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Remembered Today:

Rifle Brigade - Vimy 1917


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The Battalion was in trenches in the Angres sector 1000 yds west of the village. The northernmost limit of the First Army attack on April 9th was 2 miles to the south. The Battalion remained here doing the usual round of front-line, support at Bully-Grenay and reserve at Fosse 10.

D Co advanced with the 1st RMLI on 13th April in the Angres Sector and on the morning of the 14th A, B & C Cos took Leivin with D in support



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Hi Martin,

I've read that 73rd Brigade of 24th Division captured Bois en Hache on 12th April. Was 3rd Bn RB involved in support in some way?


According to the RB history the 3rd RB was in the Angres sector from March 9th to the close of the Battle of Vimy on April 14th. It seems to have been part of the 17th Bde



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  • 5 months later...

Hi Ulsterlad2,

The Royal Sussex Regiment were involved in the attack and capture of Bois en Hache on 12 April 1917. I have copied their war diary for that period below:



WarDiary 9th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment

Attackon BOIS-en-HACHE - 12 April 1917

1/4/17 Bn in line in Left Sub-sectionSouchez. Relieved on night 1st & 2nd by 2 Coys 8th Bn. The BUFFS. Bn movedto Divisional Reserve in billets at Fosse 10.

2/4/17 Major M. CAMPBELL-JOHNSTONstruck off strength & attached to HQ 3rd Army

2/4/17 to 10/4/17 Bn trained under Capt T FOSTER for attackordered for 10th. Lt Col Hill, M.C. returned from leave 10/11/17. Attackpostponed till 12/4/17

11/4/17 Bn took over position of front from 8th Baffson evening of 11th.

12/4/17 Attack on BOIS-en-HACHE (S2b & M32d Sheet36c) The attack was carried out in conjunction with the 2nd Leinsters on ourright, & in cooperation with an attack by the Canadian Corps. Theobjectives were the German 1st & 2nd line, which meant the capture of hiscommanding position in the Bois-en-Hache. "A" Coy on the left and "B" Coy onthe right were detached to take the 2nd line, & hold it as a line ofobservation. "C" Coy was detailed "mop up", consolidate & hold as line ofresistance the enemy front line. "D" Coy was held in reserve. The attack wastimed for 5am on the 12th, just before dawn. All Companies moved into positionof assembly without delay or casualty by 1am & Tea & Rum were issued tothe men. The difficult operation of forming up on the proper alignment wascarried out under cover of a blizzard 5 mins before zero.

In the attack heavy casualtieswere at once sustained from M.G. fire. The first objective was at once capturedwith about 60 casualties, including 3 officers of "B" Coy, 1 of "A" Coy & 1of "C" Coy. About 6 Germans who fought were bayonetted, the remainder werecaptured or ran away. At 5:10am the advance continued. "A" Coy reached alltheir objectives & established a line of posts 80 yds in advance of Germanfront line. In this advance "A" & "B" & "C" Coys each lost an officer.Three attempts at a Bombing attack were made but were driven off. A counterattack against the last one resulted in the capture of 2 prisoners. "B" Coy inspite of the loss of all their officers reached their objective in smallparties, one in touch with "A" Coy & 1 in touch with 2nd Leinsters. 12 menwere found killed 20 yds in front of the objective. The dug-outs in the frontline were picquetted, 150 yds of the line was wired by Lt Lloyd Davis & aparty of 129 Field Co. R.E. with 15 men of D Coy. A Vickers Gun was successfullygot into position in the centre of this line, & a Stokes Gun with 190rounds was carried to a position on the left of the enemy front line. Theammunition was carried by men of D Coy. During the day "A" Coy got considerableshelling, but the casualties were very few.

The attack took place in ablinding snow storm & over ground full of large shell holes & churnedinto a sea of mud by bad weather and heavy shelling.

13/4/17 The night of 12th/13thwas comparatively quiet, but the usual darkness & heaviness of the groundmade communication difficult. The morning of the 13th was quiet except forshelling by single guns. At 1pm it was seen that the enemy was shelling his ownline & the village of ANGRES. Consequently at 1.45pm patrols were sent outunder 2/LT. P. ATTWOOD & 2/LT H. SAXON 500 yds from the German 2nd line& reported that enemy had withdrawn except for a M.G. & two snipers whowere firing. Bn H.Q. was established in the German front line by 4 o'clock. Bythis time our patrol had Bombed the enemy out of FOSSE 6. An outpost line wasestablished by D Coy on the SOUCHER River & before dark a patrol under 2/LTR. BURNIER reached CALVERY Trench in S.3.a & BUQUET MILL at S.3.a 55.90.The outpost line was held through the night & by 7 a.m. the Bn was relievedby 12th Bn Royal Fusiliers

19 Prisoners were captured &a large number of German dead were found in the captured trenches. Ourcasualties were

Officers 5 killed – 4 wounded.O.R. Killed 40 Wounded 63

Died of Wounds – O.R. 4 Total – all ranks 116

Officers in Action

C.O. Lt Col. M.V.B. HILLM.C. 2nd-in-C. Capt T. FOSTER Adjt Lt H.C. COLEMAN

Sigs. Off 2/LT P. ATTWOOD Intn Officer 2/LT R. BURNIER Bomb Off. 2/LT G.C. MOLE

"A" Coy


LT W.D. CHEPMELL (killed)

2/LT K.F.F. WARD (wounded)

2/LT E.R. HOLDEN (wounded)

"B" Co

CAPT G.M. SHACKEL (wounded)

LT W.B. SHAW (killed)

2/LT G.M.W. PROWSE (killed)

2/LT A. CARTER (killed)

"C" Co

2/LT B.H. VIDLER (killed)



2/LT W.R. CHITTENDEN (wounded)

"D" Co




CSM BARNARD, "A" Co was killed

14/4/17 Bn moved on relief toMARQUEFFLES FARM. Weather was still bad.

17/4/14 BN marched to HESINGNEULinto billets.

18/4/14 Bn marched to AUCHEL& were billeted

19/4/14 Bn marched to TrainingArea & were billeted at ESTREE BLANCHE

20/4/17Bn rested & reorganised. …………

Hi Martin,

I've read that 73rd Brigade of 24th Division captured Bois en Hache on 12th April. Was 3rd Bn RB involved in support in some way?

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