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dunmore44

1st Dorsets 1914

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SPotter

FRIDAY 14th AUGUST 1914

Bn embarked on S/S "ANTONY" as follows

8.am

Transport embarked - completed 1.30pm. Only 2 horse "cradles" were available and only 1 crane.

1.30pm

Personnel embarked.

3.25pm

Sailed

Weather very fine and hot.

Edited by SPotter

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SPotter

SATURDAY 15th AUGUST 1914

At sea.

Early morning very wet.

Passage - good.

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SPotter

SUNDAY 16th AUGUST 1914

4.pm

Arrived at HAVRE.

Commenced disembarkation. Disembarkation of horses and vehicles very slow - owing to one crane being available and not being strong enough to take heavy wagons.

8.pm

Marched to No8 Rest Camp leaving Transport behind and 2 platoons A Coy.

10.pm

Bn reached Rest Camp.

10.pm

Transport left quay, but could not reach camp owing to being blocked by 1st Cheshire Regt's transport.

12.m/n

Relieved 2 platoons A Coy by 2 Sections B Coy.

Weather - Fine, but Camp very wet and muddy - soil clay.

Casualty - one man sick - Pte Hibbs A Coy to Hospitale Militaire HAVRE.

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SPotter

MONDAY 17th AUGUST 1914

3.pm

Received orders to entrain at 8.pm at Gare de MARCHANDISE. Captain ROE conveyed orders to Bn Transport officer - the transport being still on the road between HARFLEUR and HAVRE - as he knew the exact position.

6.pm

Bn marched from Camp.

7.40pm

Reached station. Vehicles (Bn & Bde HQ) entrained by C Coy and 2 sections of B Coy in 35 minutes. This time was stated by the Ry Staff Officer to be the best by any unit by 10 minutes so far. Entrainment of personnel was delayed as D.Coy. could not find sufficient accommodation.

[Note. Carriages etc as marked by officer taking over train must be adhered to and this officer must make ample allowance for overlapping].

11.pm

Train departed.

Casualties.

Absentees 9 - (8 Rejoined)

Sick 2 (Left at HAVRE)

Weather - Fine.

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Paul Nixon

Interesting stuff Steve, thanks for posting these entries.

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SPotter

TUESDAY 18th AUGUST 1914

4.30am

Issue of coffee to all ranks at ROUEN.

2.20pm

Reached BUSIGNY and received Billeting orders.

3.20pm

Reached LE CATEAU and detrained. Vehicles detrained by 2 platoons of D Coy in 25 minute.

4.pm

Marched complete.

5.50pm

Reached ORS.

6.pm to 9.pm

Billets allotted by Major Roper.

Weather - fine - Casualties - Nil

10.pm

Orders received for Bn to find 2 posts as follows to guard against possible hostile cavalry :-

1. Road Star 1/4 mile. E of the last L of POMMEREUIL

2. Point where road crosses the railway almost 1 mile NE of R in ORS

These posts were found by A Coy.

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SPotter

WEDNESDAY 19th AUGUST 1914

Remained in billets at ORS.

10.am

Posts of A Coy relieved by B Coy.

2.pm

Posts taken over by D Coy as they are close to that Coy's billets.

Sick - Nil.

Weather - Very fine.

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SPotter

THURSDAY 20th AUGUST 1914

Remained in billets

10.30am

MajorGenl. Sir C.Ferguson Cg. 5th Divn visited ORS and addressed the Battalion.

1.pm

Informed verbally by Brigadier General that Brigade would move tommorrow.

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SPotter

FRIDAY 21st AUGUST 1914

Marched, Bn being advanced guard, via R of RAUCOURT - P of POTELLE to GOMMEGNEIS (sic) where Bde halted. Battalion found outposts from about LE CHEVAL BLANC to PREUX with C, A & B Coys.

Brigade billeted at GOMMEGNIES, A & C Coys being relieved from outposts by 14 Inf Bde withdrew to billets

Weather fine and hot.

Distance - 15 miles.

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SPotter

SATURDAY 22nd AUGUST 1914

3.30am

Marched via BAVAI - HOUDAIN - ATHIS to DOUR, where Bn billeted, remainder of Bde being at BOIS DE BOUSSI.

Weather - fine and very hot. Very trying for marching

Distance. 15 miles.

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SPotter

SOLDIERS DIED in the GREAT WAR

SATURDAY 22nd AUGUST 1914

Killed in Action

7531 BEARE Lionel Alfred Pte (or since)

Mystery this. I have not yet worked out how Pte BEARE met his end on this date. I can only assume this is the last date he could be accounted for?

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SPotter

SUNDAY 23rd AUGUST 1914

Remained in billets at DOUR during morning.

12.noon

Orders received for 1/2 Bns of Bde to proceed as follows at once taking all tools for entrenching.

1/2 Bn Norfolks - HALTE

1/2 Bn Cheshires - HORNU

1/2 Bn Bedfords } Ry Bdge 1/2m. N of W of WASMES

1/2 Bn Dorsets }

12.30pm

C & D Coys with Tool Limbers but no ammunition carts marched to HALTE and thence via Railway line to rendezvous. Tool limber of Bde HQs which had been ordered to follow the Dorsets did not join and was not heard of afterwards. As soon as tool limbers could be brought up - they having been delayed on the railway line - C Coy commenced entrenching on the left of the Bedfords - D Coy remaining temporarily in reserve.

Later D Coy was ordered to entrench on the right of the Bedfords

4.10pm

Message received from 15th Bde that 3rd Divn was retiring to a position South of MONS and that 15 Bde was to block the MARIETTE - PATURAGES Road.

5.pm

Enemy opened artillery fire but shells passed over trenches

5.30pm

O.C. D Coy reported Bn of enemy's infantry 1000 yds North of his trenches.

7.pm

Message sent to Brigade asking for S.A.A. Carts.

7.10pm

O.C. C Coy enemy's infantry scouts approaching his trenches.

7.15pm

Enemy's infantry seen in front of D Coy's trenches

7.30pm

Heavy shelling by enemy of street just south of Ry Bridge - no casualties.

8.30pm

Major Roper with Bn HdQrs, A & B Coys, & M.G. Section and 1st Line transport arrived at Railway Bridge.

"A" Coy sent to prolong left of C Coy - 2 platoons being subsequently withdrawn to the Ry Bridge.

B Coy were ordered to proceed at dawn to get touch with Cheshires about HORNU.

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SPotter

MONDAY 24th AUGUST 1914

2.am

Orders received from 15th Bde (timed 11:55pm) ordering Bn to move to P of PATURAGES as soon as relieved by a unit of the 13th Inf Bde.

4.am

Our guns opened, followed by those of enemy.

6.am

D Coy relieved by a Coy West Riding Regt and rejoined at Ry Bdge. Subsequently C Coy, the 2 platoons "A" Coy relieved by same Bn, but instead of rejoining at Ry Bdge these units with the exception of about 1 platoon under Major Saunders retired to position occupied by B Coy - (see below) and took part in the retirement with that Coy.

4.30am(?)

Message received from Capt. Williams Cmdg B Coy (timed 4.am) that he was at Bridge 600 yds W.N.W of W in WASMES in touch with A Coy, but not in touch with the Cheshires.

About 8.am

Bn HdQrs with 2 platoons A Coy, D Coy and M.G. Section & 1st Line Transport marched to P of PATURAGES where Bde HdQrs was established. The 2 platoons of A Coy were at once sent to support the Bedfords in a square near the Church. 1st Line Transport was directed to retire first but in order to avoid steep hill through PETIT WASMES, was sent by Brigadier by a more Southerly Road.

10.30am (about)

1st Line Transport ambushed by hostile infantry - all vehicles escaped except No.2 S.A.A. Cart owing to coolness of Lieut Margetts - Transport Officer - who held back the enemy with his revolver, though himself wounded.

11.am (about)

General retirement of Bedfords & Dorsets via PETIT WASMES - WARQUIGNIES to BLAUGIES.

3.pm

Halted for 1 hour at BLAUGIES. There joined by bulk of B and C Coys and 2 platoons A Coy.

[ Diary of events so far as B Coy is concerned.

B Coy moved at dawn into a railway cutting by a bridge 600 yds W.N.W of W of WASMES. 2 Platoons were pushed forward to entrench. About 6am the whole Coy went into the trenches, having part of A Coy on their right and a part of C Coy on their left.

The enemy's infantry advanced supported by heavy artillery fire to within 400 yds, but were repulsed. A lull of about 1 hour followed. The enemy then opened a heavy rifle and artillery fire. It was seen that the enemy had worked round both flanks.

About 2pm the Coy was ordered to retire and fell back in the direction of BLAUGIES. After the remainder of the Coy had fallen back Captain Williams collected about a dozen men returned. It was largely due to his

energy and example that the retirement of the rest of the Bde was carried out successfully.]

4.pm

General retirement continued to neighbourhood of ST. WAAST LES BAVAY where Brigade bivouacked.

Casualties

Officers Wounded -

Capt HYSLOP.

Lieut Margetts

Lieut Leishman

Missing - Lieut Burnand.

Other Ranks

Killed - 12

Wounded - 49

Missing - 69.

This battle will be known as the Battle of MONS.

Weather - Very fine and hot.

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SPotter

SOLDIERS DIED in the GREAT WAR

MONDAY 24th AUGUST 1914

Killed in Action

8782 BRAZIER Albert Henry Sgt

8323 CAKE William Charles Sgt

4455 KING Arthur Sgt (or since)

7416 ROSE Henry Hulbert L/Sgt

7557 HERRIDGE Walter George Cpl

7442 APPLETON Albert L/Cpl

6992 HABGOOD Albert James L/Cpl

6444 BURDEN Herbert Pte

8741 CLARK Walter Pte

6112 GRAY Bertram William Pte (or since)

9540 JANES Albert Victor Pte

7776 LAWRENCE William Pte (or since)

8371 MOYLE William Pte

9484 NEWBOLD Ernest James Pte

9486 OAKLEY William Robert Pte (or since)

9537 PHILPS Edward Shepperd Pte (or since)

6925 PIKE Abendago Pte

5787 PITWOOD Harry Pte

7782 PORTSMOUTH Charles Pte

6414 TEVERSHAM William Ralph Bdm (or since)

20 Other Ranks Kileed in Action - 75% increase on the figure reported in the War Diary.

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SPotter

TUESDAY 25th AUGUST 1914

2.am

Brigade continued retirement via BAVAI - NW edge of FORET DE MORMAL to LE CATEAU.

2.pm

Brigade bivouacked at pt 116, 1 mile E of TROISVILLE.

3.pm

Trenches which had been partially dug reconnoitred. A Coy placed on outpost near road junction 1/2m NE of LA SOTIERE and entrenched. 5 hostile aeroplanes made reconnaissance while Bde was in bivouac.

Weather - Fine in morning. Thunderstorm in evening. Rain during night.

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SPotter

*THURSDAY 26th AUGUST 1914

1.am

Orders received from Brigade for Bn to stand to arms as Bedfords outpost Coys had fallen back. Bn fell in at once. "B" and "C" lining NE boundary of bivouac, D Coy being in support. All quiet and troops ordered to fall out.

4.am

Orders received for retirement to be continued to ESTREES, but these were cancelled as information had been received that 2 German Divn's were at LE CATEAU.

5.am

Bn occupied trenches just N of wnd LA SOTIERE and that village, dispersed as follows:-

Reading from right to left.

In trenches. D Coy, 2 platoons C Coy, B Coy.

2nd line - A Coy

Bn HdQrs & 2 platoons C Coy at LA of LA SOTIERE, this point being strongly fortified and entrenched.

Attack by enemy simultaneously on 13th & 14th Inf Bdes on our right and on the 3rd Divn on our left.

Our part of the line was not directly attacked.

11.am

Firing slackened on our left and it appeared that the 3rd Divn had beaten back the attack, and that enemy could not get out of BEAUMONT - INCHY.

12.noon (about)

Permission asked from Bde to counter attack towards BEAUMONT - INCHY in conjunction with 3rd Divn.

Reply received that if counter attack was made it was not to proceed further than the "poplar road".

1.pm to 2.pm

Very heavy gun & rifle fire heard from direction of our right.

3.10pm

Message received from Brigade timed 2.50pm to effect that our right was falling back & that if obliged to do so Dorsets were to retire slowly in S.S.W. direction via BERTRY - MARETZ - ESTREES also that four guns (Major Ballards battery) were retiring.

3.10pm - 4.15pm

Bn remained in its position less 1st Line Transport which was sent ahead at once. Enemy brought a machine gun to the poplar road, but made no attempt to attack with infantry. Machine Guns under Lieut C.H. Woodhouse did splendid work at this period covering the retirement which commenced at 4.20pm.

4.20pm

The enemy were gradually getting the range with their guns, but had not quite done so, when last party of Bn retired through TROISVILLES covered by B Coy who had taken up a covering position.

5.pm

Retirement continued via BERTRY - MARETZ. Battalion came under artillery fire 3 times during retirement, which though well directed it caused few casualties. Bn billeted at GENEVE. Uncomfortable night without supplies.

Casualties

Officers Nil

Other Ranks.

Wounded - 14

Missing - 21

Weather - Very fine & hot. Drizzle during night.

* Day as entered in diary. 26th was infact a Wednesday.

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SPotter

SOLDIERS DIED in the GREAT WAR

WEDNESDAY 26th AUGUST 1914

Killed in Action

7398 WILLS Frederick John Stanley Pte (or about)

Died of Wounds

5933 RILEY Charles Edward Cpl

Died

7583 SMITH Harold Rowland Pte (or since)

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SPotter

THURSDAY 27th AUGUST 1914

3.am

Marched via ESTREES - BELLENGLISE - ST.QUENTIN.

1.pm

Halted for 1 hr at ST.QUENTIN.

2.pm

Retirement continued to EAUCOURT 1 mile wsw of OLLEZY where Bde bivouacked - 3rd 4th & 5th Divn's were all concentrated at OLLEZY.

Weather fine & hot.

Distance marched - 23 miles.

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SPotter

FRIDAY 28th AUGUST 1914

Retirement continued via CUGNY - BERLANCOURT - NOYON to PONTOISE where Brigade bivouacked.

Sir John French addressed troops as they passed during march.

Weather. Fine & hot

Distance marched - 20 miles

Road very hilly - N of NOYON.

SATURDAY 29th AUGUST 1914

Rest Day.

5.pm

Marched to CARLEPONT to billet. Much delay caused by billets of 14th & 15th Brigades being interchanged. Eventually the Bn bivouacked at the Church.

Weather - Fine & hot

Distance marched - 4 miles.

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SPotter

SUNDAY 30th AUGUST 1914

Retirement continued via ATTICHY to CROUTOY.

?8.am

Halted in open field 1/2 m. S of CROUTOY. Very hot and no shade. Supplies had not arrived.

12.noon

Returned to CROUTOY and billeted. Billets very comfortable.

Weather - fine and very hot

Distance marched - 12 miles

MONDAY 31st AUGUST 1914

Retirement continued to CREPY, where Brigade went into bivouac.

Weather - fine & hot

Distance marched, - 15 miles

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SPotter

1st Bn Dorsetshire Regiment

************************

Nominal Roll of Officers:-

Headquarters.

Commanding Officer.

Lieut Colonel. L.J. Bols. D.S.O.

Senior Major.

Major R.T. Roper.

Adjutant.

Captain A.L. Ransome.

Quartermaster.

Major J. Kearney.

Machine Gun Officer

Lieutenant .C.H. Woodhouse.

A. Coy.

Commander.

Captain W.A.C. Fraser.

Second Captain.

Captain R.G.B.M. Hyslop.

Subalterns.

Lieutenant J.M. Pitt.

Lieutenant C.O. Lilly.

Lieutenant. F.D.S. King.

2/Lieutenant G.S. Shannon.

B. Coy.

Commander.

Captain H.S. Williams.

Second Captain.

Captain A.R.M. Roe.

Subalterns.

Lieutenant .C.F.M. Margetts. (Transport Officer)

Lieutenant.J.R. Turner.

2/Lieutenant.C.G. Butcher.

2/Lieutenant. H.L. Chapman.

C. Coy.

Commander.

Major C. Saunders.

Second Captain.

Captain. J. Kelsall.

Subalterns.

Lieutenant. A.S. Fraser.

Lieutenant W.A. Leishman.

Lieutenant G.A. Burnand.

2/Lieutenant. L. Grant-Dalton.

D. Coy.

Commander.

Captain. W.T.C. Davidson.

Second Captain.

Captain. F.H.B.Rathborne.

Subalterns.

Lieutenant. R.E. Partridge.

Lieutenant. A.K.D. George.

Lieutenant. A.E. Hawkins.

2/Lieutenant. E.B. Walker.

Attached.

Medical Officer.

Captain Dunbar. R.A.M.C.

First Reinforcement.

Commander.

Captain A.B. Priestley.

Details.

Commander.

Captain. I.H. Kitchin.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Belfast..............................L.J. Bols..........................Lt Colonel.

9/8/14 Commanding 1st Bn Dorset Regiment.

Note .I have officers, as above, viz. complete War Est:, 2'Lieuts Chapman & Walker having been posted to me by W.O. yesterday. If I have to go at W.E. (less one Capt: & 2 subalterns) as stated in W.O. Telegram, I would leave these two subalterns and Capt: Roe ; the latter who was on sick leave, was passed fit at Dorchester Depot and sent here to join as he had, previous to his sick leave, been attached to this Battalion

pending embarkation to India. I would like to know whether, having these three officers available, the Battalion should, or should not still start short of them.

Belfast

LJBols Lt:Col:

Commg: 1 Bn: Dorset: Regt:

9. Aug: 1914

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Guest Shelley Williams

Hi this is all interesting reading.

I would be interested in reading about 21st April 1915 and a bit before if that is possible.

Perhaps it would be possible if you could scan the 21st April 1915 page and email me? I would be really grateful.

Thank you,

Shelley

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SPotter

War Diary Entry:

WEDNESDAY 21st APRIL 1915

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

8.30am

Reported to Bde - Situation quiet in my front.

31 trench heavily shelled during yesterday evening - and throughout night.

6.20pm

Reported to Bde - Situation unchanged.

Casualties - one killed, 6 wounded.

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SPotter

Extract from the Diary of Ernest Shepherd. (Ernest was in B Coy):

WEDNESDAY 21st APRIL 1915

Drizzly day, enemy and our artillery still hammering away. This is the longest and heaviest bombardment Ypres district has had thro' the war. The Devons suffered heavily. C Company of ours had 49 casualties, lost all officers. Lt Butcher went from our Coy to take command of C Coy. The damage in Ypres yesterday was great.

At 9 a.m. we relieved A Coy in 32A and 33B trenches. 32A is called the International trench, as the Germans occupy half and we the other half. They are supposed to be sapping to blow us up, which is very

likely, as their artillery never shell the trench. We are doing the same. The enemy worked their trench mortar on 34B occupied by the `Holy Boys'. (1) Sandbags flew up and they did a lot of damage. The artillery silenced them after a while. The report that we lost Hill 60 last night is incorrect, we remain in possession of it, and the Canadians were not in it. Day turned fine, in the evening we had the `Anarchist squad' in our trench working, under charge of Lt Morley and Sgt Cox.(2) These are men specially trained in using bombs of all sorts, hand grenades, jam tin bombs, rifle grenades, and the trench mortar. The hand grenade is thrown from a stick, jam tin bomb by hand (the Anarchists have a large catapult arrangement for this), and rifle grenade is fired by rifle. The `Allemans' shouted across to us once, on another occasion a man threw a potato over, and they slung it back. We had a quiet night except for occasional bursts of artillery fire.

(1) `Holy Boys', a nickname for the Norfolk Regiment.

(2) `Anarchist squad', the troops' name for bombing squads, after adherents of a political philosophy active in several countries at the turn of the century who resorted to the use of bombs to advance their aims.

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SPotter

And the only entry in SDGW for this date:

WEDNESDAY 21st APRIL 1915

Killed in Action

7023 CASSONMAN Harris Pte

Regards

Steve

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