2/10th The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
The 2/10th (Scottish) Bn The King's (Liverpool Regiment) served in France and Flanders from February 1917 until its amalgamation with the 1st Battalion in Spring 1918 during the "Manpower Crisis".
A Cigarette Case inscribed with the insignia of the 57th Division
A cigarette case inscribed with the insignia of the 57th Division (a stirrup in the top left hand corner) and the Liverpool Scottish Regimental badge. The initials E B.W appear above the stirrup together with the motto 'Comme Je Trouve' ('As I Find') which is ascribed to a branch of the Butler family. On the back is an heraldic crest of a horse statant (standing) engraved to indicate that it should be drawn in gold with the motto 'Beneficii Memor'. This also belongs to Butler family, albeit a different Butler family. The weight of the case is just under nine ounces which makes it quite a solid item compared with a case that might be used in civilian life. It has been described as 'the sort of thing that would stop a bullet' and it was certainly made in a robust way, presumably to withstand the rigours of active service. It is hallmarked Bimingham 1918. An old penny (1d) is shown for scale. On the basis of the references to the Butler family and the inscribed initials, it would appear to have belonged to Colour Sergeant Edmund Butler Williams who served with the 2/10th and then with the 1/10th Liverpool Scottish. He survived the war.
The 57th Division was the second line division corresponding to the first line 55th (West Lancashire) Division. The 57th Division, with 2/10th (Scottish) Battalion The King's (Liverpool Regiment), moved to France and Belgium from the UK in early 1917. As a result of changes in the organisation of divisions, the 2/10th Liverpool Scottish merged with the 1/10th Liverpool Scottish (as the 1st Battalion was generally known) in April 1918 when its men moved from the57th to the 55th Division.
This item is in a private collection to which the Museum has access
For much of 1917 they served in the Bois Grenier Section near Armentières with their operating base in the small town of Erquinghem some few kilometers to the west. Although a relatively quiet sector of the front, there are 45 Liverpool Scottish graves in Erquinghem Churchyard Extension Cemetery, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. In all there are 680 graves in this churchyard.
Many of those graves result from the company-sized daylight trench raid known as 'Dicky's Dash', named after Captain Alan Dickinson MC, one of three brothers who served with the Liverpool Scottish. The Dicky's Dash raid took place just south of Bois Grenier on the afternoon of 29th June 1917 along the line of the 'Old Bridoux Road' from a point in the British front line known as the Bridoux Salient. It met with determined resistance from the enemy and although successful in gaining a foothold in the German line, met with heavy casualties in the enemy trenches and on the return to the British frontline. The memorial cairn to the men of the 2nd battalion is placed in a landscaped area about 1km south of Bois Grenier.
Basil Rathbone, (picture left Copyright 20th Century Fox) the actor later famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, served with the Liverpool Scottish in this area, and is recorded as being billeted at La Rolanderie Farm near to Erquinghem. He later gained an MC as the Patrols Officer when later serving with the 1st Battalion after the amalgamation in early 1918.
Frank Macdonald, serving in this area with the 2nd Battalion and standing on top of the battalion Headquarters, witnessed the detonation of the mines under Messines Ridge on June 6th 1917, an explosion reputedly heard in London, and heard the gas bombardment of Armentières, both recorded in his diary. The diary describes how the trenches were built up as breastworks rather than dug down into the earth as a result of the wetness of the land, a feature of the area today. Excepts from his diary can be found here.