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Remembered Today:

2/4th Duke of Wellington's War Diary


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Does anyone have this War Diary for 2/4th Duke of Wellington's available

I would be very grateful for any information pertaining to the period

12-15 September 1918 Battle of Havrincourt

Best wishes


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WO95/3086/1 and not yet digital.

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Thank you sotonmate Living in France it causes some problems I wondering if anyone on the forum had a copy

Best wishes


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Hello Draperju

The History of the 62nd Division should provide some information, at a guess they were in the vicinity of the Hindenburg Line, or later, the Canal Du Nord / St Quentin. Pte Tandy of the 5 Bn won a DCM, MM and VC for actions in September, 1918. DaveC of this Forum might be able to help.



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WO95/3086/1 and not yet digital.


Quoting the ref may make it easier for someone to look it up for you ! Your home turf noted !

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Hi Draperju

Here's the 2/4th Bn War Diary for 12 to15/09/1918

The Battalion in conjunction with the remainder of the 186th Inf, Bde, took part in attack upon Havrincourt and the Chateau grounds (see Appendix 1)

appendix 1


On September 10th, 1918, the Battalion moved by march route from Gomiecourt to the S. W. corner of Havrincourt Wood.

On the September 11th, the ground forward in the direction of Havrincourt was reconnoitred for the purpose of an attack to be carried out by the 186th and 187th Infantry Brigade on Havrincourt and the Hindenburg Line.

On September 12th the Battalion moved into assembly positions in the vicinity of Shropshire Trench and Shropshire Reserve.

The 2/4th Hants, were attacking the village on the left and the 5th Bn Duke of Wellington's Regiment the ground on the right of this Battalion's boundries.

The objective allotted to the 2/4th Bn. Duke of Wellington's Regt. was wooded ground South of Havrincourt Village in squares K. 27. d. - K. 28.c.- K. 33. b. - K. 34. a. with the Hindenburg Line and the Moat inclusive.

At 5.25 am. a very effective creeping barrage was put down and standing barrages on positions on positions which were likely to be troublesome.

The operation was carried out by Units moving from different points to their objectives at specified times, much depending for the success of the movement on one Unit clearing a certain area before the next unit was timed to advance.

The 2/4th Bn Duke of Wellington's Regiment moved off at zero plus 10, and following the 5th K.O.Y.LI. advanced in a northerly direction with the road in squares K. 33. b & c. and Q. 3. a & b. south of Havrincourt as the right boundary.

The Battalion moved in shallow columns, so that when a change of direction was made to the right, it brought the Battalion into a fighting position with two Companies in the front line and two Companies in support, each advancing on a two platoon frontage.

At Zero plus 60 the head of the Battalion had marched 200 yards N of Snowden, the right flank being protected by posts which had taken up positions during the advance of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I..

At this point the Battalion made a right turn so as to face in an easterly direction facing the objective.

At Zero plus 55 the barrage in this area changed, and pivoting on the S. W. corner of Havincourt Village advanced at the rate of 100 yards in 6 minutes in an easterly direction.

The first objective was on a line about 300 yards East of the road in the wood South of the Chateau. This was secured by 'C' Company on the left and 'D' Company on the right, mopping up as they advanced.

At this point 'A' and 'B' Companies passed through 'C' and 'D' Companies, and advanced towards the Hindenburg Line. There was a considerable amount of wire and undergrowth in this part of the wood, and the advance was temporarily held up by Machine Gun fire from the front, and also from the village.

the 2/4th Hants, appeared to have gone through the village, and were at that time mopping up.

The resistance was eventually overcome, and the final objective secured and consolidated.

During the attack 4 Trench Mortars and 2 Machine Guns were captured, and 5 officers and 168 other ranks taken prisoners.

On September 13th the Village of Havrincourt was reported counter attacked, and there was a temporary falling back of the troops in the village.

This necessitated the forming of a defensive flank, and positions were taken up in Knat trench and the Hindenburg Line on the South side of the village.

In the early morning it was reported that Kimber trench was unoccupied, and platoon was sent forward to reconnoitre, but unfortunately daylight broke before the platoon could get out, and by that time the trench had been occupied, and it was impossible to push forward, and after suffering several casualties, the platoon retired into the line held by the 5th Duke of Wellington's Regt.

On September 14th the 185th Brigade attacked and took the line running along Kimber Trench, and in the evening the 2/4th Bn Duke of Wellington's Regt. took over the line and consolidated.

Heavy Artillery retaliation was put down on this trench, anad the wood, during the whole of the day, and some casualties occurred.

On the night of the 15th the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers relieved the Battalion which marched to Beugny.

The total casualties during the operations were 5 Officers wounded, 13 other ranks killed, 133 other ranks wounded and 4 other ranks missing.

Kindest Regards DaveC

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