World War I: Four British Diaries

Collection Summary

Title: World War I: Four British Diaries
Call Number: MS 88-33
Size: 0.5 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from Sotheby’s
Processed By: AG, 2-1986; JEF, 2-27-1998; MN, 11-26-2013
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

Four diaries kept by British soldiers during World War I lend personal and official observations of the operations and strategies of combat. John Errington Lang of the Royal Berkshire Regiment and Machine Gun Corps recorded his service in his diary and officer’s record from 1913 to 1919. Bombardments of the Gaza Strip are described in the war diary of the 97th Heavy Artillery Group with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. The War Diary of the 41st Brigade, Royalfield Artillery, dating from from 1916 to June 1919, recorded fighting in Germany and Belgium. Marseilles, France and the Somme River are battlegrounds in 1916 and 1917, as recorded in the War Diary of the 4th Battalion, Worcester Regiment.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1 John Errington Lang Materials. Includes Lang’s diary and officer’s record, 1913-1919.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 2-4 War Diaries. Activities of the 97th Heavy Artillery Group; the 41st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery; and the 4th Battalion, Worchester Regiment are recorded in these copies, 1916-1919.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ John Errington Lang Materials

Box 1 FF 1 Contains a small booklet in a blue cover entitled “Officer’s Record of Services, Army Book 439” which belonged to John Errington Lang of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. Entries include dates from 1913 to 1919. This file folder also contains Lang’s diary, 105 Machine Gun Company, containing handwritten pages describing operations against the Germans at Rouge Croix, Port Logy, Port Arthur, Vielle Chappelle, Beaval, Ribeaucourt, and Aubigny (Somme), 1916-1917.

Series 2 ‒ War Diaries

Box 1 FF 2 Contains a War Diary of the 97th Heavy Artillery Group. This component of the Royal Field Artillery engaged in bombardments of Cricket Debout, Middlesex Hill, Labyrinth, Wadi, Goetz Dedoubt, Tank Ridge, and road exits from Gaza; then marched to Jerusalem and from there to Alexandria with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. 1917.
Box 1 FF 3 Contains a War Diary of the 41st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, title sheet dated March 29, 1921. Typewritten on 11" x 16˝” sheets. The diary describes heavy fighting from July 1, 1916 to June 21, 1919, when all officers and O. R. of the 41st Brigade were disbanded. The narrative includes combat with the Germans at Schwaben Redoubt, Munich, Frankfort, Antwerp, and numerous other places.
Box 1 FF 4 Contains a War Diary from the 4th Battalion, Worchester Regiment, on the Western Front. The diary, which is handwritten in pencil, begins with arrival of the Fourth Battalion at Marseilles, France, March 20, 1916, and covers heavy fighting near the Somme River. Many intelligence summaries, operation orders, trench maps, and other papers are interspersed among the pages, which are numbered through 89, but it is followed by many unnumbered ones. 1916-1917.