April 1916

3rd Grenadier Guards – War Diary

1 – 3 Apr 1916 A quiet period. The trenches however were in a terrible state after the bombardment. The principal difficulty was that water stood in all the shell holes and the drains of which there were few were blown in and the whole ground cut up. Another great disadvantage was that all the wooden revetments had been torn up and buried beneath the parapets and ?paiads? which made the work of cleaning away the debris exceedingly slow. Some progress was however made, but a lot of water could not be got away in spite of the good fall down to the BELLEWARDE BEER. It was quite impossible to go along the front line for more than a few yards in the daylight at the beginning of this tour but on the 3rd a man could crawl along with difficulty, except to A1 which remained quite isolated.On the 3rd instead of going back to YPRES as expected the Battalion entrained there and went into camp just W of VLAMERTINGHE GI.D 1 O.R. Killed 5 wounded.Sheet 28 1/40,000
4 – 7 Apr 1916 In camp
7 – 11 Apr 1916 Back in same line which was worse than ever owing to the Scots Guards having been subjected to another severe bombardment which nullified the effort of all the previous work. Communications along front line was almost impossible.
11 -19 Apr 1916 In good billets at POPERINGHE but very little room for drill. On the night of the 11th the enemy shelled the town and most unfortunately twice hit a house in which the officers kits were being unloaded. (4 killed 2 wounded).
19 – 24 Apr 1916 On the 19th the Battalion moved into support in YPRES. 1 company was in the PRISON (which was shelled on 21st) 1 company in DRY SWITCH 1 ½ companies in magazine opposite PRISON and ½ company man BOULEVARD MALOW. Cookers and water carts were taken as before. On moving up to trenches mens light and unnecessary kit was stored in sandbags in the PRISON (1 sandbag to 2 men). This worked very well. Service caps had previously been left with the transport and all the men were provided with steel helmets.The system of reliefs was changed at this time in order to avoid having two brigades relieving on the same night. The tour of duty was divided as follows 5 days YPRES 5 days front line 3 days CAMP B 3 days front line.

On 24th relieved 1st Bn Scots Guards in the line. Companies were disposed as follows No 3 & 4 in front line from DUKE ST to FENCHURCH ST No 1 CONGREVE WALK No 2 CANAL BANK. The relief was quiet and quick. Trenches proved to be fair though DUKE ST ??? ???? and left of frontline blown in.

DUKE ST was very wet and badly blown in in two places and a lot of water was standing everywhere. The first thing to do therefore was to open drains which looked likely to be easy enough owing to the good fall to the BELLEWARDE BEER. The ground however was so cut up by shell fire in ??? of the front parapet that progress was slow. By the end of the period a new trench (or drain) was cut back to CAMBRIDGE ROAD along line of willows about I.5.a.0.3 and DUKE STREET drained back by another trench after two feet of liquid mud had been scooped out. Communication was resumed except to A1 but it was still necessary to crawl in daylight. Parapet begun to get thicker. In short the frontline started to show some of the results of the work. At night the frontline was reinforced for working purposes by 3 platoons from the rear. Not a spadeful could or can be turned in the daytime and all work done at night has to be disguised as far as possible. On the night of the 11th the 20th Division on our left (1 Battalion was between us and them) were heavily bombarded for about an hour and this was followed by an infantry reconnaissance which was repulsed. Our relief was delayed somewhat by this but when the 3rd Bn COLDSTREAM GDS came up everything was very quiet and the relief worked smoothly. Entrained at ASYLUM YPRES at detrained at POPERINGHE.

25 Apr 1916 A quiet day with no casualties, enemy’s artillery inactive. Training and a good deal of ???ving was carried out. Patrols reported wire fair section extreme left. Where the parapet also was very bad having been blown in between our left flank and the battalion next us (Irish Guards).
26 Apr 1916 An uneventful day. in the evening Nos 3 & 4 Companies were relieved in the front line by Nos 1 & 2 Companies respectively No 3 Coy going to CONGREVE WALK and No 4 to CANAL BANK. patrols reconnoitered the MOUND which they found occupied by the enemy both flanks were wired fairly thinly and lightly in front. 3 O.R. wounded
27 Apr 1916 On the whole the day was quiet, though ?? in ?? ???? the enemy sent over a certain number of “whiz bangs”. Work carried out during the night was principally wiring and draining also improving FLEET STREET. At 9 p.m. in front of the LEFT Coy 2 trains were heard to start behind the enemy’s lines, there was much noise, talking ?????ting, it is enemy ?? that a relief was taking place. 1 O.R. killed ???????
28 Apr 1916 A fairly quiet day. Enemy shelled WARICK FARM and front parapet to the N which it broke in. A “whizz bang” exploded in CONGREVE WALK trench as a fatigue party was moving up it, it killed 5 men and wounded 2.
29 Apr 1916 Enemy’s artillery inactive. At 12.15 a.m. enemy threw bombs into trench opposite FENCHURCH STREET on our extreme left, 5 unexploded bombs were picked up we had 5 men slightly wounded, all were able to walk to dressing station. We threw bombs in S????? and rapid rifle ????? Gun fire was ?offered?. Patrol ?subsequently? sent out was unable to discover the effect of our fire. The Battalion was relieved by the 1st Batt Scots Guards and rntrained for B CAMP near VLAMERTINGE. The relief was carried out without a hitch. 5 O.R. wounded
30 Apr 1916 In Camp.

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1 thought on “April 1916”

  1. Roger Blinko said:

    Casualties from CWGC 20 for the month substantially greater than those reported in the diary suggesting wounded would have been much greater.

    001 BARNES M 20924 3RD BN 27/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    002 BASSETT A 22394 3RD BN 27/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    003 BELFIELD TH 17195 3RD BN 23/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    005 BODEN E 21355 3RD BN 27/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    006 BURTON EB 17095 3RD BN 11/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    007 DANN EE 16495 3RD BN 04/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    008 DAVENPORT SD 13362 3RD BN 10/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    009 HANDY J 16091 3RD BN 27/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    010 HARRINGTON TA 15978 3RD BN 11/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    011 HARRIS J 14812 3RD BN 10/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    012 HOLLIS A 22396 3RD BN 02/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    013 HUBBARD H 10022 3RD BN 12/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    014 KILBEE C 17962 3RD BN 11/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    015 LOCKYER HW 18966 3RD BN 27/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    016 MURDEN D 13520 3RD BN 11/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    017 REYNOLDS FJ 9517 3RD BN 21/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    018 SHEPPARD CE 11311 3RD BN 09/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    019 WEBSTER F 22522 3RD BN 23/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    020 WILLETS L 12695 3RD BN 27/04/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS

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