Extracts from unit war diaries

This section of the Long, Long Trail will be helpful for anyone wishing to find out about the day to day activities of the army.

What is a war diary?

A war diary is one of the documents making up the operational record of a unit of the army. Units of infantry battalion / artillery brigade size were obliged to keep such a record once they were on active service overseas. They are the most detailed surviving contemporary record of the movements and activities of a unit.

Many of the diaries are handwritten, like this example.

More about war diaries

The war diaries on this site

There is no pattern to the diaries transcribed and presented on this site. They are snippets of interest that I have found while researching individual soldiers.
In the listings of units, those with extracts on site are marked with War diary extract on this site

Unit Dates covered Context
47 Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
20 May - 21 July 1915 The Brigade's first weeks in France and operations at Ypres
158 Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
April 1917 - May 1919 Summary of diary covering whole war
168 Brigade
Royal Field Artillery
1 May - 30 June 1916 The build up to the attack on the Somme
150 Heavy Battery
Royal Garrison Artillery
9 - 27 April 1918 The heavies in action in the Battle of the Lys
118 Siege Battery
Royal Garrison Artillery
27 September - 1 October 1917 In action at Zillebeke during Third Battle of Ypres
283 Siege Battery
Royal Garrison Artillery
14 November 1916 onward A complete history derived from battery and brigade diaries
1st Battalion
King's (Liverpool Regiment)
1 January - 3 June 1916 Six months of toil without being in a large scale action
1st Battalion
South Wales Borderers
9 September - 2 October 1914 An officer's personal notes from the Battle of the Aisne
1st Battalion
East Yorkshire Regiment
25 June - 4 July 1916 In action at Fricourt during the Battles of the Somme 1916
4th Battalion
Grenadier Guards
11 - 14 April 1918 Not a war diary but a rare narrative carried by a soldier of the battalion in action during the Battles of the Lys
2/4th Battalion
Ox & Bucks Light Infantry
18 - 23 August 1917 In action at St Julien during Third Battle of Ypres
7th Battalion
Royal Irish Rifles
5 - 18 August 1917 In action at Frezenberg during the Third Battle of Ypres
10th Battalion
East Yorkshire Regiment
10 - 13 April 1918 In action at Merris during the Battles of the Lys
11th Battalion
Somerset Light Infantry
  A summary of the battalion's history
13th Battalion
Royal Sussex Regiment
5 March - 30 June 1916 Familiarisation with trench warfare and first major attack
15th Battalion
Sherwood Foresters
1 January 1917 - April 1919 A battalion at war
33rd Battalion
London Regiment
1 July - 15 October 1918 A battalion at war
2/2nd Battalion
London Regiment
21 March 1918 The defence of Travecy Keep

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