Oldham Historical Research Group

1914 - 1918

Guardsman 21718,
Service No. 385
No. 2 Company
Killed in Action 31st July 1917

3rd Battle of Ypres
With many page transcriptions from 'The Grenadier Guards in the Great War of 1914-1918' by Sir Frederick Ponsonby, to recount the actual organisation & battles in which the Grenadiers, in particular the 4th Battalion, took part.
Pub. 1920 in 3 Volumes, .
from Volume 2
Part 12 ... Narrative Parts Index
Edward was Killed in Action on the 31st July ... from Ponsonby's account below:

Boesinghe 31st July p.232
The section of the Machine-Gun Company which followed the 2nd battalion during this advance suffered very much from shell-fire. Lieutenant Cottle, the officer in command, was killed whilst going forward to reconnoitre, and shortly afterwards one of the guns of this section with its entire team was knocked out by a shell. The remaining guns, however, were brought up into good positions in the front line.

The War Diaries for the Machine Gun Guards that day tells us that "Capt. the Hon. V. Agar-Robartes and 6 O.R were wounded" but I feel that his is an error on account of their being in the middle of fierce fighting and that, in fact, at least four of those wounded died on that day.

I think that at some time after the battle, a memorial cross was erected for him, possibly at the site of his death, because his Burial Return on the CWGC website records that ..."'Erected crosses were found with no remains ... and removed to Duhallows Cemetery"

He is remembered on the War Memorial in Clayton, near Manchester, and on the headstone of his parents' grave, in St. Cross Graveyard, Clayton.

Ypres was lovingly restored after the war, and rose like a phoenix from the ashes, new born. When the church itself was rebuilt in 1928, the people of Lancashire donated money for a stained glass window, to commemorate the Lancashire men who had died there. The central image of the window is of England's patron saint, St George. Each town that contributed, had its own commemorative panel, including that of Oldham.

Photos in the Gallery

transcripts :
p. 209


On the evening of the 30th of July the 3rd Battalion left Forest Area, and moved up with the remainder of the 2nd Brigade to the assembly area on the western side of the Canal. On theway it halted in a field just east of Elverdinghe, and the men were provided with hot tea and rum. This halt had a very good effect, for not only did it give the men rest on a long and tiring march, but it saved them from the nervous tension of a long period of waiting in the line for the battle to begin.

The east side of the Canal had fallen into our hands a few days previously, and it was therefore possible to hold that side lightly. On the right of the Guards Division the Thirty-eighth Division had been equally successful, and had established itself on the east bank; but it had not been able to push its line any farther forward.

The 1st Battalion Scots Guards and the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards were to be in the front line, and their leading companies were to start from the farther side of the Canal, which had fallen into our hands a few days previously. The 3rd Battalion Grenadiers and 1st Battalion Coldstream were in reserve some 400 yards from the Canal. The two leading Battalions were to take the first and second objectives, and the two Battalions in reserve were then to pass through and secure the third objective. The final objective was left to the 1st Guards Brigade, which formed the Divisional Reserve.

3rd Batt.
31 July
p. 210
The following officers took part in the attack :
Lieut.-Colonel A.F.A.N. Thorne, D.S.O ... Commanding Oflicer.
Lieut. K. Henderson ... Acting Adjutant.
2nd Lieut. L. Holbech ... Intelligence Oflicer.
Lieut. E.R.M. Fryer ... No. 1 Company.
Lieut. F.J. Siltzer ... No. 1 Company
2nd Lieut. A. G. Elliott ... No. 1 Company
Capt. the Hon. F.O.H. Eaton ... No. 2 Company.
Lieut. F.W.R. Greenhill ... No. 2 Company
Lieut. J.F. \Vorsley ... No. 2 Company
Capt. W.W.S.C. Neville, M.C., ... No. 3 Company.
2nd Lieut. the Hon. A.M. Borthwick ... No. 3 Company.
2nd Lieut. B.J. Dunlop ... No. 3 Company
Lieut. F.J. Heasman ... No. 4 Company.
2nd Lieut. C.W. Carrington ... No. 4 Company
Attached - Capt. G.W. East, R.A.M.C.

The whole Brigade took up its battle positions without any difficulty : the two leading Battalions each placed two companies less two platoons on the farther bank, and left two platoons as moppers-up on the western bank. The shelling of the Canal by the German artillery never ceased for a moment, and caused a good many casualties. The attack was timed to start at 3.50am but in order to conform with the creeping barrage the actual advance of the Brigade did not take place till twenty minutes later. The leading Battalions advanced behind the creeping barrage in four waves, with an interval of over 100 yards between each wave. The attack was assisted by a machine-gun barrage: eight guns from the Divisional Machine-Gun Company were detailed for this work, as well as the 4th Guards and the 29th Machine-Gun Companies. Both by the attacking troops, and by prisoners who were subsequently taken in the advance, this barrage was reported to have been most effective.

3rd Batt.
31 July
p. 211-212
The attack was completely successful, and the first objective or Blue line was secured at 4:30am, but there was naturally a considerable number of casualties, especially on the right,where the Scots Guards were exposed to enfilade fire. The 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards waited in its trenches until 5am., by which time it was light; and although the enemy continued with all the German thoroughness to shell the Canal itself, it never seems to have occurred to him to put barrages down farther back. This was undoubtedly a bad mistake on his part.

At 5am., according to orders, the 3rd Battalion started off with No.1 Company under Lieutenant R. Fryer on the right, and No. 2 Company under Captain the Hon. F. Eaton on the left. In support came No. 3 Company, commanded by Captain W. Neville, while No. 4 Company under Lieutenant F. Heasman was employed in carrying up material to the various objectives, and was directly under the orders of the Brigade. The passage across the Canal was successfully accomplished, though owing to the broken bridges there was a certain amount of delay. In some places, indeed, these bridges, consisting of petrol tins, had been so much damaged that there was practically nothing to walk upon. However, the barrage thrown on the Canal was by no means continuous, and as a certain amount of latitude was allowed in the choice of a crossing, officers were able to select comparatively safe courses, with the result that there were no casualties. Having crossed the Canal, the Battalion advanced in artillery formation towards Artillery Wood over the most difficult ground, while the German artillery sent high-explosive shells over, directing them to any strong points that might be made use of by the attacking force. So the 3rd Battalion arrived at the Blue line.

Meanwhile the battalions in front had been pushing on to the second objective or Black line. This phase of the attack was more complicated, for the enemy's machine-guns were scattered about in "pill-boxes," which were difiicult to capture, and a great many casualties occurred not only from the machine-guns, but also from the German infantry, which was holding positions in the shell-holes in front of its trenches.

When the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards approached the Black line it found that there were hardly any British troops in front of it, as the Scots Guards, having suffered heavy casualties, were mostly employed in dealing with the "pill-boxes" on their right. Captain Eaton at once disengaged No. 2 Company, and brought it up on the left of No. 1. The enemy's machine-guns at Maison Tambour had been very troublesome,and had caused twenty casualties in No. 1 Company on the way up. Leaving Captain Neville to deal with this difficulty, Captain Eaton and Lieutenant Fryer extended their companies in two waves, and with the help of the Scots Guards, who were now freed from guarding the right flank, rushed on, and seized the second objective or Black line. At the same time Captain Neville brought up Lewis guns and rifle grenades, and with the help of hand grenades succeeded in silencing the obstructive enemy post. The Adjutant, Lieutenant Henderson, finding that the Division on the right was not keeping pace, went out to find the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but before he was able to accomplish his mission he was shot through the body, and eventually carried back into safety.

3rd Batt.
31 July
p. 213-214
Although the Black line had been captured, the situation on the right was still unsatisfactory, and part of No.1 Company had to face to that flank. The duty of reporting the position of the Battalion to the contact aeroplanes was then accomplished by waving large flappers above sheets laid on the ground.

The advance to the third objective or Green line was now timed to begin, and this was entrusted to the 3rd Battalion Grenadiers and 1st Battalion Coldstream. As the advance progressed considerable opposition was met with from the block-houses on the railway. These block-houses were also holding up the Thirty-eighth Division. Nor was No. 2 Company on the left of the Grenadiers free to advance, as there were several "pill-boxes" in front of it to be disposed of. Captain Eaton began to deal with these methodically, and with the aid of Lewis guns and bombs demolished each in turn. As No.1 Company approached a house which it had surrounded, a large white flag was seen to be waved frantically from one of the apertures, and eventually three German officers and fifty men emerged and surrendered.

Captain Neville was occupied in dealing with the situation on the right, while Nos.1 and 2 Companies continued their advance. Just beyond Wood House he brought up two machine-guns and got them into action under cover of the low railway embankment. Lieutenant Dunlop was told to advance with No. 9 Platoon, and started off most gallantly in the face of a withering fire when he was shot dead. Captain Neville at once brought up No.12 Platoon, while Lieutenant Borthwick, with No.11 Platoon, guarded the right flank. This enabled Nos.1 and 2 Companies to push on and secure the Green line. During the last advance Captain Eaton had been unable to keep touch with the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, who had had to bear to the left to retain touch with the 3rd Guards Brigade, but on reaching the Green line every unit was at its allotted post. While Captain Eaton and Lieutenant Fryer were ordering their Companies to consolidate the position, Captain Neville noticed that the Thirty-eighth Division was still being held up by three "pill-boxes" which were situated in rear of his Company on the other side of the railway line. Rifle-fire was quite useless against 2 feet of ferro-concrete, and he therefore determined to make a bombing attack. Though there was, of course, considerable danger of the attackers being shot by the Thirty-eighth Division, it seemed the only way of dealing with this obstruction. The attack was led by Sergeant Browning and Private Baker, both of whom were wounded, and was wonderfully successful, the enemy being completely dislodged from their position, and losing 20 killed and 42 captured. Lieut.-Colonel Thorne came up soon after, and expressed his approval of all the dispositions that had been made. In order to adhere strictly to the orders, he told Captain Neville to take his men from the front line into support, and Lieut.

3rd Batt.
31 July
p. 215
Grenadier Guards, of the 1st Brigade, was seen advancing to pass through, and in order to prevent any confusion Captain Neville decided to wait until it had passed before sorting out his men. Having carried out his orders he was just looking round to see if there were no more men of his Company in the front line when he was hit by a bullet.

During the whole attack No. 4 Company, under Lieutenant Heasman, acted as a carrying party for the whole Brigade, and was split up into five small parties of about twenty men, each under a Sergeant. Yukon packs which the men wore were of great service for carrying shells and water-bottles. Each man carried four Stokes-gun shells and a coil of French wire during the initial stages of the attack, but later in the day two or three tins of water were carried instead. One party made no less than five journeys to the Blue line, a distance of 1000 yards, and the average number of journeys was three. After the third objective had been taken Lieutenant Heasman received orders to go himself to Battalion Headquarters, and to send Second Lieutenant Carrington with the whole of No.4 Company up to the second objective to relieve the Scots Guards.

The total casualties in the 3rd Battalion were 2 officers killed (Second Lieutenant B. J. Dunlop and Captain G. W. East, R.A.M.C.), 4 officers wounded (Lieutenant K. Henderson, Lieutenant J.F. Worsley, Second Lieutenant A. G. Elliott, and Captain W. Neville, M.C., whilst among other ranks there were 26 killed, 113 wounded, and 12 missing.

1st Battn.
31 July

p. 216-217


Although the attack at Boesinghe was, comparatively speaking, a simple operation, since the Germans had brought in the "crater zone" theory of defence, and the ground therefore was not strongly defended, it was most successful, and the manner in which the distances between the various waves were maintained during the attack, and the promptitude with which the fire positions were taken up and consolidated, won the warmest praise from the Brigadier, Lord Henry Seymour. The morning of the 31st was very
misty, and the enemy's aeroplanes were unable to locate the attacking troops and incapable of directing the barrage. The comparatively light casualties may therefore be attributed to this fortunate state of the atmosphere.

The dispositions of the 3rd Guards Brigade were as follows: The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards on the right, and the lst Battalion Welsh Guards on the left, were to take the first two objectives, the Blue and Black lines, while the 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards and 2nd Battalion Scots Guards were to capture the third objective. The 1st Guards Brigade was then to pass through and take the fourth objective or Dotted Green line.

On July 29 the King's Company under Lieutenant Pauling and No.2 Company under Captain Baker left Forest Camp to take over from the Irish Guards their battle front, while the officers and men who were not to take part in the battle returned to Herzeele under Captain L. Fisher-Rowe. Owing to a most fortunate reconnaissance by the 1st Guards Brigade, some days before, advanced positions on the eastern side of the Canal had been seized by the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, and had since been maintained. This proved of the greatest value to the 1st Battalion, since it enabled the leading companies to start the attack on the farther bank, instead of having to cross the Canal under fire.

As soon as it was dark the King's and No. 2 Companies crossed the Canal by means of petrol tin bridges, which swayed so much that several men fell into the water, until orders were given that not more than four men at a time were to cross. Each company pushed forward two platoons as far as Baboon Reserve Trench, leaving one platoon in Baboon Support Trench and the remaining platoon on the Canal bank. This movement was naturally not carried out without a certain number of casualties. Captain Baker and his servant were killed by a direct hit from a shell, and Acting Company Sergeant-Major \Vheatley of No. 2 Company was wounded in addition to a number of other ranks. The Battalion Headquarters, which was on the west side of the Canal at the end of Bridge Street, was also constantly shelled, but as Nos. 3 and 4 Companies remained in Forest Area till the 30th, the greater part of the German shells were wasted.

1st Battn.
p. 218-219
On the 30th, subsections of the 3rd Guards Brigade Machine-Gun Company and the Trench Mortar Battery moved up to their assembly positions. No. 3 Company under Lieutenant Dashwood and No. 4 under Captain Lawford moved up into the trenches known as X line, just short of the Canal. Brigadier-General Lord Henry Seymour came round as soon as these positions were taken up to see that everything was ready. All through the day the two leading companies in their advanced position came in for a great deal of shelling, although mercifully the German artillery did not seem to know their precise position. Lieutenant Pauling, in command of the King's Company, and Lieutenant Lawrence, who had been sent up to command No. 2 after Captain Baker had been killed, were both wounded, and the two Company Sergeant-Majors, who had replaced those wounded the day before, were both killed. These losses were particularly unfortunate just as the attack was about to start. It rained intermittently all day, and the trenches were consequently in a marshy condition. On the night of the 30th the Battalion was formed up ready to attack the following morning.

The officers who took part in this attack were
as follows :
Lieut.-Colonel M. E. Makgill-Crichton-Maitland, D.S.O ... Commanding Officer.
Capt. P.J.S. Pearson-Gregory ... Adjutant.
Lieut. W.H. Lovell ... Lewis Gun Officer.
Capt. P.M. Spence ... Attached to Batt. Headquarters.
Lieut. M. Thrupp ... King's Company
2nd Lieut. O.F. Stein ... King's Company.
Lieut. T.P. M. Bevan ... No. 2 Company.
2nd Lieut. S.Y.P. Gardner ... No. 2 Company
Lieut. W.J. Dashwood ... No. 3 Company.
Lieut. P.G. Simmons ... No. 3 Company
2nd Lieut. H.G. Johnson ... No. 3 Company
Capt. R.D. Lawford ... No. 4 Company.
2nd Lieut. A.S. Chambers ... No. 4 Company
2nd Lieut. J.W. Chapple ... No. 4 Company
Capt. J. C. B. Grant, R.A.M.C. ... Medical Ofiiccr.

During the night of the 30th our artillery bombarded the German artillery with gas shells. The result was very satisfactory, for, although the British front line received a good proportion of shells, the assembly was carried out without a hitch, and almost. without a casualty. Zero hour was at 3.50am., but, as the 3rd Guards Brigade was so far in advance of the rest of the line, the 1st Battalion Grenadiers had to wait till 4.28am. before advancing behind the barrage. The enemy put down a heavy barrage on the Canal, but seeing no attack start on our front evidently assumed that none was intended, and lifted the barrage to another sector. During this preliminary bombardment Lieutenant Thrupp had his wrist smashed by a splinter of a shell, but after he had had it bound up by his runner he joined the advance, when a bullet through his leg stopped him a second time. Although he was carried down to the dressing-station, he never recovered, and died that evening.

1st Battn.
31 July

p. 220-221
The order of the advance was as follows :

First Wave. 2 Platoons of the King's Company.
2 Platoons of No. 2 Company.
Moppers-up. 2 Platoons of No. 4 Company.
2 Sections of the King's Company.
2 Sections of No. 2 Company.
Second Wave. No. 3 Company in support.
Third Wave. 2 Platoons of the King's Company (less 2 sections}.
2 Platoons of No. 2 Company (less 2 sections).
Remainder of No. 4 Company.

There were ten paces between the lines and seventy-five paces between the waves.

At 4.36 a protective barrage was put down on the southern half of the Blue line, and a quarter of an hour later it was continued on the northern half. The King's and No. 2 Companies advanced in perfect order, but so eager were they to get at the enemy that the officers and N.C.O.'s found it difficult to prevent the men going too fast, and getting dangerously near the creeping barrage. Owing to the mist the 1st Battalion went a little too much to the right, but this tendency was easily corrected later on. At first the moppers-up did not make many prisoners, but as the advance continued they found dug-outs full of Germans, and captured about fifty. The first objective or Blue line was taken with comparative ease, but just as the Battalion reached it Captain Lawford and Lieutenant Dashwood were wounded. The former recovered, but Lieutenant Dashwood died two days afterwards in hospital. Within twenty minutes of the capture of this line the consolidation was complete. French wire was run out and strong points were dug. While this was being done the attack on the second objective or Black line was started by the third wave followed by the second wave. Everything went like clockwork, and there was no hitch of any kind. At zero + 3 hours and 24 minutes the 4th Battalion passed through to assault the Green line. No. 3 Company was placed under the direct orders of the officer commanding the 4th Battalion, and was ordered to make a strong point just north of Abri Farm. The 101st French Regiment on the left was held up for a time, but the 4th Battalion Grenadiers by its advance lessened the pressure on the French front and enabled them to seize the enemy's strong point at Colonel's Farm. While No. 4 Company was consolidating the Black line Second Lieutenant Chapple was seriously wounded, and died a few days later in hospital. As the advance to the third objective started, the two platoons of the King's Company, which had reached the Black line, returned to the Battalion in the Blue line, and at 9.50am. Lieut.-Colonel Maitland received orders to withdraw his Battalion.

During the attack the 1st Battalion captured four machine-guns and two Minenwerfers. The casualties in the Battalion were 2 officers and
24 other ranks killed, 2 officers and 3 other ranks died of wounds, and 3 officers and 85 other ranks wounded. The medical arrangements were perfect, and the whole battlefield was cleared by 10am.

4th Battn.
31 July
p. 222-224


At 9 o'clock on the night of the 30th the 4th Battalion left Forest Bivouac Area, and marched via Artillery Track 12, Bridge Street, and Clarges Street through Boesinghe to its forming-up areas, which it reached without suffering any casualties. By 1.20am., all companies were reported to be in their places. No. 1 under Lieut. Pixley and No. 4 under Captain Paton, with two mopping-up platoons from No. 2 Company, were in the front trench, with the rest of the Battalion some distance in rear. The 4th Battalion was to follow the lst Battalion until the first two objectives, the Blue and Black lines, had been secured. It was then to pass through that Battalion, andattack the Green line. After this had been takenthe 1st Guards Brigade would pass through and go on to the Dotted line over the Steenbeek River.

The following officers took part in the attack :
Lieut.-Colonel Viscount Gort, D.S.O., M.V.O., M.C. ... Commanding Oflicer.
Capt. C.R. Gerard ... Adjutant.
Lieut. J.B.M. Burke ... Intelligence Officer.
Lieut. I.H. Ingleby ... Act. Quartermaster.
2nd Lieut. N.A. Pearce ... Transport Officer.
Lieut. J.N.F. Pixley ... No. 1 Company.
2nd Lieut. G.R. Green ... No. 1 Company
2nd Lieut. E.H. Tuckwell ... No. 1 Company
2nd Lieut. J.M. Chitty ... No. 1 Company
Capt. the Hon. F.E. Needham ... No. 2 Company.
Lieut. R.G. West ... No. 2 Company
2nd Lieut. II. IV. \Vindeler ... No. 2 Company
211d Lieut. F.R. Oliver ... No. 2 Company
Capt. C.H. Greville ... No. 3 Company.
Lieut. R. Farquhar, i\[.C ... No. 3 Company
Lieut. C.S. Nash ... No. 3 Company
Capt. G.H.T. Paton, M.C ... No. 4 Company.
2nd Lieut. B.J. Hubbard ... No. 4 Company
Lieut. C.E. Irby ... No. 4 Company
2nd Lieut. J.J.M. Veitch ... No. 4 Company
Capt. N. Grellier, M.C., R.A.M.C. ... Medical Officer.

At 3.50am. the barrage began, and the noise was terrific. The whole sky blazed, and it seemed as if every gun that had ever been made was firing. Nos. 1 and 44 Companies, followed by the Battalion Forward Command Party and the moppers-up, crossed the Canal, moving in artillery formation. The left of No. 4 Company was heavily shelled as it crossed, and two platoons became rather scattered and lost direction. Second Lieutenant Hubbard with great coolness succeeded in rallying them and bringing them back to their correct position. There was at the time a considerable amount of machine-gun fire from Crapouillot Wood, and in the terrific noise and semi-darkness it was not easy to keep the platoons together. During the first stages of the advance both companies found it diflicult to recognise landmarks, and compass bearings had to be used. There was a marked tendency to mistake Artillery Wood for Wood 15, which in the circumstances was hardly to be wondered at. Some loss of direction was inevitable, and at one time Grenadier, Irish, and Scots Guards seemed inextricably mixed south of Artillery Viiood. But the private soldier of to-day is extremely intelligent, and if he can only see his officer he will disentangle himself, and get into his right place. Captain Pixley soon managed to re-form his Company, and take it on in the right direction, while the companies and platoons from the other Battalions sorted themselves out in an incredibly short time. No. 4 Company had also lost direction, and had come in for very heavy shelling, but Captain Paton was able by the aid of his compass to bring it back to the correct line of advance. A 5.9 shell fell right among the Battalion Forward Command Party, wounding many men and throwing it into great confusion. Lieutenant J.B. Burke quickly re-organised the party with the few remaining men, and was able to maintain the chain of communications.

When the Black line was reached, the 4th Battalion deployed into line. The hostile shelling had completely died down, and except. for some machine-gun fire from the direction of Abri Wood the deployment was not interfered with. A smoke barrage proved most effective, and completely covered the Battalion as it deployed. The 1st Battalion had succeeded in capturing the Blue and Black lines in accordance with the scheduled time, and the advance on the Green line now commenced. On the right of the 4th Battalion was the 1st Battalion Coldstream, and on the left the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards. No. 1 Company was delayed for a short time by the water surrounding Lapin Farm, but managed to catch up the barrage again before entering Abri W'ood. The creeping barrage was perfect, and gave the men great confidence. On the left of the 3rd Guards Brigade the 101st French Regiment had been held up by machine-guns, with the result that the left flank of the Brigade was in the air. The 2nd Battalion Scots Guards had to throw back a defensive flank, so as to keep touch with its neighbours.

4th Battn.
31 July
p. 225-226
There was a considerable amount of machine-gun fire from "pill-boxes" in Abri Wood, and also enfilade fire from the right, but the advance was not delayed on this account. The "pill-boxes" were rapidly surrounded, and the occupants of dug-outs immediately emerged and surrendered; only in a few cases was it necessary to bomb them. Three trench mortars were captured in a position near Abri Farm, and the whole attack was most successful.

As soon as the Green line was secured, consolidation was begun. The front occupied by the Battalion extended from Captain's Farm to Fourche Farm, with strong points at both these places, and a support line consisting of fortified shell-holes fifty yards in rear. Machine-guns, Stokes mortars, and Lewis guns were brought up and posted at different points in the front line. No. 3 Company of the 1st Battalion, which had been placed under Lord Gort's orders, dug a large cruciform post in rear of the support trench, and by 2pm. the whole of the defences were complete and efficiently wired.

Meanwhile the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards had passed through, and had succeeded in reaching the Green Dotted line, with its left on Fourche Farm and its right on Signal Farm. For the first two hours after the Green line had been captured the shelling was negligible, but when three German contact aeroplanes flew very low over the line, and located the Battalion, every one feared the worst. It was not long before a heavy bombardment took place, and the shells fell with alarming rapidity. Captain Pixley had a somewhat lucky escape; he had selected a concrete dug-out in Captain's Farm for his headquarters when he was requested by the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards to hand it over to be used as its Battalion Headquarters. He had hardly left it when it was blown to pieces by a shell. He then changed his quarters to a hut, but had to move farther to the left when the Battalion took over the whole line, and soon after he vacated it the hut was demolished by a shell.

Orders were now received for the 4th Battalion to take over the whole frontage, from Captain's Farm to Colonel's Farm, so that the 2nd Scots Guards might be withdrawn. This operation was carried out in pouring rain, and the Battalion spent a miserable night, being soaked to the skin and continually shelled. The next morning, August 1, the trenches were in a shocking condition owing to the rain, and the shell-holes were full of water. A heavy bombardment took place in the morning, and died down later. At 7 that evening the 4th Battalion was relieved by the 3rd Battalion Coldstream, and returned to Forest Area Bivouac Camp. Both officers and men were dead-beat, having had no sleep for three days; they were so wet that everything they had with them was ruined by the rain, and any paper or book was like pulp.

There were 2 officers wounded (Lieut.-Colonel Lord Gort and Captain C.H. Greville), while the casualties amongst the other ranks were: killed 15, wounded 94, gassed 1, shell-shock 3, died of wounds 4, missing 5. On Lord Gort being sent to hospital, Captain the Hon. F. E. Needham took over the command of the Battalion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Next part

Edward Garside Whitehead
* Edward & family
Part 1
* Edward enlists in Jan.1915;
* formation of the 4th Battn.
* Guards Division in 1915.
Part 2
* Battle of Loos, Sept.1915 -
* the Guards Division
at Loos.
Part 3
* Battle of Loos, Sept.1915
* The 4th Battn at Loos.
Part 4
Edward lands in France Oct.

* Diary of the War-
Oct., Nov., Dec., 1915;
* 4th Battn. Oct - Dec
Part 5
Edward transfers to
Machine-Gun Guards

* Diary of the War -
Jan - Sept. 1916;
* 4th Battn. Jan - Apr. 1916
Part 6
* 4th Battn. Apr - Jul.1916
Part 7
* The Guards Divison
at the Somme;
* Division Orders
Part 8
* The 4th Battn. at
The Battle of the Somme
Part 9
* Diary of the War -
Oct to Dec 1916:
* 4th Battn - Oct - Nov 1916;
* Diary of the War -
Jan - Mar 1917;
* 4th Battn. Jan - Mar 1917
Part 10
* Diary of the War -
April - July 1917;
* 4th Battn. Apr - July 1917
Part 11
* The Guards Division. -
Battle of Boesinghe
31 July 1917
This Part
* Edward Killed in action in
Battle of Boesinghe

31 July 1917
*3rd Battalion - Boesinghe
1st battalion - Boesinghe
4th battalion - Boesinghe

Part 13
* 2nd Battalion - Boesinghe
* Diary of War - Aug -Sept.
* 1st Battn. Aug - Sept.
* Guards Divison - Oct. 1917
Crossing the Broembeek
* Diary of War - Oct - Dec.


* Gallery
of pictures & Maps
War Diaries - Extracts
*4th Battalion M-G Guards
'The Grenadier Guards in the Great War of 1914-1918' by Sir Frederick Ponsonby
Pub. 1920 in 3 Volumes, is freely downloadable as .pdf files or can be read on-line.
Vol 1 HERE
Vol 2 HERE
Vol 3 HERE

Contributed by Sheila Goodyear

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