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Henry Tabor's 1916 War Diary

 September 1916



1916 Diary entry

Research & comments 2003


1 Fri

Lieut Turner came, brought a new fellow to relieve me, supposed to go back for a two week rest.  What kind of rest I wonder.

High Wood, four German attacks failed.


2 Sat

3 killed and about a dozen wounded by Fritz HE.  Too warm to be pleasant.

Why no letter from G, quite a long time now.

One of the dead:  William McClelland, Gunner 17361, 9th Siege Bty, RGA who died on Saturday 2 September 1916 , aged 29. []


3 Sun

Infantry went over today at about 12pm .  Never have I seen so many wounded come along.  Hundreds and hundreds of them.  They say we are doing well.

Somme front, Ginchy and all Guillemont, with many prisoners, captured by British.


4 Mon

Infantry have taken Leuze Wood and part of Ginchy.



5 Tue


East of Guillemont the Allied line is carried forward 1,500 yards; Allies hold most of Leuze Wood.

Allies occupy whole of enemy's second line on the Somme .


6 Wed

Came back to Morlancourt for a rest, no work only parades.

Plenty of rows already, Capt Rolfe especially.

At Morlancourt Aerodrome, home of 9 Squadron until 14th September.

Somme front: British gain Leuze Wood. Capture of Guillemont and advance to Ginchy completed.


7 Thu

Nothing much to do, had a mooch around Morlancourt this evening.



8 Fri

Ladie [?] and I went for a long walk this morning.  Went to Trones and Bernafay Woods this afternoon with Lieut Turner.

A Casualty Clearing Centre under fire at Trones Wood, August 1916


9 Sat

Went down to Jewels place all day.  Damned fine concert this evening.

Had photo taken at Etinehem this afternoon, ready next Wednesday 13/9/16.

Northern Somme : British capture Ginchy and make advance of 300 yards east of High Wood; north-east of Pozieres, take 600 yards of enemy trenches.

End of second phase of Battle of the Somme .


10 Sun

Went to Amiens at 4 am toady, jolly fine time, came back at 2 pm .  Cinema show tonight.

British line advanced a mile east of Guillemont, also 1,000 yards east of Ginchy.


11 Mon

Drill at 6:30 broke me up.  Went down to Bunny’s place, after I had had a flight this morning.

[from memorandum]  Gert’s birthday.

Gertie’s 20th birthday.


12 Tue

Did nothing out of the ordinary today, only missed drill parade.

Somme : French take south of Combles to the river, Hill 145, Marrieres Wood, all enemy trench system up to Bapaume-Peronne road, and many prisoners.


13 Wed

Went to Amiens this morning, rattling fine, and then in the evening made a trip to Bunny’s.  Lost ourselves coming back. 

Got the photos, rotten looking things.


14 Thu

Had to pack up this morning, went out with Turner.  Left me at 110th Siege, rotten.  Why didn’t he let me return to 9th Siege.  Awful spot here, just in front of Trones Wood.

Moved to Trones Wood to join 110th Siege Battery, RGA until 1st October.


15 Fri

Slept last night in signallers hut, transferred to my own shanty today.

Tanks:  A new era in warfare began on 15 September 1916 when the British used tanks for the first time. Only about 40 were available and many of these failed to reach the start line.  A few spectacular advances were made by these terrifying monsters, notably at Flers and Courcelette [2 miles north of Trones Wood where HTT was that day].

The tanks were as yet too slow, unreliable, and few in number to make a significant tactical-as distinct from a psychological-impact.


16 Sat

Feeling jolly queer with diarrhoea.

Somme near Courcelette the British front advanced 1,000 yards; " Danube " trench taken, and Mouquet farm (Thiepval) captured.


17 Sun

Lieut Colonel came, everything OK.  Turner came also, complained about instrument and how queer I felt.



18 Mon

Went to 9th Siege, got soaked through.  Dugout leaks like hell.



19 Tue

Charlie Gall came with new instrument also the mail, il fait bon.



20 Wed




21 Thu




22 Fri

Had shoot with aeroplane, guns not very accurate.

British advance to east of Courcelette.

Strong British aeroplane raid on important railway stations, much damage done.


23 Sat

Got shelled out of position, very new squeaks.  Had to shift back a bit, still found a very decent dugout.



24 Sun

Settled down fine, very comfortable.  Got station up in good time, but no calls.



25 Mon

Infantry made splendid progress today, tons of prisoners.  They took Thiepval, part of Morval , also all of Combles.

One of our fellows asked a German for a butter.  “Take the b_ lot if you like” was the reply.  “I’m fed up, your artillery is wicked.  You have only got to put your head over the top and you get a shell all to yourself.” [from page at back of diary dated 25/9/16 ]

Lesboeufs and Morval captured, Combles hemmed in by Allies.


26 Tue

Three calls on wireless today.  Grand day as regards weather.  Makes it very difficult on instrument.  Had a parcel and two letters from home.

Capture of Combles and Thiepval by Allies.  British storm Gueudecourt, and cavalry pursue Germans.  Quantity of stores and many prisoners taken.

French advance east of Combles and Rancourt, and enter wood of St. Pierre Vaast.


27 Wed

Terrible noise on instrument until 11:30 when it came on to rain, good job too.

A 'short-wave' crystal wireless receiver used by RFC ground stations in World War One


28 Thu

Feel darned queer today.



29 Fri

The same as yesterday, had thoughts of going sick.



30 Sat

Had a bit of mail today for a change.  Lieut Turner came, said he would take me back to see Doctor.






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Diary home © peter james tabor 2004  

This page was last updated on 23 February 2004.