WILLIAM NELSON HIORNS
Royal Berkshire Regiment 1st Battalion
Died of wounds 26/09/1915
BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY, IV. E. 1.
Details of this cemetery can be found here (Opens in a new window)
Son of Frederick C. and Elizabeth A. Hiorns, of 40, Cowley Rd, Oxford.
Born: Eynsham, Oxford
Enlisted: Walthamstow, Essex
The following is a transcript of William`s and his battalions war diaries for the days preceeding William`s untimely death.
Monday 20th September 1915 France, BEUVRY
Remainder of Battalion marched into BETHUNE for baths.
10.00 am. CO held conference of officers to discuss attack on 25th inst.
5.00 pm. The battalion left BEUVRY. Companies marched independently and relieved 2/S Staffs in subsection A2. All kits stored. Fighting order adopted. Every man carried 2 bombs.
8.00 pm Relief completed. One officer and four NCO`s per company were left back to replace casualties.
2/Lt Blackburn rejoined the Battn.
Tuesday 21st September 1915 France, CUINCHY Bombardment by our guns begun. Little reply from the enemy. Orders for attack issued. Copy filed. Bombardment continued all day and night. Casualties seven.
T/Capt Ellis went sick. Lt Hall took over command of C Coy.
Wednesday 22nd September 1915 France, CUINCHY
Bombardment continued all day and night.
Patrols went out about 12 MN and reported enemy`s wire considerably broken in places and their front line strongly held. Very little reply from enemy`s guns.
Capt Radford DSO and Lt Jerwood returned from leave.
Thursday 23rd September 1915 France, CUINCHY
Bombardment continued. Poured with rain in the evening.
9.00 pm. A patrol sent out by B Coy carried out a charge of gun cotton and placed under enemy wire entanglements this was then fired, making a gap of 30 yards in the wire, blowing up a machine gun and upturning a railway truck in front of a brickstack.
2/Lt Haig and Pte Martin patrolled enemy`s front line and found it was held in force.
Friday 24th September 1915 France, CUINCHY
Bombardment continued. 2nd S/Staffs relieved us in front line at 6 pm. The Battalion withdrew to positions in immediate support.
Saturday 25th September 1915 France, CUINCHY
5.50 am. Gas was let out of the cylinders all along the line. The wind was contrary and so came back in our line.
6.30 am. Guns lifted and 2nd S. Staffs and 1st Kings (Liverpool) started attack along the La Bassee railway embankment and brickstacks. The attack failed completely and became thoroughly disorganised.
12 noon. We relieved them in front line. Our officers and men did splendid work after dark bringing in Stafford wounded.
11.30 pm. Orders received. We were to be relieved at once by 2nd S Staffs and to return to ANNEQUIN to form part of a composite brigade.
Capt Wheeler OC A Coy killed by fizz-bang at Portland Place.
Sunday 26th September 1915 France, ANNEQUIN
3.30 am. Relief complete.
The battalion moved to trenches W of VERMELLES.
A provisional brigade was formed under Lt Colonel B C M Carter Commanding 1st Kings - to be known as "Carters Brigade" and attached to the VII Division. Brigade composed of 1st Kings Royal Rifles, 1st Royal Berks and 2nd Worcestershire Regt. Capt Davidson 2nd Div Brigade Major. Capt Dend DSO 2/S Staffs staff Captain.
Cookers came up. Battalion stood by all day. Fine weather.
[margin note] NO brigade bombers were sent with this detachment.