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dunmore44

1st Dorsets 1914

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dunmore44

does anyone have war diary for 1st Dorset for 1914

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richy1968

I would also be interested in this diary if anyone has a copy

Many Thanks

Richard

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SPotter

Gents,

Yes, I have the complete War Diary for the 1/Dorset Regt; that is from August 1914 to March 1919.

How can I help?

Regards

Steve

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uncle bill

anything about their stay at Hill 60 may 1915. My wife's g grandfather ' henry burns' was wounded here and dow at Bailleul.

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SPotter

The principal period of interest was that commencing 1st May 1915 when the Germans launched their gas attack. The following is a transcription of the War Diary for that day:

SATURDAY 1st MAY 1915

YPRES. HILL 60.

Reference OSTEND map and squared maps 1/20,000 & 1/40,000

Bn remained in trenches on Hill 60 with Devons in close support.

7.pm

Enemy commenced bombardment of supporting area of Hill 60.

7.15pm

Enemy turned on asphyxiating gas from 3 nozzles in front of 38 trench and from 2 in front of 43 to 45 trenches. And also probably from others in front of 60. The direction of the wind saved the garrison of 38, but the garrisons of 60, 43, 45 and 46 got the full benefit of the gas.

The situation became critical, but was saved by the prompt action of Captain Batten - senior officer on the spot, and by the equally prompt despatch of reinforcements for O.C. 1st Devons.

The telephones were not working well, but on receipt of a message that an attack on 60 was taking place, Major Cowie Cmdg. Dorsets went into trenches, and took up his position on hill 60 as being the key of the position [ Note. The trench on hill 60 is known as "60" trench and is referred to as 60. ]

Trenches 43, 45, & 46 were suffering severely from the gas. The enemy in addition to using gas and shelling supporting area heavily with different types of guns, opened heavy rifle and machine gun fire on hill 60 and endeavoured to bomb the flanks of this trench. Beyond sending some bomb throwers up a communication trench the enemy apparently made no attempt to cross the open.

10.pm

The situation had now become practically normal and the firing had much abated.

Casualties - one killed, one wounded.

Killed by gas poisoning - Lieut C.G Butcher. 52 other ranks.

Admitted to Fd Ambulance suffering from gas poisoning

Capt. A.E.Hawkins, 2/Lt J.H.C.Roberts (since died) 2/Lt J.Hodgson, 2/Lt J.Sampson, 3rd Dorsets, 2/Lt S.R. Weston-Stevens, 3rd Dorsets, and 200 other ranks.

Missing - 32 other ranks.

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SPotter

Next day:

SUNDAY 2nd MAY 1915

YPRES. HILL 60.

Ref OSTEND map and squared maps 1/20,000 and 1/40,000

5.am

B and C Coys relieved on Hill 60 by Devons, and withdrawn to 39 and 40 trenches.

4.30pm

Dorsets relieved in trenches by Devons. Dorsets withdrawn to dugouts.

Casualties - 2 killed, 2 wounded.

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SPotter

Next day:

MONDAY 3rd MAY 1915

YPRES. HILL 60.

Reference OSTEND map and squared map 1/20,000 & 1/40,000

Bn remained in dugouts in close support of Devons.

Casualties - one killed, 5 wounded.

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Next day:

TUESDAY 4th MAY 1915

YPRES. HILL 60.

Reference OSTEND map and squared map 1/20,000 & 1/40,000

Bn remained in dugouts in close support of Devons.

Casualties. 5 wounded

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Next day:

WEDNESDAY 5th MAY 1915

YPRES. HILL 60.

Reference OSTEND map and squared map 1/20,000 & 1/40,000

Duke of Wellingtons relieved Devons on Hill 60 and trenches. Major Cowie, Dorsets, assumed command of Sector.

5.45am

Major Cowie wounded.

9.am

Report received from 38 trench "gas coming over", followed by message asking for reinforcements. C and D Coys (---- --- piquet) ordered to 38 to reinforce. As Duke of Wellingtons appeared to be retiring, A & B Coys

ordered to trenches.

9.15am

Telephone communication with trenches and 15th Bde and also supporting artillery cut by bombardment. Gas very thick and men overcome at support dugouts. Telephone communication to 38 trench repaired. From reports received it appeared that situation was as follows:-

Germans holding 60 also part of 39, 40, 43-45 (known as ZWARTELEEN Salient.

Duke of Wellingtons badly gassed.

A, B, C & remnant of D Coy holding 38 and most of 39.

About 11.am onwards

Germans reported to have broken through at a point about 40-43 trenches. Details at HdQrs collected and placed in position to cover gap above mentioned. These consisted of orderlies and men already gassed.

Frequent messages that our shells were falling short

Message received from Bde (line now working) that Cheshires would reinforce, and that Colonel Scott, Comdg Cheshires would take over command. Cheshires arrived. Colonel Scott mortally wounded.

Cheshires advance against Germans in ZWARTELEEN Salient. Small party of Germans who had advanced nearly to ZILLEBEKE wiped out.

Afternoon

Dorsets reinforced by parties of Cheshires retake 39 and by bombing reoccupy nearly all 40.

Situation at dusk - Dorsets and Cheshires holding 38, 39 and nearly all 40. Germans holding 60 and 43 to 45 faced by Cheshires & Liverpools digging in opposite.

10.pm

Counter attack by 2 Bns. 13th Inf.Bde.

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Next day:

THURSDAY 6th MAY 1915

YPRES. HILL 60.

Ref OSTEND map and squared maps 1/20,000 & 1/40,000

2.am

Bn relieved by K.O.S.B's and withdrew to bivouac in Square H.24.a - Bn withdrew from trenches about 200 strong.

Casualties

2/Lt G.S.Shannon, killed.

Major H N R Cowie, Capt C O Lilly, 2/Lt F J Morley, 2/Lt H G M Mansel-Pleydell wounded.

Capt H C C Batten, Lt A R S Clarke, 2/Lt A E Sigrist, gas cases.

2/Lt W M Bosley missing.

Other ranks 14 killed, 48 wounded, 68 gas cases, 48 missing.

8.pm

Bn marched to E.Camp OUDERDOM. - H.19.b.

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Subsequent period:

FRIDAY 7th MAY 1915

until

WEDNESDAY 19th MAY 1915

YPRES. HILL 60.

Ref OSTEND map and squared maps 1/20,000 & 1/40,000

Bn remained in E.Camp OUDERDOM

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SDGW:

SUNDAY 9th MAY 1915

Died of Wounds

3/7980 Pte BURNS Henry

It would be hard to say which day he was wounded, as any one of the first 5 days of May are possible, though obviously the odds are on either the 1st or 5th. Have you his MIC? I have seen 'Died of Poisonous Gas' marked on many of the casualties MICs of this period.

Regards

Steve

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uncle bill

Thanks Steve, what a grim place Hill 60 was! I don't have much on Henry, not living in the Uk limits what I can do. I always pop into Bailleul to pay my respects when I'm around that way. I always assumed that he'd been gassed and died later at the field hospital.

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dunmore44

Steve, any chance of enclosing the entries for Aug 1914

thanks

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TUESDAY 4th AUGUST 1914

5.39pm

Order to mobilise received - Wed 5th Aug. 1st Day of mob'n.

Acknowledged

8.pm

Detachments for WOODBURN and STONEYFORD despatched.

9.30pm

Lt PITT, 2/Lt CHAPMAN and 3 NCO's left for DORCHESTER to conduct Reservists taking colours with them.

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WEDNESDAY 5th AUGUST 1914

9.am

Medical inspection of serving soldiers. Men not for service - (under age) taken over by temporary O.C. Details/Capt. HYSLOP.

5.pm

Railway Staff under 2/Lt GRANT-DALTON despatched to G.N.R'y Stn BELFAST.

7.pm

Orders received from War Office to include men between 19 & 20 years of age who have fired Table A. in numbers to proceed on service.

Appointments

Captain A.L. MOULTON-BARRETT - Staff Captain 15th Inf Bde.

Lt MARGETTS - Bn Transport Officer

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THURSDAY 6th AUGUST 1914

7.30am

The following party arrived at BELFAST via LIVERPOOL from DORCHESTER.

Capt I.H. KITCHIN

Capt A.R.M. ROE

Lt J.R. Turner

Lt G.A. BURNAND

2/Lt G.S. SHANNON

96 Reservists and 2 men to join details.

9.am

Capt. KITCHIN took over command of Details from Capt HYSLOP.

9.am

Medical Inspection of Officers & men not previously inspected & of men between 19 & 20 years of age.

Postings.

A Coy -

Lt F.D.S. KING (joined at 1.am)

2/Lt G.S. SHANNON

B Coy -

Lt J.R. TURNER

C Coy -

Lt G.A. BURNAND

Attached to Details

Capt A.R.M. ROE

Capt W.F.G. WILLES } joined today

Capt A.B. PRIESTLEY }

10.am

Lt T.S. RENDALL reported his arrival and shortly afterwards received orders to be ready to return to India sailing 11th Aug.

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FRIDAY 7th AUGUST 1914

The following party arrived at Great Victoria St. Stn about 4.30pm from DORCHESTER

Lt PITT

Lt CLARKE

Lt GREGORY

Lt CLUTTERBUCK } To return to

2/Lt PRICE } Dorchester on completion.

2 Conducting NCO's and 440 Reservists

Postings

A Coy - 2/Lt G.S. Shannon.

C Coy Lt G.A. Burnand.

Attached to Details

Captain W.F.G. Willes.

Capt A.B. Priestley.

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SATURDAY 8th AUGUST 1914

Detachments at GREENORE, KILROOT, CARRICKFERGUS and WOODBURN returned to Head Qrs.

11.15pm

The following party left for Dorchester to act as instructors for a new unit to be raised under War Office Authority.

Captain W.F.G. Willes

Lt A.R.S. Clarke Lt T.H. Clemson

Lt A.L. Gregory Lt H.J. Clutterbuck

14 NCO's (men to proceed later).

Lt C.H.Woodhouse assumed duties of M.G. Officer.

Captain A.B. Priestley appointed to command the first Reinforcement

4.pm

Party of 27 Regular Establishment (Depot) and 32 Reservists arrived at Great Victoria St. Stn BELFAST under command of Lt T.H. Clemson.

Orders received from W.O. to withdraw spare khaki suit and pair of boots from troops of Expeditionary Force

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XV Bde

No. 10

Officer Commanding,

1st Batt. Dorset & Norfolk Regts.

_______________________________________

You will report in writing to this office by 10 a.m. on Monday morning whether your battalion is accurately up to War Establishment in all details and, if not, explain any deficiencies or other matters calling for remark.

You will also give the numbers of recruits, unfit men and others left behind, the number of reservists in excess of numbers required, and give a nominal roll of officers.

Compensation will be given for clothing and boots withdrawn.

Sd)J.T. Weatherby

BELFAST

Captain.

8-8-1914

Brigade Major, 15th Infantry Brigade.

< Reply sent 9-8-1914 >

Edited by SPotter

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SPotter

To,

Headquarters,

15th Infantry Brigade,

Belfast.

With reference to your letter No 10 dated 8th August, 1914, I beg to report as follows:-

1. Battalion is up to War Establishment in all respects.

2. First Reinforcement requires 32 to complete Establishment.

3. The following personnel are remaining with the Details:---

Recruits........189.

Medically Unfit. 16.

Number of reservists in excess of number required-NIL.

A Nominal Roll of Officers is attached.

L.J.Bols

Belfast

Lieut Colonel,

9-8-1914.

Commanding 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment.

SUNDAY 9th AUGUST 1914

10.30am

Bn paraded for inspection by the C.O.

11.30am

Divine Service.

2.30pm

Route march - 2 hours.

Edited by SPotter

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MONDAY 10th AUGUST 1914

8.am to 5.pm

Bn trained on CAVE & SQUIRES HILLS.

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TUESDAY 11th AUGUST 1914

8.am to 4.pm

Bn trained on McILWHANS & SQUIRES HILL

Major & QM Kearney reported his arrival.

Edited by SPotter

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WEDNESDAY 12th AUGUST 1914

Bn carried out field firing at McILWHANS.

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THURSDAY 13th AUGUST 1914

12.noon

Bn attended Divine Service at BELFAST CATHEDRAL.

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