The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
1st February 1915On this day:
- Feb 1915 18th DLI move to Cocken Hall
- 8th Yorks & Lancs to Hythe The 8th Yorks and Lancs leave Aldershot for Hythe in February 1915
- 41st Division undertake field exercises in County Durham.
In early February 1915 the 41st Division undertook a field exercise in County Durham, with Khaki Force, which included 122 Brigade, taking a home base at Bishop Auckland pitted against White Force based in Sunderland.
Both forces advanced on Durham City, with White Force's advance being blocked at the railway bridge over the road at Belmont Hall. All the bridges over the Wear at Durham were deemed to have been blown, except the bridge at Finchale Abbey, to which the 18th DLI were deployed.
By the time the 18th Durhams reached the bridge, two companies of White Force supported by a section of Field Artillery had already crossed the River Wear and were busy entrenching at East Moor Leazes to provide cover for White Force to make a crossing. A mock battle ensued and the advance party of White Force were drive back by the 18th DLI.
- Recruitment and Training
16 RIR parade in Lurgan, County Armagh.
16th Btn Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers
Recruitment tour of County Down.
In order to try and boost intake a recruitment tour of County Down was organised, starting on the 15th February and ending on the 27th February, with 150 Officers and men under the command of Major Gardiner and including the newly formed pipe band. It was followed by 2 horse drawn wagons and a horse drawn field ambulance unit.
The schedule was as follows:
- February 15 Dromore
- 16 Ballynahinch
- 17 Dromara
- 18 Saintfield and Crossgar
- 19 Downpatrick
- 20 Clough, Seaforde and back to Downpatrick
- 21 Downpatrick
- 22 Comber via Killyleagh and Killinchy
- 23 Donaghadee via Newtownards
- 25 Comber via Bangor
- 26 Hillsborough
- 27 Lurgan via the Maze, Moira and Maralin.
In each location a marching display would be followed by meetings and speeches after which the troops would be fed, entertained and accommodation provided by locals. The success of this recruiting march is difficult to assess as the strength figures were reported less frequently.
Interspersed with infantry training, the emphasis now switched to pioneering skills in trench, road and railroad construction
Trenches were constructed in readily available countryside locations and used to replicate known offensive and defensive methods. It was hard manual work as there were no mechanical machines. So, as practice, 5 foot deep by 1 ½ foot wide trenches were literally dug out by pickaxe, shovel and hands, hard labour by any standards in a peaceful country environment. How much more difficult it must have been in hard ground or muddy conditions, good and bad weather, with hostile fire from sniper, machine gun or artillery and with much deeper and wider dimensions.
Wiring techniques were also taught in conjunction with the trench layouts.
It is doubtful that full fitting out of trenches took place as materials were in short supply. (Revetment or revetting).
On the 8th February 2 officers and 50 other ranks left for Keady where they assisted County Council men in constructing a new roadway at Drumderg nearby. They returned on the 17th and Armagh County Council donated £10 towards comforts for the men in appreciation of their work. Work was also carried out at the rear entrance to Brownlow House, widening the Avenue Road and constructing a new walkway in the park.
Again 4 officers and 50 other ranks left on the 3rd February for Skerries, Co Dublin for instruction in pioneer railway work.
- 9th Heavy Battery leave Charlton Park 9th Heavy Battery left Charlton Park and moved to Odihamon February 1st, 1915
- Continued trench clearing at Houplines This Field Ambulance continues to work from Houplines section of trenches clearing the sick and wounded of the 18th Infantry Brigade. Lt Haydon taken off sick list and returned to duty.
- No 3 Coy 1st Bn Herts relieved No.4 Coy relieved No.3.
- 1st Feb 1915 Counter Attack
- Reserve position E Battery 3rd Brigade RHA
With 5th Cavalry Brigade in reserve near Merville
1st to 4th February 1915 in bllets near Merville. On the 2nd February Lieutenant Lund sent to 27th Division to help train young subalterns. On the 4th February Second Lieutenant DCM Carberry joined for training from battery to which Lt Lund had been sent.
- No 17 Squadron was formed at Gosport on the 1st of February 1915 and after training proceeded to Egypt in November.
- 18th Manchesters move to Heaton Park 18th (3rd City) Battalion, Manchester Regiment moved from White City, Old Trafford where they had been engaged in initial training to Heaton Park Camp to join the 1st, 2nd and 4th City Battalions.
- 1st February 1915 brigade move
- 1st February 1915 Further moves
- 1st Feb 1915 All Quiet
- 1st Feb 1915 Good works at Support Farm
- Actions during 1915 German 2nd Division part of 1st Army Corps and 8th Army
Divisional Activity in 1915
At the beginning of February 1915, it reappeared in Oriental Prussia and participated in the offensive which ejected the Russians from this Province. It was engaged in its entirety in the district of Lyck and marched upon Augustowo and Grodno.
The Russian counter attack launched in the vicinity of Prasnysz toward the end of March drew the 2nd Division to this sector.
In July during the development of the Hindenburg offensive, it emerged from the Ostrolenka-Pultusk line and proceeded in a northerly direction.
Upon the stabilization of the front the 2nd Division held a sector between Illukst and Lake Drisviaty (Dwinsk District).
- 1st Feb 1915 Found Brother Killed
- 1st Feb 1915 Sandbagging
- 1st Feb 1915 In Billets
- General Cappers football cup. 2nd Battalion Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) played a Football match versus Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Rue du Bataille. Result Welsh Fusiliers won 6-0. 2nd Battalion Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) are in in billets at La Toulette, transport inspected and a concert was held for the men at Fleurbaix. Officers 28 and men 874, 3 from hospital. 2nd Lieutenants AN Heller and WJ Dew both from the Queens joined the Battalion.
- 15th Feb 1915 Reinforcements
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