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9th Highland Ligt Infantry

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Can anyone tell me what the 9th Highland Light Infantry were doing on the 29th Sept 1918

Thanks in advance 


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They were at Villers Ghislain getting ready to move up into LIMERICK TRENCH on 30th September 1918. They attacked GLOSTER ROAD on 30th losing 3 Officers and 80 ORs.. Gauche Woods and Battle of Epehy.




Edited by Malcolm
more info

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[27 September 1918: front line at Villers Guislain]

Continued construction of Battalion HQrs. Coys engaged in deepening trenches. Arrangements were made for a bombing attack to drive enemy out of a pocket of the front trench which they occupied between 1st Middlesex and our left flank. The attack was ultimately cancelled.


[28 September 1918: front line at Villers Guislain]

3.30pm: CO attended conference at Bde HQrs and received orders to arrange for an attack to take place tomorrow morning, the final objective being PIGEON TRENCH just West of CANAL at HONNECOURT.

7.15pm: CO held conference of Coy Commanders and issued verbal instructions.

11.30pm: Received written orders from Bde.


[29 September 1918: front line at Villers Guislain]

1am: Issued written orders to Coys.

3am: A & C Coys moved up to front line.

4.40am: B & D Coys moved out of trench on to assembly tapes. B Coy on right, D on left formed up on a 250x front in 2 waves of 2 lines each. A Coy moved into front line. No.9 platoon C Coy took up position 60x in front of a pocket of enemy in LIMERICK Trench. All were assembled and ready by 5.40am, unnoticed by enemy.

5.50am: Barrage opened and TMs bombarded enemy pocket.

5.54am: B & D Coys moved forward followed by A Coy in lines of sections in column. 3 enemy light MGs opened fire from the German posts in front of our line but the men cheered and charged the line killing a few and taking one or two prisoners, the remainder of the garrison running away. The fog at this time was moderately thick. Meanwhile No.9 platoon of C Coy assaulted the German pocket in LIMERICK TRENCH and succeeded in bombing to X 15d 5.7 where the enemy made a stand. But after a bomb fight the advance continued and they cleared the trench to within 40x of the road, 12 enemy being killed and a couple of prisoners taken in the operation with a loss of only 4 men.

6am: The main advance in the meantime encountered stiff MG fire from both flanks on the right from the direction of KILDARE TRENCH and MGs in GLOSTER ROAD and on the left from crossroads X 15d 9.9. The centre however managed to make progress and get across GLOSTER Road which the flanks were engaged in a fire fight in which the LGs of all Coys took part in subduing the enemy fire and after about 15 minutes the whole line advanced once more, all three Coys having mixed up by this time. Casualties - approx 3 Officers, 80 OR.

The few enemy nests directly on the line of advance did not give much trouble as they fled when the line got near them. But those on the flanks who were not directly menaced by the advance kept on firing. The fog kept on getting thicker all the time which lessened the casualties but made keeping of touch and direction difficult.

6.20am: As the advance continued the left flank came under heavy MG fire from Cross Roads at X 16 central. The left flank formed round and started moving northwards to engage these guns. The remainder kept on moving on to objective thus creating a gap. This party gradually decreased till it numbered only 12 under Lt Johnstone, all touch having been lost with the remainder.

6.45am: They halted about X16D 5.6 and Lt Johnstone reconnoitred to the right but could find no trace of the rest of the Battalion. The position being untenable Lt Johnstone was ordered to withdraw by Capt Lamberton.

7.05am: GLOSTER ROAD was examined on the way back with a view to digging in and holding on but this was also found to be untenable owing to dead enfilade MG fire from Xroads to the north and a further withdrawal was made to the old German positions in front of LIMERICK TRENCH.

7.50am: About 30 prisoners were taken during this withdrawal and the party which, with the addition of stragglers picked up on the way back now numbered 30, started putting these positions in a state of defence.

8.15am: At 8.15am a message arrived from LIEUT Brodie to say that he was digging in with about 60 men - elements of all three Coys on the line about X 16 a 3.3 – X 16 d 6.4 and asking for instructions. The Worcesters were found to be in their original positions and not to have advanced.

8.45am: Accordingly a message was sent to LIEUT Brodie to withdraw his men on to the position which was being consolidated. This messenger was unfortunately captured and the message did not get to Lieut Brodie. At this time a further advance was made up LIMERICK TRENCH to the road, No.11 Platoon having reinforced No.9 and the advance was continued along LEITH WALK to X roads X 15d 9.9 where a strong post was established. This caused the enemy to evacuate the posts in MEATH TRENCH and small parties were dealt with by LG fire. Fog getting thicker.

10.30am: Fog cleared. Another message received from Lt Brodie asking for instructions. Enemy were observed dribbling up STORAR AVENUE and massing in the TARGELLE VALLEY. Considerable shelling of our new line and old front line and heavy MG fire from different points in front. Artillery was asked to fire on targets.

10.45am: Enemy attacked and cut off Lt Brodie’s party. He put a TM on to them and MGs fired on them from LEITH WALK. Under cover of this he worked round their right flank and rushed them, taking about 50 prisoners. Lt Brodie escaped capture by feigning death and later managed to get back to our lines.

11am: All advance posts withdrawn to our old front line and every available man made to stand to in the line expecting attack. The enemy however did not attempt to exploit his success further and the situation became easier. The Pioneer Platoon was sent up as a reinforcement. The remainder of the day was spent in organising for defence. Our front was shortened, the Worcesters taking over from the right of MEATH Posts. Casualties at this time - 9 Officers 350 ORs.

During the evening and night a few stragglers managed to regain our line. The enemy approached close at night but not to his most advanced positions. During the night 36 wounded were brought in. Patrols were withdrawn at 12 midnight on account of bombardment. There was the usual amount of MG fire from enemy.


[30 September 1918: front line at Villers Guislain]

The morning stand to was unusually quiet.

9am: Enemy reported to have withdrawn. Our scouts investigated ground in front and found all clear.

11am: Battalion moved forward in Artillery formation, preceded  by scouts to its objective of the day before (PIGEON TRENCH) without encountering opposition.

Touch was established  with Middlesex on left and Worcesters on right. Four advance posts pushed out in front. During night officer patrols investigated ground up to canal and found ground clear of enemy. All bridges broken. During next 36 hours patrolling was continued both by day and night. A certain amount of sniping and MG fire from the opposite bank, also occasional artillery activity including gas shelling of Bn HQrs in the evening - and area in rear.


[signed] AH Menzies Lt Col Comdg Glasgow Highlanders





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Thank you for the information 


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