War diary transcript Dec 1917- cable burying & White Xmas

War diary transcript Dec 1917- cable burying & White Xmas

Postby plbramham » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:03 am

8th battalion THE BORDER REGIMENT war diaries

Hi, I’ve set myself a colossal task of transcribing the whole 8th Border Regt war diaries from when they went overseas in 1915 until they were disbanded in 1918. It will be a very long job as it consists of almost 200 A4 pages of copperplate scrawl written in faded pencil on tissue-type paper, with archaic English and obscure military abbreviations! I’ll get through it, but I’m estimating an average of about 45 minutes per page then checking on place name spellings etc, before typing it up. I received the diary pages as “raw” documents” from Mike Deacon and I have photoshopped them all individually to enhance the writing as best I can. Some are clear, but others are very pale grey pencil written on grey paper so I’ve had to introduce weird colours to tweak the contrast and show up the writing! Bear with me as I’ll post the transcription in stages – Watch this space!

Grammar, spelling mistakes (e.g. Ploegstreet/Ploegsteert), missed punctuation etc. left as on original documents
(words in round brackets) are as such on original
Illegible or guessed words in [square brackets?] with? question marks.
Transcription notes in [square brackets and italics]

December 1917

December events: Burying cable in freezing conditions, White Christmas

1st- Cleaning up billets - & Coy inspections- Cold & showery.
2nd - No church parade owing to chaplain having left Bn through sickness.
3rd- Bn preparing to move to 3rd Army area – D coy proceeded as loading coy at ANVIN.
4th- A Coy left ast 1.45am – Transport 5.am – remainder 7.45am left ERNY ST JULIEN & marched to ANVIN – entraining for ACHIET LE GRAND ( 3 Army Area) – arrived 11.30 pm & marched for GOMIECOURT- Freezing
5th- Cold night in tents at GOMIECOURT. Marched in Bde to huts at ROCQUINGY via BAPAUME – Cold but fine.
6th- Cleaning up & Coy inspections – showery.
7th- Coy training & Lewis Gun classes wet.
8th- Cold & showery – Lt Col Sir H. Lennard Bt. (ADC 6th Corps) – late 2nd in Comd visited Bn Concert at night & coy training – musketry & Bombing.
9th- Bn marched as Brigade to BEUGNATRE in huts – Bde in Divl reserve – wet
10th- Coy training & Lewis Gun classes.
11th-15th- Bn found working parties for burying cable. Weather cold, hard frost at night.
16th- Bn attended divine service. Weather cold & frosty but fine
17th- Bn engaged on working parties burying cable. Slight fall of snow. Weather cold.
18th- Bn engaged on working parties burying cable. Weather extremely cold, freezing hard.
19th- Bn engaged on working parties burying cable . Weather cold & frosty.
20th- Cleaning up billets. Company inspections. Company Commanders reconnoitred trenches.
21st- BN relieved 4th South Staff Regt in the line NE of LAGNICOURT, No casualties.
22nd- Very quiet. Good work done during day improving & deepening trenches in places. Wiring at night.
23rd- Quiet day. LAGNICOURT shelled fairly heavily by hostile artillery. Wire in front strengthened. Freezing.
24th- 50 men ( A Coy) digging new support trench from HARROGATE AVENUE to YORK SUPPORT 5pm -9pm. Freezing.
25th- Xmas Day – Enemy shelled Harrogate Av. Nr. Bn HQ wounded 2 Cheshire men. Snow during day. 2 officers 3rd Worcesters on right on wiring duty – lost during snowfall not returned – Brigadier visited Bn trenches to wish compliments of season.
26th- Quiet day- fine
27th- Bn moved to VAULX-VRAUCOURT
28th- Cleaning up. Coy inspections & baths - fine – freezing.
29th- 2 coys wiring MORCHIES-VAUX line. 2 coys digging, deepening & improving LAGNICOURT SWITCH – Fine & cold.
30th- Usual working parties.
31st- Usual working parties. Fine & cold.

CWH Birt Lt Col Comdg 8th Border Regt
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