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Remembered Today:

Artisit Rifles activity 1917


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Dear All

Seeking some background information on the action(s) fought by "C" Coy 1st / 28th Batt The Artist Rifles during the period 15th October 1917 to 01st November 1917.

Thanks in advance.

Owen Ap Benfro

(Pembrokeshire Military Headstones 1714 to 2013)

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8/10/17 - 24/10/17 training at HOUTKERQUE

25/10 left camp

26/10 marched from DOMBRE camp to REIGERSBERG camp

27/10 advanced party reported to NELSON Bn at IRISH FARM & went into line at ALBATROSS FARM

28/10 Bn went into line. HQ at ALBATROSS FARM taking over from NELSON Bn

29/10 in the line

30/10 Bn attacked

31/10 relieved by NELSON Bn and returned to IRISH FARM

Est Casualties for 28th to 31st

Officers killed 6 wounded 4

OR Killed 70 wounded 130 missing 124

Surprised no appendixes in diary detailing more about attack, maybe some one else can add a bit more


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From "The Royal Naval Division" :-

"Notwithstanding the disastrous losses of 26th [Oct - attack by 188 Bde RND], it was felt impossible to modify our plans for the next attack, for which 190 Bde had been training for the past three weeks. This attack was launched accordingly at 5.30 am on Oct 30th, virtually against the same objectives as those assigned to 188 Bde. Fate, however, which had been hard before, was this time harder, for the enemy unexpectedly altered [sic. alerted?] their barrage line on the morning of the battle, and our troops suffered cruel losses in the opening seconds of the attack. When, after the initial disaster, the assaulting battalions were reorganised, they had lost the barrage.

On the left of the front, the Artists' Rifles, despite cruel losses, advanced on SOURCE TRENCH, but were held up in front of it, knee-deep in mud, by close range machine guns. Here one company of this fine battalion was annihilated ... movement was in many places literally impossible; in all it was futile. The enemy's machine guns picked off the infantry one by one."

For a more personal, very harrowing account of this action read "War is War" by 'Ex-Private X' [ Private Alfred Burrage, 'A' Coy, Artists' Rifles].

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My most sincere thanks to all for the information supplied, it adds to my research on a memorial rescued from a local disused chapel which has been saved. It will also go into my latest .pdf book (5th) on Military Headstones and Memorials of Pembroke Town and Dock.

To date I have written 5 type e-books iwhich included many military entries and are unique and unequaled by any other book or website on military personal of Pembrokeshire 1714 to 2013.


Owen Ap Benfro

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  • 1 year later...

On 26 October, immediately to the north of the Canadian Corps, the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division quickly captured Varlet Farm and Banff House. The centre of the attack was held up on the road between Bray Farm and the village of Wallemolen and dug-in near Source Trench. As dark fell, Banff House was abandoned and the line reformed at Berks House, leaving Banff House and Source Trench the only part of the first objective not captured. On 30 October, the 63rd Division infantry were caught by German artillery fire at their jumping-off line, made only slight progress in deep mud against German machine-gun fire and were unable to reach their rendezvous objectives, leaving the Canadian troops at Source Farm and Vapour Farm in precarious positions. Two companies later advanced through the Canadian sector to capture Source Trench but were only able to reinforce the Canadian outpost at Source Farm and form a defensive flank to Vapour Farm. The division was able to close up to the Paddebeek, by attacking at night from 1–4/5 November, a method which took more ground than its attacks in October, for a loss of 14 killed and 148 wounded.


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  • 3 months later...

30 Oct - C Coy (Lt E S Chetwood) was in immediate support (of A and B Coys), D Coy in reserve.

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