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Imperial War Museum War Partnership logoFirst World War - On this day...... 11th September 1916

 

Remembering the men from the Kingsdown and Creekside Cluster
who gave their lives in the First World War

On the centenary of their death, we remember

William James RALPH (of Luddenham)
b. Fourth quarter of 1886;
d. 11th September 1916. Aged 30 years.


Private G/12834
1st Battalion, Queens Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment
Remembered with Honour
Serre Road Cemetery, No.2
Grave Ref: XXXVI. D. 15.

Killed in Action

Serre Road Cemetery No2

We have added this account even though the name does not appear on the Luddenham Memorial. The reason for adding this man is that he was born in the Parish (Q4 of 1886) and baptised in Luddenham Church on 16th January 1887. William James Ralph has been included in past commemoration services. The story is written here to share as full a version of his story as we can. His younger sister, Ellen (b.1887), was also born in Luddenham.

William was the eldest of six surviving of seven children raised by John William and Elizabeth (nee Sage; married in Q2 1884) as they moved around this part of Kent to find work. William remained with his parents throughout his youth and adulthood and did not marry.

The births of his siblings tells us how frequently William moved but never very far, until he enlisted.

From Luddenham, the family moved to Ospringe (Herbert Stanley, b.1890); then No.5 Lindfield Cottages, Goodnestone, nr. Faversham (Frank, b. 1891), In 1890, another brother, Herbert Stanley was; and finally the family moved to Rochester. As an adult, William worked as a grocer’s assistant in Rochester where his two youngest siblings, Percy and Susannah, were born. In his attestation papers, William says he is now a "shop keeper". It is in Rochester, on 12th September 1919, that William’s mother confirms all William’s siblings as Ellen (31), Herbert (29), Percy (28), Frank (27), and Susannah (20) when claiming her son's effects (including medals) from the Army.

In 1915, William's address, 23 North Street, Strood, Rochester, was that of his widowed mother - William's sole legatee in his Will. William died with effects of £3 7s. 10d, followed by a War Gratuity of £3 after the war. Calculation of William's shows a pay calculation based on 226 days service at Home, followed by 52 days with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front. William's mother received his medals (British War and Victory Medals) on 29th September, 1921.

Military Records

When William was attested on 10th December at Rochester he found himself in the 9th (Reserve) Battalion, Queens Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment with regimental number G/12834. The excellent Long Long Trail website explains that the 9th Battalion was first formed at Chatham on 24 October 1914 as a Service Battalion for the fourth Kitchener (K4) Territorial Army and came under command of 93rd Brigade, 31st Division. On 10 April 1915, the 9th Service Battalion was converted into a reserve (R) battalion. During June 1915 the Battalion moved to Canterbury and then onwards to Colchester in July 1915. This is where William Ralph would have found himself on joining.

William was transferred out of the 9th (Reserve) Battalion on 26th March and confirmed for overseas service on 27th March 1916, in Maidstone. William was mobilised in the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kents) Regiment.

At this time, William is described as 5 feet 10½ inches (quite tall for this period). His chest measurement was a solid 38 inches with expansion of 3½ inches. He weighed 153lbs (nearly 11 stone or 69.4kg). Good eyesight. His medical report shows he was initially passed for Class II Field Service at Home because of his flat feet (27th March 1916). By 1916, the formal endorsement simply says “Fit for service in the field”.

William's Casualty Record provides some major landmarks for his soldiery. Now part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), he embarked for France on 22nd July 1916, disembarking the next day (23rd). At first, he joined the 7th Battalion in “D” Company and on 31st July/1st August 1916 he was re-assigned to the 1st Battalion. He was drafted to a Battalion that had taken substantial casualties and needed fresh soldiers to meet the demands planned for it. Not long after, William was reported “wounded and missing” in the thick of battle on 11th September 1916. Instructions were almost immediately given to send his “Will to the Officer Commanding Records, Hounslow for safe custody.” As was common during this war, it wasn't until 26th November 1916 that William was officially confirmed “Killed in action”, 52 days after leaving England.

Leuze Wood battle burial of William James RalphCommonwealth War Graves Commission documents show that William’s body was first buried at map reference 57c.T.21.c.43.35, identified by his general service uniform, boots, titles and a Lance Corporal stripe. His effects amounted to the “Lance Corporal strips, whistle, 2 dentures. Ring engraved W.J.R. and a piece of his identity disc with only _ _83_ showing”. His body was discovered next to another, unidentified, man. They were both disinterred from Leuze Wood, which was at the time of his death the location of the Battalion HQ. On , three of the four 1st Battalion Companies were withdrawn to this position (his fellow soldiers may have decided to remove William's body from the field for a battlefield burial at their HQ position). This would also explain how the CWGC came to find their bodies. Their remains were reburied (“concentrated”) to the North and West in SERRE ROAD CEMETERY, No.2, Beaumont-Hamel. (Map Ref: 57d.K.35.a.1.0). His place of Burial is given as Plot 36, Row D, Grave 15, Stone No. 6758 – a simple cross engraved with his Regimental Number, name and Regiment.

Mysteriously, the presence of Lance Corporal Stripes on his body implies that he may have been promoted “in the field” but this is not recognised in any of the official documentation following his death. Perhaps he was buried during the battle with only the clothing available, a borrowed tunic from another casualty? That question cannot be answered.

Circumstances of the death of William James Ralph

Before William arrived at the front on 31st July/1st August 1916, the 1st Battalion Diary shows that July was the calm before the storm and William's Battalion was moved into a planned assault.

1st July 1916 – “Trenches East of WAILLY: A very quiet day, spent in preparations for the attack, carrying, digging etc. Casualties – nil.” The next day, at short notice, “The Battalion was relieved, at a few hours’ notice, by 3 Companies of the 7th King’s Liverpool Regiment and 1 Company 1/4th Lancashire Regiment....without incident.”
On 3rd July, “the Battalion marched out of the trenches to half-a-mile West of BERNVILLE, where motor busses and lorries were waiting to take them via WANQEUTON, AVESNES, ETREE-WAMIN to HOUVIGNEUL [H.14 – map 51c] arriving between 5am and 8am. Battalion was placed on 3 hours’ notice to mobilise (without transport).”
The Battalion was withdrawn for redeployment at short notice in the planned attack in the WAILLY Sector that didn’t happen.

Aeroplane Co-operation Schemes: of general interest, so transcribed here. On 12th July [HOUVIGNEUL ] “a scheme of attack was carried out over imaginary trenches, by two companies comprised of officers and NCO’s of the four battalions of the Brigade to test the efficacy of cooperation between aeroplane and infantry. Lt-Col Buchanan Dunlop was in command. Captain Bennett commanded our company and an officer of the K.O.S.B. [King's Own Scottish Borderers] the other. An aeroplane flew over the ground over which the attack was made for two hours, receiving messages from the Battalion HQ and transmitting them by wireless to Brigade HQ, artillery etc; watching progress of infantry during advance and signalling it to Brigade HQ; and dropping plan-sketches of positions of enemy and attacking force, which were brought to Battalion from Brigade HQ.”

The following day (13th), orders were received to “move at 7.30pm to OUTREBOIS, about 10 miles W.S.W. DOULENS. Starting early at 7pm, and halting from 11pm-12 midnight for teas, the Battalion reached billets at 1.30am. Very crowded. Distance 16 miles. Following several marches that took them to HERRISART (15th July), FRANVILLERS (16th July) where several men fell out after 48 hours of continuous marching. 17th July was “a quiet day spent in billets attending to sore feet.” Then the battalion marched to MEAULTE until, on 19th July, the Battalion was ordered to relieve the 9th Brigade in the front line between BAZENTIN-LE-GRANDE and LONGUEVAL – on the German second line of system.
Between 20th and 21st July the Battalion was in trenches S.E. of HIGH WOOD with gun bombardments taking place regularly. With movements of troops came heavy casualties after a German attack on HIGH WOOD that was repelled with 11 killed, 55 wounded, 17 missing.
On 22nd July, British forces mounted a frontal attack: “Orders to the following effect were issued to the Battalion:- The hour fixed for the assault was 10pm and at that hour the barrage was to lift. "A" & "B" Companies were in the front line and were to attack in two waves. They were ordered to leave their own trenches before the barrage lifted and to get as close to the enemy trench as possible so that when the barrage lifted they could dash in. The second waves of these Companies were to carry entrenching tools which were to be left as close to enemy trenches as possible before final assault. "C" Company were ordered to occupy our original front line at 10pm and as soon as entering trench was captured they were to dig a support trench joining up the advance posts already made in front of our line. This Company was also to join up E. corner of HIGH WOOD with the captured trench.....” The very full account of the battle concluded with total casualties noted of – Officers killed, missing or wounded = 14; Other Ranks killed, missing or wounded = 377. A detailed account is given in the diary of each Company’s actions.
23rd-24th July: POMMIERS REDOUBT, TRENCHES S.E. of HIGH WOOD. The Battalion was relieved to POMMIERS REDOUBT “in bivouacs, resting, and re-organising and preparing casualty lists on both sides.” From bivouacs, parties were detailed to provide working parties to dig a new trench between MONTAUBAN and MONGUEVAL returning to bivouacs with 7 men wounded by shrapnel fire. This attempt to shore up defences continued under heavy bombardment and casualties increased. Attacks on 29th and 30th July were carried out to try to consolidate the British lines with heavy fighting, machine gun fire and shelling.

As William arrived at the Front (on 31st July) – “Battalion moved at 10am to bivouacs at POMMIER REDOUBT. A draft of 40 Other Ranks joined the Battalion. A carrying party of 2 officers and 70 Other Ranks was detailed at 7.30pm to carry rations to LONGEUVAL.” William’s draft would have faced a fairly battle weary Battalion trying to re-organise to cover the casualties inflicted through many days of hard fighting and consolidation.
The diary records in detail how William would have been occupied on arrival and thereafter. He was also quickly introduced to the use of poison gas shells.
1st September 1916: [Trenches S.W. of GUILLEMONT] “A fine day. Companies were employed cleaning up clothing, etc. The enemy during the previous night put a fair number of poison shells round the trench occupied by the Battalion, called DUBLIN trench. These shells were very harmless unless they exploded close when vomiting and temporary inconvenience occurred. The Brigadier-General Commanding the 13th Infantry Brigade came up in the morning and explained the C.O. what the orders for the attack, which was to be made in a few days’ time, would be.”
2nd September:Orders for an attack by the IV Army in conjunction with the French was received (S.1). In this attack the Battalion was to be in the Brigade reserve, and, after all the objectives were gained, was to move up, seize, and consolidate the S.W. edge of LEUZE WOOD (ref. GUILLEMONT map 1:20,000) but was also the ready to support the 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who were the left Battalion of the Brigade, in case of necessity. Company Commanders were taken very carefully through the orders and Battalion Orders issued to them (S.2). During the morning the G.O.C. 5th Division visited the Battalion and spoke to Company Commanders. Company Commanders had also explained as fully as possible to their platoon commanders and its C.O.s the nature of the operation and the importance of the object to be attained. At 9.45pm the Battalion moved off to its assembly trenches. A, B and C. Companies, which were forming the firing line, being accommodated in one long trench, which had only been dug a few nights before by the Pioneer Battalion attached to the Division. This trench ran roughly E and W from the Western edge of ANGLE WOOD (ref GUILLEMONT map 1:20,000) and was about 75 yards in rear and parallel to a trench occupied by part of the 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. This trench was in a dip and behind some old German gun emplacements and therefore not visible to the enemy, but was just in the line of the enemy’s barrage and for that reason was more or less continuously under shell fire. "D" Company, which formed the Battalion reserve, was in an old German trench about 500 yards in rear. Battalion HQ was situated in an old French trench on the high ground about B.7.a.3.7. From this point the whole of the enemy’s position could be seen with the exception of FALFEMONT FARM, which was just over the far side of the spur.
3rd September: {1.30-5am} Companies with the exception of "B" Company, were in position about 1.30 am, 3rd inst. The latter, owing to losing its way in the dark, was not in position till about 5am. Owing to the 14th R. Warwickshire Regiment requiring the whole of what was known as GORDON trench, "D" Company had had to be put back into the old German trench mentioned above, which was called COCHRAN trench (S.3). The weather was fine, but cloudy and threatening. The whole front was extraordinarily quiet and our men could be seen walking about out of the trenches with impunity. From about 8am onwards FALFEMONT FARM could be seen being shelled by our 12” Howitzers, but, owing to the formation of the ground, the farm itself could not be seen and it was difficult to say if this fire was effective. Our artillery was also shelling the trenches to the West of the Farm but this shelling did not appear to be very accurate, nor was it very heavy. At 9am the 2nd KOSB could be seen leaving their trenches. They appeared to reach the top of the spur with comparative ease, after which the enemy opened with machine guns, and they appeared to be suffering heavily. In spite of this they went on and disappeared from view over the rise and shortly after a report was received that they had got the Farm Enclosure, but could not take the farm itself owing to enemy machine guns; one of which could be distinctly seen out in the open on the left of the farm. This gun was pointed out to an artillery F.O.O. [Forward Observation Officer], but was never put out of action. The 15th R. Warwickshire Regiment was sent up to support the KOSB, but also failed to get the farm. At 1.45pm orders were received from the Brigade that, the 14th Royal Warwicks having failed to reach their objective, the Battalion would carry out the attack. As 3 Companies ("A", "B" and "C") were up, "D" Company being still back in COCHRAN trench, it was necessary to get "D" up before the attack could be made. Orders were sent round to Companies (S.4) re carrying out the attack and just as these orders were being dispatched a runner arrived from "D" Company to say that the Company had suffered considerably from shell fire and that there were no officers left with the Company, 2nd Lieuts Fleming and Longstaff having both been wounded and gone down to the dressing station. 2nd Lieut Martin, Battalion intelligence officer, who was at Battalion HQ, was therefore sent to take command of "D" Company with orders to get it up as soon as possible into GORDON trench and get in touch with "C" Company, who were now in a trench just to the right of GORDON trench, from which the 14th R. Warwicks have attacked. 2nd Lieut Dando, who was acting Adjutant, was at once sent to Advanced Brigade Field Quarters to inform the B.G.C., 13th Infantry Brigade that owing to "D" Company being some distance in rear and having lost its officers, some time would be required to get it up and launch the Battalion to the attack. Verbal orders came back from the Brigade, through 2nd Lieut Dando, that the attack was to be made not later than 2.30pm, but shortly after the time was extended to 3.15pm. In the meantime a message was received from O.C. 14th R. Warwicks (S.5) that he had captured his first objective which was some gun pits about B.1.b.5.3.
About 3pm and the message was received (S.6) from O.C. 14th R. Warwicks saying that he had ordered B. Company forward to consolidate and hold this position. The C.O., himself, then went to the advanced HQs of the Brigade and reported personally to the General that, owing to "B" Company being already employed and to casualties from shell fire, the Battalion was not strong enough to attack the position, which was some 400 yards in extent with FALFEMONT FARM on its right not yet taken. He informed the Brigade that at the utmost he had no more than about 150 men to carry out this attack. He, therefore, received verbal orders cancelling the attack and was ordered to move his Battalion up into the advanced trenches from which the KOSB had commenced their attack, about B.2.C.2.8. Runners were immediately sent round to Companies ordering them not to advance to the attack (S7). "C" Company had already started forward, but was withdrawn.
Two Battalions of the 15th Infantry Brigade now began to arrive (about 3.15pm). The CO went down to Battalion HQ of the 14th R. Warwicks where he saw Company Commanders of "C" and "D" Companies, pointed out the trenches they were to go to, and saw them start. "A" Company had already reported themselves in this position. About 8pm a message was received from O.C. "C" and "D" Companies, Capt. Bellman, (2nd Lieut Martin was killed soon after taking on "D" Company) that he had found the trenches, to which he had been ordered to take his Company, absolutely packed (S8), and asking permission to withdraw to his former trenches. Permission was granted and reported to Brigade (S9). At the same time orders were received from the Brigade for the Battalion to take on the left of the line; these were cancelled almost immediately as the 15th Infantry Brigade was taking over, and therefore reliefs to stand fast, but in the meanwhile "C" and "D" Companies has been moved down to their former trenches, and, therefore, the Battalion was holding the left of the line. During the latter part of the evening the 16th Royal Warwicks (15th Infantry Brigade) had also made an unsuccessful advance against FALFEMONT FARM and the Bedfords (15th Infantry Brigade) had relieved the 14th R. Warwicks and were holding a position of captured German trench in front of WEDGE WOOD, and were dug in about this point. The Battalion, which was now attached to the 15th Infantry Brigade (S10) had been ordered to support the Bedfords, but this was afterward changed in Operation Order for relief (S10) to be in support to 1st Cheshires, but this order was not received till the following morning, and, although "B", "C", and "D" Companies were in the required position. "A". Company was still in a trench to the right and some 400 yards forward of where they should have been. This Company was not moved as day-light had then come on.
4th September: The position of Companies was explained to B.G.C., 15th Infantry Brigade, at a conference of C.O.’s which was held at Advanced Brigade HQ at 9am. 4th inst. During the night a patrol under Corp FEAST had been sent out and had got into touch with OC Bedfords, who was in front near WEDGE WOOD.
At the C.O.’s Conference at Brigade HQ at 9am, 15th Brigade Operation Orders for attack were handed out (S11). The morning passed off fairly quietly. Zero hour was fixed at 3.10pm (S11a); about 2 minutes before this the 1st Norfolks and 1st Norfolks and 1st Cheshires were seen to leave their trenches and advance on FALFEMONT FARM and the trenches to the West. There appeared to be little artillery support to this attack and German machine guns still appeared to be active. The 1st Cheshires could be seen, however, working up the German trench which they got into towards the farm from the West, and at the same time enemy could be seen retiring from the Farm, which was now being heavily shelled, and retiring towards LEUZE WOOD. Soon after this enemy could be seen coming out and surrendering to the Cheshires in considerable numbers. At 3.35pm a message was received from 15th Infantry Brigade (S12) ordering the Battalion to be ready to support the 1st Norfolks. Two runners were immediately dispatched to O.C. 1st Norfolks with a message (S13) informing him where the Companies were situated, in case he should require support. These runners returned with a message that the O.C. 1st Norfolks did not require support, and a message was received by 5pm (S14) to the effect that his attack was held up by enemy machine gun fire, but that he required no more men until the enemy’s machine guns had been silenced by artillery. At 4.45pm orders were received from 15th Infantry Brigade to move up 2 Companies to support the 1st Bedfords at WEDGE WOOD (S15); orders were despatched at once to "C" and "D" Companies (S15a). By 5.25pm the runners came back and reported that these 2 Companies had gone up. The fact was reported to the Brigade (S16). These 2 Companies reported to O.C. Bedfords and who pushed forward by him towards LEUZE WOOD; they dug in about 200 yards short of the Wood sending patrols into the Wood, who got into touch with the 95th Infantry Brigade on our left. This trench, which was dug by "C" and "D" Companies under Captain Bellman, was now the most advanced trench held by the Brigade; the men dug extremely well getting down to a depth of 5’ in many places, the soil being particularly easy. During their advances – about 800 yards over the open – they suffered very few casualties. A few Germans, who were concealed in shell holes, came out and surrendered and were handed over to the Bedfords. With "C" and "D" Companies there were a certain number of Bedfords and Cheshires. At 8.30pm Captain Bellman received orders from O.C. Bedfords to withdraw "C" and "D" Companies and act as support to the Bedfords. He, therefore, withdrew to the original trench he started from, reporting to Battalion HQ, but his message was only received the following morning (S17).
5th September: FALFEMONT had been completely captured overnight (4th/5th) by 1st Norfolks, a message to this effect being received about 10am, 5th inst. (S18). News was also received that the French, although held up on our immediate right, had made great progress more to the right, and had reached the outskirts of COMBLES. The enemy were still hold out in the trenches on the SE of the Farm, but by a joint bombing attack by British and French, these trenches were taken on the morning of the 5th inst. Rations and water were got up to the Companies who passed a fairly quiet day in the trenches many souvenirs being obtained from the German gun pits and dug outs occupied by B Company. A German machine gun, which has been captured by the 14th R. Warwicks at this point, was brought back and handed over to the Brigade. At 9pm the Battalion was withdrawn to trenches about A.5.d.7.3 where they remained till the following evening when they marched back to bivouacs at the CITADEL, a large camp between FRICOURT and BRAY.
During operations of the 15th Infantry Brigade, 2 German officers and 136 other ranks were taken prisoner and 4 machine guns were captured.
The casualties during these operations were as follows:-

Officers: Killed. 2nd Lt. A. Martin. 2nd Lt. G.B. Hallowes.
Wounded. 2nd Lt R.H. Pracy (later died of wounds). 2nd Lt. A.W. Henfrey. Captain G.W. Press (twice wounded but remained at duty till after action). 2nd Lt. A.D. Fleming. 2nd Lt. O.J. Longstaff. Capt. S.R.Paul (remained at duty till after action). Capt. J.F. Bellman (remained at duty). 2nd Lt. H.B. Hill (remained at duty). 2nd Lt. H.V.D. Dyson (shell shock after action).
Other Ranks: Killed 21, Wounded and missing 165.

6th September: [CITADEL CAMP] Day spent in cleaning up and resting. A wire was received from the Commander-in-Chief congratulating the 5th Division (S19) on the successful operations of the past few days. A congratulatory wire was also received from General RAWLINSON (S20) on the successes against FALFEMONT FARM and LEUZE WOOD.
2nd Lt. P.B.S.G. Monypenny joined the Battalion.

{Click on map to view enlarged image}

Battle of Leuze Wood7th September: Weather fine. Day spent in cleaning up.
8th September: The Brigade paraded on ground EAST of Camp at 11.30am and were inspected by G.O.C. 5th Division, who congratulated all ranks on the attack enable by them on FALFEMONT FARM and LEUZE WOOD. He pointed out that the failure of the first attack on the FARM was due to no fault on the part of the Brigade but was owing to something going wrong with the Artillery Support. The dash and determination of the attack made by 13th Brigade had very materially assist the successful attack subsequently made by the 15th Brigade.
Later in the day a wire was received from General T.L.N. MORLAND KCB, DSO (S21) Commanding 14th Corps, congratulate all ranks of 5th Division on their gallant and devoted conduct during the recent operations.
2/Lt H.V.D. DYSON was sent to Hospital suffering from Shell Shock.

Orders were received (OO No.47) that 4th Army would renew attack on 9th Inst. The 13th Infantry Brigade to be in Corps Reserve and to assemble by the hour of zero at BILLON FARM ready to move at short notice (S22). The 5th Division to be prepared to take over front from 56th Division on the right of 9th/10th instant. Later orders were received that the front line troops only of 56th Division would be relieved on 10th inst. by a composite Brigade of 5th Division, which would come under the command of 56th Division.

9th September: Orders were received that the Composite Brigade would be under the command of Brigadier General L.O.W. JONES, DSO, and would be made up as follows:- 13th Infantry Brigade and Machine Gun Company. 1st Devonshire Regiment, 1st E. Surrey Regiment 15th Brigade Machine Gun Company, and 1/6th A&S Highlanders (Pioneer). This composite Brigade was to assemble at CITADEL. 2/Lt H.R.H BULLMAN, joined the Battalion.
10th September: The Battalion had orders to be prepared to be ready to move from the CITADEL CAMP at 8.30am. Verbal orders were afterwards received to move at 9.20am to the vicinity of MARICOURT. The Battalion bivouacked for the day just off the PERONNE ROAD West of MARICOURT. At 12 noon the Commanding Officer attended a C.O.'s Conference at Brigade HQ and there received orders. The Battalion moved off at 6.45pm (with orders to pass CHIMPANZEE trench at 7.30pm) and took over the front line trenches in LEUZE WOOD. The Companies ("A" on the right and then "B", "C", & "D" in that order) occupied a trench inside the wood with posts at the edge of the wood. Battalion HQ were in a dugout on the SW Edge of the WOOD which was shared by the O.C. of Battalion on the left (3rd London). The other three Battalions of 13th Infantry Brigade should have occupied trenches to our right, support trenches. Relief was reported complete at 11.30pm. During the night of the 10th/11th there was considerable shell and rifle fire, but little damage was done it was probable that the Battalion would be called upon to attack the Enemy trench which ran through T27.a.9. to T21.d.5.3. this trench had already been attacked by Queens Westminsters and taken but could not be held owing to enemy’s heavy shell fire. This projected attack was afterwards cancelled.
11th September: During the afternoon the enemy heavily shelled trenches from T21.a.6.4. to T21.d.2.5., and an enemy barrage was placed round the wood. This was reported to Brigade HQ at 1.30pm and the S.O.S. signal was sent up. No infantry attack, however, occurred.
During the night the Battalion less “A” Company was relieved by 3rd London Regiment and went into DUBLIN TRENCH (S. of the BRIQUTERIE). "A" Company moved back from the front line to a trench near Battalion HQ in LEUZE WOOD. A Company now became part of a composite Battalion under O.C. 14th Royal Warwick Regiment.
12th September: The Battalion remained in DUBLIN TRENCH. During the day information was received from Brigade that “A” Company would be relieved during the night, and guides were sent up to bring them in “A” Company re-joined Battalion about midnight.
Lt-Col H.D. BUCHANAN-DUNLOP DSO was admitted to field ambulance and Major H.A. WARING assumed command of the Battalion.

The casualties from 10th inst. were as follows:-
Capt. J.F. BELLMAN – Wounded – still at duty
2/Lt R.T.DAUBENEY - Wounded – still at duty
2/Lt G.W. DANDO - Wounded – still at duty
Other Ranks:- Killed = 7
Wounded and Missing = 58 of whom 4 are still at duty.

This confirms the likelihood that William died in the German bombardments of DUBLIN TRENCH in Leuze Wood.

William James Ralph died on 11th September and is counted in this report, firstly as missing then quickly confirmed as being killed in action.