1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment. 1916.

Below is the transcription of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment January to December 1916 covering their time in Egypt. At this time, the 1/9th Manchesters were part of the 126th Infantry Brigade in the 42nd Division.

The PDF version is the transcription is available to download here.

January 1916

Jan 1st – 13th, MUDROS
Battalion spent this period in elementary training, a course of instruction for junior Officers and N.C.O.s was started.

Jan 12th
Orders received to embark on H.M.T. ARCADIAN.

Jan 14th
HQs and 300 men embark on H.M.T. ARCADIAN.

Jan 15th
The Battalion sails for Alexandria.

Jan 17th
The Battalion arrives at Alexandria.

Jan 18th
The Battalion disembarks and entrains for Cairo. Trams are provided from Cairo Station to MENA CAMP.

Jan 24th
Orders received to move to TEL-EL-KEBIR, an advance party of 1 Officer and 54 other ranks.

Jan 26th
The Battalion moves to TEL-EL-KEBIR.

Jan 28th
Orders received to move to SHALLUFA.

Jan 29th
The Battalion, less transport and transport personnel, moves to SHALLUFA and on arrival sends a party of 6 Officers and 180 other ranks as outposts for the night.

Jan 30th
The day is spent in moving baggage across the SUEZ CANAL to camp.

February 1916

Feb 1st – 7th
Nothing to record.

Feb 8th
Lt. Col. D. H. WADE rejoins from England. A draft of 2 Officers, 2/Lt. SIDEBOTHAM and HENTHORNE, and a draft of 98 other ranks arrives from England. 25 other ranks from 42nd Division Base Details Camp.

Feb 9th
Nothing to record.

Feb 10th
Battalion left SHALLUFA for KABRIT less transport, 1 Officer and 50 other ranks to KABRIT SOUTH, the remainder to KABRIT NORTH.

Feb 11th – 22nd
Battalion engaged in putting the post into a state of defence.

Feb 23rd
One Company moves out 3 ½ miles to form a small post called BURNLEY.

Feb 24th
Information received that Capt. O. J. SUTTON and 2/Lieut. E. COOKE awarded the Military Cross, and L/Cpl. PEARSON and Cpl. PICKFORD the D.C.M.

Feb 24th – 29th
Work continued on defences of KABRIT.

March 1916

Mar 1st – 2nd
Work continued on defences of KABRIT.

Mar 3rd
Cards of congratulation received from Major-General Commanding 42nd Division, for good work done in Gallipoli.

341        Sgt. LEE J.
2146      Cpl. PLATT A.
728        L/Cpl. GREEN A.
2825      Pte. SMITH A.
2231      Pte. SHEEKEY W.
2067      Pte. SWINDELLS J. S.

Capt. F. W. KERSHAW rejoins Battalion from Hospital.

Mar 3rd – 17th
Batttalion on outpost duty at KABRIT and engaged in work on defences.

2/Lieut. S RUTTENAU rejoins Battalion from England.

2/Lieut. B. H. BRISTER admitted to Hospital.

Mar 18th
Draft of undermentioned Officers arrive to the Battalion:

2/Lieut. J. H. CLARKE
2/Lieut. A. M. LECKLER
2/Lieut. L. O. HARD
2/Lieut. B. S. J. BOND-ANDREW
2/Lieut. B. FREEDMAN
2/Lieut. M. J. DUNLOP
2/Lieut. E. K P. FUGE

Mar 19th – 22nd
Work on KABRIT defences continued.

Mar 23rd
Lieut. G. W. HANDFORTH rejoined battalion from England.

Mar 24th
Draft of 1 Officer (2/Lt. W. G. GREENWOOD) and 56 other ranks arrive to Battalion from England.

Mar 25th – 29th
Work on KABRIT defences continued.

Mar 30th
2 Officers, 1/Lieut. SIDEBOTTOM and 2/Lieut. HENTHORNE also 52 other ranks transferred to “A” and “B” Stoke Gun Batteries.

April 1916

Apr 1st
Battalion moved from KABRIT to SUEZ having been relieved by 9th Hants. (T.F.).

Apr 1st – 8th
Major A. E. FAWENS [FAWCUS] 1/7th Manchester Regiment taken on the strength and posted as 2nd in command.

Apr 9th – 13th
Battalion training continued, also Brigade and Divisional Training and Musketry and Grenading Training commenced.

Apr 14th
Draft from England. 60 other ranks from 3rd Battalion Border regiment arrive to the Battalion.

Apr 15th – 20th
Battalion engages in Brigade Divisional Training.

Apr 21st
Draft to Battalion from England. 99 W. O., N.C.O.s and men.

Apr 22nd – 30th
Battalion, Brigade and Divisional Training continued.

Apr 25th
Accident through bomb exploding. 2 men killed and 11 wounded, 1 subsequently dying from wounds.

May 1916

May 1st
2nd Lieut. BROADBENT rejoined from England. Lieut. J. KNOWLES attached from 11th battalion Yorks & Lancs Regiment transferred to Base Depot and struck off strength.

May 1st – 8th
Training continued.

May 9th
2nd Lieut. HARD, L. O. 14th Manchester Regiment rejoined Battalion.

May 9th – 20th
Lieut. Col. D. H. WADE takes over temporary command 126th Brigade from 18-5-1916.

Capt. F. WOODHOUSE takes over temporary command of Battalion from 18-5-1916. Major A. E. F. FAWENS [FAWCUS] on leave.

1 Officer, Lt. T. G. HYDE and 66 other ranks (Draft arrive to Battalion from England 19th May).

May 20th – 31st
Training continued. Training during month included Battalion, Brigade and Divisional Musketry, Grenading and route marching.

Several Officers, N.C.O. s and men attended courses of instruction at CAIRO.

Draft of 24 other ranks arrived to battalion from England, 22nd.

June 1916

June 1st – 5th
Battalion occupied in training, including Brigade and Divisional Training.

2/Lieut. C. E. COOKE joins Battalion from England on 3/6/16. 2/Lieut. H. E. BUTTERWORTH joins Battalion from England on 4/6/16.

June 6th
Nothing to record.

June 7th – 16th
Lieut. HYDE and 5 other ranks to Courses of Instruction at ZEITOUN. Battalion still occupied in training and men employed on hutting.

June 17th
Lieut. HYDE and 5 other ranks rejoin from Courses of Instruction at ZEITOUN.

2/Lieut. W. J. ABLITT attached 126th Infantry Brigade.

2/Lieut. G. R. BERNARD granted leave to England.

June 18th – 19th
Battalion still engaged in training. 2/Lieut. FIELDING admitted to Hospital, sick. Lieut. T. G. HYDE appointed Quarter Master.

June 20th – 21st
Battalion moved (along with rest of Brigade) to FERDAN and occupied camp on W. bank of SUEZ CANAL. Moved across on evening of 21st to Camp on E. Bank of Canal (FERDAN BRIDGEHEAD) Colonel and Company Commanders proceeded to FERDAN RAILHEAD.

June 22nd
Moved from FERDAN BRIDGEHEAD to ABU URUQ and took over defences from 9th West Yorks. 1 section of 126th Brigade Machine Gun Company attached.

June 23rd – 30th
Battalion engaged in Outpost Duty at ABU URUQ, also digging and wiring on defensive works scheme.

Major and Quarter Master M. H. CONNERY admitted to Hospital, sick 23.6.16.  126th Brigade Stokes T. M. Battery attached under 2/Lt. T. AINSWORTH. Draft of 110 other ranks arrive to Battalion from England.

July 1916

Jul 1st – 23rd
During this period, a considerable amount of work on the defences at ABU URUQ, chiefly wiring and the maintenance and improvement of existing trenches. Range marks were placed in front of all works and reserves of food, water, S.A.A. and Bombs in works completed. Night Outposts and Day Observation Posts were maintained and Night Patrols sent out to meet Patrols from 125th Brigade at BALLY BUNION. Mounted Officers went out in turn with Patrols of D.L.O.Y. Parties were marched down to Canal daily for bathing. Bombing instruction was continued. Almost all N.C.O.s and men received elementary training and Platoon teams received more advanced instruction. Hon Maj. and Quarter Master CONNERY, M. H. invalided Home 7th July, 1916.  Major NOWELL, R. B. joined Battalion from England and posted as 2nd in command 20th July, 1916.

Jul 24th – 25th
Battalion relieved at ABU URUQ by Dismounted squadron of Australian Light Horse and march to FERDAN where Camp was pitched on W. Bank of Canal.

Jul 26th
Battalion was marched from EL FERDAN at 16:00. Arrived BALLAH 08:00, bivouaced on E. Bank of Canal during day.  March returned at 00:15 on night of 26/27. Reached HILL 40, KANTARA about 06:30 and pitched Camp.

Jul 27th
Party of 21 W.O.s, N.C.O.s and men rejoined Battalion from Base. Leave to England continued.

Jul 31st
Battalion engaged in equipping on special establishment for Mobile Column. Also training and Rank Marching.

August 1916

Aug 1st – 3rd
Nothing to report.

Aug 4th
Party of 1 Officer (2/Lt. BOND-ANDREWS) and 75 men to Composite battalion at KANTARA.

Battalion moved to GILBAN by march route. Battalion, less C and D Companies, advance Guard to Brigade.

C and D Companies, under Major NOWELL, Right Flank Guard. A and B Companies Night Outposts at GILBAN on night of 4/5th August. Transport and men unfit to march left behind at HILL 40.

Aug 5th – 6th
Nothing to record.

Aug 7th
2 Officers and 6 men detailed as Guards to 426 Turkish Prisoners captured near KATIA and arriving at DUEDDAR about 20:00.

Aug 8th
1 Officer (2/Lt. FREEDMAN) and 30 men proceeded with Turkish Prisoners to KANTARA to rail and rejoined same evening. Battalion proceeded by rail to PELUSIUM and went into Camp N. of railway line.

Aug 9th
Battalion (along with 1/4th E. Lancs Regiment) marched to Mt. ROYSTON and searched battlefield. A quantity of Turkish arms equipment, S.A.A. etc. being collected and a few enemy dead buried.

Aug 10th
Battalion found outposts at PELUSIUM. Outpost Company, D Company.

Aug 11th – 18th
Battalion engaged in training and Route Marching. 2/Lieut. G. E. RODNELL (3/4th E. Kent Regiment) and 2/Lieut. E. E. TOWLER (10th South Lancs Regiment) posted to Battalion for duty from 13/8/16.

Battalion took over outposts at PELUSIUM for 48 hours from 07:00 on 18th. Relieved by 1/4th East Lancs Regiment on the 20th.

Aug 19th – 31st
During this period the Battalion was engaged in training and route marching (including Brigade Training) and Night Operations with occasional Route Marches to seashore for bathing. Camel loading was practiced and tents were covered with scrub to conceal them from hostile aircraft.

Battalion received first dose of inoculation against cholera on the 20th and second dose on the 29th.  Part II orders contained the following entries:

Qtr. Mr. & Hon Major CONNERY                – awarded Military Cross
No 1792               L/Cpl. DAVIES A.               – awarded D.C.M.
No 1623               Sgt. GREENHALGH J.     – awarded D.C.M.
No 1083               Pte. LITTLEFORD S.       – awarded D.C.M.

September 1916

Sep 1st – 8th
Battalion engaged in training at PELUSIUM.

Sept 9th
Battalion marched to ROMANI and bivouaced for the night.

Sep 10th
Battalion marched to ER RABAH. C Company Capt. SUTTON advance guard to Division. Arrived at ER RABAH about 18:00 and bivouaced.

On morning of 11th march was resumed to OGHRATINA which was reached about 06:00, when Battalion took up No 1 Section of line extending from W. end of OGHRATINA RIDGE through HILL E. and HILL D. covered by outposts line of 1/10th Manchester Regiment.

Sep 11th – 13th
Battalion engaged in entrenchment of defensive line Outposts taken over from 1/10th Manchester Regiment on the 13th.

Sep 14th
Nothing to record.

Sep 15th
Capt. F. WOODHOUSE proceeded to BASE en route for England. 2/Lieut. A. N. LECKLER and 2/Lieut. R. J. N. DALE attached on probation to R.F.C. ABOUKIR for instruction in aviation.

Sep 16th
Battalion still engaged in entrenchment of line and providing outposts. 2/Lieut. H. G. SHATWELL takes over command and pay of D Company.

Sep 17th
1/4th Battalion East Lancs Regiment took over HILL D. Lieut. D. B. STEPHENSON rejoins Battalion from Hospital.

Sep 18th – 20th
Nothing of importance to record.

Sep 21st
Battalion relieved by 1/8th Battalion Manchester Regiment and moved into Reserve at NEGILIAT. C and D Companies, under Major NOWELL, sent to dig trenches on position S. of OGHRATINA RIDGE.

Sept 22nd – 23rd
Battalion engaged in training.

Sep 24th
C and D Companies rejoin Battalion.

Sep 25th – 30th
During this period Battalion was engaged in training, including Field Firing. Divisional Guards provided every 3 days. Course of Instruction at ZEITOUN. Party of 36 other ranks granted furlough to England. Daily Part II Orders contained the following:
No 2231 Pte. SHEEKEY awarded Silver Medal

Qtr. Mr. Hon. Major M. H. CONNERY      )
No. 1623 Sgt. J. GREENHALGH                ) Mentioned in despatches for
No. 1792 Cpl. A. DAVIES                               ) distinguished & gallant
No. 1083 Pte. S. LITTLEFORD                  ) conduct.

October 1916

Oct 1st
Battalion finding Divisional Duties at NEGILIAT.

Oct 2nd
Battalion took over No. 4 (Left) Sector of OGHRATINA Defences from 1/7th Manchester Regiment. C Company Outpost Company. A and B in defence line and D in reserve at Battalion H.Q.

Oct 3rd
Nothing to record.

Oct 4th
Party of 6 Officers and 167 other ranks to Change of Air Camp SIDI BISAR ALEXANDRIA. 2/Lt. BEARD F. granted five weeks leave to England left for Basr.

Oct 5th
2/Lt. HAND, L. O. proceeded to Basr en route for England for transfer to Royal Flying Corps.

Oct 6th – 8th
Nothing to record.

Oct 9th
Battalion moved to No. 1 (Right) Sector of OGHRATINA Defences. “B” Company on HILL E., “C” Company on OGHRATINA RIDGE, “A” Company in reserve, “D” Company at SIDI BISHR Change of Air Camp.

Oct 10th
2/Lt. GRAY A. granted 5 weeks leave to England. Left for Basr.

Oct 11th
Nothing to record.

Oct 12th
Orders received for concentration of 126th Brigade near KILO 60, NEGILIAT.

Oct 13th
Battalion moved into Bivouac near KILO 60. “B” Company Outpost Company. No. 1 Section. New Outpost Line. Party of 6 Officers and 162 other ranks rejoined from SIDI BISHR Change of Air Camp.

Oct 14th
Nothing to report.

Oct 15th
Battalion (less Outpost Company) engaged in Field Firing on range N. of Railway.

Oct 16th
Route March from S.E. from NEGILIAT.

Oct 17th
Companies engaged in training.

Oct 18th
Battalion practiced in attack.

Oct 19th
Nothing to report.

Oct 20th
Battalion Route March. Detachment of D.L.O.Y. accompanied.

Oct 21st – 22nd
“D” Company relieved “B” Company (Outpost Company). Three Officers and 68 other ranks to SIDI BISHR. Change of Air Camp. Lt. STEPHENSON and 2/Lt. COOKE C.E., rejoined from ZEITOUN School of Instruction.

Oct 23rd
“A”, “B” and “C” Companies Field Firing. Major NOWELL took over temporary command of Battalion vice Lt-Col. WADE on leave.

Oct 24th
Outpost Line taken over at 17:00 by a Company of East Lancs. “D” Company withdrawn to Battalion H.Q.

Oct 25th
Battalion marched along with 1/10th Manchester Regiment to BIR-EL-ABD. Battalion on S. side of Railway with two platoons. “A” Company as R. Flank Guard. Halt for an hour, after which march was resumed and BIR-EL-ABD reached without incident, except that column halted and scattered for about 20 minutes owing to enemy aeroplane flying overhead.  Battalion bivouaced N. of Railway at EL ABD for night of 25th/26th.

2/Lt. NAYLOR, S.  joined Battalion from England.

Oct 26th
Orders received from Lt. Col. G. W. ROBINSON to take over R. Sector (S. of Railway) of EL ABD Defensive Line tomorrow. Lt. Col. D. H. WADE rejoined from leave. Major R. B. NOWELL relinquished temporary command of Battalion.

Oct 27th
Battalion, along with 1 section Brigade Machine Gun Company, took over R. Sector of EL ABD Defence Line, ground being vacated by various Units of 52nd Division, which had previously occupied it. “D” Company on right (Works 1-2-3). “B” Company centre (Works 4-5). “C” Company Left (Works 6-7). “A” Company in reserve.

Digging on works commenced.

Oct 28th
Two Officers and 18 other ranks left for School of Instruction ZEITOUN. 2/Lt. NAYLOR, S. admitted to Hospital.

Oct 29th
Admitted to Hospital.

Oct 30th

C. in C. visited L. of C. Post at EL ABD but did not go round the lines S. of the Railway.

Oct 31st, ABD

Turkish aeroplane flew over and dropped 4 bombs. Aeroplane again came over and dropped 4 bombs.

3 Officers and 65 other ranks rejoined from Change of Air Camp, SIDI BISHR. Lt. Col. WADE took over as L. of C. Post Defence Commander, vice Lt.-Col. G. W. ROBINSON 1/10th Manchester Regiment to hospital.

Guard of 1 N.C.O. and 6 men provided to escort party of 15 men and 48 women and children (captured Bedouins) to KANTARA.

November 1916

Nov 1st – 2nd, ABD
Battalion in Right Sector of Defensive Line at ABD. “B”, “C” and “D” Companies relieved by 1/6th Manchester Regiment. Battalion concentrated at Battalion H.Q.

Nov 3rd
Battalion engaged in training.

Nov 4th
1 Officer (2/Lt. CLARKE) and 12 other ranks to Course of Instruction at No. 3 Section Grenade School, KANTARA.

Nov 5th – 6th
2/Lt. DEMEL left Battalion for England for transfer to Royal Flying Corps.

Route March S. W. from ABD.

Nov 7th
2/Lt. AINSWORTH left base for furlough to England.

Nov 8th
Lieut. (Temp) H. H. KNIGHT and 69 other ranks (draft from England) arrived to Battalion.

Nov 9th
Battalion marched to KILO 60 (SALMANA) with remainder of Brigade.

“B” Company Advanced Guard (Capt. KERSHAW) arrived SALMANA.  Enemy aeroplane passed over, flying West. Bivouaced for night 9/10th E. of Railway.

Nov 10th
Marched resumed for K.100 (ABU TILUL).  2 platoons “D” Company (Lt. ROBINSON) rearguard to Brigade.

Nov 10th, ABU TILUL
Arrived K.100. Battalion (covered by outpost line of 1/10th Manchester Regiment), took up line D.E.F. (Ref. 1/123, 0 0 Map, SABKET-EL-BARDAWIL). “A” Company on right, “B” Company in centre (HILL E.) and “C” Company on left (HILL F.). “D” Company in reserve.

Nov 11th
Battalion took over outposts on its own front from 1/10th Manchester Regiment.

Nov 12th
Entrenchment of position proceeded with. One section 126th Brigade Machine Gun Company attached to Battalion.

Nov 13th
Section Commander (Maj. Gen. SIR W. DOUGLAS) visited line occupied by Battalion.

Nov 14th – 16th
Nothing to record.

Nov 17th
Rifle and Lewis Gun practice from Trenches. 2/Lt. F. BEARD rejoins from furlough to England. 2/Lt. DALE, R. J. N. reposted to Battalion from Royal Flying Corps, (admitted Hospital from R.F.C.).

Nov 18th
Nothing to record.

Nov 20th
36 other ranks rejoined from Composite Battalion.

Nov 21st
Serge clothing taken into wear. Route march of men rejoining from Composite Battalion.

Nov 22nd
Major T. E. HOWORTH rejoins from England. By order of 126th B.O.E. he is detailed for duty with 1/5th East Lancs Regiment. 2/Lt. O. S. NEEDHAM rejoins from ZEITOUN.

Nov 23rd
2 Officers (2/Lt. ROBINSON, B. F. and 2/Lt. CLARKE, J. H.) and 8 other ranks to Courses of Instruction at ZEITOUN.

Nov 24th
Battalion moves to MAZAR and takes up defensive position, its right resting on left of 1/5th East Lancs Regiment and with 1/10th Manchester Regiment on its left, Line is covered by Outposts provided by “C” Company. “A” Company is on right of Battalion Sector, “B” Company in centre and “D” Company on left.

Nov 25th – 27th
Nothing to record.

Nov 28th
100 N.C.O.s and men sent for disinfection by steam disinfector at MAZAR station.

Nov 29th
200 N.C.O.s and men sent for disinfection.

Nov 30th
200 N.C.O.s and men sent for disinfection. Companies in defence line take over their own outposts. “C” Company withdraws into local reserve at Battalion H.Q.

December 1916

Dec 1st, MAZAR
Battalion still occupying defensive positions N. of railway.

Dec 2nd – 3rd
Nothing to record.

Dec 4th
2/Lt. W. G. GREENWOOD attached to Canal Transport Corps for Course of Instruction.

Dec 5th – 6th
Nothing to record.

2/Lt. W. W. QUINNEY, 10th Lancs Fusiliers, and 2/Lt. J. CARREY, 15th King’s Liverpool Regiment, posted to the Battalion.

Dec 8th – 9th
Nothing to record.

Dec 10th
New identity discs (green) received and issued to all ranks.

Dec 11th
New flashes issued to all ranks, to be worn on shoulders of S.D. Jackets. Major T. E. HOWORTH rejoins from 1/5th East Lancs Regiment and takes over command of “C” Company vice T. Capt. O. J. SUTTON.

Battalion Route March, direction – bearing of 7 degrees from Battalion H.Q. Firing practice for Reserve Lewis Gunners from a point due N. of FLAG HILL.

Dec 12th
“C” Company relieved “B” Company in Defense Line. “B” Company moved into local reserve at Battalion H.Q. 2/Lt. R. J. N. DALE rejoined from Royal Flying Corps.

Dec 13th
Nothing to record.

Dec 14th
Battalion took part in tactical exercise in which 42nd and 52nd Divisions and ANZAC MTD DIVN were engaged. Defensive line taken over by 10th Manchesters on 13-12-16 and held by that unit until re-occupied by Battalion on 14-12-16 on conclusion of operations.

Dec 15th
Nothing to record.

Dec 16th
Brigade order received from Battalion to move into Divisional Reserve at point J.5 – 3.4 on reorganization of MAZAR defences. Battalion concentrated at Battalion H.Q. and moved to pt J.5 – 3.4 move being completed by 17:00.

Dec 17th

Orders for move effected yesterday, cancelled. Battalion moved back to position vacated on 16.12.16 and reoccupied defensive line. Distribution as before, viz. “A” Company on Right, “C” in Centre and “D” on Left (each Company finding its own outposts). “B” Company in reserve at Battalion H.Q. Move completed by 12:00.

Dec 18th
2/Lt. ROBINSON, B. F. and 2/Lt. CLARKE, J. H. and 6 other ranks rejoined Battalion from ZEITOUN School of Instruction.

Dec 19th
Capt. D. HOW 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, joined Battalion.

Dec 20th
Battalion concentrated at Battalion H.Q. for move to KILO 128 along with all other units of Division. Bivouac at KILO 128 for night of 20/21st.

Dec 21st, KILO 128
Orders received to return to MAZAR. 50 camels handed over to Camel Transport Corps. March to MAZAR. Arrived MAZAR and went into bivouac N. of 126th Brigade H.Q. Battalion part of Divisional Reserve.

Dec 22nd – 31st
Nothing to record.