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1st Battalion - 1915

12th January 1915, the 1st Battalion relieved the Cameron Highlanders at Givenchy. There was a sinlge line of trenches, no dugouts or support trenches, the weather was terrible, alternating between snow, frost and rain. On the mprning of the 25th January, the Germans attacked. About 7.35am Captain H. Richmond and W. George (both 'D' Company) were killed. A group of Germans got behind the Glosters line and Private W. Hotchkins organised his trench with men firing to the front and rear. 2nd Lieut. W. Leslie ('C' Company) was killed near Pnot Fixe. 9 men were killed and Captain W. Foord and 27 men wounded. 2 Military Crosses and 3 DCM's were awarded to the Battalion. The German attack was repulsed and the Glosters were relieved on the 3rd February and moved back to Marles les Mines.

25th February the 1st Battalion moved to the front line at Festubert. 7th March they moved back to Gorre, then Hinges, on the 14th went to the front line at Neuve Chapelle and Port Arthur. Another rest period at Locon was followed by a period in the front line at Richebourg L'Avoue. 3rd May to billets at Hinges again. The weather was now fine and on the 7th May they moved to Lannoy. On the 8th May they moved up to take part in the battle of Aubers Ridge. The attacks failed and the Battalion marched back to Locon on the 10th May. They had lost 11 officers and 253 men. Captain Brodigan, Lieuts. R. de Trafford, W. Heffernan and 2nd Lieut P. Larwrence were killed. Captains F. Finch and G. Bosanquet, Lieuts. F. Griffiths and G. Firbank, 2nd Lieuts. J. Jevons, F. Bowles and W. Hodges were wounded.

Periods in and out of the line followed, with little happening. On September 13th the Battalion moved to Philosophe, where old French trenches were dug out. On the 18th the Battalion was employed carrying up gas cylinders to the front line for the attack at Loos. On the 24th they moved to Vaudricourt Woods and on the 25th to the assembly trenches. The Battalion was now 22 officers and 787 men. On the 25th September the Battle of Loos began. The 1st Battalion were to support the initial attack. At 7.15am they were ordered to move forward. When they advanced towards the Loos-Haisnes Road a group of 400 Germans surrendered. At 4pm orders were given for the battalion to move to Bois Hugo and take the wood. At the wood the battalion started to dig in. They had no entrenching tools and continued digging through the night. The next morning the Battalion was relieved by the 8th Lincolns. Lieutenant Clairmonte and his machine gunners stayed at the Wood. They were all killed there when the Germans attacked later.

The Battalion moved to Le Routoire Farm. They then moved into the old German front-line trenches at Bois Carre. On the 29th September they were relieved bu the Irish Guards, and moved to billets at Noeux-les- Mines. On the 5th October they returned to Loos, to the Chalk Pit Sector. On the 8th the Germans attacked in massed ranks. Heavy shelling had taken a terrible toll on the British Regiments in the line. The Glosters stopped the German advance and they fled back to their lines leaving between 4 and 500 dead. The Glosters lost 20 men killed, 96 wounded and 5 missing. They were relieved at 11pm and put to work digging trenches. German shell fire continued and on the 11th Lieut. L. Brown was killed.

On the 13th the British attacked the Hohenzollern Redoubt. The Glosters were to hold the Germans by throwing smole bombs just before the attack. The Germans replied with intense artillery fire and the Battalion lost 5 officers and 50 men killed or wounded. Captain R. Scott and 2nd Lieut. R. Chambers were wounded and died later. Lieut. R. Angier, 2nd Lieuts. R. Hewitt and C. Case were wounded. At 10pm the Battalion moved to billets at Mazingarbe and on the 19th moved to Cauchy a la Tour.

19th November the Battalion relieved the Cameron Highlanders in the Loos Sector. Time was spent in the line and then back in reserve. On Christmas day they were at Noeux-les-Mines.


1916