The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
1st April 1918On this day:
German positions in April 1918
16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers.
Ypres and St Jans Capel.
On the 1st April the Battalion arrived by train at Gamaches about 7 ½ miles from the Normandy coast and marched about 5 miles towards the coast to billets at Oust Marest. The transport moved by road. The next 2 days were spent on rest and bathing.
The 36th Ulster Division were needed back in the Ypres area and on the 4th April the Pioneers moved to Eu (2 miles) and entrained for an overnight journey to Rexpoede, close to the Belgian frontier about 13 miles north west of Poperinghe. Arriving at 0500 they then moved by lorry to Brake Camp and then on 7th April to Turco Camp with transport moving to Murat Camp. The next two days were spent on refitting and infantry training. Refitting was a term covering reissue of equipment lost in the retreat and some reinforcements, though only about 49 at this stage, who would need training in pioneering skills. A larger draft of some 300 men arrived on the 12/13 April keeping Officers and Senior NCOs busy allocating them to companies and absorbing them into Battalion training on the 14th April.
The German offensive still continued to make progress and several more divisional moves took place to defend remaining areas still in Allied hands. The divisional withdrawals continued to more defensive positions on 15th April and the next week was fairly quiet. The Germans had recaptured Mount Kemmel and some surrounding areas but had not threatened Ypres and other high ground around Mount Kemmel were still held providing some advantage.
A plan showing the limit of the German advance at this stage of the war is available from this page.
Battalion strength 1 April Officers 20 ORs 449
30 April Officers 33 ORs 943
Casualties April 1918
Killed/Died of Wounds Officers nil ORs 12
Wounded Officers nil ORs 7
- Daily Activity 9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
St Quentain-Le-Mott. Marched to Ault and had general clean up, some bathing.
- Further enemy shelling 59th Heavy Artillery Brigade
37th SB shelled with aeroplane observation inflicting casualties. Battery pulled out at night and went into their alternate positions.
- 1st Apr 1918 Spirit maintained under Stress
- 18th DLI moved from Bienvillers to Ivergny remaining the night.
- 1st Apr 1918 In the Front Line
- 1st Apr 1918 Enemy Active
- 1st Apr 1918 Medical Arrangements
- 1st Apr 1918 Inoculations Planned
- 1st Apr 1918 Hostile Patrols
- 1st Apr 1918 Royal Air Force formed
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Items from the Home Front Archive
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