Published By John Davies
Festubert. 15 Bn West Yorkshire Regiment (PoW Own). 20 August 1916.
The 15 Bn West Yorkshire Regiment had arrived at Festubert around the 9 August 1916. The battalion was billeted in Festubert village, at Calloix Keeps and La Plantin – all in the reserve and support lines. During the night of 18 August they moved up to the front line to relieve 18 Durham Light Infantry. They occupied trenches and breast works to the right and south of Festubert with HQ in the Old British Lines. At 7.30am on 20 August the enemy began an intense bombardment with heavy guns and Trench Mortars. The breastwork was breached in a number of places and big gaps were broken through the wire. The barrage continued throughout the day with varying violence. At 8.00pm an enemy mine exploded at Givenchy to the right of the battalion’s front and 15 minutes later a heavy bombardment recommenced. At first the barrage was aimed at the front line but then lifted to the support area before returning to the front area. At 9.30am the enemy attempted to raid the left front of the KSLI sector but were unsuccessful and were driven back. Patrols of no man’s land that night found wire cutters, bridging boards to get over obstacles as well as land mines and grenades that the Germans had abandoned; there was no trace of any German dead or wounded. Battalion casualties were – officers 1 KIA and 2 wounded, ORs 6 KIA and 17 wounded.
GOOGLE MAPS centre on approximate location of Calloix Keeps at ‘T’ junction on D 166 north of Festubert.
References and Sources WAR DIARY 15 Bn West Yorks.
B&O 1916. Bethune. Festubert. 15 Bn West Yorkshire Regiment (PoW Own). 20 August 1916.