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CSM 18942 BURNS JOHN 13th BN The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

Date of Death:16/08/1916
The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 13th Bn. Pier and Face 1 D 8 B and 8 C   THIEPVAL MEMORIAL 

           This is John  1898 in the Cheshire Regiment 3rd Battalion

13th Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment


Oct 1914 Formed at Seaforth, Liverpool ? K3 ? Salisbury Plain: Army Troops   
Nov 1914 Bournemouth in Billets

1915 Feb 1915          Attached to 76th Brigade, 25th Division.                                       

May 1915   Aldershot.       27th Sept Landed at La Havre, 25th Division,  76th Infantry  Brigade, Commander Lieut Col A. St H.Gibbons                                                                                                         

 28th Sept  at Hazebrouck for Merris where it billeted until 2ndOctober

3rd ? 5th Oct Moved to Nieppeto undergo training in trench warfare,                          

6th ? 13th Oct     Ploegsteert sector from where companies were sent in turn to the front line trenches.

14th Oct 76th Brigade transferred to 3rd Division, moved to Bailleul.

 5th- 17th Oct Encamped at Ouderoom

17th ? 21st Oct Sanctuary Wood in Trenches

 22nd? 31stOct  Posted to 8th Infantry Brigade.Moved to billets near Steenvoorde, moved between trenches and billets.

 1st ? 22nd NovMoved to billets in Steenvoorde

 23rd ? 28th Nov In Billets Poperinghe.

 29th Nov ? 6th Dec In trenches near St Eloi

 7th ? 13th Dec n Billets Poperinghe.

 13th ? 21st Dec n trenches near St Eloi.

 22nd ? 28th Dec In Billets Poperinghe.

 28th - 31st Dec eserve Billets at Dickebusch.

 1916   1st ? 4th JanDickebusch, in reserve billets but working parties sent out nightly to Voormezeele and Kingsway.

 5th ? 31st Jan   Reninghelst, used as pioneer Battalion for 3rd Division, working parties sent out to Voormezeele and Kingsway.

Sergeant John Burns was Scalded in the field (Trench Foot) on the 7th Jan and sent to 7th Field Ambulance, from there he was sent to the casualty clearing station at Mont Des Carts.

1st to 5th Feb Reninghelst   Sergeant John Burns returned to duty on 4th Feb

6th Feb  Marched to Poperingheand entrained for Audruicq.

7th ? 13thFeb In billets 2 Companies in Nortbecourt and 2 Companies in Mentque.

14 ? 15 Feb  Actions on the Bluff.

16th ? 23rd Feb In billets 2 Companies in Nortbecourt and 2 Companies in Mentque.

 24th ? 29th Feb (Leap Year)  Returned to 8th Brigade no longer pioneers.

 1st Mar St Oier entrained for Poperinghe.

2nd ? 7th Mar Ouderoom, labour camp to work on Kingsway.

On 2nd March Lance Sergeant John Burns 13th Kings Liverpool Regiment was sent to the ?Bluff? to the 8th Kings Own Lancaster Regiment with a message. As they were going over the top at 4.30 am he was told that he had better go over with them which he did, see letter he sent home to his wife after this action.

7th ? 11th Mar A? Camp

 11th ? 17th Mar Voormezeele, 2 companies to Scottish Wood and 2 Companies to Dickebusch. ?A? Coy to Sport Bank 18th ? 26th Mar Voormezeele, 2 Companies in the firing line.

26th Mar  Dickbusch

27 Mar St Eloi craters relieved 1st NF

28th Mar B C D Companies back to billets, (K Camp) A Company stayed on the line.

 30th Mar ?A? Company back to billets.

 31st Mar 2 Companies to Dickbusch and 2 Companies to Voormezeele.

4th Apr Transferred from 8th to the 9th Brigade 3rd Division.

April, May, June, Billets at Kemmel, Locre and Meteren, areas in between the front line trenches.

1st July Bayenghem to Audruicqstation and entrained for Doullens.

Marched in stages Bernaville, Vignacourt, Bertangies, LaHoussaye, arriving at Morlancourt on 7th July.

 9th July Moved in to trenches from Marlboro Wood and Pommiers Trenches inclusive.

13th ? 17th July The 13th KLR as part of the 3rd Div had been detailed to be one of the attacking Battalions to take part in the operation known as the Battle of Bazentin Ridge on the 14th July.

On the night of 13th July the assaulting troops assembled in Caterpillar Valley, at about 10.30pm the 13th advanced in line of companies approximately 100 yds apart to within 200 yds of the German trenches and by 01.45am were digging cover in the positions allotted to them. The carrying parties then started to bring up stores and ammunition to the forward dumps behind each battalion. This went on until 3.00am, in the mean time the attacking troops had begun to creep forward and by 3.15am to within 120 yds from the German trench.

The 13th Kings had ?A? Coy on the right, ?B? Coy in the centre, ?C? Coy on the left and ?D? Coy in support. At 3.20am an intense bombardment commenced on the enemy positions and at 3.25am the assault began. The Kings moved forward rapidly and as they topped the ridge machine and artillery fire opened up on them but by this time the men were in front of the wire which had been well cut and despite the machine gun fire the battalion quickly took the German front line. On resuming the advance in to Bazentin-Le-Grand the 13th Kings were exposed to heavy machine gun fire from the main road leading in to the village and also from the rooftops, the battalion machine guns were pushed forward and they managed to keep down the enemy fire allowing the attacking companies to advance in to the village however the battalion had sustained heavy casualties however the advance continued. ?B? Coy was on the left of the main road through the village, ?D? Coy advanced down the main road, with ?C? Coy on the right of the main road, ?A? Coy was on the extreme right of the Battalion, they suffered many casualties when enemy bombers got in to a communication trench, these bombers were beaten back when Sec- Lieut Clarke arrived with a large supply of bombs for the Kings men. Bazentin-Le-Grand was captured but with the loss of the C.O. Lieu-Col A. St Hill Gibbons. They were relieved by 2 Companies of Northumberland Fusiliers and moved back to the old German front line trench north-east of the village. Casualties to the 13th Kings were given as Officers: 8 Killed, 9 Wounded, 1 Missing. Other Ranks 117 Killed, 243 wounded, 16 Missing. Total 18 Officers and 421 Other ranks, the heaviest casualties in the Brigade.

 On 14th July 1916 Sergeant John Burns was promoted to Company Sergeant Major ?A? Company after the death of Charles Keen (CSM ?A? Coy) 

 15th ? 18th July Bazentin-Le-Grand remained in the old German front line trench north east of the village.

 19th July Marched back 3 miles behind the line to bivouacs at Talus Boise remained for 2 days.

 22nd July 10pm Left bivouacs to prepare for an attack on Delville Wood.

 23rd July The 13th Kings were to move forward behind the 12th West Yorkshires, and consolidate a line inside the Northern edge of Delville Wood.

Attacked Delville Wood,War Diary report by Major C. H. Seton.                                   

Went over at 3.40am, heavy machine gun fire from ?Piccadilly? terrific enfilade.

This attack in my opinion was carried out to rapidly and without any previous preparation or reconnaissance of the positions that were to be attacked and was unsuccessful owing to the failure of the attacks on our right and left flanks. Had these attacks been successful it would certainly have drawn a considerable quantity of the enemies troops and guns from our front and also prevented the enfilade fire which we were subjected to. I think that if our troops had had a little more rest they would have benefitted by it before attacking.

My Battalion formed up in the sunken road west of Longueval Village ready to move forward. I had 3 Companies in the first line with support and one Company (under my supervision in reserve). No blame can be attached to the gallant troops who did all that was possible to carry out their orders but the conditions were dead against them.

4 Other ranks killed, 3 Officers and 32 Other ranks wounded, 14 Other ranks missing Total 50

25th July Moved to billets at Ville Sur Ancre.

14/15 Aug 3rd Division including 13th KLR take over the line near Guillemont, they were ordered to prepare for an attack (The fourth one) on Guillemont to take place on the 16th August

16th Aug     The frontage of the Guillemont attack allotted to the 3rd Division was practically a semi circle running from the ravine on the right (To be attacked by the French) to a German strong point in the sunken road just east of Arrow Head Copse. Within this semi circle the assaulting troops of the two Brigades were to go forward open to enfilade fire from both flanks, and from a double line of trenches to the front.  Opposite the center of the 13th Kings was an advanced forward German trench with open flanks called Lonely trench. The 13th were to attack on the right and the 4th Royal Fusiliers 

Company Sergeant Major John Burns was Killed in Action on 16th August 1916 whilst leading his men into an attack on the village of Guillemont Somme France. He was reported to have been buried in a cemetery behind the lines possibly Guillemont Road cemetery but he has no known grave