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22nd May 1915 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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



22nd May 1915

On this day:


  • Battle of Festubert    15th London Battery fired eighteen rounds on J.1, J.2, J.3 and eighteen rounds on Dogwheel House. 16th London Battery fired two rounds every hour at J.6, J.7 and S Bend. Subsequently one hundred and forty rounds were fired at the S Bend. 17th London Battery fired twelve rounds in reply to a small bombardment in the direction of Givenchy.

    A gunner of the 15th London Battery was killed this day the first man killed in the Brigade.(The Gunner killed was J.A. Whiting number 568 who is buried at Brown Military Cemetery, Festubert. Later mentioned in the New Year's Honours list on 1st January 1916)

  • The "Second Battle of Ypres". 1st Battalion fighting at Sanctuary Wood, Zillebeke, Belgium May 1915.   1st Battalion fighting at Sanctuary Wood, Zillebeke, Belgium.

  • Rail disaster at Quintinshill   The worst rail disaster in British history occurred on the 22nd of May 1915 when three trains were involved in a collision outside the Quintsill signal box near Gretna Green, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Over 200 people died, most being soldiers from the 1/7th Battalion, Royal Scots who were travelling from Larbert to Liverpool to embark for Gallipoli.

    The first train hit a stationary train waiting on a passing loop, due to several signalmen forgetting the train was there waiting. A minute after the first train hit a second train, a northbound express sleeper train, struck the wreckage on the tracks, igniting gas lighting system in the troop train. The fire engulfed five trains, killing 215 soldiers, nine passengers and three railway employees. There were four other victims, that many thought were children, but they could not be identified due to the burns. The last survivor of the wreck, Michael Simkins, told The Guardian in 2001 that an officer went about the scene shooting men trapped in the burning wreckage. 'That was true. I saw that. He was a Scottish gentleman, eventually a millionaire. But he had to ... And there were one or two other survivors who made themselves scarce'.

    Of the 500 soldiers of the 7th Battalion, Royal Scots, only 58 men were present for roll call that afternoon, along with seven officers. In total, 226 people died and 246 were injured. The soldiers were buried in a mass grave in Edinburgh's Rosebank cemetery. The surviving men of the Royal Scots went by train to Liverpool, but on arrival there they were medically examined: all the enlisted men and one officer were declared unfit for service overseas and were returned to Edinburgh. It was reported in the Edinburgh Weekly that on their march from the port to the railway station the survivors were mistaken for prisoners of war and children threw rocks at them.

    "Few Leith Residents are likely soon to forget the anxious whisperings of that Spring afternoon, and the wave of dismay that later swept over the Burgh when it became known that the local Battalion on its way to the Front, had been involved in an appalling railway collision at Quentin's Hill Junction near Gretna. The next morning and afternoon brought further particulars of the disaster to the first train in which 3 Officers, 29 N.C.O's and 182 men lost their lives, and as many more had sustained injuries." Lt.Col. W. Carmichael Peebles, D.S.O in the Battalion History, 1/7th Battalion, the Royal Scots.

  • 22nd May 1915 9th Lancers resting

  • 21st Division return to Halton Park   21st Division returned to the huts at Halton Park in April and May 1915 having spent the winter in billets. 10th Battalion Green Howards returned to the camp on the 22nd of May.

  • 9th Scottish Rifles march in   Lt. Macleod rejoins his Regiment 9/Scottish Rifles, which marched in today to work in 19th 1B area. Billeted in Blue Blind Factory.

  • 1st Bn Herts billets at La Beuveriere   Bn moved into billets at La Beuveriere.

  • The Amalgamated Monmouthshire Battalions    After the heavy casualties of the 2nd Battle of Ypres, the three Monmouthshire Battalions barely mustered the strength of one Battalion; on May 22nd orders were received for the remains of the three battalions to amalgamate under the command of Major WS Bridge.

  • 22nd May 1915 Bravery in the Trenches

  • 2nd May 1915 Letter home

  • 22nd May 1915 18 DLI join 93rd Brigade

  • 22nd May 1915 Account of Turkish Attack

  • 22nd May 1915 Composite to be formed

  • 22nd May 1915 Suspicious Noises

  • 22nd May 1915 Hoping for Volunteers

  • 22nd May 1915 Digging Saps

  • 22nd May 1915 An Exchange of Grenades

  • 22nd May 1915 In the Trenches

  • 22nd May 1915 On the March

  • 22nd May 1915 Reinforcements

  • 22nd May 1915 In Action

  • 22nd May 1915 





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There are:22 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. Peter Calder. Royal Scots 1st Battalion Read their Story.
  • Cpl. Richard Henry Coad. Royal Army Medical Corps Read their Story.
  • Pte. Samuel Alfred Cork. Gloucestershire Regiment 6th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Bernard Penman. Durham Light Infantry 1st/5th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Thomas Penman. Durham Light Infantry 1/5th Btn. Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.


  • Items from the Home Front Archive


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