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16th March 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

16th March 1917

On this day:

  • 16th Northumberland Fusiliers receive orders   The 16th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers are in dug-outs at Bouchoir, they are ordered to be ready to support the French attack south of the Amiens-Roye road, forming defensive left flank for them.

  • Wire Cutting   236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report B104 Battery fired one hundred and forty rounds in wire cutting and there was much intermittent retaliation by the other Batteries.

    War Diaries

  • Zeppelin Raids on Britain   The first raid of 1917 took place on night of the 16th–17th of March and the five high altitude Zeppelins encountered very strong winds, and none reached their targets. On the return flight L39 suffered an engine failure and, blown over French-held territory, was brought down in flames by ground fire.

    John Doran

  • Naval Action - 16th March 1917    In the Naval Action on the 16 March 1917 the German auxiliary cruiser Leopard was engaged and sunk by the British Armed boarding steamer HMS Dundee and the cruiser HMS Achilles.


    SMS Leopard left port in March disguised as the Norwegian freighter Rena Norge on its mission to disrupt Allied shipping. On the 17 March it was stopped in the North Sea by the cruiser HMS Achilles and ordered to proceed to the boarding vessel HMS Dundee for inspection. Heavily outgunned Captain Hans von Laffert, the raider's commander, had no option but to proceed as directed. Captain Selwyn Day of the Dundee dispatched a launch containing a boarding party with an officer and five men to investigate the mysterious ship. Hans von Laffert realizing he was about to be discovered detained the party and after about an hour fired two torpedoes at the Dundee. The steamer got out of the way just in time and the torpedoes missed Captain Day's ship by twenty feet. Day ordered his guncrews to open fire and a hail of shells struck the Leopard damaging a gun and setting fires. The Achilles hearing the sound of gunfire returned to the scene and opened fire on the raider as the Dundee withdrew. Shortly after the Achilles's arrival the Leopard sank with all 319 hands. Damage to the British vessels was light and the only Allied casualties were the six boarding party members who were trapped in the Leopard when it sank.

    John Doran

  • 16th March 1917 Ongoing Railway work and Court of Enquiry

  • 16th March 1917 Courses completed.

  • 16th Mar 1917 New Orders

  • 16th Mar 1917 Training

  • 16th Mar 1917 Trench Raid

  • 16th Mar 1917 Training

  • 16th Mar 1917 Destruction

  • 16th Mar 1917 Wounded Arrive

  • 16th Mar 1917 Admissions

  • 16th Mar 1917 Reliefs

  • 16th Mar 1917 Training

  • 16th of March 1917 Relief Begins

  • 16th Mar 1917 Orders

  • 16th March 1917 On the March

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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Want to know more?

There are:18 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.

  • Mjr. Boyd Alexander Cuninghame. MID Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 5th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Mjr. Boyd Alexander Cunninghame. MiD Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 5th Btn. attd. Northern Rhodesia Rifles Read their Story.
  • Rflm. J. King. King's Royal Rifle Corps 7th Btn. Read their Story.
  • L/Cpl. Thomas Barrie Muirhead. Machine Gun Corps 1st Coy. Read their Story.
  • Pte. John Thomas Preston. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1/5th Btn. 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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