The 4th division was
a regular division stationed at Woolwich, Shornecliffe,
Dover and Colchester prior to the outbreak of the
war. The 1st Bn. Hampshire Regiment was part of III
Corps which consisted of the 4th & 6th divisions.
The 1st Hampshire being in the 4th
Brigade. It arrived in France in August 1914.
Served in France and Flanders until the Armistice.
The 1st Battalion had
moved from Aldershot to Colchester which transferred
them from the 2nd Division to the 4th Division. On
August 17 the Special Reserve was at its coastal duties,
the Territorials were also mobilized and were taking
over there stations. This relieved the 4th Division
from its temporary role as spearhead of the Home Defence
Force duties. The 4th Division could now follow the
rest of the B.E.F. Overseas On the 21st-22nd of August
the 1st Bn loaded on to thier ships at Southampton
the right wing on the Braemar
Castle, the left wing along with the
Rifle Brigade on the Cestrian, and
headed for Havre France. When the 1st Bn.
Arrived the B.E.F. Was already in contact with the
Germans at Mons. The 1st Hampshire detrained at Le
Click on the Battle
to find out what part the 1st Bn. Hampshire played
of Le Cateau. 26 Aug 1914.
Affair of Nery. 1 Sep 1914.
Battle of the Marne. 7-10 Sep 1914, including the
passage of the Petit Morin and the passage of the
Battle of the Aisne. 12-15 Sep 1914, including the
capture of the Aisne Heights including the Chemin
Battle of Messines. 12 Oct-2 Nov 1914.
Battle of Armentieres. 13 Oct-2 Nov 1914, including
the capture of Metern.
Battle of St. Julien. 24 Apr-5 May 1915.
Battle of Frezenberg. 8-13 May 1915.
Battle of Bellewaarde. 24-25 May 1915.
Battle of Albert. 1-13
Jul 1916, including the capture of Montauban,
Mametz, Fricourt, Contalmaison and La Boisselle.
Battle of Le Transloy. 1-18 Oct 1916, including the
capture of Eaucourt l'Abbaye, Le Sars and the attacks
on Butte de Warlencourt.
First Battle of the Scarpe. 9-14 Apr 1917, including
the capture Monchy le Preux and the Wancourt Ridge.
Third Battle of the Scarpe. 3-4 May 1917, including
the capture of Fresnoy.
Battle of Polygon Wood. 26 Sep-3 Oct 1917.
Battle of Broodside. 4 Oct 1917.
Battle of Poelcappelle. 9 Oct 1917.
First Battle of Passchendaele. 12 Oct 1917.
First Battle of Arras. 28 Mar 1918.
Battle of Hazebrouck. 12-15 Apr, including the defence
of the Hinges Ridge and the Nieppe Forest.
Battle of Bethune. 18 Apr 1918, including the second
defence of Givenchy Pacaut Wood.
Advance in Flanders. 18 Aug-6 Sep 1918.
Battle of the Scarpe. 26-30 Aug 1918, including the
capture of Monchy le Preux.
Battle of Drocourt-Queant. 2-3 Sep 1918.
Battle of the Canal du Nord. 27 Sep-1 Oct 1918, including
the capture of Bourlon Wood.
Battle of the Selle. 17-25 Oct 1918.
Battle of Valenciennes. 1-2 Nov 1918, including the
capture of Mont Houy.
Cateau, Retreat From Mons
On August the 24 th
the 1st Bn arrived and detrained at Le Cateau at 4
am and walked six miles to Solesmes to cover the B.E.F.
Retreat from Mons the B.E.F. Who were being pursued
by a overwhelming forces. The Battalion moved into
position at south west of Cattenieres, the Germans
advanced 'D' company engaged them and they withdrew
. During the night 'B' company engaged the enemy and
had taken casualties, but while moving out of there
position one detachment wiped out a platoon of "Jager".
"D" company took a large amount of shell
fire but had the satisfaction of seeing large amounts
of German infantry advancing onto their positions,
rapid fire turned the enemy who withdrew 300 yards.
The 11th Brigade which
the 1st Hampshire, the Somerset Light Infantry, The
East Langcasters, and the Rifle Brigade were part
of, were ordered to re-form in front of Ligny. The
Hampshire's and the East Langcasters were to move
covered by the Rifle Brigade and Somerset L.I. As
they did the Germans opened up, twice the Germans
tried to advance on the position and each time beaten
back, the 11th Brigade was then left unmolested. Later
11th Brigade started to retire from the Ligny position
but orders did not reach several parties and all its
units were broken up into disconnected detachments.
300 Hampshire's were holding on at ligny and were
later given word about the move. The brigades wounded
had been collected at Ligny and had to be left behind.
The 1st Bn made its way across country and stopped
near Serain, their losses came to nearly 200. The
Brigade having maintained itself in one unfavourable
position after another for 10 hours having helped
foil the German effort to envelope and corner the
wing of the B.E.F.
On the morning of August
the 27th were moving across country again to Nauroy
and arrived around 7 am North Irish Horse who were
covering the position reported that German cavalry
were approaching. Then German guns opened up and 'A"
company were sent to cover the Brigade's retreat and
silence the guns but became engaged by dismounted
cavalry. This company held on for some time giving
effective covering fire to the retirement of the main
The Hampshire's would
go on to fight and by the end of 1914 The 1st Hampshire's
had only six officers. Of the original other ranks
366 were still present, the largest number in the
brigade: 265 N.C.O.'s and men had been killed or were
missing, 390 had been wounded. Altogether eight officers
had been killed, six were missing and fifteen had
of Albert. 1-13 Jul 1916,
Battle 1st July
In the opening
phases of the Somme the great attack of July 1st 1916
on a 25 mile front began. The fourth were facing stronger
defenses than anywhere else. They were to attack north
of Beaumont Hamel where two redoubts and a quadrilateral
trench were particularly strong. It was hoped that
the Brigade would reach Munich trench 1000 yards behind
the front line where supporting the 10th and 11th
would go through it. At 7.20am 10 minutes before zero
hour a large mine as blown up under the German redoubt
Hawthorn Ridge. This gave away the exact time of the
attack. After the heavy guns stopped firing the Germans
had ample time to man there positions after being
in deep undamaged dugouts. The Hampshire (leaving
there trenches at 7.40) followed the East Lancashire
who had already been almost wiped out. Very few Hampshire
made it to the wire a few bombers were reported to
have gotten into the German line, but the majority
were brought down at or short of the wire. The survivors
could only seek the poor shelter of the shell holes
which pitted No Mans Land here they had to lie for
hours until darkness fell . This was the 1st Hampshire's
worst experience of the war it had cost them 11 officers
and 310 men killed and missing, 15 officers and 250
1918 The April Offensive
( contributors John. A. submitted Pictures. Vol.2
Regimental History C.T. Atkinson.) April 22nd 1918
across the canal oppersite Gonnehem, was of considerable
tactical importance it being a location that the enemy
may mass for an attack. The attack on Pacaut wood
was aimed at securing a line across the wood from
La Pannerie on the right to Reiz du Vinage and cutting
off the southern part of the wood. The Rilfe Brigade's
objective was La Pannerie and they would be attacking
on the right, outside the wood. The Hampshire having
three companies in the attack with one in support
objective was the wood.
company in support was located along the southern
bank of the canal, which the front line had been drawn
back to allow for a heavy trench mortar barrage along
the south edge of the wood. This ment that our forces
would have to recross the canal by footbridges laid
for the purpose. Zero hour was 5.15 a.m. on April
the 22nd and at 5.18 a.m. the German guns opened up
in response to our shelling which incurred many causualties
in "A" company in the center which had its
Commander killed as they recrossed the canal. The
attack went forward well "D" company on
the right, "A" company in the center, "B"
company on the left with "C" company in
company when neared its objective came under heavy
machine gun fire 2/Lt. Abbott calling up two Lewis
guns to deal with them this allowed two right platoons
to move up and get established on the objective within
zero +25 minutes. This happening five minutes after
"B" company securing its position.
Company was held up due to its casualties but finally
hooked up with "B"company. A gap had opened
in between "A" and "D" company
which "D" began to close and a platoon of
"C" company had been called up to help close.
This platoon being led by Captain Causton came under
heavy machine gun fire which killed Captain Causton
while leading a rush. The platoon pushed on killing
many of the enemy and ove-ran a reinforcing party.
The platoon reached it objective which was a crossroads
and began extending its flanks by bombing.
a.m. the German machine gun fire was now begining
to slacken but shell fire had increased along the
canal bank and the Hampshire lost Colonel Armitage
killed. By early afternoon the whole line was connected
"A" company slightly short of its objective.
The Germans put down a heavy barrage with rifle and
machine gun fire without much effect. After dark they
attempted a counter attack but where driven back by
mainly rifle and lewis guns. The center had continued
action well after the right and left was well dug
in which continued after the Hampshire were relieved
by the the Somerset L.I. and the Duke's and
went back to billets in Lannoy.
This was a highly successful
operation. Over 70 prisoners and several machine guns
had been taken. The ground taken at Pacaut Wood allowed
of another advanceat Riez du Vinage. Losses were heavy
with five officers killed and 43 other ranks or missing.
3 officers and 148 other ranks wounded.
John. A's Grandfather
was involved in the above action and wrote home to
his wife about the battle and the death of Captain
Causton which ended up in the Hampshire Chronicle
of 31 August 1918. which is also pictured below.
My Grandfather wrote the letter
to my Grandmother while still in the trenches,
how it got through the censor we don't know.
My Grandmother wrote to and sent the letter
to JP Causton's mother for her to see. Mrs Causton
was so touched she showed the letter to the
local paper and then returned the letter with
a photo of JP to my Grandmother.
Left is a picture of his grandfather
Harry Tuffin who started the whole thing off.
below is the picture of Captain
JP Causton killed at Pacaut Wood. And the letter
that apperred in the Hampshire Chronicle of
31 August 1918. Click
it to read it.