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20th April 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

20th April 1917

On this day:

  • 16th Northumberland Fusiliers relieved by 2/6th Ox & Bucks   The 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers are relieved at Fayet by the 2/6th btn Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, the Northumberlands withdraw to Germaine.

  • Inspections   236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report marching order parades of C236 and D236 Batteries were inspected by acting OC. Brigade (Major C A Pollard DSO).

    War Diaries

  • Second Battle of Dover Strait 1917   The Second Battle of Dover Strait was a naval battle fought in the Dover Strait in April 1917. Royal Navy destroyers defeated a superior force of Kaiserliche Marine torpedo boats. Two German torpedo boats were sunk and the British suffered damage to two destroyers.

    Background to events

    On 20 April 1917, two groups of torpedo boats of the German Navy raided the Dover Strait to bombard Allied positions on shore and to engage warships patrolling the Dover Barrage. The Dover Barrage was the field of floating mines that prevented German ships from getting into the English Channel. Six torpedo boats bombarded Calais and another six bombarded Dover just before midnight.

    Battle description

    Two flotilla leaders destroyers of the Royal Navy HMS Broke and Swift were on patrol near Dover and engaged six of the German ships early on 21 April near the Goodwin Sands. In a confusing action, Swift torpedoed SMS G85 and Broke rammed SMS G42. The two ships became locked together and close-quarters fighting took place between the crews, as the German sailors tried to board the British ship before Broke managed to break free and the G42 sank.

    Aftermath of the action

    HMS Swift was slightly damaged, but Broke was heavily damaged and had to be towed back to port. The other 10 German torpedo boats made it back to port without loss.

    John Doran

  • 20th April 1917 Regiment reunited at Lebiez

  • 20th April 1917 Battalion moves

  • 20th Apr 1917 Presents sent Home


    Vacated billets at CAUCOURT and marched to X hutments ECOIVRES.

    The National Archives Reference WO95/2361/1

  • 20th Apr 1917 Late Night

  • 20th Apr 1917 On the March

  • 20th Apr 1917 In Reserve

  • 20th of April 1917 A Prussian Offer

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:11 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.

  • 4th Eng.Off. William Oliver Richard Blakey. SS Caithness Read their Story.
  • Pte. Harold George Carter. 73rd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Adrian Kingsley Dorrity. Kings (Liverpool Regiment) 1/10th (Liverpool Scottish) Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Joseph Ferguson. Royal Scots Fusiliers 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • 2nd Lt. Henry Fairholm Manners. Norfolk Regiment 7th Btn Read their Story.
  • Pte. Benjamin Milburn Stafford. Machine Gun Corps 149th Coy. Read their Story.
  • L.Sig. A. R. Wilson. HMS Weymouth 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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