Durham Light Infantry

SIDNEY CHARLES BACKHOUSE  Return to Sidney Charles Backhouse Page

Private 47363.

After enlistment Sidney would have received basic training before joining the 13th Durham Light Infantry who we already stationed on the Western Front.

The 13th DLI entered the fighting south of La Boisselle on 7 July. In late July and early August, the battalion was involved in desperate fighting around Munster Alley east of Pozieres. There the battalion suffered over 100 casualties.

After spending the rest of August in reserve at Armentieres, 13 DLI returned to the Somme with the 23rd Division. On 7 October, 13 DLI joined an attack on Le Sars. Whilst 12 DLI, assisted by a tank, captured the Tangle, 13 DLI bombed its way into the ruined village. Over 150 Germans were taken prisoner, whilst the battalion suffered some 60 casualties. After this fighting, 13 DLI left the Somme for the Ypres Salient.

On 7 July 1917, after the successful attack in June by the 23rd Division on Messines Ridge, 13 DLI was in the trenches at Klein Zillebeke.

The 13th Battalion DLI was again in action in September, during the Third Battle of Ypres, in the fighting on the Menin Road. Then, in October 1917, 13 DLI, as part of a combined French and British force, was sent to northern Italy, where Austrian and German forces had defeated the Italian Army at Caporetto and was threatening Venice.

Whilst in Italy, 13 DLI served in both the trenches on the Piave River and on the Asiago Plateau. However, before the final Allied advance across the Piave, the battalion was withdrawn from Italy in September 1918 to join the Allied advance on the Western Front. Fierce fighting followed and by the end of October,13 DLI had lost over 300 men, including Sidney, killed or wounded.

Information provided by Tom Blears from the Lotherton History Group.