This is a very good and informative history of a Territorial battalion during the Great War, written by an officer who served in it as Intelligence Officer, Assistant Adjutant and Adjutant and who for more than two years was responsible for keeping the War Diary. He has made good use of this responsibility and in a series of appendices has produced the sort of detail not often seen in a battalion or regimental history. There is the battalion itinerary which charts every movement and location with dates from 4th August 1914 to 19th June 1919 with explanatory notes and comments, such as: “28.2.16. [Move to] Right section, Authuille Trenches. Relieved 1/4th Bn KOYLI.” Another lists every officer who served in the battalion noting when they joined (the originals are identified) and what befell them, with dates; e.g. killed, wounded, sick, transferred etc and then there is a similar list for all the Warrant Officers and Company Quarter Master Sergeants, I do not remember seeing such a list in any other history. There is a summary of casualties which shows the various periods of time over which they were incurred and the relevant sector of the front - a total of 98 officers 2,733 other ranks. There is also a list of Honours and Awards, which includes one VC, and it is made clear that only those conferred on personnel for services rendered while actually serving with the Battalion are included. There is no complete battalion Roll of Honour nor, unfortunately, is there an index.
4th DW was one of the regiment’s three Territorial battalions (the other two were 5th and 6th), based in Halifax, Yorks, part of the 2nd West Riding Brigade (later 147th), West Riding Division (later 49th). For the first three months of the war it was on coast defence near Hull and Grimsby before moving to Doncaster, where it remained till embarking for France on 14th April 1915. It fought on the Western Front for the rest of the war, staying in the same brigade and division. The story of the battalion, written primarily for the men who served with it, is well told, based on official documents, supplemented by personal recollections of many officers and other ranks; the sketch maps are clear and most of them concentrate on the battalion’s front as opposed to the general area-type maps. Well recommended.
Keywords: history, war, duke of wellington, battle of the somme, ww1, wwi, first world war, world war one, world war 1, battalion, west riding, regiment, fleurbaix, ypres, belle vue spur, passchendaele ridge, battles, maps, itinerary, historical