The below is a summary of the events and information that was recorded by Lt. Colonel A. L. Hadow of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment which explains what was taking place during the lead up to July 1st and the break down of the battle itself and how it unfolded.







Remained in billets at Mailly-Maillet in Bde Reserve whole Bn. Employed on various working parties in trenches.


Afternoon Battalion marched to billets at Louvencourt in Divisional Reserve.


All 88 Bde at Louvencourt- Special training for part of the Brigade is taking in attack- Weather very wet.

13/6/16 Major T.M. Drew (the Leicestershire Regt.) 2nd in Command left for England unfit for active service.


Clock advanced 1 hour at night.


6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bde final tactical exercise.


Afternoon marched to trenches, same sector as hitherto, and relieved the Border Regt.


Capt. J.Forbes- Robertson, the Border Regt., joined as 2nd in Command.


Situation normal in trenches but more shelling- total casualties 11 wounded.


The S.W.B relieved us in the trenches in the evening Marched to billets at Louvencourt- Heavy Rain.


Bombardment commenced Field Artillery wire cutting.


In morning Major General de Lisle, Comd. 29 Division, addressed the Regt. on parade- at night a raid made on German trenches- Party of 50 selected men who had undergone a special training under Capt. Butler with Lieut. Strong and 2nd Lieut. Green- Raid failed owing to failure to cut through the wire and fire being opened on party.


Raid repeated at night. Party reached enemy’s trench, but being met with heavy fire and bombs unable to make further progress. Party retired after all Officers had been wounded, 6 men killed and 13 wounded.  All the wounded were brought in.


Regt. was to have moved up to trenches preparatory to attack to-morrow, but orders received in afternoon postponing movement 48 hours, weather very unsettled.


A draft of 66 men arrived from Base.


Regt. marched off 9.15 p.m. for forming up place in trenches, i.e. rear line of trenches in our usual sector. Strength Officers Other ranks Following were left behind as Reserve and for special duties: Officers Other Ranks. March to trenches about 8 miles. In position about 2 a.m.


In addition to above, 22 men with the 88th Bde. M.G. Coy and 1 Officer and 11 other Ranks with Trench Mortar Battery took part in the battle of July 1st.

(Sgd) A.L. Hadow, Lt.- Colonel,

Comdg. 1st. Newfoundland Regiment.




General attack all along the line.




Intense bombardment.

86th and 87th Brigades attacked 1st system of enemy trenches. 88th Bde. Under pre arranged orders were to move forward at 08.40 to attack 3rd line system of trenches. About 08.20 received orders not to move until further orders. Presumably the first attack not having been successful.


Received orders on telephone to move forward in conjunction with 1st Essex Regt., and occupy enemy’s first trench, our objective being point 89 to just north of point 60 and work forward to Station Road, clearing the enemy trenches, and move as soon as possible. Asked Brigade if  enemy's first trench had been taken and received reply to the effect that the situation was not cleared up. Asked Brigade if we were to move off to attack independently of Essex Regt. And received reply in affirmative.


Reported to Brigade that Newfoundland Regt was moving off. It was subsequently found that the Essex Regt. Did not attack until 09.55 i.e. after our attack had failed.

The Regiment moved off in previously arranged formation  i.e. A. & B. Companies ( A on left) in 1st line in lines of Platoons in file or single file at 40 paces interval and 25 paces between sections- followed by C & D Coys ( C on left) in similar formation at 100 yards distance. C Coy  had been specially detailed as consolidating Company  and therefore carried additional equipment. The advance was made direct over the open from the rear trenches known as St. John’s Road and Colonel Avenue. As soon as the signal for advance was given the Regiment left the trenches and moved steadily forward.

Machine gun fire from our right front was at once opened on us and then Artillery fire also. The distance from our objective varied from 650 to 900 yards. The enemy’s fire was effective from the outset but the heaviest casualties occurred on passing through the gaps in our front wire where the men were mown down in heaps. Many more gaps in the wire were required than had been cut. In spite of losses the survivors steadily advanced until close to the enemies wire by which time very few remained. A few men are believed to have actually succeeded in throwing bombs into the enemy’s trench.

A report by Capt. G.E Malcolm, Commanding D.Co., 1st. K.O.S. Bs., which formed part of the first attack carried out by the 87th. bde. Is attached. 


The C.O. reported personally at Bde. Battle H.Q. 100 yards behind our firing line that the attack had failed. Shortly afterwards the enemy opened an intense bombardment of our trenches with heavy artillery which was kept up before sometime. During the night and evening unwounded survivors managed to crawl back to our lines and by next morning some 68 had answered their names in addition to stretcher bearers and H.Q. runners.


1/7/16  09.45

St. John’s Rd. Clonmel Av.

During the afternoon the 10% reinforcements under Capt. Forbes- Robertson arrived in the trenches and orders were received to occupy the support trench in the right sub-sector known as St. James Street, where we remained on July 2nd.


Moved to support trench in left sub sector known as Fethard Street. At night brought in some dead and equipment.

Orders received to be prepared for counter attack and gas.


Much rain.



Regiment moved out of trenches to billets in Englebelmer, strength. During the afternoon the village was shelled.


Commenced reorganizing. Lt. – Gen. Sir A. Hunter Weston visited the Regiment and made an address expressing his great appreciation of their conduct. Village again shelled in the afternoon and Lieut. O.W. Steele wounded. He died next morning.



After breakfast moved into tents in Mailly Wood.


Battalion moved a short distance into huts.


Received a draft of 127 Other Ranks.



Took over about 450 yards of trenches on both sides of 1st Avenue relieving the 4th Worcesters. Strength 11 Officers, 260 Rifles.

During this tour in the trenches we were shelled heavily by enemy’s 5.9 howitzers and a good deal of damage was done to the trenches.



Relieved in trenches by 2nd. S.W.B. and marched to billets in Acheux.


2/Lieut. G/ Emerson, A.L. Summers, S Gane joined the Battalion from the Depot.


Messrs. Clift & Bishop from Newfoundland visited the Regiment and inspected it on parade and afterwards addressed the men.



A draft of 126 Other Ranks arrived.



The Brigade marched to billets a Beauval, distance 10 miles, arriving at 14.30.


Sir Edward Morris, Prime Minister of Newfoundland, and Capt. Timewell, in charge of Pay & Record Office, visited the Regiment and inspected it on parade and afterwards the Prime Minister addressed the men. A draft of 60 other Ranks arrived.


Brigade route march of about 12 miles.


Brigade entrained at Candas. Advance party of Regt. Moved off at 17.00, followed at 19.00 by the remainder of Battalion. Strength, 554.





Battalion detrained at Hopoutre and to billets in Poperinghe.


Draft at 12 Other Ranks arrived from Base.



Battalion proceeded to Ypres by train . C. Co. took over cellars in school 19c.D.Co. took over buildings 1 8 D 66.


30/7/16                 21.00

A. and B. Co’s, South and North of Menin Gate respectively. (reference map 1/20000 sheet 28 N.W.) Strength 473 rifles. Battalion in Brigade reserve.

(Sgd) A.L. Hadow, Lt. – Colonel,

Comdg. 1st Newfoundland Regiment.


OFFICERS:                             Killed                           11
                                                Wounded                     12
                                                Died of Wounds           2
                                                (Believed killed)            1

 OTHER RANKS                     Killed                           66
                                                Wounded                     362     
                                                Died of Wounds           21
                                                (Believed killed)            209.




To:       - Adjutant.                                                                                5th July 1916
                        1st. K.O.S.B

 From:   - O.C., “D” Copy
                        1st. K.O.S.B


I have the honour to make the following report. On the morning of “Z” day at 0.20 “D” Coy received the whistle signal to advance.

On leaving the trenches they came under very heavy machine gun fire. The Company moved forward in line of Platoons in column of sections in single file. No. 13 Platoon on the left and No. 16 on the right. At 60 yards from our own trenches I gave the signal to lie down as I intended to make the right wheel on to our objective at that point and “C” Coy and the Border Regt were not yet in position. Owing to casualties I had 3 men of No. 13 ( 2 wounded) and 1 of No. 14 platoon left. I could see no one of the other platoons.

At 0.35 I sent a message to the Adjt. 1st. K.O.S.B by Private Douglas, stating estimated casualties.

At 1.00 a Company of Newfoundland Regiment 40 strong came up, without officers.

I gave the signal to my Coy to advance and took command.
I hoped to gain a footing in the enemy trenches and so hinder the machine gun fire.

I was wounded 60 yards from the enemy trenches. The advance ceased 20 yards further on.

I should like to congratulate the Newfoundland Regiment on their extreme steadiness under trying circumstances.

(Sgd) G.E. Malcolm- Captain
         O.C.D. Coy. 1st. K.O.S.B

Source: MG 9 Box 1, File 1.03.018, The Rooms, Provincial Archives, St. John's


Back to Documents



The Regiment   The Battle   Soldier/Family Stories   Commemoration   Additional Information

Education   Acknowledgements   Links   Contact Us   Copyright   Home