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!st Bn Kings Own Scottish Boderers

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Have being asked by a friend to see what details are available on the KOSB on that 1st day of the Somme where Private C Mellor 18293 died. I think he was in the Beamont Hamel area. I am trying to obtain copies of his service record etc but some facts of that day would be helpful.

Thank you ..... Alan.

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They lost some 130 men on that day

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1st KOSB Casualties and War Diary plus 87th Brigade War Diary




Capt A J M Shaw, att. 14th KRRC

2nd Lt R Reid, att. 9th KOSB

2nd Lt J L Gow, att. 9th KOSB

2nd Lt R Stewart, att. 9th KOSB

2nd Lt I A S Scott

2nd Lt J H Glennie

2nd Lt W Dickie, att. 9th KOSB

2nd Lt F Paterson, att. 9th KOSB

2nd Lt H F B Cooper

2nd Lt P T Bent

2nd Lt J A S Graham-Clarke


Maj. G Hilton

Capt G E Malcolm, att. 11th Royal Highlanders

Temp Capt E Robertson, att. 3rd KOSB

Lt A Kennedy, att. 12th Scottish Rifles

2nd Lt R B Harvey, att. 7th KOSB

2nd Lt H F Dixon, att. 3rd KOSB

2nd Lt D B Dempster , att. 3rd KOSB

2nd Lt C A Moreton

2nd Lt D McLaren, 9th KOSB attached


Officers 11, Other ranks 83


Officers 9, Other ranks 406


Other ranks 59


Officers 20, Other ranks 548

0200 Battalion in the line as previously arranged. D Company in Brook Street, B Company and TM Section in Piccadilly, A Company and Machine Gun Section in St James’ Street, C Company and a platoon of 1/2nd Monmouth Regt in Buckingham Palace Road.

2nd Lt Gow, C Company, killed while getting his platoon into position and 2 men C Company wounded. Battalion HQ in dug out at junction Piccadilly, Bond Street.

0733 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers commenced attack from front line trenches. Battalion to advance when last wave of 1st RIF reached German wire.

0740 1st RIF held up by machine gun fire.

0752 1st RIF attack not progressing. Battalion moved out under heavy machine gun fire.

0810 Our attack not progressing owing to intense enemy machine gun fire. Attack on left observed to be equally unsuccessful.

0831 Advance still going but being constantly checked.

0838 Enemy heavily shelled Mary Redan.

0845 The attack ceased.

0900 Capt Ainslie sent a message to say he was collecting all wounded and unwounded men in trenches north of Mary Redan.

0940 Newfoundland Regt and 1st Essex Regt advanced, the Newfoundland Regt on left and the Essex in support of battalion. Both attacks failed.

1030 Battalion reserve under Maj. G Hilton arrived and took up their position in front line trenches.

1137 Our front line and support trenches very heavily shelled by enemy.

1600 Orders received for the battalion and battalion reserve to re-organise at Fort Jackson on relief.

1730 Battalion relieved by 1st Essex Regt. Assembled and reorganised in Fort Jackson.

2300 1 officer and 20 men digging a grave at Knightsbridge . Heavy bombardment by enemy on front line trenches at night but undisturbed at Fort Jackson.

Report on operations by 87th Brigade

Prior to the 30th June battalions had been equipped for the offensive operations as laid down in 29th Divisional Order No. 36 dated 14th June 1916, paragraph 40.

Bombers wore red arm bands and wire cutters white to enable them to be quickly distinguished.

On 30th June the line allotted to the Brigade, i.e. from Q.17.11/12 to Q.10.6/7 was being held by three companies of the 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on the right and by 3 companies of the 2nd South Wales borderers on the left with remaining company of each battalion in reserve at Englebelmer. The 1st King’s Own Scottish borderers and the 1st border Regt being in huts in Acheux Wood. At 9.30 p.m. on this day the reserve companies of the battalions holding the line moved up by Withington and Tipperary Avenues reaching their destinations about 10.30 p.m.

By 11 p.m. the 1st R Innis Fus. and 2nd SWB had taken up their pre-arranged positions of assembly in the firing line – Regents Street – and old firing line.

The 1st KOSB and 1st border Regt left Acheux Wood at 9.15 and 9.30 p.m. respectively and marching via Rotten Row moved up by Withington and Tipperary Avenues and occupied the line of trenches Buckingham Palace Road-St James-Brooke and Fethard Streets arriving there soon after 12 midnight.

There were no casualties while actually moving up to the assembly trenches.

Telephone wires from Brigade Headquarters (advanced) had been laid before hand to Battle Headquarters and were through practically throughout the operations.

When these headquarters moved up new lines were in position at the far end of the saps by 1st Avenue and Mary Redan ready to be continued but owing to the heavy casualties and the failure to attain the objective no communication was got through. The lines were laid as per attached diagram.

Visual signalling was arranged but due to the dense amount of smoke it was found impossible.

The only communication used was by runner.

The actual bombardment by the artillery immediately previous to the assault does not appear to have knocked the enemy trenches about or filled in the deep dugouts.

The Brigade advanced for the attack with two battalions in the front line and two in support.

The two leading battalions had 3 companies in the front line and one in support. The two rear battalions had two companies in the front line and two in support.

Every company in the Brigade adopted the same formation. Lines of platoons in column of sections. Wire cutters and bridge carriers in the first line, Lewis gunners and bombers for clearing the trenches in the 2nd and 3rd lines with the consolidating parties in the 4th line. Two machine guns went forward with each battalion reserve and the two Stokes mortars with the reserve of the two rear battalions.

The two leading battalions failed to reach the front German line owing to machine gun fire and the two supporting battalions did not get as far, being mown down as they passed through our own wire.

At 7.30 a.m. the two leading battalions advanced to the attack. Machine gun fire was at once opened by the enemy but at the same time it was thought that the objectives had been gained as lights were seen coming from the required direction. These lights may have been enemy as no troops on our left got as far as the German front line. On our right some of the Innis Fus. were seen placing their trench bridges over the German front line trench and going through their wire but in very small numbers.

A report was received from the artillery that bombing was seen going on in Station Road and later a report from the 36th Division came that the 9th R Irish Fusiliers at Station Buildings had joined hands with the 1st R Innis Fus. at Station Road. This information has received no corroboration.

The 1st KOSB and 1st border Regt left their assembly trenches at about 7.30 a.m. and advancing under a very heavy machine gun fire failed to get as far as the leading battalions with the exception of some of the leading sections of the 1st border Regt which got as far as the German wire.

At 10.30 a.m. the 10% which had been left behind in Englebelmer arrived and took over the front line.

At 2 p.m. the line was taken over by the 88th Brigade and the Brigade re-organised in the support trenches.

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