November 1916 War Diary - 10th RDF

1 Nov Englebelmer 11am Battalion inspected by Brig Gen W C G Heniker DSO, ADC

1 Nov Englebelmer 5pm Fatigue party of 4 officers and 200 men supplied for cleaning reserve trenches

2 Nov Englebelmer 5pm Fatigue party of 4 officers and 200 ORs supplied for cleaning reserve line. Other fatigues supplied.

3 Nov Englebelmer 9am battalion marches out of billets and relieves 4 Beds in Hamel section, left sub-section. Relief completed 12.30pm.

3 Nov Hamel Situation fairly quiet. Enemy artillery active but ineffective during relief.

3 Nov Hamel 7.30pm A large explosion was observed on our extreme right in the direction of Thiepval Wood

3 Nov Hamel 8.45pm a few whizbangs came down. Listening posts were out all night, nothing to report.

4 Nov Hamel Enemy artillery very active from 1pm to midnight. A considerable number of 5.9 and 77' fell in vicinity of Knightsbridge Dump causing considerable damage to trenches.

4 Nov Hamel 7.45pm TMs opened on our front line causing damage at junction of Roberts Trench and Long Sap

4 Nov Hamel 10.30pm Some gas shells fell on Knightsbridge. enemy snipers very active all day at Louvercy St.

4 Nov Hamel 5pm Golden rain was observed on our left, immediately followed by increased activity of enemy artillery.

4 Nov Hamel 7.30pm One of our Lewis Guns dispersed a wiring party of the enemy. Listening posts were out all night, nothing to report. Some wiring was done during the night. The work was hindered by hostile machine gun fire

4 Nov Hamel casualties 3 OR killed, 3 OR wounded, 1 OR self inflicted wound. News was received that Capt L S N Palmer was evacuated to England and struck off the strength of the battalion, dated 23/10

5 Nov Hamel Fatigues supplied

5 Nov Hamel 8.30-8.55am intense bombardment by our artillery, enemy reply was ineffective. The battalion was reinforced today by 2/Lt Allgood, 2/Lt McMahon and 2/Lt Farrell

5 Nov Hamel 2.30pm There was some hostile shelling of our front and support lines, a large number of duds being noticed. One Whizbang was picked up complete minus the fuse and contained clay only.

5 Nov Hamel 4.40pm Some gas shells dropped at rear of Knightsbridge. A high wind rendered them harmless. During the night fixed rifles and machine guns of the enemy were very active on Louvercy St which is very enfilade fire. Wiring was carried out in front of our lines during the night. One Lewis Gun was pushed forward to cover the wiring party. Enemy did not molest the wiring operations

5 Nov Hamel casualties 6 OR (3 shell shock). News was received that 2/Lt A W Henchy was struck off the strength of the battalion on transfer to England, dated 18/10

6 Nov Hamel Situation quiet. Weather rainy and windy. Capt H Lecky appointed second in command vice Major Scott-Murray to Aj CCs 3 Nov. Snipers were again active in Louvercy St during the day

6 Nov Hamel 12 noon - 3pm. A number of rifle grenades were fired at our left front line. Enemy artillery was again quiet. Enemy searchlights were active on our front line during the night, especially on Wellington Trench.

6 Nov Hamel 9 to 10am & 4 to 5pm Hostile aeroplanes were observed, but were driven off before crossing our lines.

6 Nov Hamel 11.45am enemy observation balloon seen in the direction of Miraumont

6 Nov Hamel 2.45 Four more enemy balloons ascended, all descended by dusk.

6 Nov Hamel 11pm A loud explosion and huge conflagration were observed at a point due south of Knightsbridge apparently caused by a large number of enemy aeroplanes. The conflagration lasted throughout the night.

7 Nov Hamel 12 noon Battalion is relieved by 1 RMLI

7 Nov Hamel 1pm relief completed. Battalion marches to Varrenes and goes into huts arriving 6pm. Weather wet and windy.

8Nov Varrenes Battalion rests in billets. Fatigues supplied.

9 Nov Varrenes 10am battalion marches out of billets and proceeds to Harponville and Toutencourt to Puchevillers arriving at 3pm and going into huts. Casualty 1 OR with self inflicted wound. Fatigues supplied.

10 Nov Puchevillers 11am Battalion inspected by Major Gen C D Shute CB 63 division, who informed 190 Brigade that that the big "Push" was almost certain to take place very shortly

11 Nov Puchevillers 1pm The battalion marched out of Puchevillers and proceeded via Toutencourt, Harponville and Varrenes to Hedauville arriving at 5.30pm and going into billets. X Day, heavy bombardment by our artillery audible all day

12 Nov Hedauville Y Day. Battalion marched out of Hedauville at 5pm and proceeded through Englebelmer to their assembly places which were in the open behind Roberts Trench, where they spent the night. Heavy bombardment by our artillery continued all day. Casualty 1 OR with self inflicted wound.

13 Nov Hamel 5.45am Zero hour. Z Day, see appendices. The following did not go into action, but were available as reinforcements remaining at Hedauville

Officers:- Capt H Lecky, Capt J L Esmonde, 2/Lt W M Calwell, 2/Lt A S Wilson, 2/Lt F W Powell, 2/Lt M H K Kane, 2/Lt G S Farrell plus 63 ORs.

Total strength of the battalion in attack 24 Officers and 469 ORs

The attack is covered in the Appendix fro 13, 14 and 15 November

16 Nov Englebelmer - Martinsart Rd 8am The battalion cleared the trenches and went into shelters on the Englebelmer to Martinsart Road, arriving at 2.30pm. The following appreciative messages have been received

1. 16th inst from HM The King to General Sir Douglas Haig "I heartily congratulate you on the great success achieved by my gallant troops during the last three days in the advance on both sides of the Ancre. This further capture of the enemy first line trenches under special difficulties owing to the recent wet weather rebounds to the credit of all ranks"

2. 15th inst from C in C to Gen Sir Hubert Gough commanding 5th Army "The commander-in-chief warmly congratulates you and your troops on the great results of your operations of the last two days. Under such difficulties of ground the achievement is all the greater. The accuracy and the rapidity of the artillery fire and the full advantage of it taken by the infantry were admirable"

3. Brig Gen W C G Heniker DSO, ADC commanding 190th Infantry Brigade congratulates the battalion on its fine performance during the recent operations.

17 Nov Englebelmer - Martinsart Rd All ranks paraded at 7.45am and proceeded to clear the battlefield in front of Gordon Trench returning to their shelters at 5.30pm. 2/Lt V M M McMahon authorised to wear the badge of rank of Lt pending approval.

Casualties Lt V M McMahon, wounded remained on duty. Lt P J McCusker killed in action, previously reported missing on 13 Nov.

18 Nov Englebelmer 9.30am Battalion marched out of their billets and proceeded to Englebelmer. After considerable delay at that place they were conveyed by motor buses to Authieule arriving at 10.15pm and going into billets.

19 Nov Authieule The battalion marched out of billets and proceeded to Outrebois arriving at 11.30am and going into billets. The following casualties have been reported since 12 Nov

  Killed in action Wounded Wounded remained on duty
Officers Lt P J McCusker Capt W P Connolly Lt V M McMahon
  2/Lt StJ J Guisani Lt & Adj Lt C Bailey 2/Lt R Boyd (shell shock)
  2/Lt H B Mansfield Lt A H Muirfield  
  2/Lt H H Cross 2/Lt C P Close (died)  
  2/Lt F O'Niell 2/Lt J F Cox  
  2/Lt T W Russell 2/Lt C M Molony  
    2/Lt L A Herriott  
ORs 35 135 plus missing 57  

20 Nov Outrebois noon, those officers and ORs who took part in the "push" were inspected by Major General C D Shute CB 63rd Division.

20 Nov Outrebois A draft of 146 ORs arrived today.

20 Nov Outrebois The following appreciative message has been received from 5th Corps commander " Corps commander congratulates commanders and troops including the Heavy and Field Artillery on their magnificent and successful effort under trying conditions. The Corps Commander has unofficially expressed his satisfaction 'Stick It' "

21 Nov Outrebois 8.15am the battalion marched out of billets and proceeded via Le Meillard to Beaumetz arriving 12.15pm and going into billets.

The following casualties have been reported 1 OR killed, 1 OR missing

22 Nov Beaumetz 1.15pm The battalion marched out of billets and proceeded via Agenville to Conteville arriving at 2.45pm and going into billets. News received that Major F J Scott-Murray was struck off the strength of the battalion and evacuated sick back to England on 8 Nov

The following officers reported for duty and were taken on the strength of the battalion today. 2/Lt P Carroll and 2/Lt G Barry

The following casualties have been reported, died of wounds 2 OR.

23 Nov Conteville 11.10am The battalion marched out of billets and proceeded to Neuilly L'Hopital arriving at 3pm and going into billets

24 Nov Neuilly L'Hopital 2pm The battalion marched out of billets and proceeded to Neuilly L'Hopital arriving at 2.15pm and going into Billets. The following causalities were reported, 1 OR.

25 Nov Lamotte Buleux 1pm, the battalion marched out of billets and proceeded to Nouvion-en-Ponthieu arriving 2.15 and going into camp. Capt V D O'Mally arrived today from a course at 4th Army School. 2/Lt A S Wilson and 1 OR left today for a course at 5 Army School. The following casualty report have been received 1 OR (previously reported missing). The following appreciative messages have been received

1. From Sir W Dunn, Lord Mayor of London "Will you kindly convey to Sir Douglas Haig the hearty congratulations of the citizens of London of the brilliant success of the British troops on the Ancre which has caused immense satisfaction and pride throughout the country"

2. From General Sir Douglas Haig to Sir W Dunn, Lord Mayor of London " All ranks under my command join me in sincere thanks to you and the citizens of London for kind appreciation of the recent successes on the Ancre. The troops did excellent work there under the most difficult conditions and they greatly value your kind message."

3. From Sir John Jellicoe to General Sir Douglas Haig " Officers and men of the Grand Fleet beg to offer warmest congratulations to their gallant comrades on their recent success They watch with immense pride and interest the constant pressure on the enemy and the striking results obtained in the face of many difficulties accentuated so largely by the weather conditions"

4. From Sir Douglas Haig to Admiral Sir John Jellicoe "The British Armies in France thank the officers and men of the Grand Fleet for their kindly message of congratulations and good fellowship. All ranks realise that debt that is owed to the Empire by the courage and endurance of their comrades in the Royal Navy. And are proud to have earned this commendation"

26 Nov Nouvion-en-Ponthieu 10.30am The battalion marched out of camp and proceeded to Noyelles-sur-Mer arriving at noon and going into their final rest billets.

26 Nov Nouvion-en-Ponthieu A draft of 76 ORs arrived today

27 Nov Noyelles sur Mer The battalion took part in brigade route march returning at 1.15pm

The following casualties were reported 1 OR died, 1 OR wounded (previously reported missing)

27 Nov Noyelles sur Mer The following appreciative message has been received to GOC 63rd RN Division "Although the Admiralty is no longer responsible for the employment of the RN Division, I follow their fortune with deep interest and have heard with admiration the record of their gallantry in the recent success on the Ancre" Arthur James Balfour

28 Nov Noyelles sur Mer Day spent in settling down and cleaning up. The following casualty report received - died of wounds 1 OR

29 Nov Noyelles sur Mer Training of battalion commences. The following casualty amendments received:- wounded previously reported killed 1 OR, wounded previously reported missing 2 OR

30 Nov Noyelles sur Mer 9am Battalion route march, returning 12.30pm. Lt Col E StG Smith commanding 10th Royal Dublin Fusiliers returned to England on leave

CO's detailed report on the Ancre Attack by RDF

Transcript of Dec 1916 for Royal Dublin Fusiliers

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