORT ON ATTACK OF 13th ROYAL IRISH RIFLES on August 16th 1917

BARRAGE.

Leading wave started in time well up to barrage, but owing to wire and bad state of ground (water-logged shell holes and trenches) dropped back and were not close enough on reaching SOMME.

LEADING WAVE

Leading waves reached approximate line D.19.e.90.80 and D.13.c.10.40. “A” Company on right was pushed too far to the right owing to very strong uncut wire. “B” Company on left had heavy casualties on reaching C.18.d.85.00.

SOMME

Was successfully passed by leading wave but platoon detailed to take and consolidate it failed to do so. 2/Lieut. T.A.PHENIX in charge of this platoon, attempted to work around to the left of SOMME using his Rifle Grenade and Bombing Sections.

SUPPORTS.

Reached same line as first wave and report that on the right they were under heavy machine gun fire from GALLIPOLI and HINDOO COTTAGE and AINSE HOUSE. On the left they were held up by machine gun fire from POND FARM and HINDOO COTTAGE.

The two Left Companies were unfortunate in losing 2 Officers One Lewis Gun and about 20 other ranks before ZERO and four officers and 5 leading N.C.O’s crossing first ridge. (2 Company Commanders)

RETIREMENT

Started on the left about ZERO plus 1 hour and on the right ZERO plus 2 hours. On seeing troops coming back LT. COL. MAXWELL took all available troops at Headquarters to help them reform on and with this party again attempted to take SOMME. In this endeavour five officers casualties, including himself.

On taking over command of front line as instructed I found troops holding practically the original BLACK LINE but battalions badly scattered and intermixed. With the help of Battalion Officers the line was re-organised and held, 9th ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS on RIGHT, 13th ROYAL IRISH RIFLES and 11th ROYAL IRISH RIFLES on LEFT. Touch with both flanks was maintained. The S.O.S. barrage called for at 9 p.m. was unnecessarily prolonged. I would suggest that some system of rocket signals be established for use of infantry when they consider barrage sufficient.

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Tim Smith

Report of 16th Aug

post-21643-017164500 1282770297.jpg

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Tim Smith

'A' Coy Casualties; 'A' Coy Casualties (contd); 'A' Coy Casualties Additional.

post-21643-057773800 1282770625.jpg

post-21643-096566200 1282770686.jpg

post-21643-065236800 1282770772.jpg

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Tim Smith

'B' Coy Casualties; 'B' Coy casualties (contd); 'B' Coy Additional Casualties

post-21643-015819200 1282771131.jpg

post-21643-090922800 1282771221.jpg

post-21643-080181400 1282771308.jpg

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Tim Smith

'C' Coy Casualties; 'C' Coy casualties (contd); 'C' Coy Additional Casualties

post-21643-051149400 1282774272.jpg

post-21643-019441700 1282774338.jpg

post-21643-067698200 1282774375.jpg

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Tim Smith

'D' Coy Casualties; 'D' Coy casualties (contd); 'D' Coy Additional Casualties

post-21643-084792400 1282774584.jpg

post-21643-077304000 1282774630.jpg

post-21643-083562500 1282774718.jpg

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Tim Smith

13th RIR Additional Casualties

post-21643-098430300 1282775078.jpg

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swizz

Just wanted to publicly thank Tim for posting these extracts. This is great information and I would have had no other way to get hold of it. Thanks Tim.

Swizz

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Glynis

Many thanks, I have just found my uncle listed, killed by a shell, 17602 J. Elliott, this is 3 days before his brother died of wounds.

Elliott Brothers (Holywood).jpg

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charlie962
5 hours ago, Glynis said:

I have just found my uncle listed, killed by a shell, 17602 J. Elliott,

Have you seen he has a surviving (partial) service record ?

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Glynis

no, where is this?

 

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charlie962
11 hours ago, Glynis said:

no, where is this?

Here is the link to FindmyPast.  It's heavily water damaged.

1715423235_GWFElliottJSvc.JPG.4f3f9f29e373e417cc33e29ecc2039a7.JPG

 

 

Should also be available on Ancestry. They may have had difficulty accurately transcribing service number ? So if you search for Joshua Elliott and Keywords "Irish Rifles" I think you will find him. There will also be PensionCards on Fold3 accessible via WesterFrontAssociation (needs a sub)

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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Glynis

Thanks, I will look into it

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