November 1918

3rd Grenadier Guards – War diary

1 Nov 1918 ST. PYTHON Battn Parade in the morning. A concert party gave an entertainment to the Battn in the evening.
2 Nov 1918 Battn moved forward and bivouacked in CAPELLE area.
3 Nov 1918 Orders were received  for an attack by Gds Divn. on the 4th O.O.86 was issued. Battle stores were drawn during the day.
4 Nov 1918 Breakfast 0300 hrs. The Battn moved off at 0420 hrs. The approach march was much hampered by the crowded state of the roads. On reaching VILLERS POL the Battn was forced to halt as the bridge across the RHONELLE had been destroyed. The whole of the Battn had to cross the River over a single plank. L.G. Limbers were unloaded and sent back to o.3.c.8.5. pending further orders. The Battn was shelled with H.E. & Gas whilst crossing the stream.Assembly positions in rear of LA FLAQUE WOOD were reached at 0800 hrs. & the Battn passed through 1/CG at once.The leading Coys met with M.G. fire from slopes E. of sunken road in M.3.d. at the outset of the advance. This was overcome and advance resumed, 8 field guns being captured by No 2 Coy.

The enemy were now seen to be retiring and the leading Coys pushed forward, touch being obtained with 2/G.G. on the left.

On reaching the GREEN LINE Coys were reorganised and each of the leading Coys pushed forward two platoons to the AUNELLE. The leading Coys then advanced across the Aunelle to a line in M.4.a.1.d. where they came under heavy M.G. fire. In the meanwhile B.H.Q. 3 & 4 Coys had moved up to the sunken road in M.3. The left flank of the Battn was now found to be completely in the air though the right flank was in touch with the 62nd Divn. The C.O. decided to push up No 3 Coy to protect the left flank: at the same time C. Coy 1/S.G. was placed at the disposal of the C.O. and kept in reserve.

1300 hrs the left Coy now advanced, capturing PREUX-AU-SART together with some prisoners, and dug in on a line E. of the village. In the meantime the R. Coy was in some German trenches in M.5.d.cent. By this time about 1800 hrs all the Officers of the R. Coy had become casualties, and LT. F. ANSON M.C. was sent up to take over command. About 2100 hrs The R. Coy was ordered to clear the M.G’s out of houses on the ST. HUBERT-GOMMEGNIES RD. This was done & the houses occupied.

5 Nov 1918 At 0600 hrs the 3rd Gds Bde passed through 2nd Gds Bde.Casualties during the 4th were:- 2 Officers & 15 O.R. killed, 3 O.R. Missing, 3 Officers & ?91? O.R. wounded.During the morning the Battn moved into PREUX-AU-SART and spent the day in salvage work and resting.
6 Nov 1918 Deficiencies were made up. O.O. 87 was issued.
7 Nov 1918 Breakfast 0200 hrs.
The Battn marched off at 0300 hrs. At the last minute the Battn was placed on the left of the attack. Owing to the state of the roads jumping off line was not reached till 0620 hrs, zero being 0600 hrs. The enemy however had already retired, and objectives were occupied without opposition.BAVAI ***BAVAY*** was found unoccupied, and the line taken up through I.27.d.cent. with flank facing N.As the area allotted to the Battn was in the 24th Divn. area the Battn was relieved by the 9/E.Surrey, during the afternoon the Battn was taken out into support to AUDIGNIES.
8 Nov 1918 2nd Gds Bde was again ordered to attack, the Battn being in support. The Battn moved off at 0600 hrs but was forced to halt W. of LONGUEVILLE, where the bridge at O.5.b.5.8. had been demolished. A bridge was built by the battn and Limbers got across at once. At 0800 hrs orders were received that the Bde would not move further before 0930 hrs. The Battn was therefore billeted in MALGARNI. On learning that a further move was unlikely that day, the Battn was moved into LA LONGUEVILLE, and billeted by 1200 hrs.At 1900 hrs the Brigadier asked the Commanding Officer if the Battn was fresh enough to move on MAUBEUGE, as enemy dispatches had been captured, ordering a general retirement during the night. The Comdg. Officer replied that it was.The Battn was accordingly ordered to move in advance guard formations along the main MAUBEUGE Rd. No 3 Coy was detailed as vanguard. On reaching Road Junction A.1.a.2.4. the Battn less No 4 Coy were to take the S. Rd, No 4 Coy proceeding along main road at ?.2.Cent.

At 2230 hrs the Battn marched off in single file on each side of the road with sections at 30 yds distance.

9 Nov 1918 The march of the Battn was hampered by mine craters. However the Battn reached MAUBEUGE by 0400 hrs & No 3 Coy occupied the Town & Citadel. No opposition was met with, but 3 Officers, 36 O.R. & 2 M.G’s were captured.So raid was the advance that No 4 Coy got within 150 yds of a German Field Gun before it was galloped away. resistance was afterwards met with on the same road along which the Battn had advanced.The inhabitants shewed ***showed*** great enthusiasm.

At 1000 hrs the Battn moved into billets in the town.

10 Nov 1918 At 1200 hrs the Battn moved into the Citadel. Congratulatory messages were received from the G.O.C. Gds Divn specially mentioning the Battn.
11 Nov 1918 1100 hrs Cessation of hostilities.
The Battn paraded for Divine Service of Thanksgiving for the Armistice.
12 Nov 1918 A draft of 250 O.R. joined the Battn from the reinforcement camp. baths were allotted to 2 Coys (1 & 2).
13 Nov 1918 baths allotted to B.H.Q. & No 3 Coy route marched about 9 miles.
14 Nov 1918 The Battn found a fatigue in the morning for filling craters.After a Ceremonial Mass in the church of MAUBEUGE, the Maire ***Mayor*** presented a Flag to the G.O.C. Guards Divn the Battn finding an escort under LT. H.I.B. SMITH.Orders were received that the VI Corps would be transferred to the 1 Army and take part in the march into Germany.
15 Nov 1918 Battn Parade in the Zeppelin Shed.
16 Nov 1918 A Divisional Thanksgiving Service was held.
Orders were received to move to RUVEROY on the 17th.
17 Nov 1918 Orders for move were cancelled. A Battn parade was held in the morning.
18 Nov 1918 The Battn marched off from MAUBEUGE at 0850 hrs & arrived in RUVEROY at 1200 hrs.
19 Nov 1918 The Battn marched off from RUVEROY at 0725 hrs and arrived at MONT. STE. GENEVIEVE at 1130 hrs.
20 Nov 1918 The Battn marched off at 0848 hrs and arrived at CHARLEROI at 1250 hrs.
The Band of the Coldstream Guards played the Brigade by the Army Commander at the entrance to the town.
The Battn was billeted in the Infantry barracks which had been left in a  dirty state by the Germans.
21 Nov 1918 The Battn cleaned up. There was general swabbing in the afternoon.
22 – 23 Nov 1918 The Battn paraded on the barrack Square in the morning. Baths were allotted to the Battn on the 22nd & 23rd. Owing to a breakdown in the baths No 4 Coy could not be bathed.
24 Nov 1918 The Battn moved from CHARLEROI to PRESLES at 0826 hrs arriving at 1200 hrs.
25 Nov 1918 Rations for 25th did not arrive until 0430 hrs on 25th.
The march resumed at 0736 hrs & the Battn arrived at LESVES at 1200 hrs.
26 Nov 1918 Comdg Officer inspected the billets. The Battn cleaned up. There was general swabbing in the afternoon, the village being ina  very dirty state.
27 Nov 1918 Owing to rainfall, arm drill was done and lectures given under cover.
28 Nov 1918 March was resumed at 0741 hrs. Battn arrived at MAILLEN at 1150 hrs.
29 Nov 1918 The Battn paraded under the Adjutant in the morning. The Comdg. Officer inspected the billets.
30 Nov 1918 The Battn paraded under the Adjutant in the morning.

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