Location: AGHYL DERE
Several men wounded by machine gun in early morning. Day otherwise uneventual and spent in fatigues and improving bivouac. Digging parties provided during night to link up right and left sections of fire-trenches occupied by 1/5th Bedfordshire to whom the battalion is being held in reserve.
Bulk of missing transport now recovered. Much sickness reported amongst troops and numerous cases of dysentery sent to hospital. Big fatigue [party] provided to move Divisional Headquarters. At dusk, two lines of 2nd line trenches taken over by ‘B & C’ companies, ground having previously reconnoitred by Adjutant and 2nd in command (Capt. Windsor) and O.C Cos [officers commanding the two companies]. Later in evening orders received to occupy two posts held by Worcester Regt in neighbourhood of ”C” Co lines. Posts occupied by 50 men from A&C Cos respectively. Owing to shortage of men, digging started previous night discontinued.
No 9 Platoon of ‘C’ company suffers heavy loss from enemy shrapnel through undue exposure. Three killed and about twelve wounded including Captain Clark. New Brig Gen Mudge holds lengthy conference with battn. commanders and adjutants and explains policy.
Further cases of dysentery etc. sent to hospital. At dusk ‘C’ Coy lines altered and consolidated and parties of ‘A’ and ‘D’ consequently enabled to be withdrawn. Digging started on 29th continued.
Month’s diary signed off by Lt. L.Newton & Adjutant XI London, 03.09.15
Aghyl Dere was a long dry watercourse in which the Finsbury Rifles and the Bedfordshires dug in trenches to gain some sort of security from shells and snipers.
Click to see an image of D Company Headquarters. Part of Finsbury Vale. Over the Ridge to the right was the Main Aghyll Dere, in which were the front line trenches. The small mound in the left centre of the picture was a sniper’s post.
Lewthwaite A. T. Collection IWM (Q 48992)
Also see machine gun sergeant, Joe Guthrie’s interview for more information.