Published By John Davies
- Le Transloy. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 4-8 October 1916.
- Gueudecourt. 9 Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Rgt.) 7 October 1916.
- Le Transloy. 1 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 9-12 October 1916.
- Le Transloy. 20 Bn The King’s Liverpool Regiment. 22 October 1916.
Le Transloy village is situated on a low ridge where the Germans had retreated to and taken up positions barring the advance of British forces. The weather had turned, it was wet and freezing with the ground churned into chalky mud. As the Somme Offensive drew to a close it was important to capture and secure the ridge battle from which the campaign could continue in 1917.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view – Le Transloy, Gueudecourt and Les Bouefs
Le Transloy. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 4-8 October 1916.
The beginning of October had seen the 6 Bn KSLI in bivouac camp at Trones Wood. They were sent forward over 3 and 4 October relieving the 7 Bn KOYLI in the right hand sector of the Divisional front. They were in the line in front of Transloy – in the vicinity of the today’s Autoroute du Nord with their right against the D19 road. The wet weather, heavy rain and mud made conditions difficult. The enemy shelling was persistent. They were employed digging assembly trenches for the forthcoming attack against Transoy Ridge. On the 6 October they were relieved and moved back into the reserve lines in Serpentine, Times, Punch and Blighty trenches between Flers and Les Bouefs. They were again assigned as working and carrying parties digging assembly trenches. Casualties for this day were 1 OR KIA and 21 OR wounded two of which were self inflicted wounds. The attack against Transloy went over at 1.45pm on 7 October and was successful. That evening 200 men went forward to dig a new front line, casualties were 1 OR wounded. The battalion was withdrawn the next morning and went back to Carnoy and thence to Sandpits camp arriving at about 7.30pm.
Gueudecourt. 9 Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Rgt.) 7 October 1916.
The 9 Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regt.) had been in action during the earlier phases of the Somme Offensive during July and August. They had then gone up to Arras and then returned to the Somme in early October. On 6 October they had gone into the line at Flers. The weather was very wet resulting in much mud and discomfort. On the 7 October, during the assault on Le Transloy, the battalion was tasked wit capturing Bayonet Trench and then to advance and establish a line 500 yards ahead – Bayonet Trench was to the north west of Gueudecourt. Zero hour was timed for 1.45pm. The battalion lead the attack, the start line was a newly dug assembly trench in front of Gird Trench in the old German third line. Unbeknown to them they had the misfortune to be attacking when the enemy were in the middle of a relief meaning there were twice as many defenders holding the line. As soon as they went over the top heavy machine gun fire opened up on them coupled with rifle and shell fire. The 2 lead companies were mowed down before they even reached the first objective of Bayonet Trench. They retreated back to their start line with many stragglers crawling back at dusk. Casualties were – Officers 4 KIA, 1 wounded and 4 missing. ORs 21 KIA, 131 wounded and 161 missing – when they mustered later only 144 men answered the role, B coy was reduced to 12 men. The battalion was relieved that night and moved back to the support lines south west of Flers.
Le Transloy. 1 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 9-12 October 1916.
At the beginning of October 1 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry had moved to Citadel Camp near to the present day Albert Aerodrome. During this time there were several drafts of men joining the battalion, notably from the Denbighshire and Shropshire Yeomanry. On the 8 October the battalion moved up to Trones Wood and then into trenches south east of Gueudecourt in front of Le Transloy where they relieved the 2 Bn Yorks. and Lancs. The relief went well but the next morning, 9 October, at 4am the enemy began shelling their position and would continue all through the day, casualties were ORs 4 KIA, 11 wounded and 10 to field ambulance. The shelling continued through the next day with 12 ORs wounded. That evening they dug a communication trench up to the front line. On 11 October they moved back up into the support line and, at 1am the next morning moved again up into the forward positions for the assault on Le Transloy.
The Battalion was detailed to support the 2nd York and Lancaster Regiment. The object of this attack was to improve the position for further assaults on the Le Transloy. Zero hour was fixed for 2.5pm 12 October. The main operation was unsuccessful owing to hidden machine guns being left in advance of the artillery barrage; the battalion did accomplish its task of occupying the frontline when the leading battalion had advanced. That night the battalion was relieved by the 8 Bn Bedfordshire Regiment, the relief was completed by about 4.00am; the men moved back into reserve to the trenches North of Guinchy. The 13 October was spent resting and reorganising. A party of 20 volunteers from the C&D companies went up to the front line at dusk to collect the remainder of the wounded. This was successfully accomplished. Casualties were – Officers 4 wounded. ORs 57 wounded.
Le Transloy. 20 Bn The King’s Liverpool Regiment. 18-22 October 1916.
After the failure to capture Le Transloy the attack was recommenced on 18 October. The 20 Bn King’s Liverpool Regiment had been in the fighting during the first assault, they would now be in support. On 19 October they moved up to positions at Flers Support, Factory Corner and Gird Trench. Heavy rain made the trenches a quagmire; the men were wet through and laden down with equipment. The attack failed and as the lead battalions fell back the trenches became congested. Attempts to reorganise the troops were ineffective. By now the Germans, realising the attack had faltered, began intense small arms and artillery fire causing many casualties. For the next 2 days the battalion was engaged digging communication trenches, frequently under heavy fire. The battalion were relieved on 22 October and moved back to bivouacs near Mametz Wood and then to Halloy in the rear area for a rest period. Casualties for the period 17-23 October were Officers 4 wounded, ORs 16 KIA, 32 wounded.
War Diary 6 Bn KSLI &1 Bn KSLI. Regimental History KSLI.
War Diary 9 Bn Royal Fusiliers. 20Bn Kings Liverpool Regiment
B&O 1916. Somme. Le Transloy. 6 Bn KSLI. 9 Bn Royal Fusiliers. 1 Bn KSLI. 20 Bn King’s Liverpool. October 1916.