The Old and the Bold


War Diary

Copyright © 2012 - All Rights Reserved - Steve Eeles - www.25throyalfusiliers.co.uk

PLACE














































































































































SAINGENI



KANGATA
















KWEDIREMA

[at first called

LUKIGURA

RIDGE]


DATE


1916

1 January


28 January

30 January


7 February


8 February

9 February


10 February


11 February


12 February



29 February


1 March


5 March





6 March

7 March


8 March




10 March




11 March



12 March

13 March




14 March







18 March

19 March




20 March




21 March






22 March



25 March


26 March


30 March

6 April












9 May


14 May

17 May

18 May



19 May


20 May


21 May


22 May


23 May


24 May


25 May



26 May


27 May


28 May


29 May


30 May


31 May



5 June



7 June


9 June



10 June


12 June


15 June


16 June


17 June


21 June

22 June



23 June


24 June















25 June

26 June

27 June


28 June


29 June

SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND INFORMATION



The Battalion less the picked Column at Maktau, garrisoned Bura.  The road & railway patrol being

carried out with assistance of the Battalion lorry.

The Battalion moved by train from Bura to Kajiado arriving at 18.30 hours on 29th.

Manugu Column rejoined at 6 hours.  At Kajiado every effort was made to refit & equip the men but

everything required was not available.

The Battalion left Kajiado with No.1 Ammunition Column & moved to Namanga by road without [ ? ]

escort on the following itinerary:-

Arrived Bissel.

Left           "   .

Arrived Oleokonoui.

Left                "        .

Arrived Black Swamp.

Left           "           "    .

Arrived Kedongai.

Left              "       .

Arrived Namanga.  At Namanga the Battalion underwent Field training in Bush formation & attack under Gen. Sheppard’s direction.

The Battalion moved to Longido West with part 27th Mountain Battery & Ambulances as follows:-

Arrived Elephant Skull.

Left              "          "   .

Arrived Longido West.

The Battalion reduced by order to 450 rifles moved as part of the 2nd E. A. Brigade under General Sheppard with the 1st Division to New Moschi as follows:-

Left Longido West as advanced guard.

Arrived Sheep Hills.  Ration carrier party mistook road & went 8 miles towards Kampfontein.

Left Sheep Hills in main body on night march across plain. Pass NGASSERRI to Ngari Nanyuki.

Arrived NGARI NANYUKI.

Left             "               "         as rearguard.

Arrived NGASSENI.

Left NGASSENI.  ‘D’ & ‘C’ Coys. As advanced guard.  A mile north of GARARAGUA the Mountain Battery fired a few shells & drove a small post from a hill on the left front which had been located by the advanced guard.

Arrived GARARAGAU.

Left                   "            .  ‘B’ & ‘C’ Coys. & M/G Sect. as Rearguard under Col. Driscoll.  The Rearguard was sent back at 19 hours behind the Column to help forward the guns which left Gararagua at 16 hrs and were attacked at 17.30 hrs after marching back 6 miles.  The Rearguard was halted by order of Col. O’Grady, at 23.30 hrs orders came for rearguard to rejoin the Column.

Rejoined Column at MBUIRI RIVER.

Left                                 "             "      as rearguard with 1 Platoon Punjabis.

Arrived BOMA NGOMBE.

100 Rifles under Major White joined foraging party & were away on the Moschi road the day.

Left Boma Ngombe in main body.

Arrived SOMALI VILLAGE.

350 rifles left Somali Village under Col. Driscoll as part of a flying column under Gen. Sheppard leaving 100 rifles under Capt. Hazzledine with the Division.

The Flying Column camped at EAST GWAREDRIFT.

Left                                                "                 "             .

Arrived NEU MOSCHI.  Approaching Neu Moschi the Column was fired upon by S. A. Artillery.  The Division stayed the night of the 13/14th at Somali Village & moved at 9 hrs on the 14th to Kifafu River on which it halted at 19 hours.  The Battalion Detachment left the drift at 15 hrs on the 15th & arrived at GARANGA RIVER at 5.30 hrs.

Left Garanga River at 8 hrs on the 16th as advanced guard & arrived at Neu Moschi at 11 hrs.

The Battalion under Col. Driscoll moved with the 2nd Brigade from Neu Moschi as advanced guard.

Arrived MUE HILL.

Left           "        "     in main body.  The advanced guard met with opposition approaching STORE &

S. A. Gun fired a few rounds.

Arrived at STORE [ ? ] in our Camp Perimeter.

Men at the river were sniped.

A strong night attack was made by the enemy on advanced trenches which were held successfully by 129th Baluchis.  This lasted until 2 hours on the morning of the 21st.  We fired 250 rounds to search bush from one piquet but were otherwise not engaged.

The Battalion under Col. Driscoll left Store at 11 hours as part of Divisional Reserve under Gen. Sheppard temporarily in Command of the 1st Division, the Baluchis & Punjabis being ahead, and was ordered forward at 16 hours to reinforce.  This was done by Companies in succession.  All four Companies & the M/G Section were under fire for an hour & at 18 hrs dug in for the night.  The Punjabis on the left & South Africans on the right conformed to our digging.  Casualties 2 killed, 12 wounded & 3 slight scratches.

The Battalion was sent forward in advance with the 27 Mountain battery, the whole under Col. Driscoll to occupy RUWU RIVER BRIDGE & arrived at 10 hours being first to find the 4.1 gun which had been destroyed & entrenched South of the River.

Left RUWU.

Arrived MUE HILL after trying march in mud.

Left MUE HILL.

Arrived NEU MOSCHI.  No rations from 15 hrs on 25th to noon on 26th.

‘D’ Coy. moved to OLD MOSCHI under Capt. Page.  Battalion Scouts followed.

‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ Coys. followed with Capt. Hazzledine & Headquarters Details.  Rest of Battalion less a small guard followed under Mjr. White on this date & by Companies until the 10th the Battalion moved to OLD MOSHI to guard G.H.Q. there & remained there until the 5/5/16.

The duties were light but the weather was very wet.  It was not a healthy camp.  The G.S. huts used were worn out & leaky & condemned but there were no others

The battalion moved from Old Moshi to Mbuyuni.  Owing to [ ? ] in Transport Camp had to be moved in three parts.  Hdqtrs. & all details on 1/5/16, ‘B’ & ‘D’ Companies on 2/5/16, & ‘A’ & ‘C’ Companies on 3/5.  Each party spent night on Neu Moshi Station.  New light 60lb double fly tents issued to Battn. towards replacing 41 G.S. tents condemned.

At Mbuyuni the men had a rest with no more than the necessary Battn. picquets partly assisted by the Post Water Transport.  Rifle examination by Arm. Sgt. Ensell was commenced.  Report not received yet.

Men from M.I. Coy. joined with Lt. Ryan.  A scheme of 14 days training to harden the men was commenced on 11/5/16 but stopped on 16/5/16 on orders to move.

Party of men from Longido West rejoined under Lt. Bass.

Battalion medically inspected by Col. Turner A.D.M.S & 175 put back from marching with the Column.

The Battalion, reduced by order to 450 Col. Driscoll commanding marched out from Mbuyuni at 9 hours attached to 1st Brigade under General Sheppard.

Arrived NJORO.

Left            "      .

Arrived TAVETA.

Left               "       .

Arrived HIMO.

Left            "      with Divnl. Reserve under Col. [Tancock?].

Arrived SOKO NASSAI.

Mens baggage reduced to 15lbs & officers accordingly.  Surplus baggage left to go to KAHE with guard of 18 men.

Left Soko following No.III Column.

Arrived MARAGO-OA-KOMBO.

Left             "                    "       .

Arrived MAWE (halted in open moved into [ ? ] at dusk).

Transport & B Coy. left Mawe.

Battalion followed.

Arrived RUWU LAGER.

Left            "            "       .

Arrived MARAGO OPUNI.

Left              "                "     .

Arrived PANGMNIP.

Left                 "         .

Arrived MHESA.

Left      " .

Arrived MABRIONE.

Column had been shelled by a 4.1 gun from 1pm till 6pm.  Left MABRIONE.

Arrived GERMAN BRIDGE.

Left GERMAN BRIDGE.

Arrived BUIKO.  At Buiko the Battalion provided guards for G.H.Q. & Divisional Hdqtrs. & an outpost.

Left BUIKO.

Arrived Swamp Camp.  ½ Batt. under Major Webb cutting road towards German Bridge & work continued to junction with road cut by Punjabis next day.

Left Swamp Camp.

Arrived PALMS.

Left Lt. Brodziak & 20 rifles as Aerodrome Guard.

Left Palms.

Arrived MITILINDI.  Firing heard few miles in front at 16.30 hrs.

Left               "            following path nearer river than Gen. Sheppard had taken.

Arrived MKOLAMO.

Left                "          .

Arrived LUCHOMO.

Left                "          .

Arrived MBAGUI.

Left              "       .

Arrived GITU.

Left           "    , struck Handeni Road.

Arrived SAINGENI.

Heard heavy firing to South 4pm to 7pm.

Left Saingeni marched to KANGATA, distressing march marching 60 mins. & halting 10 mins.  Very hot & dusty.  Reached Camp 20 miles at dark.  Last mile very slow, about 5 men collapsed on arrival. 31 men reported sick next morning of which 12 went to Hospital.

Marched for Kwadirima.  Start very slow.  Path narrow, single file.  Column must have extended 3 miles. Divisional troops & Force Reserve.  No wheeled Transport.  Halted from midnight to 3am.

Crossed LUKIGERO RIVER at 7 am.  Firing ahead 1 mile or more as if of a small Piquet being driven in. Marched till noon along right bank of Lukigero River.

Opposition on ridge overlooking valley west of Kwedirema Hill.  Obtained permission from General Hoskins to attack at once.  Sent forward three Coys. total strength about 150 men, Machine Guns & one Coy. in reserve.  On going forward found Cashmires preparing to attack, told their O.C. would support.  Cashmires advanced, they met with heavy rifle fire, also from three or four machine guns & Pom pom.  They hesitated under crest of ridge, whereupon my three leading Companies fixed bayonets, swept through the Cashmires, who immediately followed.  Occupied ridge, capturing two machine guns & Pom pom.  Enemy casualties on hill 3 whites killed 1 wounded, about 30 Askaris killed.  Later on in bush we found more dead.  Several whites & a number of Askaris surrendered to the General.  My casualties were 3 killed, 15 wounded.

All firing ceased.  Camped on ridge.

Enemy commenced shelling hill & beyond with 4.1.  First shell landed amongst “B” Coy. & slightly wounded 5 men.

Buried our dead & 3 white Germans & 21 German natives.

Search parties out in bush.  Lt. Buchanan made sketch of field of action.  Transport arrived at dusk.

Father Davaison attached to the battalion as R.C. Chaplain.

River Patrol Lt. Jones 2 B.O. & 20 Rifles.  Took over German M/G with 10,700 rounds amm. [DRO 147] also German Pom-pom with 60 rounds.  Both guns tested & found accurate.

Short flour rations this & some other days.  Plenty fresh meat.  No bacon or grain or substitute with rare exception.  No vegetable ration on this trek from start.

23 A.T. Carts to Kangata for rations (away 3 nights).  Search party.

HOUR








14.30 hrs.


9 hrs.

13 hrs.

17 hrs.

11 hrs.

15 hrs.

7 hrs.

12 hrs.

7 hrs.

11 hrs.


14 hrs.

18 hrs.

14.30 hrs.

17 hrs.



8 hrs.

10.30 hrs.

19 hrs.

8 hrs.

10.30 hrs.

16 hrs.

4 hrs.



14 hrs.

14 hrs.




3 hrs.

14 hrs.

21 hrs.


9 hrs.

12 hrs.

3 hrs.


2 hrs.

8 hrs.

18 hrs.





18 hrs.

1 hrs.

14 hrs.


18 hrs.

17 hrs.

21 hrs.









8 hrs.



14.30 hrs.

23 hrs.

5 hrs.

11 hrs.




















12 hrs.

6.30 hrs.

16 hrs.

8 hrs.

15 hrs.

8 hrs.

11 hrs.



0.30 hrs.

12 hrs.

5.30 hrs.

12 hrs.

1 hrs.

4.30 hrs.

18 hrs.

12 hrs.

5 hrs.

4.40 hrs.



15 hrs.

6 hrs

18 hrs.

17 hrs.

18 hrs.

5.30 hrs.

17.30 hrs.


6 hrs.

10 hrs.


14 hrs.

17 hrs.


6 hrs.

8 hrs.

4 hrs.

12 hrs.

6 hrs.

11 hrs.

6 hrs.

16 hrs.

15 hrs.

20 hrs.

11.30 hrs.



9.30 hrs.



4 hrs.


7 hrs.


12.30 hrs.









2 hrs.



5.50 hrs.



9 hrs.

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