Published By Ben Hillidge
Guillemont, 23 July – 5 September 1916.
- Guillemont. Maltz Horn Farm. 5 Bn King’s Liverpool Regiment. 8 August 1916.
- Guillemont. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 30 August 1916.
- Guillemont. Falfemont Farm. 1 Bn Cheshire Regiment. 5 September 1916.
- Guillemont. 1 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales). September 1916.
- Guillemont, Waterlot Farm. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 17 September 1916.
- Battle of Flers Courcelette. 1 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 17-19 September 1916.
Guillemont village is situated about 1km to the east of Trones Wood with Delville Wood about 700ms to the north. Trones Wood had been captured on 14 July and attention now turned to Guillemont and to Delville Wood. The first unsuccessful attempts to capture the village were on 23 July, through August successive attempts also failed. The village would finally be taken by 20 Division on 6 September. The actions were concurrent to
GOOGLE MAPS – Satellite view, centres on Guillemont – Trones Wood immediately to the west. Maltz Horn Farm, now gone, was located in the green field bounded by three roads to the south of the Wood. Falfemont Farm, also now gone, located in the rectangular woodands to south east of Guillemont near the bottom of frame.
Guillemont. Maltz Horn Farm. 5 Bn King’s Liverpool Regiment. 8 August 1916.
At 3.00pm on 7 August 1916 the 5 Bn King’s Liverpool Regiment received orders that 165 Brigade was to attack Guillemont village. The battalion was in the support and front lines at Maltz Horn Farm to the south west of the village. They were to advance and capture the south eastern part of the village. The attack was preceded by a bombardment lasting 17 hours. They attacked from a trench that had been dug during the night. The battalion would lead the assault with A Coy on the right and B, C & D Coys to their left. French troops were in touch with A Coy
Zero hour was 4.20am on 8 August, the weather was misty with limited visibility. All 4 companies went over the parapet together. The companies advanced steadily in spite of heavy and well aimed enemy fire. However, they were eventually compelled to dig in – A & B Coys on the crest of the slope about 150yards from the start and C & D Coys about 350 yards forward. They set to consolidating and improving their positions, they remained here for the rest of the day. At dawn on 9 August C & D Coys were relieved by 7 Bn KLR. A & B Coys were also due to be relieved but owing to a mistake this relief was not effected until 11.00am on the 9 August. The exhausted men made their way back to Talus Boise in the old British lines between Carnoy and Maricourt. Casualties were – Officers 5 KIA and 4 wounded, ORs 65 KIA, wounded 173 and 64 missing.
On this day too Rifleman 3156 Arthur Herbert Proctor 5 Bn KLR was awarded a VC (Link to IWM) for gallant conduct at Wailly, Arras on 4 June 1916 – for tending to and later rescuing 2 men wounded and stranded in no man’s land.
Guillemont. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 30 August 1916.
On 21 August, 1916 the 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry marched from Ville-sur-Ancre to Sand Pitts Camp, and then the next day to Crater Camp – near to Carnoy Craters on the road from Carnoy to Montauban and were held in Brigade reserves. Whilst there the men underwent training in assault practice as well as working parties digging a communication trench. A party of officers and NCO’s also went up to the front line trenches for familiarisation. On 27 August the Battalion relieved the 12 Bn Kings Liverpool Regiment. The battalion was deployed in the vicinity of Trones Wood with A Coy in support in Batten Trench, C Coy in Dummy Trench – running east-west through the Wood, D Coy in Trones Trench – running along the eastern face of the Wood and with B Coy held in reserve at Carnoy. The trenches were in a very bad condition being in some places waist deep in water and mud, the weather too was heavy rain. Over the next three days the Battalion experienced very heavy enemy shell fire, to which the British gun’s reply was not always effective. There were also 2 SOS’s from the battalion to their right but the enemy attacks did not develop and the Battalion was not needed. Casualties for the period 27-31 August were- Officers 2 wounded, ORs 1 KIA and 6 wounded. The Battalion was relieved during the night of 31 August by the 17 Bn Leinster Regiment, and went into a bivouac at Carnoy.
Guillemont. Falfemont Farm. 1 Bn Cheshire Regiment. 5 September 1916.
Falfemont Farm was a fortified farm buildings to the south of Guillemont ad was an important objective in the fighting to capture the village. The village was captured on 3 September but the attack on the Farm failed. On 4 September 15 Brigade was brought forward to make another attempt. Three battalions from the brigade would make the assault. On the left was 1 Bn Bedfordshire Rgt., in the centre the 1 Bn Cheshire’s and, on their right, 1 Bn Norfolk Regiment. The Cheshires would assault the farm., A & C Coys would lead with B & D Coys in support. The attack began at 3.10pm on 4 September. The Cheshires, sheltered by the spur of higher ground managed to reach the edges of the farm where they linked up with the Bedfordshire men but The Norfolks were held up by enfilading machine gun fire from German positions to the south. During the evening the Cheshires managed to occupy the Farm but at heavy cost. At 6.15am on 5 September a report was received that the battalion had consolodiated its positions. By about 10.30 the Norfolks to the right had pushed forward and captured their objective and for the reminder of the day things quietened down, except for periods of shelling. At 11.15am orders were received that the battalion was to be relieved by 7 Bn Irish Fusiliers and by about 2.00pm the battalion had withdrawn back to Citadel Camp, Casualties were – Officers 3 KIA and 7 wounded and ORs 450 KIA or wounded, a roll recorded battalion strength of 12 Officers and just over 300 ORs.
Guillemont. 1 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales). September 1916.
In August–September 1916, the 24 Division, including the 1 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment participated in the Somme Offensive. The 1 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment was engaged in the fighting around Guillemont and later the defence of Delville Wood, suffering a total of more than 350 casualties.
2 Men on the Gates were wounded at this time but it has not been possible to locate when or where.
Died of tetanus at Rouen likely wounded at Delville Wood and Guillemont – Private 28654 William Wilkinson, 1 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales), Died 7 September 1916, St Sever Cemetery, Rouen
Died of wounds as result of friendly fire at Delville Wood and Guillemont – Private 28601 George Parry, 1 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales), DoW 18 September 1916, Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension
Waterlot Farm. Guillemont. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 17 September 1916.
On 16 September, 6 Bn KSLI were brought up from Carnoy to occupy trenches to the east of Ginchy in front of Les Boeufs. The battalion was deployed by companies, B and C in the frontline, D in the support line and A coy in the reserve. Early in the afternoon of 17 September the enemy mounted a strong counter attack along the battalion’s front. A bombing party advanced on their left flank supported by infantry attacking from Les Boeufs. The enemy got close up to the front line before they were spotted and succeeded in driving back those of the garrison who were not killed or severly wounded. Lance Corporal E Lockley (KIA 27 October 1917, CWGC) managed to organise his men and a bombing battle began between the defenders and attackers. The Shropshire men out threw the Germans and managed to force them back. Several more attacks were made but theses too were driven off. Then followed very heavy shelling which lasted for about half an hour. Because of the heavy rain, the SOS rockets became wet and could not be used, so runners were sent back to the battalion HQ which sent up A company in support. By the time they arrived the enemy attack had subsided and they were not needed. At 4.00pm the British artillery retaliated and the enemy retired to Les Boeufs. During the evening the men worked on preparing assembly trenches for the forthcoming assault against Morval Ridge. Casualties for the day were ORs 20 KIA and 42 wounded.
Battle of Flers Courcelette. 1 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 17-19 September 1916.
Following the success at Guillemont the Somme Offensive continued the eastward advance through more fortified villages and ridge lines.
Private 19365 Arthur George Collins West Felton War Memorial
WAR DIARY 5 Bn KLR
WAR DIARY 6 Bn KSLI. Regimental History KSLI
WAR DIARY 1 Bn Cheshire Rgt Regimental History Cheshire Rgt.
WAR DIARY 1 Bn North Staffs Rgt.
B&O 1916. Somme. Guillemont. 5 Bn KLR. 6 Bn KSLI, 1Bn ChesRgt. 1 Bn N.Staffs. July-Sept 1916.