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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

7th Bat East Kent Buffs


Merlyn

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Greetins friends,

I have looked through the forum and haven;t found anything so I am hoping you might help

I am looking for the movements of the 7th Batalion over October 1918. The person I am hoping to locate was killed in action on 23rd. I have found the ranks are not mentioned often so a general movement of teh regiment would be interesting enough

Many thanks

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Merlyn

The war diary can be downloaded here for about £3.50.

7 Battalion Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

It should provide all the information you'll need regarding movements.

Kind regards

Colin

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Hello Merlyn,

The following is a summary of operations on the 23rd October, from the Regimental History, "Historical Records of the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 3rd Foot 1914-1919", by Colonel R.S.H. Moody, C.B. (Published by Naval and Military Press) :

On 16th of October, the Buffs came out of two weeks rest. On the 22nd they moved to Reumont and the concentration area west of Le Cateau. On 23rd the Buffs and 18th Division [4th Army] attacked to protect the operations of the 3rd Army to the North. The country around was different to that of the Somme which they had been used to. There were many hedgerows and ditches which affected style of attack and defence. Arrangements for the attack were made with elaborate care. This attack was part of the battle of the Selle.
The area of advance was divided into portions with an objective at end of each portion, and each piece of ground was to be gained at a certain time. The 53rd Brigade on right and the 54th Bde. on left (less the Northamptonshire Regiment) were for 1st-2nd objectives. The 55th Bde. [of which the Buffs were a part], with Northamptonshire Rgt., were for 3rd-5th objectives. The 55th Bde. attack was to be carried out “leap-frog fashion”. There was to be no creeping barrage, but was to be proceeded with at the regular rate of one hundred yards in 4 mins, thus no one unit, if instructions were carried out, could ever find itself unsupported by another through advancing too fast.
This leap-frog system was even used within battalions. The Buffs arranged for C company on the right, and B on left, to take ground from the 2nd objective to a certain line, and that A and B should pass through them for 4th objective, where the Northamptonshire Rgt. would leap-frog the Buffs.
There was a machine gun section and a trench mortar in the rear, as well as a section of tanks. The idea was that any company in trouble could apply to Commanding Officer for support. Communication was carefully arranged with the accompanying aeroplanes. Zero hour was 2 a.m.
The Buffs were at their assembly position at 4.15, “suffering 15 casualties from shell fire on the way”. At 5 o’clock, they moved in artillery formation towards the forming up line. Before reaching the line they came under heavy MG fire from the right flank. The Bde. in front had only got to the 1st objective. However, this was overcome by aeroplanes dropping bombs on the MGs. The 2nd objective was passed by 8 o’clock (40 mins late). D Coy cleverly out-manoevred and captured a battery of guns, lead by Capt E.V. Morse M.C. who was killed soon afterwards. C coy also captured a battery, but after passing its 2nd objective, the enemy's opposition stiffened and there was a great deal of MG fire from village of Bousies. However, at 10 o’clock, the leading Coys of the Buffs were close to the 3rd objective (which was to have been reached 4 hrs earlier). At 10:20 a message was dropped from the air, “Huns still in Bousies. Our boys in eastern part ‘mopping up'. Huns transport just galloped from village”. At 1230, the Officer in charge of tanks reported that he had been in village of Bousies with A Coy and that the Coy there was mopping up. At 2.40 all Buffs Coys were on a road beyond the point where B and A Coys were to relieve the other two. The Bn. on their right was in touch, but its left flank was exposed, though patrols soon reported that this Bn., (the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders), were pushing forward. A and B coys were instructed to hold the road, with the others in close support. There was heavy MG fire from high ground just in front. At 6 o’clock, A and B moved forward and made good their objective by 7.15. An hour afterwards they were relieved by the Northamptonshire Rgt. The Buffs went into Bde. reserve.

I hope this is of help and compliments the information you find in the war dairy.

Regards,

Chris

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Chris,

I too have an interest in the 7th Buffs. My 2nd cousin, Corp C E Fuller, was wounded and captured near St Quentin on 21/22 March 1918. I have the war diaries for the period but some entries are difficult to read. If you have any additional info for those days it would be much appreciated.

TARA

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