September 1918

3rd Grenadier Guards – War diary

1 – 8 Sep 1918 Narrative attached. Reference maps
8 – 15 Sep 1918 During the period 2nd Brigade was in Reserve positions near LAGNICOURT.All Coys were in shelters in DUNHELM AVENUE.

Training was carried out daily, special attention being paid to the practice of Bayonet Fighting, bombing and blocking trenches. A Lewis Gun range was also in use. Officers were practiced in compass marching.

15 Sep 1918 On the night 15th/16th, the 2nd Guards Brigade moved into the front line. The Battn relieved the 2nd Bn C.Gds in Brigade Reserve in D26. Cookers, packs & Officers kits were brought on to this position.
16 – 19 Sep 1918 Training was continued with. Nos 1 & 2 Coys were still very weak and a draft was expected from day to day.
20 – 28 Sep 1918 Narrative attached, also list of O.R. who were awarded the M.M. on 14th Sept.
29 Sep 1918 Battn cleaned up. baths at DOIGNIES were allotted to Battn in afternoon.
30 Sep 1918 Training was carried out & Advanced Guard practiced.
Sept 1st Battalion in trenches near RANSART.
8-0 pm. warning received from Brigade.
Sept 2nd 8-30 am – 9-0 am marched to HAMELINCOURT.
5-0 pm – 7-0 pm marched to L’HOMME MORT (near ST LEGER)
7-30 pm received verbal instructions for attack.
12 midnight received Brigade Orders for attack at 5-5 am
Sept 3rd 1-0 am Leading Coy started for assembly positions.
5-5 am Leading Coys advanced to Barrage.
5-20 am ZERO.
7-20 am received message from Intelligence Officer that No 2 Coy (Right front Coy) were in touch with 1st Bn K.R.R.C. on final objective.
8-35 am Commanding Officer went up, and finding no enemy in sight ordered advance of No’s 1 & 2 Coys, (Front Coys) to next ridge, No 3 Coy (Support), to valley, No 4 Coy (Reserve) to original final objective.
10-40 am Bn H.Q. moved to XRds.C.29.a. (about original final objective).
10-55 am Received orders from Brigade to carry on advance to W. edge of BOURSIES.
2-0 pm All Coys consolidating for the night.
7-0 pm Bn H.Q. moved to old German Aid Post in sunken Road at J.2.a.8.8.Casualties Killed 1, Wounded 11, Missing 5, Gassed 4 TOTAL 21
Prisoners 13.
Sept 4th 5-0 am 3rd Guards Brigade passed through Battn. Leading Coys withdrawn to J.3.a & b. & J.4.a.
Sept 5th 9-30 pm Relieved 1st Bn Welsh Guards in front line.
Bn H.Q. at D.29.c.5.8.
Right flank not in touch with 1st Bn K.R.R.C.
Quiet relief.
Sept 6th Midnight. Heavy gas shelling on Support Coys during re-organization of the line.
Casualties No 1 Coy 3 Officers, 61 O.R.
No 2 Coy 3 Officers, 30 O.R.Established liason post with 1st Bn K.R.R.C. at JOAN POST, J.2.d.2.1., still leaving serious gap in Right front Coy.
Old wire seriously hampered movement about this area.
Sept 7th 9-0 pm Pushed out 2 posts southwards from GOAT trench, J.2.a.4.2. & 1, post northwards from J.8.a.3.6. before relief by 2nd Battn Grenadier Guards, making relief of this Coy very slow and difficult.
Sept 8th 3-30 am relief by 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards complete.
bn H.Q. to C.22.a.9.6.
Battn in trenches in DUNHELM AVENUE.

  1. Vital importance of reconnoitring assembly positions before attack with creeping barrage, and impossibility of trusting guides of other units.
  2. Exploiting a success – initiative of Coy Commdrs in pushing forward strong patrols (after attaining final objective) to the next tactical feature. Necessity of informing Bn H.Q. immediately , that this movement has been started.
  3. Importance of Compass bearing.
Sept 20th The Brigade was warned that they would shortly have to attack positions E & W of the CANAL DU NORD.
No details were given.
The Battn. was warned that they would relieve 1/S.G. in front line on night 21st/22nd.
Sept 21st 9-30 am Relief of 1/S.G. cancelled. The Battn warned that they would probably relieve 1/C.G. in support on night  22/23rd. The Battn was allotted LAGNICOURT Baths in morning. Details of attack received. The Battn were told that they would have to attack Northwards on W.Bank of the CANAL, with 1 Coy in Front & 1 Coy in Support, and capture SLAG HEAP & trench system around it, & 2 Coys to be in Brigade Reserve. 1/S.G. & 1/C.G. to attack E. across the CANAL on R. & L. respectively. a piece of ground was at once selected & trenches and salient features taped on it for practice purposes. R.E. commenced a model about 10x square of the area to be attacked.Coys detailed for the attack as follows:-
No 3 Coy Front Coy. No 4 Coy in Support. No’s 1 & 2 Coys in Brigade Reserve.
A Draft of 66 O.R. joined the Battn from Details & were posted to No’s 1 & 2 Coys.
Sept 22nd A Coy Cmmdrs conference was held at 9 am and the Commanding Officer explained the plan of attack. After the conference No’s 3 & 4 Coys practiced the attack over ground marked out. At ?2.30? pm relief of 1/C.G. was cancelled.
5pm The Commanding Officer attended a conference at Brigade H.Qrs when alterations were made in the plan of attack. A
7 pm warning order was recieved to relieve 1/W.G. in front line on night of 23/24th.
9 pm The Commanding Officer held a Coy Cmmdrs conference.
The following alterations were made.
No 3 Coy & 1 Platoon of No 4 Coy to attack SLAG HEAP.
No 4 Coy (minus 1 Pltn) to be in Support.
No 2 Coy to remain in portion of front line they were taking over on 23/24th.
no 1 Coy to be in Brigade Reserve.
Sept 23rd Int.Off. proceeded to front line B.H.Q. to arrange relief.
No 3 Coy practiced attack. All Coys were instructed in the plan on the completed R.E. model.
In the afternoon Coys drew from B.H.Q. portion of “On the man Dump” to be carried in the attack. 1 extra bandolier per man, a proportion of bomb bags, wire cutters were issued.
Leading Coy marched off for relief at 7-15 pm.
Sept 23/24 1/W.G. relieved in front line.
No 1 Coy on Right. No 4 Coy in Right Centre.
No 3 Coy in Left Centre. No 2 Coy on Left.
Relief was quiet except for the Right Centre Coy of 1/W.G. which was raided during relief. Raid was easily repulsed.
After relief 1 dead German was brought in. Identification normal. Relief complete at 11-15 pm.
The line held by Battn was some 2,000 yards in length, and was held by a series of posts.
Sept 24th The day was quiet.
Sept 24/25 Transport brought up remainder of “On the man Dump”. Bombs, flares, wire-cutters & signal rockets were drawn by Coys.
Sept 25th 9 am. A heavy barrage descended on the whole front line of the Battn. All wires immediately became disconnected. At 10 am news was received from No 4 Coy that Germans had attempted a raid & had been repulsed. No men missing.
1 German was wounded, but escaped. Casualties from barrage were 3 killed and 6 wounded.
In the afternoon orders for the attack & move into the assembly area were recieved from Brigade.
B.O. No’s 70 & 71 (attached) were issued. ***Note by transcriber: The B.O.’s are not included in War diary***
Sept 25/26 Two days rations & 2nd water bottles were brought up by Transport.
Sept 26th In the course of the afternoon forward dumps were completed.
6 pm warning received that the 26th was Y day.
7-30 pm B.H.Q. moved to battle H.Qrs K.8.b.7.6.
8-0 pm Watches were synchronized. Zero hour was given out as 5-20 on the 27th.
Sept 26/27 O.O. No 71 was carried out. Battn was reported present in assembly positions at 1-15 am.
Extra ration was issued to Coys of Tea & Sugar.
Sept 27th At 7-45 am report from No 3 Coy was received that they had established C.H.Q. in SLAG HEAP & obtained liason with 1/C.G. at K.3.d.2.4. Aid post was also established at SLAG HEAP.
Parties were reported to be moving up DONKEY & DOG.
At 8 am report was received  from No 3 Coy that Right and Left parties had effected a junction in centre of objective and posts established in BEAR, DOG & DONKEY, thereby completing capture of objective. By this time 48 prisoners had been brought back from SLAG HEAP. Tanks & 52nd Divn. were also reported to be seen moving towards SQUIRREL from the North.
8-15 am 1/C.G. reported that they were suffering heavy casualties from enfilade M.G. fire on their left flank in K.4.
A message was sent to No 3 Coy to try and keep down this fire from SLAG HEAP.
10-35 Two M.G’s were reported to be still firing from K.3.a.6.5. in the 52nd Divn area.
Stokes Mortars were sent up but not used.
11 am M.G’s were reported out of action.
12-45 pm Seeing that troops on the right were suffering from enfilade M.G. fire, L/C’s WATSON & PARRY crossed the CANAL and going 600 yards across the open captured a M.G., 1 Officer and 7 men near KANGAROO Trench.
During the action one of a party of prisoners taken by 2/Lt. H.J. Gibbon turned round and threw a bomb at our party after he had been sent back. This party accounted for many Germans after the incident, 26 dead Germans being counted on the SLAG HEAP after the operations.
No 3 Coy took 83 prisoners (including wounded) & 23 M.G’s.
casualties were 12 Wounded, 2 Missing, & 3 Wd but remaining at duty owing to a pocket of Germans holding out in the Brigade area.
2-45 pm No 1 Coy (in Brigade Reserve) were ordered up to dugouts in CROSSE AVENUE and thenceforward came under orders of 1/C.G.
7-15 pm Verbal orders were received from Brigade to move back to DOIGNIES area under our own arrangements.
7-30 pm Coys were ordered to move back to this area in their own time. Guides were arranged for on the DEMICOURT-DOIGNIES Rd.
The Battalion was all present in the new position by 10-15 pm.
All arrangements had been made by Q.M. Hot meals & rum were served out on arrival. Packs and Kits arrived during the night.
Reveille was ordered to be not before 8 am.

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