The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
8th July 1916On this day:
- 16th Northumberlands to Senlis 16th Northumberlands move to Senlis.
- All Quiet 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report from
- Somme to Messines 16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers.
The Move to Belgium Somme to Messines
After being relieved at the Somme on the 8th July 1916, the Battalion remained on the move for some time and was not involved in any pioneering work.
- 10th Jul Marched from Harpenville to Beauval and billeted (9½ miles).
- 11th Jul Marched from Beauval to Bernaville and billeted (9 miles).
- 12th Jul Marched to Conteville (6 miles) then by train to Theinnes (55
- miles) and marched to Blaringham and billeted (3 miles).
- 13th Jul Marched from Blaringham to Moulles and billeted (14 miles).
From the 14th to 20th July, the Battalion stayed at Moulles for interior economy (a military term for general Cleaning of a personal nature, including equipment and accommodation ).
The men were exhausted and this period was used to boost morale with exercise, games and parades to present medals awarded during recent campaign actions.
Further moves then took places as follows:
- 21st Jul Marched to Volkeringshove and billeted (6 miles).
- During this march they witnessed the explosion of an ammunition dump at
- 22nd Jul Marched to Winnezeele and billeted (16 miles).
- 23rd Jul Marched to Bauvoorde (10 miles) and camped on the Belgian
- 24th Jul Marched 3 miles to a hill position.
This was about 2 ½ miles from Bailleul where they obtained some dilapidated Armstrong huts and set up camp.
The marches were not long by modern standards but the constant moves involved a daily sequence of reveille, packing equipment and transport, having a hot meal, parading in full kit and laden transport before starting out on the march.
The full Battalion would occupy about 1000 yards of road and take about 10 minutes to pass any given point in the route. On arrival at the destination, the reverse order would be unloading, setting up camp, feeding men and animals and settling down for the night.
Exhausting as that may seem, it was not the full story as rations had to be organised. One days rations were carried by each man, though probably on Battalion transport, also fodder for the animals, so each day more rations had to be acquired from collection points.
For 1000 men this meant about 1 ½ tons of rations and for animals 1 ¼ tons of fodder to collect and distribute each day.
The Quartermaster had quite literally very much on his plate and everyone depended on his skill and organisational ability.
Foot inspections were considered to be a very important requirement as was the watering, grooming and feeding of the horses and mules.
- British troops in action on The Somme 5-45am July 8th 1916 The 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment moved off up the valley by Talus Boisse to a position just west of Bernafay Wood with orders to attack and take the southern portion of Trones Wood.
This accomplished the Wiltshires were to attack from Maltz Horn Alley their right joining up with the left of the French who were attacking at the same time.
The 19th Manchesters were in trenches behind available for support and the 18th Kings Liverpools were detailed to provide carrying parties, battalion HQ was at the Briqueterie.
7-15am C Company 2nd Btn Yorkshire Regiment under Capt Maude entered Bernafay Wood followed in succession by the bombing sections, D Company under Capt Belcher, B Company under 2nd Lt Hubbard and A Company under Capt Colley.
8-00am Under severe shellfire which caused casualties before starting and added to some confusion caused by the passage through the wood.
C Company 2nd Yorks emerged from the wood and commenced to cross the open space between it and Trones Wood.
For about 80 yards rising ground gave some cover but immediately this was topped a very heavy machine gun and rifle fire was opened from the edge of Trones Wood and the front line was practically hit to a man.
Some men got into Trones Alley a communication trench between the two woods and Lt Field with the battalion bombers made an attempt to bomb up it and get into the wood, snipers in trees defeated this and seeing that without further and more powerful artillery support a direct attack was hopeless and a withdrawal to Bernafay Wood was ordered at 8-30am
The Germans now commenced a heavy and constant bombardment of Bernafay Wood with guns of every calibre.
Cover was poor and for the rest of the day the battalion could do nothing but hold on under heavy punishment.
Casualties were numerous and the removal of wounded was a matter of the greatest difficulty.
Mens nerves were subjected to probably the greatest strain the battalion had yet to bear in this war and it was with great relief that at 7-00pm orders were received to withdraw.
Casualties of the 2nd Yorks were: Officers; killed 3, wounded 4,
Other ranks; killed 19, wounded 116, missing 17.
- Russian Hospital Ship In the beginning of 1916 the "Vperiod," a vessel
of 858 tons, was transformed into a hospital ship,
with 120 beds for wounded, to take the place of
the "Portugal." On July 8th, 1916, while on her
way from Batoum to Rizeh, near Trebizond, to fetch
wounded, she was torpedoed without warning and
sank, with a loss of 7 lives. The "Vperiod" bore all
the usual Red Cross marks ; and the enemy Governments
had been duly informed of the vessel's new
status when the change was made six months earlier.
- 8th July 1916 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Coy War Diary
- 8th July 1916 Routine and movement order
- Arrival Marseilles 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
8th July - We enter harbour at Marseilles and stay alongside quay overnight.
- 8th Jul 1916 Battle in Progress
- 8th Jul 1916 Some Progress Made
- 8th Jul 1916 Quiet Day
2100. 18th Battalion vacated billets and moved to CONTEVILLE entraining there for BERGUETTE in 1st Army area arriving there 11.30am and proceeded to LA PIERREIERE by route march arriving 1.30pm.
- 8th Jul 1916 Attack Made
- 8th Jul 1916 Reliefs
- 8th Jul 1916 On the Move
- 8th Jul 1916 On the Move
- 8th July 1916 Reliefs Completed
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