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5th December 1917 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

5th December 1917

On this day:

  • 5th Dec 1917 Training

  • 21st Londons withdraw from Bourlon Wood    At just after 12 midnight on the morning of the 5th December, 21st Battalion, London Regiment withdraws from Bourlon Wood according to plan to Hindenburg Support Line – casualties Lieut. Hunt killed, 2 o.r. wounded.

    4 a.m. Outpost line (2 platoons from C Coy 21st Londons) under Lieut J Edmunds withdrew without casualty from Bourlon Wood.

    6.30 a.m. Outpost line reported back with the 21st London Battn. The Battalion extended in accordance with 142 Inf Bde: Operational Order 240. Dispositions being 4 Companies, each disposed in depth, 2 platoons in main line of resistance, 1 platoon in outpost line. Major R.H. Tolerton came forward to relieve Lt Col Dawes, & temporarily assumed command of the Battn. Battn HQ in 5.9’ gunpits in forward trench system.

    War Diary 21 Londons

  • 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

  • Gotha Night raids   Poor weather prevented raids in November, and the Gotha crews occupied themselves with training flights. To lessen the chance of a raid meeting adverse weather, in December the Germans began to send out a radio-equipped Rumpler C.IV to make weather observations off the English coast. The weather cleared on 5 December, when 19 Gothas and two Giants attacked in several waves. Casualties were light but over £100,000 of damage was caused, most of this in London. Two Gothas were brought down by anti-aircraft fire: one, with one engine disabled, attempted a landing at Rochford aerodrome, but struck a tree on approach and crashed, and the second came down near Canterbury. In both cases all the crew survived, but a third aircraft and crew was reported as missing.

    John Doran

  • U-Boat Index - WW1   SM U-108

    Type U 93 Shipyard Germaniawerft, Kiel (Werk 277) Ordered 5 May 1916 Launched 11 Oct 1917 Commissioned 5 Dec 1917

    5 Dec 1917 - 11 Nov 1918 Martin Nitzsche

    Career 3 patrols.
    start date unknown - 11 Nov 1918 IV Flotilla.

    Successes 1 ship sunk with a total of 7,484 tons.
    15 Jul 1918 U 108 Martin Nitzsche Barunga 7,484 br.

    Fate 20 Nov 1918 - Surrendered to France. Became the french submarine Léon Mignot until 24 July 1935. Broken up.

    There was another U 108 in World War Two.

    That boat was launched from its shipyard on 15 Jul 1940 and commissioned into the Kriegsmarine on 22 Oct 1940.

    John Doran

  • 5th December 1917 Mid-air collision


    Enemy artillery active during the morning. He shelled TIRED ALLEY (from its junction with RED LINE) to ARLEUX LOOP NORTH. ARLEUX LOOP NORTH near the ARLEUX SUGAR FACTORY ROAD also received attention. This shelling was rather heavy, 5.9 being principally used, and considerable damage was done to the trenches. At 10pm he opened a very heavy gas shell bombardment on the SUGAR FACTORY, WILLERVAL and in B.5.a. which continued until midnight, however, as we had previous warning that gas was expected, our men were fully alert. Our artillery were active during the day. 6 enemy balloons were seen up during the day & E.A. were also active.

    The National Archives Reference WO95/2361/1

  • 5th Dec 1917 Reliefs Completed

  • 5th Dec 1917 Training & Football

  • 5th Dec 1917 In the Trenches

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

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Killed, Wounded, Missing and Prisoner Reports published this day.

    This section is under construction and only available to subscribers of our Library

Want to know more?

There are:10 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

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

Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. Patrick Bell. Irish Guards 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. George Henry Chapman. London Regiment 19th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. John Hagon. Royal Fusiliers 11th Btn.
  • Harry Heybyrne. Royal Army Medical Corps 17th Field Ambulance Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.

  • Items from the Home Front Archive

    Do you have any letters, photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia from the Great War? We would love to include copies. Please use this form to submit diary entries and letters or photographs for this new Section: add to this archive.

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