What was a battalion of infantry?


20th Battalion, London Regiment (Blackheath and Woolwich) saw considerable service on the Western Front during World War I.


Reggie, who volunteered in April/May 1915, may have reached the Western Front by the September 

Battle of Loos 25 September–1 October



Battle of the Hohenzollern Redoubt 13–19 October. This was a continuation of Loos. 47th Division returned to the same area to relieve other troops, with Battalion HQ and A Company of the 1/20th back in the Chalk Pit, which was heavily bombarded.


Vimy Ridge – the units of 47th Division were involved in frequent crater-fighting in this sector from April to July 1916, including the major German attack on 21 May.

Battle of the Somme In August the division marched south to take part in this offensive. Its first operation was the capture of High Wood on the opening day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15 September). 141 Brigade was given the task of seizing the wood itself, the 1/20th being in the second wave, joining a confused and desperate fight. Casualties were very heavy but, after a renewed bombardment, German troops began to surrender. By the afternoon, 141 Bde held the wood, but was so disorganised by casualties that it had been formed into a composite battalion. Work on establishing a new line beyond the wood was started by a mixed party under Capt H.S. Read of the 1/20th Bn.

Battle of the Transloy Ridges 1–9 October

Capture of Eaucourt l'Abbaye 1–3 October

Attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt 7–8 October



47th Division moved into the Hill 60 sector of the Ypres Salient in October 1916 and took part in regular raids and crater fighting for a number of months. It then participated in the following operations:

Battle of Messines – in the weeks leading up to the battle, 141 Bde held the divisional front and carried out preparations for the attacks, including digging new trenches and establishing ration and ammunition dumps. For the attack on 7 June it was in support, moving up to relieve 142 Bde two days later.


On 27th June 1917, Reggie was transferred to 4th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)

badge, headdress, British, 4th (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)

Aboce: Badge, headdress, British, 4th (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers) © IWM (INS 7239)


According the the War Diary, the battalion was holding the front line at Wancourt (near Arras)


 31 July - Third Battle of Ypres

Battle of Langemarck (16–18 August 1917)

(Meanwhile, the 20th London Regiment was not directly involved in the 3rd Battle of Ypres offensive, being in reserve during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31 July–2 August) and spending two periods holding the line (18 August–2 September and 8–17 September), described as 'among the most unpleasant in its experience'.)



Battalion War Diaries: Download from here: War Diaries


Map of the front near Ypres, June to October 1917: 

YpresFront detail

Above: Detail showing place of Reggie's final battle marked with red circle

Below: Wider view showing advancing front line between June and October 1917, capturing the higher ground, shaded brown.

Third Ypres - Map Showing Progress in the Ypres Area..jpg

By n.d. - The National Archives, Kew (FO 925/24005), Public Domain, Link




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