|War Diary of the 1/5th Battalion
the Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Somme Offensive July 1916source:Public Record Office (|
Map Ref 57d NE 1/20,000
Trenches K 17 c.30.35 -
K 17.a.1.8 1 The day of attack - Z day. The front held by the 48th Division extended from JOHN COPSE K 23 d 3.3 to PUISIEUX ROAD K.17.a.1.8. The 7 R War R on the right and the 5 R War R on the left. Our role was to hold the trenches whilst the divisions on our right and left advanced on SERRE and GOMMECOURT respectively. Our ultimate role depending on the line taken upto by these other Divisions. The 31 Div were on our right and the 56 Div were on our left. The time for launching the attack (zero) was 7.30am 65 minutes before zero the intense bombardment commenced and 10 minutes before zero smoke candles and P bombs were let off from our front line. And under cover of this screen the advance began. These attacks were successful but by the end of the day all troops on the Corps front were driven back to their own lines again. The enemy barraged our trenches at intervals throughout the day. The night was quiet.
Casualties - 1 OR killed, 1 OR missing, Capt W C C GElL (at duty), 2 Lt P A GROVE, 2 Lt H H PINE and 21 ORs (5 at duty) wounded.
The following officers arrived and were taken on the strength of the Battn.
2 Lt A J W BROWN W E WALSH N R HASLUCK W S TOWNSEND
P J LAING A S EIGHTEEN J R BANCROFT
2 Day quiet. Enemy lines bombarded by our Corps Artillery at 3.0pm and 6.30pm
Casualties 2 ORs wounded (at duty)
The undermentioned officers arrived and were taken on strength
2 Lt F R KYD
3 Casualty 1 OR wounded
4 Battn relieved by 5 Battn Gloucestershire Regt and marched to bivouacs at J 1 c 8 3
Bivouacs J1c83 5 The following officers arrived and taken on strength
2Lt G B de J PEGLER
9 The following officers arrived and taken on strength
2Lt MATTS 2 Lt HEGAN
11 Draft of 61 ORs arrived
11-13 Working parties 500 strong formed in each of these days for clearing trenches around COLINCAMP
LA BOISSELLE 13-14 Battn moved at 3pm from Bivouacs at J1c83 to BOUZINCOURT by ??? ???, moving on from BOUZINCOURT about 9pm and marching to LA BOISSELLE taking over at about 3am objects in trenches X 13 d (Ref Map France Sheet 57 D SE) being in suport to 1/7th R War R.
3 ORs wounded
57d SE 1/20000
57d SE.4 1/10,000 14-15 Battalion did not move - LA BOISSELLE reconoitered - 2 OR wounded
15 Draft of 5 ORs arrived
16 The Battn was ordered to attack as in BD OO 69 para 3
The attack was launched at 2.3 am and the trenches taken without opposition andheld - the Battn being disposed as shown in Map (Red lines). The enemy counter attacked several times at dawn.
A Coy of 6 R War R relieved us in trench a about midnight 16/17
Casualties killed Capt D G LUNT Capt C V SUCKLING
2 Lt SIMPKIN and 38 ORs
Wounded 2 Lt G B PEGLER 2 Lt A S EIGHTEEN
2 Lt R HEGAN and 74 ORs Missing 5
ORVILLERS 17 Bombing attacks by enemy at intervals
57DSE4 2B The Battn was relieved by the 6 R War R and bivouacted at W 30a
Casualties included under date 16.7.16
W 30a 18 400 men required for working party to dig trench from X9b66 to X9c55
Remained marched to billets at BOUZINCOURT
Wounded 2 Lt R S TURNER
BOUZINCOURT 19 Working party reached billets at BOUZINCOURT at 6am
22 The Battn moved up to ORVILLERS and CRUCIFIX as in 144 Bde OO 79 and OO 50. The attack by 144 and 145 Bdes was carried out successfully.
Trenches 23 The Battn took over from 145 Bde as in 143 Bde OO BM 475 and OO 51
Efforts to join up with ANZAC division were unsuccessful owing to enemy strong point at X3b64. Several attempts to aided by stokes guns were made without success as also were attempts to ?? towards X4a46
24 Further attempts made at 7.30am and 4.30pm aided by artillery and stokes guns were unsuccessful - from subsequent aerial photographs and from information by prisoners it was found that X3b64 was a strongly fortified point held by 3 machine guns and 300 men were in the vicinity ready to hold it. This point was evacuated at 10pm on the 25th and taken by the 7 R War R at 12 midnight the same date.
Casualties - Killed 2 Lt F MATTS and 4 ORs
Wounded 22 ORs
Missing 2 ORs
Trenches 24 The Battn was relieved by 7 R War R as in 143 Iny Bde )) 75
UNSA REDOUT 25 Battn in Brigade Reservve - 1 OR killed, 2 ORs wounded
26 Battn in Divisional Reserve - 1 OR wounded
27 Battn relieved by 8th R FUSILIERS and marched to BOUZINCOURT as in 143 Bde OO No 76. 1 OR wounded.
BOUZINCOURT 28 Battn taken by Motor Bus to COULONVILLERS - 8 miles each of ABBEVILLE (Ref Map LENS)
COULONVILLERS 30 The following officers arrived and taken on strength
2Lt A C BRATT
2Lt F S TUTE
2Lt F COULSON
and 56 ORs
31 The following officers arrived and taken on strength
Capt H S BLOOMER } The Manchester
Capt E STEELE } Regiment
and 14 ORs
Strength on July 31st
29 Officers 636 ORs
Total casualties in July
Killed 4 officers and 45 ORs
Wounded 8 officers and 117 ORs
Missing 5 ORs
Died of wounds 1 Officers
|Appendix 1 (handwritten)|
Secret Copy No 3
143 Inf Bde Operation Order No 69
15 July 1916
1. The Bde will attack OVILLERS-LA-BOISSELLE tonight in conjunction with 74 and 75 Inf Bdes
2. 74 Inf Bde is attacking at 1am between the lines X8B75 (inclusive) and X8B31 (inclusive). Objective X8B56 (inclusive)-X8B24(exclusive).
75 Inf Bde is attacking on west of 74 Inf Bde
3(a) 5th R War Regt will form up with their right flank on X3C51 and their left flank about X9A55 faxing W by 12.55am
(b) At 1am, at which hour the artillery barrage will lift from their first objective, they will attack between the lines X3C02 and X8B75 (exclusive) to the objective X2D85 and X8B56 (exclusive).
(c) They will move to their place of assembly vvia X9D58 and X9B4.4
(d) M.G.Co will detail 2 Mgs under an offers and 143 RM Battn will detail 1 Stokes Gun under an officer with 51 pds (?) to be at Pt X9C82 by 1am and to there await orders from 5th R War Regt
6 R War Regt will provide a carryign party of 20 to report to TM Battn at 11pm. Guide from 7 R War Regt will meet this paty at T M Battn bivouacs at that hour.
4. 74 Inf Bde is patrolling trench X3 C93 -51 - 02 after dark to ensure that none of the enemy occupy this trench. They will report to an officer 5 R War Regt at X9D52 at 11pm.
5. 5th R War R will communicate with Bde by (a) runners through X9B66 or X9C46 to telephone office at X13D6 (b) usual station at X9B63
Issues thro' signals at 8.15pm
Copies to Bde units
74 Inf Bde
PRW Lilley Jajor
BM 143 Inf Bde
To OC 1/5/ R War Reg
7th Bde have just reported enemy MGs at X9a15, X9a1.4, X9a05, X3c04 and one in prolongation of the trench running from X3a5.1 to X3a02.
July 15 1916
G ? Catp S C 143 Inf Bde
PS The front three of the above appears to be in emplacements and usually fire SW
|Back of Item 675 OO51|
3. Above relief will take place as soon after dark as possible.
4. 7 Batt will occupy trenches between railway (which is right boundary of Div) and ALBERT Rd from X9C82 to X9c4.6. and LA BOISELLE (both inclusive). THey will find such carrying parties as required by 5 Batt RWyR
J H Crosskey
A/;Adjt 5 RWarR
2. Major Retallack
3. D and B Coys
4. A Coy
Secret 143 Inf Bde OO No 75 24 July 1916
1. 7th Bn will relievve 5th Bn today and will continue a vigorous offensive without intermission, on the same lines.
2. 1 1/2 Cos will relieve troops holding the front between X3d97 and X3 central and bombing posts between X8b78 and X3c79 and by moving by small parties
3. Remaining dispositions will be taken over as soon after dark as possible, if daylight relief is not practicable. On relief 5th Bn will proceed to bivouacts near USNA
4. Hdqrs of 7th Bn will be established at X9c82
Issued at 12.55pm
PRW Lilley (?) Major
B.M. 143 Inf Bde
Copies to Bde units
145 Inf Bde
|Appendix 5 Item 628|
Secret 143 Inf Bde Operation Order No 76 27 July 1916
Ref Ovillers 1/10,000 (note : was 1:20,000 with 2 overwritten in hand 1)
1. The Bde will be relieved today, by the 36 Inf Bde and will proceed to billets at BOUZINCOURT, via railway bridge at W.23.c, new road near Brickworks at @.22.a on to main road in W.20.d
2. The relief will be carried out as follows : -
(a) 7th Bn, which is not being relieved will move at 2.30pm
(b) 8th Bn will be relieved by 11th Middlesex Regt. and will ?? B Platoon ?? guides to B.M.123.2 (X.14.a) at 4pm
(c) 6th Bn will be relieved by 7th R Sussex Regt and wil send Platoon guides to X.13.d.2.1 at 5.30pm
(d) 5th Bn will be relieved by 8th R Fusiliers and will send Co. guides to house near W.29.b.8.6 at 5pm
(e) MG co relief will be completed during daylight under arrangements made between Os.C.
(f) T.M.Batt will be relieved at 3.45pm at B.M.123-2 and will provide a guide from that spot, for relief proceeding to the section in the line. Guns in the line will be handed over.
3. All 1/5,000 maps and photographs relating to this sector, will be handed over.
4. On completion of relief referred to in 2(b) G.O.C. will hand over command of the line to G.O.C.36 Inf Bde. After that hour, reports to BOUZINCOURT
Issued thro' Singnals at 12.30pm
B.M 143 Inf Bde
Copies to Bde units
36 Inf Bde
All July documents were either transcribed or photographed.