Reference: WO95/1154
7th Cav Bde HQ: 12th - 27th May 1915
Brigade Major: Captain D P Tollemache (7th Hussars)

War Diary
Intelligence Summary

Hour, date, Place Summery of Events and Information Remarks and references to Appendices
May 7th Marched at 5 pm via STEENVOORDE and St. SYLVESTRE to (approximately) old billets West of HAZEBROUCK. Bde HQ at Chateau between WALLON CAPEL and SERCUS in centre of Bde billeting area.  
May 8th Remained in same billets.  
May 9th Staff Officer sent for at 9 a.m. to Div HQ at HAZEBROUCK, where verbal instructions were given for horses to be left in billets, (and B echelon transport) with 1 man to 4 horses, plus Bde to "embuss" as quickly as possible. "A" echelon and pack horses to follow Bde. Head of Bus column reached HAZEBROUCK at 11:45 a.m. and pro-ceded via St. SYLVESTRE and ABEELE to X roads between 7th & 8th kilo stones on main VLAMERTINGHE - YPRES road. Here Bde de-bussed and went into huts in square H.5. 1 mile N.W. of YPRES. Pack horses followed, bearing machine guns and tools. "A" echelon remained West of VLAMERTINGHE. Orders received en-route for working party of 600 men from the Bde to be at 8:30 p.m. at Chateau REGENSBERG on the BRIELIN - YPRES road. Limbered wagons of Bde brought tools to this point. R.E. Officers joined party as guides - crossed YPRES canal and completed portion of GHQ line in square I.2. - returned to huts at 3:30 a.m.  
May 10th -11th
Huts W. of Ypres
Remained in huts - Block D  
May 12th Division was warned that it would be required to relieve infantry in trenches E. of YPRES at 5 p.m. Bde went to Div HQ and received verbal orders to take over line of trenches between VERLORENHOEK (exclus. of road) and the YPRES - ROULERS railway (exclus.) from the 85th Inf. Bde. Bde Major went at 6:30 p.m. to 85th Bde in dug-out in grounds of White Chateau, just N.E. of POTIJZE, to get information about the line.

Bde marched at 7:30 p.m. reached POTIJZE at 9 p.m. where guides of 85th Bde met regiments and and led them straight to their trenches. Line was divided into three equal sections - Leicestershire Yeomanry on right, next the railway, 2nd Life Guards in centre, 1st life Guards on left, up to but exclus. the YPRES - ZONNEBEKE road. Each regiment had 2 squadrons in front line and 1 squadron in support, and a small supporting point behind for 1.M.G and a few rifles. Support Trenches varied in distance from front line, that of the 1st Life Guards being 50 yards behind, that of the 2nd Life Guards being 200 yards. While the Leics Yeo support trenches was 400 yards behind the front line. No communication trenches existed between supports and front line &  no wire in front of the 1st & 2nd Life Guards. Front trenches very incomplete and a gap of 70 yards existed between right & left squadrons of 1st Life Guards. 2nd Life Guards had to use part of support in front line.
May 13th Line taken over by midnight. 6 Cav Bde continued the line on the right, S. of YPRES - ROULERS railway. 1st Cav Bde on left, N. of YPRES - VERLORENHOEK - ZONNEBEKE road. Trenches very incomplete, as stated, being in some places only 2ft deep, with no comms trenches & no wire in front of left or centre section. No previous reconnaissance by 7th Cav Bde had been possible. Trenches also appear to have been badly sited, on forward slope, in full view of hostile artillery observers. Troops worked until daylight to improve trenches. Time & labour did not suffice to dig comm trenches.

From 3:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. line held by 7th Cav Bde was subjected to violent bombardment with large high explosive shells, much of the trench became untenable, and the centre portion of the line fell back. German Infantry advancing through the gaps thus made, and threatening to cut off the portions that remained. Consequently all troops remaining in or near the front line, including what was left of the supports of the 1st & 2nd Life Guards, fell back or drew into the flank. The 1st Life Guards on the left reaching the trenches of the right regiment (The Bays) of the 1st Cav Bde. - The 2nd Life Guards, in the centre, finding no immediate protection which they could hold, fell back to the GHQ line and assembled there. Two half Squadrons of the Leicestershire Yeomanry who had remained in the front line, finding themselves attacked by infantry in front and also on their left flank down the trench, closed to their right, disputing each traverse with the enemy. Both Squadron Leaders and 2 other Officers were killed, and most of the men. At 12 noon or after, 1 surviving Officer and 12 men made their way across the railway, which was swept by M.G. fire, into the trenches of the left regiment (3DG) of the 6th Cav Bde. "A" Sqn Leics Yeo holding the support trench 400 yards to the rear and 400 yards N. of railway, continued to hold its trench, and checked the advancing German infantry. Major Ricardo in command of this Squadron. Col. Freke, Leics. Yeo. was killed in trying to reach the support trench from the rear. The Bde Major 7th Cav Bde looking for what was left of Bde reached HQ 6 Cav Bde by railway crossing, and was told by General Campbell to ensure that this Squadron Leics. Yeo. held onto its trench, as otherwise his left would be exposed. Bde Major reached Leics. Yeo. trench about 10.30 a.m. Major Ricardo, though wounded, still in command. Germans establishing a firing line about 250 yards distance, and digging in, also making an M.G. emplacement. No other British Troops on left flank of this Squadron. At 2:30 p.m. a counter attack by 8th Cav Bde was launched. The Royal Horse Guards advancing between the Leics. Yeo. support trench and the railway. German Infantry rose from the newly made trench and returned. Leics. Yeo. now about 40-50 strong, opened as rapid a fire as the muddy state of the rifles would permit, then , as the enemy got more distant, and the RHG line went forward, all sound men of the Leics. Yeo. remaining in the trench. went forward on the left of the RHG under the Bde.Maj. 7th Cav Bde. Major Ricardo having been wounded for the third time, was unable to advance from the trench. The detachment of Leics. Yeo. advanced to farm at N.W. corner of I.6.C. where they were momentarily checked by fire, & where the only remaining Officer of the Leics. Yeo. (with the detachment) was wounded. Then advanced and occupied the trench just in front of the farm (N.W. corner of I.6.C), about the centre of the line held by the Bde early in the morning. About 30 Leics. Yeomen remained, and about 6 of the Royal Horse Guards had joined the party, having become detached from their regiment. No other troops could be seen on right or left. Uncertain what had become of the RHG. Trenches on both sides appeared unoccupied. Later about 5 p.m. 2 wounded officers of RHG Capt. Foster & 2/Lt Lewison-Gower, with 3 wounded and 2 unwounded men of RHG discovered just S.E. of farm, in or near line of old trenches. Did not know what happened to remainder of regiment. Party of Leics. Yeo. with details of RHG attached remained in possession of trench for remainder of day, under Bde.Maj. 7th Cav Bde, who despatched a message after dusk to general Campbell, CO 6 Cav Bde, explaining situation of detachment, and asking for instructions as to holding on to forward trench, or retiring. Message sent by men of RHG never reached General Campbell or any other officer. About 8 p.m. a small party of British Troops was seen retiring from farm to the N.W. (I.5.B). This afterwards was known to be a party of Essex Yeo, Three men of this regiment having become detached, had joined the left of the Leics. Yeo. detachment. About 9 p.m. having failed to discover any other troops on the right or left, trench was vacated, and wounded carried back to road in I.11.B including wounded officers and men of RHG, 3 badly wounded men of the 2nd Life Guards left out from the early morning & several slightly wounded Leics. Yeo. Only 3 sergeants & 14 men number & file of Leics. Yeo. remained unwounded, and about 6 RHG.

On reaching road at (I.11.b) RHG were found to be lining the road, together with the remainder of the 7th Cav Bde which had come up during the afternoon from the GHQ line, in support of the counter attack, and were employed to entrench a new line, in front of road, and behind the old line vacated that morning. detachments of 1st & 2nd Life Guards had followed up the counter attack, bearing tools and sand bags.

at {10 pm or 12 am} 7th Cav Bde, together with 8th Cav Bde was withdrawn to POTIJZE, rationed, and placed in GHQ line. Brigadier returned to huts W. of YPRES - Bde (with Bde.Maj.) remained in GHQ line under Brigadier.General. 8th Cav Bde. Strength of 7th Cav Bde on the night of the 13th - 1st LG = 7 Officers and 150 Other ranks, 2nd LG = 7 Officers and 150 other ranks and the Leicestershire (PAO) Yeomanry 1 Officer and 60 other ranks