Published By John Davies
St. Eloi. 7 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. May 1916.
Ridge Wood and Bois Carre.
At the beginning of May 1916 the 7 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry relieved the 8 Bn East Yorkshire Regiment in brigade reserve at dug outs in Ridge Wood near to St Eloi. They spent their time on nightly working parties in the support lines and in communication trenches. The battalion casualties for this tour were 3 ORs killed and 11 wounded. (EASTHOPE). They were relieved on the night of 4 May by 1 Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers and moved back to billets at La Clytte – about 10 miles back from the front and where the Brigade HQ was sited. From here they were employed on more working parties. The village was relatively safe and comfortable but the way up to the front was difficult and exposed to shell fire. Four days later, on the night of 8 May, they relieved the 8 Bn EYR in trenches N & O in the front line. During the four day tour the enemy ‘used trench mortars very freely’ (WD) with many of the shells falling on Bois Carre and the communication trenches. Casualties for this tour were officers 1 wounded and one DoW (Second Lieutenant WL Bolt (CWGC) ORs 7 KIA, 21 wounded. (THOMAS).
This routine continued for the rest of the month – four day tours in the lines in dugouts at Ridge Wood and in the line in front of Bois Carre, and four day rests with working parties at la Clytte. The time was quieter – between 18 and 27 casualties were 1 OR KIA and 7 wounded, including one man who was ‘accidentally wounded’. At the end of the month the battalion went into the Corps reserves and moved back to billets in farms at Berthen were they regrouped and requipped and had a few days rest.
GOOGLE MAPS – Satellite view, centres on Bois Carre with Ridge Wood to the north west.
GOOGLE STREET VIEW viewpoint is on approximate position of British Front lines looking southward – the wood in the centre of the picture is Bois Carre.
References and Sources WAR DIARY 7 Bn KSLI. Regimental History KSLI.
B&O 1916. Ypres. St. Eloi. 7 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. May 1916.