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1st Battalion - 1918

The 1st Glosters were at La Bergerie Camp until the 4th January, then they relieved the 8th Royal Berkshire Regiment. Heavy snow fell and patrol work was done in Houthulst Wood. On the 9th they were relieved and moved to the Bosche Cross-Roads with no casualties suffered. Working parties carried wire to the front line. From the 13th to the 20th the Battalion was in training at Crombeke camp. Heavy rain and gales swept the camp. On the 20th they moved into dugouts along the east bank of the Yser Canal. 9th February they moved to a camp 2 miles west of Elverdinghe, the weather cleared.

The British Army was being reorganized and as part of this the 10th Glosters were disbanded, with drafts of officers and men joining the 1st Battalion. The 1st Division moved to Poelcapelle and on the 19th the 1st Battalion moved to Kempton Park Camp, south of St. Julien. On the 4th March they relieved the Cameron Highlanders in the front line. On the morning of the 6th March the Germans raided a post at Meunier House, 2nd Lieut. I.J. Warren was wounded and died 2 days later. 3 men were killed and 4 wounded, but the raid was driven off. 8th March the Glosters were relieved by the 2nd Welch and moved into support positions for 2 days before moving back to the front line. Another spell at Kempton Park Camp lasted to the 28th March. The Battalion moved back into support positions and on the 30th moved to the front line again. During the night of the 31st March a raid was led by 2nd Lieut. A.N. Gould. During the raid 2 men were wounded and 2nd Lieut. Gould helped both men back, he was awarded the Military Cross. Another raid on the night of the 2nd April was led by Gould and by 2nd Lieut. Hampson. Four prisoners were brought back and no casualties suffered. on the 6th April the Battalion was relieved and moved back to Siege Camp. On the 8th the 1st Division was sent to a line south of the La Bassee Canal.

On the 9th April the Great German Offensive began. Thick fog made it difficult for the defenders and the Germans broke through the Portuguese Division, forcing the British 55th and 40th Divisions to withdraw. On the 15th the 1st Glosters were at Festubert. On the 17th the Germans shelled Festubert and 5 men were killed and 4 wounded. On the 18th April the Germans attacked (Battle of Bethune), again in fog. Four German Regiments attacked on 3 sides. Lieut. G.M. Vaisey was wounded (he died on the 19th). 2nd Lieut. Hudson was killed by a shell. The Germans had penetrated the sector but met stiff resistance. Lieut. Cox was killed and the Signallers, cooks, orderlies and batmen were organised to help defend the Battalion HQ. But the fog lifted and soon the Germans were being driven back with heavy casualties. The Battalion was relieved and moved to Gorre. They had lost 4 officers killed and 5 wounded, 53 men killed, 123 wounded. The following awards were made for this action:

Lieut-Colonel J. Tweedie DSO - a bar to the DSO

Military Cross to Captain F. Seldon, Lieut. G. Gosling, 2nd Lieuts. J.L. Hall and A. Dobson.
Lieutenant J.L. Hall. 'A' Company.
"It was on the 18th of April. If you remember I told you about our battle in a previous letter. The Bosch attacked and surrounded my position. I was in a very difficult position. My men were being knocked out right and left. I wouldn't give in, but stuck to my post with the few men I had left. I asked for three volunteers to come with me and attack the enemy with bombs. We went and only myself and a man came back alive. The other two were killed. It was an absolute wonder that all of us weren't shot. I held on all day until I had only three men left. During the evening fresh men were sent up to me and I was able to attack and drive the Hun back to his trench again. We killed quite a large number. It was like killing rabbits. It was awful to hear the cries of my poor men who had been wounded. All that we could do with them was to bandage up their wounds." Awarded the Military Cross.

Bar to the DCM to CSM.s W. Biddle and W. Reece.

DCM to Sergt. W. Corbett and Private A. Mitcham.

Military Medals to 24 men.

Brigadier H. Morant wrote to Colonel Tweedie:

"I wish to express my admiration of the gallant defence put up by your Battalion yesterday. The tenacity with which they held their positions when attacked in front, flank and rear by four Regiments has earned the praise of commanders of all grades... All ranks fought as though mindful of the emblem they wear and fully justified the wearing of it."

The 1st Battalion marched back to billets at Sailley-la-Bourse. On the 28th they moved to the Hohenzollern Sector for an uneventful tour, before moving to Annequin on the 6th May. More tours in the front line at Cambrin followed with much patrol work being done. On the night of the 4th June a raid was led by Captain C. Templer and 2nd Lieuts. Mayell and Pullen, with 100 men. The raid was successful, but Captain Templer was killed by a 'stray' shell whilst moving back across No-Man's Land, 1 other man was killed, 6 wounded and 1 missing. The following awards were made for the raid:

Military Cross to CSM W. Biddle - Bar to the MM to L/Corp. E. Gregory - MM's to Corp. H. Hook, L/Corp. F. Powis and Private C. Leach.

On the 5th June the Battalion moved back to Noeux-les-Mines before returning to the front line on the 17th. On the 18th Sergeant Roberts took a small patrol out and bombed a German post, Sergt. Roberts and Private Gaffney were awarded the MM.

1st August the Battalion was back at Noeux-les-Mines. On the 9th they marched to Bois d'Olhain for training. Another tour at Annequin followed and on the 21st the Battalion was driven by bus to Tangry, near Pernes. The 1st Division was now attached to the Canadian Corps. 1st September they arrived at Arras, the Glosters in billets at Achicourt. That night they moved into the front line near Wancourt. The next day the Canadians attacked the Hindenburg Line from Queant to Drocourt (the Glosters in support). The Line was broken and an advance of 3 miles was made. By the 8th the Glosters were at Noyelle-Vion. Next they were moved to Aubigny and on the 10th they entrained for Villers-Bretonneux, to the reserve of the IXth Corps, 4th Army. On the 12th they moved to Tertry on the St. Quentin front. Next day they moved to the front line near Marteville. An attack took Maissemy Ridge, but a fierce German counter-attack retook the Ridge. Early next morning the Glosters attacked again and rettok all positions, the Battalion lost Lieut. E. Richardson, 2nd Lieut. W. Lambert killed, with 13 men killed and 47 wounded. The Battalion then moved into reserve at Vermand. The Battalion then moved onto the Ridge for several days. On the 23rd September the Glosters took part in the attack on Fresnoy-le-Petit. The position was heavily defended and held out. Then Gricourt was attacked and captured. Next 2 platoons were ordered to attack the enemy position at Fresnoy again. Led by Lieuts. W. Danahy and G. Gosling, the attack took all day but finally the defenders gave up. 5 German Officers, 114 men and 24 heavy machine guns were captured.

Battle of St. Quentin Canal - 29th September to 2nd October. The 1st Glosters were near Gricourt and were ordered to advance and take Faucille Trench, Foreats Trench and Forfait Alley. By the 1st October they were at Lehaucourt.

The Glosters moved to Joncourt on the 3rd October and to Preselles on the 4th. On the 5th they were ordered to attack Mannequin Hill. On the 17th they moved to Vaux Andigny and supported attacks in the area. 30th October they moved to Mazinghein to attack and capture Catillon. On Nov. 1st a German raid was repulsed, but Lieut. A. Skemp and 6 men were killed. On the 3rd Nov. the attack on Catillon began. The attack was successful and the position taken, 2 officers were wounded, 4 men and killed and 26 wounded. The Battalion moved to Vaux Andigny that night, to Bohain on the 5th and to Fresnoy on the 6th. They were there in billets on the 11th November, when the War ended.

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