Archive for February, 2012

As previously mentioned on this blog;  my Great,Great Uncle,Pte Walter Arbuckle of 1/6th Bn The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was killed on 23 August 1915 and is buried in Becourt Military Cemetery. I have since contacted the Regimental Museum of The Argylls and they were kind enough to send me extracts from the War Diary of the 1/6th from their time in the La Boisselle/Becourt area. These are produced below with thanks to the Argylls. I am unable to enlarge these images due to their format but should you require copies please contact me via this blog and I shall forward them to you.

War Diary States: 

20th: Battalion at rest. Orders received for Battalion to proceed to Fire Trenches. 

21st: 4pm Battalion paraded in marching order and proceeded to fire trenches via Dernancourt – Moulin De Vivier – Albert – Becourt – La Boiselle. Relieved 5th Gordons about 11pm. 

La Boiselle

22nd: A company and left of B company are situated in advanced trench within twenty yards of German trenches. Hand grenades are used extensively by both sides. Germans fired several aerial torpedoes which landed harmlessly behind our lines. First time the battalion has experienced these many trench mortars. 

23rd: Battalion in fire trenches. Mortar bombardment of A companies trenches. Grenade fighting on the left flank. 

Casualties for August 1915: Killed and died of wounds 7, wounded 25, sick 67, died 1 

Extract from a letter written home by an officer 29th August 1915: We have now done four months solid fighting and have been pretty nearly all over the British line, having taken part in the 2nd battle of Ypres, battle of Festubert on the 16th june when we nearly got so cut up with german machine guns. However these were picnics compared to what we now hold because our trenches are only 15 yards from the germans so practically all the fighting is done ith grenades. By jove they do make a devil of a mess of anybody they hit, it is ten times worse than a rifle bullet. One man was wounded yesterday in 47 places. 

Extract from an officer’s diary: 22nd Sunday, we manned the trenches all night. The line had a peculiar turn and we have germans in front  and on both sides. At one point there are only 15 yards between us. I think this is going to be more lively than the last place. 

23rd to 2nd sept: We have just come out after eleven days in the trenches. We were up against trouble all night and day. The weather was much against us as we were splashing about in 12 inches of mud sometimes.

Detailed Trench Map 1915

Detailed Trench Map 1915

Trench Map August 1915




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