9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers

 

At the end of August 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and absorbed into the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, which henceforth was known as the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

This section covers the period from 1 September 1917 to 28 February 1918.

The diary is sourced from National Archives document WO 95/2505.

 

September 1917

1

Havrincourt Wood. K.31.c.0.0 Sheet 57C. Working parties supplied to 12th Rifles for front line areas.

2

Working parties as above and for tunnelling, camouflaging etc.

3

Ruyaulcourt. P.10.c.8.4. Headquarters and D.C. [Divisional Command?] moved to Ruyaulcourt at 8pm and accommodated in tents and Nissen huts. Captain J.E Gibson Officer Commanding details at Havrincourt Wood. Working parties as usual.

4

Ruyaulcourt. Working parties as usual.

5

Havrincourt Wood. Battalion took over line from 12 Rifles and disposed as follows. A Company – Battalion Reserve at K.31.c (Broken House Dump), 2 Platoon to reserve trench at Q.2.a.4.8; B Company – Headquarters at K.32.c.8.4, two Platoons front line trench from Hubert Avenue K.32.c.8.5 to K.32.a.6.8. One Platoon at Yorkshire Bank; C Company – Headquarters K.32.a.2.4, front trench on Yorkshire Bank, also the four forward posts; D Company at K.26.a.6.3. Locality R.3. Relief completed before midnight. No casualties.

6

Havrincourt Wood. Day very quiet. Situation normal and no casualties. We constructed wire entanglements in front of our advanced outpost line and improved our communication trenches on Yorkshire Bank.

7

Havrincourt Wood. Enemy fired a few small minnen werfers (pineapples) around Yorkshire Bank. Our trench mortars retaliating with good effect. Our own and enemy machine guns quiet. Work – our wire entanglements and trenches improved at Yorkshire Bank. Patrols – nothing to report. No casualties.

8

Havrincourt Wood. Very quiet day. There was little trench mortar or machine gun fire during the day. A German called across to our men "Jock, have you been here before"? He got no reply however. 2nd Lieutenant Partridge and four men went out on a patrol. They did not come in contact with enemy. Wire entanglements and deepening of communication trench on Yorkshire Bank continued.

9

Havrincourt Wood. A quiet day in the trenches. Some enemy trench mortars fired around Yorkshire Bank, and a plane of his flew very low over the Bank. We carried out work on the Bank, wiring and improving trenches and deepening new trenches at R.3. No casualties.

10

Havrincourt Wood. Enemy fired a few light minen werfers about R.3 and the cage. Also a few pineapples at junction of front line and Henley Avenue. We fired with Vesuvius and Wigan Copse and also dispersed enemy working party or patrol at Etna. Work on trenches and wiring carried out. No casualties.

11

Havrincourt Wood. At 3.30am an enemy patrol (7) approached our line south of Yorkshire Bank and were driven off, but without casualties. R.3 shelled late in the evening. Lieutenant J.A.L Johnston (D Company) was severely wounded in jaw, leg and foot, and had to go to hospital. The day generally was somewhat more lively than usual.

12

Havrincourt Wood. A patrol under 2nd Lieutenant Partridge which went out at 10pm on 11th inst for purpose of ambushing an enemy patrol lay out at K.32.b.5.4 until 4am without having seen the enemy. This patrol worked in conjunction with one of 13th Royal Irish Rifles. A number of 5.9 high explosives were fired by the enemy around R.3 (D Company) resulting in blocking of communication trench. One Other Rank (B Company) was badly wounded in the left eye.

13

Ruyaulcourt P.15.b.9.8. Battalion moved in to Divisional Reserve at about 8pm on being relieved in the front line by 12th Royal Irish Rifles. Earlier in the day about 3pm the enemy shelled Yorkshire Bank. We had no casualties.

14

Ruyaulcourt. Morning spent cleaning up. Working parties in afternoon.

15

Ruyaulcourt. Parades under Company arrangements. The Brigadier visited the Transport for whom lines are in course of construction. Hutting in progress under 2nd Lieutenant Bennet (Works Officer). Works party of ten Other Ranks working after dusk at new Company Headquarters in line at R.3.

16

Ruyaulcourt. Church Parades. Reverend. F.J Halahan, Senior Chaplain to the Forces, preached and conducted service for Church of England, combined Bands of 1st and 9th Battalions attended. Football match in afternoon versus 13th Royal Irish Rifles, whom we beat by 6 – 0. Working party of twenty Other Ranks at R.3 after dusk.

17

Ruyaulcourt. Battalion paraded at 10.30am for inspection by the Corps Commander who expressed his satisfaction in generous terms of the appearance of the Battalion and the Transport. Working parties carried on in afternoon and evening.

18

Ruyaulcourt. Parades and working parties as usual.

19

Ruyaulcourt. Parades, bathing and working parties as usual. The Battalion football team beat the 108th Brigade team by two goals to one after a good tussle.

20

Ruyaulcourt. Parades as usual and working parties. Cross-country run in the afternoon, all available Officers and men taking part.

21

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0. Battalion relieved 12th Royal Irish Rifles in the line, relief completed at 9.45pm. Dispositions: A Company – Headquarters at K.32.c.8.4, two Platoons in front line trench from Hubert Avenue K.32.c.8.5 to K.32.a.6.8, one Platoon on Yorkshire Bank; B Company in Battalion Reserve at K.31.c (Broken House Dump); C Company – Headquarters K.32.a.2.4 Garrison – Yorkshire Bank; D Company at K.26.a.6.3 locality R.3. No casualties. Night quiet.

22

Havrincourt Wood. A quiet day in trenches and no casualties. 2nd Lieutenant T.E Crosbie and seven Other Ranks patrolled right front of Slagheap from 10pm to 12 midnight.

23

Havrincourt Wood. Another very quiet day. 2nd Lieutenant G.H Richardson and seven Other Ranks patrolled vicinity of Wigan Copse, and brought back useful information re German wire. Enemy not encountered and no casualties.

24

Havrincourt Wood. Day very fine and quiet in trenches. German plane brought down by one of ours apparently in our lines near Hermies. 2nd Lieutenant Gilliard and seven Other Ranks patrolled between 10pm and 12.10am 24/25th near Dean Copse. No casualties.

25

Havrincourt Wood. Our guns very active all early morning. No enemy retaliation until about 10am when Slag Heap was heavily shelled, one direct hit on front line causing four casualties to our men. Three Other Ranks were killed and one mortally wounded and died same afternoon.
Three-hundred and four Other Ranks from North Irish Horse joined Battalion today, our Band playing them in to Ruyaulcourt where they were toasted right royally.

26

Havrincourt Wood. Uneventful day. Ten Other Ranks proceeded to Divisional Signalling School for course. Football match in afternoon at Transport lines. We defeated a team picked from the North Irish Horse draft by 2–1.

27

Havrincourt Wood. Some desultory shelling indulged in during the day by enemy and our artillery. Situation quiet. Weather continues fine.

28

Havrincourt Wood. Our aeroplanes active. Enemy shelling along Canal bank and clear of Faugh-A-Ballagh Bridge. More active than usual. He did us [no] damage whatever. Draft of 42 Other Ranks rejoined at Transport lines.

29

Ruyaulcourt P.15.b.9.8. Battalion moved in to Brigade Reserve, relief by 12th Royal Irish Rifles being completed at about 10pm. Very quiet day. One Other Rank was slightly wounded during the day. Total casualties for tour – three killed, one died of wounds, one wounded.

30

Ruyaulcourt. Church of England and Presbyterians paraded for Divine Service at 12 noon. The Corps Commander attended the former service.
The following Officers reported for duty: Major V.G Whitla, Captain F.G Uprichard, Captain John Grant, 2nd Lieutenant R.A Orr, 2nd Lieutenant John Scott, 2nd Lieutenant R.L Smith. Football match in afternoon. Battalion team versus North Irish Horse draft. Battalion team won by 2 – 1.
Strength:    Officers                  Other Ranks
Effective      51                          970
Fighting       44                          881
Ration         34                          731

Appendix No.I attached.

[Signed] P Kelly
Lieutenant Colonel

9th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
Roll of Officers

Command
Lieutenant Colonel P.E Kelly

Major
Whitla V.G

Captains
Menaul W.J                          Command
Gibson J.E
Ferguson A (Adjutant)
Henehan M
Flood R.S
Uprichard F.G
Grant J

Lieutenants
Godson E.A                          Command
Mitchel F.D
Barcroft G.E

2nd Lieutenants
Richardson G.H
Johnston [sic] G.I.O'F
Crothers A.V                        Command
Woods J
Hamilton E                            Command
Cooke J.A
Partridge F.C
McCausland I.E
Bennet J.C
Turner E.J.L
Young J.B.A
Partridge J.H
Davidson A                           Command
Smith J.I                               Command
Crosbie T.E.C
Maxwell A.F
Gilmer E.H                             Command
Kerr C.H
Galloway A.J                         Command
Irvine W.F                            Command
Connar H.P                           Command
Connor J.H                           Command
Montgomery E.M                   Command
Gilliard T.A
Brady H.J                              Command
Martin L.H
Dobbyn A.L
Graham W.G
Prenter D
Murphy J.J
Orr R.A
Scott J
Smith R.L

Quartermaster
Hony Lieutenant Wilson G.W

Attached
Lieutenant Richman S.H,  Royal Army Medical Corps,  U.S.A.
Captain Mayes S,  Chaplain to the Forces

[Signed] P Kelly
Lieutenant Colonel
Commanding 9th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
30 September 1917

 

October 1917

1

Ruyaulcourt P.15.b.9.8. Parades, working parties and sports carried on. Brigadier-General R.J Kentish D.S.O visited the Battalion.

2

Ruyaulcourt. Brigadier-General R.J Kentish D.S.O again visited the Battalion and lunched at Headquarters Mess.
Training etc carried on as usual. The under-named Officers from North Irish Horse joined Battalion for duty today: 2nd Lieutenants W.H Hutchinson, F.J Whalen, H.S Dean, C.B Larter.

3

Ruyaulcourt. Training per programme, and preparation for sports. Battalion football team drew with 108th F.A (1 goal all) after a keen tussle. Major G.J Brew rejoined from Senior Officers' Course, Aldershot, and assumed Second-in-Command of Battalion.

4

Ruyaulcourt. Parades, working parties and recreational training as usual.

5

Ruyaulcourt P.15.b.9.8. Holiday for the Battalion, and sports carried on from 10am all day. There were various inter-Regimental, Brigade and Divisional contests. Our 1st Battalion (107th Brigade) attended in large numbers and in our competitions with them we secured fifteen 'firsts' and seven 'seconds' to their seven 'firsts' and five 'seconds'.

6

Ruyaulcourt. Very wet day until late in afternoon and all parades had to be cancelled. Captain Hulse reported for duty.

7

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0. Church Parades in morning. Battalion relieved 12th Royal Irish Rifles at night and are disposed as follows:
A Company on right (two Platoons in front line, one Platoon in reserve line);
B Company in reserve (at Broken House Dump);
C Company Yorkshire Bank (one Platoon in reserve at Cheetham Switch north of Henley Avenue);
D Company R.3 (One Platoon in Mine Dugout at J.36.b.10.2).
Very wet afternoon and evening, and working parties in line were cancelled.

8

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0. Corps have ordered all Battalions to be continually on the offensive while holding the line. Consequently the Battalion will organize patrols nightly (weather permitting) and raids will be carried out at fixed periods. Owing to very bad weather no patrols went out on night of 7/8. Very quiet in the line, afternoon and night very wet and men got special issue of rum.

9

Havrincourt Wood. Generally quiet day on our front and weather broken and cold. Three Other Ranks were slightly wounded by shell-fire.
Headquarters Officers gallantly led by the C.O & C.O.2 started on the sand-bagging of Headquarters mess. The Padre and Doctor claimed they did the lion's share of the work, but evidently they never worked before!
Thirty-three Other Ranks joined from reinforcement camp.

10

Havrincourt Wood. Another very quiet day. Nothing of note occurred.

11

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0. Quiet day. Major Ferguson left Headquarters to go to Rouen to check Battalion Records at 3rd Echelon. B Company relieved D Company at R.3, and A Company relieved C Company on Yorkshire Bank.

12

Havrincourt Wood. Quiet day. The Divisional Commander and Brigadier visited Headquarters. Captain A Hulse detailed as member of Court Martial today at Neuville.
Draft ninety Other Ranks joined from Divisional Reinforcement Camp, eighteen being old hands, and 72 North Irish Horse. The Commanding Officer busy over details re North Irish Horse amalgamation with this Battalion.
2nd Lieutenant J.A Cooke acting Adjutant pending arrival of Captain G.W.N Barefoot MC of the 1st Battalion.

13

Havrincourt Wood. Quiet day in front line. The news of mutiny in the German Navy was received with much interest in the Battalion.

14

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0. Fine day and quiet in the line. Nothing of note happened. The Commanding Officer proceeded on leave, and Major Brew assumed Command.

15

Ruyaulcourt P.10.c.8.4. Battalion relieved in the line by 12th Royal Irish Rifles, after a tour in which our casualties were particularly low, viz: three slightly wounded. We are now in our new Battalion Headquarters – Nissen huts, and have quite a good Mess room. A recreation room for Officers is under construction. We are in Divisional Reserve during this tour out.

16

Ruyaulcourt. Morning spent cleaning up, kit inspection etc. Usual working parties here and in the line.
Captain G.W.N Barefoot reported for duty (from 1st Battalion).

17

Ruyaulcourt. Captain Barefoot assumed the duties of Adjutant.
The enemy shelled this village this morning from 8am to 9.30am. He sent over about twenty shells (4.2) and slightly wounded one man of the Battalion and one Other Rank of Labour Battalion. Captain Despard C.B and Lieutenant Vesey G.W having reported for duty were taken on the strength.

18

Ruyaulcourt. Improvements being carried out in our reserve billets. Pathway to Battalion Headquarters levelled, and Officers' Ante-room nearing completion. The following 2nd Lieutenants are granted permission to wear badges of Lieutenant pending Gazette: E.J.L Turner, J Woods, J.A Cooke, E Hamilton, and I.E McCausland.
The 8/9 Rifles beat our Soccer team at Equancourt by one goal to nil after an excellent game.

19

Ruyaulcourt. Parades and working parties as usual and good progress is being made improvements in the billets and village generally. The weather continues good. Captain R.S Flood granted one month's special leave and proceeded today.

20

Ruyaulcourt P.10.c.8.4. Very fine day. Divisional Steeplechase held in the area. Eighty Other Ranks and many of the Officers attended and the sport was very good. The following Officers joined the Battalion today: 2nd Lieutenants G.T.L Bayliff, S.F Moran, H.D Jack.

21

Church Parades in morning and Rugby football in the afternoon (first practice). A very fine day.
The following decorations have been awarded for gallantry in the field at Ypres on 16th August 1917:
Military Cross – Captain T.F Given, Captain R.S Flood, Captain O.V Burrows Royal Army Medical Corps, Regimental Sergeant Major C.H Turner;
Distinguished Conduct Medal – 17545 Sergeant S Carvell;
Military Medal – 13971 Sergeant J Adams, 14555 Sergeant J McCullough, 14720 Sergeant A Jurkington, 16117 Acting Corporal R.W Knaggs, 14748 Lance Corporal Whiteside S, 23926 Private Shanks C, 20353 Private Rogers J, 24174 Lance Corporal Jackson E, 22562 Private Steele G, 14154 Private Elliott J, 14566 Private McCormick R.J, 15864 Private Lynn W.J, 14447 Private Morton J.
These awards were announced on 4th October 1917.

22

Ruyaulcourt P.10.c.8.4. Usual parades and working parties. Our 'Soccer' team defeated 108th Brigade team today by 8-1.
Major Ferguson reported back from Rouen.

23

Ruyaulcourt. Very wet morning. Nothing of note occurred today.

24

Havrincourt Wood, K.31.c.0.0. Battalion relieved 12th Royal Irish Rifles in line. Relief completed 10.30pm. Dispositions: A Company Yorkshire Bank, one Platoon in reserve in Cheetham Switch, north of Henley Avenue; B Company on right, two Platoons in front line, one Platoon in reserve line; C Company in reserve; D Company in R3, with one Platoon in mined dugout at J.36.b.10.20. No casualties. Quiet night.

25

Havrincourt Wood. Quiet day in line. Night 25/26 our fighting patrols dislodged enemy from Wigan Copse and rifle pits to north of it at 2am.

26

Havrincourt Wood. Quiet during day. At night enemy again occupied Wigan Copse and was definitely driven out again at 9pm. Our fighting patrol suffered two casualties – one man killed and one slightly injured. At 10pm enemy obtained a direct hit on our right Lewis Gun post on Yorkshire Bank with a heavy trench mortar, killing three men.

27

Havrincourt Wood, K.31.c.0.0. Our machine guns active during day, and night 27/28. Enemy machine guns also active. Artillery on both sides active. Commanding Officer returned from leave. Enemy did not attempt to reoccupy Wigan Copse tonight.

28

Havrincourt Wood. A quiet day in the line. Our artillery active during day and night. Bosches seen in Dean Copse dispersed by our Lewis Gun fire. Weather good with bright moonlight nights.

29

Havrincourt Wood. Our artillery active during day, firing on usual targets. Enemy very quiet. At night ten enemy left Etna and entered Dean Copse (5.15pm). At 11pm patrol of about twenty enemy seen relieving sentries at Etna and Dean. They came by way of Wigan and along wire to Etna. Heavily fired on by our Lewis Guns and rifles, and it is believed they suffered casualties.

30

Havrincourt Wood. Enemy more active with his machine guns. Single shots fired from enemy fixed rifle or machine gun on duckboard track leading to central Company Headquarters from Henley Lane. Enemy machine gun firing at No.I Lewis Gun post in R3 5.15pm. A Bosche seen going from Dean to Etna, which looks as if he had been in Dean all day.

31

Havrincourt Wood, K.31.c.0.0. Our artillery and machine guns active. Enemy machine guns more active than usual, especially from 10.15pm to 12.30am. Machine guns seen firing from Etna, Boggart Hole and from approx K.26.d.05.90. Our trench mortars dispersed an enemy patrol seen coming out of Etna. Medium enemy trench mortar located at Vesuvius. Enemy working party opposite R3 sector scattered by our Lewis Gun fire. Wounded heard crying out 1am.
Strength:   Officers                  Other Ranks
Effective      74                         1 291
Fighting       62                         1 110
Ration         35                            713

Appendix No.I attached.

[Signed] P Kelly
Lieutenant Colonel
Commanding 9th Service Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers

Appendix No.I
9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
Roll of Officers

Command
Lieutenant Colonel P.E Kelly

Major, 2nd in Command
Major J.G Brew

Major

Captains
Hulse A
Menaul W.J                          Command
Grant J                                Command
Uprichard J.G                       Command
Despard C.B
Barefoot G.W.N                   Command
Gibson J.E
Ferguson A
Henehan M (M.C)
Flood R.S                            Leave
Godson E.A (M.C)                Command

Lieutenants
Vesey G.W
Mitchel F.D
Wilson G.W
Barcroft G.E                         Leave
Richardson G.H
Dobbyn A.L (M.C)
Johnstone G.I O'F
Hutchinson W.H
Dean H.S
Crothers A.V                         Command
Whalen F.J                            Command

2nd Lieutenants
Cooke J.A                             Leave
Hamilton E                            Command
Woods J                               Command
Hartness F.C
McCausland I.E                      Command
Bennett J.C
Young J.B.A
Connar H.P                           Command
Turner E.J.L
Maxwell A.F
Crosbie T.E.C
Davidson A                           Command
Smith J.I                                Command
Gilmer E.H                            Command
Kerr C.H
Orr R.A
Larter C.B
Partridge J.H                         Command
Irvine W.F                             Command
Galloway A.J
Connor J.H                           Command
Gillard T.A                            Command
Martin C.H
Graham W.G
Prenter D
Murphy J.J
Scott J
Smith R.L
Barrett E.J St C                    Command
Clarke N                               Command
Pollock J.J McE                      Command
Auber G                               Command
Perkins C.T.J                         Command
Henry A.W                            Command
Poole F                                 Command
Bailie J                                  Command
Leader T.M                            Command
Jack H.D                               Command
Moran S.F                             Command
Bayliff C.T.L
Garnham W                          Command

Quartermaster
Hony Lieutenant Wilson G.W

Attached
Captain Burrows O.V,   Royal Army Medical Corps
Captain Mayes S,  Chaplain to the Forces

[Signed] A Ferguson
Major, for Lieutenant-Colonel
Commanding 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
31 October 1917

 

November 1917

1

Havrincourt Wood, K.31.c.0.0. A quiet day in the line. This night we were relieved by the 12th Royal Irish Rifles. Relief was complete at 9pm. Battalion marched back to billets in Ruyaulcourt.

2

Ruyaulcourt P.15.b.9.8. Day spent mainly in cleaning up. Clothing and equipment of Companies inspected during the morning. Football in the afternoon.

3

Ruyaulcourt. A & B Companies on working parties today. At 4.30pm C Company left Ruyaulcourt and marched up to the line to carry out a raid. The enemy's front line was successfully penetrated from the Canal (K.26.d.05.95) to about 150 yards east of it. The fighting was very severe as the enemy refused to surrender. Our men stayed in the enemy trenches for twenty minutes and bayonetted and shot at least forty Germans. We suffered some casualties, mostly from bombs: one Officer severely wounded, one Officer slightly wounded; one NCO killed, three Other Ranks missing believed killed, thirteen Other Ranks wounded, one R.E [Royal Engineer?] (NCO) severely wounded.

4

Ruyaulcourt P.15.b.9.8. The General Officer Commanding 36th Division inspected the men of C Company who took part in the raid. A, B and D Companies were on working parties. Four new Officers joined Battalion from Rocquigny.

5

Ruyaulcourt. The new ante-room at Battalion Headquarters was lined with canvas and made more comfortable. The whole Battalion with exception of C Company were on working parties.

6

Ruyaulcourt. The 'Officers' played 'the Rest' of the Battalion at Rugby in the afternoon. Match took place on the Battalion football ground. Result 'Officers' 10 points, 'Rest' 9 points.

7

Ruyaulcourt. A and B Companies carried out scale of parades. C and D Companies were on working parties.

8

Ruyaulcourt. Morning spent in preparing to go into line. This night the Battalion relieved the 12th Royal Irish Rifles in the line. A Company on Yorkshire Bank with one Platoon in Cheetham Switch, B Company in R.3, C Company in Locality 5, and D Company in Battalion Reserve.

9

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0. The night of the relief rain fell and continued until almost 12 noon today. The trenches especially in Yorkshire Bank were very badly flooded. All available men in line turned on to repairing them.

10

Havrincourt Wood. Trenches still bad owing to continued bad weather. Much work done by the men in the line towards improving and draining them today.

11

Havrincourt Wood. Battalion in the line. Quiet day. No enemy activity.

12

Havrincourt Wood. Battalion in the line.

13

Havrincourt Wood. Battalion in the line. Yorkshire Bank shelled by 5.9 and trench mortars.

14

Havrincourt Wood. Battalion in the line. Enemy trench mortar fire on Yorkshire Bank in reply to our pigs who were firing on front line and Havrincourt. Casualties: Three Other Ranks killed, one Other Rank severely wounded.

15

Havrincourt Wood. Battalion in the line. Several heavy machine gun Officers reconnoitering Battalion left sub-sector. Quiet day.

16

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0. Battalion in the line. No enemy activity. Several heavy machine gun Officers reconnoitering round line. Our heavy trench mortars very active firing on enemy front line and west of Havrincourt.

17

Relieved by 2/5th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at 10pm. Battalion marched to Bertincourt less one Platoon of C Company who were left behind to form an outpost for 2/5 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on Yorkshire Bank.

18

Barastre O.16 (centre). Battalion moved from Bertincourt and is comfortably encamped in Adrian and Nissen Huts and tents.

19

Velu Wood J.31.c (centre). Battalion inspected in the morning by the Commanding Officer at Barastre. Moved at 4.30pm to Headquarters in Velu Wood (on eve of push). The following 'immediate awards' have been notified by Brigade as result of our Havrincourt raid on 3rd inst. Military Medal – 18869 Corporal Mackinson, Henry, 41327 Private Morrison, John, 41256 Private Chambers, Thomas, 41534 Private Averell, Robert, 23438 Corporal Craig, George.

20

Maxwell Avenue K.25.d.9.9. The Division (109th Brigade) moved to the attack at 6.20am. 107th and 108th Brigades in support. Battalion 'details' remain in Velu Wood under command of Major J.G Brew. Transport at Hermies Slag Heap. 2nd Lieutenant E.J.L Turner, Transport Officer, returned from leave. The Battalion moved to a position 500 yards north-east of Velu Wood at 8.20am. At 2pm the Battalion moved from this position to Broken Bridge for dinner. At 3.30pm moved to R.3. The Battalion went into dugouts at 8.40pm for the night.

21

The Battalion moved from R.3 at 3pm to enemies old lines near Lock 7 where it slept for the night in dugouts.

22

Moeuvres. The Battalion moved up at 6.30am to a position north of Bapaume and Cambrai Road arriving at 8.30am. Here the Battalion waited for an order to attack Inchi when Moeuvres was taken by the 12th Royal Irish Rifles. At 11.45am the 12th Royal Irish Rifles captured village of Moeuvres. It was unable to clear trenches east of village. At 5.30pm Battalion moved up to support 12th Royal Irish Rifles in the village of Moeuvres. At 5.45pm 12th Royal Irish Rifles reported driven out of village. At 8.30pm Battalion less D Company counter attacked village of Moeuvres but was driven back to trenches immediately south of the village, where it took up a defensive position for the night.

23

Moeuvres. Battalion attacked Moeuvres at 10.30am. At 11am Battalion reported in village. At 11.45am enemy counter attacked from trenches west of village. 12.15pm counter attack driven off. At 4.30pm village evacuated by Battalion on account of supports not coming up. 5pm C and D Companies took up position on Sunken Road south of village and A and B companies went back to trenches north of Bapaume and Cambrai Road.
Casualties for 22nd and 23rd: Officers killed one; Officers wounded six; Other Ranks 82 casualties.

24

Battalion relieved in the trenches by the 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at dawn. Proceeded to Hermies for rest and reorganisation.

25

Hermies. Battalion resting at Hermies.

26

Hermies. At 6.30pm Battalion moved from Hermies to Beaumetz. At 8.30pm Battalion arrived at Beaumetz and was put in tents for the night.

27

Beaumetz. Battalion moved to Rocquigny, arriving at 8.30pm.

28

Rocquigny. Battalion resting in Rocquigny. 'A' Company was bathed and had a clean change.

29

Rocquigny. Battalion entrained at Ytres at 8.30pm for Beaumetz south of Arras. Battalion detrained at Beaumetz at 2.45am on November 30th and marched to billets at Simencourt, arriving at 3.20am.

30

Simencourt. Battalion left Simencourt at 2pm for Gomincourt, arriving at 7.30pm.

[Signed] P Kelly
Lieutenant Colonel
Commanding 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers

 

December 1917

1

Gomincourt. Battalion left Gomincourt at 12pm for Rocquigny, arrived at 7.30pm.

2

Rocquigny. Battalion left Rocquigny for Metz-le-Coutre, arrived Metz 2.30pm, billeted for night.

3

Metz-le-Coutre. Battalion left Metz at 8pm. Moved up to the line to support 88th Brigade south of Marcoing. Arrived in support trenches at 5.30am the 4th [December].

4

Trenches south of Marcoing. Battalion in the trenches south of Marcoing in support of 88th Brigade. Relieved Essex and Hants Battalions in front line at 4.30am.

5

Trenches south of Marcoing. Battalion in the line. Captain Flood killed at 9am by shrapnel.

6

Trenches south of Marcoing. Battalion in the line. Two Companies in front line, one in support and one in reserve for use as Battalion counter-attack Company. Enemy shelling position very heavily. Five casualties – four Other Ranks.

7

Trenches south of Marcoing. Battalion in line as above. Enemy artillery very active, particularly at 2.30pm when he attacked on our right. Eight casualties to Other Ranks.

8

Trenches south of Marcoing. Battalion in line as above. Heavy shelling by enemy. Enemy aeroplanes very active over our lines, flying very low. Relieved by 12th Royal Irish Rifles at 10.30pm. Fine day. N.B: While in front line Battalion improved trenches, made latrines, wired in front of trenches, and salved several articles of war. Five casualties to Other Ranks. Battalion goes into Brigade support on being relieved, less D Company who relieved Buffs and King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in communication trench running north and south from front line.

9

South of Marcoing. Battalion in Brigade support.

10

South of Marcoing. As above. One-hundred and sixty Other Ranks and four Officers for a working party, carrying up wire to front line.

11

South of Marcoing. Battalion in Brigade support. Four Officers and 100 Other Ranks on a carrying party from 4.30pm to 2am (12 December 1917).

12

South of Marcoing. Battalion in Brigade support. Relieved by [sic] 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in the line at dusk. C Company on right. B Company on outpost line. A Company on left. D Company in support.

13

South of Marcoing. Captured a prisoner at 4.30am of the 6th (Reserve Infantry Regiment). Battalion stood to at 5.30am to meet a rumoured attack at 6.30am. Word received from Division Headquarters at 3.30am that enemy was to attack in great force at 6.30am. No attack however took place.

14

South of Marcoing. Battalion in the line. Two Other Ranks casualties.

15

South of Marcoing. Battalion in the line. D Company relieved B Company in the outpost line. One Officer 2nd Lieutenant Bray and three Other Ranks casualties.

16

South of Marcoing. German post stormed by our patrol at 5pm. Gunner bayoneted and machine gun captured; identification secured (6th Division Reserve Infantry Regiment). Lieutenant Caulfield, 7th Somersets, buried by our Battalion. Trench very much improved and more wire put out. Relieved by 7th Royal Fusiliers at 9pm and march to Metz. Fifty rifles salved and several thousand rounds of small arms ammunition, also boxes of grenades salved, cleaned and put under cover.

17

Metz-le-Coutre. Left Metz at 12 noon for Etricourt. Billeted in tents at Etricourt.

18

Etricourt. Entrain Etricourt for Mondicourt. Detrain at Mondicourt and march through deep snow to our billets in the village of Coullemont. The heavy snow delayed our transport, which did not arrive till midnight.

19

Coullemont. Working parties out. Forty Other Ranks and one Officer from each Company clearing road from Coullemont to Couterelle of snow. This work continued to 4.30pm.

20

Coullemont. Under Company arrangements. Cleaning up.

21

Coullemont. Under Company arrangements. Inspection of arms and equipment.

22

Coullemont. Battalion Parade by Companies. Scale of parades from 9.15am to 12.30pm. 'A' Company bathed in afternoon.

23

Coullemont. Battalion paraded at 10.30am for Divine Service at Humbercourt.

24

Coullemont. Battalion Parade by Companies. Scale of parades as on the 22nd. B Company bathed during the afternoon.

25

Coullemont. Battalion paraded for Divine Services at 10am. Christmas dinners by Companies between 1pm and 3pm. The Commanding Officer was present at each Company dinner. Snowed heavily during the evening.

26

27

Coullemont. Each Company furnished a working party of forty Other Ranks and one Officer from A and D Companies to sandbag airdrome near Mondicourt.

28

Coullemont. Battalion leaves Coullemont, march off at 5.30am. Entrain Mondicourt 9am. Arrive Boves 1.30pm. March to billets in village. Snow fell during the evening.

29

Boves. Working party in afternoon clearing snow off road from Boves station to cross roads at St Nicholas. Train loaded with Battalion transport snowed up and did not arrive till midnight. The unloading party consisting of A Company did not arrive in billets till 2am 30/12/17. Captain Despard and an NCO proceed to 5th Army Infantry School at Toutencourt.

30

Boves. Battalion paraded at 11.45am for Divine Service in the 4th Corps School Cinema hall.

31

Boves. Battalion paraded under Company arrangements at 9.30am. Principally kit inspections. Demonstration by 4th Corps School of the improved musketry instruction at 10am. One Officer and one NCO per Company attend, also Intelligence Officer. Route march in afternoon, parade ready to move off at 2pm.

[Signed] P Kelly
Lieutenant Colonel
Commanding 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers

 

January 1918

1-6

Boves. In rest billets, carrying out training programme.

7

Marcelcave. Moved from Boves to Marcelcave, 14 kilometres, over ground thickly covered with snow. The following decorations have been awarded by the Field Marshal, Commander-in-Chief, under authority delegated him by the King:
The Military Cross – Temporary Captain C.B Despard, D Company, 2nd Lieutenant J.H Partridge B Company (Intelligence Officer);
Distinguished Conduct Medal – Corporal H Roe, A Company, Company Quartermaster Sergeant G Robinson, D Company, Company Sergeant Major T Vennard, B Company.

8-9

10

Marcelcave. Moved to Rosieres, 11 kilometres.

11

Rosieres. Moved to Carrèpuits, 15 kilometres, through shell-shattered country.

12

Strength: 39 Officers, 868 Other Ranks, 39 horses, 16 mules. Increase: Lieutenant R.I McCrum, 2nd Lieutenant Pollock, 2nd Lieutenant Leahy, 2nd Lieutenant Donaldson.

13

Moved to Villeselve, 20 kilometres.
Lieutenant G.W Vesey, A Company, awarded Military Cross; 2nd Lieutenant A.A Andrews struck of[f] strength; Sergeant J.A Henry, C Company, and Lance Corporal A.G.H Clarke, C Company, both awarded Military Medal.
36th Division relieved 6th French Division, 108th Brigade in reserve.

14-16

17

Villeselve. 8am. Moved to Grand Seraucourt, 13 kilometres, to reserve billets, 4 kilometres behind line.
Carrying out wiring and intensive digging training.

18

19

Grand Seraucourt. Sheet 66cNW 1/20,000. Strength: 39 Officers, 866 Other Ranks, 39 horses, 16 mules. Decrease: Two Other Ranks.

20

21

Grand Seraucourt. Major A Ferguson awarded Military Cross. No.14040 Sergeant Barton, H, C Company, awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal.

22-24

Grand Seraucourt. Four-hundred men digging cable trench between Artemps and Grand Seraucourt.

25-28

[25-28 January] Grand Seraucourt. Battalion digging reserve trench between Contescourt and Essigny le Grand.
[26 January] Strength: Forty Officers, 849 Other Ranks, 39 horses, 16 mules. Increase: Chaplain H.S Bally, Church of England (vice Chaplain S Mayes, Church of England, returned to England). Decrease: Seventeen Other Ranks.
[27 January] 10am. Divisional Commander presented ribbons of decoration awarded from the recent operations at Moeuvres.
2pm. Beat 16 Royal Irish Rifles at football, 5 goals to 1.
[28 January] 5pm. 108th Infantry Brigade relieves 109th Infantry Brigade in the right sector on January 28-30th.
Boundaries of Right Brigade Sector: Right B.17.c.6.7 – B.22.a.5.0 to Essigny Station. Left – Boyau de Moulins (inclusive to Left Brigade) Boyau de Contescourt (inclusive to Left Brigade). Boundary between Battalions B.9.c.9.5 to B.15.a.7.5.
Brigade on right flank – 41st Infantry Brigade; left, 107th Infantry Brigade.
B.25.a/26.a. Battalion moves to Brigade support in relief of 9 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Transport to Artemps.

29

B.22.a centre. 5pm. Battalion moves to line in relief of 14th Royal Irish Rifles (Y.O) in R. Bn Sector. Boundaries: Right B.16.d.5.4, left B.9.c.8.1.
Dispositions: A and C Companies in line. Boundary between Companies B.10.c.6.3; B Company Counter attack in dugouts, Headquarters, B.16.d.1.4; D Company Passive defence in dugouts, Headquarters, B.22.a Central.
Relief carried out successfully, notwithstanding condition of trenches very bad, having fallen in partly owing to weather and partly to want of attention. Wiring plentiful. Distance between enemy and our front line averages 1,000 yards.

30

Situation quiet, apart from enemy aircraft, during the night bombing.

31

B.9.d.9.1. 5.30am. German shot about fifty yards in front of A Company. He belonged to 5th Grenadier Regiment, 36th Division.
2/4pm. Battalion and Company Headquarters were fired on with 105mms.

[Signed] J.G Brew
Major
Commanding 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers

 

February 1918

1

Sheet 66cNW 1/20,000 App.101. Line. 10.30pm. Patrol left our line at B.17.a.3.2. No enemy encountered. Another one left at B.8.c.91.25 and found old front line filled in in many places.

2

Strength: Forty Officers, 846 Other Ranks, 38 horses, 16 mules. Increase: Three Other Ranks. Decrease: One horse.

3

Our heavies fired on enemy reserve lines during afternoon. Enemy – Fourteen 105mm high explosives fired on B14c & d, wounding two men, one man wounded by Lewis Gun fire in B16a, during night.

4

10.30am. Six enemy 105mm high explosives fired on B13d. We made a reconnaissance of our wire from B.17.a.1.2 to B.17.a.4.2 and found it in good order. Emplacement at B.17.a.8.7 destroyed by our shelling.
5.30pm. Relieved by 12 Royal Irish Rifles and moved to Brigade support B.20.c with one Company at B.15.c.

5

Awards: Croix de Guerre (Belgian) to Corporal E.A Godeon (MC) and Acting Corporal W Knaggs (MM), D Company. Decoration Militaire to 14388 Private Stewart, T, B Company.

6-9

[6-9 February] Occasional enemy shelling. Casualties – two wounded.
[9 February] Strength: 37 Officers, 853 Other Ranks, 36 horses, 16 mules. Increase: Seven Other Ranks. Decrease: 2nd Lieutenant Galloway (Medical Board, England), 2nd Lieutenant J.I McCausland (6 months duty, England), 2nd Lieutenant E.V Crothers (transferred Indian Army) and two horses.
Support B.20.c line, left sub-sector. 5.30pm. Relieved by 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers. After relief, proceeded to relieve 11/13 Royal Irish Rifles in left sub-sector. Dispositions: B Company in right sector, D Company in left sector, A and C Companies, ½ each counter attack and passive resistance.

10

Front quiet except for occasional shelling. One man wounded by enemy sniper.

11

5.30pm. Major Brew, Commanding, Padre and Orderly Room Staff moved to B.20.c.1.1. Captain M Henehan MC remaining as acting second-in-command.

12

13-15

Activity mostly in artillery, air and sniping. Occasional bursts of 5.9mms on rear Battalion Headquarters at B.20.c.1.1. Large numbers of enemy aircraft passed over during nights and bombed back areas. Four men wounded by enemy snipers.

16

Effective strength: 46 Officers, 1,066 Other Ranks, 36 horses, 16 mules. Increase: Draft from 7/8th Battalion [Royal Irish Fusiliers] on disbandment – A Company, 2nd Lieutenant W.G Greenaway, 2nd Lieutenant A Wilding MC, 2nd Lieutenant T Bremner; B Company, 2nd Lieutenant W.F Reid, 2nd Lieutenant D Miller; C Company, 2nd Lieutenant G Hardy, 2nd Lieutenant J Darling, 2nd Lieutenant J Benson; D Company, 2nd Lieutenant W.H Roche; Other Ranks, 213.

17-18

Patrols nightly in Nomanland. No enemy encountered and wire found good. Officers in enemy front line seen observing our lines through glasses.

19

Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly returned from leave and resumed command. Major Brew at three days conference, President Corps Commander Sir Ivor H Maxse.
One man killed and one wounded.

20

21

2nd Lieutenant G.E Scott wounded with small splinter and remained at duty.

22

On night 22/23rd the Division Front was reorganised, with one Battalion of each Brigade in the line. Brigade boundaries as follows: Right as at present, (c) between left and centre Brigades: junction of Cabal Trench and old front line (B.8.c.90.60) – B.14.a.15.77 – A.18.c.10.00 – A.16.c.05.70. (b) between right and centre Brigades: Junction of Borellier Trench and St Quentin – Vendeuil Road (B.10.c.60.40) – B.15.a.70.00 – A.29.a.9.6 – G.4 Central. (d) left boundary: Canal.
Dispositions: The disposition of Brigades from right to left: 108 – 107 – 109th. 108 Brigade Garrisons 'C' Subsector of the Battle Zone.
Left sub-sector. 5.30pm. The Battalion was relieved as follows: All posts west of boundary between centre and left Brigades, by 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Remainder of Battalion (including) C Company (passive resistance) by 15th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles about 7pm. The Battalion on relief moved to Brigade Reserve at Grand Seraucourt.

23-28

[23-28 February] Grand Seraucourt. Training and working on cable and other trenches in Battle Zone.
[23 February] Effective strength: 47 Officers, 1,071 Other Ranks, 36 horses, 16 mules. Increase: Captain C.J Brennan (from 10th Reserve Battalion), 2nd Lieutenant Slatter, T (from 7/8th Battalion), 5 Other Ranks. Decrease: Major A Ferguson MC (ordered Medical Board, England). App.102.

[Signed] P Kelly
Lieutenant Colonel
Officer Commanding 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion
The Royal Irish Fusiliers

9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
Roll of Officers

Rank                                      Name                                     Seniority

Lieutenant-Colonel                Kelly P.E                             31.8.17
Major                                   Brew J.E                            28.11.16
Captain                                 Menaul W.J (MC)                26.6.17                 Command
Captain                                 Despard C.B (MC)              30.10.16
Captain                                 Henehan M (MC)                19.2.17                  Command
Lieutenant (Temp. Capt)        Vesey G.W (MC)                 18.11.15
Lieutenant                            Wilson G.W                        15.9.16
Lieutenant (A.Cp.A.)              Dean H.S                           1.7.17                   Command
Lieutenant                            Richardson G.H                   1.7.17                   Command
Lieutenant                            O'Flaherty Johnstone G.I      1.7.17
Lieutenant                            McCrum R.I                         6.7.17
Lieutenant                            Cooke J.A                           7.1.18                   Command
Lieutenant                            Woods J                             7.1.18                   Command
Lieutenant                            Hartness F.C                       5.2.18
2nd Lieutenant                      Reid W.F                            22.5.18 [sic]          Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Turner E.J.L                        26.9.16                 
2nd Lieutenant                      Maxwell A.F                         19.12.16
2nd Lieutenant (A/Cpt.A.)      Crosbie T.E.C (MC)               19.12.16               Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Davidson A                          19.12.16
2nd Lieutenant                      Smith J.I                             19.12.16               Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Gilmer E.H                           19.12.16               Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Orr R.A                               19.12.16               
2nd Lieutenant (T.Cpt)          Partridge J.H (MC)                 27.12.16               Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Perkins C.J.T                        17.2.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Henry A.W                           17.2.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Irvine W.F                            1.3.17                  Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Connor J.H                           28.3.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Scott J                                30.5.17                 Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Graham W.G                        27.6.17                 Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Prenter D                             27.6.17                 Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Smith R.L                            27.6.17                  Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Clarke N                              27.6.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Pollock J.J.McE                       1.8.17                  Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Greenaway W.G                     1.8.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Wilding A (MC)                       1.8.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Davies H.L                            28.8.17                 Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Roche W.H                           29.8.17                 Command
2nd Lieutenant                      Hardy G                               29.8.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Bremner T                            29.8.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Darling J                               26.9.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Benson J                              26.9.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Slatter T                               29.8.17                 Hospital
2nd Lieutenant                      Miller D.J                               30.10.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Leahy T.C                             16.11.17
2nd Lieutenant                      Donaldson F.L.H                    30.11.17
2nd Lieutenant                      O'Donovan F.J                                                    Posted, not joined
2nd Lieutenant                      Oecken C.A.J                         21.12.16                Posted, not joined
Lieutenant                            McWilliams T.A                          8.3.17                 Posted, not joined
Captain                                 Brennan C.J                          20.3.16                  Posted, not joined

Attached
Lieutenant                            Morgan H.S          U.S.A      Medical Officer
Captain                                Bally H                                  Chaplain to the Forces

[Signed] P Kelly
Lieutenant-Colonel
Commanding 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
28 February 1918

[Attached]

TRENCH MAP (British)

62BSW  }
}    PARTS OF     
66CNW }

SCALE 1/20,000

CONTOUR INTERVAL 20 METRES

28 February 1918