May 1916

3rd Grenadier Guards – War diary

***Note by transcriber: 1-8 May written in very faint pencil and especially hard to read.***
1 May 1916 In Camp.
2 May 1916 Relieved 1st Batt Scots Guards in the line. Companies were dispersed as follows Nos 3 & 4 Companies in front line from DUKE STREET to FENCHURCH STREET. No 1 2 M????? in CONGREVE WALK and 2 ??????? in CANAL BANK, No 3 had ?????? in CONGREVE WALK and 3 ????? in X415.The relief was carried out under most ???????? circumstances and there were no casualties.

The night was quiet ???????? ???? brought up and the draining of the trenches carried on.

***Note by transcriber: whole sentence unreadable.***

3 May 1916 A quiet day. Some whizz bangs were sent over ?during? the ???? enemy artillery were in action. Patrol’s reported great activity in enemy’s front line. Much work appeared to be going on and there was considerable noise. Snipers were active and also machine guns during the night. ??? ?mark? were at C.29A. 8 ½ O + at C.29. D 4 5 ½ at the MOUND.We continued to the work of draining, wiring + repairing parapet, which on the left flank ?was? ???? blown in during the night. Casualties from 2.5.16 to 5.5.16
1 man killed 2 men wounded
4 May 1916 Enemy’s artillery rather more active, but chiefly “whiz bangs”. A German “cylinder stick grenade” ??? ?outside? the breast works of the listening post in front of the right front companies ?kicked? into. The grenade was ??? + detonated but the string cork at the end of the handle had broken.
5 May 1916 Enemy artillery fairly active. A good many small high explosive shrapnel sent into POTIJZE WOOD near Batt H.Q. but no damage was done. At night the Batt was relieved by 3rd Batt Coldstream Guards, the relief affected without a hitch. The Battalion entrained at YPRES for POPERINGHE where they went into billets.
6 May 1916 In billets
7 May 1916 In billets
8 May 1916 In billets
8 – 12 May 1916 In billets. POPERINGHE was shelled for about two hours on the 11th. No damage done to us though other units had casualties. Special instruction was given in wiring during this period and at least 5 men per platoon were made experts in the matter. Training was otherwise normal drill, smoke helmet practice, ?musketry?, bombing etc.
12 – 16 May 1916 Relieved 1st Bn Scots Guards on night of 13/14th in YPRES. Billets very fair. Very little shelling. About two companies out nightly on fatigues, carrying wood for mining parties, wiring in support lines and round M.G. emplacements etc. 14th 1 O.R. wounded.
16 – 17 May 1916 On night of 16/17th relieved 1st Bn Scots Guards in the left sector right Brigade from DUKE ST to ROULERS Rly. A quiet relief.
A good deal of shelling, chiefly behind the front line on the roads, POTIJZE WOOD, POTIJZE defences & batteries in rear of POTIJZE.The ground in this sector had dried up considerably and though DUKE ST was wet the HAYMARKET was in very fair order. The work which was put in hand on night 16/17th in spite of the relief was as follows – Establishing a new bombing post on right of the line to command the GULLY which was between A1 & A3. Wiring all this part of the line strongly. Establishing communication between A1 & A3 this tour was most important. Defending A1 – A3 by putting up traverse, both ordinary and of the bridge variety.The bridge traverses were put chiefly in the traffic trenches lay about 5 yards in ??? actually fire trench. Good progress was made with the work and by the morning of the 18th A1 & A3 were very fairly defended though a man sitting on the floor of the trench was killed by a bullet on the morning of the 18th. Communication was established between A1 & A3 by a very good trench. On the left several new bays were made and traversed.

***Illustration in diary***

V. sketch map in March diary
17th 3 O.R. wounded
18 May 1916 On the 18th there was considerable increase in the shelling. The front line however only suffered between A1 & A3 in the new piece of trench mentioned alone. 40 yards were completely blown in. POTIJZE WOOD and defences, wads & line (S end) were all shelled fairly continuously. Casualties slight.Night of 18th spent in digging out the 40 yards blown in. Fair progress. Wiring & routine repairs got on well. 18th 1 O.R. killed 7 wounded
19 May 1916 A quiet day. in evening an inter-company relief took place the two companies in “x” line – POTIJZE defences replacing two front companies. Wiring continued all along front. 2 O.R. killed
20 – 21 May 1916 Quiet. A new trench just S of DUKE ST was made and floor boards put down. This trench ran from “S” line (support trench running parallel to front trench about 50 yards in rear) up to front line.On night of 21st were relieved by 10th Bn Rifle Brigade. A very quiet relief. Entrained for POPERINGHE about 3 a.m. detrained at 3.15 a.m. and marched to Camp “N” which was between POPERINGHE-WATON & POPERINGHE-PROVEN ROAD. BELGIUM sheet 27 1/40,000
***Note by Transcriber: No entry 22 – 24 May 1916***
25 – 31 May 1916 F21 C.5.2. Training, especially musketry as there was a rifle range. On 25th however two fatigue parties of 1 Officer & 100 O.R. had to be sent to work on CANAL BANK & in (L) line B.23.C respectively and are due to return on 31st. Other fatigues were provided daily for hut building etc. in woods W of the camp: so training was much impeded. BELGIUM sheet 28 1/40,000

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1 thought on “May 1916”

  1. Roger Blinko said:

    For those interested in the specific casualties here is May’s CWGC records
    001 BYWATER G 22368 3RD BN 18/05/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    002 CLAYTON GA 21700 3RD BN 20/05/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    003 COCKBILL R 21145 3RD BN 18/05/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    004 MANUEL HL 17862 3RD BN 04/05/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS
    005 RUTTER WH 20604 3RD BN 21/05/1916 GRENADIER GUARDS

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