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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

12 Bn DLI War Diary


Chris Best

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Good evening, Pals

A friend is off to F&F in 10 days' time with some family members one of whom's GG GF died on 8 Jul 16 at the time of the actions by 68th Bde of 23rd Div around Contalmaison in general and Bailiff Wood in particular. The soldier concerned was 15717 Pte Ernest Young whose Service record is available on Ancestry. I have Edmonds' OH France & Belgium 1916 Vol II and Sandiland's The Twenty-Third Division 1914 - 1919 from which my mate can take extracts, including the very useful 1:10,000 sketch map in the Div history.

Does anybody, perchance, have a copy of the Bn WD that they'd be willing to copy detail for the period 5th to 9th Jul 16 to add the detail to the broader pictures in the sources mentioned above?

Cheers

Chris Best

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Chris,

I have it for that day, I'll go and try to find it .

Mick

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My Digital copy stops at the end of May 1916 and doesn't start until Jan 1917. My notes on a walk I've done in the area show they were patrolling Baliff Wood, as you know. I'll have to empty a few more cupboards to try & locate my photocopies, I know that they cover the period you are after.

Mick

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Hello chris i have a complete copy of the 12th dli war diary on disc, as i have been researching my great uncle who served with the battalion and was killed on the 8th july 1916 taking baliff wood, if you would like a copy of any of the pages please contact me and i will try and help as best i can.

Cheers Kevin

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Found it -

8th July -

B C and D co continued the consolidation of the trenches captured, D co occupied the German strong point about X. 15.b.8.12 in the morning and patrolled Baliffs Wood at noon these three co were relieved by the Wilts about 4.00pm and came back to bivouacs in Becourt Wood via Sausage Valley. Total casualties up to date 5 officers 156 OR.

Summary of the previous days are:

5th July- battalion entrenches and bivouacs in Becourt Wood proving carrying parties (suffering 14 casualties)

6th July- relieved the 8th Yorks German trenches were deepened and consolidated D co heavily shelled with whizz bangs

7th July- battalion relieved by the 11th Northumberland Fusiliers D co establishing a bombing post on the right flank. Providing covering fire for the right flank of the Wilts. First advance across the open being checked by enfilade machine gun and rifle fire from Contalmaison. Further consolidation of German trenches, much troubled by a group of enemy snipers causing many casualties, eventually silenced by one of our Lewis gunners. Movement along Birch Tree Avenue and through Peak Woods. Advance halted by heavy machine gun fire. Bombed several deep dugouts and captured 16 prisoners. The men had had no sleep in 48 hours the trenches were almost impassable with mud and water never less than knee deep.

Hope this helps

Mick

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