Thursday, 24 September 2015

24th Sept 1915, 1 Day before Battle


  • Things are not going well - wire not cut and the weather very bad and trenches full of mud.

24th September 1915 - 9th RWF War Diary

  • Brigade HQ moved to Advanced Report Centre. 
  • Very wet and muddy. Our artillery continued to bombard. 
  • We had been in trenches since Aug 30th and our total casualties up to the evening of the 24th had been 2 men killed and 11 wounded.  
  • On the evening of the 24th Lt Col Madocks and his battalion Hd Quarters moved up to A company mess in the firing line. 
  • He asked me (Major C Burrard) to meet him there at 4:15am the next morning.
  •  I retired for the night to a disused dug-out I found in one of the old support trenches. 
  • It was drizzling.

58th Brigade Head Quarters entry for the same day

  • The brigade headquarters moved to Advanced report centre, LE PLANTAN POST, (WELSH CHAPEL) at 4 pm . Headquarters 86 battalion RFA, (1 Indian 9Inf?) also ????? at the same place. 
  • A very wet day
  • Trenches very muddy and bad.
  • Bombardment continued   


Images - who's who

Major Burrard - He wrote the 9th RWF Diary.  He was damning in his after action report of why the battle went ahead. He was responsible for call off the attack.  He had no further promotion but survived the war

Lt Col. H J Madocks - Commander of the 9th RWF - He would be killed on the 25th Sept 1915


  1. Having read the war diaries at the PRO, I'm familiar with events but am delighted that you have also commemorated them. Would you allow me to include the photos of Major Burrard & Colonel Maddocks on my website? Two cousins in my extended Owen family fought at Festubert where one, William (Billy) Henry Kenrick Owen of the 9th Welsh Regiment, was killed (see The other, Vernon Elias Owen (see of the 9th (service) Battn. RWF, survived Festubert but was mortally wounded less than 6 weeks later. What a terrible way to lose so many young men with so much potential.

  2. Hi Moria,

    No problem, The reading of the diary is very sad. Major Burrard wrote it as he saw it. I have also a photo of all the officers but no names but i can recognise some of them. I can send you it if you want as well as some other stuff. I have been to the site where the battle was. not much to see now. my email is

  3. A belated 'Thank you' for that permission. I shall be adding the photos to my site & if any of your photos might include either of my previously mentioned kinsmen I would be most interested to include them. There are photos of both of them on my site, which should help with identification.