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24th 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

24th May 1915

On this day:

  • 24th May 1915 Reorganisation

  • Battle of Festubert    15th London Battery fired eighteen rounds on Rue D’Ouvert and ninety nine rounds on Dogwheel House. 16th London Battery fired eighty three rounds on J.3, and twenty eight rounds later at the same objective. 17th London Battery fired on objectives within their zone at irregular intervals.

    War Diaries

  • The Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge   At 0245 on 24 May (Whit Monday), a ferocious German artillery bombardment slammed down on British V Corps front. The clamour of shells, machine-guns and rifle fire was accompanied by a simultaneous discharge of chlorine gas on almost the entire length of the Cameronians in reserve dugouts, the Bluff, Ypres, March 1915 British line. German infantry assaulted in its wake. Although the favourable wind had alerted the British trench garrison to the likelihood of a gas attack the proximity of the opposing trenches and speed of the enemy assault meant many defenders failed to don their respirators quickly enough and large numbers were overcome. But the British defence rallied and the attackers were repelled by small arms fire – except in the north, where Mouse Trap Farm was immediately overrun, and in the south where (by 1000) German infantry broke into the British line north and south of Bellewaarde Lake. The centre of the line between these gaps held fast all day.

    Heroic efforts were made to retrieve the situation at Mouse Trap Farm before it was decided, that evening, to withdraw to a more defensible line. The German break-in around Bellewaarde Lake prompted the commitment of Corps reserve troops – but their arrival took time and the depleted front line battalions had to wait until the early evening before the weakened 84th Brigade was able to attack and turn the enemy out of Witte Poort Farm. Following the belated arrival of 80th Brigade a joint night counter-attack was made after 2300; this assault, in bright moonlight, was a disaster and both 84th and 80th Brigades suffered heavy casualties. In the early hours of the morning the battle quietened. The following day saw a reduction in shelling and no attempts by the Germans to renew the offensive.

  • 24th May 1915 9th Lancers entrenched

  • 1915-05-24 9th Lancers Trench Map

  • 24th May 1915 9th Lancers Operational Report

  • Attack on Bridoux Road   Lt. Millar proceeded this morning to the Cameronians Aid Post - Bois Grenier to meet Lt. Robertson to be instructed in medical work in the trenches of that Regiment.

    Lt. Ford proceeded also this morning to take over temporary medical charge of the Cameronians in relief of Lt. Robertson proceeding to England on leave on urgent affairs.

    Attack made on the Bridoux Road by 148 Infantry Brigade at 8 p.m. Precautionary measures taken by this Field Ambulance "A" Bearers subdivision under Capt. Browne, Lt. Hampson and Sgt. Carter proceeded to Advanced Post at 7.15 pm. Sgt. Matthews, motor cyclist, proceeds also in order to keep up communication with this headquarters. The whole remained at Advanced Post all night and wounded would have been collected from dug-outs in communication trench.

    War diary RAMC 19th Field Ambulance, Erquinghem-Lys

  • GOC praises conduct of 1st Bn Herts   The General Officer commanding the Division inspected the Bn and congratulated it on its conduct during the recent operations and since it had joined the 4th (Guards) Brigade.

    War Diary of the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment

  • Bombardment of Ancona 1915    The Bombardment of Ancona was a naval engagement of the Adriatic Campaign of World War I between the navies of Italy and Austria-Hungary. Forces of the Imperial and Royal Navy attacked and bombarded military and civilian targets all across Ancona in central Italy and several other nearby islands and communities in response to Italy's declaration of war on Austria-Hungary. When Italy declared war against Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915, the Austrian fleet was quick to react, the navy launched several attacks on the Marche region of Italy. That day, the destroyer SMS Dinara and torpedo boat TB 53T bombarded the port of Ancona. The destroyer SMS Lika, on a reconnaissance mission between Palagruža and Cape Gargano, shelled the semaphore and radio station at Vieste. Defending those waters at the time was the Italian destroyer Turbine. A small duel commenced with Lika coming out as the victor damaging the enemy destroyer. The next day on May 24, the majority of the Austrian fleet at Pula steamed for the Adriatic coast of Italy. This included the dreadnoughts SMS Viribus Unitis, Tegetthoff, SMS Prinz Eugen and eight pre-dreadnoughts. Other Austro-Hungarian ships were already in enemy waters or proceeding to the Ancona coast themselves. The fleet bombarded several of the Italian coastal cities and other targets in and around the Province of Ancona, especially damaging the city of Ancona. SMS Tegetthoff and the destroyer SMS Velebit shelled the Italian airship Città di Ferrara off Ancona. The pre-dreadnought SMS Radetzky and two torpedo boats bombarded Potenza Picena, then returned to Pula naval base. The pre-dreadnought SMS Zrínyi—along with two more torpedo boats—bombarded Senigallia, destroying a train and damaging a railway station and a bridge, before returning to Pula. The torpedo boat SMS TB 3 was unsuccessfully bombed by an Italian flying boat. Austrian light cruiser SMS Admiral Spaun bombarded the Italian signal station at Cretaccio Island, while SMS Sankt Georg—with two torpedo boats—shelled Rimini, damaging a freight train. The destroyer SMS Streiter attacked the signal station near Torre di Mileto. The light cruiser SMS Novara, a destroyer and two torpedo boats entered Corsini Channel and shelled an Italian torpedo boat station, another semaphore station and few batteries of coastal artillery. The light cruiser SMS Helgoland—supported by four destroyers—ran into the Italian destroyer Turbine, in a pitched battle south of Pelagosa. The destroyer SMS Tatra shelled the railway embankment near Manfredonia while the destroyer SMS Csepel shelled the Manfredonia railway station. Finally Austro-Hungarian flying boats dropped ordnance on Venice and seaplane hangars at Chiaravalle. Heavy damage was inflicted by the Austrian navy and 63 people, both Italian military and civilian personnel, died in Ancona alone. Austrian casualties were minimal if any. The war in the Adriatic Sea continued, culminating in a large British blockade to try stop the attacking Austro-Hungarian fleet. The "Otranto Barrage" would be raided by the Austro-Hungarians, several times throughout the war.

    John Doran

  • Germans attack Ypres   On 24th May the Germans launched a fresh bombardment and infantry attack on Ypres and the Monmouths again found themselves in the front line, this time at the infamous "Hellfire Corner". This marked the last serious attempt of the enemy to push through in the 2nd Battle of Ypres. At about 8 p.m. a Highland Battalion relieved the Monmouthshire's.

  • 24th May 1915 4th Northumberlands endure gas attack

  • 24th May 1915 Gas

  • 24th May 1915 9th Durhams suffer gas

  • 24th May 1915 Gas attack

  • 24th May 1915 7th Northumberlands in Action

  • 24th May 1915 Inspection

  • 24th May 1915 Gunfire at Ypres

  • 24th May 1915 In Support

  • 24th May 1915 Gas

  • 24th May 1915 Reliefs

  • 24th May 1915 Reliefs

  • 24th of May 1915 German attack

  • 24th of May 1915 Gas casualties

  • 24th of May 1915 Heavy firing

  • 24th of May 1915 Gas attack

  • 24th of May 1915 Holding the line

  • 24th of May 1915 Zeppelin in the air

  • 24th of May 1915 Enemy occupy farm

  • 24th of May 1915 Counter attack

  • 24th of May 1915 15 pounder support

  • 24th of May 1915 Attempts to force enemy out

  • 24th of May 1915 Air reconnaissance

  • 24th of May 1915 Into attack

  • 24th of May 1915 GOC visit

  • 24th of May 1915 Foreward movement

  • 24th of May 1915 Brigade in position

  • 24th of May 1915 Enemy breakthrough

  • 24th of May 1915 149th move forward

  • 24th of May 1915 8th Infantry Bde moved forward

  • 24th of May 1915 Holding the line

  • 24th of May 1915 Germans on the move

  • 24th of May 1915 Zeppelin under observation

  • 24th of May 1915 Zeppelin being followed

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?

If your information relates only to an individual, eg. enlistment, award of a medal or death, please use this form: Add a story.

Want to know more?

There are:43 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. Arthur Surtees Adamson. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn. A Coy.
  • Rflmn. Frank McDonald Archer. London Regiment 8th (Post Office Rifles) Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Patrick Ashe. Royal Dublin Fusiliers 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. George Frederick Atkin. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. Jeremiah Barnes. Royal Dublin Fusiliers 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Robert Bell. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. John Bennett. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. Stanley Birlinson. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. Peter Boland. Royal Dublin Fusiliers 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. John Boyce. Royal Dublin Fusiliers 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Neville Bell Bradford. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. John Robert Brown. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • James Summers Calvert. Northumberland Fusiliers 1st/5th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Edward Carroll. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. Edward Carroll. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn Read their Story.
  • Pte. James Collins. 2nd Btn Read their Story.
  • L/Cpl. George Collinson. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. John Condon. Royal Irish Regiment 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. John Cooke. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. Samuel Drydale. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. Joseph Dunne. Royal Dublin Fusiliers 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. John Fenton. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. William Dodds Gardner. Northumberland Fusiliers 4th Battalion, B Company Read their Story.
  • Capt. Francis Octavius Grenfell. VC. Queens Royal Lancers 9th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Mjr. C. W. Hines. Durham Light Infantry 7th Btn.
  • Sgt. Joseph Hussey. Queens 9th Royal Lancers B Sqdn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Stephen Joyce. Northumberland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. John Murphy. Royal Irish Regiment 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Michael Scully. Royal Dublin Fusiliers 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. John Smith. Black Watch 7th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Lt. Daniel Pike Stephenson. Cheshire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. George Ernest Wadge. Royal Fusiliers 3rd Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Charles W. Whitfield. Durham Light Infantry 5th Btn.
  • Pte. David Williams. Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Herbert Williams. Royal Fusiliers 3rd Battalion
  • Able Sea. Henry John Wilson. HMS Euryalus Read their Story.
  • Able.Sea. Henry John Wilson. HMS Euryalus 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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