Captain Platt World War One Diaries


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The following is an extract from the "Hussars War Diary" May 1915.

13/05/1915

Exceptionally heavy bombardment by the enemy began which went on almost unceasingly till dark. During the morning the line on the south side of Potijze - Ypres road was broken. About 12.15pm the regiment was ordered to extend to the right up to the Potijze road so as to take over trenches of Essex Yeomanry.

1.40pm received orders to take up position along the Potijze - Ypres road and support counter attack by 10th Hussars.

9.0pm A & B squadron ordered to reoccupy original advanced line south of Potijze - Ypres road.

14/05/1915

1 am ordered to withdraw the 2 squadrons and make a new line on south side of Potijze - Yrpes road in continuation of Bayo trenches.

2.00 am commenced digging and managed by splendid effort on part of men to get well dug in by 3.15am. Relieved after dark and marched back near Vlamertinghe.

15/05/1915

Vlamertinghe - 1st Cav (de Lisle) addressed the regiment complimenting them on their good work.

18/05/1915

Marched and took over trenches in Sanctuary Wood south of Hooge relieving part of 27th.

19/05/1915

Remained in trenches and improved them.

20/05/1915

Remained in trenches.

21.05.1915

Remained in trenches. Major G.D. Franks re-joined and resumed command of the regiment.

22/05/1915

Remained in trenches.

23/05/1915

Relieved by 9th Lancers - relief finished about 12.30am. A & B squadrons marched back to Ecole de Biefaissance just east of Ypres. C squadron went into reserve. Cpt Platt remained in trenches with 9th Lancers

2.55am effect of enemy's gas were felt.

3.30am A & B squadrons marched from the Ecole up to line near Halte arriving at 4.0am.

5.15am B squadron was despatched to gain with and assist the 18th Hussars in the advance trenches north of the Menin road.

7.0am A squadron were ordered to move up to the support of the 18th Hussars.

11.0am, 19th Hussars holding from Menin road southward (115 men & M. gun section) in touch with Yorkshire Hussars on right. Heavily shelled for most of the day

25/05/1915

12.45am Regiment left Halte and marched via Lille Gate to hub near Vlamertinghe arriving there at 3.30am

Until 5th August remained in billets at Ledringhem.

Extract from Letter from Captain Platt to his wife dated 26th May 1915

"Yesterday morning at 3.0am just as I handed over the our line north west of [] to the 9th Lancers, Noel Edwards said quite suddenly "By God there's the gas". We dashed on our respirators. We were in a hollow and although we stood up and danced about we would all have been overcome where we stood if we had not shifted, so I went to a trench 300 to 200 yards behind us and danced on the parapet. It came on again for another period, I don't know how long but not so thick: then it gradually cleared.

We rallied the men and took them back to the first line trench and shot like the deuce to show we were not afraid of the brutes. All along the line them men were doing the same...."

Extracted from "Captain Henry Evelyn Arthur Platt, Diaries & Letters of a First World War Officer in the 19th Hussars and 1st Coldstream Guards" by William Bridge. Reproduced with his kind permission.

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