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Battle of Cambrai



1st October 1917 Somme and Cambrai  

16 RIR view of Canal du Nord.

16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers.

October 1917 was devoted almost entirely to improving defensive positions on the whole divisional front including work on a switch line which carried on well into November. This included deepening and widening the original cut, wiring in front, grading and draining. When finished it was considered to be one of the finest examples of trench construction and was called the Lurgan Switch in honour of the Pioneers home town roots.

Other work included sandbagging parapets and fire bays, construction of 9 flying traverses, revetting of fire steps and construction of sumps and drains. Smaller works also took place including improvements to huts and drainage at Velu Woods. On the 11th October No. 3 Company moved to Ruyalcourt to improve winter quarters and No. 4 Company to Metz for similar work. No. 2 Company started on winter quarter improvements in Bertincourt. October finished with double apron wiring and screening work in Harsincourt Wood and Ruyalcourt.

Battalion Statistics October 1917 Strength 1st October Officers 39 Other ranks 795 31st October Officers 40 Other ranks 789 Casualties. Killed/Died from Wounds. Wounded. Officers. nil. 3 Other Ranks. 2 6

The Terrors by SN White


1st November 1917 Battle of Cambrai  

16 RIR working on Canal du Nord Tank Crossing

16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers.

Defence was not allowed to dominate the British High Command and November saw the start of planning for an attack on Cambrai and for the Pioneers a move to road work in both improving existing and preparing new roads to help move attacking forces forward.

No. 3 Company started work on the Metz to Havrincourt Road. No. 4 Company on the Metz to Trescault road, No. 2 Company on the road from Hermies Most of No. 1 Company went to work on Slag Heap to Windy Corner road.

In preparation for the attack the following moves took place. No. 4 Company moved from Metz to Havrincourt Wood. Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Companies moved to a tented area near the beetroot factory in Metz and Headquarters moved to Harvincourt Wood.

The Battle of Cambrai 20th November 1917.

For this battle the 36th Ulster Division along with the 51st (Highland), 56th and 62nd Divisions were part of IV Corps. The Corps objectives were to secure the capture of the Bapaume to Cambrai road and the possible capture of Bourlon Wood. The 51st Division were on the right, with the 62nd division in the centre and the 36th Division on the left with the task of advancing east of the Canal du Nord and seizing crossings at Moeuvres.

Battle commenced at 0620 on the 20th November with the pioneers, under Corps directions situated on the right supporting the 51st Highland Division tasked with constructing a 20ft wide track for cavalry use to Ribecourt and repair/improvement of the road to Ribecourt for use by lorries. This work was to be carried out in conjunction with the Divisional Engineers. Following clearance of the track, the working parties were to divide and provide round the clock operations.

At 0950 all companies moved forward. 1 and 2 Companies to commence the work allotted to them, 3 and 4 Companies to the rear of Trescault to await the opportunity to start their work which was possible from 1030. The Track was completed within two hours as scheduled, but enemy action prevented its planned usage.

Roadwork continued throughout the day despite enemy shelling. On the 21st the Highland Division made further ground leaving the Pioneers clear of artillery range and better progress was made. With the road now being used by lorries, the Pioneers were moved to a camp north of the cemetery near Hermies on the morning of the 23rd November.

On the left side of the battle line, the 36th Division had not been doing so well and with the weather worsening the Pioneers were moved to provide much needed support. Once again the opening and repair of roads were tasked. By the 23rd November the Division was at the outskirts of Moeuvres and on the night of 23/24th causeways were completed across the Canal.

The 36th Division were relieved by the 2nd Division on the 25th November but as usual the Pioneers had to stay in their positions to support the new Division.

The Germans had begun to recover and their response was now more effective so the Pioneers were diverted to strengthening wiring and building strong points for defensive purposes.

Battalion statistics 1st November Officers 41 Other ranks 789 30th November Officers 40 Other ranks 944 Casualties November Officers nil Other ranks 1 killed 2 wounded

The Terrors by SN White


Nov 1917 

11th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Havrincourt Wood.

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

War Diaries


12th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Havrincourt Wood.

Battalion in the line.

War Diaries


13th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Havrincourt Wood.

Battalion in the line. Yorkshire Bank shelled by 5.9 inch guns and trench mortars.

War Diaries


14th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

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 Havringcourt.

Casualties: Three Other Ranks killed, one Other Rank severely wounded.

War Diaries


15th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Havrincourt Wood.

Battalion in the line. Several heavy machine gun Officers reconnoitering the Battalion left sub-sector otherwise a quiet day.

War Diaries


16th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Havrincourt Wood K.31.c.0.0.

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

War Diaries


17th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Relieved by 2/5th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at 2200.

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.

War Diaries


18th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Barastre O.16 (centre).

Battalion moved from Bertincourt and is comfortably encamped in Adrian and Nissen Huts and tents.

War Diaries


18th November 1917 

19th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Velu Wood J.31.c (centre).

Battalion inspected in the morning by the Commanding Officer at Barastre. Moved at 1630 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.

War Diaries


20th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Maxwell Avenue K.25.d.9.9.

The Division (109th Brigade) moved to the attack at 0620 with 107th and 108th Brigades in support. Battalion 'details' remain in Velu Wood under command of Major J.G Brew and 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 0820. At 1400 the Battalion moved from this position to Broken Bridge for dinner. At 1530 moved to R.3. The Battalion went into dugouts at 2040 for the night.

War Diaries


20th November 1917 Battle of Cambrai

20th November 1917 

20th November 1917 Battle of Cambrai

21st November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

The Battalion moved from R.3 at 1500 to enemies old lines near Lock 7 where it slept for the night in dugouts.

War Diaries


22nd November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Moeuvres.

The Battalion moved up at 0630 to a position north of Bapaume and Cambrai Road arriving at 0830. Here the Battalion waited for an order to attack Inchi when Moeuvres was taken by the 12th Royal Irish Rifles. At 1145 the 12th Royal Irish Rifles captured village of Moeuvres. It was unable to clear trenches east of village.

At 1730 the Battalion moved up to support the 12th Royal Irish Rifles in the village of Moeuvres. At 1745 the 12th Royal Irish Rifles were reported to have been driven out of the village. At 2030 the Battalion less D Company counter attacked the village of Moeuvres, but was driven back to trenches immediately south of the village, where it took up a defensive position for the night.

War Diaries


22nd Nov 1917 The Great Secret

23rd November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Moeuvres.

The Battalion attacked Moeuvres at 1030. At 1100 the Battalion reported to be in the village. At 1145 the enemy counter attacked from trenches west of village and by 1315pm the counter attack was driven off.

At 1630 the village was evacuated by the Battalion on account of supports not coming up.

At 1700 C and D Companies took up position on Sunken Road, south of the village while A and B companies went back to the trenches north of Bapaume and Cambrai Road.

Casualties for 22nd and 23rd: Officers killed one; Officers wounded six; Other Ranks 82 casualties.

War Diaries


24th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Battalion relieved in the trenches by the 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at dawn.

Proceeded to Hermies for rest and reorganisation.

War Diaries


24th Nov 1917 In Action

25th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Battalion resting at Hermies.

War Diaries


25th Nov 1917 Under Shellfire

26th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Hermies.

At 1830 the Battalion moved from Hermies to Beaumetz. At 2030 the Battalion arrived at Beaumetz and was put into tents for the night.

War Diaries


26th Nov 1917 

26th Nov 1917 

28th November 1917 At Rest  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers are resting in Rocquigny. 'A' Company was bathed and had a clean change.

War Diaries


29th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Rocquigny.

Battalion entrained at Ytres at 2030 for Beaumetz south of Arras.

Battalion detrained at Beaumetz at 0245 on November 30th and marched to billets at Simencourt, arriving at 0320.

War Diaries


30th November 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Simencourt.

The Battalion left Simencourt at 1400 for Gomincourt, arriving at 1930.

War Diaries


1st December 1917 Retreat from Cambrai  16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers. (Guidance Note: Next entry on 18th December 1917)

More wiring work continued into December and the Battalion camp was shelled leaving 5 killed and 22 wounded. The German counter attack was successful and had driven back the southern front of the British salient so the 36th Division were ordered back into action. The 16th Battalion re-joined the Division and moved to Dessart Woods. There were no tents available so the men had to sleep in the open with freezing temperatures. Next day they were moved to Harvincourt Wood and their work was about a 2 hour march away in very bitter wintry conditions. The Battalion was in a very poor state of health and large numbers were sent to hospital. Finally the decision was made to evacuate a large portion of the British salient including Bourlon Wood, Cantaing, Noyelles, Graincourt and Marcoing. The 36th Division were left holding on to a small salient astride the Couillet Valley with strong enemy counter attacks leaving it in a touch and go situation. On the 17th December the Battalion moved to a camp at Etricourt, to re-join the 36th Division which had been withdrawn two days earlier. Thus ended a period of hard work, under very trying conditions, with enemy shelling, drenching rain and driving snow. The men were in no fit state for further heavy exertions. Never since it landed in France had the troops of the 36th division been reduced to a physical ebb so low. The men became indescribably dirty; lungs, throats and hearts were affected. High as the battle casualties were the sick wastage was higher still which had not been the case at Ypres in August because the weather, if wet, was warm.

The Terrors by SN White


1st December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Gomincourt.

The Battalion left Gomincourt at 1200 for Rocquigny and arrived at 1930.

War Diaries


2nd December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Rocquigny.

The Battalion left Rocquigny for Metz-le-Coutre, arrived at Metz 1430 and billeted for the night.

War Diaries


3rd December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Metz-le-Coutre.

The Battalion left Metz at 2000 and moved up to the line to support the 88th Brigade south of Marcoing. They arrived in the support trenches at 0530 the 4th December.

War Diaries


4th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Trenches south of Marcoing.

The Battalion is in the trenches south of Marcoing in support of 88th Brigade. They relieved the Essex and Hants Battalions in the front line at 0430.

War Diaries


5th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Trenches south of Marcoing.

Battalion in the line. Captain Flood was killed at 0900 by shrapnel.

War Diaries


6th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Trenches south of Marcoing.

Battalion in the line with 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.

War Diaries


7th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Trenches south of Marcoing.

Battalion in line with Enemy artillery very active, particularly at 1430 when he attacked on our right. Eight casualties to Other Ranks.

War Diaries


8th Dec 1917 Aeroplanes Active  9th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers are in trenches south of Marcoing, with 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.

While in front line 9th Battalion Irish Fusiliers improved trenches, made latrines, wired in front of trenches, and salved several articles of war. The suffered five casualties to Other Ranks. The Battalion goes into Brigade support on being relieved, less D Company who relieved the Buffs and King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in communication trench running north and south from front line.

War Diaries


9th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

South of Marcoing. Battalion in Brigade support.

War Diaries


10th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

South of Marcoing.

One-hundred and sixty Other Ranks and four Officers for a working party, carrying up wire to front line. This work in assisting 16th Bn Royal Irish Rifles the Divisions Pioneer Battalion.

War Diaries


11th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

South of Marcoing.

Battalion in Brigade support.

There were four Officers and 100 Other Ranks on a carrying party from 1630 to 0200(12th December 1917).

War Diaries


12th December 1917 Daily Activity  South of Marcoing 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. are in Brigade support on being relieved by 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.

War Diaries


13th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

South of Marcoing.

Captured a prisoner at 0430 of the 6th (Reserve Infantry Regiment). Battalion stood to at 0530 to meet a rumoured attack at 0630.

Word received from Division Headquarters at 0330 that the enemy was to attack in great force at 0630. No attack however took place.

War Diaries


14th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

South of Marcoing.

Battalion in the line. Two Other Ranks casualties.

War Diaries


15th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

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.

War Diaries


16th Dec 1917 Post Stormed  9th (North Irish Horse) Btn., Royal Irish Fusiliers. report from South of Marcoing: German post stormed by our patrol at 1700 with Gunner bayoneted and machine gun captured. His 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 2100 and marched to Metz. Fifty rifles salved and several thousand rounds of small arms ammunition, also boxes of grenades salved, cleaned and put under cover.

War Diaries


17th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Metz-le-Coutre. Left Metz at 1200 for Etricourt. Billeted in tents at Etricourt.

War Diaries


18th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Etricourt.

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

War Diaries


19th December 1917 Daily Activity  9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Coullemont.

Working parties out with Forty Other Ranks and one Officer from each Company clearing the road from Coullemont to Couterelle of snow. This work continued to 1630.

War Diaries


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Want to know more about Battle of Cambrai?


There are:51 articles tagged Battle of Cambrai available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.


Those known to have served in

Battle of Cambrai

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Bance Albert Edward. Pte. (d.26th November 1917)
  • Bardrick John Oram. Rflmn. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Baxter Christopher Henry. L/Cpl. (d.14th Aug 1918)
  • Benson William Francis. S/Lt. (d.8th Oct 1918)
  • Bergin Joseph. SSgt.
  • Bibbins Henry. Dvr.
  • Birrell Peter. Pte. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Brangam John. Sgt. (d.29th Mar 1918)
  • Brown James. Pte.
  • Bryans Frederick. Rflmn. (d.21st Nov 1917)
  • Burford Horace Arthur. Rflmn. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Crutchley Sidney Charles.
  • Dickson William James. Cpl.
  • Dorrell James Henry. Gnr/Bombdr
  • Eary Frank. Pte. (d.24th Nov 1917)
  • Elliott-Cooper Neville Bowes. Lt.Col. (d.11th Feb 1918)
  • Erasmus David. Pte. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Firmin George. Sgt.
  • Foy James. Pte. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Gaffing David. Gnr. (d.14th Oct 1917)
  • Graham Robert. Pte. (d.21st Nov 1917)
  • Green Alfred. Pte. (d.13th Dec 1917)
  • Hanna William. Pte. (d.3rd Oct 1918)
  • Harbridge James Thomas. L/Cpl. (d.3rd Dec 1917)
  • Hawes George Edward. Pte. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Hilton Alfred. Gnr.
  • Holm John Bennett. L/Cpl. (d.2nd Dec 1917)
  • Hubbard Joseph Henry.
  • Humphries William John. Cpl.
  • Kenny Robert. Sgt. (d.2nd Dec 1917)
  • Kirkby Herbert. L/Cpl. (d.31st Mar 1918)
  • Mabbott William. Sgt.
  • Marriott Stanley. Sgt.
  • Mason Henry. Pte. (d.17th Jan 1918)
  • McDermott Thomas. L/Cpl. (d.1st Dec 1917)
  • Mepham Henry. Rfmn. (d.22nd Nov 1917)
  • Metcalfe William. Pte. (d.22nd November 1917)
  • Miles Wallace Ernest Ralph. Pte. (d.27th Oct 1918)
  • Nugent Francis Joseph. Cpl. (d.2nd Dec 1917)
  • Parkes Alfred. Pte.
  • Patrick James. Pte. (d.24th Nov 1917)
  • Rowlands Edward David. Pte. (d.27th Sep 1918)
  • Rutherford James. Pte. (d.12th Oct 1918)
  • Scott George. Pte. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Simpson William John Sydney. Lt.
  • Singh Gobind. L/Dfdr.
  • Smith Arthur. Cpl. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Squires Harold Charles. Sgt.
  • Taylor Robert. Rflmn. (d.30th Nov 1917)
  • Taylor Samuel. Pte. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Tyers Sidney Charles. Pte. (d.30th November 1917)
  • Wells Alfred George. Cpl. (d.26th Jun 1917)
  • Wilson Gavin Arthur. L/Cpl. (d.31st Aug 1918)
  • Yapp James. Grdsmn. (d.27th Nov 1917)

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List



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Sep 2017

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.






Want to know more about Battle of Cambrai?


There are:51 articles tagged Battle of Cambrai available in our Library





Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.



Cambrai 1917: The Birth of Armoured Warfare

Alexander Turner


This title, the latest offering from Osprey's Campaign series, covers the action so dear to all armoured enthusiasts, the Battle of Cambrai. It was an action which history tells us included the first use of armoured vehicles in the role for which they had been conceived. Commonly believed to be the world's first tank battle, Cambrai has a unique position in the battle honours of the British Army, claiming to be the birth of what we now know as armoured warfare. Alexander Turner's book is an intriguing study on the use of armour as an operational shock weapon, for the appearance of tanks on the battlefield changed the practice of war for ever. He also demolishes some of the myths surrounding the action and places the emerging role of the tank into its historical perspective. Cambrai was not the first appearance of tanks on the battlefield - they had taken part in the Somme offensive at Flers-Courcelette in September 1916 to support the infantry - but it was the first time that they were
First World War Tanks

E. Bartholomew


Although tanks have become a symbol of military power, the first tanks were created as a temporary solution to the deadlock created by trench warfare. The early designs were unsophisticated and had little success when they were first used by the British Army on the Somme in 1916. The battle of Cambrai, however, proved that tanks were effective, and they were used extensively in the final year of the war. By 1918 over 2,700 tanks had been built in Britain, while France, Germany, the United States, Italy and Russia had all produced tanks of their own. This book covers the design and development of tanks during the First World War, describing the types that were used in action and the most important battles in which they fought. It is illustrated with photographs from the archives of the Tank Museum, at Bovington in Dorset.
More information on:

First World War Tanks


The Confusion of Command: The Memoirs of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas D'Oyly 'Snowball' Snow 1914 -1918

Dan Snow & Mark Pottle


The enemy has got to be fought everywhere and hard... Everything is going very well indeed and no one minds the losses as long as we are moving. The never-before-published papers of General Sir Thomas D Oyly Snow provide a remarkable insight into the mindset of the Great War commanders. Despite being severely injured during the first Battle of the Marne when his horse fell and rolled over him, cracking his pelvis Snow served at some of the most important battles of the Western Front. His memoirs include the battle of Loos, the second battle of Ypres, the battles of Arras and Cambrai, the retreat from Mons and was responsible for the diversionary attack on Gommecourt on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Somme. This volume is comprised of vivid extracts from contemporary notes that only an eyewitness can offer coupled with frank postwar reflections that show the wisdom of hindsight and perspective, which brings an open awareness of military folly. D Oyly Snow died in London, aged 82, on
The Kensington Battalion: Never Lost a Yard of Trench

G.I.S Inglis


Can there be any more Kitchener infantry battalions, especially the locally raised "pals", waiting to have a history written? Surely there can not be many. This one, the 22nd (Service) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers - raised, as the title suggests, in Kensington in London - already has a good if rather short published history in Christopher Stone's "Short history of 22nd Royal Fusiliers in the Great War". So was Geoff Inglis' work necessary and is it a worthwhile purchase? In my view, a resounding yes on both counts. This battalion benefits from having an unusually extensive archive and a good deal of published work covering its activities. This provides an excellent background for compilation of a detailed history. But "Never lost a yard of trench" goes further, not least due to the fact that the author met several battalion veterans, as the work on the book began many years ago and was interrupted for a long spell. The personal touch, as well as the author's evident expertise an




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