The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
1st September 1918On this day:
- The Final Advance 16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers.
Although they did not know it at the time, road work was to be the principle task for the Pioneers from now until the end of the war. The great advances that took place released a flood of vehicles onto badly damaged roads and the heavy rain which followed taxed the effort of the men severely.
Continuing the road works started on the 31st August the battalion was assigned the following additional tasks
4th September Bailleul – Ravelsburg road as far as Crucifix Corner
7th September Crucifix Corner to Nueve Eglise
12th September Keersebrom towards Bailleul passing Magilligan Camp.
In order to get closer to its work the Battalion moved close to Crucifix Corner and
dug itself in on banks and fields with heavy rain creating the need for drains and culverts. The weather improved on the 15th and work progress improved until the 19th when the division was finally relieved and on the night of 19 – 20th September the 16th Battalion were moved to billet in empty houses at Godewaersvelde.
The Final Advance.
The plan was for a combined British, Belgian and French force, under the supreme command of the King of the Belgians to ensure coordination, was to launch a massive offensive in Flanders from Voormezeele northwards. The 36th Division was required so the 16th Pioneers found themselves back on familiar ground for the third time but in vastly different circumstances.
Secretly and by night the 36th were moved into an area west of Ypres. The 16th having arrived at Godewaeresvelde on the 19/20th September, spent the next two days resting and cleaning equipment for the expected advance. On the 21/22nd they moved to huts and tents at Shrine Camp near Houtquerque about 6 miles northwest of Poperinghe. Once again resting and cleaning. On the 23rd the Battalion moved to nissen huts about a mile from Proven along the road to Poperinghe and Transport moved to a camp about 500 yards away. The day was spent putting up huts from salvaged materials.
Next day work started on huts in Courthove and Middlesex Camps, followed by training and removal of screening. Work carried on during 25th and 26th but the men bathed and had clothing fumigated in rotation with the works.
The attack commenced on the 28th September. The 36th Division were in reserve, but the battle went so well that they received orders at about 1100 to move forward overnight to carry the attack to the enemy the next day. The Pioneers received orders to move as well and arrived at about midnight in Ypres where they slept in derelict buildings awakening in the morning covered in a layer of snow.
On the 29th September the Brigades battled forward in driving rain and the roads were in a terrible state so most of the 30th September for the pioneers was back to road repairs in the vicinity of Black Water Corner.
September had no casualties but 20 men were transferred to the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.
1st September Officers 36 ORs 1022
30th September Officers 37 ORs 1002
Private Thomas Neill Martin 16/124 was transferred back to the UK and assigned to the Labour Corps (Service No. 648737) due to either illness or being wounded having served to this point from the first enlisted batch of recruits in November 1914 in Lurgan.
- Daily Activity 9th Btn. (North Irish Horse) the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
Reference Sheet 28 SW 3 Bailleul 1/10000, 28 SW 1/20000. Magilligan Camp, Bailleul. Keersebrom.
The day was spent in making shelters. At dusk the Battalion relieved the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers at Cpyrian Farm (S.11.c.7.3). Battalion Headquarters was formed at S.11.c.75.75 on railway.
- Start of Final Advance 59th Heavy Artillery Brigade
We occupied Voormezele and pushed our line further east on the southern part of the Corps front.
September 6th 30th SB moved guns to forward positions East of Ypres.
- 1st September 1918 Final Advance
- 1st September 1918 Move to Front Line
- 1st September 1918 Rest, bathing and clothing issue
- 106th Field Coy expecting to be withdrawn. Good news coming from all along the line at Comblin Le Abbie, 106th Field Coy RE were expecting to be pulled out after a month at the front.
- 1st Sep 1918 Peronne's Fall
- 1st Sep 1918 Assault Made
- 1st Sep 1918 Reliefs and Advance
- 1st Sep 1918 Ordered to Advance
- 1st Sep 1918 Advance Made
- 1st Sep 1918 Reorganisation
- 1st Sep 1918 Ready
- 1st Sep 1918 In Billets
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