HAC WWI - On this day 100 years ago...

Apart from a short spell in a quiet sector of the lines on the north face of the Ypres Salient little happened to the 1st Battalion in August 1915 until the 24th, when they moved back into trenches in the Hooge District.  The battalion moved into scattered positions in held together by listening posts.  Every night burying parties from both sides were out and over 200 bodies were buried in the great crater that had replaced what had been Hooge Chateau. The weather turned wet and the artillery fire was intense.  Companies were rotated out of the line to rest and dry and the battalion remained in position until the 9th September. 




 
In the Middle East ‘A’ Battery had a quiet month but B Battery was in action in Aden against the Turks.  ‘B’ Battery spent the month in Sheik Othman, a name to be familiar again to the British Army in the late 1960’s   It was very hot and a vast swarm of flies covered everything in seconds, bringing dysentery to the base.  Dust settled everywhere and a painful and highly infectious skin disease reduced the effective strength of the battery.  There was little water for washing.   The Aden Horse disease, tick born, attacked the battery’s horses.  The place was described in the ‘B’ battery history as the most comfortless and arduous that they knew in the war.  
 
On 24th August ‘B’ Battery fired its first shot in anger, when the Turks raided Sheik Othman; and on 26th they went on the offensive against a small village called Waht.  Here the area was so flat and devoid of cover that the battery, going into action at 2200 yards, came under heavy machine gun fire and had to retire to a safer range. The action was inconclusive; both sides decided to withdraw having judged the opposition to be too strong.
 
In the United Kingdom a 2nd and 3rd Battalion had been raised.  The 2nd Battalion was based at the Tower of London, and the 3rd Battalion, comprising soldiers not fit for service overseas, was based in Richmond, Surrey.