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War Diary of the 1/5th Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1915
source:Public Record Office (
March 1915

Battn disembarked HAVRE from ENGLAND 23.3.15
143rd Inf. Bde		48th Div.
April 1915

ARMENTIERES 	1	Battalion marched from BAILLEUL into billets at ARMENTIERES and attached to 
					19th Infantry Brigade for instruction in trench warfare.

BAILLEUL		  6	Battalion marched from ARMENTIERES back into billets at BAILLEUL
DOUVE TRENCHES 12	Battalion marched from BAILLEUL and took over DOUVE trenches
					casualties – one man wounded
             13	casualties – one man killed
                           - one man died of wounds received same day
             14	casualties – two men slightly wounded
             15	casualties – two men wounded
             16	casualties – three men killed,  two men wounded
					on being relieved in DOUVE trenches the battalion marched into hutments near NEUVE ECLISE in divisional reserve.
NEUVE EGLISE 20	Battalion marched from Hutments and took over DOUVE trenches
					casualty – one man wounded
DOUVE TRENCHES 22	casualties – one man killed, two men wounded
              24	Battalion marched into billets at PETIT PONT       63
PETIT PONT		28	Battalion took over DOUVE trenches
					casualty – one man wounded “at duty”
DOUVE TRENCHES 30	casualty – one man wounded
			Capt and Adjt C E DAVIES
May 1915

 TRENCHES	1	casualties – 4 men killed, 8 men wounded
		2	Battalion marched to hutments at JONESVILLE
HUTMENTS	5	digging parties
		casualty – one man wounded	 
TRENCHES 61-65	7	casualty – one man killed	
	8	casualty – two men wounded
			Capt J A Seymour wounded
			2Lt D L Owen  accidentally wounded

	9	casualties – 7 men killed,  18 men wounded
	11	casualty – one man wounded
	12	Battalion marched into billets at PETIT PONT point 63
 PETIT PONT	13	digging parties
		casualties – two men killed
		  2Lt W A P Watson went to hospital as a result of being thrown from his horse
	14	digging parties
		casualty – one man wounded
	15	digging parties – L’CC Riddell went to hospital for an operation
		Capt and Adj  C E DAVIES went into hospital
		Capt C RETALACK appointed adjutant VICE Capt.  C E DAVIES
	16	Major D W F PAULI T D returned to ENGLAND

	16	Battalion returned to trenches
		one man wounded
  61-65	17
	18	one man accidentally wounded
	19	one man wounded
	20	one man wounded and one man accidentally wounded
		Battalion marched to JONESVILLE
JONESVILLE	21	digging party
	22	digging party
	23	digging parties
	24	Battalion returned to trenches – one man wounded
TRENCHES 61-65	25	one man wounded
	26	one man killed and one wounded
	27	one man wounded
	28	Battalion marched to COURT DREVE
 COURT DREVE 	29	digging parties
	30	digging parties
	31	digging parties

The weather during May has been fine except the week beginning May 9th – the later 3 weeks have been very hot.
		Battalion strength on May 31st
			Officers 		22
			Other ranks	889
					Charles Retallack   capt and adj.		

June 1915

 COURT DREVE 	1	Battn returned to trenches
		MAJOR GENERAL R FANSHAWE assumed command of the Division
TRENCHES 61-65	2	CAPTAIN J H FRANCIS killed – one man wounded
	3	2/LIEUT R W L EDGINGTON killed – one man wounded
	4	one man killed
	5	one man wounded
		Battalion marched into huts at JONESVILLE
 JONESVILLE	6	digging parties
	7	Battalion marched into COURT DREVE
		Capt J R M MINSULL for RORAL WELSH FUSILIERS assumed duties of B___ Major 
		one man accidentally wounded
COURL DREVE	8	digging parties
	9	Battalion went into trenches taking into a new line
		5 new trenches being taken in the night on the old line
		and 2 trenches given up on the left
  36-40, 61-63	10	The following officers have arrived from ENGLAND and taken on strength of the Battn.
						1st NEWFOUNDLANDERS REGT to be Sen Major	 
	11	one man wounded
		Battalion marched into Billets at ROMARIN
	14	Battalion (in Divisional Reserve) turned out at 3.5 am for an alarm occasioned by the explosion of a min but the situation dealt with by the garrison in the trench.  The Batt was inspired in the afternoon by GOC Division.
	15	Battalion took over the line of trenches between FRELINGHIEN and PLOEGSTREERT No. 1-19
TRENCHES 1-19	16	a company of 7 Norfolks in our trenches for instruction throughout our tour
	17	three men wounded – one man died of his wound
		The following day – on night of 17/18 an effort to take a prisoner in accordance with 3rd Army Corps order was made by a party under 2nd Liet H W L GROOM who patrolled with a ___ party – no prisoner was taken but the party threw bombs when they encountered enemy – retired when forced to do so by superior fire in numbers of enemy, having penetrated nearly as far as enemy trenches.
	18	Two men wounded 2 Lt GROOM made another sortie on night of 18/19 but no Germans were to be found in front of their line.
	19	Two men wounded – Battn went into Brigade Reserve with HQ at The Convent PLOEGSTEERT
The Convent
	21	) Drill and working parties
 	22	)
	23	Battn returned to trenches 1-19 one man wounded
	25	Two men wounded – one man died 26.6.15 of his wounds
BALLEUL	26	Batt left trenches at 12.30am and marched to BAILLEUL – inspection by Liet General Sir W P Pulteney KCB DSO commanding 3rd Corps – Battn marched to VIEUX BERQUIN
		2nd Lts E HOLT and W E WALSH arrived from ENGLAND
		and taken on strength of Battalion
HAM EN ARTOIS	28	Battn marched to AUCHEL and goes into CORPS reserve
		Weather during June has been fine and hot.  Battn strength on June 30th
					Officers  25		Other Ranks 	886

July 1915

AUCHEL	1	Battn in Corps Reserve
		3	Battn inspected by General Sir Douglas Haig Commander First Army
		8	Battn inspected by Earl Kitchener
		11	Lt Col G.C.SLADEN (The Rifle Brigade) took over command of the Battn
		12	Battn marched to Bivouacs at HOUCHIN
HOUCHIN	16	Battn returned to AUCHEL
AUCHEL	18	Battn marched to Bivouacs at BEAUQUESNE
BEAUQUESNE 21	Battn marched to COURCELLES and went into Brigade Reserve 143rd Inf Bde
			took over trenches at BEAUQUESNE
COURCELLES	25	Battn marched to trenches and took over line as in Operations Order 2
		26	Three men killed and seven men wounded.
		27	Three men wounded
		28	LIEUT P E ROBINSON and 2/LT W J BUCK arrived
			from HAVRE and taken on strength of Battn
		29	One man accidentally wounded.
		30	Battalion marched into billets at BAYENCOURT
		31	Battalion remained in billets at BAYENCOURT

			Strength of Battn on July 31 1915
			Officers 28
			O R	828
					Charles Retallack,   Capt and adjt
Operation Orders No 2

Operation Orders No 2
July 25th 1915
1/5th Royal Warwickshire Regiments

The 1/5th Battn will take over the right section of the Trenches at HEBUTERNE now occupied by the 1/6th Battn to night.

A+B Coys will be in the front line Trenches.
A. Coy. on the right, B coy on the left.
C. Coy will be in support of the NEW TRENCH and 
D. Coy in reserve at ROLAND and DUGUESCLIN
Battalion HQ will be at ROLAND

Dressing Station is in DUGUESCLIN near RANDON

signed : Charles Retallack
	Capt and Adjt.	1/5th R. War. R.

issued at  ___ p.m  July 25th 1915

Copies (1) A Coy (2) B Coy (3) C Coy (4) D Coy (5) War Diary (6) War Diary (7) Office

August 1915

BAYENCOURT	1	Battn on Divisional Reserve
		3	Battn. inspected by L.Gen.Sir T.D.O. SNOW KCB Commanding VII Corps

COLIN CAMPS	7	Battn relieved 4 Glosters in trenches and took over line and dispositions as in OO No 4
		10	1 man wounded (at duty) one accidental injury
		13	one O.R. wounded
		15	Battn relieved by the 4th Glosters and marched to billets at BAYENCOURT

BAYENCOURT	17	Working parties of 375 per day and baths during stay in billets
		19	One man accidentally wounded
		20	2 men accidentally wounded
			2/Lieut W.A.P. WATSON rejoined from England and taken on strength of Battn.
COLIN CAMPS	23	Battn relieved 4th Glosters in trenches taking up same dispositions as on 7/8 Aug
		24	1 OR Killed  3 wounded (1 at duty)
		25	2 OR wounded		Battn relieved by 2nd Battn Essex Regt
			and marched to bivouac in BOIS DE WARNIMONT
		27	]
		28	]	working parties and baths
		29	]
		30	Battn went into billets at BOS
BOS		31	Working parties and baths

Strength of Battn on 31 August -  29 Officers   OR 777
Signed :  Charles Retallack   (Capt and Adjt)

Operation Orders No 4

Operation Orders No 4
August 7th 1915
1/5th Royal Warwickshire Regiments

Ref Maps  1/80,000  Trench May

1.	1/5th Battn R.W.R. will relieve the 4th Battn Gloucester Regt. on Aug 7th 1915 and will take over all their dispositions.

2.	The Front Trenches - the Battn will take over are at follows
	From 2 ARBRES ABBATTUS inclusive to 303 inclusive
	From 'A' Coy in Battn reserve Trench
	B C D in the Front Trench
3.	The Battn will relieve vai COURCELCES Point 180 (at C of Colincamps)
4.	The Transport of the Battn will be brigaged at COIGNEUX and will take over the Transport lines at 11am
5.	All personel of the Grenadier  Coy. will go into Trenches with their respective units.
6.	Reserve M.G. Treams will join their companies.
7.	The "S.O.S." signal for artillery support is one RED followed by one GREEN rocked fired from the Trenches and repeated until support is received.
8.	The Dressing Station will be in MOINE Trench
9.	The Battn H.Q. will be in MOINE TRENCH

Issued at 11am   Aug 7th 1915
	Capt and Adjt   1/5th R.War.R.
September 1915

BUS	1	Working parites and Bathes – Capt J K Rabone died at
		No 1 Red Cross Hospital TE TOUQUET from ??? after an operation for appendicitis
	2	Baths – The Battn took over trenches from the French 56 Division as in OO No 6
TRENCHES	5	Reinforcements of 30 OR taken on strength of Battn
BAYENCOURT	6	Battn relieved in trenches by 6/2 War R and took over Billets in BAYENCOURT
			?? casualties in trenches
“	7	1/2 Coy under Major Carter at work to continue defences of BAYENCOURT
Trenches	10	Battn took over trenches from 6 War R as in OO No 7
FONQUEVILLERS	14	Battn relieved by 6 R War R and took over dispositions of 8 R War R as in OO No 8
	15	One OR accidentally wounded.
		Working parties in ?? defences of FONQUEVILLERS
TRENCHES	18	Battn relieved 6 R War R in trenches as in OO No 9
	19	One OR killed
	22	Battn relieved by 6 R War R and took over billets of 8th R War R at BAYENCOURT
		 as in OO Not 10
BAYENCOURT	23	Battn Route March – Capt E V JEAVONE appointed acting QM vice QM and
		Major W Taylor to England sick 6-9-15
	26	Battn relieved by 6 R War R in trenches and took over devences of Fonquevillers
		and La Haic as in OO No 12 from 8 R War R

The weather in September has been generally fine and hot.
Strength of Battn on Sept 30th
Officer 	26		OR  796

Charles Retallack Capt and Adjt    5 R War R

1/5th Battn Royal Warwickshire Regt
Sept 1st 1915

 48th Division will take over, as below, by Sept. 4th
(a) A portion of the line now occupied by the French 56th Divn.  Ie.e the frontage of two Battalions, already designated to O.C. 5th and 7th R WAR R respectivel.
(b) The Southern devences of FONQUEVILLERS, i.e. that part of the Village South of and including the road which runs S.E. below “FONQUEVILLERS” (on Plan Directure) to CROSS ROADS in centre of Village, and thence just South of Church as far as edge of Village on CHURCh-CALVAIRE road.
(c ) CHATEAU-de la HAIE

143rd Infantry Brigade will take over this portion of the line and will be permanently disposed as follows:-
	1 Battn in line on right
	1 Battn in line on left
	1 Battn as follows : -
		Hd. Qrs. and 2 Coys defences of FONQUEVILLERS
		2 Companies CHATEAU de la HAIE.
	1 Battn in BAYENCOURT
	Grenade Coy. (less platoons of 2 Battns in line)
	Permanently at CHATEAU de la HAIE.
	86th Trench Mortar Battery : -
		1/2 in line
		1/2 in billets in FONQUEVILLERS

(a) 5th R.WAR.R. will take over the right sub-section of the line on the night of 2/3rd September, moving via BAYENCOURT and CHATEAU de la HAIE.  Guides will meet this Battn. At entrance to FONQUEVILLERS at 1.15am 3rd September.

(b) The Battn after passing Chateau de la HAIE, will move in silence by platoons, and no smoking will be permitted.  The Coys will be closed up under cover of the Village by 1.15.

(c ) 1 Officer per Coy. And 1 N.C.O. per platoon of French Brigade, will remain in Trenches until mid-day 3rd Sept.

(d) The Battn. Will be disposed as follows:-
	A. on right	)
	B. in centre	) in front line
C on left	)
D in Battn. reserve.
Battn. H.Q. will be in the reserve line
The " Special Instruction" (No 17) Platoon will be attached to "D" Coy, and a platoon of "D" Coy will be attachec to "B" Coy whilst in Trenches.

The Grenade Coy. will be permanently billeted at LA HAIE, and will consist of platoons of 2 Battns out of the line, and in addition, 10 men of each of these 2 Battns for instructions.

M.G. Sections of all Battns, with limbers, will be at CHATEAU de la HAIE at 7 pm. on 2nd. September, and will proceed to FONQUEVILLERS at intervals of 500 yards.  They will be met by Brigade Machine Gun Officer and Guides at entrance to FONQUEVILLERS.
Machine Guns will be Brigaded.
Machine Gun Sections will consist of 26 men (including Cook and Officers Servant). and 5 N.C.O.s.

8 Guns will be in front line, (2 guns from each Battn) i.e. 4 guns in right sub-section and 4 guns in left sub-section.  Disposal of remaining guns will be directed by Bde. M.G.O.

Each Section will bring with it necessary degchies etc.

Rations will be dumped at Ration dump, about 600 yds west W of FONQUEVILLERS on CHATEAU de la HAIE - FONQUEVILLERS road at an hour after dark, which will allow of all wagons being clear of this road by 11pm. on the night of 2nd. September.

7. Cookers will be brought into FONQUEVILLERS by 10pm. on Sept. 2nd.
No horses will be kept in the village.

8. Orders re position of Brigade Transport will be issued later.

9. The French dispositions will be followed untill the ground is better known. (and arrangements. )

10.	Great care is to be taken with regard to moving Troops and Transport. All movements for the present will be under cover of darkness, and with intervals between units and vehicles.
	Single vehicles, horses, and parties of men not larger than sections, may move from LA HAIE to FONQUEVILLERS, if necessary, by day, but there is very grave risk of machine guns firing on this road.

Issued at 5pm  Sept 1st 1915
Charles Retallack
Capt and Adjt.   1/5th R.WAR.R.

The 1/th Battn.  Royal Warwickshire Regt.
Ref. AMIENS   	Sept 10 1915

1.	The 1/5th R.War. R will relieve the 1/6th R.War R. in Trenches to-day, and will take over their dispositions.

2.	A Company will march off at 2.p.m.
	D Company will march of at 2.10.p.m.
	B 			at 2.20pm
	C			at 2.30.p.m
.	and will go by Platoons.

3. Route.  Leave BAYENCOURT and move across country along valley N. of M in MIN 162 past Battery of dummy Guns across the SQUASTRE - FONQUEVILLERS road across valley until under cover of village of FONQUEVILLERS - into village by road S of CHURCH.
Guides will be placed out, and these will be picked up by Officer in rear of C. Company

4.Separate orders have been issued to Transport.

September 10th 1915
Signed Charles Rettallack (typed)
1/5th R WAR R


By Lieut. Col.  G.C.Sladen
Commanding 1/5th Royal Warwickshire Regt.  Sept. 14th. 1915


By Lieut. Col.  G.C.Sladen
Commanding 1/5th Royal Warwickshire Regt.  Sept. 18th. 1915

Refernce Map.  AMIENS 1/80,000

1.	The 5th R WAR R. will relieve the 6th R WAR R in the Trenches to-day.

2.(a)	B and C Companies will relieve the centre and left Companies of the 6th R War R at 2.30pm

(b)	The centre and left Companies of the 6th R War R will then relieve A and D Companies in the defences of FONQUEVILLERS.

(c)	A and D. Companies will then relieve the right and reserve Companies 6th R War R in the Trenches.

3.	The Companies from CHATEAU LA HAIE will go via the communication Trench to FONQUEVILLERS.

4.	Separate orders have been issued to Transport Officer and Machine Gun Officer.

Issued at 9.30am
Sept 1st 1915
Charles Retallack
Capt and Adjt.  1/5th R WAR R

Operation orders numbers 10-12 not transcribed.
October 1915

FONQUEILLERS	3	Lt Col G.C.SLADEN wounded whilst in M. Sector rejoining (ind?) command
	8	5th Battn relieved 6th R.War.R as in OO No 13
TRENCHES	11	H 4s and AandB Coy of 15 Battn  R.L.Inf. attached for instruction until 17th
	16	5th Battn. relieved by 6 R.War.R and took over billets of 8th R.War.R at BAYENCOURT as in OO No 4.
BAYENCOURT	18	Battn Route march
	19	Working parties on Bayencourt defences for R.E.
	24	5th R.War.R relieved 6th R.War.R in trenches as in OO NO 15
TRENCHES	27	14th Batten R.Irish Rifles in for instruction until Nov 2
	29	25 OR. arrived as reinforcement draft from base

Strength of Battn on October 31 1915
	24 Officers	805 other ranks
	C R (capt)

Operation order by Lieut Col G.C.SLADEN (C.O.)
1/5 Battn The Royal Warwickshire Regt  (Oct 7th 1915)
MAP	AMIENS	1/80,000

1	The 5th R War R will relived the 6th R War R tomorrow 8 Oct 1915 and will take over the billets and disposition.
2.	The Battn in the line is now disposed as follows -
	Two companies in the front line
	One company in support of the Pilon
	One company in reserve billets near the Entrance to the village on the FONCQUEVILLERS-SOUASTRE Road.
3.	D. Coy will take over the Right Company in the line.
	C. Coy will take over the Left Company in the line.
	B. Coy will be in support.
	A. Coy will be in reserve.
4.	BandC Coys 5th R War R will relieve the Support and Left Coys at the 6th R War R at 2.30pm
	These 2 companies of the 6th R.War.R will then relieve AandD Coys 5th RWarR in FONCQUEVILLERS.
	AandD Coys 5th RWarR willthen relieve the Reserve in Right Coys of the 6th RWarR.
5.	D Coy will take over complete the cooker and limber of A Coy.
	A Coy will take over complete the cooker and limber of D Coy - manhandle it back to the village.
	Receipts must pass between the officers concerned stating that the cooker are handled over and taken clean and complete.
6.	When taking over and handling over any trench or billet from another Battn. receipts must pass for all Stores, S.A.A., Grenades etc and also certificate that the trenches or billets are left clean.
7.	Separate orders have been issued to Machine Gun and Transport officers.
	Issued as 9pm October 7th 1915t

Signed C.R. Capt and Adj

8 Copies sent to  1. Office,  2and3  War Diary,  5 A, 6 B, 7 C, 8 D.


23rd October 1915
Map   1/80,000

1.	Trench map
	The 5th R War R will relieve the 6th R War R in the trenches tomorrow Oct 24th
2.	Coys will march by Platoons using the DUMMY GUN ROUTE
3.	A Coy will parade in time to relieve at 2.30pm followed by C,D and B
4.	Companies will be disposed as follows
	A on the Right
	C on the left
	D in support
	B on Reserve in FONQUEVILLERS
5.	The Quarter Master will obtain a certificate from an Officer of the 6th R War R that each cooker and limber is handed over clean and complete.
6.	O/C Coys will before taking over inspect the cookers and limbers and give a certificate to the effect that they are clean and complete and this to include the ground them
7.	When taking over, or handing over any Trench, or Billet from another Battn.  Receipts must pass for all Stores, S.A.A.  Grenades etc and also certificates that the Trenches and Billets are left clean.

Separate orders have been issued to the Transport and M/G Officers
Signed Charles Retallack

Transport Officers will collect officers' baggage for the Trenches at 10pm and another wagon will collect officers' Valises for the Transport lines.  These cases must be sent to Officers' Billets
November 1915

TRENCHES	1	5th Batt Relieved by 6th Battn and took over dispositions of R War R as in OO 16.
FONQUEVILLERS	2	Lt Col G C Sladen 1/5 R WAR R assumed tempy. command of 143 ??Bde
		during absence of Brigadeer General C H L James on leave
	9	5th Battn relieved 6 R WAR R in the trenches (L sector) as in OO No 17
		The trenches now occupied by 143rd Bde are opposite GOMMESCOURT 
		- and L sector front line is from E27d76 - K 3d38 Ref Map France 57D 1/40000
		On the right is 144 ??Bde and on the left is 37th Division
TRENCHES	14	One OR wounded
	15	A Coy of 12 Bn. R.?? Rifles attached for instruction
	17	5th R War relieved by 6 R War R and marched to BAYENCOURT as OO No 18
BAYENCOURT	18	Draft of 26 ment arrived
	22	2/Lieut E P G Carter taken on strength of Battn
	25	R War R Relieved 6 R War R in trenches as in OO No 19
TRENCHES	27	Capt A S ALABASTER and one OR taken on strength of Battn
	28	One OR wounded
		?? and 2 Coys of 2st Manchester Regt in for instruction
	30	L' J W W Hudson Killed

The weather has been very bad indeed during the greater part of the month, and the trenches have suffered from constant rain.
Strength as Nov 28th   26 Officers   798 ORs

Charles Retallack

December 1915

Attached - Battns OOs  Nos 20, 21, 22 and 23

	3	5th Battn relieved by 6th Battn and took over dispositions of 8th Warwicks at FONQUEVILLERS.
	11	One company of the 17th Battn Manchester Reg attached for instruction
	12	a draft of 32 O.Rs arrived
	18	H.Q. and one company of the 19th Battn LIVERPOOL regt attached for instruction.
	19	5th Battn relieved by 6th R War R and took over billets of 8th R War R at Bayencourt
BAYENCOURT	23	2/Lt J H WILSON taken on strength of Battn
	27	5th Battn relieved the 6th R Warw R in the trenches - as in O.O. No 23

The weather during Dec. has been very bad - the trenches have been discarded and held by six posts.
Communication trenches are all blocked except 4 -

Strength on Dec 31st 
	28 Officers   and   823 other ranks
	Charles Ratallack


Dec 2nd 1915

Major CARTER will be in command of Detachment LA HAIE
Route for LA HAIE Detachment .is Via VALLEY ROAD to CROSS ROADS a 9b and SUNKEN ROAD to S.E.. corner of La Haie
The Blankets of La Haie Detachment will be rolled by Sections and be at ARTILLERY CROSS ROADS at 10am where a wagon will be ready to take them to CHATEAU.
The Cooker of the 6th R Warw R will be brought by that Battn to FONQUEVILLERS and LA HAIE for use of the 5th R Warw R.
Separate orders have been issued to Machine Gun and Transport Officers.
Charles Ratallack

The Transport Officer will arrange to take officers' valises of AandB to FONQUEVILLERS   and CandD to LA HAIE.  A wagon will be at ARTILLERY CROSS ROADS at 10am to take CandD companies officers' kit, messes etc. from Trenches to LA HAIE.
Officers' servants will carry kits then to the wagon and after loading up proceed to Communication Trench to LA HAIE meeting the wagon there.

2 G.S. Wagons will call at LA HAIE at 9am as soon as possible at FONQUEVILLERS to collect surplus blankets to BAYENCOURT.  1 Limber Wagon will be at La Haie at 9am to carry officers' kits to Bayencourt and one for officers mess at FONQUEVILLERS.

Gum Boots
Only the platoon that are in the firing line will draw Gum Boots direct from 6th R War R.  O.C. Companies will send a receipt to HQ showing the number taken over by them for their platoons.
All other Gum Boots now in possession of 6th R Warw R will be collected at Battn HQ under supervision of Sergeant Major J.S. CROSSKNIGHT.

All ranks to be warned that they are not to take short cuts across the country.
Dec 18th 1915