April 1918

On 1 April 1918, 11 DLI was pulled out of the line and sent to Quevauvillers, just south of Amiens, in order to regroup and refit. They rested there for five days, while they were joined by 470 men, plus Lts A Floyd and M Cooper. The first thing everyone was doing, of course, was lots of drill, since many of the new recruits were young conscripts after basic training. To drill that into them, there then followed several days of marching: on 7 April to Lincheux; on 10 March to Huppy, where they were joined by another 108 men; then on to Rieux for further training.

There was a major sort out. 191 men were sent back to Base at Etaples, either because they were unfit through what the battalion had experienced, or because they were deemed unsuitable for a Pioneer battalion. Another 14 officers at 2nd Lt rank also joined. On 17 April, Lt Colonel Hayes himself went back to Base, reporting sick with continued problems from having been gassed during March. Lt Col RE Boulton assumed command, transferring from 1 King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

On 18 April, the battalion marched on to Frevillers and spent the rest of the month in training, attending lectures, doing drill and physical exercises. Captain Pemberton, who had been second in command to Hayes, was transferred to XVIII Corps staff as Education Officer and his place was taken by Captain HF Ling of 4th Suffolk Regiment. By the end of the month the battalion had virtually a full complement of men: 41 officers and 806 men on the battalion roll.

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