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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1/4th Battalion KOYLI


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Hi Everyone! I have just joined the site and from what I see it looks great! I am a former headteacher (primary) living in North Yorkshire and now working as a freelance education consultant for various people. I am particularly interested in fainding out about the 1/4th Battalion of KOYLI - my grandfather Horace JOhnson served in the battalion from 1915 until he was demobbed in 1919. I would like to research into the movements of the battalion, as I know he fought on the Somme and at Passchandaele, but doin't know very much more.

On another note, my wife's grandfather David George MacLeod was a captain in the Veterinary Corps serving in Mesopotamia at the same time - can find very little information about the corps...any advice most welcome!

Look forward to talking to you

Michael ;)

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Welcome to the site from one of the 'new boys'.

I have had a look through a couple of books I have on the Somme & Ypres and have a couple of bits of info which might be of use placing the KOYLI 4th Btn.

In July 1916 they are shown as part of the 49th Division (West Riding Div) attached to the 148th Brigade.

On the first day of the battle of the Somme (1st July 1916) they were shown as 'on reserve'.

On approx 7th July they were apparently taking part in an attack on the village of 'Ovillers' (North of Thiepval on the Albert-Bapaume Road) when they come under heavy attack sustaining many casualties)

With regards to Ypres, I have one reference on 9th October 1917 they were still under the 49th Div and are initialy shown in reserve but were then called up to support the main attack which had stalled.

They were in the area of the Meetcheele-Gravenstafel Road. I believe the action was called 'The Battle of Poelcapelle' and was a part of The Third Battle of Ypres which I think is 'nicknamed "Passchendale'.

I could photocopy what I have and send it to you if you wish, I think you can e-mail me via the site.

Hope this is of some help,

Regards and good luck with your research,


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Only bit of info i can give you is from Ray Westlakes book "British Battalions on the Somme."

1/4th (T.F.) 148th Brigade, 49th (West Riding) Division.

In reserve at Aveluy Wood (1/7) - moving up to Thiepval Wood during evening and from there taking up positions for attack at midnight. Assault cancelled and back to Aveluy Wood. To Thiepval Wood (2/7), front line (4/7). Enemy attack drive off. Bombing attacks (5/7). Came under attack (7/7) - many casualties from new Germen "Egg" bombs. To martinsart Wood (8/7), Hedauville (11/7), front line Leizig Salient (21/7). Attacked (23/7) - heavy casualties while crossing no mans land and forced to withdraw. To Anthuille (25/7), Aveluy Wood (1/8), Hedauville (2/8), Aveluy Wood (7/8), Forceville (18/8), Puchevillers (19/8), Aveluy Wood (29/8), Martinsart Wood (2/9), Aveluy Wood (3/9), North Bluff (4/9), front line Thiepval sector (5/9), Hedauville (20/9), Aqueves (23/9), Humbercamps (24/9), Foncquevillers (26/9), Sombrin (10/10), Heburterne (19/10), Souastre (6/11), Heburterne (12/11), Souastre (15/11).

Barry Cuttell also produces a fine book called "148 days on the Somme" which covers the attacks the 1/4th were involved in during the Somme.

Hope this helps you piece together his footsteps.


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