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Title: The History of the 7th Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders

Author: Norman MacLeod

James Walter Sandilands

Release date: October 25, 2015 [eBook #50301]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Brian Coe, Chris Pinfield, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries)


Apparent typographical errors have been corrected. Inconsistencies in hyphenation and in the accenting of French words have been retained.

In the appendix listing officers who served with the battalion, some entries are out of alphabetical order; while blank spaces indicate missing dates.


"Lieutenant-Colonel Sandilands of the 7th Camerons arrived on the hill. Being the senior officer present, he took command and planted the Headquarters flag of his Battalion on the top. It was his business to recall the van of the advance, now lost in the fog and smoke of the eastern slopes, and to entrench himself on the summit. The Redoubt was now out of our hands and the line taken ran just under the crest on the west, and was continued North of Loos by the 46th Brigade. To retire the van was no light task. Two officers whose names deserve to be remembered, Major Chrichton of the 10th Gordons, and Major Barron of the 7th Camerons, volunteered for the desperate mission. They fell in the task, but the order reached the stragglers, and they began to fight their way back. In the midst of encircling fire it was a forlorn hope, and few returned to the British lines on the hill. All down the slopes towards Loos lay the tartans Gordon and Black Watch, Seaforth and Cameron, like the drift left on the shore when the tide has ebbed."—John Buchan, in "Nelson's History of the War."

The 7th Camerons on Hill 70—25th September, 1915.

From the Painting by Joseph Gray, the property of Evan M. Barron, Esq., Inverness.



C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.,


C.M.G., D.S.O.


The Mothers

of our gallant comrades in the 7th
Battalion Queen's Own Cameron
Highlanders who gave their
lives for their country
and the honour of
their regiment



chapter page
Foreword, 9
1. Early Days, 17
2. The Battle of Loos, 27
3. Hulloch-Loos Sector, 39
4. The Somme Battle, 1916, 47
5. Battle of Arras, 1917, 65
6. The Salient, 1917, 87
7. The British Withdrawal, 2/3/18, 111
8. Amalgamation of 6th and 7th, 132
9. Buzancy, 139
10. Demobilisation, 148
Honours Awarded, 157
Officers who Served with the Battalion, 161
Extracts from War Diary, 169


The 7th Camerons on Hill 70, Frontispiece
Facing Page
Colonel J. W. Sandilands, C.B., C.M.G.,
Lieut. Colonel Norman Macleod, C.M.G.,
Monument Erected by the 17th French
Division to 15th Scottish Division



By Divisional Commanders.

Having commanded the 15th (Scottish) Division for two years and a quarter, I have followed with deep interest this history of the 7th Cameron Highlanders.

I am convinced that all who read of the gallant deeds performed by this Battalion, in company with the other Battalions of the 15th (Scottish) Division, in the service of their King and Country, will be stirred with an intense feeling of pride in the achievements of their countrymen recorded in this little book.

The Battalion has indeed nobly maintained the splendid traditions of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.



This {10} is a great story. A narrative of the adventures in training camps, in billets and trenches, in battles and in periods of rest, of one of the units of that splendid body of men known as the "New Armies" which sprang into being in 1914 under the inspiration of Lord Kitchener. A story of comradeship, endeavour and sacrifice in the great cause.

By far the greater part of it deals with the periods of fighting, and it is doubtful whether any of the New Army units saw more, for the famous 15th Scottish Division, of which the 7th Camerons formed part, was one of the earliest of the new divisions to go to the front and take a place in the line, and its record includes the battles of Loos, the Somme, Arras 1917, Ypres 1917, the German attack on Arras in 1918, and the capture of Buzancy in the Soissons area in August 1918, as part of the 10th French Army under General Mangin.

I had two opportunities during the war of judging the fighting qualities of the 15th Division. The first was when serving with the 1st Division, which attacked alongside the 15th at Loos. The energy and enthusiasm with which the Scotsmen prepared for the attack, and the dash and determination with which they executed it, excited the highest admiration of their regular comrades of the 1st Division. The two divisions served in the same Corps for some months in the ensuing winter, succeeding each other in and out of the water-logged trench lines of the Loos Salient, and the admiration {11} aroused by their action in the battle was deepened by the observation of their soldierly qualities under the trying conditions of trench warfare in winter.

The second time I was a more intimate observer, for I had the supreme privilege of being appointed to the command of the 15th Division in June, 1917, just as it was entering the Ypres Salient to take part in the desperate and bloody fighting of the efforts to capture the Passchendaele Ridge. Its personnel had largely changed, owing to the casualties of the Somme and Arras, but the Scottish fighting spirit was there still, and the dour and stubborn valour with which, after seizing and holding the Frezenberg Ridge, they essayed again and again to win the concrete defences of Borry Farm, Beck House, Iberian House, etc., under indescribable conditions of mud, shell-fire and gas, forms a story which has not yet been fully told.

In this fighting, as in all the other operations of the Division, the 7th Camerons bore a full and gallant share. The last of the German efforts to retake the Frezenberg Ridge was broken up by a skilfully led counter-attack by a company of this Battalion with one of the 8th Seaforths.

The last time I saw the 7th Camerons was after the return of the Division to the Arras Sector in September, 1917, when they were encamped in Blangy Park in the Scarpe Valley. To men who had been through what they had it was, as the narrator says, a delightful change and rest. But rest, although more than well {12} earned, was not accompanied by any slackness or loss of discipline. I was particularly struck by the state of their camp, its excellent order and cleanliness; cooking and sanitary arrangements all that they should be, the men healthy and in good spirits. A rapid recovery after heavy fighting is a mark of a first-class battalion.

Colonel Norman Macleod had the good fortune to serve with the Battalion from the day it crossed the Channel till it was amalgamated with the 6th Camerons in June, 1918 (except a short time when recovering from wounds). He commanded it for 15 months, and subsequently commanded the combined 6th/7th Battalion until the end. It would be a record of which any one might well be proud merely to have taken part in the great events comprised in that period, but to have commanded this splendid battalion, and to have been with it from its first raising in Scotland to its victorious entry into Brussels after the armistice, during all the period it was gathering its imperishable laurels and adding lustre to the name of the historic regiment whose name it bears, is an honour which he probably would not change for any other, however high.

It is well that such stories should be told. To the survivors of the events they narrate they are a reminder of great days and great friendships. To future generations of Scottish lads they will be an inspiration.



This {13} modest record of the services of a great battalion in the Great War adds yet another page to the glorious history of "The Queen's Own" Cameron Highlanders.

I had the honour to command the 15th (Scottish) Division from October, 1917, to March, 1918. During the first year of that period this Battalion, or perhaps I should say these Battalions, for the 6th, the 7th and the 6/7th Cameron Highlanders are almost inseparable in my mind, were most severely tried on many occasions in battle, most notably in front of Arras in March, 1918, and South of Soissons in July, 1918.

The authors state that the battle of the 28th March, 1918, was probably the heaviest fighting in which the 7th Battalion ever took part. Lieut.-General Sir Charles Fergusson, Commanding the XVII. Corps, when the great German attack was foreseen, had warned the 15th Division that it was in a "Post of Honour," adding: "I am glad that it is in the hands of a Scottish Division, who I know will never let the enemy pass." Again on the 29th March, after the great attack, General Fergusson wired: "I knew you could be relied on to stick it out to the end. There are fresh troops in support of you now, but I want the honour of holding Arras to be yours alone."

General Ludendorff, in his Memoirs, practically attributes the turning point of his hopes of success to the failure of the 17th German Army to capture the heights East and North {14} of Arras, this "in spite of employing a vast amount of artillery and ammunition." I am sure all comrades of the 15th (Scottish) Division will agree that no unit of ours deserved more credit for stopping the Germans in front of Arras than the 7th Cameron Highlanders.

During the period, December, 1918, to March, 1919, the troops were tried in a different way. A time of absolute inactivity prevailed in Belgium, with many temptations for all ranks to be slack and to allow discipline to deteriorate. A natural reaction after the strain of war. There was also a feeling, rightly or wrongly, that in the system of demobilisation length of service at the front was not always considered. During this difficult time the 6/7th Cameron Highlanders retained their splendid discipline and still upheld their claim to the nickname "The Shiny Seventh."

The authors refer to their firm belief in the advantages of the kilt as a service dress. Opinions may differ on this point, but there is no question as to the prestige and confidence which the kilt carries with it.

When we moved suddenly to join the Xth French Army in July, 1918, the British troops were, for some reason, temporarily out of favour in that area, but the sight of the Highlanders, and the sound of the bagpipes, changed this feeling at once, and nothing could have exceeded the enthusiasm with which the 15th Division was received in billets during this period of operations.

{15} Again, on the coldest of days in January, 1919, when troops of three Divisions marched past His Majesty, the King of the Belgians, in Brussels, there was a sudden roar of applause from the half-frozen crowd as the kilted pipers leading the 45th Infantry Brigade, which represented the infantry of the 15th Division, approached. The 6/7th Cameron Highlanders swung past; His Majesty turned to me and said: "Truly magnificent soldiers." Those who read this narrative will agree that this splendid tribute was deserved.





Soon after the outbreak of the Great War, Colonel D. W. Cameron of Lochiel received permission to raise Service Battalions of the Cameron Highlanders under Lord Kitchener's New Army Scheme. He proceeded at once to Scotland, and at meetings in Glasgow and Inverness stirring appeals for recruits for the new Battalions were made. These appeals met with so enthusiastic a response that within a week or two the 5th and 6th Battalions were raised, and recruiting for the 7th Battalion was in full swing. Recruits for the 5th and 6th were sent direct to Aldershot, but when it was found that there was every prospect of raising another Battalion, it was decided to make its Headquarters at Inverness, the Capital of the Territorial District of the Cameron Highlanders.

From the outset, Major Seymour Clarke of the Cameron Highlanders, who had returned to duty at the Cameron Depot at Inverness on the outbreak of war, took a great interest in the Battalion, and he did much for it during {18} its early days in Inverness. On 8th October, 1914, Lieutenant-Colonel D. P. Haig, who formerly commanded the 3rd Battalion, was gazetted as the first Commanding Officer of the 7th, but the date of the birth of the Battalion may be said to be 28th September, 1914, on which day Captain James Barron, Captain Mackenzie-Gillanders, and Lieutenant W. H. Kirkland were gazetted to the Battalion. On 30th September, Captain C. D. Stewart, and on 5th October, Captain Norman Macleod, were also gazetted. Unfortunately, Captain Mackenzie-Gillanders and Captain C. D. Stewart were very shortly afterwards invalided out of the service, and for several weeks the Battalion had to carry on with Lieutenant-Colonel Haig and Captains Barron and Macleod as the only senior officers. Captain Barron acted as Adjutant of the Battalion until shortly before it went to France, where he fell at the Battle of Loos while Second in Command; Captain Macleod served with the Battalion throughout most of the War, commanding it for the last 18 months of its existence, and Lieutenant Kirkland fell while commanding a Company at Loos.

The two months spent by the Battalion at Inverness were very strenuous but very happy. It was soon recruited up to full strength, and the type of man it attracted was of a particularly high order and fine physique, as at this time the height and chest measurement for recruits had been increased. A large proportion {19} were students and young professional men from Glasgow, where a Cameron Recruiting Office had been opened as soon as Lochiel received permission to raise the new Battalions, and it was a rule that no man was admitted unless he was a Scotsman. A considerable number of recruits also came from Inverness-shire, including not a few from the town of Inverness, where the Battalion was immensely popular. The Cameron Barracks were, of course, too small to accommodate more than a small proportion of the Battalion, but quarters were found for many in a distillery hard by. Here the comforts of life were lacking, many men having to sleep on a stone floor with only one blanket, but so fine was the spirit of the men that there was little or no grousing. The good people of Inverness, too, vied with one another in doing everything possible for all ranks. The hospitality extended to officers and men alike was unbounded, and many citizens earned the undying gratitude of the Battalion by placing their private baths at their disposal. Moreover, nearly all the halls in the town were formed into Clubs for the use of the men, and in these refreshments were dispensed in right royal fashion. No man who served with the Battalion during these two months is ever likely to forget the porridge and milk, which, in response to a well-nigh universal demand, came to be regarded as the piece de resistance on these occasions.

The first route march of the Battalion was, {20} appropriately enough, to Culloden Moor. Then, and for several months thereafter, the men were in civilian clothes: but as time went on (so great was the keenness to wear the kilt) many members supplied themselves with the Cameron Service Dress at their own expense. By and by week-end leave was granted, but no 7th Cameron wanted to go on leave in "civvies." Few kilts were available at that time, even for those who were eager and willing to buy them, but there was, happily, a nucleus of Regulars at the Barracks who boasted the coveted garb. A tentative suggestion that these proud wearers of the kilt might perchance hire them out to their New Army brethren who were going on leave, met with a ready acquiescence, and so rapidly did the idea catch on that kilts were often booked for weeks ahead. But if a Cameron Highlander is incomplete without a kilt, so is a Cameron Battalion without a Pipe Band. Fortunately, one of the band boys at the Barracks, the son of an old Pipe-Major, was able to play the pipes, and he proudly strutted in front of the Battalion on its first route march to Culloden Moor. Before long other pipers were discovered among the recruits, and the time the Battalion left Inverness it could boast quite a respectable Pipe Band.

On 30th November the Battalion left Inverness for Aldershot. It was with many regrets that it said farewell to the "Capital of the Highlands," where it had been so kindly treated, {21} and where the men had won golden opinions by their behaviour and discipline. In a farewell letter to Colonel Haig the Provost expressed the feeling of the citizens in the following terms:—

"The men of the Battalion have by their exemplary conduct, and their manly and courteous bearing, won favour on all hands, and it is with regret we realise that we are no longer going to have them in our midst."

The Battalion arrived at Aldershot 1136 strong, and were quartered in the Salamanca Barracks, which they shared with another Battalion of the same strength, and where they remained for several weeks. An unsolicited testimonial was given to the physique of the Battalion by an Instructor of the 5th Camerons, who saw them march into Aldershot. He declared that they were one of the finest bodies of men, physically, he had ever seen. At Aldershot a period of intensive training was put in, and the Battalion benefited greatly from the ministrations of Captain Crooks, a splendid instructor and disciplinarian, who voluntarily placed his services at its disposal.

Christmas and New Year were spent at Aldershot. On 15th January, 1915, the Battalion marched into billets at Liphook. The long march was completed in full kit without a single man falling out.

Here Major Norman MacLeod was posted to the Battalion. He had served in the Calcutta Light Horse, and for some time had acted as Musketry Instructor to the Brigade.

{22} About this time the Battalion received its first consignment of kilts, although, as we have indicated, many of the men had already bought the full uniform privately. Owing to the difficulty of getting the different tartans and keeping up a supply in France, the War Office introduced an article called the "universal kilt." It was made of grey-brown cloth, pleated and sewn on to a waist-band of the same material like a girl's skirt. It incorporated all the disadvantages of a kilt without any of the advantages. Luckily this monstrosity was soon killed by the Highland Societies.

On 22nd February the 15th Division was inspected on Frensham Common by a distinguished French visitor under the most depressing weather conditions, as it snowed and rained alternately throughout the day.

The Battalion left Liphook and arrived at Cirencester on the 25th February. The men were practically all billeted in private houses, and never were they more happy and fit than in this fine old town. Who will ever forget the splendid deer park, with its beautiful woods and long, broad grass rides? But the kindness of the people themselves will always be uppermost in our minds. Another unique experience we must record, as it betokens a large-minded tolerance, which is to be the more appreciated and acknowledged because of its rarity even in these times. The two Scottish Battalions could find no place large enough for Divine Service, so the Authorities of the {23} Church of England were approached, and leave was granted for 1200 men to worship in the beautiful old Parish Church. They had their own Presbyterian service under their own Presbyterian chaplain, and the organist led the praise with the old psalm tunes which Scotsmen love so dearly. Had the grand old church, with its lofty pillars, clerestory roof, and walls enshrined with memorial tablets and coats of arms, ever echoed before to such a service, so impressive and unique? Not since the days of Cromwell's Iron Rule, if even then, can the preacher have seen from the pulpit such a sea of manly faces and a sight so inspiring in its character and its associations.

About 8 miles out from Cirencester was the training area, to which we used to march in the morning and return about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, very often to fall in again about 9 or 10 p.m. for night operations. The men were now so fit that, although they had had a strenuous day, they would simply race home the 8 miles at night, singing and chaffing their comrades in front in order to urge on the pace. On 6th April the Battalion left Cirencester for Chiseldon, which was a large hutted camp on Salisbury Plain.

Lieut.-Colonel Haig, on the 22nd April, received the appointment of Commandant of the Staff Musketry Camp at Barry, Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Sandilands, D.S.O., taking over command the same day. It was with great regret that the Battalion parted with Colonel {24} Haig. He was a thorough gentleman and sportsman, and no officer could have been found better suited for the arduous work of handling a Battalion raised under such peculiar circumstances. Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Sandilands had the advantage of having already been out at the Front, where he had commanded a Company in the 1st Battalion, and also the London Scottish. Just previous to his taking over the 7th Battalion, he had been employed as Brigade Major in the 46th Brigade of the 15th Division.

At Chiseldon the Battalion worked strenuously, and were put through their musketry course. On 12th May they marched to Park House, which was a very similar camp to Chiseldon. On 15th May the Brigade marched past Lord Kitchener, who stated that it was the finest, from a physical point of view, which he had yet seen. On 3rd June the Battalion won the 44th Brigade Championship in Highland Games, for which a silver bugle was presented by Brigadier-General M. Grant Wilkinson, M.V.O. This bugle has, along with many other prizes, since been presented to the Depot Cameron Highlanders.

On Sunday, 4th July, orders were received to proceed overseas. This news was the cause of the greatest enthusiasm amongst the men, who were eager to give practical proof of the value of their training. On 8th July the Battalion embarked on S.S. "Arundel" at Folkestone for Boulogne, and was entrained for Houle, where a few days were spent. From {25} Houle it marched to Houchin, the men's feet suffering considerably from new boots and the paved roads. From Houchin we proceeded to Les Brèbis as a detached Battalion, and can therefore claim to be the first Battalion of the 15th Division to enter the shelled area on the Western front.

Les Brebis was being constantly shelled. It was found almost impossible to keep the men in their billets, as, being much interested in this new experience, they would rush into the streets whenever a shell burst, in order to see the effect, and to collect fragments as souvenirs. They very soon got tired of this habit.

On 21st July Lieut.-Colonel M'Dougall of Lunga, who commanded the 10th Gordon Highlanders, was killed while making a tour of the trenches. He was buried at Houchin with full Military Honours. Colonel M'Dougall was a splendid type of Highland officer and gentleman, and was the first officer casualty in the Division.

On the night of the 2/3rd August we took over the trenches for the first time at Maroc, holding the extreme right of the British line. Opposite to us were the now famous Towers of Loos, from which the enemy had good observation over our whole system. The Battalion while in reserve in this sector was billeted in Mazingarbe. While there a Church Parade was held in the grounds of the Chateau, which belonged to a rich mine owner of the district. This, although within range of the enemy's {26} guns, was most beautifully laid out with masses of flowers and lovely lawns, through which a burn ran with cascades and pools in which gold fish sported. The owner resided here during the whole War, and when the Battalion returned in 1918 they found the garden as beautiful as ever.

On the 30th August we proceeded to Nœux-les-Mines. On return to the line the Battalion sustained its first officer casualties. On the 9th September, Lieuts. W. G. Stuart, MacDonell, and MacRae were wounded by trench mortars. Three days later rather serious casualties were caused by the enemy bombarding a saphead which we held.

On the 12th the Battalion was relieved, and went into billets at Verquin. The pipes and drums played "Retreat" each evening in the grounds of the mansion house, and also played in Bethune on the afternoon of the 19th. On the 18th the 4th Battalion marched through Verquin on its way to the trenches, and was given a very hearty reception by the 7th Battalion, the band playing them through the village.



On the 21st we again went into the trenches, taking over the Grenay-Vermelles line, preparatory to the Battle of Loos. Shelling had now become intense, the bombardment being in full swing. Before going into the line the fact that the attack was going to take place was kept most secret, nobody below the rank of Company Commander being informed of the project. We were, therefore, somewhat surprised to learn, on getting into the line, that the Germans knew all about it. In fact we were told by those in the front line that the enemy was shouting across to our trenches asking what was the cause of the delay!

At 4.45 a.m. on the 25th the Battalion moved out to take part in its first great battle, a battle which is one of the greatest in the history of Scotland, owing to the number of Scottish troops employed. On that day there were five battalions of Camerons engaged. The morning was dull and misty, with practically no wind. At 5.50 a.m. our gas was turned on, and ran alternately with smoke candles. Owing to the lack of wind, however, it is doubtful if {28} the gas did not do more harm than good, numerous British casualties being due to it. At 6.30 a.m. the assault was delivered, the 9th Black Watch and 8th Seaforths leading, with the 7th Camerons in support, and the 10th Gordons in reserve. The advance was practically due East towards the Towers of Loos, these being kept slightly on our right. Within a very short time the Black Watch and Seaforths got clear away.

The Camerons, following, were very shortly streaming through the village of Loos, having crossed the third German line of wire and trenches, which had been regarded as impregnable. Unfortunately, traces of the gallant part played by the Camerons in cutting this wire, which was almost untouched by Artillery fire, were too evident, the ground being strewn with dead and wounded. The houses in Loos were practically battered to pieces. Germans were being bombed out of the cellars, others bayoneted, dozens were surrendering, but nothing seemed to stay the advance of the 44th Brigade.

The Battalion Headquarters were established in a red brick building near the church, which was now a heap of ruins. There the Commanding Officer, with the Signallers and Scouts collected round him, remained in comparative security until suddenly a number of the heaviest type of high explosive shells rained down on them. All dashed for a cellar, in which was found a German soldier. Soon after it was decided to go down into the lower {29} cellar, where we found a German officer still telephoning. It was evident that he had directed the Artillery fire upon our Headquarters. His telephone apparatus was for a long time afterwards in the possession of, and used by, the Battalion Signallers.

As the Commanding Officer was going through the village he came across two Companies of the 7th Royal Scots Fusiliers, who attached themselves to him, and all went on together to Hill 70. On their arrival at the foot of the Hill, information was received that 300/400 of the Brigade—most of them Camerons—had pressed forward over the Hill and were heavily engaged with the enemy's lines at St. Laurent. It must be remembered that the orders received before going into action were that the Battalion was to press on to the Cité St. Auguste, beside St. Laurent, which was given to them as their final objective.

Major Crichton of the 10th Gordons handed over the command of the Hill to Colonel Sandilands, who, at once realising the gravity of the situation, decided to establish a line on the reverse slope of Hill 70. Luckily here there was a sort of natural line of defence, consisting of a bank about 3 feet high, running roughly North and South along the Hill. This proved an invaluable feature to hold on to, as men instinctively rallied to it. Major Barron, 2nd in command, 7th Camerons, and Major Crichton (10th Gordons) volunteered to go forward and order the advance party, who had charged {30} over the Hill, to retire. Both officers fell in the task, but their orders reached the advanced line, and the men began to fight their way back. Major Crichton was killed outright, while Major Barron, who was wounded and taken prisoner, died of his wounds in a German Field Hospital.

The Commanding Officer being satisfied that his right was protected by the London Regiment which was astride the Loos Crassier, ordered the Royal Scots Fusiliers to dig in for all they were worth. There is little doubt that if these two Companies had not acted contrary to the strict letter of their orders, in coming on with Colonel Sandilands, things might have gone badly with the 15th Division. About 8 a.m. the Battalion Flag, which consisted of one of the Divisional yellow distinguishing flags, with a patch of Cameron tartan taken from an old kilt sewn on to it, was planted on Hill 70, and remained flying till midnight, when we withdrew. Throughout the operations the flag was carried by Scout-Sergeant Lamb, and on more than one critical occasion he rallied men of all regiments by waving them back to the Hill. This flag has been presented to the Depot, and is now in the Officers' Mess at Inverness. About midnight, when the line had been fairly well dug, those in front were ordered to retire. It was on the forward slope of Hill 70 that the greatest number of casualties in the 7th Camerons occurred. The confusion which of necessity arises after an assault of this nature can be realised from the fact that on Hill 70 the Commanding {31} Officer had under his command representatives from no less than nine different Battalions.

At 3 p.m. all were cheered by seeing large bodies of troops coming over the Hill, apparently to relieve us. They turned out to be part of the 1st Division, who had been delayed in the attack on our left, and not a relief. At 6 p.m. word was received that we were to be relieved by the 62nd Brigade, but owing to some error they did not arrive until early next morning.

At 8 p.m. the Commanding Officer discussed the situation with the Brigadier, and satisfied him that the position on Hill 70 was secure for the night, and, in view of the fact that the few Camerons who still remained could not influence the situation, received orders to hand over the command to Lieut.-Colonel M'Lean of the 10th Royal Scots, and to withdraw his own men. At midnight he ordered his little band of weary Camerons to retire. Not many who came out that night will very readily forget it. In drenching rain, pools of mud, and incessant shelling, they picked their way amongst the dead by the light of burning houses, and they plodded wearily on, powerless to take any notice of the wounded who lay waiting for stretcher-bearers. Mistaking the road, they made a detour through Maroc, finally fetching up at the old Headquarters, which, although it consisted merely of a badly shelled house, appeared like a sanctuary. Without calling a proper Roll the men were numbered off, and it {32} was found that there were 4 officers and 75 other ranks present out of 20 officers and 827 rank and file who had started off so proudly 24 hours earlier. Throughout the night and early morning stragglers kept coming in, and there were finally collected 6 officers and about 290 other ranks.

Philosophe was reached about 3 a.m., and we were lucky to find the cookers waiting for us, and, after having some tea, both officers and men slept on the ground, too exhausted to take any notice of the mud or water. The usual rumours of going back for a long rest were prevalent, a rest which was often talked about but never matured. However, about 8 a.m. 26th September, a Staff Officer came over and said that the battle was going far from well, and that there was no alternative but to send the remnant of the Battalion back into the fight. It is impossible to realise the feelings of men under such circumstances. They fell in, and went straight back, picking their way through Quality Street, which by this time was literally running with blood and blocked with wounded. On they went amidst a hail of gas shells, pushing their way through bunches of disorganised troops—raw recruits who had never before experienced the sights of a battlefield, and arriving finally at the old German front-line, where they found the trench so full of gas that they had to dig themselves in behind the parados. They held this position well on into the Monday morning, when they were {33} finally relieved. Twenty-four hours after this these men marched out of Mazingarbe, headed by the pipes and drums, with their buttons cleaned and their equipment polished in so smart a manner that they were mistaken for a new draft, and were greeted with shouts from those whom they passed: "Wait till you have been in the trenches, and you won't look like that."

Our casualties for the day were:—

Officers. Men.
Killed, 4 Killed, 64
Wounded, 6 Wounded, 255
Missing, 4 Missing, 215
14 534
Total, 548

Colonel Sandilands received the following letter from Colonel The Mackintosh of Mackintosh:—

"Invergordon, 12th October, 1915.

Dear Sandilands,

"Let me express the feelings of all here. We are proud of the dash and gallantry shewn by the 7th Battalion Cameron Highlanders under your command at the taking of Hill 70 at the Battle of Loos. To command such officers and men is indeed enviable—they have added fresh glory to the Cameron Highlanders, and their deeds will live in history.

"From my son, who was A.D.C. to General Sir Arthur Paget, Commanding the Salisbury Division, I heard what Field Marshal Lord Kitchener said about the 7th Battalion: 'It is far the finest Battalion of the new Army I have seen,' no mean compliment from such an authority who knows how to judge soldiers.

"Yours truly,

"3rd Cameron Highlanders."

{34} The next three days were spent in the support line, which was not very much more comfortable, but distinctly safer. The following three days we had a bad time. The rain came down in torrents during the relief, and continued incessantly for 40 hours. It is very difficult even to imagine the misery and discomfort which the men suffered. The so-called trenches were full of water and mud up to the men's knees. It was almost impossible for the ration and water parties to get either up or down.

During the second afternoon of this downpour the German Artillery got on to our front line trench, blew in a machine-gun emplacement and knocked down a considerable portion of the parapet, one man being killed and two wounded. The parapet was rebuilt during the night. Next morning nothing particular happened, but in the afternoon the German guns again opened a heavy enfilade fire, resulting in 11 men being killed and 21 wounded, and the parapet being very badly knocked about. It was a very trying experience for new troops, and there is little doubt that the Battalion deserved great credit for taking their punishment so well.

The following day we were relieved, and went back into the support trenches, and finally marched back to Noeux-les-Mines on 7th November. On 17th November Major R. B. C. Raban joined the Battalion as Second in Command. Christmas and New Year were celebrated at Allouagne, and here too was held a {35} Divisional Boxing Exhibition, the principal event being an exciting 10 rounds fight between Private O'Rourke of the Camerons, and Sergt. Macleod of the Seaforths, the latter winning.

On the 14th January, 1916, the Battalion returned to the trenches, taking over section 14 bis on Hill 70. During this tour there was attached to us "C" Company of the 6th Royal Irish Regiment for instruction. Mining operations had now started in earnest, and this involved heavy trench mortar and shell fire, causing numerous casualties. It was during this tour of duty that we found and buried the body of Lieut.-Colonel A. F. Douglas Hamilton, V.C. He was lying just where he had been killed, and, although it was remarkable that his body had not been discovered before, yet it was a source of satisfaction to all that he should have finally been buried by the officers and men of the Regiment in which he had served, and of which he was so proud. On the 23rd March "B" Company proceeded to Labuissiere for duty at 1st Corps Headquarters. The Battalion was to have been inspected by the Commander of the 1st Corps on the 24th March, but owing to snow it was cancelled. Next day we railed to Lillers, and marched to billets in Allouagne. On the 3rd April Major R. Raban left, on being appointed to the Command of the 13th Royal Scots, and was therefore struck off the strength.

On the 13th April Colonel Sandilands relinquished the Command of the Battalion on {36} being promoted Brigadier-General Commanding the 104th Infantry Brigade. He was given a great send off by the officers and men of the Battalion, who lined the street of Allouagne in his honour.

The following article, which was written by Colonel Sandilands as a brief review of the period during which he commanded the Battalion, appeared in the April Number of The 79th News, 1916:—


It is now just a year since I took over command of the 7th Battalion, but in some ways it seems like ten years since I arrived at Chiseldon.

Out of the 1000 men serving then, how many are there still with us in the trenches?

Whatever officers and men there may be, must recall at times the old days which we spent so happily together. The training on the Downs, the long dusty march to Park House: these are now things of the past.

As we wade about in mud and water, it seems like a dream to think of Tower Hill, where we used to lie amongst the trees, well concealed from Generals, and eat our dinners from the cookers, which in those days were strange machines of unknown habits.

The Highland Brigade Championship; the Officers' Riding School; the gramophone in the Canteen; the sixpenny novels; Officers Mess garden, which never produced a blade of grass; finally, the Sunday when we got our orders to go to France, the suppressed excitement of the Channel crossing, our triumphant march through Boulogne with pipes and drums in full swing—how many of us are still alive who remember these days?

It is amusing now to think of the difficulty we had in taking over billets at Houle, and the deadly silence in which we marched from Gonnehem, on the night when the regimental dog was lost, with his tartan coat and regimental badges.

How many men are still left from those who rushed out of the houses at Brèbis to see the shells bursting, and who dug at Maroc in the firm belief that they were exposed to untold dangers? What letters used to be written home in those days to fond mothers, describing the hardships, the terrific shell fire, and the groans of the dying. No doubt these mothers were moved to tears at the thoughts {37} of what their sons were suffering, little knowing of the peace and quiet of the trenches at Maroc and Quality Street.

But if the same mothers could have seen their sons in the trenches at Hulluch in October, they would have good reason to weep. Liquid mud up to one's knees; the parapets consisting of half-buried Germans; a perfect hail of shells at intervals throughout the day and night!

In those days it took me three solid hours to drag myself through the mud and water on my morning round of perhaps 2 miles. Officers and men alike were caked with mud.

What an afternoon that was when the parapet was blown in and we lost 12 killed and 25 wounded in a few minutes! I shall never forget seeing boys who might well have been still at school, pinched with hunger and cold, sitting crouched under a waterproof sheet, fumbling with their frozen fingers, trying to open a letter from home. This letter was probably their one gleam of light in their horrible surroundings; and yet they never complained, but stuck to it like Camerons. I used to curse in my heart the loafers at home who ought to have been out here, instead of leaving it to lads who never should have been exposed to a winter in the trenches.

Who is there left in the Battalion that used to come to the garden at Verquin to listen to the drums and pipes playing Retreat, in the days when we first began to know that we were to take part in one of the greatest battles of the age?

The little broken-down house, which was the Battalion Headquarters at Philosophe the night before Loos, is still there. Quality Street, instead of being a peaceful little village where one lived in comparative safety, is now battered every day by German shells.

How many men are there still in the ranks who clambered over the parapet on the 25th, and joined in that mad rush which struck terror into the Bavarian regiments who were up against us? I do not suppose that in any case there can be many who have a clear recollection of what actually did happen in the charge, or on that fateful afternoon when the remnant of the 44th Brigade hung on to Hill 70, silent and grim in their determination to hold the Hill for Scotland. The bank behind which we first began to dig is still there, and easily recognised, just between the firing and support line.

What a weary little party returned to Philosophe that night! What a shambles Quality Street was next morning when we went back through it to hold the old German line.

Even Christmas at Allouagne, the concerts in the Recreation Room, and the boxing in the Hospital yard, are beginning to fade away in the distance.

Although we have recently been lucky, yet there are many of our comrades who marched off from Noeux-les-Mines in January, but will never answer their names again at Roll Call. Some have been buried at Loos, within a few yards of where we fought on the 25th, and some have been buried in the trenches.

{38} I often wonder whether the men of the Battalion realise the link that is being formed amongst us. Do they realise, when the war is over, the longing to see some of their old officers again will be such as to defy description? Do they realise that little acts of unselfishness and kindness, performed every day in the trenches, will be amongst their most treasured remembrances, no matter whether they go out into the world or return to a life of ease and comfort? Then it may be that for the first time the old saying, "Once a Cameron always a Cameron," will come home to them in its full intensity.

J. W. S.




On the 26th April the Battalion returned to the trenches under the command of Major T. L. Cunningham, relieving the 7th Royal Sussex Regiment in the Quarry Sector. By this time the mining operations had made the front line into a series of craters, and the shelling of the enemy had become increasingly severe. The following day the R.E. blew up the right leg of "Hairpin." We lost several men in the bombardment which followed, the usual practice after exploding a mine being that the enemy would start firing trench mortars, which would be replied to by our field guns, the enemy in return firing his whizzbangs and howitzers on our front line system. The 4th of May saw 3 more mines exploded in the Hairpin crater, after which our bombers advanced to secure the lip of the crater. The enemy counter-attacked, and a very severe fight took place between our bombers and the enemy, in which we finally drove him back to his original position, while we held the crater. After the attack the enemy gave our trenches a long and severe bombardment, which caused many casualties.

{40} The Battalion was relieved on the 11th May by the 7th K.O.S.B.'s, and proceeded to La Bourse in Divisional Reserve. Here the men enjoyed good baths, the time being filled up with odd parades and finding the inevitable working parties for the front line of trenches. On the 13th May Major C. H. Marsh, D.S.O., of the 18th Lancers, who had lately commanded the 7th K.O.S.B.'s, took over command of the Battalion from Major Cunningham, who had been in command since the departure of Brigadier-General Sandilands.

Colonel J. W. Sandilands, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.,

commanded from 22nd April, 1915, to 13th April, 1916.

On the 14th May the Battalion was put under the orders of the 46th Brigade, and on the 19th relieved the A. and S. H. in the left sub-sector of the "Hohenzollern." Mining operations were still in full swing, the enemy exploding a mine near "Argyll Sap," which filled in the "Hogs Back" and part of "Northumberland Trench." It was a complete surprise, and many men were buried and injured by the falling debris, "C" Company suffering the worst, there being 3 killed and 45 wounded. The Battalion was to have been relieved that night, but the relief had to be postponed in order that the saps and trenches might be cleared before handing over. About the 22nd May everyone began to expect a Boche attack, as the Intelligence Reports constantly contained references to large enemy working-parties and abnormal transport movements. In one instance as many as 5,000 men were reported as being seen moving in our direction. Two prisoners were also taken, who {41} confirmed the report that the enemy intended attacking and using gas. Apparently our counter-action proved effective, as no attack ever took place.

On the 28th June, in the right sub-sector of the "Hohenzollern," 4 patrols from "C" and "D" Companies, under the commands of Second-Lieuts. Drew, Goudie, Currie and M'Crostie, attempted to raid the enemy's lines after a discharge of gas. Three of the patrols found the wire uncut and the trench strongly held by the enemy. "A Bangalore Torpedo," which was to be used to cut the wire, was unfortunately hit in the trench, and, exploding as the raiders were getting into position, killed the men who were carrying it. The fourth patrol, however, under Lieut. Goudie, succeeded in reaching the enemy's front line. This they bombed, and then returned to our own lines. One of the patrol being killed, Lieut. Goudie, Sergeant Small, and Private Heely tried to bring back the body, but had to abandon the attempt owing to the enemy's heavy machine gun fire. The total casualties were 9 men killed and 19 other casualties.

On the 18th July our Engineers blew up "Border Redoubt" at the junctions of "Riflemen's Alley" and "Alexandria Trench." Instructions had been given that after the explosion the far lip of the crater was to be consolidated. This proved a difficult job, but we were ordered to persevere with it. The explosion formed two craters, which were heavily {42} bombarded with rifle grenades and aerial darts by the enemy, who evidently had no intention of trying to consolidate the crater himself. Three different attempts were made to get into the further crater, and within a few seconds, on each occasion, every man was a casualty, as the whole movement was under observation of the enemy. However, after many hours arduous work, lying flat on the stomach and scraping with an entrenching tool, a trench of sorts sufficient to hold the far lip of the crater was formed. The work was arduous and trying, as well as dangerous, but the officers and men stuck to it bravely. The following afternoon a Staff Officer came up with beautifully drawn plans for consolidating the near lip of the craters, a scheme which, if originally carried out, would have saved many lives.

Killed, 1 Officer and 16 other ranks.
Wounded, 4 Officers and 12 other ranks.

Amongst the wounded was Major Cunningham, who had been with the Battalion since it came to France in 1915, and who had commanded the Battalion from the time General Sandilands left until Colonel Marsh was appointed. He was a good officer, a fearless man, and liked by all.

On 22nd July the Battalion was relieved by the Royal Berkshire Regiment, and proceeded to Houchin. It was not realised at the time that we were leaving this area for good, but as {43} it turned out we were not to return again to Hulluch-Loos sector until practically the end of the war. The men were glad to get away from a sector where all the worst modern appliances of war were used in abundance. Here they had spent their first winter, and fought their first great battle, and the names of Hulluch Alley, Gordon Alley, etc., will be imprinted in their memories for many a day. These long communication trenches were nearly always half-full of muddy water, but, luckily, as we were wearing kilts, it was an easy matter to either lift them up or to take them off, hang them round the shoulders, and by this means arrive comparatively dry in the front line, which was not the fate of the trousered Battalions. When going into the line these Battalions were soaking wet before they arrived there, and if coming out, not only arrived wet at their billets, but had to carry all the extra weight of the mud, etc., which had saturated into their puttees and trousers—a thing that told considerably on tired troops marching for several miles.

It was certainly a very trying sector. There was never a tour without several casualties from mines, "Flying Pigs," and, especially, aerial darts, which infernal machines, many were convinced, were covered with a poisonous paint. We shall hazard no opinion on this point, but it is curious to note that many a man who only received the slightest wounds from them died from the effects. The work was exceedingly hard, as the trenches were constantly being {44} blown in or filled up with debris of mines and explosives. Working parties had to be found to repair this damage, as well as to carry the spoil out of the mines. Mine carrying parties were detailed in 8-hours shifts, every man working one shift in 24 hours. The work consisted of going down the mine shaft and carrying up bags of spoil which were then emptied. The carrying of lumps of chalk in the sand-bags up the stairs became not only sore on the back, but exceedingly wearisome to the legs. In addition to this the same men had to be used for trench repairs, carrying parties for trench stores, rations, etc., so that it can be easily understood that there was little time for sleep or rest.

In spite of all this, many men were sorry to leave the district where they had made a number of good friends among the mining villagers in their billets. Especially did they enjoy a rest in Bethune, where some of the attractions of the town could be indulged in. They would sooner have taken the risks and hard work of this area, and get back to billets which were occupied by women and children, than have enjoyed the safeness of some of the quieter areas where life was much more monotonous.

One has often heard grumbles at the French peasant for such things as making a charge for the use of buckets to draw water with. But when one learned the number of buckets which were lost a certain sympathy grew towards the owner. It was surprising how domesticated most of the men became, helping in the houses {45} and playing with the children, for Jock is a kind-hearted fellow.

The possibilities for bathing in this area were also good. Many of the large coal mines had a splendid system of baths at the minehead. The French miner keeps his clothes at the mine, and when he has done his day's work there is a good spray bath heated by the exhaust steam waiting for him. After that he puts on his ordinary clothes, leaving his working clothes to be dried for the next day. There were also large wooden towers used for cooling and condensing purposes, the water dropping from the top into a tank 40 or 50 feet long and about 6 feet deep. These made splendid bathing ponds, where the men were able to enjoy a swim, even when the weather was inclined to be cold, as the water was always more or less warm.

"Hutments," such as existed towards the end of the war, had not yet come into use, so that men were billeted in houses and farms, some occupied and some not. There were few sadder sights, or one which brought home the horrors of war, than some of those deserted mining villages. The once pretty little gardens now buried under the bricks, mortar, and beams of the shattered houses, through which an odd flower would force its way, the roses still clinging to the broken garden railings. Inside the house was strewn with women's clothing, children's toys, perambulators, etc., pointing out how hurriedly the once happy home had been sacrificed in order to escape the {46} enemy's shells, or even greater cruelties, for the Hun was no respecter of women or children. What anguish of heart these poor women must have suffered. Hay lofts made good billets, but trouble lay for the unwary, as there was no floor, the hay being supported on the top of beams. If the layer of hay was thin through you went. A stout sergeant, while taking roll call one night, thus suddenly disappeared. Luckily his fall was broken by landing on the back of a cow sleeping below, much to its surprise and annoyance.



We now received definite orders that we were to leave the area and to move in a southerly direction. We were not told where we were going, but as we knew the Battle of the Somme had started, it was not difficult to guess. The only point which might have raised any doubt in our minds was the fact that the men had been worked almost to a standstill in the sector which we were leaving, and they had been encouraged to do so by being informed on more than one occasion by the Higher Command that this activity was the part they were called upon to play in order to assist in the great attack which was going on further south. However, we had all become old soldiers by this time, and therefore quite expected to learn that, in spite of such promises, it had become necessary to employ us in the battle line, and we set off cheerfully southwards with the full intention of once more proving to the Boches what we could do in the lighting line. In fact, many would have been sorry, in their hearts, had a big battle taken place without {48} our Battalion having a hand in it. It would have been looked upon as a reflection on the Battalion that a big fight could possibly be carried through without our aid!

We started this march on the 23rd July, and proceeded to Dievel, where we had two days' rest. From there we continued the march through Gouy, Occoches, Autheux, Maours, Mirvaux and Lahoussoue, arriving near Albert on the 8th August. This march was one of the most enjoyable periods which the Battalion spent in France. The weather was extremely hot, and the marching was done in the early morning, generally starting an hour or so before dawn, and completing the march by 9 or 10 a.m. This saved us trudging along in the burning heat, and also allowed the men the remainder of the day for rest or amusement. The route was well behind the line, through villages which had not been destroyed. As a rule we were not billeted in the houses, but bivouaced in fields, if possible beside a river, where the men were able to bathe and play games. It was noticeable how physique and spirits improved as the march went on, and by the time we reached Albert we were all on the top of our form.

At Albert we once more bivouaced in a field on the south side of the main road, about one mile west of the town. By this time we were quite experienced at making shelters out of all kinds of odds and ends. When at Albert we adopted the plan of wearing the smoke-helmet {49} as a sporran. This was not only a very convenient way of carrying it behind the lines, but when the satchel was properly washed it also looked very smart. It was soon possible to realise the severity of the fighting, as there was abundant evidence of the action which had taken place over the area. There was hardly a square yard of ground that was not ploughed up by shell, the whole area being composed of holes of different sizes. On the 17th we moved forward. As we marched through Albert we saw that wonderful sight of the statue of the Virgin and Child which had been on the top of the cathedral tower originally, but, having been hit by a shell, now stood out at right angles overlooking the square. The Child, held out at arms length over the head of the blessed Virgin, appeared to be gazing at and invoking a blessing on the troops passing below. We were now to take the switch-line, which formed part of the German system of trenches in front of Contalmaison. We had previously prepared our jumping-off trenches, which we left at 8.55 a.m., following strong artillery barrage. The German front-line was taken without much difficulty, many of the enemy surrendering. We reached our objective and started digging in, but the enemy developed a bombing attack from a trench on our right, and Captain MacRae, along with Lieut. Orr, started counter-bombing. Our supply of bombs began to give out, but happily there were large numbers of German bombs lying about, and with these we were {50} able to do good execution, especially as we found that we could get a longer range with these than with our own. Luckily, when we were getting short handed from casualties, we were able to get the assistance of two platoons of the 9th Gordons to carry bombs from the rear up to our bombers.

In the meantime it was apparent that, owing to casualties, we were not sufficiently strong to hold the elbow and force the trench where the Germans had formed a block. Unfortunately, the Stokes Gun Team had been put out of action. Lieut. Anderson, who was in charge of the guns, did magnificent work for a time, feeding and firing the guns himself while the team were sent away to fetch more ammunition. Our casualties had now been severe, and it was evidently necessary to form a further attack to clear the remainder of the trenches if we were to maintain the ground already won. This was organised with the assistance of a party of the Seaforth Highlanders who had arrived as a carrying party. About this time it was noticed that the Germans were massing near the Martinpuich-Pozieres road, but our artillery soon brought their fire on to them and broke them up. Our counter-attack was launched at 5.50 p.m., and was entirely successful.

Our casualties were heavy, 5 officers being killed and 9 wounded, while among the rank and file 44 were killed, 16 were missing believed killed, and 167 wounded. For this action we {51} received several congratulations, that from the G.O.C. 4th Army stating:—

"Please convey the Army Commander's congratulations to the 15th and 1st Divisions on their successes and the enterprise they are displaying, which is invaluable at this stage of the battle."

We carried on in this area up till the 19th September, when we were relieved by the 8th Yorks of the 23rd Division, and went back into Divisional reserve at Framvillers.

Here we remained carrying out training until the 5th October, when we once more marched up and bivouaced at Beaucourt, going into the front line on the 11th, which by this time had been advanced as far as Le Sars. On the 13th October the Regimental Sergeant-Major, A. K. Scott, D.C.M., was killed. He had joined the Battalion early in 1914, and had been with it ever since. He was an exceptionally good R.S.M., a strict disciplinarian, handling those under him with tact, a splendid organiser for whom no amount of work seemed too much. A brave man and a born soldier, he was respected and beloved by all who came in contact with him. The weather now was broken and the ground was becoming a quagmire, owing to the innumerable shell-holes being full of water. Our front line consisted of a series of these shell-holes, which made all movements by day impossible, and at night, owing to the lack of any sort of landmarks, it was the simplest thing possible to lose one's way. The reserve positions were at Contal-maison. {52} It was a long weary march from the front line back to this point, threading one's way in the dark between the shell-holes. Afterwards there was a duckboard track, but as it was well known to the enemy it was often shelled. It was especially hard upon Lewis Gun Teams and Bombers, who had to carry their supplies of drums and ammunition and bags of bombs. We tried once or twice leaving our ammunition and taking over the relieving Battalion's so as to save carrying, but the men always complained that the ammunition, etc., handed over to them was dirty, and they would prefer to stick to their own.

It was exhausting enough walking through the mud in ordinary kit, but the physical exertion became almost unendurable at the end of two or three hours when a man, in addition to his rifle and 120 rounds, had to carry a heavy load which caused him to sink deep in the mud at every step. One was filled with admiration at the pluck and endurance of the young lads who did it.

It was intended that we should carry out another attack, but, although the Battalion moved twice up to the line for this purpose, on each occasion it had to be postponed, as the weather had rendered the ground impassable. Jumping-off trenches, however, were prepared. On one occasion, when the attack looked imminent, the Battalion was brought back into the line, the Brigadier stating that the parties who had been put on to the work had not been {53} able to make much progress, and that he felt sure that if we took it on it would be completed. This nice compliment compensated us for being brought back into the line before our time, and spurred on the men to finish the task—which they did.

On the 4th November we once more went into Divisional Reserve at Bresle. Here we took over a camp which had been kept in splendid order. Even the tent boards had been thoroughly scrubbed by those before us, which created in our minds a very favourable impression of the outgoing Battalion. The camp stood on high ground outside the village. We were given the choice of being billeted in the village or occupying the camp, but the advantages of all being together in a clean place more than compensated for not going into billets which at the best appeared very dirty. The cold, however, was intense, the water being frozen solid inside the tent every morning. The officers rather envied the men sleeping in a crowded tent, as they had a better chance of being warm. So far, unfortunately, we had only been able to get one blanket per man. The cold did not, however, affect the men's health. The way in which health improved even in the trenches when the frost came was remarkable. No doubt it must have saved the spreading of infection, as in the line there were still a great many dead lying unburied, and every shell-hole was full of stagnant water.

{54} We carried out a varied programme of training, being lucky enough to have a rifle-range close at hand. By this time the Army was once more realising the advantages of the rifle, which had for some time been sadly neglected in favour of the bomb, an instrument which is exceedingly useful in trench warfare where the sap-heads and trenches are a few yards from each other, but perfectly useless in more or less open warfare. The average man could not throw a bomb more than 20/30 yards, and at that range it was almost as dangerous to the thrower as to the enemy. It was extraordinary, however, what a hold it got of the troops, a large part of even the home training evidently being devoted to it. Our main object now was to make the men realise that their best friend was their rifle. There is a story told of one instance where a man was seen chasing a Boche within 30/40 yards of him in order to try and get within easy bombing distance! It apparently never struck him that with his rifle the Boche was a certain target at this distance.

We also had good ground at Bresle for practice in the construction of strong points. At this time plenty of amusement could always be got by visiting the officer's riding school, carried on from 7 to 8 in the morning. The whole day, however, was not devoted merely to instructional training, part of every afternoon being devoted to sports, especially football. Even in the hottest weather or after a long march {55} the men would hardly be in their billets before somebody had the football out.

The Brigade Games were held here, and everyone went in for all sorts of training with the object of trying to win the Championship. The sports were held in the field below our camp on the 21st November, the Championship events being the 100 yards, the mile, the cross country race, the long and high jumps, the tug-of-war, putting the weight, tossing the caber, and football. The points scored were:—

Gordons, 14
Black Watch, 14
Seaforths, 23
Camerons, 25

So that we, for the third time, won the silver bugle, as the Champions of the Brigade. The tug-of-war was a most tremendous affair, the final of which was an all over pull, lasting about 25 minutes. The Camerons' team in the first period of the pull were over with the exception of three men, but by degrees they slowly recovered themselves, and finally, by a sort of cross between a war dance and a quick march, they pulled the other team over the line. The excitement was intense! The training for this event was very amusing. On both sides the trainers were old soldiers who had competed with each other many times before in India and elsewhere. If either Sergt.-Major while training his team saw the other approaching, it did not matter how far off, the training {56} would promptly cease, as they were certain that the opponent was out to gain tips! Sergt.-Major Vass was responsible for the splendid training of the winning Cameron team.

While at Bresle we had the honour of being inspected by the G.O.C. in C., Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig. He complimented us highly on the part we had taken in the Battle of the Somme, and expressed himself as greatly pleased with the appearance of the Battalion.

On the 1st December we moved back once more into Albert, via Laviville and Millencourt, preparatory to going into the line. While behind the line we had a strenuous time cleaning and repairing the roads. The Corps Commander issued a special Order, stating that "He wished to place on record his great appreciation of the work done by the troops on the roads, railways, and tramlines during our last six weeks in the Corps area, and that with the adverse conditions he fully realised the great amount of extra work which it involved, but trusted that all ranks would realise how essential the work was in view of future operations, and, further, for their own welfare."

Moving into "Scots Redoubt," on the 16th, we once more took up our duty in the front line. By this time trench feet began to appear—a trouble which always existed during the mud, cold and wet of winter. It was a satisfaction to know, however, that the Highland Brigade suffered less in this respect than any other brigade in the Division, the possible reason being {57} the wearing of hose tops instead of puttees. When the puttee gets wet it is very apt to shrink and press upon the leg, interfering with the circulation. The Highlanders, however, were able to wear two pairs of hose tops, thereby keeping the men's legs warm without interfering with the circulation, by pressing the feet into boots when wearing two pairs of socks. They acted the same way as mittens do for the hands. It is pleasing to realise that the Highland garb once more proved of value as a fighting kit. In order to prevent trench feet all men had to rub their feet and legs with whale oil. This order had to be carried out most strictly, fault always being found if it was not done.

On one occasion, when some men were in the outpost line for 12 hours—which consisted of a small shell-hole full of water—one of them developed trench feet on his return. Fault was found because he had gone 12 hours without oiling his feet, even although he had done so immediately before going on and coming off duty. On it being pointed out that it was impossible for a man to go through this performance while standing in water in an exposed shell-hole, the reply came back that there was no reason why he should not stand on one foot, lift the other out of the water, oil it and put it back again! A performance which no doubt seemed simple to those behind the lines, but was not so easily carried out in practice. Another point which was insisted on was trying {58} to get the men to put on dry socks. Of course it was quite impossible to dry the socks in the line, but some genius behind the lines was struck with the brilliant idea that the men should carry a sock in each trouser pocket, which would be an effective way of drying them. This order was circulated around the whole of the Highland Brigade, without anybody realising the difficulty that a man in the kilt would have in finding his trouser pockets!

No movement could take place near the outpost lines in daylight, which necessitated the C.O. and others, if they wished to see the outpost and forward lines, making a tour just before sunrise. Hardly was there a day that the Brigadier and his staff did not go round these posts, no matter whether they were deep in mud or snow. There being no continuous line of trenches, it was the simplest thing to lose one's way. One morning an officer who had just relieved one of the posts, bringing with him the rum ration, set out to walk over to the next post in order to give them their ration. It was a foggy morning with snow on the ground, and, unfortunately, he missed the post and wandered on into the German lines, the Battalion thereby losing a very capable officer and also the rum ration, which from the men in the post's point of view, was possibly the more serious. The enemy, however, were apt to do the same, and on more than one occasion we got German prisoners who had wandered from their own line.

{59} We were unfortunate enough to have to spend Christmas in the front line, but were relieved on Christmas night, and moved back to Shelter Wood. It was quite impossible to hold our Christmas and New Year dinner there, as the camps were hardly more comfortable than the front line. The mud was indescribable, and it was with the greatest difficulty that ordinary rations could be got. Thanks to the sea of mud, it was not possible to distinguish between the points where the road was solid and where there was a shell hole. It was no uncommon sight to see a mule team up to their necks in water. Sometimes it even necessitated the wretched animals being destroyed. One of the senior officers took it upon himself to try and cope with the mud in the camp, and was promptly appointed "O.C. Mud!" His system was to cut trenches into which the mud was pushed by means of a kind of shovel, then everybody stood along the trench armed with more of these shovels and kept the mud on the move till it reached the edge of the camp. The idea was good, but unfortunately mud seemed to be created as quickly as it was removed, and for those moving about at night these trenches with their slimy contents were regular traps.

In consequence of the difficulties of transport all stores were very short, especially coal. One had, therefore, to resort to all kinds of means in order to get fuel. Luckily, what once had been beautiful woods were situated near the camp, but now all the trees were smashed and {60} torn up by artillery. There were strict orders, however, that no wood should be cut without permission being received from the French Woods and Forests Department, Paris. The acting C.O. used, therefore, to sally forth into the wood with a party of men to collect fuel, much to the fear of the Adjutant, who always expected to see him arrested for doing so. He, however, calmed his conscience (if that was necessary) by only removing the fallen timber.

It was our fate to spend Hogmanay of this year once again in the front line. It was generally expected that the Boches would do something to celebrate the occasion, but luckily our prophecies proved wrong.

We could look back on the old year 1916, with pride. We had done a lot of hard work and strenuous fighting. In spite of heavy casualties, the Battalion was as keen and efficient as ever. Our successes had added to our esprit de corps. We were no longer a new Battalion without a history. We could now draw inspiration from the feats of arms we had ourselves accomplished, as well as from that of the old Regiment to which we were all so proud to belong.

Sometimes one wonders if the ardour of the work, apart from its discomfort and danger, is fully realised by those who never experienced it. How often has one heard those at home remark: "Oh, yes, while you fellows are fighting, we are doing our bit at home—we have curtailed our holidays, and we don't get {61} away from our work till 6 and 7 at night." Even Staff Officers would impress on you the long hours they worked, and without doubt most of them did work hard: an officer at G.H.Q. would be in his office by 9 a.m., and, with the exception of meal hours and an hour for necessary exercise, he would not leave his duties till after 10 p.m. While all this is admitted, yet it would be wrong to imagine that the Regimental Officer did not also have long hours. Moreover, when his work was done he had no comfortable bed in which to rest. Even to take one's clothes off was looked upon as a luxury. It might be of interest, therefore, to put on record an ordinary day's work of a Company Commander in the line.

During the day he was kept busy with inspecting his line, visits from Staff Officer, making up returns, answering correspondence, organising night working parties, indenting for material, and the many other matters of the daily routine. At night again, when the rations came up, the C.Q.M.S. would arrive for instructions regarding pay, rations, detailing of men for leave, courses, etc. After that he had working parties to visit, sentries to be inspected, examining localities which could not be visited in daylight, officers coming from patrols to interview, prepare and write out patrol and other reports which had to be at Brigade Headquarters before 6 a.m. These are some of the duties which occupied him during the night. From this it can be realised {62} that the officer in the line generally got two or three hours sleep at odd intervals during the night, and with luck another two hours during the day. And remember that he had to sleep often in a damp shelter or draughty dug-out in his wet clothes without even a valise to lie on, many a time with not so much as a blanket to roll round him. When behind the line in "rest billets" he was more comfortable, as he would have his "flea-bag" on the floor of a Nissen hut, but still he was hard worked. His day was occupied with training, clothing, etc., and his evening with preparing training programmes and the many other details of running a Company. There were also night working parties of which he would have to take his turn every third or fourth night, when he would be up until 3 or 4 in the morning. From this the civilian who thinks he was hard worked by doing eight hours a day without any days off (on big pay) can realise that the soldier was doing as much, if not more, with all the discomforts and risks over and above.

On the 18th January Lieut.-Colonel D. E. M. M. Crichton took over command of the Battalion, Colonel Marsh having gone down the line sick. We were all sorry to part with Colonel Marsh, who was a good soldier, and who had been with us through all the fighting in the Somme. He was suffering from fever, the result of many years service in India, and which had been aggravated by the exposure of {63} wintering in the Somme. Life under the best circumstances was most miserable, but to have all the depression of fever on the top of it must have been exceedingly trying, although many of us at the time did not know what he had to endure.

One of our experiences about this time was a dug-out fire, some brilliant genius putting a brazier on the top of a box of Verey-lights, which after a time went off and started shooting about the dug-out. The dug-out was situated in the front line in the Le Sars sunken road, which was generally a sea of mud, often overflowing down into the dug-out. One would have thought that it was impossible for any of the timber saturated with mud and water to burn. This soon proved to be wrong, as the fire worked its way up one of the stairs, getting a splendid down-draught from the others. The place was soon a roaring furnace. The officers and men set about building up a barricade with sandbags. This was an exciting experience, for the Verey-lights kept shooting about as the fire increased in intensity, and might at any moment have set fire to the boxes of bombs, etc. One of the men actually ordered an officer out with the remark, "it was no place for him," when he began to realise the danger. Perhaps this was not strictly in accordance with the idea of army discipline, but at any rate it shewed the good spirit and affection that existed between the officers and men.

At the beginning of February we were relieved {64} by the 5th Australian Brigade, the 18th Australian Battalion relieving the Camerons. We went back through Becourt to Contay, where we went into corps reserve, nominally for a rest, but practically for intensive training. In this little village we at last got the opportunity of holding our long-delayed Christmas and New Year dinner, which took place by Companies. The 2nd in Command and the Padre proceeded to Amiens to purchase provisions for the revels—pigs, wine, beer, etc. The first had to be bought alive in the Pig Market, where acquaintance was struck up with the most villainous looking Frenchman. The porkers were chosen from the fat ones that squealed the loudest when poked in the ribs by the Padre's stick. The dinners were a great success. The Parish Priest was a guest at the Officer's dinner, and appeared to be a good judge of wine, and thoroughly to enjoy his meal, besides being a very jolly old gentleman.



Our rest was not for long, however, as we started once more to move north on the 15th February, leaving the Somme area for good. All will look back upon the Somme as a sort of horrible nightmare of mud and water, of scarcity of fresh meat rations, fuel, etc., of long and weary marches up to Le Sars and back again to the camps in "Scots Redoubt" and Metz Wood, where the conditions were almost as bad as in the front line. Not a place where the men could be entertained, not a Y.M.C.A. or other hut within miles of the front line, not a civilian to be seen. The Lewis Gunners had a specially hard time of it pulling their hand carts through the mud and shell-holes. The design was selected at home, doubtless with great care, but they must have been tested on the Guards' Parade or other sound ground. For the work in hand it would be difficult to imagine a worse pattern than that of these carts with their thin iron wheels set close in to the side of the cart and without any guiding pole or shafts. Luckily they were soon abandoned. The cold {66} in the line during the winter was intense. Owing to the muddy conditions the men could not take their great coats with them, but they were now so hardy that this exposure did not affect their health.

Now and then an officer was able to "lorry jump" back to Amiens, and spend the evening round Charlie's Bar, or dine at a most excellent restaurant, where the dinners and wines were good and the waitresses pleasing to look upon. In fact, the sight of a woman, however ugly, was a delight. We fitted up at Albert a house which acted as a kind of rest billet for those suffering from slight ailments. The Town Major was always threatening to turn us out, but we contrived to keep sufficiently in his favour to prevent this catastrophe. We managed to fit up a long passage as a drying room, with the assistance of some water pipes which the R.E.'s kindly dumped in the square in front of the house, and which we quietly appropriated during the night. This house proved of the greatest value, as the temporarily sick were employed in washing socks and hose tops, which were dried in this room, so that every night we were able to send up a supply of dry socks, etc., to the men in the line in exchange for their dirty wet ones. No doubt this rest had an excellent effect on the men's health, and saved many from having to go to hospital.

The transport were generally in lines about La Boiselle Crater. Sometimes those in the {67} front line imagined that the transport had a "cushy" time. But one is rather apt to think that the "other man" has the best of a bargain. No doubt they did not suffer the casualties of front-line troops, but their hours were long and weary. By night they struggled up with the rations, etc., often through shell fire, their carts up to the axles in mud, and the mules sometimes being nearly drowned by falling into shell-holes, out of which it was a long and weary business to extricate them. During the day they had to clean and feed their animals and collect the rations from the "train." They thus were working practically night and day, in all weathers and during all hours. It was wonderful how the men and animals were able to carry on.

We left Contay with regret. This was the first place where we had seen any sort of civilian life for months; and we had just settled down and begun to make friends with the inhabitants when we had to move on. The Mayor came and expressed his regret that we were going away, and told us that the inhabitants had greatly appreciated the good conduct and kindness of the men. We marched to Moucheaux, via Beauval, Gazaincourt, Bouquemaison and Crosiette. Here we settled down once more to train, as we learned that we were to take part in a big attack. This attack was delayed, as it could not take place until the new railway line from Doullens to Arras was completed. We soon received orders that practically the {68} whole of the Battalion was to move to Milly under Major Macleod, to form a working-party on the railway cutting there. The men thoroughly enjoyed this change of employment, which consisted of three shifts of eight hours each per 24 hours, digging at the cutting. There is nothing a soldier appreciates more than to know the number of hours he will be employed and how long he is going to get to himself. He hates being messed about. There was also an element of competition in the work, as the total earth excavated by each shift was duly recorded, and the rivalry between Battalions and "shifts" to reach highest out-put was very keen.

At first we had great difficulty with our rations. By some mistake no arrangements had been made for these. The D.A.Q.M.G., when appealed to, said he would indent for us, but that according to the regulations they could not be supplied for 3 days. After the Major had ridden round the country for some hours he found a Railhead Officer, who, realising the situation, and not being quite hidebound to the Regulations, gave us some tins of bully beef and biscuits. Next day the hunt commenced again, and finally Corps H.Q. put the matter right. Theoretically, there is no difference between rations of Corps and other troops, but there is no doubt we never got rations anything like those we received when acting as Corps troops.

On 24th February, 1917, the Battalion {69} Headquarters moved to Maizeres, the working party returning from Milly on 2nd March. On the 6th, the Brigade was inspected by the Commander-in-Chief at Ambrine. The Brigade was drawn up in quarter column in fighting dress. The Commander-in-Chief expressed himself highly pleased with the appearance and steadiness of the Brigade, and gave directions that this should be communicated to all ranks.

On the 11th March the 44th Brigade relieved the 45th Brigade in support in Arras, the route being by Penin, Tilloy, Hermaville, St. Pol-Arras Road. The sheer destruction of the Boche was very apparent. Before the war the great straight roads had been lined with splendid trees. These for miles he had cut down and left on the road side. Even the fruit trees, for which this district was famous, had all been ruthlessly destroyed. As the Battalion got near Arras the roads became very congested with traffic, and the men had to move off the highway or dodge between traffic in order to get on. By the time we passed under the Baudimont Gate the hour when the troops were allowed out of billets had arrived. The streets were absolutely packed with men and vehicles. Although Arras was practically in the front line the inhabitants remained in their shops, and though shutters were up and no lights could be shown a brisk trade was still carried on inside the shops. One of the peculiar things was that the Boche seldom shelled the {70} town after daylight. If he had done so he would certainly have caused heavy casualties, and as he must have heard the roar of heavy traffic, it is difficult to understand why he did not take this opportunity of doing serious damage.

Our first experience in the line at Arras was in the cemetery defences, a somewhat gruesome place, and subject to the usual attentions of the Boches to such a place. One man went to hospital with what seemed to be a small piece of shell in his cheek, but when the M.O. extracted it, it was discovered to be a tooth, apparently belonging to one of the rightful inhabitants! Good shelter was to be had inside some of the tombs.

On 18th March "D" Company carried out a raid on the enemy's lines. The zero hour was 2.50 a.m., and Captain W. D. Stuart was in command, along with Lieut. Semple and Lieut. Morton. The 9th and 12th Division co-operated by similar raids on their fronts. The object of the raid was to destroy enemy dug-outs, and to obtain identifications and information regarding the enemy's lines.

The raiding party took up position along tapes which had been previously laid out by Captain Stuart. The raiders advanced in two parties (each two platoons) through separate gaps in the enemy's wire. They met with no difficulty in forming up, although an enemy party of about 40 strong had been seen working in front of their wire shortly before. An enemy {71} machine gun kept firing through the gaps in the wire, but this was luckily put out of action by a direct hit from a shell. Both parties succeeded in getting through the wire and entering the enemy's trenches without encountering the enemy. The fire trench was found to be badly damaged, and the control trench, a few yards in the rear, was discovered to be very wide and deep (about 10 feet). The party working to the north came across six dug-outs. Voices were heard in them all. Each dug-out was bombed by means of Stoke shells. Wire frames acting as blocks had been erected in both the fire and communication trenches, and these made movement along the trenches difficult. In most cases the parties had to climb out of the trenches and go round the top.

The party working south found ten dug-outs; two entrances had been blown in by the artillery bombardment, the remainder were destroyed with Stoke shells. No dead were found in the trenches, but all dug-outs were still occupied by the enemy. A machine gun in an emplacement was destroyed. No gas cylinders were seen nor identifications obtained. A party of 30 or 40 Boches were seen and fired at as they retired through our box barrage. This was thought to be the wiring party which had been seen earlier in the evening. One of the dug-outs which we destroyed caught fire. The majority of the party returned to our trenches at 3.25 a.m., though one officer and a Lewis gunner, who were carrying a wounded man, did {72} not return till later. The enemy barrage did not come down till 3 a.m., when the support line—Islington Street—and the cemetery were heavily shelled. The enemy put up the usual number of lights, those well behind the line bursting into golden rain. Our casualties amounted to 1 killed, 1 missing believed to be killed, and 35 wounded. Two died of wounds.

The following special orders were issued:—

"The G.O.C. 15th Division wishes to convey his appreciation to all ranks who took part in this morning's raid, and his congratulations on the success achieved.

"The Corps Commander wishes to congratulate all concerned in the preparation, execution and success of the raid carried out by the 7th Cameron Highlanders."

The C.O. issued a special order congratulating Captain W. G. Stuart, M.C., 2nd Lieuts. Semple and Morton, Sergeant A. M'Donald, Lance-Corporal J. Kelly and Privates G. M'Lean and W. Marston on the gallant and conspicuous part they took in the raid. A special order was also issued by the Army Commander congratulating the 44th and 46th Brigades on the successful raids carried out during the month.

From the 3rd to the 7th of April the Battalion was billeted in the cellars of the Grand Place, Arras, preparatory to the battle. The shelling by the enemy was now considerable, but we only suffered two casualties. Before the attack the Padre held a Communion Service in one of the large cellars, in which many of the officers and men partook. It was indeed a unique and solemn Service. Every now and {73} then the sound of a shell bursting amongst the houses above, or in the Grand Place, would drown the words of the Padre and shake the cellar. At 11.30 p.m. on the 8th the Battalion moved from the cellars down into sewers, along which they travelled to the communication trenches, and so to their assembly trench in front of the cemetery. The Battalion headquarters were in the cellars of a house in Rue de Douai.

At 3.20 a.m. on the 9th the Battalion was reported in position ready for the attack. The zero hour was 5.30 a.m. The attack commenced with the 8/10th Gordons on the right, the 9th Black Watch on the left, and the 7th Camerons in support. The advance was carried out behind an intense barrage. The German's first system was gained with slight loss, the Camerons occupying "O.G.1" and "O.G.2." At 7.30 a.m. the attack upon the second objective was commenced. The 9th Black Watch on the left were for a time held up at the Railway Triangle, where there was heavy fighting, and this also prevented the Gordons from reaching their objective. The Camerons were then ordered to support the assaulting battalions, and with their assistance all objectives were gained. About 3 p.m. the Camerons were ordered to relieve the Black Watch on the left. The Battalion was re-organised, "B" and "D" Companies moving forward, two platoons to "Hecq Trench," and two platoons to "Helle Trench." "A" and "B" Companies {74} moved to "Cable Trench," which they started to consolidate about 1 p.m. Orders were then received to proceed eastwards to Feuchy, in support of the 45th Brigade. This move was carried out and completed by 4 p.m. Later it was arranged that the position occupied by us was to be taken over by the 6th Camerons (45th Brigade), and we were to move back to the trenches we had previously occupied. So ended the first phase of the battle.

At 12.45 a.m. on the 11th we heard that the attack was to be continued at 5 a.m. At 3 a.m. orders came through from Brigade to move into a position occupying part of the "Brown" line which had been captured previously by the 46th Brigade. This position was occupied by "A" Company on the right, "C" Company on the left, "B" Company right support, and "D" Company left support. At 11 a.m. the Companies attacked in artillery formation, moving half-right for "Orange Hill." As soon as the crest of the hill was reached we came under heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire, which for a time delayed the advance, but the Battalion finally worked forward and occupied a system of trenches about H29 central. About 2.54 p.m. a message reached us that the barrage was to again commence at 2.50 p.m., and the Brigade was to attack at 3. This gave only a few minutes to get the necessary orders issued, but about 3 p.m. the Battalion commenced the attack. Once again they came under exceptionally heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire, {75} but they succeeded in reaching a position running roughly between Lone Copse and Monchy. Here word was brought about 4.40 p.m. that the enemy was reported to be preparing a counter attack, and at once everyone was busy putting the trenches in a state of defence. However, it was stated shortly afterwards that the counter attack was no longer to be expected.

A great portion of the Battalion entered Monchy, where they were placed under command of a Colonel of the Essex Yeomanry, who was in charge of the troops there. No one who was in Monchy is likely to forget the sight. The casualties had been heavy amongst both men and horses, some of the latter being literally blown to pieces. Later, orders were issued to O.C. Companies to withdraw and link up with the Gordons from a line about 100 yards in front of the sunken road. This movement being completed about 3 a.m. On the 12th, the Battalion was relieved by a Company of the Worcester Regiment, and moved back into "Helle Trench," which was reached about 5.30 a.m. There it remained till 3 p.m., when it was finally relieved and moved into billets in Arras. The strength of the Battalion taking part in these operations was 23 officers and 521 other ranks; of these 12 officers and 175 other ranks became casualties. The officer casualties were:—

Killed. Lieuts. P. G. Jenkins, G. R. Morton, M.C., R. W. B. Semple, M.C., J. F. Smith, J. B. Ronaldson, and 19 other ranks.
{76} Wounded. Captain G. A. C. Davy, Lieuts. S. C. Russell, J. A. Symon, D. M. Brown, J. K. M'Millan, E. F. Forrest, and 128 other ranks.
We have also to record the death of C.S.M. Cameron and Sergt. Dalgleish, two splendid N.C.O.'s.

We all felt very sorry for Lieuts. Semple and Morton, as these two splendid young officers had only on the day before the attack been awarded the Military Cross for their conspicuous gallantry in the raid which had taken place a few days previously. They were killed while the sincere congratulations of all ranks still sounded in their ears.

A special order was issued by the Commander-in-Chief:—

"My warmest congratulations on the important success achieved by you yesterday. The manner in which the operations were carried out reflects the greatest credit on Commander, staff and troops. Please convey to all employed my appreciation of the great skill and gallantry shown by them."

The Corps Commander also issued a special order, expressing his appreciation and thanks for the splendid work done both in the preparation for, and execution of, the attack. He was particularly gratified by the energy displayed by all ranks after the third objective was captured.

The Divisional Commander issued the following special order:—

"15th Divisional Commander feels sure that this generous acknowledgment of the work of the Division will be highly valued by all. He wishes to add his own thanks. He is proud to have under his command a Division in which officers, N.C.O.'s and men are inspired with so fixed a determination to do their duty. The task given to the 15th Division in the Battle of Arras was a very heavy one, entailing hard work in preparation and great gallantry in attack. The difficulties of the operation {77} only inspired all ranks to greater effort, and brilliant success has been achieved. The crushing defeat of the enemy on 9th April was due to the discipline, hard work, untiring energy, and magnificent gallantry of all ranks. Another page of honour has been added to the glorious record of the Division. The Divisional Commander wishes to thank every officer, N.C.O. and man, and he feels that it is indeed an honour to command the victorious 15th Division."

The signallers and runners during the battle of Arras had a severe time, owing to the heavy shell and machine gun fire. The system of deep buried cable had not yet been developed, all wires being laid over the open. They were therefore being constantly cut by shell fire, and the signallers had to be out continually, both night and day, repairing them. This also necessitated the use of runners to carry messages during the periods of the heavy bombardment. Signallers and runners were picked men, as the work was not only arduous and dangerous, but required both judgment and commonsense. We were lucky with the men chosen, as they on this and all other occasions did their work well, showing courage and devotion to duty.

At the close of this phase of the battle, Lieut.-Colonel Crichton went down the line sick, the command of the Battalion being taken over by Major MacLeod. The Battalion was billeted in Arras up till the 23rd April, re-organising and absorbing fresh drafts. They also practised the attack in open order, and did a certain amount of rifle practice in the "butte de tir." We left our billets in Grand Place on the night of the 22nd, relieving the 8/10th Gordons. We were to attack the enemy on the 23rd, the first {78} objective being the "Blue" line. At 3.20 a.m. the Battalion was in position, "D" Company being on the left, "A" Company on the right, "B" and "C" Companies in support. On our right were the Seaforths, on the left the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (45th Brigade).

The zero hour was 4.45 a.m., when the Battalion commenced to attack under a heavy barrage. The enemy almost at once opened a barrage on our front line, and also an intense machine gun fire from an emplacement on our immediate front and from the high ground on the south side of Scarpe River. The machine gun emplacement on our front was to have been knocked out by our trench mortars, which were to open rapid fire on it half a minute before we attacked; but this scheme was not carried into effect, and we suffered very heavy casualties when the men got over the top and rushed the gun at the point of the bayonet. The fact that Lieut. Anderson, the trench mortar officer, was killed probably accounted for the failure of the trench mortar to knock out the machine gun. Lieut. Anderson was a most skilled and gallant officer, beloved by all, and his death must have had a disconcerting effect on his men. He was a cheery individual, and had often rendered very valuable service in the attack. We missed him both as a soldier and as a man. After rushing the gun at the point of the bayonet, our right was held up by machine gun fire. Our left, in the meantime, {79} pushed on to Bullet Trench, seizing the south end of it, taking about 40 prisoners and capturing a machine gun. Here about 5.30 a.m., finding they were out of touch both on their left and right, they dug themselves in. The centre of the Battalion for a time had been held up by the machine gun fire, but succeeded finally in advancing and fortifying a post about the sunken road (5.45 a.m.) A small party on the right, with the assistance of Captain Morrison of the Black Watch, formed another post in the sunken road. By 10.30 a.m. those who were holding the post in Bullet Trench had managed, with the assistance of a few stokes and rifle grenades, to clear the trench up to the Cambrai Road, three posts being formed in the trenches.

For a time our right was insecure, as the Black Watch, who had attacked the village of Guemappe, had not succeeded in holding it, and had been driven out by the enemy. About 12 mid-day a new barrage was formed, under which we pushed forward the posts in the sunken road, advancing to a part of "Hammer Trench." These posts, being on high ground slightly in front of the village, spotted the enemy forming up for a counter attack against the Black Watch, and our Lewis Gunners were able to do considerable execution before the counter attack was broken up. The 46th Brigade advanced through the 44th, and again our Lewis gunners were able to do good work in firing on the enemy as he retired from the trenches on the right. After re-organising the {80} Battalion moved back to behind the "Brown" line about 2 a.m. on the 24th.

Everyone believed we were now done with fighting for the time being, as our casualties had been heavy, and we were all congratulating each other on being the lucky ones who had got through it. Next day, however, the Commanding Officer received orders that we were to go back into the line in order to take Cavalry Farm on the 26th, as another Battalion had failed to do so. No doubt it was necessary, as there were no fresh troops available, but no one, unless he has done it, can realise the feelings of a Commanding Officer when he has to order the men to turn round and go back into the fight under such circumstances. But he was proud of his men who, tired as they were, once more turned back and faced the enemy without a grumble.

Lieut. Colonel Norman Macleod, C.M.G., D.S.O.,

commanded from 23rd April, 1917, to 10th June, 1918.

Owing to casualties in the previous fighting, we had now only three Company Officers left, besides the Commanding Officer and Lieut. Legate, who was acting as Adjutant. A request was made to be allowed to bring up fresh officers from the transport lines, but this was refused. Unfortunately, just as the Battalion was moving off, one of the three officers became a casualty, leaving only two, neither of whom had been in action before the previous day's fighting. When we reached the lines and found that the Battalion was to carry out the attack on Cavalry Farm, the Commanding Officer suggested to Brigade that he would go forward to Company {81} Headquarters, as the Battalion had been practically reduced to the strength of a Company, especially in officers. However, the Brigade would not agree to this.

The intention was that the Battalion was to take Cavalry Farm and the trenches to the east of it. The 45th Brigade were to attack to the north of Cambrai Road, and take a German strong point so as to protect our left, while the Black Watch were to advance on our right and form a line of posts. As soon as the Battalion had captured the farm, the 9th Pioneer Gordons were to make a communication trench up to it. The attack commenced at 11 p.m. We managed to capture the farm, but on getting past it we found the trench to the east strongly held by the enemy. These we attacked, but almost immediately found ourselves between two fires, coming from the trenches in front and from machine guns close on our left rear, situated in the strong point which the 45th Brigade had failed to capture. The result was that we had to fall back on the farm. In the meantime the Gordons, having heard that we had taken the farm, came up to commence their trench. They also came under the same heavy cross fire as was holding up our advance, and had to withdraw. The Major in Command and many others become casualties.

This information being received at the Battalion Headquarters, the Commanding Officer decided to go forward and try to re-organise {82} the attack. The communication trench was filled with 9th Gordons, and it became necessary to advance over the open, which was a slow process, as the ground was being swept by machine guns. On reaching the front line it was found crowded with troops, in consequence of the Seaforths, who were in support, having moved forward into the front line when our Battalion had advanced to the attack. They were now mixed up with our men who had come back. The Seaforths were ordered to withdraw to the support line, with the exception of one Company which was retained to assist us in holding the front line. It was practically impossible to take the trenches east of the farm unless the strong point on the north side of the road was attacked and captured. Having therefore formed posts in the farm and to the right, to link up with the Black Watch, he proceeded to the 45th Brigade Company, who had failed to capture the strong point on the north side of the road, and from which position the enemy were able to fire into our rear when we had gone forward. They informed him that they did not intend to attack the strong point again. This made it impossible for us to continue the attack beyond the farm with any chance of success. That evening the Battalion was relieved by the Seaforths, and moved into support. The next day the Battalion was occupied in burying dead. This work was difficult, as the enemy, seeing the movement, kept up intermittent shelling. However, we {83} managed to collect 64 bodies of Camerons, which we buried in one grave. The Commanding Officer took the service, but had to limit the number of men present owing to the danger of casualties from shelling.

In order to save space, the majority of men were buried lying on their side. A touching feature was the fact that someone had taken each man's arm and put it round the body lying next to him. From the top of the trench one could imagine that the men were sleeping, embraced in each other's arms, more especially as they were buried in their kilts just as they had fought, no blankets or other covering being available. Altogether it was a most moving scene. The machine gun, which has already been referred to, and which should have been knocked out before the attack, had taken its toll, as most of these bodies were found round about its emplacement. One could well appreciate the desperate gallantry of the men who rushed it. We had the satisfaction, however, of knowing that many of the enemy's gun crew had been bayoneted by our men.

A good example of the grit of the young officer and also the difficulty of obtaining accurate information regarding casualties was experienced. Lieut. Mackay was missing, and though several men were certain that they had seen him dead in a certain shell-hole, his body could not be found. One reliable N.C.O. was so certain of its position that he guaranteed, {84} if he were allowed to go out, he would return directly with the body. His re-request was granted, but proved a failure. As a matter of fact, Mackay was found dead a considerable distance further on. He had been severely wounded where the men saw him, and they had been wrongly convinced that he was dead. He had been killed finally by a direct hit. He must have suffered severe wounds first of all, as his right hand, which had been blown off, and other wounds, had been dressed. Such wounds would have more than justified anyone going back to the dressing station, but this brave young officer, although stunned and wounded to such an extent that his own men thought he was dead, had evidently advanced with the remainder of the Battalion as soon as he had regained consciousness.

During the second phase of the operations, 4 Headquarter officers, 9 Company officers, and 570 men were engaged, of whom 7 Company officers and 369 men became casualties. Great praise is due to two young officers who went through the whole of the battle (their first engagement), and who individually led the Battalion in the attack on Cavalry Farm. We must refer to Captain W. G. Stuart, who was killed on this occasion—better known as "W.G." He came out with the Battalion in 1915, and had taken part in all the fighting in which the Division had been engaged. A quiet, unassuming man, with a strong personality, he was known and loved not only by the officers and {85} men of his own Battalion, but throughout the Brigade. He seldom had a man of his Company before the C.O. In fact, the apparent pain which it gave to "W.G." to think that a man had done anything to bring disgrace on his beloved Company was the greatest punishment that man could have. The men would have done anything for him, and discipline was maintained out of love and regard for their Captain.

If the Battalion on our left had succeeded in obtaining their objective, or had at least silenced the enemy, the attack on the farm would probably have proved a success. On the night of the 28/29th of April the Battalion was relieved by the 3rd London Regiment, and withdrew into billets in the Grand Place. The fighting had been long and severe, and if fresh troops had been available to go through on the completion of the first "phase" the success might have been even greater. At the close of the fighting at that time one was able to move a considerable distance forward at night without encountering the enemy, who must have been holding his line very lightly and far back. He had recovered himself, however, when the second phase started. It is interesting to read with what surprise and despondency General Ludendorf, the Chief of the German Staff, writes concerning the battle. He says:—

"On that day (9th April) I celebrated my birthday. I looked forward to the expected offensive with confidence, and was now deeply depressed. Was this to be the result of all our care and trouble during the past half year? A day like April the 9th threw all calculations to the winds."

{86} Such an expression of opinion is high praise to the troops whose vigour and bravery brought such a disaster to the enemy.

It may be remembered that at that time the latter part of the battle of Arras was almost over-shadowed in the press by the very gallant and successful attack by the Canadians when they took Vimy Ridge. It is instructive, however, to read in General Ludendorf's Memoirs the statement:—

"On the 11th they took Monchy, and during the following night we evacuated the Vimy Ridge."

So ends the battle of Arras.



On 29th April, 1917, the Battalion moved out of Arras to Semincourt, via Rues St. Aubert, Denvielle, and Bernville. Here training was carried out until the 8th, when the Battalion moved to Grande Rullecourt. On the 21st May the 15th Division were transferred to the 19th Corps, and moved to Vacqueril. On the 22nd they again moved to St. Georges via Conchy and Wail. On the 6th instant, Lieut.-Colonel Crichton officially relinquished command of the Battalion, which was taken over by Major MacLeod, who had been acting C.O. since the second phase of the Battle of Arras. We remained in St. Georges carrying out field training till the 20th of June. This summer it was supposed that the British had adopted the German system of "storm troops," and that the 15th Division was one of these. Whether this was true or not, there is no doubt that we were employed in all the big engagements, and when we were not fighting we were out training for the next attack.

While at St. Georges we held Brigade Sports. Captain Lumsden, who had been acting as {88} Adjutant for some time in place of Captain A. R. Chapman, who had been appointed Staff Captain 46th Brigade, was now confirmed in the appointment. Captain Chapman, who was one of the original officers, had acted as Adjutant for some time, and by his keenness, efficiency, and good temper had proved himself a most suitable officer for the work. We parted with him with regret, and wished him all success on the Staff.

On 18th June, Major-General Sir F. W. N. M'Cracken, K.C.B., D.S.O., relinquished command of the Division, and issued the following special order:—

"In bidding farewell to the 15th Division, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all ranks for their continued assistance to me throughout the period of over two years since I assumed Command.

"The standard of discipline and training which has enabled the results already obtained will, I am convinced, lead in future to still greater success. The maintenance of this standard, added to the high sense of duty of all ranks in the Division, will inevitably enable the same to obtain the final victory before returning to the land of their birth, which is already so justly proud of their fine achievements.

"I shall at all times watch their movements with the deepest interest, and I wish them every possible success in the future."

It was with great regret that we parted with General M'Cracken, who had so ably commanded the Division since its arrival in France, and whose ability in no little way helped to achieve success in many hard fought battles. The command of the Division was taken over by Major-General H. F. Thullier, C.B., C.M.G.

On the 21st June we left St. Georges and began to move northward. The first night we {89} stayed with three Companies at Croix and one at Siracourt; next day we went on to Pernes, and the next to Borecq, with two Companies at Ecquedeque, where we spent the Sunday. On the Monday we moved to Steenbecque, and from there to St. Sylvestre Cappel. On the 27th the Battalion went into Reserve in the 9th Corps area, camping about two miles southwest of Vlamertinghe. A special order was issued by the G.O.C. 15th Division, who expressed himself as very pleased with the march, discipline and appearance of the Battalion. In spite of the fact that they had no breakfast, the long march was completed, with only one man falling out.

On the 2nd of July we moved forward into the support line via Reigersburg Chateau, "C" Company being in "Half Moon" trench, "B" and "D" in the Ecole, "A" Company in the Convent Ypres, and Headquarters on the Menin Road. This was our first experience of the Salient, and we got a hot reception, being heavily shelled, and suffering several casualties while going in. In the Salient there were no trenches, as the ground was too wet for digging, and breastworks had to be built. From the support we moved into the front line, with Headquarters at Dragoon Farm, and with support companies in St. James' trench, Milcote, Posier defences and road. Coming out of the line, we returned to Eerie Camp. From there we marched to Poperinghe, trained to Arnecke, and thence we marched again to Le Choche. {90} Here we carried out training on the Rubroucke training ground. On the 17th the Battalion moved to Winnezele under orders of the 46th Brigade. From there we moved to Toronto Camp, via Watou and Poperinghe, halting for an hour on the road for breakfast.

On the 23rd we once more took over the front line with Headquarters under the railway at South Lane, in a dug-out which was exceedingly wet, and the men had to be kept constantly at the pumps. That portion of the dug-out which the C.O. and signallers occupied was a small side shaft without any ventilation, so that a man had to be kept at the top of the stair pumping air down to us. As a rule this gentleman was rather sleepy, and had to be encouraged with powerful language. On one occasion, however, air came blowing in with great force. We soon discovered that some gas shells had exploded near the mouth of the dug-out which had effectually wakened up the warrior at the pump, and he, with a sudden spurt of energy, was diligently pumping the gas down. We were now busy constructing works preparatory to the attack, all of which had to be carefully camouflaged.

On the 24th a successful little raid was carried out by twelve other ranks of "A" Company under command of 2nd Lieut. J. Miller. Taking a course parallel to the railway, they found the enemy's trenches much battered, but the wire, though flattened, was difficult to get over. A machine gun emplacement was discovered on {91} the railway embankment. Its crew fled, two being killed as they were running away, and one brought back as a prisoner carrying the machine gun. Our casualty was one man slightly wounded.

At this time we were actively patrolling every night as well as carrying out work parties. On the 25th we got orders for relief, but these were cancelled later, and we were told we had to remain in the front line. On the night of the 27/28th, orders were received that we were to carry out a large raid on the enemy's front on the afternoon of the 28th, two Companies being employed in this operation. This was a very tall order. In the first place, we had never had an opportunity of patrolling the part of the front over which the raid was to be carried out. On the map, it appeared as if part of it was an old pond. Neither did we know the condition of the enemy's wire, etc. In addition to this the Battalion had been in the line for some time, and the men were therefore very tired. Further, the time allowed for preparation was so short that it was practically impossible to get up and issue the usual paraphernalia for a raid.

The task appeared to be beyond our powers, and the C.O. reported this to the Brigade, who more or less agreed with him. The Brigadier made representations to the Division, but the answer came back that the raid had to be carried out. No doubt this was inevitable, but it must be remembered that it was usual for a Battalion doing a raid of this size to be taken {92} out of the line and given time to rehearse it, examine the ground, and consider the whole problem with the Artillery Commander, etc. What must be, must be, and we found ourselves with only a few hours wherein to decide on our line of action, issue the necessary orders, and, as far as possible, collect such stores as were available, a somewhat difficult matter, as movement during the day generally led to shelling. The orders were that the raid was to go to a considerable depth, the final objective being the enemy's reserve lines (the first objective in the general attack which was to take place shortly). The raiding party consisted of "D" Company with three platoons of "A" Company, under command of Captain J. L. C. Jenkins. A smaller party of 14 other ranks, under 2nd Lieut. Elliot, were ordered to raid the railway embankment on our right and look for a suspected machine gun.

The zero hour was 7 p.m., the raiding party being lined up at 6.45. At zero the artillery trench mortar and machine guns opened an intense barrage on the enemy's front, and the raiders at the same time left our trenches and followed the barrage. The enemy's front line system was found to be badly knocked about, any of the enemy who had survived the bombardment being either killed or taken prisoners. The raiders then pushed on over the support lines to the reserve lines. Many of the enemy were encountered, and these too were either killed or taken prisoners. A machine gun was also {93} captured. The small party who raided the railway embankment bombed a culvert and dugout which was occupied. They did not discover the machine gun, but they took a few prisoners. Both parties returned, having inflicted many casualties on the enemy and taken 1 officer and 39 other ranks prisoners and 1 machine gun. Several other prisoners were driven in to the Battalion on our left. Our casualties were very slight, being 1 O.R. killed, 2 missing, and 6 wounded. 2nd Lieut. A. Fraser and Lieut. Elliot were both wounded.

Altogether the raid was a huge success, which was all the more creditable considering the very difficult circumstances under which it was carried out. No doubt the element of surprise helped the result. Many raids are given away by the preparations, especially by officers, both Staff and Regimental, coming for days and looking over the top in order to examine the ground. The Battalion received warm congratulations on the success of the raid from the G.O.C. 15th Division. At last we were relieved on the 29th by the 8/10th Gordons, and went into Brigade reserve. Next evening the Battalion moved into position of assembly for the attack, "A" Company with two platoons at "A.R.A." dump, 30 men at "Thatch Barn," 30 men in "Half Moon" trench, "B" Company in "St. James' trench," "C" Company in "Half Moon" trench, and "D" in "Hedge trench" south of "West Lane," the Battalion Headquarters being in South Lane. The Battalion {94} got into position without any casualties. This was the first night that the enemy's artillery was more or less silent, owing no doubt to the fact that our artillery was gas shelling their batteries. "A" Company was used for a carrying party, the remainder of the Battalion remaining in their assembly position until 10 a.m.

Shortly after zero hour, "Thatch Barn" dump was blown up by the enemy, causing many casualties to the carrying party. This considerably disorganised the party and added greatly to their work. The conditions caused by the shelling and the muddy nature of the ground made it impossible to carry full loads. It was also found that the "Yukon Pack," while enabling men to carry heavy loads, was inclined to make them top-heavy, and on the uneven and slippery ground they easily lost their balance and fell. This either necessitated extra men without packs assisting them to their feet again, or else they had to take the packs off in order to get up, and then reload. This caused considerable delay. The extra weight also made the men's feet sink deep in the mud, rendering marching extremely difficult and exhausting. Most of the party was made up of a draft without any previous training with the "Yukon Pack."

Three out of the four Company Officers and a Company-Sergt.-Major became casualties, the Company being reduced to 26 other ranks. Lieut. Mackay, who was in command, shewed great pluck and determination in the way he organised the parties and got the materials {95} forward. He was wounded himself in the leg, but insisted on going up to the forward dump to see the work properly handed over before going to the dressing station to have his wounds attended to. In addition to the actual pain involved, his wound was unfortunately saturated with dirt, the result being that this fine young officer died a few days later from the effects. Besides being a good officer, he was a splendid young fellow. He had just left one of the great public schools and had taken a scholarship at Oxford, which was waiting for him on his return.

About 10 a.m. the remaining three companies of the Battalion advanced and occupied the German front system of trenches. At 1 p.m. the Headquarters moved forward to the German reserve lines. The enemy shelling was severe, but they were lucky enough to find an old German concrete machine gun post for a new Headquarters. One platoon went forward about 2 o'clock to construct a strong point under an R.E. officer. When they got there, however, they found they were drawing so much shell fire that the R.E. officer decided not to proceed with the work. About 5 a.m. next morning the Battalion moved forward to support, relieving the Seaforth Highlanders, who replaced the Black Watch in the front line, the latter taking our place in the reserve. The position of the Battalion now was two Companies in the Trench immediately behind North Station Buildings, and one Company in the strong points.

{96} We were suffering considerably from the mud, many of the rifles were almost choked with it, and even ammunition could not be put into the magazine without a portion of the mud on the men's hands going in along with it. The Commanding Officer, on going round in the morning, insisted on getting the arms cleaned as far as possible, a precaution which proved itself of considerable advantage later on, for the enemy counter-attacked about 3 p.m. Captain Symon got his Company out in front of the trench ready to counter-attack. This movement was conformed to by the Company on the left. As soon as he saw that the enemy had broken through our front line Captain Symon gave his orders to charge with fixed bayonets. The enemy were driven back, and we even gained a little ground.

The enemy put down a fairly heavy barrage on our front trench and immediately behind it. There was also a considerable amount of machine gun and rifle fire, as well as some sniping from a distance. We took four prisoners, and killed many of the enemy who were seen retiring on the hill opposite. As our right flank was now in the air no further advance, on our part, could be made, and we had to form a flank defence along the Ypres-Roulers railway. The two Companies remained in the front line. That night we were relieved in support by the 8/10th Gordons and took over the remainder of the front line, which we held for the following two days, until relieved on the night of the {97} 3rd/4th by two Companies of the Munster Fusiliers.

During the attack we had found little use for the Mills bomb, partly because there were few trenches to attack, and partly because the men had now got more confidence in their rifles. The Rifle Grenadiers were carrying rifle grenades in sand bags in their hands. Many of these got lost, so that it was decided that it would be better to carry fewer grenades in future and that these should be worn in the equipment, the waistcoat pattern being considered the best for the purpose. In the counter-attack the men fired their rifles from the hip, which possibly had a good moral effect, although cold steel was the deciding factor. The casualties during the operations from the 31st July to 3rd August were 7 officers killed, and 285 other ranks.

On the 4th August the Battalion moved to Winnezwele by bus. Here we were inspected by the G.O.C. 15th Division. We were drawn up in three sections, the first of officers and other ranks who took part in the operations, the second of those who were with details, and the third of drafts. The G.O.C. expressed his appreciation of the excellent work performed by the Battalion in the recent operations under very exceptional circumstances. Here on the 14th we held regimental sports. "A" Company was successful in winning the tug-of-war and the "six-a-side football" match. The sergeants beat the officers in the tug-of-war. The officers, {98} however, were successful in winning the tug-of-war against all comers from the Brigade. The Company championship in points was as follows:—"B" Company, 50; "A" Company, 26; "C" Company, 24; and "D" Company, 20. The best all round athlete was C.S.M. Keith, "B" Company. At the close of the sports, the prizes were presented by Brigadier-General Marshall. The Divisional Band played at intervals during the forenoon, and the massed pipes of the Brigade played at the close of the sports. Everything went off without a hitch, and great credit is due to Lieut. Gibb and his Committee for the way they arranged and carried out the programme.

On the 20th we once more returned to the line in order to continue the offensive, the disposition of the Brigade being, 8th Seaforths on the right, 7th Camerons on the left, and the 8/10th Gordons in support. The route taken by the Headquarters was via Reigersberg Chateau and No. 4 track. The Battalion, less four platoons, proceeded via the White Chateau. The Headquarters were in Pommern Redoubt. The zero hour was 4.45 a.m., when the attack was launched and carried on for about 200 yards west of Hill 35. Here the Battalion came under very heavy machine gun and rifle fire from Gallipoli Farm and Iberin Farm, where they were held up. The Battalions on the right and left also being held up, we consolidated the position which we had gained, with the assistance of the 8/10th Gordons, while the 9th Pioneer {99} Gordons constructed a strong point immediately in our rear. We held this position till the night of the 22nd/23rd, when we were relieved by the 9th Black Watch, and proceeded to the support position in Rupprecht Farm, with the Battalion Headquarters at Verlorenhock. The next day we were relieved by the 8/10th Gordons and proceeded to Eerie Camp. Our casualties were, 4 officers killed, 5 officers wounded, 3 other ranks killed, and 132 wounded. The time was now employed in re-constructing the Battalion and carrying out preliminary training. The Division then received orders to move south.

General Sir H. P. Gough, K.C.B., Officer Commanding the 5th Army, stated in a farewell message to the 15th Division that "he parted with them with great regret. The reputation of the Division has been earned on many battlefields, and has never stood higher than now. He wishes it all good fortune and many further successes in the future. Will ye no come back again?"

While the Battalion was on the march for the Wateau Area to entrain, it was inspected by the G.O.C. of the 5th Army, who expressed to the Commanding Officer his very high appreciation of the work of the Battalion, and warmly congratulated him on this account, and on the successful raids they had carried out. It was with no feeling of regret that we marched south leaving the Salient behind us, where it was not only a case of fighting the enemy, but also of {100} fighting an almost worse enemy in the elements. It is quite impossible to describe the conditions of that half-inundated land and the sea of mud which was stirred up by the heavy shelling on the ground over which we had to attack.

The following is a vivid description by General Ludendorff in his "Memoirs" of the fighting in the Salient. While written of his own Army, it is also applicable to ours:—

"The fifth act of the great drama in Flanders opened. Enormous masses of ammunition, such as the human mind had never imagined before the war, were hurled on the bodies of men who passed a miserable existence, scattered in mud-filled shell-holes.

"The horror of the shell-hole area of Verdun was surpassed. It was no longer life at all, it was mere unspeakable suffering. Through this world of mud the attackers dragged themselves slowly but steadily. Caught in the advance zone, by our hail of fire, they often collapsed. Then the mass came on again, rifles and machine guns being jammed with mud. Man fought against man, and only too often the mass was successful.... The enemy lost heavily. When we occupied the battlefield in the Spring of 1918 they lay in their thousands. We knew that the enemy suffered heavily, but we also knew he was amazingly strong and, what was equally important, had an extraordinary stubborn will."

As there were no dugouts, and the men were living in shelters only, every tour saw a considerable number of casualties. The enemy had the Menin Road and other tracks carefully taped, and the area behind the front line received almost more attention from the enemy's artillery than the front line itself. The Headquarters were generally in the remains of houses partly protected by concrete, but which would have easily been destroyed by a direct hit. In fact, on more than one occasion the officers at {101} Headquarters left the protection of these buildings and sat in a field watching the enemy bombard them. This, however, proved good for the morale of the front line troops, who often used to be "bucked up" at seeing the Headquarters getting it hot.

The reserve billets in Ecole outside Ypres, and the cellars of the convent in Ypres, did not afford much comfort, for, while they were fairly well protected, the approaches were constantly being shelled, so that the men were more or less confined to the cellars.

We were the first Division to experience the effects of Mustard gas. When we first learned of its power of burning the skin, it was thought that we would probably suffer badly in the kilt. However, it is satisfactory to know that the kilt once again proved its efficiency as a fighting garment. While we have no statistics, we believe it is true that we did not suffer more than the trousered regiments in this respect, the reason being that it was generally the parts of the body where the skin was tender that got burnt. The skin of the legs having got hardened by exposure to the weather, was generally able to withstand the effects of gas in the same way as the hands and face. Again, most of the cases of burning were caused by men sitting down on the ground which was saturated with the gas. The kilt, being thick, the gases could not easily penetrate it, and no doubt its swinging in the air, when the men got up, helped to dispel them. In fact, the men did not suffer much from the {102} effects of burning unless the shell burst close enough to sprinkle them with the liquid.

We regret to record the fact that within a short time of our handing over our Headquarters in Pommern Redoubt, which was a most unhealthy spot, Major Murray, Commanding the Black Watch (better known as "Haggis," and after whom the Divisional rest camp was called), and some of his staff, were killed by a direct hit at the entrance of the shelter. The Headquarters, which consisted of an old German machine gun concrete emplacement, were very low. We could not stand up in them. There was no ventilation except through the door, and when they were filled with signallers, officers, etc., with one or two candles burning, the heat and exhaustion of the air became terrible. After the first phase we experienced great difficulty in getting back the wounded, of whom there were a great number. One must say a word in praise of the splendid work done on this and many other occasions by the stretcher bearers. Lacking the excitement of fighting, they carried on their humane work often under heavy shell fire, always showing a splendid example of devotion to duty. Owing to the mud in the Salient, their work here was exceedingly arduous as well as dangerous. It often took four men to carry a stretcher back to the aid post, and even then it was a slow job. Their work, therefore, during some of the heavy fighting was practically continuous night and day. Often very weary, yet never complaining, {103} they doggedly carried on. Not many of them received honours, although many well deserved them. The mud so delayed the removal of the wounded that some of them lay in dugouts and shelters for a couple of days. At last the Division sent up a large number of men under a Colonel of the R.A.M.C., who finally got them taken down. His energy was splendid. He wandered about at early dawn, even in No Man's Land, looking for the wounded in shell holes, closely followed by his faithful little dog.

The Headquarters at one time were in an old Boche strong point. Unfortunately, as it was the only place protected, some of the men in the trench round about it would rush to it for shelter, whenever heavy shelling started. As many as possible squeezed inside, but it seldom contained all, and as it was no doubt the enemy's target we had several casualties in the trench outside. It was little use telling the men not to come, for each hoped to be fortunate enough to find room inside, and the desire for security overmastered all else. The floor of the dugout was a foot deep in water, which kept slowly getting deeper as the water in the trench increased, and its smell was horrible, as it was partly mixed with the blood of the men killed outside. There was only one bed, which was occupied for the two days we were there by a wounded officer. We all had to sit and sleep on boxes with our feet perched on petrol tins. The usual result of trying to sleep in this position was that we had hardly got off when our feet {104} would slip from the tin into the water, wakening us up, after which we had to start again.

The Adjutant, Signallers and Orderly Room Sergeant had a trying time in carrying on their work. One often admired the way in which the Orderly Room Clerk performed his duties on this and other occasions. Numerous returns had to be sent into Brigade, operation orders, orders for work parties and ration parties had to be written out by him, generally in triplicate at least. There he was stowed away in a corner, without a table, writing on his knee with nothing but a bag to keep his papers in, often working late into the night by the light of a solitary candle balanced on a piece of wood stuck into the wall of the dug-out, yet always doing his work efficiently and well without a grumble or complaint.

The transport had some very severe experiences also in getting up rations, which was no easy job. Carrying parties found many difficulties. There was a great deal of work to be done, and therefore ration parties had to be reduced to a minimum. In the dark it was no easy matter to find the map locations where the rations were dumped, as there was nothing to distinguish one shell-hole from another. On more than one occasion the carrying parties were so wearied with the struggle through the mud with heavy loads that they had to leave the rum ration behind, a convincing proof that they were at the last gasp.

Although possibly some of the Division may {105} have been a little shaken by their terrible experiences in the fighting during the third battle of Ypres, this was not the case with the Camerons. We had met with great success in all our raids, we had countered the German's determined counter-attack which had driven in our front line, and, while we had certainly suffered heavy casualties during the battle, we had always been able to make ground. In the last phase many of the officers and men had just joined the Battalion from drafts, and their baptism was indeed severe. We therefore marched away with a feeling of elation, although everyone was naturally fagged out and glad of the prospect of a short rest from the mud and dirt.

It is difficult to give a general description of the front line in France and Belgium. It ranged from the breastworks and mud of Ypres to the crater areas and sap heads at Hulluch; where mines exploding were a daily occurrence, and the dead formed part of the parapet; or to the shell-hole area of the Somme, where the enemy looked down on the top of us and could get direct observation for his shell fire. Civilians and even Staff Officers doing a tour of the trenches were very properly sent to quiet areas, and so often formed wrong impressions. Thus a well known officer, who has written an account of the life at G.H.Q., gives the following interesting information concerning the trenches.

"Behind the parapet it was almost as safe, and on dry days as pleasant, as on a marine parade. A solid fortification of sand bags, proof against any blow except that of a big high explosive shell, enclosed each side of a walk, drained, paved with duck {106} boards, and lined with dug-outs, in places adorned with little flower beds."

Possibly these amenities existed somewhere, but certainly all the years we were in France we never came across such a front line. "Big High Explosives!" Why, it did not often require more than a "pip squeak" to push in the parapet! A heavy shower of rain was sufficient to cause it to collapse from its own weight!

The same writer says if he were

""Seeking the fit adjective that could be applied to it in its superlative, it would certainly not be 'exciting,' nor yet 'dangerous.' The life was exciting, and it was dangerous a little."

He then goes on to describe the duties as not so dangerous as that of a policeman who has to stop a runaway horse! He evidently never served in a front line where for days the Boche put down a practice barrage, or where he was in the habit of following you along the trench with a shower of aerial darts; or in a front line which you knew was mined, and it was a question whether you or he were going to be blown up first. But enough! Let the casualty lists for each tour in the line speak for themselves. As for excitement, recommend us to night patrolling with Very Lights and an active enemy.

The Battalion marched from Watau at 7 a.m. on 1st September, 1917, via Godwaers-velde, and Cemelhof to Gaestre Railway Station, where they entrained at 2.5 p.m. for Arras, which was reached at 9 p.m., and marched back to billets {107} at Montenescourt. On the 7th of September we once more entered the Arras sector, relieving the 10/11th H.L.I. at Blangy Park. We now settled down into this area, and a delightful place it was after our experience in the Salient. The park at Blangy must have contained many fine residences. The grounds were well wooded, although much destroyed, and there were remains of what were formerly beautiful gardens. The river Scarpe flows through the woods and fills several artificial ponds, where the men were able to spend much of their time bathing and basking in the sun.

Major-General Reed, V.C., had now taken over command of the Division, Major-General Thulliers having received an important appointment at home in connection with the production of gas.

On the 14th October we were instructed to send over two small fighting patrols, consisting of 1 officer and 4 O.R.'s each. The idea was that, while a raid was being conducted on our right, these patrols should cross "No Man's Land," enter the German trench, and, if possible, seize some identifications. It was not intended that they should search the German trench, but simply rush over and back again. The raid was to be assisted with a preliminary discharge of thermite shells and a ten minutes' bombardment with trench mortars. It was to take place during daylight, though the proposition to our minds did not appear very hopeful. "No Man's Land" was fairly wide, {108} and one could be sure that the enemy would be fully alert, as the raid on the right was bound to attract his attention.

Lieut. E. D. Hoskins and Lieut. A. Chisholm were chosen to command the raiding parties for which there were many volunteers. The first patrol, under Lieut. Chisholm, got over the top and suffered 2 casualties going across "No Man's Land." The officer was killed near the enemy trench, and only one of the party returned. The second party, under Lieut. Hoskins, got safely across "No Man's Land" and were seen to jump into the enemy trench, but none of them ever returned. It was learned later that Lieut. Hoskins and the others were all killed. Out of the raiders, therefore, only one escaped. We also sustained the further casualties of 4 killed and 6 wounded by the bombardment. These were the only really unsuccessful raids which the Battalion ever undertook. We felt they were foredoomed to failure. No enemy were going to allow a small party of four men to walk across "No Man's Land" in broad daylight. It is reported that Lieut. Hoskins turned to his men before going over the top and said: "I am a Catholic, and am going to say a petition before going over; I don't know what you fellows are, but I advise you also to say your prayers, as none of us will ever come back alive." They went across, and were all killed in the enemy's lines, no doubt fighting as brave men would.

On the 19th, "A" Company returned from {109} the third Corps Musketry Camp, where they had been under training, and were congratulated by the C.O. on the successful results of their shooting. They gained the first and second prizes both in the "rapid firing" and in the "knockout" competitions, and they also won the second prize in the "snap" shooting competition for teams of six, and in the "pill box" competition. In the 17th Corps boxing competition Private E. Davies and Private D. Tate both won their heats on points, these being the only two men we entered. This was a very creditable performance. About this time men from the Lovat Scouts, of whom there were a good many in the Battalion, were being formed into a Battalion of "Observers." It was understood they would live behind the line as Corps troops and only have to come up to observe from observation posts which were not generally in the front line, and then only if the weather was clear. Naturally there was a rush for the job, for living behind the line with no more night working parties was too good a thing to miss. In the long run, however, not many men were actually taken away from us.

We were glad to hear of the success of the actions further north, and about the 20th of November the position was so promising that we were under orders to be prepared to move at fifteen minutes notice, in the event of the enemy retiring on our front. Unfortunately, however, this never came off. During the tour in the trenches from the 8th to the 20th of November {110} we had a very strenuous time in improving trenches and erecting wire. The Brigadier expressed his appreciation of the manner in which all ranks had carried out these duties.

In November Brigadier General Marshall left the Brigade to take over an important home appointment. He had endeared himself to us all. Constantly in the front line in all weather he had a practical knowledge and sympathy with the discomforts and difficulties which the troops had to contend with. Kindly and most considerate yet inspiring all with confidence by his undoubted ability and cheerful manner, it was with great regret that we learned of his departure.



By the end of December, 1917, rumours began to circulate regarding a great German offensive. Everyone had to sleep with their clothes on, all troops, even in the reserve billets in Arras, had to "stand to" before sun rise every morning until orders to "stand down" were received from Brigade. Sleeping in your clothes is never comfortable or refreshing. Practically every night large working parties had to be sent up to the trenches, often not returning till the early hours, so that shortly after the men had got comfortably settled down they had to get up again and "stand to" fully equipped ready to move. This "stand to" often lasted several hours. The advantage, therefore, which was supposed to be had in the rest billets was much discounted.

We were fated once again to spend our New Year in the trenches, but on the 2nd of January we were relieved by 2nd Guards Brigade. We had done our best to make the trenches as clean as possible in order that they might take over a {112} system worthy of the Guards. It is satisfactory to know that the G.O.C. Guards Division informed the G.O.C. 15th Division that he had never had such a satisfactory take over as on this occasion from the 15th (Scottish) Division. It was doubtful if some of the men appreciated the hard fighting qualities of the Guards Brigade, looking upon them as show troops. This is exemplified by a story of a rather dirty Jock who was baling mud out of a trench. One of the splendid clean Guardsmen, who had come up as orderly with some officers, tried to get into conversation with him by remarking that they were coming up to relieve them. The muddy Jock asked him, "Who are ye?" and he replied, "Oh, we are the Guards," and the Jock, proceeding with his digging, rejoined: "Ah! weel! ye can write hame an' tell yer mither ye've seen the sodjers."

On relief the Battalion went into billets in the Ecole des Jeunes Filles. Here on the 9th and 10th the Battalion had their Christmas dinners, which were a great success and much enjoyed. During the proceedings the C.O. addressed the troops and gave a brief review of the operations which the Battalion had taken part in during the past year, also the new honours they had won for the regiment. He wished them all the best of luck for the coming year. We must record the very great kindness and assistance shewn us by Mademoiselle G. Marmier, who always did all she could to add to the {113} comforts of the troops. On this occasion she made many fine paper flowers to decorate the Christmas dinner tables with. After the dinners the men were entertained in the theatre, where "the Jocks," our Divisional troupe, performed the pantomime "Robinson Crusoe."

The weather was now very cold, in fact when we handed over to the Guards the ground was deep in snow. On the 23rd February we carried out a small raid on the enemy's trenches at 3.30 a.m. The party consisted of 28 other ranks of "A" Company under command of 2nd Lieut. A. R. M'Donald. The raid proved a success. The German trenches were found to be unoccupied, but 4 men were caught in a sap head, one of whom was killed and 3 brought back as prisoners, so we succeeded in getting the identification which was required. Our casualties were nil. For this we received the congratulations of both the Corps and Brigade Commanders.

We now fully expected an attack by the Boche, and everyone was kept on the strain, working hard in preparing belts of wire and improving trench systems. For many weeks neither officers nor men had their clothes off, and the work in the reserve area was almost as strenuous as in the front line. We knew that the Germans had been successful further south, and we were holding what was becoming an acute salient. One can quite understand the nervousness of those behind the line, but those in the front areas were confident of their powers to resist the {114} Boches and in the strength of the defensive systems. On the occasion when the Guards relieved us one of their officers was much impressed with the serious spirit with which he found the Staff behind the line treating the matter. After going round the front line, however, he remarked that the cheerfulness of the troops had put new heart into him.

Indeed, the front line troops (probably in their ignorance) treated the anxiety of those behind with a good deal of levity. An amusing method of dealing with the rumours flying around called the Thermometer game was invented. This consisted in assigning so many degrees or marks to the person reporting a "windy" story according to its source. Whoever got 100 degrees first won. For instance, a terrible story from the cook's mate or transport men was valued at about 10 points; from a brigade-major about two, and a higher staff officer about one.

The Staff, it is to be feared, did not appreciate this chaff, and orders were issued that Regimental Officers were not to refer to the Staff as having the "wind up," as they were only taking necessary precautions. However, it shewed the troops were in good spirits.

On the evening of the 22/23rd of March we were surprised to receive an order that we were to withdraw with all stores to the Army line, the movement to be completed by 3 a.m. The Battalion happened to be occupying La Fosse Farm with the caves below, and also the strong {115} points. We had, therefore, a considerable amount of ammunition, etc., in the part of the line held by us. Further, we were instructed to guard our right flank carefully. As we knew that the enemy had driven in the line further south of us, this warning was appreciated. "D" Company, who were occupying Fork, Spade, and Gordon Trenches, were to be left behind to fight the rear guard actions when the Boche discovered we had withdrawn. O.C. "D" Company also had orders to destroy the Headquarters dug-out at Crater Subway, and the electric lighting plant in the Fosse Farm was to be rendered unworkable. Over and above this, R.E.'s were to blow a mine placed under the Cambrai Road.

As soon as it was dark motor lorries and vehicles of all descriptions were brought up to the farm, and we at once started loading them. Luckily for us there was a Y.M.C.A. Canteen in the caves, the officers in charge of which left it when they heard we were retiring. The C.O., taking advantage of this, allowed every man who brought down a box of ammunition from the strong points to help himself to cigarettes. With this encouragement, men carrying ammunition came back in quick succession, and by the time we finally retired, about 3.30 a.m., all ammunition trench stores, etc., with the exception of a few gum boots, had been loaded and withdrawn.

It was difficult to understand how the Boche did not hear the noise of the retiral. If {116} he had done so, and had trained his guns on the Cambrai Road, he would have caused endless confusion and casualties. The road was simply packed with motor lorries, guns and vehicles of all descriptions, with the retiring infantry dodging in and out between them. The congestion was extremely bad at the cross roads at Tilloy, where the different streams of traffic met. While recognising that this movement was necessary from a military point of view, still it was hard to persuade the men to see this, almost as difficult as it is for anyone who was not there to realise their disappointment and surprise. They had worked hard for months in preparing this position. They had carried up tons of wire and constructed belts of it many yards wide. They now felt all this work had gone for nothing. Supremely confident that they would have held this position against all odds, they regretted that they had not an opportunity of proving it. They evidently did not appreciate the dangers of an exposed flank. We got into our new position shortly before sunrise, and from there we could see our artillery, in the morning light, still getting back their guns, but the enemy was not even then aware of the movement.

We knew that an attack by the Germans was almost inevitable. All preparations possible were being made, and it was easy to understand the importance of the orders that the ground we held must be "held at all costs." While it is true that there were many defensive lines behind {117} us, right back almost to the sea, yet we believed that there were practically no troops in our immediate support to man them, so that, if the Boche once more broke through us, it was likely to prove a disaster. Furthermore, if our position was lost the enemy would outflank Vimy Ridge, which would probably necessitate our withdrawing from it. We had gone through a long spell of hard work in the trenches, and had been kept in a state of suspense for several months without a chance of ever getting our clothes off. The men, however, were in good fettle, but the Battalion contained a number of young lads from 18½ to 19, who had been sent out in drafts in the early Spring. They had not been proved in battle or seen any action, and it was impossible to say how they might act, although we had every confidence in them.

On the evening of the 27th March the Brigadier visited our Battalion Headquarters with the joyful news that it looked as if the Boche had given up the idea of attacking us meantime, as he was moving his guns from their battery positions, presumably with the intention of taking them somewhere else. Unfortunately this conclusion proved wrong, for in reality they must have been taking their guns out to move them into position for the attack. When the Brigadier left, the C.O. went round the front line with the good news. He remained in the front line till about 2 a.m. Just as he was leaving, a post reported that a short time {118} earlier they had discovered a party of Boche in front of our wire, apparently cutting it. They had been driven off with a Lewis gun, and had not been seen since. On examining the wire, which was a fairly broad belt, there were certainly signs that this had been their intention.

About 3 a.m. on the 28th, the enemy opened an intense bombardment on our front and immediate support lines, using gas shells on the left Company's front, south of Cambrai Road. This had lasted for about half an hour, when the bombardment was moved on to the back area, including the town of Arras. It was learnt afterwards that this was largely composed of gas shells. About 4 a.m. the bombardment of the front line having become less, the officer on duty patrolled the whole of the left Company's front up to the Cambrai Road, afterwards returning to the right, when he reported that the whole Company were standing to. There had been a fair number of casualties. Once again our front was heavily bombarded, mostly with trench mortars. This bombardment was exceedingly severe, especially on the left, south of the Cambrai Road. The N.C.O. who was on duty (the officer on duty having been killed) stated afterwards that he had again tried to patrol his front, but found the trenches so flattened that it was hard to say where they had been, and the ground resembled a ploughed field. He believed nearly everyone in this sector was either killed, buried or wounded.

{119} At 5.15 a.m. the enemy again put down a very intense trench mortar barrage on the left, which probably killed any men left in the front trench south of the Cambrai Road. At the same time the enemy could be seen jumping from shell-hole to shell-hole in front of Le Fosse Farm. We now fired S.O.S. signals, and opened rapid fire on the enemy. On the centre of our front line the enemy were about 100 yards away in front of the wire. The men in this part of the line afterwards stated that they were still confident that they could hold them up. Suddenly, however, it was seen that the enemy were working round our flank. An attempt was at once made to form a flank defence, but the casualties had been so great that this was found impossible, and practically no officers were left. Those remaining, therefore, had to fall back rapidly. So quickly did the enemy come round the flank that the signallers and others in the advance Battalion Headquarters (old 44th Brigade) were not able to get out in time to escape.

The extreme right of the Battalion had also been severely shelled along with the left of the 3rd Division. Here, too, the enemy broke through. From the Battalion Headquarters we now saw the lines of the 3rd Division front being driven back, and shortly afterwards our own men were seen retiring. The officer on the right had thrown back a platoon to try and form a flank defence, but soon found the enemy working round his rear and forcing him to withdraw. {120} The withdrawal was carried out in an orderly fashion, a covering fire being kept up with Lewis guns and rifles, the men behaving splendidly, which says a lot for their morale, as by this time most of the officers had been killed, and it must be remembered that many of the men were young recruits who had just come through their first experience of a hurricane bombardment.

At no time was the shelling so severe on the centre of our line as it was on the flanks. It is more than probable that the bombardment was so withering that the men on the flanks were wiped out before the enemy attacked. This seems to be proved by the fact that no officer or man belonging to the three platoons on the left or the platoon on the right, and only 1 man of the next two platoons, returned; in other words, only 7 men returned out of 6 platoons. The smoke and dust were such, however, that no one could see more than a few yards, and in any case it was impossible for us to see what was occurring to the north of the Cambrai Road, as at this point it is raised by an embankment.

The front line Companies Headquarters were in machine gun nest dug-outs in front of our wire. They were rushed early in the attack. No-man's-land certainly was a bad place for Company Headquarters, but there was no better location available. By 8.15 a.m. we had formed a new front line running north along the switch line, being in touch with the 8/10th Gordons on our right and {121} the 6th Camerons on our left. By this time there were probably not more than 150 other ranks and 3 Company officers remaining. As, however, the 6th Camerons were on our left, some of the men naturally got intermixed with them. The Battalion Headquarters were by this time in the front line, and all the Headquarter officers and men were used in the defence of the line. It was one of the advantages of having the Battalion Headquarters worked more or less on the principle of a Company, that this was so easily carried out: each Headquarter officer had his own section of men, and the men knew under whose command they had to place themselves.

The C.O. now consulted with Captain Wood, commanding the Company of the 8/10th Gordons, who at once took in hand the collection of ammunition, which was rather short in the new trench, from the dump at Shamrock Corner and the old trench systems. This distribution was successfully carried out. It is only right that we should refer to the splendid assistance given to us by Captain Wood. He was one of the few remaining officers who came out with the Division. He therefore had a wide experience in fighting, and shewed as usual that coolness, disregard for danger, and sound judgment with which we all associate him.

After the consultation the C.O. decided to try and counter-attack the enemy and establish a line along the old support trench in the Brown {122} Line. We sent off messages asking for artillery support for 9.30 a.m., when we proposed making the counter-attack. We could not get Brigade on the 'phone, the wires having probably been cut. We sent off pigeons, but the bombardment had been too much for them, and it was only after considerable amount of stone throwing that we got them to fly at all. We sent messages also with the buzzer set, but the annoying thing about both pigeon and power buzzer messages is, that one never knows whether they have been received or not. The artillery support never came, and we held back the counter attack till 10.30, as we did not wish to advance in case we should walk into our own fire. As a matter of fact not one of our messages ever got through.

About 10.30 a.m. the C.O. received a message from the O.C. "A" Company 6th Camerons, who were on our left, stating that his flank was now in the air, and that the enemy were as far back as Feuchy Chapel Crossroads on his left and rear, and he asked what he should do. Instruction were sent him to try to form a flank defence so as to get in touch on his left, but to hold his ground at all costs whatever happened. This information definitely decided us to give up the idea of counter-attacking. In order to get a clear idea of the situation, the C.O. went along the front line to the 6th Camerons, and found they were holding the front in good strength. There was not much doing in their immediate front, but {123} evidently some of the enemy had penetrated along the Cambrai Road to their left rear. Three Vickers gun teams which were in the trench were instructed to get into position where they could defend the flank, if necessary. On returning to the Battalion he ordered a certain number of men to get back into the strong points directly behind the line, and thus increased the depth of our defence.

About 1 p.m., as the line was now well organised, the Headquarters were withdrawn to those of the 8/10th Gordons. The instructions issued previously were that if the front line went the Headquarters were to withdraw immediately. As it turned out, however, it was not possible to withdraw the Headquarters earlier, as they had to be used in the defence of the line. Almost as soon as we arrived (1.30 p.m.) orders were received that the whole line was to be withdrawn to the "Army" line, and instructions were sent forward accordingly. Orders afterwards came through that we were to hold the position we had, but by the time they arrived we had already moved back. The Headquarters were again withdrawn to those of the Reserve Battalion (8th Seaforths), and shortly afterwards we withdrew the Battalion to some old trenches. Lieut. Gibb, however, and a few men remained with the 8/10th Gordons, and during the afternoon this party accounted for many casualties amongst the enemy by sniping them with the Lewis gun which had been attached to Headquarters. {124} At 1 o'clock in the morning we received orders that what remained of the Battalion were to go back and join the Transport at Wanquetim. We could not muster more than 30. Only one Company Officer got back. Some more men came in next morning, but the total number that returned from the fight never reached 100. Luckily, several officers and men who had been left out at the transport line form a nucleus round which to reconstruct the Battalion.

To sum up: the enemy's barrage fire successfully annihilated our right and left flank, the evident intention being to surround those left in the centre. All the officers of the front Company being casualties, the line was methodically withdrawn under N.C.O.'s. The support Companies had more or less the same experience. No officer or other rank returned from the platoons on the flanks, and out of the 4 Companies 1 officer and about 150 other ranks returned to the switch line. The men at all times shewed a good fighting spirit. The rapid fire, together with the subsequent sniping which was brought to bear on the enemy must have caused him heavy casualties. It was noticed early in the fight that the enemy brought up a light gun with pack animals. He also mounted several machine guns, which caused heavy casualties when the line was withdrawn from the switch line. The total casualties for the day were:—

{125} The number of officers and other ranks returned as killed and wounded is small, but most of the missing turned out afterwards to be either killed or wounded.

During this fighting our Medical Officer, Captain A. C. Bateman, M.C., was killed. Among personalities connected with the Battalion there was none more striking or lovable than "the Doc." Posted in the early months of 1916, he served continuously with us until the fateful 28th March, 1918, when he was reported as having been wounded and taken prisoner by the enemy. As no more was heard of him after that date it can only be inferred that he succumbed to his injuries, and gave up his brave life in the service of his country. As a Battalion Medical Officer he was unrivalled, and his ability in diagnosis and treatment was widely commented on by all ranks. Sympathetic and kindly to "lame dogs," and to the "nervy," he was a terror to "lead-swingers." Providence seemed to have endowed him with a special faculty for discovering these. In a battle he was ever in the thick of things doing his duty, and more than his duty. It therefore gave high satisfaction in all quarters when he was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of the gallantry and efficiency he displayed at Ypres in July, 1917.

But all who knew him will think of him first as the best of comrades—a very prince of good fellows. His rich Hibernian humour, {126} his infectious laugh, his droll ways were unfailing medicaments for weary men, and in every social gathering he was the life and soul of the company. One wonders if the French War Office has it on record how two British doctors who had been enjoying Paris leave, and were in danger of being late in rejoining their units, solemnly presented their compliments to the Minister of War, along with a polite request that they might without delay have the use of a car to take them to Albert. On the request being acceded to that dignitary was warmly shaken by the hand, and assured that no want of his, if made known to them, would go unsupplied! Such was Bateman. Irrepressibly gay when all around him was dismal and difficult, he brought sunshine into our lives, and as often as men of the 7th Battalion meet together his name is sure to be mentioned in terms of affectionate praise.

The engagement was probably the heaviest fight the Battalion ever took part in. One realised the difference between attacking and being attacked. We felt all the horrible uncertainty as to what would be the result of the next move by the enemy. We believed there was practically no one between us and the sea, and that we had to hold the position at all costs. Nobly did the officers and men carry out these instructions. Unfortunately, as was proved later, practically all the missing were never heard of again, only some 50 or 60 were {127} accounted for as prisoners, and most of these were wounded.

We know now, through General Ludendorf's Memoirs, that it was the failure of the German Divisions at Arras that brought their big offensive to a standstill. It is interesting to read his description and to note how it coincides with our experience. He states:—

"At the shortest range the artillery was to be supplemented by trench mortars. After a short artillery bombardment, lasting only a few hours, the infantry should advance to the assault. This short artillery preparation was expected to paralyze the enemy's artillery by means of gas spread over a large area and to keep his infantry in their dug-outs. At the beginning of the assault the artillery, while continuing to keep down that of the enemy, was to put down a barrage in front of the infantry and pave a way for it like a giant roller. The infantry had to keep close up to this wall of projectors. The enemy, who would come out of his dug-out after the barrage had passed, would be, surprised by our infantry, assisted by 'auxiliary' or companion arms under the protection of artillery.... We had 20 to 30 more Divisions than the enemy. We thought of carrying out the attack with 50 or 60 Divisions. The Army had thrown off its depression. Morale was completely restored, and we intended starting a War movement. If the blow at the centre succeeded the strategic results might indeed be enormous, as we should separate the bulk of the English Army from the French and crowd it up with its back to the sea.... The 17th Army was to capture the decisive heights East and North of Arras. I attached the greatest importance to this attack, to have the high ground in our possession was bound to be decisive in any fighting in the plain of the Lys. In spite of employing extraordinary masses of artillery and ammunition, the attack of the 17th Army on both banks of the Scarpe was a failure."

To shew the amount of artillery sometimes used, apart from trench mortars, he states in another place:—

"In the offensive battle it was necessary to bring up a 100 guns to each kilometre (1100 yards) of front."

{128} The following day the C.O. received the following letters:—

"My dear Colonel,

"A hurried line to tell you that, while I feel most keenly your heavy losses, I cannot sufficiently express to you my humble thanks for the gallantry and devotion shewn by your Battalion yesterday under your leadership. If you have a moment, let me know any details of losses. I cannot come to see you, or, needless to say, I would. I may say that the Corps C.O. says the Division has, it is hoped, saved Arras, and I know that the 7th Cameron Highlanders bore the hardest share of the fight.

"Yours ever,

"H. L. REED."

From the G.O.C. 44th Brigade:—

"My dear Colonel,

"I wish to send my sincerest congratulations and to thank you, and all ranks under your leadership, for the grand work done during the whole of this last tour of two months, which culminated in the gallant fight put up by your Battalion on the 28th, and I consider that it was entirely due to this fight that the 15th Division was practically saved from destruction, or, at any rate, an ignominous retreat. I would like you to convey to all ranks of your Battalion my sincerest sympathy with them in the great struggle. The Divisional Commander to-day, in expressing his thanks for the work of the 44th Brigade, in all sincerity told me that your work has saved Arras.

"Yours very sincerely,

Copy telegram G.O.C. XVII. Corps to G.O.C. 15th Division, dated 29th March:—

"I knew you could be relied on to stick it out to the end. There are fresh troops now in support of you, but I want the honour of holding Arras to be yours alone."

{129} The Battalion was now reduced in numbers to one Company, made up mostly from the reserves at the Transport lines which had been left out of the trenches. Consequently we had one Company of the 9th Gordons attached to us, and three days later (1st April) we were again holding the trenches in rear of the intermediate Army line, which we started to put in a state of defence. We soon received drafts, which began to increase our strength, but there were no officers with them. One fully realises the difficulties with which the Staff had to contend, and the last thing anyone wants to do is to reflect in any way on their hard work and wonderful organisation. At the same time, we feel that the system of posting officers and men at the Base was not the best that could have been devised. This was brought home to us on this occasion. We were very short of officers, and on the Division asking for drafts we were informed that there were no Cameron officers available, and that if we insisted on having officers we would have to take them from other units, a thing the C.O. always objected to. Within a few days we received a letter from an officer with the home Battalion who was anxious to try and get re-posted to the 7th. In his letter he stated that there was such an enormous number of officers with the Reserve Units they could hardly find room to put them all up! The letter was brought to the notice of the Division, and the result was that in a very {130} short time we had a draft of Cameron officers on their way to us.

On the 26th the Brigade was relieved by the 176th Brigade, and we withdrew to Berneville, via Dainville and Warlus, in motor lorries. We were now leaving the 17th Corps area, and the following communication was received from the Corps Commander addressed to the C.O.C. 15th Division:—

"I wish to express to you and all ranks in the Division my great regret at your departure from the 17th Corps, in which you have been incorporated for many months, and I had hoped that we might have seen the battle through together. That, however, is not to be, and I only hope that the fortune of war may some day bring us together again. The Division has a great reputation, and may well be proud of it. I know that the honour of Scotland is safe in its keeping, and that those now serving will prove themselves worthy of those men who have won glory for the Division in the past. I wish you all good luck and success from the bottom of my heart.

"Lieut.-General Commanding 17th Corps."

On the 26th we moved by motor bus to Auchel. On the 1st May the G.O.C. inspected the Battalion and presented medals. In a short address to the Brigade he thanked all ranks for their work and devotion to duty while in the Arras sector, and dwelt particularly on their splendid work on the 28th in repelling the German attack. The following was sent from the G.O.C. 44th Brigade to O.C. 7th Camerons:—

"I wish to thank you and all ranks of your Battalion for their excellent behaviour and smart appearance the whole time we have been in billets in Auchel. I think it will be very gratifying to you to know that the Divisional Commander, {131} during the parade yesterday, told me that he considered the 44th Brigade the best command in France, and that he had never seen smarter or cleaner men in any village during the war than the 7th Cameron Highlanders. I would like you to notify all ranks of the Divisional Commander's high appreciation of their successful efforts to keep up the credit of the 44th Brigade.




On the 4th of May the Brigade moved to the 17th Corps Area. The Camerons proceeded by march route to Calonne-Ricouart, where they entrained and proceeded to Acq. From here they proceeded to "Y" huts, Etrun, by march route, the transport moving by road. On the 6th we proceeded into support camps. We spent our time between the front lines and the reserve camps up to the 10th of June, when we were withdrawn back once more into Arras. These support camps, Collingwood, Trafalgar, and Portsmouth, were originally constructed by the Naval Brigade, who made a very fine job of it. They were, however, now under observation by the enemy, and we were shelled now and again. We luckily sustained no casualties in them, but some of the other battalions were not so fortunate.

At times we also occupied the huts built on the side of the railway embankment. These were very comfortable, for, being on a steep slope, they were always dry, and it was almost impossible for the enemy to hit them. We were also bivouacked beside the old ponds and {133} gardens of Blangy Park. The weather was very warm, and both officers and men thoroughly enjoyed another spell of bathing and basking in the sun. The scene had the appearance of some picture by an old master with its tall trees, grassy banks and sunny pools, where naked gods reclined and bathed. Sometimes a shell would fall amongst us, but luckily they never did any harm, as they generally hit the water or buried themselves in the soft ground. The next occupants, however, received more attention from the Boche, and were inclined to blame us for too much movement. The true cause of this was not our movements, but the fact that a battery of artillery was brought up into the woods near the ponds before we left.

During one of our spells in the trenches about this time we removed a large gun from a German concrete battery position in the front area, which had been captured during the Battle of Arras. All the work had to be done at night by hand labour, and as the gun was a considerable weight it was some job, but we finally got it out and towed it back over the grass. It is a peculiar old French gun made of brass. It had been rebored by the Germans and fitted with a 5.9 tube. We finally got it sent home as a trophy along with its carriage. We were asked to lend it to the War Trophy's Exhibition in London, but decided instead to present it to the town of Inverness, as the capital of the Highlands, and also as a proof that we had not forgotten the many kindnesses {134} the Battalion received there before it came out, and there it now lies.

On going back into Arras we received with much regret the information that, owing to the shortage of men and recruits, a large number of units were to be amalgamated. As we were the Junior Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders, it was decided that we should unite with the 6th Battalion. It is hardly necessary to say that this news was very far from welcome, not that we had anything against the 6th, but because the 7th Battalion, which had made such a name for itself, was to cease to exist. It was decided by the G.O.C. Division that the O.C. of the 7th Battalion should take over the command of the 6th, and he also gave permission for him to transfer what officers and men he might desire. This was a great concession, as originally the order had been that only the deficiencies in officers and men of the Senior Battalion should be made up. The decision was a sound one, as by this means a splendid Battalion was constructed.

The remains of the 7th Battalion were to be made into a training Battalion for the American Army. It was, therefore, possible for officers and men, who were either war worn or had seen a considerable amount of fighting, and deserved a rest from the fighting area, to be sent with the training cadre. This left a large number of officers and men to be disposed of, and it was no easy task to decide whom to keep and whom to let go. The C.O. was much {135} touched with the devotion and loyalty to the Battalion shown by many. Wherever he went he would be waylaid by anxious applicants, who would beseech him to keep them, some even with tears in their eyes, for, although it was promised that any who might be sent to the base would be kept as drafts for the Camerons only, still they had had so many experiences of similar promises they did not believe it. Their disbelief proved eventually to be well founded, for many of them were finally transferred to other units. It was a trying time. Everyone who was remaining had, so far as possible, to put on a cheery countenance and to argue that it was all for the best, still many of them felt the parting with old comrades and tried friends as much as those who had to leave.

On the 10th June the C.O. said farewell to those of the Battalion proceeding to join the 39th Cadre Division to provide a training staff for the U.S.A. Army. It was a sad moment, which certainly he and probably many others who were present will never forget. The transport, of which Captain Mauchlin was so justly proud, was ordered to proceed to the base. Many exchanges took place with friendly transport officers in the Division, so that the transport which left our lines for the base, under Captain Mauchlin, was transformed into a collection of the most ordinary looking horses drawing limbers and waggons very far short of the splendid transport of the 7th Camerons. No sadder man {136} left the Battalion than the transport officer. He had a great knowledge of his work, and took keen interest in his transport, which, by his untiring energy, had been brought to a high state of efficiency.

The following officers were transferred from the 7th to the 6th Battalion:—

Of these the C.O. was the only original officer who had joined in September, 1914, and proceeded overseas with the Battalion as Captain Commanding "B" Company. In addition to him there were about ten men who had embarked with the Battalion in July, 1915.

Thus does the official history of the 7th Battalion come to an end. It might be as well, however, before closing, to follow roughly the training Battalion's movements until it was {137} broken up, and also to refer shortly to the doings of the 6th Battalion, which now contained many of the 7th.

The training staff proceeded to Calais, via Hazebrouck, where they were affiliated to the 3rd Battalion 119th Regiment A.E.F. They at once entered upon their duties as instructors, which they carried on up to the 2nd July, when the American Division left the area, and the training staff moved to Veuse. Here they carried on instructional training lectures. On the 25th they moved to Watten for the 7th Corps Reinforcement Camps. On the 30th they proceeded to Arneke, where they were joined by a Battalion of Reinforcements for the 51st Division, and worked on the back area in the 2nd Army Front, the Battalion being called the 19th Corps Reinforcement Battalion. From Arneke they went to St. Eloi area. They occupied different camps in this area, some of them being very bad. On the 7th, 348 other ranks, conducted by 6 officers, left for the 51st Division, and the remainder of the reinforcements and the cadre moved into billets at La Cloche. On the 9th the remainder of the reinforcements were ordered to rejoin the 51st Division, and orders were received that what remained of the 7th Camerons training staff had been placed at the disposal of the D.A.G. for reinforcements. On the 12th of August orders came to return to the 39th Division to billets in Listergaux. On the 13th August instructions were given that the 7th Cameron Highlanders {138} training staff should be broken up, all officers and other ranks who remained being sent as reinforcements to the 6th Battalion, with the exception of Lieut.-Colonel Anderson, who took over command of the 8th Seaforths and the Adjutant and Orderly Room Sergeant, who were sent to Rouen Base to wind up and check records, all stores being handed into Ordnance.

Something must also be said of the 6th Battalion which, as has already been stated, now included many officers and men from the 7th Battalion. The amalgamation was carried out most satisfactorily. The C.O. addressed both units separately, and made a special appeal to both officers and men not to discuss and compare the merits and doings in the past of the two Battalions which were now united, but to remember that they all belonged to the same famous regiment, and that it was up to them to pull together, and so maintain the high name which both Battalions had already created. Everyone backed him up most willingly, the result being that there was not a single instance of crime arising from disputes between the men of the different Battalions. This is all the more creditable when it is remembered that there was considerable unpleasantness in some of the other units which were amalgamated.



The 6th Battalion remained in the Arras sector till the beginning of July, when we were at last taken out of the line. We moved back, and it was believed that we were going to have that long rest which we so much deserved, and to which we had been looking forward ever since we arrived in France. We had been in the fighting area practically since the end of the previous year, a period of about seven months, which included heavy fighting. We were certain that we were in for a long rest when we entrained. We steamed off south, and our hopes became still higher as the report got about that we were going to one of the big French training areas in the south of France. We heard it was an ideal spot, and a health resort even before the war. However, after steaming some distance past Amiens, the train suddenly stopped, and we were ordered to get out and proceed to billets. Our faith began to be shaken in the gentleman who talked about the seaside in the south. It was still more shaken the next day when the Battalions were embussed and proceeded in the direction of the front line.

{140} On the 18th of July we found ourselves under the command of the 3rd French Army. On the 19th we moved into the Montigny area, and on the 23rd we relieved the first American Division and held the left sector of the 20th Corps. We took over the line on the night of the 22/23rd, and received orders that we were to attack the next morning (23rd) on the high ground on the west bank of the Criscuart at Misse. The C.O. hurried forward in the afternoon, and had a look round the line. The Americans had suffered heavy casualties, and the ground was strewn with their dead. The Battalion came in that evening, and the relief was carried out without much difficulty. There was some confusion as to the exact location of our front line, which apparently did not tally with that shewn by the maps taken over. However, there was no time to make even a preliminary reconnaissance. The zero hour was fixed for 5 a.m. The C.O. and Adjutant moved back to Brigade Headquarters, as up to midnight no orders had been received for the attack. The C.O.'s of the other units of the Brigade were also there. The operation orders did not come in till about 3 a.m. There was just time to issue the Battalion operation orders, but it was quite impossible to instruct Company officers or others in person.

The attack commenced at 5 a.m. with the 6th Camerons on the right, the Argylls on the left, and the Royal Scots in support. Everything went well to begin with, although we came under very heavy machine gun fire. Our {141} barrage did not prove of much use, as the official front line given to us was found to be considerably in advance of that actually held. We advanced a considerable distance and took a sugar factory. We had suffered severe casualties in consequence of the barrage, leaving some German machine guns untouched. The attack took place down a steep bluff, then across the valley (which was intersected by a railway embankment), and the river, and up steep rising ground on the other side. We managed to get forward fairly well, although encountering strong opposition from the enemy. We took the railway embankment and river, including "Sucrerie." Our left flank, however, was in the air by this time, as we could not get into touch with the Argylls on our left. We extended in order to try and link up with them, but finally discovered they had come under heavy fire and had not been able to advance. The result was that for a time we had practically held the whole brigade front. About 6 p.m. the enemy put down a heavy barrage and launched a strong counter-attack, but this was successfully repulsed. We were to have attacked the village of Buzancy on the morning of the 24th, but this was postponed.

Owing to the pronounced salient held by the Division at the "Sucrerie," it was decided to withdraw and occupy the line of the railway. The fighting was of an open order nature, through fields of grain and small woods, with machine guns firing from behind hedges instead {142} of out of the usual trenches. On the 27th we received orders for the Division to make an attack on Buzancy and the high ground to the east of the village. The fighting was again severe, and ended with our taking Buzancy. There was exceedingly bitter fighting round the grenade works, and the enemy put up very strong counter-attacks. Owing to the non-success of the 87th French Division on our right, we had finally to withdraw to the line of the Chateau.

On the 30th or the 31st July it was decided that the 45th Brigade would attack the main Soissons road from Villemontoire. About 10.45 a.m. we had more or less reached our objectives, although the others had been slightly held up by heavy machine gun fire. Our right flank was now in the air, as we could not get into touch with the K.O.S.B.'s. Meantime we formed a defensive flank along the road from the cemetery to the Soissons road. The S.O.S. went up from the 12th Division about 2.45 p.m. and also from the original front line. A pitiless machine gun fire was experienced from the wooded hills on the right. Evidently the Germans had raided the 12th Division's lines, and we heard later that they had taken some prisoners. About 10.35 a.m. on the 2nd August strong patrols which had pushed out found that the enemy was retiring, and we got orders to swing our right forward so as to keep in touch with the 44th Brigade. About 3.30 p.m. the Brigade reached the edge of the Concrois {143} wood. At 7.50 the next objective was given as the river Crise about Nilleblain. On the night of the 2/3rd we were relieved by the 17th (French) Division, and on the 4th we embussed for Leincourt.

So came to an end our tour with the French and American Armies. The following is an interesting memo, issued by the First Field Artillery Brigade of the American Expeditionary Force to the batteries of the Brigade, and also special orders issued by the French Army Commanding Officers:—

"Headquarters, First Field Artillery Brigade.
   American Expeditionary Force,
      U.S.A., July 22nd, 1918.


"It is noted that, for the first time in history, French, British and American Artillery are working together under the same Command. They will support an attack to-morrow morning to be made by the 15th (Scottish) Division in line as follows:—

Extract of telephone message from General Mangin, Commanding X French Army, to G.O.C. 15th Division.

"Le General Mangin vous charge de lire au General Reed que le succes d'aujourd'hui a été acheté par la conduite de tous et particulierement par le sacrifice des Ecossais."

{144} Special order by General Mangin, Commanding X Army, 20 Corps d' Armee.

   3 Bureau.

du General Mangin.

"No 1375/3.

"A communiquer aux troupes per tous les moyens;

En avant! la victoire du 1er Août achève celle du 18 Juillet et se termina en poursuite. Les chemins sont affreux, mais il pleut auss pour les Boches—Tallonnez-les, bousculez-les en dépassant les faibles centres de résistance où ils essaient de ralentir notre marche victorieuse.

"Ce soir il faut que la Xe Armée soit sur la Vesle."

Copy of letter from G.O.C. 17th (French) Division to G.O.C. to 15th Scottish Division.


27th August, 1918.

"17th Infantry Division.

"Mon General,

"After relieving your Division in the pursuit on the Vesle, I established my Headquarters at Buzancy. I found there the traces still fresh of the exploits of your Scottish soldiers, and the officers of my staff were able to see clearly what hard fighting you had had to gain possession of the village, and, above all, of the park.

"Wishing to leave on the spot some lasting tribute to the bravery of your soldiers, I entrusted to one of my officers, Lieut. Rene Puaux, the task of erecting there, with the material at hand, a small monument emblematic of the homage and admiration of my Division for yours.

"This monument has on it 'a medallion' on which are inscribed thistles and roses, and beneath, the words:—

'Here the noble thistle of Scotland will flourish forever among the roses of France.'

and beneath:

'17th French Division
'15th (Scottish) Division.'

"This monument was erected on the highest point of the plateau, where we found the body of the Scottish soldier who advanced the farthest (on 28th July, 1918—Buzancy).

"The photograph of this monument has appeared in the last number of the journal L'Illustration. I thought you would be glad to have a few copies of the photograph, which I send you herewith. They convey to you, together with the memories which I have kept of our short meeting at Vierzy, {145} the expression of my esteem and my admiration for your valiant Division.

"Will you please accept, dear General, the expression of my sincere regards.


"General de Division, C. CASSOINS, Commanding
"17th (French) Division."

"Here the glorious Thistle of Scotland will flourish For ever amid the Roses of France."

Monument erected by the 17th French Division to 15th Scottish Division, near Buzancy, July, 1918.

Special order by General Mangin, Commanding 10th French Army.

Au Q. G. A.,
5th August, 1918.

Officers, Non-Commissioned, Officers and Men of the 15th and 34th British Divisions.

"You entered the battle at its fiercest moment. The enemy, already once vanquished, again brought up against us his best Divisions, considerably outnumbering our own.

"You continued to advance step by step, in spite of his desperate resistance, and you held the ground won in spite of his violent counter-attacks.

"Then during the whole day of the 1st of August, side by side with your French comrades, you stormed the ridge dominating the whole country between the Aisne and the Ourcq, which the defenders had received orders to hold at all costs.

"Having failed in his attempt to retake the ridge with his last reserves, the enemy had to beat a retreat pursued and harassed for 12 kilometres.

"All of you, English and Scottish, young soldiers and veterans of Flanders and Palestine, you have shewn the magnificent qualities of your race: courage and imperturbable tenacity.

"You have won the admiration of your companions in arms. Your country will be proud of you, for to your chiefs and to you is due a large share in the victory that we have gained over the barbarous enemies of the free.

"I am happy to have fought at your head, and I thank you.


The monument at Buzancy is, we believe, unique as being the only monument raised by the French Army to British troops during the war.

We must refer to the excellent staff arrangements {146} for bussing troops which the French had made. Our usual experience had been that when one was ordered to embus at a certain hour, the busses never turned up for a considerable time afterwards. In fact, on our way down the bussing and training arrangements were several hours behind the scheduled time-table. With the French, however, on each occasion the busses turned up a few minutes before the hour they were due, so that we had no delay. We also had an officer in a motor car taking charge of the convoy of busses. This enabled him to move about and see that no distance was lost, also to go ahead and regulate traffic at important cross roads. Another good arrangement they had was having one or two empty busses at the end of each column, so that if a bus broke down it was drawn to one side, and the men speedily transferred to an empty bus. So the whole column was kept together.

We now moved north to the Loos sector, and it was very interesting once more going over the old ground. We took part in the final general advance from this area. After the Armistice we were informed that we were one of the Divisions that had been chosen for the Army of Occupation, and we busily prepared indents for new clothing, etc., in order to make a good impression. It was decided, however, that the young Battalions who had come out from home should take over this duty. We were finally billeted in Braine le Comte. Here we instituted a Battalion Mess. We had {147} always been in the habit of doing this wherever possible. No doubt many officers preferred the small Company messes, but from a disciplinary and many other points of view the Battalion mess had many advantages. Certainly our mess proved a great success.



The 6th Battalion was one of the Battalions chosen to represent the 15th Division in the march past before the King of the Belgians and the Duke of York—the Earl of Inverness—in Brussels. We were the guests of the town of Brussels for the three days we were there, and everyone enjoyed their visit. The men were billeted in good houses, and both they and the officers thoroughly enjoyed the theatres and dancing halls. Their behaviour was exemplary, and when the Battalion "fell in" to march home there was not a single man absent. The parade itself was greatly spoilt by a snow storm. We also arranged for each Company to visit the field of Waterloo, a short lecture being given beforehand on the battle. The men displayed keen interest, especially in the panorama on which they could see the square with the 79th. We were all struck with the smallness of the battlefield, and the enormous number of men that must have been crowded into this space. The whole area would probably not have been more than a two-battalion front in one of our late battles.

Orders were that drills were to be reduced to a {149} minimum, and that education classes for the men were to be started. This education scheme, however, was not a very great success, as we never received any supplies of books or any other material for carrying it out. The French class proved very popular, probably because everyone wanted to be able to converse with the inhabitants, especially the young ladies. In order to employ the men and keep them fit, we took up athletics very keenly. There were several good athletes who had formerly been prize winners both in the 6th and 7th. Once again we managed to prove ourselves the best Battalion in this respect. Every officer and man had to belong to a team, and there is no doubt that the officers taking a keen interest in the games made all the difference in the results.

Our football team won both in the Brigade and Division contests, and had a very tough fight before they were beaten in the Corps. At the end of the first game we were all level, so we played another half hour. As this resulted in another draw, we had a replay, which also proved undecisive, so that we had again to play extra time, in which both teams scored a goal. On the 3rd replay we were unfortunately beaten by one goal to nothing. As our opponents were the Liverpool Scottish, the defeat was somewhat softened. The match was intensely exciting, both for players and spectators. Our cross country team was our greatest success, winning not only the {150} Brigade, Division, and Corps Cups, but finally establishing themselves as "Army" Champions. We also had a strong boxing team, which won the Brigade cup, and one of our men was the runner up in the "Army" Championship lightweights. In the final he was against a much bigger and stronger lad than himself. He was all out in the third round, but he put up such a plucky fight that the referee recommended the Committee to award him a second prize, which they duly did.

With us, as with other units, the demobilisation caused a certain amount of dissatisfaction, owing to the fact that the system of demobilising by "trades" and "districts" enabled many men who had only served a few months to get home before others who had been out for long periods. The Cadre of the Battalion set out for home on the 7th June. We proceeded to Inverness with the Colours, which were duly deposited at the Cameron Depot. The Colour party was received by the Provost and others, and played up to the Depot by the Band. The following day Mr. Barron, brother of the late Major Barron of the 7th, who was killed at Loos, entertained the whole Cadre to lunch, a kindness which we all highly appreciated. We then proceeded to Kinross, where we were finally demobilised.

The Colours of the 7th Battalion were "presented" at the Depot during the Northern meeting in 1920 by the Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Hon. Colonel of the 4th Battalion. {151} On that day the Regiment held a reunion parade at which many men who had formerly served in the Battalion were present. After the presentation we all marched through the town, the salute being taken by the Duke of York, who was accompanied by The Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Lord Lieutenant of the County, and Lieut.-General Sir Spencer Ewart, K.C.B. On the Sunday the Colours of both the 6th and the 7th were marched by a Guard of Honour to the High Church, the Parish Church of Inverness, and handed over by Lieut.-Colonel N. Macleod, Cameron Highlanders, for safe custody, to the Minister and Provost as representing the Session and Heritors.

So ends the history of the 7th Battalion, better known as the "Shiny 7th." They received this name because of the great care that was taken by all ranks in their cleanliness and appearance. Even in the front line every man polished his buttons, brushed his boots and cleaned his equipment every day. No doubt this was irksome to a few, but the large majority of the men took a keen pride in themselves.

The shortage of water did not prevent our men from shaving, and on many occasions, when water could not be got, they reserved a little of their tea for this purpose. There is no doubt about the "morale" effect of keeping clean, and men always feel better for it. Further, it occupied their spare time and so kept their minds from meditating upon their unpleasant surroundings.

{152} This is no new discovery, for one reads that when Sir John Moore started to train men in Ireland for the Peninsular War, one of the first things he did was to encourage the men to clean themselves and take up athletics so as to keep them out of "pot houses" and to increase their morale. It is also interesting to read in Ludendorff's memoirs that one of the chief causes he assigns for the loss of discipline and morale amongst the soldiers of the German Army was the filthy conditions in which they had to live in the trenches, and the impossibility of getting the men to clean themselves. Certainly, from the appearance of prisoners, the Hun paid little attention to cleanliness in the front line areas.

Our "Q" side also had a good deal to do with the morale, as by the system on which we worked everything possible was done for the comfort of the men. Men who were always detached from their companies, such as those in the Transport lines and at Battalion Headquarters, had N.C.O.'s told off to act as Q.M.S. for the detachment. They also had their own cooks, and the officer in charge of them was made responsible for their comfort and welfare. On one occasion Battalion Commanders were called to a conference to discuss the organisation of a Battalion with a General Officer from G.H.Q. We all went full of wrinkles learnt from practical experience, but as soon as the first suggestion was put forward the General got up and stated that a Battalion must consist of four Companies of four platoons each, to which every man and {153} officer must belong, and he would not listen to any discussion as to proposals for Headquarter Companies, etc. In theory we all maintained the four Companies, yet circumstances made it essential there should be Headquarter detachments.

Our Headquarters were divided into platoons or sections, each under an officer, with a senior officer in command of the whole. Thus signallers were under the Signalling Officer, runners and observers under the Observation Officer. Each section had its own battle position in defence of Headquarters, and "stood to" morning and evening in these positions under the command of their officers. If Headquarter rations had been left to the four Companies to provide, and there had been no fighting organisation, it would have led not only to great discomfort but to considerable danger, in the event of a successful attack by the enemy, such indeed as that which occurred in March, 1918. One is glad to know that this fact was generally realised towards the end of the war by Higher Authority. It was often found difficult for old serving soldiers, especially Q.M.'s, to change the routine which has almost grown a part of themselves, but in the 7th Battalion we were lucky in having able Q.M.'s, who were always willing to adopt any scheme that was for the comfort of the men.

We cannot close these notes without stating our profound and deep respect for the officers, non-commissioned officers and {154} men who served along with us in this splendid Battalion. They suffered appalling hardships, especially in winter, living in trenches half filled with freezing mud, often without a shelter; they performed prodigious feats of work for long hours and for days on end; they advanced and conquered despite the most terrible barrages, the men carrying on by themselves after their officers and senior non-commissioned officers had become casualties; they had, moreover, successfully withstood the shock of one of the most terrific attacks which the Germans were able to bring against them. Again and again the Battalion was annihilated, but there were always plenty of recruits ready to uphold the honour of the Regiment. As was once said of the Cameron Highlanders in another great war: "Such troops may be annihilated, they can never be defeated." Nothing better reflects the fine spirit of the young men of Scotland, and their patriotic decision to defend their country at all costs, than the fact that the heavy casualty lists proved the best recruiting sergeant. Justly proud in the knowledge that time cannot wither, nor the centuries deface, the glorious memory of these heroic achievements, every officer, non-commissioned officer and man, whose honour it was to serve with the 7th Battalion, derives his highest pleasure and his truest satisfaction from the reflection that he performed his duty; that he "did his best" in the most critical period which the {155} homeland has ever been called upon to face, and that he and his comrades have written a golden page well worthy of its place in the noble records of their famous and beloved Regiment, the

"Queen's Own" Cameron Highlanders.



14/ 1/16 Lieut.-Col. J. W. Sandilands, D.S.O.
3/ 6/16 Major T. L. Cunningham.
4/ 6/17 Major Norman MacLeod.
9/ 1/18 Captain J. A. Symon.
14/ 1/16 2nd Lieut. R. R. Anderson.
26/ 7/18 Lieut. P. Austin.
20/10/16 2nd Lieut. W. Black.
18/10/17 2nd Lieut. J. T. Bookless.
26/ 9/17 Capt. A. C. Bateman, R.A.M.C.
18/ 6/17 Lieut. J. Findlay.
18/ 7/17 2nd Lieut. J. W. Graham.
26/ 7/18 Lieut. E. J. G. Gibb.
27/ 7/16 2nd Lieut. H. B. Goudie.
26/ 9/17 2nd Lieut. R. Jardine.
26/ 9/17 a/Capt. J. L. C. Jenkins.
1/ 1/17 S/13232 C.S.M. A. Kidd.
1/ 1/18 Capt. G. J. S. Lumsden.
11/ 5/17 2nd Lieut. G. R. Morton.
18/ 7/17 2nd Lieut. W. L. Muir-Kay.
14/11/16 2nd Lieut. D. Moir.
26/ 9/17 2nd Lieut. J. Miller.
3/ 6/17 2nd Lieut. J. H. Mauchlin.
26/ 7/18 2nd Lieut. J. M'Murray.
2nd Lieut. J. I. M'Donald.
22/ 4/18 2nd Lieut. A. R. M'Donald.
7/ 4/18 Lieut. J. D. W. M'Cracken.
20/10/16 2nd Lieut. T. Orr.
26/ 9/17 2nd Lieut. R. B. Purdon.
1/ 1/17 Captain W. G. S. Stuart.
18/ 7/17 2nd Lieut. N. S. Sim.
11/ 5/17 2nd Lieut. R. W. B. Semple.
D.C.M. {158}
24/ 6/16 S/13635 C.S.M. C. L. B. Davie.
14/11/16 S/15245 Cpl. J. Drysdale.
18/ 6/17      5074 C.S.M. P. Fleming.
14/ 1/16 S/13537 L./Sgt. W. C. Lamb.
1/ 1/17 S/15857 a/C.S.M. J. Little.
18/ 6/17 S/14241 C.S.M. J. D. M'Gill.
14/11/16 S/13428 Sgt. J. Montgomerie.
3/ 6/18 S/17863 Cpl. E. M'Kie.
21/ 7/16 S/12647 a/B.S.M. A. K. Scott.
14/ 1/16 S/13840 L./Sgt. H. Winning.
3/ 9/18      9708 a/C.S.M. T. Yates.
M.M. with Bar.
18/10/17      6765 Sgt. A. Macdonald.
18/10/17 S/14147 Sgt. M. W. Morrison.
19/11/17 S/15565 Private J. MacLeod.
27/ 6/18 S/14297 Sgt. A. Simpson.
18/10/17 S/40965 Pte. G. G. W. Allan.
3/ 7/17      5563 a/C.S.M. D. Anderson.
19/11/17 S/139184 L./Cpl. J. Anderson.
16/11/16 S/17792 Pte. J. Boyle.
3/ 7/17 S/18090 Pte. R. Bell.
16/11/16 S/18578 Pte. A. H. Craig.
18/ 6/17 S/18323 Sgt. J. R. Cameron.
18/10/17      8900 Cpl. D. Donegan.
18/ 6/17 S/15513 L./Cpl. W. Fulton.
10/ 4/18 S/41016 Pte. H. Finlay.
19/11/17 S/43231 L./Cpl. J. Forsyth.
18/ 1/18      9260 a/C.S.M. M. Grant.
29/ 7/16 S/16816 L./Cpl. R. Gardiner.
27/ 6/18 S/14084 Sgt. R. Grierson.
3/11/17 S/23439 Pte. T. M'Govern.
29/ 7/16 S/20039 Pte. J. Healy.
27/ 6/18 S/14322 Pte. S. Hill.
16/11/16 S/14002 Pte. W. Johnston.
11/ 5/17 S/18641 L./Cpl. J. Kelly.
10/ 6/17 S/22946 L./Cpl. J. B. Keiller. {159}
18/10/17 S/200364 L./Cpl. M. R. King.
27/ 6/18 S/17962 L./Cpl. C. Logan.
29/ 7/16 S/16957 L./Cpl. J. MacDougall.
10/10/16 S/16536 Sgt. D. H. M'Gilp.
16/11/16 S/13888 L./Cpl. J. A. M'Gowan.
11/ 5/17 S/14069 Pte. G. M'Lean.
18/ 6/17 S/15565 Pte. J. MacLeod.
29/ 8/18 S/25807 L./Cpl. J. M'lntyre.
9/12/16 S/13466 Pte. J. M'Lean.
25/ 5/17      6765 Sgt. A. MacDonald.
18/10/17 S/14032 L./Cpl. T. A. M'Murray.
18/ 6/17 S/25532 Sgt. D. P. Maxwell.
18/ 6/17 S/14147 Sgt. M. W. Morrison.
18/10/17 S/10501 a/Sgt. T. Morgan.
10/ 4/18 S/10391 L./Sgt. W. M'Kay.
27 /6/18 S/12095 a/Sgt. A. M'Innes.
2/ 7/17 S/13686 L./Cpl. W. Miller.
3/ 7/17 S/16086 Pte. J. M'Lellan.
18/10/17 200204 L./Cpl. J. Nicolson.
29/ 8/18 201041 L./Cpl. T. A. Nicolson.
18/ 6/17 S/27025 L./Cpl. R. Pringle.
16/11/16 S/16973 Cpl. W. J. Ramage.
18/10/17      9808 Cpl. T. Rowett.
18/10/17 S/26863 L./Cpl. W. Ross.
18/10/17 S/23246 Pte. J. Rose.
29/ 8/18      7540 Cpl. T. S. Renton.
29/ 7/16 S/13024 A/L/Sgt. G. S. Sutherland.
8/ 8/17 S/12824 Sgt. R. F. J. Small.
18/10/17 S/14032 L./Cpl. T. Shumacker.
10/ 4/18 S/200542 L./Cpl. J. Stoddart.
3/ 7/17 S/18170 Cpl. J. N. Spiers.
2/11/17      9039 Pte. J. Spence.
12/12/17      8983 L./Sgt. C. Smith.
19/11/17 S/14297 Cpl. A. Simpson.
10/10/16 S/16738 Pte. W. Train.
16/11/16 S/21669 L./Cpl. E. B. Thomson.
18/10/17 S/22930 Cpl. W. Taylor.
18/10/17 S/16391 Pte. J. Tulloch.
29/ 8/18 S/18231 Pte. J. Vickers.
27/ 6/18 S/23992 Sgt. T. Wright.
18/ 6/17 S/14140 L./Cpl. R. Young.
Meritorious Service Medal.
10/ 4/18 S/16104 L./Cpl. G. G. Black.
1/ 1/18 S/16824 A./Sgt. R. Burton.
17/ 6/18 S/13480 Pte. W. Lindsay.
17/ 6/18 S/14285 L./Cpl. W. Ogston.
Royal Humane Society Parchment for Saving Comrade's life from drowning.{160}
8/ 9/17 S/23888 Pte. J. H. Ritchie.
Mentioned in Despatches.
1/ 1/16 Lieut. R. R. Anderson.
24/ 2/17 S/12229 R.S.M. A. Anderson.
1/ 1/16 S/13321 C.S.M. D. Adam.
25/ 5/17 S/13184 L./Cpl. A. Bell.
15/ 6/16 5651 C.S.M. J. B. Cranston.
24/ 5/18 13436 Pte. A. C. Campbell.
25/ 5/17 Captain A. R. Chapman.
7/ 4/18 Major P. M'F. Cram.
24/ 5/18 S/21667 L./Cpl. H. Fleming.
25/ 5/17 Lieut. G. J. S. Lumsden.
15/ 6/16 S/13901 Cpl. P. Macdonald.
15/ 6/16 S/15814 L./Cpl. J. M'Callum.
15/ 6/16 S/13088 Pte. A. F. Morgan.
24/12/16 Captain K. Macrae.
4/ 1/17    do.
9/12/16 S/14241 Sgt. J. D. M'Gill.
25/ 5/17 S/13241 Pte. W. Macintosh.
25/ 5/17 Lieut.-Col. Norman MacLeod.
21/12/17    do.
21/12/17 2nd Lieut. J. Mackenzie.
21/12/17 Lieut. J. H. Mauchlin.
7/ 4/18 Lieut. J. D. W. M'Cracken.
4/ 1/17 Captain A. Ogilvie.
21/12/17 13866 Pte. J. Oliphant.
25/ 5/17 S/16137 L./Cpl. J. O'Rourke.
13/ 6/16 Lieut. J. S. Robertson.
1/ 1/16 Lieut.-Col. Sandilands, D.S.O.
1/ 1/16 Lieut. W. G. S. Stuart.
2/12/17 Lieut. J. A. Symon.
25/ 5/17 S/15620 Cpl. T. Torrance.
15/ 6/16 S/13603 R.Q.M.S. T. F. Watson.
25/ 5/17 13264 R.Q.M.S. J. P. W. Wilson.
Belgian Croix de Guerre.
12/ 7/18 S/16824 A./Sgt. R. Burton.
12/ 7/18 R/3871 R.S.M. W. Vass.
12/ 7/18 S/13264 R.Q.M.S. J. P. W. Wilson.
12/ 7/18 4861 C.S.M. W. Falconer.


Anderson, D. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/12/15, a/Captain 21/10/16, transferred T.M.'s 5/2/16, killed April, 1917.

Anderson, R. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 8/2/15, Lieut. 18/10/15, England for course 27/6/16, mentioned in Dispatches, M.C.

Anderson, J. W. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/5/16, killed 17/8/16.

Austin, P. 2nd Lieut., posted 20/9/17, M.C., H.Q. "works" Officer.

Aitkenhead, J. Lieut. and Q.M., posted 24/2/18.

Barron, J. Captain, posted 28/9/14, Major 25/1/15, missing 25/9/15, prisoner died of wounds.

Buchanan, J. F. Captain, posted 6/3/15, Adjutant, England sick 23/10/15.

Black, W. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/2/16, Lieut. 30/7/17, a/Captain 21/5/17-26/6/17, transferred R.F.C. 17/12/17, M.C.

Bateman, A. C. Captain R.A.M.C., attached 29/1/16, missing 28/2/18, killed, M.C.

Brown, D. M. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, wounded 9/4/17.

Brown, T. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, wounded 2/1/17.

Boyd, T. C. Lieut., posted 4/5/17, a/Captain 21/5/17-6/7/17, wounded 6/7/17, died of wounds 21/7/17.

Bookless, J. T. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/6/17, England 17/10/17, M.C.

Begbie, T. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/6/17, wounded 6/7/17, rejoined 7/7/17, wounded 1/8/17.

Black, W. D. J. Captain Rev., posted 13/8/17, Chaplain, killed 22/8/17.

Baynes, W. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 30/9/17.

Blair, N. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 20/9/17.

Blaikie, A. Captain, posted 17/9/17, transferred London Scottish 10/10/17.

Banks, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 29/10/17.

Cameron, E. K. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/4/14, Lieut. 11/11/14, Captain 20/1/15, missing, 25/9/15, prisoner.

Cameron, F. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/2/15, Lieut. 22/5/16, died of wounds 19/8/16.

Cameron, E. 2nd Lieut., posted 18/9/16, Lieut. 1/7/17, England sick 11/12/16, rejoined 19/8/17.

Cameron, R. H. 2nd Lieut., posted 19/5/17, wounded 25/5/17.

Cameron, E. P. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Chapman, A. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 9/11/14, Lieut. 1/4/15, Captain and Adjutant 23/3/16, transferred Staff Captain 12/5/17, mentioned.

Chapman, S. E. 2nd Lieut., posted 9/11/14, missing 25/9/15, killed.

{162} Cowan, J. C. Lieut. and Qr. Master, posted 9/9/15. Captain 17/3/16, Acting Adjutant 23/10/15, attached 15th Division H.Q. 20/3/16.

Cattenach, J. C. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/12/15, wounded 10/2/16.

Cunningham. Captain, posted 10/2/15, Major 18/10/15, 2nd in Command 1/4/16, a/O.C. Battalion 13/4/16-13/5/16, wounded 18/7/16, D.S.O.

Currie, A. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 6/4/16, Lieut. 18/1/17, Assistant Adjutant transferred Divisional School 18/1/17.

Coventry, C. J. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, wounded 9/4/17.

Crichton, D. E. M. M. Lt. Colonel, attached 31/12/16, O.C. 18/1/17, relinquished sick 6/5/17.

Chisholm, R. 2nd Lieut., posted 14/2/17, transferred Base 24/5/17.

Cooper, A. W. H. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/5/17, wounded 1/8/17.

Courtney, C. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/5/17, wounded 22/8/17.

Cram, P. M'F. Captain, posted 9/8/17, a/Major and 2nd in Command 14/8/17, Major 14/9/17, mentioned.

Chisholm, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 14/9/17, killed 17/10/17.

Coulson, B. J. B. Major, posted 8/11/17, transferred 17th Welsh Regiment 8/12/17.

Cran, I. P. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Davy, G. A. C. Captain, posted 4/2/15, wounded 27/9/15, rejoined 23/2/16, England sick 31/3/16, rejoined 22/9/16, wounded 9/4/17.

Drew, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 6/6/16, shell shock 18/9/16.

Davie, G. L. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 9/18/16, wounded 9/10/16, D.C.M.

Dinwiddie, R. M. Lieut., posted 29/9/16, transferred B.W. 14/5/17.

Dunn, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/11/16, wounded 10/1/17.

Denholm, T. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 14/2/17, England sick 16/4/16, rejoined 6/1/18, killed 28/3/18.

Deans, H. D. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/6/17, wounded 13/1/17.

Dickson, R. M. Captain Rev., posted 15/6/17, Chaplain, England sick 7/9/17.

Drummond, P. 2nd Lieut., D.C.M., posted 5/1/18, missing 28/8/18, prisoner.

Donald, J. A. Missing 28/3/18, prisoner, wounded.

Elliot, J. A. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/6/17, wounded 28/7/17, died of wounds.

Eastwood, A. J. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/10/17, England sick 26/11/17.

Edmiston, R. H. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Fairlie, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/10/15, off strength 29/2/16.

Forbes, D. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/10/15, wounded 19/11/15.

Findlay, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/12/15, Lieut. 18/8/16, a/Captain 18/8/16-15/11/16 and 14/4/17-23/4/17, Captain 21/5/17, hospital 15/3/16, rejoined 16/9/16, wounded 24/4/17, rejoined 16/4/18, M.C.

Fraser, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/4/16, wounded 28/7/17.

{163} Forrester, E. W. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, wounded 9/4/17.

Fraser, J. Captain, posted 30/9/17, England sick 1/4/18.

Findlay, T. N. 2nd Lieut., posted 16/9/17, killed 28/3/18.

Graham, W. 2nd Lieut., posted 22/9/14, Lieut. 26/9/15, hospital sick 11/3/16.

Goudie, H. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/4/16, killed 17/8/16, M.C.

Graham, J. W. 2nd Lieut., posted 10/1/17, a/Capt. 6/9/17-24/9/17, England duty 3/3/18, M.C.

Gibb, E. J. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/5/17, a/Captain 25/7/17-4/2/18, Lewis Gun Officer and a/Adjutant, wounded 28/3/17, M.C.

Gidden, T. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/6/17, wounded 12/3/18.

Grieve, W. F. 2nd Lieut., posted 20/9/17, missing 28/3/18, prisoner.

Gemmell, S. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 20/9/17, killed 21/3/18.

Greig, G. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 14/9/17.

Grieve, C. C. Major, posted 18/1/18, England sick 30/3/18.

Haig, D. J. Lt. Colonel Commanding 8/10/14, relinquished 22/4/15.

Hamilton, L. R. Douglas. Captain, posted 18/1/15, wounded 27/9/15, rejoined 12/5/16, transferred 20th Lanc. 7/7/16, killed.

Hardman, H. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 28/9/15, Lieut. 16/12/15, a/Adjutant 21/3/16, killed 17/8/16.

Hosken, E. D. 2nd Lieut., posted 11/8/16, wounded 11/10/16, rejoined 30/9/17, missing 17/10/17, killed.

Hamilton, R. C. Lieut., posted 24/4/18.

Hogg, J., M.M. 2nd Lieut., posted 28/4/18.

Irvine, A. Lieut., posted 3/11/16, a/Capt. 4/11/16-23/11/16, T/Major and 2nd in command 25/5/17, wounded 13/8/17.

Johnstone, H. B. Lieut., posted 5/11/14, Captain 1/5/15, England sick 26/11/15, rejoined 18/4/16, wounded 17/8/16.

Jardine, R. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, wounded 11/9/16, rejoined , wounded 22/8/17, M.C.

Jenkins, J. L. C. 2nd Lieut., posted 30/8/16, a/Capt. 20/7/17-22/8/17, wounded 22/8/17, rejoined 9/5/17, M.C.

Jenkins, P. C. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/11/16, killed 9/4/17.

Kirkland, W. H. Lieut., posted 28/9/14, Captain 31/10/14, missing 25/9/15, assumed killed.

Kay, W. L. Muir. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/11/16, wounded 17/5/17, M.C.

King, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Lumsden, G. J. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/3/16, Signalling Officer Lieut. 15/3/16, Captain and Adjutant 16/4/17, England course 15/5/18, mentioned and M.C.

Lister, W. D. Lieut. and Q.M., posted 4/7/16, transferred 5th Army 14/9/17.

Luen, G. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/10/15, wounded 17/8/16, rejoined 25/5/18.

Lambert, G. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, killed 23/4/17.

{164} Legate, A. D. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, a/Capt. 27/6/18-15/8/18, Assistant and Act. Adjutant England, course 31/1/18, rejoined 25/5/18.

Lamont, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/5/17, wounded 2/8/17.

Murchieson, M. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/10/15, Lieut. 25/11/15, Captain 1/3/17, wounded 17/8/16.

Middleton, J. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 18/12/15, transferred R. F. C. 4/7/16.

Mauchlin. 2nd Lieut., posted 17/3/16, Transport Officer Lieut. 1/2/16, Captain   , wounded 11/7/16, rejoined 10/12/16, mentioned and M.C.

Martin, Norman. 2nd Lieut., D.S.O., posted 6/5/16, transferred 1st Camerons   /6/16, killed.

Marsh, C. H. Major, D.S.O., posted O.C. 13/5/16, a/Lt. Colonel 13/5/16, struck off strength 7/1/17.

Moir, D. 2nd Lieut., M.C., posted 24/6/16, wounded 17/8/16, rejoined 1/4/17, wounded 14/4/17.

Mill, W. 2nd Lieut., posted 26/6/16, wounded 17/8/16.

Martin, D. Captain Rev., posted 24/7/16, England 14/6/17.

Morton, G. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/9/16, wounded 13/10/16, killed 9/4/17, M.C.

Morrison, D. 2nd Lieut., posted 29/9/16, England 18/11/16.

Mathieson, J. Lieut., posted 22/2/17, England sick, 4/5/17.

Milne, D. T. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/5/17, Lieut. 1/7/17, a/Capt. 31/8/17, missing 28/3/18 (prisoner).

Moran, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/5/17, wounded 1/8/17.

Muirhead, W. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/5/17, killed 28/3/18.

Millar, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/6/17, wounded 1/8/17, M.C.

Murray, R. M. 2nd Lieut., posted 30/9/17, England sick 3/11/17.

Mitchell, R. C. 2nd Lieut., posted 20/9/17, afterwards killed.

M'Beth, F. H. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

M'Bean, H. Captain, posted 1/11/16, England sick 5/4/17.

Macrae, K. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/10/14, Lieut. 1/6/15, Captain 18/10/16, wounded 9/9/15, rejoined 23/2/16, England sick 10/8/16, mentioned.

M'Cracken, J. D. W. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/4/16, Lieut. 1/7/17, a/Capt. 2/6/17-10/8/17 and 15/2/18-7/4/18, wounded 24/12/16, rejoined 19/5/17, wounded 6/4/18, mentioned and M.C.

M'Culloch, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 29/9/16, a/Capt. 21/5/17, Lewis Gun Officer, killed 22/8/17.

M'Cuish, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 29/9/16, missing 24/12/16, prisoner.

M'Call, E. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/11/16, England 14/1/17.

M'Crostie, R. A. M. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/4/16, Lieut. 1/7/17, England sick 13/10/16, rejoined 19/9/17, transferred Bde Bombing Officer.

M'Donnell, K. C. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 17/10/14, Lieut. 21/10/14, Intelligence Officer wounded 9/9/15, rejoined 12/3/16, sick 25/5/16, rejoined 7/6/16, England R.A.F.C. 23/7/16.

{165} M'Donald, S. 2nd Lieut., posted 10/3/15, killed 25/9/15.

M'Donald, D. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/10/15, England sick 8/2/16.

M'Donald, J. K. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/12/15, England sick 19/6/16.

M'Donald, M. D. 2nd Lieut., posted 20/3/16, killed 18/7/16.

M'Donald, J. I. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/11/16, wounded 22/8/17, M.C.

M'Donald, J. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/6/17, missing 23/3/18.

M'Donald, A. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 16/9/17, wounded, missing 28/3/18, M.C.

M'Farlane, F. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/10/15, Lieut. 16/12/15, England sick 7/3/16.

M'Indeor, M. N. 2nd Lieut., posted 16/9/17, Signalling Officer, wounded 28/3/18.

MacIntosh, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 23/10/17, England sick 5/3/18.

M'Kay, C. W. D. 2nd Lieut., posted 28/9/15, wounded and missing 17/8/16, death accepted 17/8/16.

M'Kenzie, J. K. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/12/15, Hospital sick 21/1/16, duty 28/2/16, transferred draft Conducting Officer 6/4/16.

Mackay, J. W. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/4/16, Lieut. 21/5/17, wounded 15/8/16, rejoined 19/5/17, wounded 1/8/17, died of wounds 20/8/17.

Mackay, M. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 23/4/16, killed 23/4/17.

Mackenzie, J. 2nd Lieut., posted / /17, mentioned 21/12/17.

Mackenzie, N. B. Major, posted 14/1/17.

MacLeod, Norman. Major, posted 11/2/15, 2nd in Command, appointed Camp Commandant 8/8/15.

MacLeod, Norman. Captain, posted 5/10/14, Major 1/4/16, and 2nd in Command 1/7/16, a/Lt. Colonel O.C. Battalion 21/5/17, Lt. Colonel 12/9/17, wounded 27/9/15, rejoined 6/5/16, mentioned (twice) D.S.O.

MacLeod, N. 2nd Lieut., posted 30/9/17, England sick 23/3/18.

MacLeod, L. 2nd Lieut., posted 30/9/17, wounded missing 28/3/18, prisoner.

M'Leay, G. C. 2nd Lieut., posted 26/6/16, wounded 18/7/16, rejoined 22/7/16, killed 17/8/16.

M'Lean, W. T. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, transferred 27th I.B.D. 14/7/17.

M'Lean, M. N. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/10/15, Lieut. 24/11/15, wounded 23/2/16.

M'Loghlin, J. W. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/12/16, England 5/1/17.

M'Murray, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 9/8/16, England 3/11/16, rejoined 20/9/17, wounded 28/3/18, M.C.

M'Millan, J. K. 2nd Lieut., posted 10/1/17, wounded 9/4/17.

M'Niven, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 15/3/15, wounded 27/9/15, rejoined 24/3/16, wounded 18/7/16, rejoined 10/2/17, wounded 24/4/17, died of wounds 1/5/17.

M'Nab, J. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 22/5/17, a/Capt. 24/10/17-1/11/17, missing 28/3/18, prisoner.

{166} M'Pherson, D. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 28/9/15, England sick 18/5/16.

M'Pherson, R. S. M. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, England 17/9/16.

M'Ewen, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/10/15, England sick 17/5/16.

M'Sween. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/11/15, England sick 7/5/16.

Noble, D. 2nd Lieut., posted 22/9/16, England 12/12/16.

Ogilvie, Allister. 2nd Lieut., posted 9/11/14, Lieut. 1/4/15, Captain 31/12/15, Transport Officer wounded 17/8/16, Mentioned.

Orr, Thomas. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/4/16, Lieut. 20/8/16, a/Capt. 11/10/16-3/11/16, Captain 21/5/17, wounded 18/7/16, duty 25/7/16, wounded 26/1/17, rejoined 7/8/17, England sick 28/8/17, rejoined 6/4/18, M.C.

Pearson, H. C. Lieut., posted 20/9/15, killed 24/11/15.

Purden, R. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 23/6/16, Lieut. 1/7/17, a/Capt. 15/11/17-2/6/18, wounded 17/8/16, rejoined 19/5/17, wounded 1/6/18, M.C.

Park, J. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/2/17, England sick 15/6/18.

Pollock, R. S. D. 2nd Lieut., posted 12/5/17, Lieut. 26/3/18, a/Capt. 12/4/18-12/6/18.

Prentice, P. F. 2nd Lieut., posted 30/9/17.

Parker, H. L. 2nd Lieut., posted 20/9/17, England sick 22/2/18.

Proven, R. A. Lieut., posted 1/11/17, transferred M. G. C. 18/1/18.

Raban, R. B. C. Captain, posted 18/11/15, Major 2nd in Command 18/11/15, posted 13th Royal Scots 1/4/16, afterwards killed.

Rowell, H. A. Lieut, R.A.M.C., attached 1/9/15 to 28/1/16.

Rollo, A. 2nd Lieut., posted 17/10/14, Captain 26/9/15, posted Staff Captain 12/4/16.

Robertson, J. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/1/15, Lieut. 26/9/15, killed 21/5/16, Mentioned.

Robertson, P. H. Lieut. R.A.M.C., posted   / /15, attached 46th F. Ambulance 1/9/15.

Russell, S. C. 2nd Lieut., posted 6/5/16, wounded 9/4/17.

Russell, A. Captain Rev., posted   / /15, attached Division 25/7/16.

Ronaldson, J. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 14/2/17, killed 9/4/17.

Ross, A. M. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/5/17, England sick 9/11/17.

Rennie, H. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/10/17, prisoner 28/3/18.

Robertson. Lieut. R.A.M.C. attached   / /15, transferred 46th F.A. 1/9/15.

Stuart, W. G. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 22/9/14, Lieut. 1/4/15, Captain 26/9/16, wounded 9/9/15, rejoined 13/9/15, killed 23/4/17, Mentioned, M.C.

Stuart, R. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 22/9/14, killed 25/9/15.

Stuart, D. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 3/10/14, wounded 27/9/15, afterwards killed.

Suttie, D. F. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/11/14, Lieut. M. G. Officer, Hospital sick 12/10/15, rejoined 3/3/16, England sick 24/4/16, rejoined 24/8/16, wounded 20/3/17.

{167} Sandilands, J. W. Lt. Colonel, D.S.O., posted O.C. Battalion 22/4/15, appointed Brigadier-General 13/4/16, Mentioned, C.M.G.

Scott, C. R. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 26/6/16, wounded 17/8/16, rejoined 19/5/17, wounded 22/8/17, rejoined 25/5/18.

Semple, R. W. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 29/8/16, killed 9/4/17, M.C.

Sim, N. S. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/9/16, a/Capt. 25/4/17-18/5/17, Intelligence Officer England Duty 10/10/17, rejoined 25/4/18, wounded 4/6/18, M.C.

Symon, J. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 22/9/16, Lieut., 1/3/17, a/Capt. 12/7/17-1/8/17, wounded 27/1/17, rejoined 4/5/17, wounded 1/8/17, Mentioned, D.S.O.

Scott, D. Captain, Rev., posted 28/9/17, Chaplain.

Steele, J. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 26/8/16, shell shock 11/10/16.

Smyth R. 2nd Lieut., posted 7/10/17, missing 28/3/18.

Shaw, S. M'D. Lieut., posted 20/4/18.

Stewart, D. Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Sinclair, J. A. Lieut., posted 19/2/17, England sick 23/4/17.

Smith, J. Fraser. 2nd Lieut., posted 14/2/17, killed 9/4/17.

Sinclair, I. A. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Sabiston, J. A. 2nd Lieut., killed 22/8/17.

Smith, R. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/10/17, prisoner 28/3/18.

Taylor, E. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 5/1/15, killed 25/9/15.

Timline, G. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 14/10/15, England shell shock, 9/2/16.

Taylor, D. 2nd Lieut., posted 9/5/15, missing 17/7/16, prisoner died of wounds 1/9/16.

Thomson, J. 2nd Lieut., posted 10/1/17, England sick 31/2/17.

Telford, T. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/5/17, Lieut., 26/4/18, England sick 29/4/18.

Watt, B. H. 2nd Lieut., posted 15/3/15, killed 25/9/15.

Wallace, C. D. K. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/10/15, Hospital sick 7/11/15.

Welsh, C. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/1/16, killed 29/4/16.

Watt, T. D. G. 2nd Lieut., posted 24/8/16, wounded 3/4/17.

Wallace, A. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 22/9/16, England 23/12/16.

Walker, H. P. W. 2nd Lieut., posted 10/1/17, killed 23/4/17.

White, D. M'L. B. 2nd Lieut., posted 10/1/17, England, wounded 3/5/18.

Wishart, D. Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Wedderspoon, G. Lieut., posted 25/4/18, wounded 1/6/18.

Wilson, N. J. R. 2nd Lieut., posted 25/4/18.

Young, W. 2nd Lieut., posted 4/8/17, killed 22/8/17.




July 4— Parkhouse Camp Received orders to embark for France.

July 8—     do. Advance party embarked on s.s. Inventor for Havre via Southampton.
Battalion embarked at 11.50 p.m. on s.s. Arundel for Boulogne via Folkestone.

July 9— Boulogne Disembarked and proceeded to rest camp. Marched to Pont des Briques.

July 10— Houlle Joined by advance party and proceeded to Watten by train. 9.45 a.m. Billets at Houlle.

July 12—     do. Inspected by Field Marshal Sir John French.

July 15— Hazelbrouck Marched at 6.30 a.m. to Hazelbrouck, arrived 4.30 p.m. 19 miles.

July 16— Gonnehem Marched at 8 p.m. to Gonnehem via St. Venant and Busnes, arriving at 3.30 p.m.

July 17—     do. Marched at 8 p.m. to Houchin, via Chocques, Le Perlecques, and Vaudricourt, arriving 12.15 a.m. (18/7/15).

July 18— Houchin Marched at 9 p.m. to Les Brebis via Mazingarbe, arrived 12 midnight less sick and details. Reported to C.R.E. Indian Cavalry Division.

July 19— Les Brebis Found work party (300 from A and D Coys.).

July 20—     do. Found work parties from A, B, C and D Coys.

July 22—     do. First casualty 14176 Pte. V. A. Telfer (wounded).

July 24— Houchin Marched at 9 p.m. from Les Brebis.

July 28—     do. A and B Coys. proceeded to trenches for two days' tour under 142 Brigade.

July 30—     do. {170} A and B Coys. relieved by C and D Coys.

Aug. 2— Sector W. I. A and B Coys. and H.Q. joined C and D Coys. in Sector W.I., relieving 142 Brigade on the extreme right of the British lines: A Coy. right and B Coy. left, C support and D reserve. Battalion H.Q. South Maroc.

Aug. 6— South Maroc Battalion relieved by 8th Seaforths. Found working parties 400 strong.

Aug. 10— Mazingarbe Relieved by 8th K.O.S.B.'s 46 Brigade. A and B machine guns left in Keeps. Found work parties.

Aug. 18— Sector X2 Relieved by 7th R.S.F. and we relieved 6th Camerons in Sector X2.

Aug. 26— Mazingarbe Relieved in trenches by 10th Gordons taking over area C from 9th Black Watch.

Aug. 30— Noeux les Mines Relieved 11th A. and S. H. in billets. Finding working parties (300).

Sept. 7— Trenches Marched at 5 p.m. to Mazingarbe. Relieved 7th R.S.F., taking over trenches in Sector X1 from Sap 18 to 8C exclusive.

Sept. 10—     do. Casualties in Sap 18—5 killed 2 wounded.

Sept. 12— Verquin Relieved by 13th Royal Scots. Marched to billets at Verquin.

Sept. 18—     do. Our pipers played our 4th Battalion through Verquin.

Sept. 19—     do. Pipe Band played retreat in Square at Bethune. First pipers to do so; loudly cheered by crowd.

Sept. 21—     do. 8 p.m. moved to Vermelles-Grenay branch line of trenches. Bombardment of enemy's trenches began that morning.

Sept. 25— Grenay Vermeilles Line Moved off at 4.45 a.m. to the attack. Marched to Quality Street; entered trench southern up. Head of Battalion turned down trench 21 and joined 9th Black Watch. Gas turned on at 5.50 a.m. for 40 minutes. Assault delivered at 6.30 a.m. by 9th Black Watch with the Lens Road {171} on right, and the 8th Seaforths on the left. The 7th Camerons followed in support, the 10th Gordons being in reserve. Lieut.-Col. Sandilands, D.S.O. commanded on Hill 70 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., when relieved by Lieut.-Col. Maclean, Royal Scots. At 8 p.m. G.O.C 46 Brigade arrived in Loos. It was decided that 45 Brigade should hold Hill 70 and that what was left of the Camerons should withdraw. At 11 p.m. Lieut.-Col. Sandilands with 6 officers and 75 men marched back through Loos to La Philosophe. The losses for the day were:—4 officers killed; 6 officers wounded; 4 officers missing; 64 men killed; 253 wounded; 217 missing; total, 14 officers, 534 men.

Sept. 26— Loos Battle Ordered to hold first line of old British trench. Met large numbers of men of the 21st Division retiring from Loos. At 1 p.m. ordered to hold support line of old German trench. The 7th Camerons dug themselves in on reverse of parapet owing to gas rendering the trench untenable.

Sept. 27— Mazingarbe Ordered to withdraw to Mazingarbe at 1.30 a.m.

Sept. 28— Houchin At 9.30 a.m. marched to billets at Houchin.

Oct. 3— Lillers Marched to Lillers. Billets.

Oct. 12— Noeux les Mines Left Lillers, entrained 5.30 p.m. for Noeux les Mines.

Oct. 26— Trenches Right Sec. Left Noeux les Mines at 12.40 p.m. for trenches. Took over line from 6th Camerons.

Oct. 29—   do.  O.G. Line Relieved by 8th Seaforths, going back into old German trenches.

Nov. 2—   do.  Right Sec. Relieved 8th Seaforths in front line.

Nov. 3—   do.    do. 11 men killed and 19 wounded (B Coy). Trench infiladed by heavy guns from Hulluch direction. Trench considerably damaged.

Nov. 4—   do.  O.G. Line {172} 1 man killed and 3 wounded. Relieved by 8th Seaforths: occupied old German trench.

Nov. 5—   do.    do. Found work parties (burying dead).

Nov. 7— Noeux les Mines Relieved by 8th K.O.S.B.'s and marched to Noeux les Mines billets.

Nov. 13— Sector D.I. Relieved 13th Royal Scots in support B Coy. O.B. Support line A and B Coys. billets Vermeilles, D Coy. Philosophe.

Nov. 16—     do. Relieved 8th Seaforths in front line, D Coy. left, A Coy. right, C Coy. support, B Coy. reserve.

Nov. 19— Noyelles Relieved by 8th Seaforths, went into reserve.

Nov. 22— Trenches Relieved 8th Seaforths in trenches. C Coy. left, B Coy. right, A Coy. support, D Coy. reserve.

Nov. 24— Noeux les Mines Relieved by 13th Royal Scots. Marched to billets.

Nov. 26— Sailly la Bourse Marched to billets.

Dec. 1— Sector C1 Relieved 1st A. and S. H. in trenches in front line, Devon Lane to Goeben Alley. A Coy. right, B Coy. left, C Coy. support, D Coy. reserve.

Dec. 4— Noyelles Brigade Reserve relieved by 8th Seaforths.

Dec. 7— Trenches Relieved 8th Seaforths in trenches O.G.1 and O.B.5. D Coy. right, C Coy. left, B support, A Coy. reserve.

Dec. 11— Philosophe Relieved by 8th Seaforths. B, C and D Coy. billets in Philosophe. A Coy. O.B.5.

Dec. 14— Allouagne 141st Brigade relieved 44th, Battalion relieved by 19th County of London Battalion. Marched to Noeux les Mines, entraining for Lillers, thence marching to Allouagne.


Jan. 5— Allouagne Divisional exercise. Left Allouagne at 8 a.m., via Burbure, Ecquedecque, Lieres, Auchy, arriving Rely at 3.45 p.m.

Jan. 6— Rely {173} Battalion marching from 7.30 a.m., via Cumem Bomy to Coyecque, returning Rely at 6 p.m.

Jan. 7— Allouagne Left Rely at 1 a.m., arriving at Allouagne at 12.15 p.m., via Billery, Hurionville and Burbure.

Jan. 14— Trenches Loos Left Allouagne 8.15 a.m. for Loos. Marched to Lillers, entrained to Noeux les Mines, marched to Loos via Philosophe. Relieved 2nd K.R.R. H.Q. in the Trait de l'Union, A Coy. Gun Alley and Reserve Trench, B and D Coys. Gun Alley and C Coy. Lens Road Redoubt, 65 Metre Point and Northern Sap Redoubt.

Jan. 15— Trenches Loos Hill 70
to Section 14B.
At 6 p.m. A, B and D Coys., less 2 platoons, took over firing line between Boyau des Anglais and Loos-Laurent Road. B Coy. relieved 8th Seaforths on left. D Coy. (2 platoons) in centre and A Coy. on right relieved the 15th London Regiment. H.Q. in cellars in Loos with 2 platoons of D Coy. C Coy. moved from Redoubt in 10th Avenue to Gun Alley.

Jan. 16—   do.    do. Two platoons of C Coy. relieved two platoons of the 8th Seaforths. A Coy. 6th Royal Irish attached for instruction.

Jan. 17—   do.    do. B Coy. to Gun Alley; front line held by two companies only; the two platoons of D Coy. (in cellars) now proceeding to firing line.

Jan. 18—   do.    do. C Coy. relieved A Coy.

Jan. 20—   do.    do. B Coy. relieved D Coy.

Jan. 23—   do.    do. Battalion relieved by 8th Seaforths going into reserve 10th Avenue. H.Q. Pont Street. Battalion area from Vendin Alley to Chalk Pit Alley. B Coy. on left, then C, D less one platoon, A Coy. less 2 platoons. One platoon of D Coy. in Northern Sap Redoubt. One platoon A 65 Metre Point Redoubt and one Lens Road Redoubt.

Jan. 26— Philosophe {174} Relieved by 4th Suffolks. Proceeded to Philosophe.

Jan. 27— Noeux les Mines Left Philosophe at 9.15 a.m. Billets taken over from 8th K.O.S.B.

Jan. 29—   do.    do. Finding large working party of 659 men. Stood to from 5.30 to 9 p.m. Reserve M.G. moved to Mazingarbe.

Feb. 1— Hulluch Section Marched from Noeux les Mines at 2.30 p.m. and relieved 11th A. and S. H. (of 45th Infantry Brigade) in left sub section Hulluch.

Feb. 4— Philosophe Relieved in evening by 10th Gordons and moved into Brigade reserve at Philosophe.

Feb. 7— Hulluch Section Relieved 10th Gordons in left sub section. B and C Coys. front line, A support, D reserve.

Feb. 10—   do.    do. Relieved by 10th Gordons and relieved 9th Black Watch in 10th Avenue as Bde. support.

Feb. 13— Noeux les Mines Relieved by 8th K.O.S.B.'s of 46th Brigade; marched to Noeux les Mines.

Feb. 16—   do.    do. Finding working parties, 10 officers 500 men.

Feb. 19— 14 B. 15 Section Relieved 6th Camerons in left sub section of 14 B. 15 Section from Vendin Alley to Possen Alley. A and D Coys. firing line, C support, B reserve.

Feb. 25—   do.    do. Relieved by 9th Black Watch, moved into Brigade support 10th Avenue, A Coy. in Gun trench.

Feb. 26— 14 B. 15 Section One officer and 59 men proceeded to form part of permanent working party on right sub section.

Feb. 28—   do.    do. Relieved 8th Seaforths in right sub section. A and B Coys. firing line, C support, D reserve.

Mar. 2— Mazingarbe Relieved by 12th H.L.I., marched to billets at Mazingarbe. Found working party of 150 men.

Mar. 8— Hulluch Section Relieved 7th R.S.F. in left sub section of Hulluch Section, leaving Mazingarbe at 8.30 a.m. C and D Coys. firing line, B Coy. support, A Coy. reserve.

Mar. 11—   do.    do. {175} A Coy. changed with D.

Mar. 12—   do.    do. C Coys. line blown in, in 11 places.

Mar. 13—   do.    do. Support line blown in, in 4 places.

Mar. 14— Philosophe Relieved by 3 Coys. 10th Gordons and 1 Coy. Inniskilling Fusiliers. Proceeded into Brigade reserve. In billets. Day working parties of 205 men supplied.

Mar. 17— Hulluch Section Battalion (less D Coy.) relieved 8th Inniskilling Fusiliers, going into Brigade support in 10th Avenue. D Coy. in reserve line centre sub-section under O.C. commanding 8th Seaforths. All available men on working parties, salving.

Mar. 20— Noeux les Mines Relieved by 12th H.L.I. Marched to Noeux les Mines.

Mar. 22—   do.    do. Night working parties of 6 officers and 300 men supplied.

Mar. 23—   do.    do. B Coy. proceeded to La Buissiere to do duty at 1st Corps H.Q.

Mar. 25— Allouagne Railed to Lillers and marched to Allouagne. Transport moved by road.

Mar. 28—     do. Ceremonial parade at Lillers at 3 p.m. G.O.C. 1st Army distributed medals. Brigade marched past in column of route.

April 1— Allouagne Innoculation.

April 7— Fervin Palfart Divisional exercise. Battalion left 7 a.m., billeted 2 p.m. Marched via Lozinghem, Auchel, Cauchy-a-la-Tour, Perfay Bellory, Auchy-au-Bois to Fervin Palfart.

April 8—   do.    do. Marched to Enquin les Mines via Flechin and Cuhen, entraining to Fervin.

April 9— Allouagne Marched back to billets.

April 10—     do. Smoke demonstration at Burbure.

April 10—     do. Lieut.-Col. J. W. Sandilands, C.M.G., D.S.O., relinquished command of Battalion on appointment to 104th Brigade.

April 21—     do. G.O.C. (15th Division) inspected Companies.

April 25— Annequin 12 noon A, C and D Coys. left Allouagne, marched to Lillers, entraining for Noeux les Mines. Marched from Noeux les Mines to {176} reserve billets at Annequin. B Coy. rejoined Battalion.

April 26— Trench, Left Sub-
Section Quarry Sector
Relieved 7th Royal Sussex Regiment in Quarry Sector, front from Southern junction Swinbourne Loup and Brookwood Trench to Rifleman's Alley. A Coy. left, D Coy. centre, B Coy. right finding their own supports, C Coy. reserve O.G.1. H.Q. in O.G.1 at Pt. G11.d.3.9.

April 27—   do.    do. Shelling and Chlorine Gas. R.E. exploded mine right leg of Hairpin; bombers co-operated; casualties, killed 6, wounded and shell shock 18.

April 28—   do.    do. Shelling and bombardment by enemy.

April 30— Noyelles and Vermelles Relieved by 10th Gordons. Battalion in Brigade Reserve. A and C Coys. billets Vermeilles. H.Q. and B and D Coys. in billets Noyelles.

May 4— Left Sub-Section
Quarry Section
Relieved 10th Gordons in Left Sub-Section Quarry Section. Disposition: A. Coy. left, C Coy. centre, B Coy. right finding their own supports, D Coy. reserve in O.G.1. Battalion H.Q. in O.G.1 at Pt. G.11.d.3.9. front southern junction of Swinbourne Loup and Brookwood Trench to Rifleman's Alley. At 5 p.m. enemy shelled O.G.1. At 7 p.m. R.E.'s exploded 3 mines at the Hairpin, our bombers advanced and occupied the lip of the crater. Enemy bombarded front lines until midnight. Casualties, 4 O.R. killed, 28 wounded.

May 5—   do.    do. Bombardment during afternoon. 1 O.R. killed, 3 wounded.

May 6—   do.    do. Bombardment continued.

May 8—   do.    do. From 5 to 5.45 a.m. Trench mortar batteries bombarded far lip of left Hairpin crater, but were unsuccessful in destroying it. At 10.30 a.m. relieved by the 10th Gordons and moved into Brigade support. Disposition: {177} C Coy. O.B.1, left of Fosse Way, B Coy., O.B.1, right of Fosse Way, D Coy. O.B.4 and O.B.5., A Coy. Curley Crescent. H.Q. junction of Fosse Way and Curley Crescent. Found working parties for 180th Tunnelling Coy. R.E., 253rd Tunnelling Coy. R.E., and 73rd Field Coy. R.E.

May 9/10—   do.    do. Found above working parties for Tunnelling Coys. R.E.

May 11— Labourse Relieved by the 7th Battalion K.O.S.B.'s proceeding to billets Labourse, arriving at 1.45 p.m. Received orders to stand to (4.30 p.m.).

May 12—     do. Battalion standing to until 2.45 p.m., when order to stand down was received.

May 13—     do. Working party of 4 officers and 200 O.R. proceeded to trenches. Major C. H. Marsh, D.S.O., assumed command of the Battalion.

May 14—     do. Two Coys. ordered to proceed at once to the trenches under orders. 46th Brigade. The other two Coys. and H.Q. to proceed to Noyelles under order 46th Brigade, C and D occupying Lancashire trench. H.Q. and A and B Coys. billets at Noyelles. At 6 p.m. orders from 46th Brigade that A Coy. occupy part of Villiage line. B Coy. occupy billets in Vermeilles, H.Q. in Lancashire trench. Orders executed by 7.30 p.m.

May 15— Noyelles 9 a.m. orders from 46th Brigade for A and B Coys. and H.Q. to return to billets in Noyelles.

May 17—     do. A and B Coys. relieved C and D Coys. Lancashire trench.

May 19— Left Sub-Section Hohenzollern Section Battalion relieved 11th A. and S. H. Disposition: C Coy. right, D centre, A Coy. left finding their own supports, with B Coy. in reserve. Front from Boyau 109 (exclusive) to Mud Alley G.4.a.8.8. (inclusive). Four men wounded.

May 20—   do.    do. {178} Our saphead at G.4.a. 8½. 8½. blown in by enemy. Seven O.R. wounded.

May 21—   do.    do. 12.45 p.m. enemy sprung mine between craters 3 and 4, filling up our saps and connecting trench. The damage was repaired. A severe bombing fight took place. Casualties: one officer killed. O.R., 5 killed 19 wounded. Enemy driven back.

May 22—   do.    do. Our engineers sprang mine in centre sub-section in front of junction of Poker Street and the fire trench.

May 23—   do.    do. At 7.30 a.m. enemy completely surprised us by springing another mine at point G.4.d. 6½. 5½. Saps 9. 9A Argyle Sap Hogsback and part of Northampton trench filled with debris; relief postponed until we cleared trenches, etc. Relieved by 8th Seaforths, moving into Brigade support. Disposition: A Coy.—1 platoon in Junction Keep, 3 platoons in Lancashire Trench; B Coy.—1 platoon in Central Keep, 3 platoons in Railway Reserve Trench. C and D Coys. in Lancashire Trench. H.Q. at point G. 3.c. 8.2. Casualties: O.R. 3 killed, 46 wounded.

May 24/26—   do.    do. Every available man employed in working parties.

May 27— Right Sub-Section Hohenzollern Section Battalion relieved 9th Black Watch. Disposition: B Coy. right, A Coy. centre, D Coy. left finding their own supports, C Coy. reserve. Front extended from the junction of Sackville Street and Hulluch Alley on left to junction of Quarry Bay and Brookwood Trench on right. 9 p.m. our artillery dispersed enemy working party opposite Rabbit's Hole.

May 28—   do.    do. Two intelligence reports stated enemy intended to attack and to use gas. Killed O.R. 1, wounded 4.

May 29—   do.    do. {179} Similar reports received from air reconnaissance. Abnormal transport movement near Haines and 5000 enemy seen moving in the open. Artillery activity by our left and right groups. O.R. wounded 3.

May 30—   do.    do. Enemy trench knocked in by our artillery. Enemy shelled Hulluch Alley and rifle grenaded Rabbit's Hole. Heavy trench mortar bomb fell on our mine shaft heads in front line, inflicting several casualties. Enemy showed two yellow flags with red St. Andrews Crosses over parapet at the Kink.

May 31—   do.    do. Heavy shelling by both sides. O.R., 1 killed, 9 wounded.

June 4— Bethune Relieved by 7/8th K.O.S.B.'s. A Coy. proceeded to Gosnay. The remainder of the Battalion were billeted at Bethune in the Tobacco Factory. O.R. 1 wounded.

June 10—     do. In billets. A Coy. rejoined Battalion.

June 12— Brigade Support Relieved 6/7th R.S.F. in Brigade support, Hulluch Sector. Disposition: A Coy. Curley Crescent, B Coy. 2 platoons O.B.1, 2 platoons O.B.5., C Coy. Tenth Avenue between Hay Alley and Hulluch Road. D Coy., 2 platoons Lone Tree Redoubt. H.Q. at Junction of Curley Crescent and Fosse Way. Four platoons K.O.R. Lancaster Regiment attached for instruction. O.R. 2 wounded.

June 16— Right Sub-Section Hulluch Section Relieved 8th Seaforths. Disposition: C Coy., left, two platoons. B centre, D Coy. right finding their own supports. A Coy. and 2 platoons of B in reserve trench between Wings Way and Vendin Alley. O.R. 2 killed, 20 wounded.

June 22—   do.    do. Disposition changed to: B Coy. left, 2 platoons of East Surrey Regiment in centre, A Coy. on the right finding their own support. {180} Half Coy. 13th East Surrey Regiment and C and D Coys. in reserve trench. Surreys in for instruction. O.R. 2 killed, 19 wounded.

June 26—   do.    do. Coy. of East Surrey Regiment left trenches.

June 28— Bethune After discharge of gas four patrols of 39 men attempted to raid enemy's trenches. 3 patrols held up owing to uncut wire. Fourth patrol bombed the German front line and returned, leaving one man killed. Battalion was relieved by 10th/11th Scottish Rifles. In billets. A and C Coys. Orphanage, Bethune, B and D Coys. in Verquinal. H.Q. Bethune. Casualties: killed 9, wounded 19.

July 6— Left Sub-Section Hohenzollern Section Relieved 6/7th R.S.F. Disposition: D Coy. left, C Coy. centre, A Coy. right finding their own supports, B Coy. reserve.

July 7—   do.    do. Enemy shelled junction of Mud Alley and Sticky Trench, and Northampton Trench, doing considerable damage. O.R. 3 wounded.

July 8—   do.    do. Mud Alley and Quarry shelled with H.E. Four enemy seen in crater wearing khaki caps our pattern. O.R. 3 wounded.

July 9—   do.    do. More shelling on both sides. Enemy exploded mine. O.R. 4 wounded.

July 10—   do.    do. Relieved by 8th Seaforths. Battalion in support. O.R. 4 wounded.

July 12/13—     do. Found working parties. Officer 1, O.R. 2 wounded.

July 14— Right Sub-Section Relieved 9th Black Watch. Disposition: B Coy. left, D Coy. centre, C Coy. right finding their own supports, A Coy. reserve. O.R. 1 wounded.

July 15—   do.    do. At 7.40 a.m. enemy exploded small mine near Sap 98 A. No damage done. O.R. 2 wounded.

July 16—   do.    do. {181} From 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. our artillery bombarded enemy's wire and trenches. From 9 to 9.30 enemy retaliated on Crown and Border trenches, doing considerable damage. Casualties: 4 killed, 11 wounded. At 4 a.m. enemy exploded mine near the right crater of the Hairpin. R.E.'s exploded 2 mines in the same vicinity. These explosions filled in our trenches.

July 17— Right Sub-Section Hohenzollern Section At 9 p.m. enemy started heavy bombardment on our front, and under cover of this raided our trenches in the vicinity of Alexander Sap, capturing one officer and 12 O.R. Casualties: killed 3, wounded 5.

July 18—   do.    do. At 6 p.m. R.E.'s exploded 2 mines at junction of Rifleman's Alley and Alexander Trench, destroying Border Redoubt and Alexander Sap. Two craters were formed, the left the larger. Our bombers occupied the far lip of the left crater, and tried to hold the right crater, which was found to be untenable owing to rifle grenades and aerial darts. A bombing post was constructed, and the work of consolidating craters carried out. Casualties: One officer and 6 men killed; 4 officers and 32 men wounded; 1 crushed; 1 shell shock.

July 19—   do.    do. The enemy sprang a mine in existing craters at Hairpin; 2 killed, 4 wounded.

July 20—   do.    do. Intermittent shelling by enemy; 5 wounded.

July 22— Houchin Relieved by 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment and proceeded to billets at Houchin. O.R. 1 wounded.

July 23— Dieval Left Houchin and proceeded via Bruay to billets at Dieval.

July 26— Gouy-en-Ternois Left Dieval and marched via La Trieuloye and Averdoingt to billets Gouy-en-Ternois.

July 27— Occoches {182} Marched from Gouy-en-Ternois via Honval, Rebreuve and Canteleux to billets at Occoches.

July 28— Autheux Marched from Occoches to billets at Autheux.

July 30—     do. Draft of 25 O.R. arrived from base.

July 31— Naours Marched from Autheux via Fienvilliers and Candas to billets at Naours.

Aug. 4— Mirvaux Marched at 4.45 a.m. via Talmas and Septenville to Mirvaux.

Aug. 5— La Houssoye Marched to La Houssoye via Behencourt. Billets and bivouac. Bathing in river L'Hallue.

Aug. 8— Albert E.7.b. Instructions issued 4th platoon in each Coy. to be pioneer platoon, 1 2 and 4 platoons to be full strength of fighting unit of 10's. 3 platoons to be weak platoons.

Aug. 11—     do. Found working parties of 400 O.R.

Aug. 12— E.5.b.7.6. Replaced 9th Black Watch in bivouac at E.5.b.7.6. Bde. in Division reserve.

Aug. 14— X.22.a (Peakwood) Brigade in "C" area.

Aug. 15—     do. Found working parties making Highland trench.

Aug. 16— "B" area (the Cutting) Relieved the 9th Black Watch "B" area Brigade support. Disposition: H.Q. The Cutting, C (less 1 platoon) and D Coy., Gourlay Trench; 1 platoon C Coy. and 1 Lewis gun, Villa Keep; A Coy. Contalmaison; B Coy. Cutting Contalmaison X17.A. Received orders from Brigade to attack next morning.

Aug. 17— "A" area (Front Line) Attacked Switch Elbow. Relieved by 8th Seaforths during the night and early morning. Casualties: killed 4 officers, died of wounds 1, wounded 9; O.R., 40 killed, 4 died of wounds, 9 missing believed killed, missing 7, missing believed wounded 7, wounded 160.

Aug. 18— "C" area In Brigade reserve—reorganising.

Aug. 19— "C" area Found working parties. O.R. killed 2, wounded 3.

Aug. 20— "B" area {183} Replaced 8/10th Gordons in Brigade support. Heavy gas shelling by enemy.

Aug. 21— "B" area Found working parties. Casualties 6 wounded.

Aug. 22— "A" area Relieved 8/10th Gordons front line. Disposition: A Coy.—2 platoons Gourlay trench, 2 platoons Lancashire trench; B Coy. Gourlay trench; C Coy.—Cameron trench, between Gordon Alley and Gloucester Alley with supports in Highland trench; D Coy.—Cameron trench between Gordon Alley and Munster Alley, with supports in Butterworth trench. H.Q. in Gourlay trench. Commenced construction of 6 strong points in front of front line during the night. Casualties:—killed 4, died of wounds 1, wounded 7.

Aug. 23—     do. 5 of strong points completed and occupied. O.R. 3 killed, 3 wounded.

Aug. 24— Scotts Redoubt In Brigade reserve. Relieved by 9th Black Watch replacing 8/10th Gordons in Scotts Redoubt. Found working parties.

Aug. 26— "C" area Replaced 8/10th Gordons in "C" Battalion area 4.30 a.m.; in new position by 6.30 a.m. C and D Coys.; A and B Coys. 7 a.m. Disposition: C and D Coys. Contalmaison; A and B Coys. X22.b. Found working parties.

Aug. 28— "B" area In Brigade support. Replaced 8/10th Gordons A Coy. and B (less one platoon) Gourlay trench (one platoon B Coy. keep Contalmaison), C Coy. Contalmaison and D Coy. Cutting. Wiring party Highland trench. O.R. 1 killed, 1 wounded.

Aug. 29— "B" area Party completes wiring Highland trench. O.R. 1 wounded.

Aug. 30— Bivouac O.B.1 Trench Brigade moved into Divisional Reserve. Relieved by 24th Northumberland Fusiliers and occupied bivouac at O.B.1 trench X.26.d. O.R. 2 wounded.

Sept. 5— Front Line Right Brigade Area {184} Battalion relieved 12th H.L.I. and 10th Scottish Rifles in front line. Right Brigade. Support. B Coy. left front Swansea trench, D Coy. 1 platoon Intermediate trench, 1 platoon Quarry, 2 platoons Mill Street; A Coy. Right front Bethel Sap, Clarkes trench and strong point; C Coy. support Argyle Alley Chester Street. H.Q. in the Quarry.

Sept. 6—     do. Killed 2, wounded 4.

Sept. 7— O.G.1 between
S.7.c.2.1 and S.14.a.5.6
Battalion moved into position O.G.1 from S.7.c.2.1. to S.14.a.3.6. (behind Bazentin-le-Petit-Wood), being relieved by 8th Seaforths. Disposition: from left to right D, B, C, (less 1 platoon) and A Coys. 1 platoon C Coy. and 4 Lewis guns relieved the garrison of the keep held by D Coy. 8th Seaforths at about Point S.7.b.4.8. Casualties—killed 1, wounded 10.

Sept. 10— "B" area Relieved by "B" Battalion 149th Infantry Brigade and "B" Battalion 159th Infantry Brigade, and moved into "B" area. A and C Coys., Cutting, B and D Pearl Alley, H.Q. Peakewood. Casualties—wounded 6.

Sept. 11— Front Line
Sanderson Trench
Relieved the 8/10th Gordons in the front line. Disposition: A Coy., 2 platoons Sanderson trench, 2 platoons Egg trench and 6th Avenue, C Coy., 2 platoons front line to Pioneer trench, 2 platoons near Villa wood, B Coy. Koyli trench. Casualties: Officers 1 wounded; O.R. killed 3, wounded 14.

Sept. 13— Bivouac E.7 Central Relieved by 6/7th R.S.F. and proceeded via Contalmaison, Scotts Redoubt, Becourt Wood, Albert, Albert-Amiens Road to bivouacs at E.7 Central.

Sept. 14— Shelter Birch and Round-Woods Battalion moved into Brigade reserve at Shelter-Wood, Birch-Wood, Round-Wood.

Sept. 18— Koyli Trench {185} Brigade support. Disposition: D Coy. Ham trench, A Coy. Egg trench, C Coy. Post trench and part of Sanderson trench, B Coy. Tangle trench. H.Q. junction of Koyli trench and Welch trench.

Sept. 19— Bivouac E.5.b. and Lavieville Battalion relieved by 8th Yorks 23rd Division on night of 18th, and morning of 19th rested in Bivouac (E.5.b.), afterwards proceeding to camp at Lavieville.

Sept. 20— Franvillers In billets.

Sept. 22—     do. In billets.

Oct. 6— Becourt-Wood Brigade sports cancelled and Brigade moved up to Becourt-Wood and bivouaced; men's lines in cemetery and officers on other side of road.

Oct. 8— Crescent Alley Battalion line. A Coy. O.G.1 B Coy. Starfish trench, C, D Coys. (less one platoon) Prue trench, H.Q. one platoon D Coy. Crescent Alley. Casualties:—Officers, 1 wounded; O.R.'s, killed 2, wounded 27.

Oct. 11— Front Line Relieved 9/10th Gordons night of 10/11th in front line. Disposition D Coy. on left of Le Sars-Bapaume Road, B Coy. on right of Le Sars-Bapaume Road. C Coy. Cutting in M.16.c. A Coy. 2 platoons Tangle M.22.a. 2 platoons in O.G.2. H.Q. at M.22.a.2.1. Casualties:—Officers, wounded 2; O.R.'s, killed 5, wounded 22, shell shock 5.

Oct. 13— Crescent Alley Relieved by 8th Seaforths. A Coy. Crescent Alley, B and D Coys. Prue trench Coy., O.G.1 H.Q. Crescent Alley. Casualties:—Officers, wounded 1, O.R., killed 10, wounded 17, shell shock 6.

Oct. 14— Contalmaison Cutting Relieved by 12th H.L.I. proceeding into reserve area.

Oct. 19— Right Section
Front Area
"C" area, relieved the 9th Black Watch. Starfish trench. A, C, B Coys. 2 platoons, D Coy. Tangle trench, 2 platoons D, Tyne trench H.Q. M33.D.4.4.

Oct. 21— "A" area Front Line {186} Relieved 8/10th Gordons front line. Disposition: A, C Coys. front line, B Coy. Sunken Road, Tangle, D Coy. O.G.2. Battalion carried in two day's rations.

Oct. 23— "B" area Relieved by the 9th Black Watch moved into "B" area in support, A, C Coys. Prue trench, B Coy. Crescent Alley, D Coy. O.G.1, H.Q. Crescent Alley.

Oct. 24— Contalmaison Cutting In reserve. Battalion relieved by 12th H.L.I. Casualties: killed 3, wounded 5, shell shock 8.

Oct. 27— "C" Area Starfish Line Battalion relieved 10th Scottish Rifles. A and C Coy. Starfish, D Coy. Tyne, Tangle, H.Q. Martin Alley. Casualties: 4 wounded.

Oct. 30— Front Line Battalion relieved 10th Scottish Rifles in "A" area. B and D front line, A Coy. Sunken Road, C Coy. O.G.1, H.Q. 26th Avenue.

Oct. 31— "D" Area, Reserve Relieved by 8/10th Gordons. B and D Coys. Swansea trench, A Coy. O.G.1, C Coy. Gourlay trench, H.Q. Bazentin-le-Petit. Casualties: killed 4, wounded 8, shell shock 3.

Nov. 2— Becourt Hill Battalion was relieved and moved into Camp.

Nov. 5— Bresle In Camp.

Nov. 10—     do. Inspected by G.O.C.-in-C., who expressed himself as greatly pleased with appearance of Battalion, and thanks them for work done.

Nov. 20—     do. Brigade was inspected by Lieut.-General Sir W. P. Putteney, K.C.B., D.S.O., Commanding 3rd Corps.

Nov. 21—     do. Brigade Sports.

Nov. 26—     do. In Camp. Inspection by G.O.C. 15th Division.

Dec. 1— Albert Proceeded via Lavieville and Millencourt to billets. Whole Battalion on working parties.

Dec. 7— Camp X23. Central To camp via La Boiselle and Contalmaison. Found working parties. Relieved 6/7th R.S.F. about X23. Central.

Dec. 16— Shelter-Wood Scotts Redoubt North {187} In camp. Transport at C Hapes Spur. Relieved 8th Worcester's at Shelter-Wood Scots Redoubt North.

Dec. 17—     do. Found working parties.

Dec. 19— Acid Drop South Battalion relieved 6th Camerons.

Dec. 21— Front Line 26th Avenue Relieved 8/10th Gordons, Right Sub-Section C Coy. Scotland trench, Warlincourt and Gilbert Alleys, A Coy. O.G.1. B Coy. and H.Q. 26th Avenue, D Coy. Martinpuich. Officers missing 1, wounded 1, O.R. wounded 4.

Dec. 23—     do. C relieved D, D relieved B, B relieved A, A relieved C.

Dec. 25— Acid Drop Camp South Relieved by 8th Seaforths and proceeded by platoons to Acid Drop camp south, 100 yds. interval.

Dec. 26— Shelter Wood South Relieved by 10th Scottish Rifles. Finding working parties.

Dec. 31— Front Right Sector Relieved 6/7th R.S.F. B Coy. right front, C Coy. left front, A Coy. support Sunken Road, D Coy. reserve Flers line. Q.M. Stores Pioneer Camp.


Jan. 2—     do. A and D Coys. relieved C and B Coys. respectively.

Jan. 4— Support Area Relieved by 4th Seaforths. A Coy. moved to Prue trench, C Coy. to Starfish, D Coy. to Seven Elms, B Coy. to Starfish, H.Q. Seven Elms.

Jan. 5—     do. Dug new communication trench near Spur trench.

Jan. 7— Pioneer Camp Relieved by 8/10th Gordons.

Jan. 8— Scots Redoubt North Relieved 10th Scottish Rifles less B Coy. forming Brigade working party at R.36.c.

Jan. 12— Villa Camp Copse Moved to Villa Camp.

Jan. 14— Acid Drop In reserve, relieved by 8/10th Gordons.

Jan. 16— Front Line Relieved 9th Black Watch: Right Section left Sector A Coy. on right, C on left, B in support, 3 platoons in O.G.1., one platoon Destremont Farm, D Coy. in reserve 26th avenue.

Jan. 18—     do. B and D Coys. relieved C and A Coys. respectively.

Jan. 20— Scots Redoubt North {188} Relieved by 12th H.L.I. Killed 1, O.R. wounded 1 officer, 4 O.R.

Jan. 24— Front Right Sector Relieved 6/7th R.S.F. in left sub-sector, C Coy. left, A Coy. right, B support, Sunken Road, D Coy. Flers line.

Jan. 26—     do. D and B Coys. relieved A and C Coys. respectively.

Jan. 28— Support Line Relieved by 8th Seaforths, A Coy. Prue trench, C Martinpuich, B Starfish, B Coy. and H.Q. Seven Elms.

Jan. 30— Pioneer Camp Relieved by 9th Black Watch.

Feb. 1— Becourt Camp Relieved by 18th Australian Battalion. The 5th Australian Brigade.

Feb. 4— Contay In billets training.

Feb. 14— Beauval Moved to Beauval route Herressart, Le val de Maison Vert, Grand Fare.

Feb. 15— Gazaincourt Moved here at 11 a.m.

Feb. 16— Bouque-maison Moved here at 8 a.m.

Feb. 17— Croisette Moved here less two Coys. to Framecourt at 7.45 a.m.

Feb. 18— Moncheaux Moved here at 9.15 a.m. via Framecourt, Houvin Station, Buneville.

Feb. 22—     do. Working party of 16 officers, 544 other ranks sent to Milly.

Feb. 24— Maisieres Moved here less working party.

Mar. 2—     do. Working party rejoined Battalion.

Mar. 6—     do. The 44th Brigade inspected by Commander-in-Chief at Ambrine.

Mar. 11— Arras The 44th Brigade relieved the 45th Brigade. Battalion in reserve. 1.3. Sector. Route:—Penin, Tilloy, Hermaville, St. Pol-Arras Road. A Coy. relieved 8/10th Gordons as permanent Garrison of the Cemetery Defences. Men in Arras only allowed out between 5.45 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. Transport and Q.M. Stores at Duisans.

Mar. 15— Front Line Battalion relieved 8/10th Gordons in right sub-sector of 1.3. sector. Disposition: D Coy. Front Line, C Coy. 2 Platoons support trench, 1 platoon reserve trench, 1 platoon in billets near H.Q., B Coy. billets {189} 78.79. Grand Place. Casualties: Killed, 9 O.R., wounded 16 O.R., died of wounds 50 O.R.

Mar. 16—     do. Cleaning trenches. B Coy. relieved D Coy. in front line.

Mar. 18— Arras, Front Line (1). D Coy. raided the enemy's trenches between points G.21.d. 5½.4.-2½.3.-0½.5.-3.5½. Zero hour 2.50 a.m. (2). The 9th and 12th Division co-operated at zero hour by similar raids on their divisional fronts. Casualties were: 18 O.R. wounded.

Mar. 19—     do. Battalion relieved in right sub-sector 1.3. section by the 12th H.L.I.

Mar. 20— Harbarcq Moved to Harbarcq at 7.15 p.m. Reserve. Casualties: Killed, 1 O.R., missing believed killed 1 O.R., wounded 1 officer, 35 O.R., died of wounds 2 O.R.

Mar. 26— Arras In support. Relieved 9th Black Watch and were attached to the 46th Brigade Infantry.

       do. Found working parties. Casualties: 4 O.R. wounded. Transport at Duisans.

Mar. 31— Front Line Front Line. The 44th Brigade relieved on the right sub-sector of the 1.3 sector. Battalion relieved the 12th H.L.I. A Coy. front line. D Coy. 3 platoons support line, 1 platoon reserve line. C Coy. in cemetery defences. B Coy. in Billets.

April 3— Arras, Grand Place Reserve. Relieved by the 8/10th Gordons and moved into billets in cellar Grand Place. 2 O.R. wounded.

April 8— Arras Battle In support. At 11.30 p.m. Battalion moved out of cellars in the Grand-Place, via the sewer and communication trenches to assembly trench in front of the Cemetery. H.Q. in cellars in Rue-de-Douai.

April 9—     do. Battalion reported in support position ready for attack. At 5.30 a.m. (zero hour) under intense {190} barrage assaulting battalions (8/10th Gordons on right and 9th Black Watch on left), supported by 7th Camerons, attacked the first system of enemy trenches. The Black Line gained. Battalion occupied O.G.1. and O.G.2.
   At 7.50 a.m. attack on the second objective began. The 9th Black Watch on the left held up by the Railway Triangle, so also were the 8/10th Gordons. With the assistance of a tank the 9th Black Watch captured the Rail-Triangle (Blue Line).
   At 3 p.m. received orders to relieve the 9th Black Watch on the left. Reorganised in Hermes trench.

April 10— Front Line B and D Coys. moved forward, 2 platoons into Hecq trench and 2 platoons into Helle trench. A and B Coys. moved to Cable trench.
   At 1 p.m. Battalion ordered to proceed to the east side of Feuchy to support the 45th Infantry Brigade. Move completed by 4 p.m. Relieved by 6th Camerons, Battalion proceeding to trenches previously occupied.

April 11—     do. At 3 a.m. received orders to occupy part of the Brown Line. A Coy. right front. C Coy. left front. B Coy. right support. D left support. Move completed by 4 a.m. Received orders to take objective line running through I 22.23.24. At 11 a.m. coys. moved from their position in artillery formation to the attack, moving half right for Orange Hill. Battalion then occupied a system of trenches about H.29 Central. Orders received that at 2.50 p.m. a barrage was commencing in Loue-Copse, and that at 3 p.m. the Brigade was to attack. Despite heavy {191} fire Battalion succeeded in reaching a position running between Lone Copse and Monchy.
   At 7.30 p.m. orders received from Brigade that Battalion was to be relieved by a Battalion of the 50th Brigade. The greater portion of the Brigade reached Monchy. The men of the Battalion in and around Monchy ordered to place themselves under the the command of the C.O. Essex Yeomanry, then in charge of the defences of Monchy.

April 12—     do. At 3.30 a.m. O.C.'s Coys. ordered to link up with the 8/10th Gordons and to form a line about 100 yards in front of the Sunken Road. This movement completed relieved by a company of the Worcester Regiment. Battalion moved back to Helle trench, arriving there about 5.30 a.m., where it remained till 3 p.m., when it moved back into billets at Arras. 23 officers and 521 men proceeded to attack, 11 officers and 346 men returned. Therefore the total casualties were 12 officers and 175 men.

April 14— Arras In reserve. 4 O.R. killed, 2 officers and 21 O.R. wounded, 1 O.R. missing. Died of wounds 1 O.R. Casualties during the operations during 9/12th April, killed 5 officers, 19 O.R. Wounded, 7 officers and 128 O.R. Missing 24 O.R.

April 22— Front Line Battalion relieved 8/10th Gordons, taking over the Left Sub-Section, leaving the Grand Place billets at 6.30 p.m. Route via St. Saveur, Tilloy, N.15.d.7.9. N.16. C.1.8. N.10.d.5.1 and thence by trolley line to front line. Disposition: A Coy. on right. D Coy. on left. C Coy. in support about N.11.a.2.6. B Coy. in reserve, and H.Q. about N.11.a.5.2. O.R. killed 3, wounded 1.

April 23—     do. The 15th Division attacked the {192} enemy, their objective being the Blue Line Bridge at O.14 Central to O.8 Central to small wood in O.8.B.1.2.
   At zero hour 4.45 a.m., under an intense barrage, the Battalion attacked the front line trench. At Bullet trench we captured about 40 prisoners and a machine gun at N.18.b.9.8. Finding ourselves out of touch, we dug ourselves in. At 5.45 a.m. the centre of the Battalion moved up, fortifying a post about the sunken Road (N.18.b.9.5.)
   At 10.30 a.m. the trench up to the Cambrai Road was cleared. At mid-day, under a new barrage, we were enabled to push forward, forming a new post about N.13.a.2.6, probably part of Hammer trench. At 6 p.m. the 46th Brigade advanced through us, enabling our Lewis Guns to do good work as the Germans retired from the trenches.

April 24— Arras Front Line At 2 a.m. after reorganisation the Battalion moved back to behind the Brown line, N.15.b. Central, the 44th Brigade becoming supports.

April 25—     do. Battalion relieved the 10th Scottish Rifles in front line from Cambrai Road to about 300 yards south, the Coys. from left to right being C, D, B and A Coys.

April 26—     do. At 10.30 a.m. the 44th Brigade advanced to the attack, one objective being Cavalry Farm and the German trenches to the east of it. The advance was made in 2 waves, A and B in first wave, and C and D Coys. in second wave, 20 yards between waves. The advance reached the farm without much difficulty, where they found the trench very strongly held, and at the same time a machine gun opened fire on the left, coming from the trenches which the 46th {193} Brigade had failed to capture. The Battalion was forced to withdraw, leaving a strong point on the German line and another small post to the east of the farm. The remainder withdrew to our original position.

April 27—     do. About 2 a.m. orders were received to try and reorganise the attack. This idea was given up when it was learnt that the 46th Brigade on our left had failed to attain their objective. Officers and patrols were sent out to try and establish posts to link up with the Black Watch, who had advanced and made posts. This endeavour failed. At 10.30 p.m. the Battalion was relieved by the Seaforths moving into support in the O.B. trenches and Shovel trench.

April 28—     do. Support line. The Battalion was relieved from the support line by the A Coy. of the 3rd London Regiment at 9.30 p.m. Casualties:—13 officers and 570 men went into action; 6 officers and 191 men returned; the total casualties being 7 officers and 369 men, of these 64 n.c.o.'s and men were killed.

April 29— Simincourt In rest. Battalion moved from Arras to Simincourt at 2.45 p.m., via Rue St. Aubert, L.29.d. Danville, L.34.c. Bernville.

April 30—     do. In rest cleaning up, etc.

May 1 to 7—     do. In rest. Training under Coy. arrangements. Casualties in operations 23rd to 28th April. Killed, 4 officers and 78 O.R. Wounded, 249 O.R. Missing 42 O.R. Died of wounds, 3 O.R.

May 8— Grand Rullecourt In rest. Battalion moved to billets in Grand Rullecourt at 8.20 a.m.

May 21— Vacqueril le Boucq The 15th Division was transferred to the XIX. Corps. Battalion moved to Vacqueril at 5.45 a.m.

May 22— St. Georges {194} Moved to St. Georges at 7.30 a.m. via Conchy and Wail. Battalion training.

June 21— Croix Moved at 3.15 a.m. to Croix with 1 Coy. at Siracourt. Route: Willeman, Oeuf, Siracourt.

June 22— Pernes Moved to Pernes at 3.15 a.m. St. Pol-Pernes Road.

June 23— Bourecq Moved to Bourecq. C and D Coy. with A and B Coys. at Ecquedeque at 9.20 a.m.

June 24—     do. Major General H. F. Thullier, C. B., C.M.G., assumed command of the 15th Division (17/6/17).

June 26— Steenbecque Moved to Steenbecque at 7 a.m.

June 26— St. Sylvestre Cappel Moved to billeting area, S.E. of St. Sylvestre Cappel at 4.20 a.m.

June 27— Vlamertinghe Moved into 9th Army area camp about 2 miles S.W. of Vlamertinghe at 3.15 a.m.

July 1— Vlamertinghe
Eerie Camp
In reserve.

July 2— East of Ypres-
Menin Road
Battalion moved into Brigade support as follows:—C Coy. Half Moon trench. D and B Coys. in the Ecole. A Coy. in the Convent. H.Q. in the Menin Road (19.d.05.45). Battalion went into line 600 strong with 1 Coy. Commander and 3 officers per Coy.

July 3/4—     do. In support. Finding working parties. O.R. killed 2, wounded 8.

July 5— Front Line
Dragoon Farm
Battalion relieved the 9th Black Watch in the left sub-section right sector. Disposition: C Coy. in front line (left). B Coy. in front line (right). A Coy. in St. James' trench. D Coy. Millcotts (1 platoon). Potiize defences (1 platoon), Potiize Road (2 platoons). H.Q. at Dragoon Farm. Finding working parties. Casualties: Wounded, 2 officers and 8 O.R.

July 8—     do. Front line. Patrols. A patrol of 1 officer and 10 O.R. proceeded at night across No Man's Land to the Stables. No enemy encountered. Casualties: Killed 7 O.R., wounded 11 O.R.

July 9— Vlamertinghe {195} In reserve. Battalion relieved by 13th Royal Scots. Relief platoons proceeded independently to Eerie Camp. Casualties: O.R. 1 killed and 2 wounded.

July 10— Rubrouck Training Area Battalion marched to Popperinghe, trained to Arneke, marched to Le Cloche. Transport by road.

July 17— Winnezelle Billeting Area In rest. Battalion moved by route march to Winnezelle area, under orders of 46th Infantry Brigade at 7.30 a.m. Route: Esquelbecq, Wormhoudt, to billets half a mile north of L in Lodgehoek.

July 18— Toronto Camp Brandhoek In reserve. Battalion moved at 12.30 a.m. to Toronto Camp by route march via Winezeele, Droglanet, Watou, Popperinghe.

July 21— Camp at H.16.a.5.8. In support. Battalion moved into support camp at H.16.a.5.8., relieving 8th Seaforths. O.R. 1 killed.

July 23— Front Line Railway. Dugout at Southlane Front line. Battalion relieved 8th Seaforths in the right sub-section I Sector. Disposition: A Coy. in right front. D Coy. in left. B Coy. in support (Half Moon). C Coy. in reserve (Ecole). H.Q. at Dugout under Railway at South Lane. Strength of Battalion going into trenches: 15 officers, 342 O.R.'s.

July 24—     do. A raid on enemy's trenches by one officer and 12 O.R. captured 1 prisoner and a machine gun. The party had one man slightly wounded. Casualties: Wounded in action (2 gassed), 8 O.R., missing 1 O.R.

July 25—     do. No Man's Land was patrolled. Casualties: Wounded (1 gassed) 11 O.R., killed 10 O.R.

July 28—     do. A raid was carried out upon the enemy's front line trenches by D Coy. and 3 platoons from A Coy. at 7 p.m. under an intense barrage. Simultaneous with this raid another party of 1 officer and 14 O.R. proceeded from the {196} right of our line in search of suspected M/G. This party bombed Culvert and Dugout (where the suspected machine gun was). Both parties returned about 7.30 p.m., having inflicted many casualties and taken prisoner 1 officer and 39 O.R. with 1 machine gun. Our casualties were slight, being: Killed 1 O.R., missing 2 O.R., wounded 1 officer and 6 O.R.

July 29— H.16.d.5.8. At 9 p.m. the Battalion was relieved by the 8/10th Gordons and returned to camp at H.16.d.5.8. Casualties: Killed 2 O.R., missing 2 O.R., wounded 2 officers and 17 O.R., died of wounds 1 officer.

July 30—     do. In reserve. Battalion marched to position of assembly of attack, being 20 officers and 588 men strong. The Battalion was in reserve to the 44th Infantry Brigade. Disposition: A Coy. 2 platoons "A.R.A." Dump, 30 men "A.R.B." Dump (Thatch Barn), 30 men Half Moon trench, B Coy. St. James trench, C Coy. in Half Moon trench Right of West Lane, D Coy. Hedge trench south of West Lane. H.Q. I.10.d.5.5. (South Lane). Route to trenches via "F" Track.

July 31— I.10.d.5.15. Brigade reserve. Zero hour 3.50 a.m. Shortly after zero hour Thatch Barn dump (A.R.B.) was blown up, inflicting considerable casualties to one platoon. This necessitated platoon detailed for A.R.A. Dump carrying forward to A.R.C. Dump. Heavy casualties among carrying parties. At 10 a.m. Battalion less A Coy. moved forward into German front system and came under heavy shell fire. At 1 p.m. H.Q. went forward to German reserve line. At 2 p.m. one platoon went forward to construct a strong point on Black Line under R.E. officer, but owing {197} to heavy shelling it had to retire. One Coy. went forward into Blue Line, constructing and occupying 5 strong points.

Aug. 1— German Reserve Line At 5 a.m. the Battalion moved forward as Battalions in support. Disposition: 2 Coys. in trench immediately behind North Station Buildings, 1 Coy. in strong point in Blue Line. The enemy counter-attacked the right front of the Brigade, but they were driven back, 4 men being taken prisoner and many killed. We occupied the original front line. Relieved 8/10th Gordons in front line.

Aug. 3— Camp H.16. Battalion was relieved by two Coys. of the Munster Regiment and went back into camp. Casualties during operations: Officers, 6 killed, 1 died of wounds. O.R.'s 12 killed, 205 wounded, 23 missing believed killed. 17 missing believed wounded, 23 missing unknown, 5 died of wounds. Total: 7 officers, 285 O.R.'s.

Aug. 4— Winnezelle The 44th Brigade moved to Winnezelle No. L 2 area by bus and billeted in tents.

Aug. 8—     do. Battalion was inspected by G.O.C. 15th Division at 9.30 a.m.

Aug. 17— Brandhoek Camp In camp. Moved to Brandhoek area No. L.3; route: Watou, St. Janister, Biezen Switch Road. March off 12.15 p.m.

Aug. 19—     do. Battalion proceeded to training area, 17, 18, 23 and 24. Practising attack. At 5.30 p.m. Battalion moved to Bivouac Camp, H.17.A.1.9.

Aug. 20— Bivouac Camp The 15th Division was ordered to continue the offensive on "2" day. At 6.30 p.m. the Battalion moved to relieve the 8th Battalion Worcester Regiment at Pommern Redoubt on the night of the 20/21st. After completion of relief disposition of Battalion was as follows: 2 platoons "A" Coy. and 2 platoons "B" Coy. in {198} Pommern Redoubt; 2 platoons "A" Coy. and 2 platoons "B" Coy., and "C" and "D" Coys. in shell holes in neighbourhood of C.30.a. and C.29.b. H.Q. in Pommern Redoubt.

Aug. 21/22— Pommern Castle At zero hour 4.45 a.m. on the 22nd, disposition of Battalion was: A Coy. on right front; B Coy. left front; C Coy. right and support; D Coy. left and support. The attack was launched and the Battalion advanced to a line about 200 west of Hill 35, where it was held up owing to heavy fire. Further advance was impossible. On the night of the 22nd/23rd August, Battalion was relieved by the 9th Black Watch.

Aug. 23— Rupprecht Farm After relief Battalion proceeded to Rupprecht Farm.

Aug. 23/24— Eerie Camp Battalion relieved by 8/10th Gordons and proceeded to Eerie Camp, reaching it about 6 a.m.

Aug. 25—     do. Casualties 20th to 24th August: Killed 4 officers, 30 O.R.; wounded 5 officers, 132 O.R.

Aug. 30— No. 2 Area Watou Battalion moved to Watou No. 2 training area at 2.30 p.m.

Sept. 1—     do. The 44th Infantry Brigade marched to and entrained at 8 a.m. at Caestre, and detrained at Arras at 9 p.m., marching back from Arras to billets at Montenescourt, arriving about 1 a.m. (2/9/17).

Sept. — Montennescourt In rest. Company training.

Sept. 7— Blanchy Park Battalion moved at 3.45 p.m. Route: L.2.C.2.4. St. Pol, Arras Road, St. Nickolas, and relieved the 10/11th H.L.I., 46th Brigade at Blanchy Park (G.24.b.3.6.). In reserve. Training.

Sept. 14— Left Sector Trenches Battalion relieved the 11th A. and S.H. 45th Brigade on the left sector of the Division, right sector Brigade front, finding isolated post J.25.b.10.25. C Coy. front line and scabbard support. D Coy., 2 platoons left front, 1 {199} platoon scabbard support and 1 platoon Welford trench. B and A Coys. right and left reserves in Lancer Avenue. H.Q. in Johnstone Avenue about H.30.d.1.4.

Sept. 18—     do. B and A relieved C and D respectively. Casualties: O.R., 4 killed, 6 wounded.

Sept. 23— Middlesex Camp Battalion relieved on the night 22nd/23rd by the 8th Seaforths and proceeded to Middlesex Camp at G.17d.80.95 near Arras. Battalion was in Brigade reserve. Company training and working parties.

Oct. 1— Barossa Camp Battalion was relieved by the 10th Scottish Rifles, 46th Brigade, and moved into Barossa Camp at 2 p.m. Company training and working parties.

Oct. 2/9— Monchy Trenches Battalion relieved 13th Royal Scots, right Sector, Monchy. Disposition: D Coy. on right front, C Coy. on left front, B Coy. in support and A Coy. in reserve.

Oct. 13—     do. A Coy. relieved C Coy., B Coy. D Coy. C Coy. moved on relief into Happy Valley. D Coy. moved into support in Musket Reserve and Curb Switch.

Oct. 14—     do. In conjunction with a raid by the Division on our right, Battalion sent out two patrols each consisting of one officer and 4 O.R. Of No. 1 patrol only one man returned. No. 2 patrol was seen to enter enemy trench but never returned. Killed 1 officer, missing 1 officer and 7 O.R.

Oct. 17— Rifle Camp Relieved by 8th Seaforths and proceeding to Rifle Camp. Casualties: 4 O.R. killed, 6 wounded.

Oct. 21—     do. Battalion relieved 8/10th Gordons in support. B and A Coys. Johnstone Avenue, C and D Companies Rifle Camp.

Oct. 25— Arras Battalion (less A Coy.) relieved by 12th H.L.I. 46th Brigade. A Coy. relieved by B Coy. 10th Scottish Rifles. Battalion proceeded to Oil Works, Arras.

Nov. 2— Front Line {200} The 44th Infantry Brigade relieved the 45th Infantry Brigade, left sector Divisional front. Battalion relieved one Company of 6/7th R.S.F. and three Companies of 11th A. and S.H. Disposition: D Coy. right front, C Coy. left front, B Coy. support, A Coy. reserve.

Nov. 7—     do. B and A Coys. relieved C and D Coys.

Nov. 10— Rifle Camp Battalion relieved by 8th Seaforths and proceeded to Rifle Camp. O.R. 2 wounded. In Brigade reserve.

Nov. 14— Stirling Camp Relieved the 8/10th Gordons as support Battalion. A Coy. in Railway Cutting. C Coy. in Embankment at Brigade H.Q. B Coy. in Lancer Lane finding K.L.M. posts. D Coy. in Stirling Camp.

Nov. 18— Oil Works Battalion in support to 44th Brigade. Relieved by 12th H.L.I. and proceeded to Oil Factory, Place St. Croix, Arras.

Nov. 26— Wilderness Camp Relieved 6/7th R.S.F. at Wilderness Camp in reserve.

Nov. 28— Oil Works Relieved by 1st Battalion Lancashire Regiment and proceeded to Oil Works at Arras.

Dec. 1— Trenches Battalion relieved 13th Royal Scots in the left Div. Sect., front line. Disposition: A Coy. on right front, C Coy. on left front, D Coy. in reserve. H.Q. in Candix reserve (H.12.d.75.13).

Dec. 8— In the Trenches Inter Coy. Relief C Coy., relieved A Coy., and D Coy. B Coy.

Dec. 13—     do. Relieved by 8/10th Gordons, Battalion becoming support Battalion H.Q. at H.11.c.7.9.

Dec. 17— Ecole, Arras The 46th Inf. Bde. relieved the 44th Inf. Bde. Battalion was relieved by the 10th Scottish Rifles and proceeded to the Ecole des Jeunes Filles at Arras. Companies occupied the Moat Range for rifle practice and Butte-de-Tir.

Dec. 23— Pudding Trench {201} Battalion relieved the 11th A. and S.H. in Brigade Reserve in and about Corps Line. H.Q. in Pudding trench (H.16.C.7.5.).

Dec. 27— Trenches Relieved the 8th Seaforths. B Coy. on right front, C Coy. in centre, D Coy. on left front, A Coy. in support at Welford Reserve.


Jan. 2— Ecole, Arras The 44th Inf. Bde. was relieved by the 2nd Guards Bde. Battalion was relieved by the 3rd Grenadiers and proceeded into billets at Ecole des Jeunes Filles at Arras,

Feb. 5— Trenches Relieved 1st Duke of Wellingtons and part of 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment. Front line.

Feb. 8— Bois des Boeufs Camp Re-adjustment of Brigade Front on night of 8/9th Feb. A Coy. relieved by D Coy. 8th Seaforths; B Coy. relieved by C Coy., 11th A. and S. H. C Coy. relieved by 1 platoon 13th Royal Scots; D Coy. relieved by 2 platoons 11th A and S. H., B and C Coys. 8th Seaforths. On relief, Battalion became reserve Battalion in Bois de Boeufs Camp.

Feb. 11— Trenches Battalion in support relieving 8/10th Gordons. Disposition: D Coy. 3 pn. Fosse Farm, 1 pn. Brown Line. C Coy. B.C.D. and E. Strong Points. B Coy. and H.Q Fosse Caves. A Coy. Brown line.

Feb. 17— Front Line Relieved 8/10th Gordons. A Coy. 3 pn. Fork Reserve, 1 Pn. Saddle support, C.H.Q. Pick Caves. B Coy. 3 Pn. Spade Reserve. 1 Pn. Hoe trench, C.H.Q. Spade. C Coy. 3 Pn. left front line, 1 Pn. support, C.H.Q. Saddle support, D Coy. 3 Pn. right front, 1 Pn. support, C.H.Q. Saddle support.

Feb. 20— Front Line Inter Coy. relief. A Coy. relieved C Coy., B Coy. relieved D Coy.

Feb. 23—     do. 1 officer and 28 O.R. raided the enemy's trenches at 3.30 a.m. There were no Germans in the {202} trenches, although 4 were found in a saphead. 1 was killed and 3 made prisoners. Our casualties, nil.

Feb. 23/24— Bois des Boeufs Relieved by 8th Seaforths and became reserve Battalion. O.R. 2 wounded.

March 1—     do. Battalion relieved the 8/10th Gordons, becoming support Battalion in Les Fosse Farm. A Coy. B.C.D. and E. strong points. B Coy. 3 Pn. Fosse Farm, 1 Pn. Brown Line. C and D Coys. Brown Line.

Mar. 7— Front Line Relieved in support by the 8th Seaforths, and on relief relieved the 8/10th Gordons in the front area. Disposition: A Coy. in left support, B Coy. in right support, C Coy. left front, D Coy. right front.

Mar. 10—     do. Inter Coy. relief. A and B Coys. relieved C and D Coys. O.R. 17 wounded.

Mar. 13— Reserve Line Relieved 8th Seaforths, becoming reserve Battalion.

Mar. 19— In Support Relieved 8/10th Gordons in support Battalion. A Coy. N.12.c. B Coy. 2 pn. N.12.c., 2 pn. North of Fosse Cave. C Coy. strong points B.C.D. and E. D Coy. 3 pn. Apple and Pear trench, 1 pn. Gordon Avenue. H.Q. Les Fosses Farm.

Mar. 22/23—     do. Battalion ordered to withdraw to the Army Line in N.7.a. and b.

Mar. 23—     do. Battalion moved forward to support the 8th Seaforths with their right on N.8.c.8.0, and their left on the Brown Line. This line was held with 2 Coys. in front and 2 Coys. in support. H.Q. at Shamrock Corner.

Mar. 25— Front Line Relieved by 8/10th Gordons. Moved forward and relieved 8th Seaforths in the front line. Disposition: A Coy. left front, D Coy. left support, B Coy. right support, C Coy. right front, H.Q. in N.9.C.8.5.

Mar. 27—     do. {203} Inter Coy. relief. D Coy. relieved A Coy., B Coy. relieved C Coy.

Mar. 28—     do. About 3 a.m. the enemy started a heavy bombardment. About 7 a.m. enemy infantry attacked and gained a footing in the forward trench and commenced to work round our left in considerable numbers. To avoid being cut off D and B Coys. retired to rear of Brown Line, here holding the enemy attack until 1 p.m. About 3 p.m. the line was withdrawn to the Army Line in front of Tilloy. About midnight Battalion withdrawn from action and proceeded via Arras, Dainville to Wanquetin.

Mar. 28— Wanquetin Casualties sustained during battle: Officers—Killed, 4; wounded 3; missing 4; wounded and missing 4; wounded (believed P. of W.) 1. Other Ranks—Killed 1; wounded 72; wounded (believed P. of W.) 22; wounded and missing 28; missing (believed killed) 6; missing (believed P. of W.) 28; missing 213. Total—16 officers; 372 other ranks.

Mar. 30— Arras Battalion proceeded to Arras and were billetted in Petite Place.

Mar. 31—     do. 44th Infantry Brigade relieved 45th Infantry Brigade in the line near Tilloy. Battalion being in reserve. Formed into 2 double Coys.

April 1— Army Line One Coy. of the 9th Gordons was attached to the Battalion, which occupied the old trenches in rear of the intermediate Army line with H.Q. at 9.35.D.15.90.

April 4— Arras Relieved by 13th Royal Scots and proceeded to billets in Petite Place, Arras.

April 9— In the Trenches Relieved 13th Royal Scots in reserve. B and D Coys. occupied the tunnel and A and B Coys. the large dug-out at

April 13— Arras Battalion was relieved by the 6th Camerons 45th Brigade, and proceeded to Petite Place, Arras, where {204} work parties were found. O.R.'s, 7 wounded.

April 18— In the Trenches Relieved the 8/10th Gordons at 9 a.m.

April 20—     do. Battalion relieved the 6th Camerons in support. Disposition: A Coy. in London Avenue and Inverness Terrace (H.25.d.). B Coy. in Blangy Front and support lines between Pelves Lane and Cambrai Road inclusive. C Coy. 2 platoons in Tilloy Reserve (H.31.b.), 1 platoon St. Patrick's Road (H.31.a. central) 1 platoon with Coy. H.Q. at Devil's Wood. D Coy. in Blancy Front. H.Q. Imperial Cave.

April 23/24— Berneville The 44th Infantry Brigade was relieved by the 167th Brigade. Battalion was relieved by the 8th Middlesex Regiment and proceeded to Berneville via Dainville and Warlus.

April 24—     do. In camp.

April 25— Auchel Battalion moved by bus to Camblain Chatelain and Auchel at 7.20 a.m., reaching Auchel about 1 p.m. Transport by road independently.

May 4— Y Huts, Etrun The 44th Brigade moved to the XVII. Corps area 8.30 a.m. Marched to Calonne-Ricourt, entrained to Acq, march to Etrun.

May 6—     do. Brigade moved to support area. Disposition of Battalion: H.Q. Portsmouth Camp G.3.b.9.2. B and C Coys. in Colinwood Camp G.3.b.6.6. D Coy. Cinema Hut G.3.b.8.3. A Coy. Trafalgar Camp G.3.d.7.4.

May 10/11— In the Trenches Relieved 10th Scottish Rifles in Right Sector, Left Sub Section H.Q. at H.16.d.1.8.

May 13/14—     do. Battalion took over area held by 6th Camerons as far north as H.17.b.35.60. Disposition: A Coy. from H.17.d.0.8. to H.17.c.35.60 (3 platoons), 1 platoon in Cam. Avenue from H.17.c.10.70. B Coy. as at present. Coy. H.Q. {205} H.16.d.5.2. C Coy. in front line from H.17.d.10.60 to H.23.a.30.90 (3 platoons). 1 platoon in a cellar at H.17.c.45.35. D Coy. in Pudding Trench (as far north as H.16.c.79.60).

May 14/15—     do. Inter Coy. relief. D Coy. relieved A Coy.

May 17— In Support Area Relieved by 8/10th Gordons. Took over accommodation in Stirling Camp. A and C Coys. with H.Q. at Stirling Camp. B Coy. in Cam. Valley. D Coy. in cellars, and old gun pits Athies. O.R., 3 wounded.

May 20—     do. 2 Camerons escaped from German Internment Camp and came through British lines.

May 24— Roclincourt Relieved by 13th Royal Scots going into Divisional reserve at Roclincourt Area. B and C Coy. Collingwood Camp. A Coy. Trafalgar Camp. B Coy. Cinema Hut. H.Q. Portsmouth Camp.

June 1/2— In the Trenches Relieved the 10th Scottish Rifles in left front line. Officers, 3 wounded: O.R.'s, 16 wounded, 4 killed.

June 6/7— Arras Relieved by 4/5th Black Watch. Battalion withdrew to Petite Place, Arras. H.Q. at Rue des Trois Visages.

June 10—     do. The 7th Camerons were amalgamated with the 6th Camerons, Lieut.-Col. N. Macleod, D.S.O., to command the new Battalion. 21 officers and 383 O.R.'s were absorbed in the 6th Camerons. 9 officers and 466 O.R.'s were transferred to the Base M (S) Depot.

June 10— Lens Mardeuil Formed into a Cadre Battalion for the purpose of training American Battalions. Establishment: 10 officers and 60 O.R.'s. Designation: 7th Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders Training Staff 118th Infantry Brigade. 39th Division B.E.F.
   Entrained at Mardeuil at 10 a.m. {206} and proceeded to Barlin for Audruicq Hazelbrouck.

June 11— Hazelbrouck Arrived Hazelbrouck at 6 p.m. (Ardruicq at 4 p.m.) Billeted there for night.

June 12— Calais Left Nortkerque-Hazelbrouck at 9 a.m. and marched to Rodelinghem, Calais, arriving 11 a.m.

June 17—     do. Left Rodelinghem for camp at Calais 13.3F.86.75, arriving at 11 a.m. Affiliated to 3rd Battalion 119th Regiment A.E.F. Started training.

June 21—     do. Lieut.-Col. F. Anderson, M.C., late C.O. of the 6th Camerons, joined as C.O. of this Staff.

June 22—     do. Training Americans.

July 1—     do. General Pershing inspects 119th Regiment at training.

July 2—     do. American Division leaves area. Moved camp to a field in Veuse Village.

July 26— Listergaux Left Listergaux at 3.30 p.m. for VII. Corps Reinforcement Camp Watten by march, arriving about 7 p.m.

July 29— Watten Received orders to receive 823 O.R. arriving Watten 30/7/28.

July 30— Arneke Left Watten at 12.30 p.m., arriving Arneke about 4 p.m. In billets about 8.30 p.m. Battalion made up of Black Watch, Seaforths and Gordons. Dropped 350 O.R. at Cassell to join A. and S. H. Our Battalion are reinforcements for 51st Division to be called XIX. Corps Reinforcement.

July 31—     do. Left Arneke and marched via Cassel to a staging camp in St. Eloy Area, Hazelbrouck. Map 3 H. 30.85.

Aug. 1—     do. A and D Coys. left camp at 1 p.m. and marched to L.33.C. area where they billetted. H.Q., B and C Coys. marched to 28 A.24.c.6.6, arriving at 10 p.m.

Aug. 2— St. Eloy Area Moved back to old Chinese camp at Sheet 28.G.14.A.05.70.

Aug. 3—     do. Found working parties.

Aug. 6—     do. {207} 310 O.R.'s conducted by officers left for 51st Division.

Aug. 7—     do. 248 O.R. conducted by 6 officers left for 51st Division. Remainder of reinforcements entrained at Remy Siding for La Cloche, reaching there at 8.30 p.m.

Aug. 8— La Cloche Cleaning up.

Aug. 10—     do. 7 officers and 71 O.R. leave for 51st Division, only 7th Camerons now left.

Aug. 13—     do. Leave La Cloche and march to Esquebecq, entraining there at 8.30 a.m. for Audruicq. Embus at Audruicq for Listergaux, arriving about midday. Received orders that the 7th Camerons are to break up and proceed to the 6th Battalion. Lieut.-Col. F. Anderson to command 8th Seaforths.

Aug. 14— Listergaux Marched from Listergaux to Audruicq and entrain at 11.30 a.m. for 15th Division via Etaples.

Jamieson & Munro, Ltd., Printers.
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The frontispiece to this volume is a reproduction of a painting by the distinguished War Artist, Joseph Gray. It was commissioned by Evan M. Barron, Esq., Inverness, as a Memorial to the Battalion of which his brother, Major James Barron, was second-in-command when he fell at the Battle of Loos, on 25th September, 1915. The incident depicted by the artist is thus described by Mr. John Buchan in Nelson's History of the War:—

"Lieutenant-Colonel Sandilands of the 7th Camerons arrived on the Hill. Being the Senior Officer present, he took command and planted the headquarters' flag of his Battalion on the top. It was his business to recall the van of the advance, now lost in the fog and smoke of the eastern slopes, and to entrench himself on the summit. The Redoubt was now out of our hands, and the line taken ran just under the crest on the west, and was continued north of Loos by the 46th Brigade. To retire the van was no light task. Two officers, whose names deserve to be remembered, Major Crichton of the 10th Gordons, and Major Barron of the 7th Camerons, volunteered for the desperate mission. They fell in the task, but the order reached the stragglers, and they began to fight their way back. In the midst of encircling fire it was a forlorn hope, and few returned to the British lines on the Hill. All down the slopes towards Lens lay the tartans, Gordon and Black Watch, Seaforth and Cameron, like the drift left on the shore when the tide has ebbed."

Reproductions of the picture, measuring 25 inches by 12 inches, are on sale as follows:—Signed Artist's Proofs, £3 3s.; Ordinary Prints, £1 1s.; but purchasers of this volume may obtain

Signed Artist's Proofs for £2 2s.,

on filling in name and address at foot of this page, and sending it, along with a remittance, to

Messrs. Robert Carruthers & Sons,
"Courier" Office, Inverness.

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