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Remembered Today:

15th DLI at Loos Sept 25th 1915


tamos123
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Hi All

Does anyone have access to 15th DLI war diary for above date. They were in 64th Brig, 21st Div who should have been moving into position on late 25th to follow up attack on 26th if breakthrough achieved.

SDGW show 69 OR killed in action so were they in action on 25th or was it due to severe bombardment?

Any help gratefully received

many thanks

T

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Tamos

At 1.20 pm on 25 September, French released the 21st and 24th Divisions for the battle, which was far too late. They were several hours away and 15 DLI were at Houchin and very tired after long marches. THey moved off at 7.15pm and at 1.00am, 26 September, they passed the old British front line, at 2.00am they reached the old German front line. At 3.00am they halted and one company was halted on the Loos/La Bassee road just north of Loos. At dawn the first casualties occurred from German batteries.

In the battle on the 26th, the 15th got pulled towards the attack on Hill 70 by troops advancing from Loos and suffered heavily from machine guns hidden in Chalkpit Wood. Lt Col Logan at the head of 15 DLI was mortally wounded here.

Without going into great detail about the battle, along with the rest of the army they retreated, rallied, advanced and fell back to the old German front line.

15 DLI lost 12 Officers and 450 OR's, killed and wounded.

This was taken from the book 'Faithful - The story of the Durham Light Infantry'. There is no mention of casualties on the 25th.

Sean

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Hi Sean

Thats strange as both CWGC and SDGW both show the casualties as 25th not 26th...curious though as you would have thought that records would have been amended to the correct date

Thanks for info

T

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Tamos

If you contact the DLI museum in Durham, you will find Steve Shannon very helpful and I believe that he will have a copy of the war diary.

The book 'Faithful' is very detailed but covers the whole Regiment and could quite easily have not reported an incident on the 25th but I feel an incident involving 69 deaths would have got a mention.

All the best

SEAN

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Tamos,

If you're a member of the Western Front Association, an article on the war record of the 15th (Service) Battalion, DLI will be appearing in the next issue of 'Stand To!' (January 2005). This includes coverage of Loos and a map of the battle.

The 21st & 24th Divisions began to move forward on 25 September but during a sleepless night the men had a long, tiring journey to the battlefield. The war diary recorded that three companies of the battalion advanced at 11:30 on 26 September. Lieut-Col E. T. Logan, DSO, was killed at 11:45, and command immediately transferred to the Adjutant, Captain Babbage.

The confusion evident amongst attacking units led to a general retirement before the mistake was recognised and fresh attacks were mounted, but heavy machine-gun fire and the absence of supporting artillery soon forced the two attacking divisions to retire, again. That second attack was spontaneous and British gunners had not been warned of it, which explains the lack of artillery support.

Sean has given the correct casualty figures. The losses were replaced as early as 12 October on which day a draft of three hundred and eighty-eight ORs arrived from the 16th Battalion, DLI and eleven officers also reported themselves to the battalion.

David T.

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