April 1917

During the Spring of 1917 the Germans were slowly and progressively retreating. 11th DLI were constantly on the move from one place to another on work details. On 5 April they were set to on creating a new main trench line. Once that was done they were busy clearing debris from the area behind, filling in craters, getting rid of unexploded ordnance, shifting wreckage from roads, rebuilding roads in the area around the Ruyaulcourt to Fins road. They completed their month’s work driving in pickets on the reserve trench line and setting out the wire.

There was a couple of promotions: CSM 15180 Frederick Williams and Sergeant Dawson going off to train as officers. There was a period of training mid-month with courses for machine guns, stretcher bearing and signalling. There was a couple of courts of enquiry. Private 14964 George Brown was examined following an accidental injury, with Captain C Palmer in the chair (later a Major in the Tank Corps), supported by 2nd Lt Lascelles (who later won the Victoria Cross and was killed on 7 November 1918) and 2nd Lt D J Rees (who died in the UK on 7 July 1919). Brown lost his life during the March Retreat in 1918. At a Field General Court Martial, Private T H Myers was acquitted of a self-inflicted wound.

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