Reference: WO95/1155
1st/1st Leicestershire (PAO) Yeomanry
7th Cav Bde HQ: 12th - 27th May 1915

War Diary
Intelligence Summary

Hour, date, Place Summery of Events and Information Remarks and references to Appendices
May 7th
Bois De Huit Rues
Brigade marched to HAZERBROUCK and went into original Billets there.  
May 8th Brigade stood to in billets.  
May 9th
8:30 am
regiment received message that enemy had made considerable advance by making use of poisonous gas, and were ordered to stand to, ready to move at very short notice.  
9:30 am Regiment received orders to concentrate dismounted with A echelon at LES CINQ RUES, as soon as possible, leaving one man to 4 horses.  
11:30 am Brigade left LES CINQ RUES in buses at 11:30 am.  
BRIELEN Regiment went into huts at BRIELEN near YPRES. Formed digging party of 200 men at night.  
May 10th Regiment stood to in huts in BRIELIN.  
May 11th Stood to in dug outs at BRIELEN.  
BRIELEN Regiment ordered to take over line of trenches near BELLEWAARDE FARM from Shropshire light Infantry on the 12th. Lt A F Turner and Lt SPD Thomson were sent forward on the night of the 11th/12th to take over these trenches. Both were killed by a shell in a dug out. Lt W S Fielding-Johnson accompanied these officers but returned to Regiment to act as guide. The taking over of this particular line of trenches was subsequently cancelled.  
May 12th Stood to in dugouts at BRIELEN and gave men exercise in use of respirators.  
7:30 am Moved off and took over trenches just North of railway, near BELLEWAARDE FARM from Royal Fusiliers. B echelon  ordered to supply 32 more men as reinforcements. This party, with others of the 7th Cavalry Brigade set out in buses under 2/Lt T E Brooks and joined Regiment in huts at BRIELEN.  
May 13th Position of Regiment at midnight 12th/13th, 700 yards West of road joining ZONNEBEKE ROAD and YPRES-MENIN ROAD : Extreme right resting on railway running NE from YPRES, and extending to farm about 300 yards NNW of railway.  
  B Sqn occupied North, C Sqn South part of front line trenches. The trenches were bad, 5 feet deep and 2 1/2 feet wide at the bottom. Parapets at front and back slanted very much and were made of lose soil. There were few sand bags and no dug outs or other protection from shell fire.  
  A Sqn occupied support trenches 300 yards in rear and on left flank of B Sqn.  
  M.G.s in C Sqn trench close to railway.  
  RHQ in Dug outs on road joining ZONNEBEKE ROAD and MENIN ROAD, 150 yards North of railway. During the night the trenches were some what improved.  
3:30 am Heavy shell fire 3:30 am to 6:00 am but few casualties. The enemy then began to pour over their parapets with the evident intention of attacking, but being met, by heavy fire from our men. They retired again to their trenches.  
  A second and more violent bombardment immediately began and was kept up until 7:300 am. Our losses during this bombardment were heavier and the M.G.s were knocked out and trench blown in.  
7:30 am The enemy attacked and occupied the advanced trenches vacated by the Regiment on our left; from there they gained part of the B Sqn trenches. They then advanced within 200 yards of the support trenches and dug themselves in, using steel shields as protection. **** 2nd Life Guards were the Regiment to the left of B Sqn.
  Those of the enemy who had occupied the B Sqn trench advanced along the trench, and Major B R Leibert, Lt. W S Fielding -Johnson and SSM J P Swain, with what was left of B Sqn retired down the trench and joined C Sqn. Here Major W F Martin ordered barricades of sand bags to be placed across the trench. Some of the trench party fired over barricades at the enemy advancing from the flank, others at the enemy advancing from the front. major W F Martin, Major Leibert, Lt C Peake and 2/Lt T E Brooks were all killed. The casualties were so heavy that Lt Fielding-Johnson, the only surviving officer, decided to retire down the trench to cross the railway and to join the 3rd Dragoon Guards on the other side of it. he had great difficulty in crossing the railway which was swept by the enemy's machine guns. Finally the crossing was effected by building a sand bag parapet across the railway and Lt Fielding-Johnson joined the 3rd DGs with SSM Swain and 14 men, the sole survivors of the two squadrons of Leicestershire yeomanry who had occupied the advance trenches.  
6:00 am Lt. Col. Hon P C Evans-Freke decided to establish a small advanced post at a building about 150 yards in advance of the support trenches. He personally placed 2/Lt T H Simpkin with 15 men in charge of this post. While returning to the support trenches he was shot dead.  
12 Noon The supports held this position until the Brigade Major Capt D P Tollemache arrived. The enemy were by this time very near at hand carrying shield which appeared to be quite bullet proof and were digging themselves in. Major Ricardo displayed great gallantry in holding onto the support trenches although wounded four separate times.  
2:30 pm When the counter attack was made by the RHG, 10th Hussars and Essex Yeomanry, the remains of A Sqn, led by Capt Tollemache and Lt T W Best joined in the charge. the counter attack drove the enemy out of the new trenches which were made near our support trenches, but did not retake our advanced trenches; consequently the dead and the wounded were never recovered.  
The Regiment was relieved during the night 13th/14th by the Royal Irish Fusiliers and reached their huts at BRIELEN about 4:00 am on the 14th.  
May 13th The casualties of the action on the 13th were as follows:

Lt.Col. The Hon P C Evans-Freke
Major W F Martin
Major B R Leibert
Lt C Peake
2/Lt T E Brooks
Officers = 5        O/R = 47

Major Ricardo
Capt C H Martin
Capt E R Hanbury
Capt G R Codrington
Lt T W Best
Officers = 5         O/R = 90

Missing O/R = 39
May 14th Stood to in dug outs at BRIELIN.