War Diaries Talk

I Glos Regt at 1st Ypres

  • HeatherC by HeatherC moderator

    1 Glos as part of 1st Division were at 1st Ypres in late 1914. During October and November 1914 they had a torrid time and the Battalion was effectively destroyed several times over, with only 2 Company level officers going through the whole thing unscathed. The war diary for most of November was lost and what was written is brief notes on paper that has clearly been torn out of a notebook.

    Thus it appears from the page attached that shortly after the war an attempt was made to set down the details of the events during the First Battle of Ypres as they involved the Battalion. The resulting report has been appended to the end of the 1914 War Diary and it makes absolutely compelling (and horrifying) reading.

    On one occasion the Battalion is down to about 300 all ranks, a draft of 200 arrives and "no record of this draft was kept as they had to be sent straight into combat". Two days later the diary records that 213 men answered roll call. The difficulty in keeping the diary and in keeping accurate records is described in the attached page, which is the introductory page to the report itself.

    Truly you can see from this report why it is said that after 1914 the Regular Army had ceased to exist.

    One nice thing about the report is that it does give quite a lot of detail of the specific actions of ORs for which they received awards and commendations, which is not always the case.