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The Fifth Leicestershire A Record Of The 1/5th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment, T.F., During The War, 1914-1919.   By:

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[Transcribers note: Many inconsistencies appeared in the original book and were retained in this version.]

[Illustration: OFFICERS, 1914.]

THE FIFTH LEICESTERSHIRE.

A record of the 1/5th Battalion the Leicestershire Regiment, T.F., during the War, 1914 1919.

BY

CAPTAIN J.D. HILLS, M.C., Croix de Guerre.

With an introduction by

LT. COLONEL C.H. JONES, C.M.G., T.D., L├ęgion d'honneur (officier).

LOUGHBOROUGH.

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED AT THE ECHO PRESS.

1919.

THE FIFTH LEICESTERSHIRE.

[Illustration]

XVII.

5.

To

COLONEL HIS GRACE DUKE OF RUTLAND, K.G.,

who has watched over us and lived with us in all our losses and in all our joys, this book is gratefully dedicated.

PREFACE.

No literary merit is claimed for this book. It is intended to be a diary of our progress as a Battalion since mobilisation until the signing of peace, and the return of the Colours to Loughborough. I have written the first chapter, the remainder, including the maps, has been done by Captain J.D. Hills.

This is scarcely the place to attempt an estimate of what the members of our County Territorial Force Association, individually and collectively, have done for the 5th Leicestershire Regiment. We would merely place this on record, that there has ever been one keen feeling of brotherhood uniting us all, from President or Chairman, to the latest joined recruit or humblest member of the regiment, whether actively engaged on the battlefield, or just as actively engaged at home. Never has the Executive Committee failed us. And to Major C.M. Serjeantson, O.B.E., we would offer a special tribute for his untiring work, wonderful powers of organisation and grasp of detail, and hearty good fellowship at all times.

To the men of the regiment we hope that the incidents which we narrate here will recall great times we spent together, and serve as a framework on which to weave other stories too numerous for the short space of one book.

C.H. JONES.

MEADHURST, UPPINGHAM,

Sept., 1919.

AUTHOR'S NOTE.

The following narrative is based mainly on the Regimental War Diary. For the rest, my thanks are due to Lt. Colonels C.H. Jones, C.M.G., T.D., and J. Ll. Griffiths, D.S.O., Major C. Bland, T.D., Captains D.B. Petch, M.C., J.R. Brooke, M.C., and A.D. Pierrepont, and R.Q.M.S. R. Gorse, M.S.M., for sending me notes and anecdotes; to Captains G.E. Banwell, M.C., and C.S. Allen, Corpl. J. Lincoln, and L/Corpl. A.B. Law, for taking me round the battlefields and explaining the Lens fighting of 1917; to 2nd Lieut. G.H. Griffiths, for supplying me with many of the battle field photographs; to all officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the Battalion who have always been ready to answer my questions and to give me information; to Major D. Hill, M.C., Brigade Major, for the loan of his Brigade documents; and lastly to Mr. Deakin of Loughborough, for undertaking the publication of this book and for giving to it so much time and personal care.

J.D. HILLS.

16, SOMERSET ST., LONDON, W.1.

Sept., 1919.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE.

1. ENGLAND 1

2. EARLY EXPERIENCES 16

3. THE SALIENT 39

4. HOHENZOLLERN 70

5. FLANDERS MUD TO THE MEDITERRANEAN 90

6. THE VIMY RIDGE 106

7. GOMMECOURT 127

8. MONCHY AU BOIS 145

9. GOMMECOURT AGAIN 163

10. LENS 179

11. HILL 65 196

12. ST. ELIE LEFT 206

13. CAMBRIN RIGHT 227

14. GORRE AND ESSARS AT PEACE 253

15. GORRE AND ESSARS AT WAR 267

16. PONTRUET 279

17. CROSSING THE CANAL 298

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