War Diary

September 1916

7th (Service) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment

36th Infantry Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division

The war diary enteries have been transcribed from the originals held in the National Archives under catalogue reference WO 95/1856/3. Jack Wentworth Wilmshurst, the great grandfather of the site owner, Simon Passey, served with the Battalion.

Place Date Summary of Events and Information
DAINVILLE 1 September 1916 Relieved 8th Royal Fusiliers in trenches in front of AGNY. Left sub-sector G.2.

The Battalion marched off by Platoons from DAINVILLE starting at 8:50 AM. Relief complete at 1:00 PM. 7 officers from 11th Battalion East Surrey Regiment arrived and were posted to Companies as under:-

‘A’ Company 2nd Lieutenants G. E. MORSE and F. GOLDS. ‘B’ Company 2nd Lieutenants H. ROOS and R. SURRIDGE.

‘C’ Company 2nd Lieutenant J. DUNLEVY. ‘D’ Company 2nd Lieutenants F. W. READING and B. MARTIN.
TRENCHES, AGNY 2 September 1916 Very quiet day. Nothing of importance happened.
TRENCHES, AGNY 3 September 1916 2nd Lieutenants E. C. GORRINGE and G. A. PHIPPS joined from 10th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment and were posted to ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies respectively.

The following awards in the Battalion were given for gallantry at POZIÈRES in August:-

Captain H. S. BOWLBY – The Military Cross.
Sergeant G. WARD and Sergeant G. HODGES – The Distinguished Conduct Medal.
TRENCHES, AGNY 4 September 1916 Very quiet day.
TRENCHES, AGNY 5 September 1916 Very quiet. General A. B. SCOTT General Officer Commanding, 12th Division visited the trenches.
TRENCHES, AGNY 6 September 1916 Very quiet. Received orders for relief by 8th Royal Fusiliers tomorrow.

Captain G. NAGLE appointed Adjutant vice Captain R. J. A. BETHAM promoted August 10th 1916.
TRENCHES, AGNY 7 September 1916 Relieved by 8th Royal Fusiliers in morning and moved to AGNY defences. Two Companies AGNY defences under Major R. J. A. BETHAM and Headquarter details in AGNY and two Companies SUNKEN ROAD. A carrying party of 100 for Royal Engineers stores detailed.
AGNY 8 September 1916 300 men detailed for work in the trenches near AGNY under Royal Engineers supervision.
AGNY 9 September 1916 Usual working parties supplied.
AGNY 10 September 1916 Usual working parties supplied.
AGNY 11 September 1916 Usual working parties supplied.
AGNY 12 September 1916 Received orders to relieve 8th Royal Fusiliers in left sub-sector G.2 tomorrow.

Usual working parties detailed. Casualties 1 other rank killed.
AGNY 13 September 1916 Relieved 8th Royal Fusiliers in left sub-sector G.2. Relief complete at 1:00 PM.

A draft of 29 mostly old 7th Battalion men arrived.
TRENCHES, AGNY 14 September 1916 Very quiet day. Major R. J. A. BETHAM inspected the draft.
TRENCHES, AGNY 15 September 1916 Nothing of importance occurred. Very quiet. Major R. J. A. BETHAM went on leave.
TRENCHES, AGNY 16 September 1916 Very quiet. Captain H. S. COUSENS proceeded to 3rd Army School.

2nd Lieutenants A. C. WARD and A. C. W. ULOTH joined from 3rd Battalion and were posted to ‘C’ Company.
TRENCHES, AGNY 17 September 1916 Artillery cut lanes in German wire in front of left Company.

Ten men left for 3rd Army Rest Camp BOULOGNE for a week.
TRENCHES, AGNY 18 September 1916 Received orders in relief by 8th Royal Fusiliers tomorrow.
TRENCHES, AGNY 19 September 1916 Relieved by 8th Royal Fusiliers starting at 9:00 AM and moved to billets at DAINVILLE established at 2:30 PM. A draft of 20, a few old 7th Battalion men arrived.
DAINVILLE 20 September 1916 A working party of 100 was detailed for work daily in trenches under Royal Engineers.
DAINVILLE 21 September 1916 Usual working party found. Parades under Company arrangements.
DAINVILLE 22 September 1916 Usual working party and parades.
DAINVILLE 23 September 1916 Usual working party formed. Parades in morning under Company arrangements.

The Divisional Concert party gave a concert in Young Men’s Christian Association Hut at 6:30 PM.

Received orders for relief of 8th Royal Fusiliers in trenches tomorrow.
DAINVILLE 24 September 1916 The Battalion moved off from DAINVILLE by Platoons starting at 8:30 AM to relieve 8th Royal Fusiliers in left sub-sector G.2. Relief complete at 12 NOON.

‘D’ Company on the left attempted to get through the German wire and make a raid after having cut through about 30 yards, they found another 30 yards of very thick wire in front of them which was impenetrable, so the Officer in charge decided to throw his bombs into the German Trench and withdraw. He did this and returned to our lines without casualties although fired on by about 8 or 10 rifles.
TRENCHES, AGNY 25 September 1916 Very quiet day. Nothing of importance occurred.
TRENCHES, AGNY 26 September 1916 The Battalion was relieved by 9th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps 14th Division at 8:00 PM and moved to BERNEVILLE for the night. Casualties for today 1 other rank killed and 1 other rank wounded.

2nd Lieutenant WILLARD reported for duty and was posted to ‘A’ Company.

Received orders for move to BOUQUEMAISON tomorrow.
BERNEVILLE 27 September 1916 The Battalion moved by Companies at 9:40 AM for WANQUETIN and proceeded by lorry from there to billets in BOUQUEMAISON, arrived 2:00 PM. Transport moved off from BERNEVILLE at 5:30 AM and arrived in BOUQUEMAISON before the Battalion.
BOUQUEMAISON 28 September 1916 Transport moved off at 8:30 AM. Destination unknown. Received orders for move by bus tomorrow.
BOUQUEMAISON 29 September 1916 The Battalion paraded at 7:30 AM and marched out to rendezvous for buses 1 mile south of BOUQUEMAISON. French buses arrived at 11:00 AM and took the Battalion as far as cross roads south west of LAVIÉVILLE arrived at 5:15 PM.

Received orders to march from here to POMMIERS REDOUBT camp east of MAMETZ, arrived at 1:00 AM after a march of 10½ miles. A few tents and bivouacs were provided as accommodation.
POMMIERS REDOUBT (NEAR MAMETZ) 30 September 1916 Transport arrived at 7:00 AM.