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|11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment|
The 11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment was raised in Worcester in September 1914 as part of the Third New Army and as such the 11th Battalion was in the 78th Brigade of the 26th Division.
78th Brigade was made up of the following battalions:
9th Battalion Gloustershire Regiment
11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
7th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
7th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment
The 11th Worcestershire was commanded by. Colonel R. M. Rainev-Robinson, formerly of the Indian Army, with 2/Lt. T. J. Edwards as Adjutant. The latter was actually the first officer of the Battalion.
11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment group at Camp at Fovant, Wiltshire (June 1915)
On 13th November 1914 the 11th Worcestershire were quartered in Barbourne and the officers and men were billeted in private houses. Battalion Headquarters were established at Barbourne College (now Gheluvelt Park). Early in the following April 1915, two companies moved to Norton Barracks, and at the end of that month the Battalion left Worcester and moved to camp at Fovant in Wiltshire. In July 1915 the Battalion moved again to Long-bridge Deverill, near the other units of the 26th Division.
|At the beginning of September
1915 it was decided to strengthen the Third Army in Picardy by the addition of a third Army Corps, which should take over a new sector of the line, on the right of that already held.
That new (XIIth) Corps was to be built up of one regular Division (the 27th) and two new Divisions from home, the 22nd and 26th. Included in the latter (26th) Division was the new 11th Battalion of the
The 11th Worcestershire, with the other Battalions of the 78th Brigade, left its Wiltshire training ground at Longbridge Deverile on the 21st September 1915 , entrained at Warminster for Southampton, and thence crossed to Boulogne.
After a short stay in the rest camp at Ostrohove, the 11th Worcestershire were carried by troop trains to Saleux, near Amiens, whence they marched to billets at Foudrinoy.
An advanced party, under the 2nd-in-Command Lieut.-Col. W. F. Barker, C.M.G., D.S.O. , had crossed to Le Havre on the night of the 19th/20th September 1915 and met the Battalion at Foudrinoy.
Two days later the Battalion marched by Ferrieres to Pont de Metz and thence, with the other battalions of the 78th Brigade tramped forward through Amiens and Longueau, along the banks of the River Somme, through Aubigny to billets at Fouilloy.
After four days of training the 78thBrigade was split up for instruction in trench-warfare, and the 11th Worcestershire marched forward on September 29th along the Somme valley through Corbie and Vaux-sur-Somme to Sailly-Laurette to be attached to the 1st D.C.L.I. That battalion and the 5th Cheshire aided in the instruction of the platoons of the 11th Worcestershire during the ensuing weeks.
The following officers proceeded overseas with the Battalion :- Colonel R. M. Rainey-Robinson. C.B., Lieut.-Col. W. F. Barker, C.M.G., D.S.O. (2nd-in-command), Capt. and Adjt. T. J. Edwards, Lieut. and Qmr. A. Ham, Lieut. J. H. Gurney (M.G.O.), Lieut. 0. M. D. Bell (T.O.), Lieut. J. P. Lusk, R.A.M.C., Rev. Looby, C.F.
“A” Coy. - Capt. J. A. Welby. Capt. P. A. Leicester, Lieut. A. J. B. Hudson, 2/Lts. J. North, C. E. Turner,
E. J. L. Warlow.
“B” Coy. - Major W. W. Hudson, Capt. J. G. Reid, Lieut. W. Jones, 2/Lts. F. L. H. Fox, A. B. R. Leech,
“C” Coy. - Capt. H. Dippie, Lieut. A. R. Cooper, 2/Lts. D. Brand, H. R. Vance, H. M. Edwards.
“D” Coy. - Capt. A. E. J. Legge. Capt. B. Barton, Lieut. C. Bishop, 2/Lts. H. Williams, A. E. Gibbs, J. R. T. Marsham.
Captain and Adjutant T. J. Edwards 2/Lieut. H. Melville Edwards ("C" Coy)
(later Major in the 11th Battalion) (later became Lieut.-Colonel of the 11th)
On the banks of the River Somme the companies and platoons of the 11th Worcestershire, then training with the 1st D.C.L.I. and the 5th Cheshire at Suzanne and Maricourt, were but little affected by the repercussion of Battle of the Loos offensive. There was some sharp shelling, which caused a few casualties (2/Lieut. J. R. T. Marsham and 3 men wounded) but there was no serious fighting.
On the 8th October 1915 the initial training of the 11th Worcestershire was completed, and the companies reassembled at Sailly Laurette; whence on the following day the Battalion marched back to Fouilloy and rejoined the 78th Brigade. Ten days of training followed, after which the Battalion was detached for entrenching work on a reserve line of trenches. For that work they marched on the 18th October to Framerville and Vauvillers; but two days later the Battalion was suddenly recalled to Fouilloy. It was learnt that plans had changed, and that the French would again take over all trenches and billets south of the Somme. The reason for that change of plan was rightly believed to be the impending departure of British troops to Salonika.
Events in the Near East were causing many changes on the Western Front. General Monro had already been sent to the Levant (15th October 1915) and General Allenby commanded the Third Army (posted 20th October 1915) in his stead; now it had been decided that the XIIth Corps should move from France to Macedonia. At first only the 22nd and 27th Divisions were placed under orders, but on the 30th October 1915 came a message from G.H.Q. that the 26th Division also would move to the new theatre of war.
The 11th Worcestershire with the rest of the 78th Brigade had moved on the 22nd October 1915, from Fouilloy to new billets. Marching through Corbie, Pont Noyelles, Querrieu, Allouville and Coisy the Worcestershire had settled into billets at Vaux-en-Amienois (about 5 miles north of Amiens). There Battalion training had been resumed until, on the evening of November 1st, urgent messages were received from Brigade Headquarters as to whether the Battalion was complete in iron rations, ammunition and transport. “These inquiries,” daily records the Battalion Diary, “led us to believe that a move would shortly take place.” On the next day a message was received ordering all smoke-helmets and respirators to be handed in. “This,” recorded the War Diary, “confirmed the idea that the Battalion would not go into the trenches again. . . . .
Two days later (3rd November 1915) came definite news that the 26th Division was under orders for Serbia. Thence forward all was a bustle of preparation. “A supply of publications dealing with the Balkan States” was received, the Battalions transport horses were exchanged for mules, and finally on November 9th the Battalion marched through Amiens to Longueau Station. There the 11th Worcestershire entrained and commenced a long railway journey, which, after many stops, brought the Battalion to Marseilles at 5 p.m. on November 11th. Two battleships were waiting to receive them. The right-half Battalion, under Colonel Rainey-Robinson, embarked on H.M.S. “Mars” and the left-half Battalion, under Lt.-Col. Barker, on H.M.S. “Magnificent” (the Battalion transport embarked separately on the transport “Verna”). Next morning, the two battleships put out to sea and steamed south-eastward across the Mediterranean.
The two battleships carried the Battalion across the Mediterranean to Alexandria. The companies disembarked and lay in camp for two days. Then further orders came; the Battalion re-embarked in the same ships and was carried northwards to Salonika.
On November 24th H.M.S. “Magnificent,” with the leading half-battalion, under the second-in-command, Lt.-Colonel W. F. Barker, C.M.G., D.S.O., arrived at Salonika. The companies landed, and marched through the city to camp at Lembet, some two miles to the northward. There next day they were joined by the remainder of the Battalion (Except the Battalion transport which did not reach Salonika until December 16th) under the Commanding Officer, Colonel R.M. Rainey-Robinson, C.B.
When the Battalion landed the weather was fine and warm, and the march of the companies to Lembet Camp was made unpleasant by clouds of dust; but on the night of November 26th a blizzard—that same blizzard which brought disaster to the army in Gallipoli—suddenly struck the camp. Hail, sleet and snow swept through the tent lines, and during the next few days the troops suffered severely. The bad weather continued during the ensuing fortnight, while the camp filled up with troops and the Allied Commanders debated their course of action (It was not possible for a general advance to be made, as the transport of the force had not then been landed).
News came back of the failure of the troops in front and of their retreat after the fight at Kosturino. The enemy were known to be pursuing, and it was not anticipated that their pursuit would stop at the Greek frontier. It was decided to entrench a position around Salonika to cover the retreat of the troops in front. Plans were drawn up and on December 11th orders were issued. The British and French Divisions were to construct a line of defensive works round Salonika at a distance of about seven or eight miles from the city. The sector of this line allotted to the 26th Division was from the Langasa Lake along the northern slope of the Derbend Ridge. Of this sector the line from Laina to Tumba was allotted to the 78th Brigade, which included the 11th Worcestershire.
At 7.0 a.m. on the 12th December 1915 the Battalion paraded, drew picks and shovels, and then marched off to its allotted portion of the line to be entrenched. The march was made over steep hills in a thick mist and progress was slow. Presently the track disappeared completely and the officers’ compasses provided the only guide. The ten-mile march took nearly five hours. Shortly before midday the Battalion reached their allotted position (About 2 miles S.W. of Kavalar) and set to work in the mist on the construction of defensive works. That evening the Battalion marched back to camp through the Derbend Pass. The narrow pass was not entered until after dark, and before the further end was reached a Greek transport column of laden donkeys was encountered coming in the opposite direction. Great confusion ensued. “It took about an hour and a half of forcible language and still more forcible action to eject the Greeks” (J.H.G.). It was not until late that night that the weary platoons reached their tents.
Two days later the 78th Brigade moved out from Lembet Camp and went into bivouac near their work. It was known that the advancing Bulgarians were not fifty miles away; and all ranks worked their hardest, in spite of incessant rain and cold, with the result that the entrenchment was almost completed by December 18th.
By that date the general situation had altered. The Bulgarian armies, instead of advancing, had halted, as we have told, at the Greek frontier. The retreating 10th Division and their French comrades had reached Salonika and had joined the main Allied army. The whole position was reconsidered and the 78th Brigade was ordered to draw back their line and establish a new position.
The entrenchment of the new position was commenced forthwith. The line selected was close to the foothills, and it was presently discovered that the position of the battalion traversed the ground of an ancient and forgotten cemetery of the early Greeks. Many tombs were opened by the picks of the labouring troops, and some of these contained swords and bronze helmets, which experts declared to be of the period of Alexander the Great.
On December 23rd the battalion transport rejoined. They had been left behind at Marseilles, for want of accommodation on the battleships, and had only reached Salonika on December 18th. With the aid of the transport a good camp was pitched close to the defensive works and here the Battalion spent their first Christmas in the field. “A large quantity of beer, oranges, fresh meat, bread, flour, raisins, etc., having been secured, the men were able to enjoy a fairly seasonable meal”( Battalion Diary. Next day, it is recorded, the Commanding Officer read to the troops the King’s Christmas message, after which three cheers were given for the King, and then another three for the Queen. The troops had a holiday for the remainder of the day).
Thereafter work on the defensive line was busily continued. The principal excitement was provided by German aeroplanes, which came over the lines, flying high and drawing some futile shell-fire from the guns of the battleships in the harbour. On December 30th those aeroplanes dropped some bombs, without any great effect save on a Greek shepherd, who was killed with five of his sheep; but General Sarrail, the Allied Commander at Salonika, made use of that “ violation of Greek neutrality,” and on that account forcibly expelled from the city the German, Austrian, Turkish, and Bulgarian Consuls (Till that date the situation had been extraordinary, for German, Austrian and Bulgarian military attaches in full uniform had promenaded the streets of Salonika and had watched all Allied movements).
That high-handed action indicated the practical occupation of the city by the Allies, for it had been decided to hold Salonika to prevent it falling into hostile hands. The port might provide the enemy’s submarines with an ideal base; and it became clear that the miserable Greek Government had no intention of offering opposition to either army. So the French and British troops remained at Salonika, and the construction of defences in the forward zone continued to be the principal occupation of the 11th Worcestershire.
||In the first days of the New Year the weather changed, becoming suddenly fine and warm. For a fortnight the fine weather lasted, the work progressed rapidly and the troops became more cheerful. They were further cheered by the news of the successful evacuation of Gallipoli; which if not inspiring was at least satisfactory. Artillery had been brought up into position, and had “registered” on the ground in front of the defences. By the middle of January the position was deemed fairly secure, and the Battalion was then drawn back into bivouac camp constructed in the gullies and hollows behind the line out of view from the front (in “Conical Hill Nullah”.|
Battalion Headquarters consisted of four caves excavated in a small ravine).
Work was continued steadily, while hostile air raids provided an intermittent source of interest throughout the Spring months of 1916.
As gradually it became apparent that the enemy had no intention of making an attack on the fortified positions, the energies of the troops were diverted bit by bit from labour to training. First two days a week then more, were devoted to preparation for an advance.
Apart from that training and from the recurrent air raids, there was little to break the monotony of existence in the Macedonian hills. The troops were out of sight of any sign of civilisation, save indeed the relics excavated from the ancient tombs. Such inhabitants as were in the neighbourhood were ignorant and brutish peasants. The soldiers were thrown back on their own resources for recreation and amusement, while the hardships endured were considerable (Among other minor grievances may be noted the fact that the troops had to get accustomed to having their meat flavoured by an aromatic shrub which was used to supplement the meagre fuel and insinuated its aroma into all food cooked). But the scenery and the strange sights of that foreign land (“The area was alive with tortoises skylarks by the million, bullfinches nearly as numerous, and occasionally blue jays were seen.” (T.J.E.)) made up to some extent for the discomfort and the privations.
Towards the end of March the 78th Brigade was drawn back from the front line into Divisional Reserve. There, the 11th Worcestershire remained for two months, in camp near Lembet, working and training. On March 27th a big hostile air raid at dawn caused much excitement. A bomb fell near the lines of the Battalion, fortunately without damage. Another bomb detonated a French store of explosives in the town, with appalling effect. Every gun within miles was brought into action and some of the raiders were reported to have been shot down. Later, on May 5th, a Zeppelin, the L71, attempted to bomb the city and was shot down into the marshes of the Vardar.Little else of note occurred during the Spring months, but the climate of Macedonia was fast claiming its victims. Malaria and enteric became rife among the troops, and officers and men went down in rapid succession.
In April, to the great regret of the Battalion, Brigadier-General D’Arcy Thomas was invalided home. After a final inspection of the Battalion on April 21st he left for England, and the officers and men of the 11th Worcestershire shared in the regret expressed in his farewell message, that he, who had done so much for the Regiment (see the Introduction. Brig.-General D’Arcy Thomas had, as we have seen, been Adjutant of the 1st Battalion and subsequently, as Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, had been the main influence in moulding that Battalion to the splendid form which it attained) and who had raised and trained the 78th Brigade, was thus deprived of the chance of leading them into action.
In May the original British Commander at Salonika, General Sir Bryan Mahon, was succeeded by General Milne (General Milne assumed command on May 13th). The new commander put new life into the force, and the hot summer days were devoted to intensive training, till the neighbourhood of Salonika grew to resemble an English training ground. That training demanded a more extensive area than the confines of the defensive perimeter, and on June 7th the 11th Worcestershire marched northward some twelve miles to camp at Pirnar, north-west of Baldza. Thence training was carried on during the ensuing weeks.
Training at Pirnar was anything but pleasant. The camp was pitched in a basin among hills. No breeze seemed to come down into that basin and the heat was great. The heat caused much sickness and took the energy out of all ranks. But, in spite of such conditions, much hard work was done.
While the troops perfected themselves in training, the French and British Staffs had been working out plans for offensive action. The policy of passive defence had been abandoned. It was intended to advance and to gain touch with the enemy, who were known to be strongly entrenched along the Serbo-Greek frontier.
As a preliminary measure the administration of Salonika and the surrounding area was taken over by the Allied Commander-in-Chief from the nerveless grasp of the Greek authorities. With the assumption of responsibility for the administration came the duty of husbanding the local resources. The local crops had to be cut and brought in, and on that work of harvesting the 11th Worcestershire were employed during the later days of June. Hardly was that work finished when word was passed round that preparations had been completed and that the force was about to advance.
Already the French forces had pushed forward to the Serbo-Greek frontier. That frontier had been arranged in 1913 to follow the line of a natural obstacle, a series of mountainous ridges. Along those ridges the Bulgarians had entrenched strong positions, and before those positions the French advance had come to a standstill. It had been arranged that the five British Divisions should take over the front covering Salonika on the north and north-east.
On July 24th orders were received by the 26th Division to move northward forthwith. The 78th Brigade marched next day. When the orders came, the 11th Worcestershire were temporarily detached from the Brigade, carrying out a battalion exercise. The Battalion consequently marched independently (The heat during that march was intense. As an instance it is recorded that, during a halt, the Officers’ Mess prepared lunch by the roadside. When the officers assembled for the meal half-an-hour later they found it impossible to touch the knives and forks with uncovered hands) on the 25th to Ambarkeui, and there rejoined the Brigade. Then with the Brigade the Battalion marched on northwards, by way of Sarigeul, Haidarli and Vetegor, to Malovtsi, which was reached on the night of the 27/28th. A rest for twenty-four hours followed. The Division was now close up behind the French, who were facing the Bulgarian outposts. On the last evening of July the Brigade moved forward to take over the position from our Allies. The 7th Royal Berkshire and 7th Oxford and Bucks L.I. took over the front line on the night of the 29/30th. On the following night the 9th Gloucestershire and 11th Worcestershire moved forward through rain and darkness into reserve positions near Chuguntsi (this is one of many alternative spellings, including Cugunci).
The 26th Division was now on the left flank of the British Army and lay next to the French. Orders were received that the Division was to co-operate with the French in a forthcoming attack on the Bulgarian positions.
The Bulgarian positions covering the small town of Doiran were established on a series of steep ridges running mostly from north-west to south-east. One such ridge now faced the 78th Brigade. The southern end of the higher part of this ridge was about a mile from the position taken over by the Brigade, and was known as “Horseshoe Hill” ; but from “Horseshoe Hill” a lower continuation of the ridge ran on south-eastward, rising, close to the British lines, to a little eminence known as” Kidney Hill.” That height was faced from the south-east by” The Commandant “which was in British hands. Between “The Commandant” and “Kidney Hill” was a small height— “Castle Hill.” This latter was apparently unoccupied, but there was known to be a hostile outpost on “Kidney Hill.”
Forward movement was begun as soon as the necessary communications had been established. On the night of August 8th “ Castle Hill” was occupied. On the following night a company of the 7th Royal Berkshire seized” Kidney Hill.” That same night the 7th Oxford and Bucks L.I., which hitherto had held the left half of the Brigade front, were relieved by the 11th Worcestershire.
The position now taken up by the Battalion (Battalion H.Q. was established at Asagi Mahala) was across the valley which lies between “The Commandant” and a small hill named” Clichy” to the south-west. Away to the right, French troops were pressing forward with much gunfire against “La Tortue” (The French captured “La Tortue” on August 16th) ; to co-operate with their advance it was decided that the 78th Brigade should attack” Horseshoe Hill.”
In that mountainous country preparations for the attack took some time to complete; artillery had to be hauled into position and tracks made for ammunition and supplies. While that work was in progress the 11th Worcestershire held their outpost line (On August 10th a detachment which had been sent on May 20th to guard an aerodrome on Thasos Island (Capt. B. Barton and 50 other ranks) rejoined the Battalion. On August 17th Col. Rainey-Robinson was sent into hospital and Lt.-Col. Barker took over command) across the valley, shelled at intervals (August 12th, 3 wounded. August 14th, 1 wounded. August 20th. 1 killed) and sending out several patrols. Those patrols had numerous adventures on the rocky slopes; notably one patrol under Captain P. A. Leicester which on the night of August 16/17th carried out a daring reconnaissance of “Horseshoe Hill,” and elicited a message of appreciation from the Brigade.
The information obtained by Captain Leicester’s patrol (He found that the hill was not held in strength, and that the enemy’s defences were weak and much damaged by gun fire) enabled plans to be made for an attack on “Horseshoe Hill” on the following night. The attack would be made by the reserve battalion of the 78th Brigade, the 7th Oxford and Bucks L.I. To support the left flank of the attack the 11th Worcestershire would establish a post further forward on a knoll in the valley below.
The operation was commenced at 8.0 p.m. Two platoons of the 11th Worcestershire seized and entrenched the required knoll without opposition or casualties. Away to the right front the 7th Oxford and Bucks L.I., after a long night advance, stormed “Horseshoe Hill” at 2.30 a.m. (August 18th) and entrenched the captured position. The enemy made some attempts at counterattack next day; but they were beaten back and the gains were secured. The post established in the valley by the 11th Worcestershire was named “ Worcester Post.”
On September 2nd the 11th Worcestershire shifted their position to the right and took over the captured ground on “Horseshoe Hill.” The enemy’s guns were fiercely bombarding the lost hill and during the ensuing week the Battalion suffered several casualties (September 4th, 8 wounded. September 5th, 4 wounded. September 6th, 1 wounded and missing. September 7th, Capt. J. G. Reid and 3 men killed, 5 men wounded. September 8th, 2 wounded. Total, 1 officer and 3 men killed, 20 wounded.).
A week later (September 9th) the line was taken over by the 79th Brigade. The 11th Worcestershire were relieved by the 11th Cameronians and then marched back to bivouac at Yenikeui. On the following night a further move was made to Mihailova, where the 78th Brigade lay in Corps
Reserve during the ensuing fortnight.
By that time the opposing lines were close-locked. All along the front the Bulgarians had been forced back from their outpost positions on to their main line of entrenchments. But among the rocky ridges and gullies the exact positions of those enemy entrenchments were not easy to locate; and for some further weeks patrols and raiding parties were engaged in testing the strength of the enemy’s defences.
In the valley north-east of” Horseshoe Hill” lies the village of Doldzeli. On the far side of Doldzeli a low rounded under-feature had been named, by the French, the” Mamelon.” That height was known to be held by the Bulgarians, but their exact strength there was uncertain.
That part of the front line was taken over by the 78th Brigade at the end of September. The 11th Worcestershire were at first kept back in Corps Reserve, and did not come into the Brigade Sector until October 2nd; on which date the Battalion took over reserve trenches about Hill 420 (Flanks of Battalion line extended from Bujuklu village to Piton des Zouaves). On October 8th the Worcestershire moved forward and relieved the 9th Gloucestershire in the forward trenches near Doldzeli village. The front held by the Battalion extended from the eastern slope of “ Horseshoe Hill” to the wooded Vladaja ravine, which was held by French troops.
On October 9th orders were received to make a small raid against the “Mamelon” with the object of capturing a prisoner and thus identifying the troops in front. About 4.30 p.m. while still daylight, the raiding party—Captain P. A. Leicester, Lieutenant C. E. Turner, and 30 other ranks— pushed forward, up the Doldzeli ravine to the slopes of the “Mamelon” The party got within a short distance from a trench held by the enemy, and charged. They were met by a fierce fire from about 70 rifles and by many bombs. One bomb killed PrivateJ.W. Rudd, another wounded Captain Leicester and two of his men. After a short fight it was realised that success was impossible and the raiders fell back behind cover. Then it was found that Private Rudd was missing. Believing him to have been wounded and left behind, Lieutenant C. E. Turner, accompanied by Private W. Hartland, bravely went back. They found Private Rudd dead within a few yards of the enemy’s trench. After running the gauntlet of a sharp fire they rejoined the rest of the party (For their gallant conduct in this affair Captain Leicester was awarded the Italian Silver Medal “for valour,” Lt. Turner the French Croix de Guerre and Pte. W. Hartland the M.M.).
Next evening (October 10th) further efforts were made to locate the enemy’s position. A patrol under 2nd Lieutenant F. S. Shaw made a useful reconnaissance, with some loss (1 killed, 3 wounded).
It was then decided to make a raid in force against the” Mamelon” with two companies of the 11th Worcestershire. The raid was to be prepared by a sharp bombardment and was to be supported by machine-guns. The main attack was to be preceded by one advanced platoon, which would sweep the wooded banks of the Vladaja ravine as a precaution against surprise.
All day of October 11th the British guns kept up an intermittent bombardment against the “Mamelon.” After dark the guns redoubled their fire. The troops moved into position. Half an hour before midnight (October 11/12th) the guns lifted their fire and the attack began.
The raiders were met by an intense fire, which checked the front line. Two additional platoons were brought up in support and, with that aid, the attackers charged forward to the enemy’s trenches. Sergeant H. W. Preedy showed great bravery in leading on his platoon after the platoon officer had been hit (Sergt. Preedy was awarded the M.M.). A fierce fight ensued. The enemy’s front trench was cleared and the desired identification was secured from dead Bulgarians (proving the enemy to be of the 9th Bulgarian Regiment). Then retreat was ordered (at 15 minutes past midnight) and the raiders fell back to the British trenches.
The losses had been considerable—nearly 60 in all (Killed, 4. Missing, 6. Wounded, 3 officers (Capt. A. E. J. Legge, 2/Lts. C. L. Godson and C. R. P. Corbin (the latter died afterwards) and 44 other ranks)—but the Battalion was heartily congratulated on its success. To that success all ranks had contributed, and not least the Battalion signallers. Corporal A. Burton earned special praise by his work in maintaining cable communication under very heavy fire (Corporal Burton was subsequently awarded the M.M.).
The Battalion held the line for two more days without notable incident. Then on the night of October 14/15th the 7th Oxford and Bucks L.I. took over the line, and the Worcestershire moved back to the reserve trenches. On the following night the Battalion moved back into Corps Reserve.
After a quiet week in Corps Reserve (On October 17th, 6 officers joined—Lt. R. C. L. Clarke, Lt. S. A. Stephenson, 2/Lts. V. W. Price, A. J. C. Ewen, A. H. Lewis and A. H. Pyne) the Battalion moved back into the reserve trenches near Hill 420. Later the 11th Worcestershire did another tour in the front line (November 8th - 15th) suffering some loss (November 11th Lt. C. E. Turner and 1 man wounded and on the November 13th 1 wounded) from shellfire. Then the Battalion again went into Corps Reserve.
At the end of November a series of changes of position took place along the Allied front, as a result of which the 22nd Division on the left moved still further towards that flank. The 11th Worcestershire were sent up from reserve to prolong the left flank of the 26th Division, and thus came into a new sector of the front line.
The new positions faced across the valley of the Selimli Dere, where lay the deserted and ruined village of Sejdelli. The opposing lines were some distance away from each other, and constant patrolling failed to evoke any hostilities beyond casual shell-fire (in that rocky country the bursting shells scattered showers of rock splinters, and those splinters were the cause of several casualties). Cold and rainy weather had now closed down on the opposing armies in the hills. Both sides were more occupied in keeping warm and in good health than in trying to harm the other. The situation was too cheerless to evoke much enthusiasm over Christmas Day, which the Battalion spent in the trenches and shelters near the Selimli Dere.
A few days afterwards the Divisional line was altered and the Battalion was shifted further east once more, to reserve trenches and shelters near Chuguntsi. That position was a little more comfortable, and there the 11th Worcestershire saw out the last days of 1916.
MORE INFORMATION WILL BE ADDED LATER
1914 (September) 11th Battalion formed (as part of 78th Brigade, 26th Division).
1914 (November) Barbourne, England.
1915 (April) Norton Barracks, Worcester, England.
1915 (July) Long-bridge Deverill, England.
1915 (September) Foudrinoy, France.
1915 (October) River Somme, France.
1915 (November) Alexandria (only for 2 days).
1915 (November) Lembet Camp, Salonika, Macedonia.
1916 (August) Chuguntsi, Macedonia.
1916 (October) Mamelon, Macedonia.
1916 (December) Chuguntsi, Macedonia.
1917 (March) Jumeaux Ravine, Macedonia.
1917 (April) Pivoines, Macedonia.
1917 (April) Jumeaux Ravine (Battle of Doiran), Macedonia.~
1917 (May) Pivoines, Macedonia.
1917 (June) Bekirli, Mcedonia.
1917 (July) Kirec, Macedonia.
1917 (August) River Vardar, Macedonia.
1917 (December) Cidemli, Macedonia.
1918 (March) River Vardar, Macedonia.
1918 (September) Strumitza, Macedonia.
1918 (October) Bulgaria.
1918 (December) Dobric, Bulgaria.
1919 (May) The Caucasus (now joined the 27th Division).
1919 (June) Tiflis (now formed part of the 82nd Brigade).
1919 (June/July) Gori
1919 (September) Haidar Pasha (Bosphorus), Turkey.
1919 (30th September) The 11th Battalion was amalgamated in to the 9th Battalion Worcestershire.