The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1918 War Diary appendices
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. Order No.238 Reference Map. SENLIS
(1) The Battalion (less Battalion Hd Qrs) will relieve the 8th Royal Berks as Counter Attack Battalion in the Left Subsector. Battalion Headquarters will relieve Battalion Headquarters of 7th Royal West Kents. After relief Battalion will be disposed as follows: - "A", "D", "B" Coys in MELBOURNE TRENCH ("B" North. "A" in Centre. "D" Coy South). "C" Company in the MAZE. Battalion Headquarters at W.19.b.7.3. R.A.P. Side of track about W.19.b.2.2. Companies will relieve opposite Companies of Royal Berks (2) GUIDES. 1 per Company Headquarters. 1 per Platoon and 2 per Battalion Headquarters, will meet Battalion at Cross Roads V.22.c.8.8. (3) ROUTE. V.22.c.8.8. - along track to W in WATTLE ST - along BOUZINCOURT RD - track in valley W.19 Central. (4) ORDER OF MARCH. "B" - "A" - "D" - "C" Coys - Battalion H.Q. (5) TIME. First Platoon of "B" Company leaves here 10.15 p.m. (after 6th Northants) 100 yds interval between Platoons (6) Transport and Ration arrangements will be in accordance with instructions issued verbally at Conference held this morning (7) List of Trench Stores taken over will be forwarded to Battalion Headquarters at 8.0 a.m. 5th June. (8) Completion of relief will be reported to Battalion Hd Qrs by Code Word "TIN" Sgd. H.C.BROWNING [Herbert Compton BROWNING, MC] Capt & Adjutant 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment
2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. 10.6.18
1. The Battalion will be relieved by the 11th Battalion Royal Fusiliers tonight. Companies will be relieved in the following order. "D" Coy. Royal Fusiliers relieves "D" Coy Bedfords "A" Coy. Royal Fusiliers relieves "B" Coy Bedfords "C" Coy. Royal Fusiliers relieves "C" Coy Bedfords "B" Coy. Royal Fusiliers relieves "A" Coy Bedfords First Company Royal Fusiliers should arrive about 11.15 pm. (2) No guides will be required (3) Great care must be taken to avoid congestion. Company being relieved will not commence to move out until whole of relieving Company is in, unless they move over the open. (4) All Petrol tins, Mess boxes &c. will be brought out with Companies & dumped for transport to pick up at same place as transport brought rations to, first night. (5) All S.O.S. Rockets, Very Pistols, Very Lights, tools etc which were taken in by Companies are to be brought out. They must on no account be handed over except those left with L.G. Sections (6) All Maps etc will be handed over. Receipts will not be required for Trench Stores. (7) After relief Battalion Headquarters and Companies will be situated at same places as before in CARSON and POSSUM TRENCH LINE (8) Completion of relief will be notified by wiring Company Commander's name sgd. H.C.BROWNING [Herbert Compton BROWNING, MC] Capt & Adjutant 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment
Operation Order No.240 13.6.18 Reference Map.SENLIS
(1) The Battalion will be relieved tonight by the 8th East Surreys. After relief Battalion will be situated in JAKES TRENCH as permanent garrison. All Companies will be relieved by corresponding Companies of East Surreys. (2) ORDER OF RELIEF. Headquarters - "C" - "A" - "B" - "D" Coys. (3) TIME. 10.15 p.m. (4) GUIDES. on the scale of 1 per Battalion Hd Qrs, one per Coy H.Q. and one per Platoon will report direct to Battalion and Company Headquarters of East Surreys by 9.45 p.m. The road must not be used during relief and guides must be capable of leading relieving troops across country. (5) TRENCH STORES. All S.A.A, Bivouac Sheets will be handed over and receipts obtained. All S.O.S. Rockets, Very Lights, Tools and Petrol tins brought in by the Battalion will be taken out again and not handed over (6) WORK. Working PArties found by 2nd Bedfords will be taken over by 8th East Surreys from 8 a.m. 14th inst. The following Working Parties will be taken over at same time and date: - "D" Company 48 O.R's work on M.G. Dug-outs V.22.d.3.8. rendezvous Cross Roads V.22.c.8.8. "A" Company. 24 O.R's work on M.G.Dug-outs V.22.d.1.4. rendezvous at work. Details as to shifts will be issued later. (7) TRANSPORT. The Transport Officer will dump kits &c as follows by 10.30 p.m. "A" Company at "A" Coy. Headquarters "B" Company "C" Company "D" Company Bn.H.Q. at Windmill at V.22.b.25.65. All trench Kits, Mess Boxes &c will be at Ration Dump by 9.45 pm for collection by Transport Officer. Lewis Guns and Drums will be carried out. (8) Completion of Relief will be reported to Battalion Headquarters by Runner. sgd. H.C.BROWNING. [Herbert Compton BROWNING, MC] apt. & Adjutant 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment.
2ND BN. BEDFORDSHIRE REGT. Operation Order No.25 19.6.18 Reference map. SENLIS
I. The Battalion will relieve the 7th Buffs and 1 Platoon of the 7th Queens on the night 20th/21st. II. "D" Company, 2nd Bedfords, will relieve "A" & "D" Coys, The Buffs. "A" Company, 2nd Bedfords, will relieve "C" Company The Buffs and 1 Platoon 7th Queens. III. "D" Company will pass the starting point - the cross-roads at V.22.c.8.8. - at 10.45 p.m. "A" Coy. at 11.0 p.m. and Battalion Headquarters at 11.15 p.m. Move by Platoons at 200 yards distance. Movement will be over land as far as front Company Headquarters, unless heavy shelling is encountered. IV. Guides will meet Companies at the Ration Dump, W.20.a.3.0. V. Maps, photographs & defence schemes relating to the Sector will be taken over. 1 copy of Trench Store List issued to Companies today will be returned to Battalion H.Q. filled in and signed by 12 noon 21st inst. VI. Lieut. Fielden [Wilfred FIELDEN] will remain behind to hand over to the incoming Battalion of the 53rd Brigade all maps, photos, and defence schemes, together with details of work on hand. VII. Details as to Working Parties will be issued later. VIII. Completion of relief will be reported by the name of the Company Commander taking over. IX. ACKNOWLEDGE ALL RECIPIENTS OF 2ND BEDFORDS
Orders in connection with forthcoming operations are on no account to be taken beyond Battalion Headquarters in the Line. Those addresses to O.C. "A" and "D" Companies will be retained by the Adjutant who will pass on the necessary instructions verbally A.W.G.Smith 2/LIEUTENANT ASST. ADJUTANT for O.C. 2ND BN. BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT 24.6.18
2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment Order No.26 24th June 1916 With Reference to 54th Infantry Brigade Order No.163 and accompanying Maps
1. The 2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment will capture and hold the German Front Line System from W.21.b.85/25 to W.15.d.8/0. 2. The Assault will be carried out by "B" Company. "C" Company will provide Covering Party and Wiring Party. Formations, objectives and position of covering parties will be as already practised 3. The 6th QUEENS will attack on the Left of the 2nd Bedfords. O.C. "B" Company will arrange to keep close liaison with Right Company 6th Queens at W.15.d.65.00, W.15.d.8.0 and W.15.d.9.0. 4. COMMUNICATIONS Sergeant Hills will make all arrangements in accordance with Appendix "E". The station near the Aeroplane will be sited forthwith and emplacement made ready to take the Lamp. Personnel selected to man forward stations will report to O.C. "C" Company by 6 p.m. 26th inst. Runner Relay Posts will be established near the Signal Station at W.21.b.6.5 and W.20.c.9.6. 5. Communication Trench from W.21.b.8.8. to W.21.b.85.90 will be dug under arrangements to be made by O.C. "B" Company with any available men. All wiring and carrying parties will report to O.C. "B" Coy on completion of their tasks and will be available for thie work. 6. DUMPS Road Dumps will be established at W.21.b.6.4., and W.21.b.4.8. Each Dump will contain: - 50 Coils Concertina Wire 10 Boxes S.A.A. 15 Boxes Grenades No.23. 12 Shovels 4 Picks 10 Tins of Water. Forward Dumps will be established at W.21.b.80.55., and W.21.b.85.85. 7. CARRYING PARTY O.C. "C" Company will detail Carrying Party for the wire. O.C. "A" Company will detail 1 Platoon of not less than 20 O.R. under an Officer to carry forward S.A.A., Grenades, Shovels, Picks, and Water from Rear to FORWARD Dumps. This Platoon will be accompanied at ZERO about, W.21.c.4.9., and will start carrying forward as soon as the enemy Barrage permits. 8. S.O.S. RELAY POSTS These will be established at the Signal Station at W.21.b.6.5. (under arrangements to be made by Sgt.Hills) and at Battalion Headquarters. Each Post will have a supply of: - 12 "S.O.S." Rockets 24 White Very Lights 24 Green Very Lights 24 Red Very Lights. 9. DRESS In addition to the two bombs per man all men of sections detailed to make Bombing Blocks will carry six No.23 Grenades in Canvas Buckets. Equipment of Wiring and Carrying Parties will be dumped in position of assemble [sic] 10. Regimental Aid Post will be established at W.20.c.4.8. all evacuations to here will be above ground under arrangements to be made by the M.O. 11. The Signal for covering parties to withdraw will be a Red and Green Very Light sent up together from "B" Coys Headquarters 12. Lewis Gun Officer will arrange as soon as possible to fix the Mountings for the Guns as detailed in para 19. These must be set by Compass Bearing, great care being taken that the elevation and direction are absolutely accurate. They will be checked again on Z night. Guns will be supplied by "A" Company: Teams will consist of 2 men each. They will fire for ten minutes (not 15) and will then rejoin their Company. 13. Major KEEP [Leslie Howard KEEP, DSO, MC] will arrange to lay out forming up lines and direction wires during the Battalions present tour in the line. All telephone wire on stakes 2 footr from the ground will be used and will be carried forward to our own wire, through which gaps must be cut. 14. 2nd Lieut.Haward [Hereward Warren HAWARD] will arrange to push out 5 pairs of Scouts into NO MAN'S Land as soon as it gets dusk on Z day, accompanied by 2 Lewis Gunners, with patrol Lewis Guns, to be detailed by O.C. "A" Company. These Scouts must prevent any enemy patrols leaving their lines. On commencement of the Smoke Barrage they will push forward and cut the enemy's wire, if it has not been previously cut by the Bombardment. After the Assault they will report to O.C. "B" Company and will be at his disposal for communicating with his Platoons or with Battalion Headquarters. They will carry torches, which they will flash backwards to show the front wave the gaps in the wire. 15. Each Section of the front wave will carry an expanding metal mat to assist in crossing wire. 16. Paras 25 and 26 are cancelled 17. Headquarters of O.C. Assault Troops will be established at W.21.a.7.2. they will move forward to W.21.b.78.75. Battalion Headquarters will remain at W.19.b.7.3. 2nd Lieut.Haward [Hereward Warren HAWARD] will arrange to establish an advanced Intelligence Post with Visual or Telephone Communication about W.20.b.8.0. 18. Sgt.Hills will arrange to hoist the Brigade Red Flag at W.21.b.6.4. at 2.15 a.m. 19. Watches will be synchronised at Battalion Headquarters at 6 p.m. 30th inst. 20. "A" Company will detail 2 N.C.O's and 12 men to form a Prisoners Collecting Station about W.21.b.5.5. Alabama, Prisoners will be handed over to this Station, they will be collected and sent down to Battalion Headquarters. Men of Assault Companies will return immediately to their Companies after handing over Prisoners. 21. PASSWORD - "NOTTING" - ANSWER - "HILL" 22. Acknowledge A.E.Percival [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] Lt.Colonel Commanding 2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment
RELIEF ORDERS "A" AND "D" COYS. ON NIGHT 25-6-18
You will be relieved tonight by DOSE AAA On relief "A" Coy. and Battalion Headquarters will be accomodated [sic] in CARSON TRENCH and "D" Coy. in POSSUM TRENCH AAA All details of relief will be arranged by O.C. Companies concerned. AAA All S.O.S. and Red and Green Very Lights will be brought out AAA also all empty petrol tins AAA Limber to carry these and all Lewis Guns and Drums will be at Ration Dump from 11.0 p.m. onwards AAA These will be carried to the new location where rations have previouslt been dumped AAA Completion of relief will be reported as follows "A" Company: - The King of Caractacus "D" Company: - Has just passed along (SIGNED) H.SEYS-PHILLIPS [Howard Seys PHILLIPS], CAPTAIN A/ADJUTANT
TO ALL RECIPIENTS OF 2ND BEDFORDS OPERATION ORDER NO.26 dt 24.6.18 SIGNAL ARRANGEMENTS
Signal - Pairs of red and green Very Lights sent up in succession Meaning of Signal - Consolidation completed; all covering Parties withdrawn By whom sent up - Assault Coy. Commander, 2nd Bedfords By whom repeated - Assault Coy. Commander, 6th Northamptons. All Light Signal Stations A.W.G.Smith 2/LIEUT & ASST/ADJUTANT 2nd BATTALION BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT 26.6.18
2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment ADDENDA AND AMENDMENTS TO ORDER NO.26
1. Para 6 - DUMPS Add 50 Lewis Gun Drums (filled) in each dump. A rear dump of 100 full drums will also be made at Battalion Headquarters W.19.b.7.3. These will be sent up on Transport on night 29th/30th inst under arrangements to be made by the Quartermaster. Those for the Forward dumps will be carried forward by "A" Coys special carrying party. Add also: - 48 Rounds White V.P.A. 24 Rounds Red V.P.A. 24 Rounds Green V.P.A. PER DUMP These will be sent up under arrangements similar to the above 2. Para 10. Amend as under: - Above ground (by night) or via CAREY TRENCH (by day). (Note: - CAREY TRENCH is being widened for this purpose) 3. GAPS IN OUR OWN WIRE Will be cut by "B" Company on Z minus 1 Night 4. TRENCH LADDERS Are being made by 80th Field Company R.E. and will be sent up as soon as ready. They will be placed: - 10 in new trench W.15.d.3.0 - W.21.b.2.6. 5 in new trench W.21.b.2.2. - W.21.b.2.4. 5 in old front line W.15.d.4.0. - W.21.b.45.60. 5. BRIDGES Bridges will be placed across the front line where necessary for right and left columns. These will be placed in position at Zero by men specially detailed for this work by O.C. "C" Company. These men will be drawn from the wiring parties and will rejoin their parties as soon as the bridges are in position. 6. Para 10. For W.20.c.4.8 read W.20.d.40.65. 7. Para 14. Is cancelled. 4 Scouts will be attached to O.C. "B" Company to be used as Intelligence men. They should report to O.C. "B" Company forthwith and will be accommodated and rationed by him. The remainder will be at the disposal of 2nd Lieut.Haward [Hereward Warren HAWARD] at the Advanced Intelligence Station W.20.b.8.0. 8. Para 15: For "Expanding Metal Mat" read "Wooden Mat". These will also be carried by the 2nd wave. 9. RATIONS: 2 days' rations will be issued on the 29th inst. Hot Tea in food containers will be issued to "B" and "C" Companies at 5 p.m. 30th inst and will also be issued to all Companies the following morning. A.E.Percival [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] Lt.Colonel Commanding 2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment 26.6.1918
ADDENDA TO 2ND BEDFORDSHIRE REGT. ORDER No.26 MEDICAL ARRANGEMENTS
(a) Stretcher Bearers of "B" and "C" Companies will accompany their Coys. and will evacuate as far as the Relay Post at W.21.a.7.2. (b) Four Bearer Squads under Sergt.Swannell will be established at W.21.a.7.2. These Squads will take over cases from the Company Stretcher Bearers and will carry as far as R.A.P. at W.20.d.4.6. (c) R.A.M.C. will evacuate W. of the R.A.P. The Four Bearer Squads mentioned in para (b) will be composed as under: - 8 men to be detailed by 56th Field Ambulance. 4 men to be detailed by "A" Company. 4 men to be detailed by "D" Company. "A" and "D" Companies will each detail 2 trained Stretcher Bearers and 2 carriers for this work. They will report to the Medical Officer at Battalion Headquarters W.19.b.7.3. at 7.0 p.m. on the 30th inst. The Relay Post at W.21.a.7.2. will remain in position until recalled by the Medical Officer - when men detailed by "A" and "D" Companies will rejoin their Companies. A.W.G.Smith 2nd Lieut.& Asst.Adjt. 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment 29-6-18
AMENDMENTS TO 2ND BN.BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT ORDER NO.26 Reference Map: - SENLIS 1/20,000
1. ASSEMBLY OF TROOPS ON Z DAY At Zero Hour Troops will be dispersed as follows: - "B" Company, Right Column: - NEW TRENCH, W.21.b.4.3. to W.21.b.3.4. Left Column: - Company Headquarters and first wave - Old Front Line W.15.d.45.00 - W.21.b.5.7. 2nd and 3rd Waves: - NEW TRENCH W.21.b.3.8. to W.21.b.3.6. "C" Company: - Left Wiring Party W.21.b.4.3. - W.21.b.6.4. Right Wiring Party Front Line Trench between the ladder and top of CAREY TRENCH. REPORT CENTRE: - W.21.b.6.5. "A" Company: - (Less carrying and prisoners collecting station parties) MELBOURNE TRENCH. "D" Company: - MELBOURNE TRENCH. Bn.Hd.Qrs: - W.19.b.7.3. Carrying Party (1 Officer and 20 Other Ranks) TORRENS SUPPORT, about W.21.a.3.0. Prisoners Collecting Station Party: - Front Line W.21.b.5.6. - W.21.b.5.7. Owing to the Trenches being under observation from the North, the greatest care must be taken in moving into position of assembly. The movement should extend over a considerable period and be carried out in small parties. Men must be told to expose themselves as little as possible during the movement and to lie down at bottom of trench once in position. Signal Station personnel: - W.21.b.60.45. All troops to be in position by ZERO minus 30 except "C" Coys Right Wiring Party which will move up at ZERO -10. 2. DISPOSITIONS FOR Z plus 1 DAY IN THE EVENT OF A SUCCESSFUL ASSAULT: - "B" Company plus 4 Lewis Guns "C" Company (not exceeding 100 including Coy Hd Qrs) Company Headquarters W.21.b.8.7., Garrison New Line. "A" Company Old Front Line - immediate counter-attack for new Front Line. Company Headquarters W.21.b.60.45. "C" Company (less 4 Lewis Gun Sections) TORRENS SUPPORT. replace "A" Company if latter move forward and garrison old Front Line. Company Headquarters W.21.a.3.0. "D" Company MELBOURNE TRENCH: - Battalion Reserve. The guiding principle of the Defence is: - (1) That the new front line must be held or, if lost, recaptured by immediate counter-attack. (2) That there must always be troops available to immediately garrison the old front line. To enable this to be carried into effect it is essential that the closest liaison must be maintained between Company Commanders The Signal Station at W.21.b.60.45 will remain in position. Troops will be disposed as above by 2 a.m. 1st July. 3. Reference 54th Brigade Order No.163, para 38, amend as under. Password "JOHNNY" answer "WALKER". 4. "A" Company Carrying Party will leave their equipment near the Dumps. They will carry Rifles and Bandoliers. "C" Company Wiring Parties will leave equipment in TORRENS SUPPORT 5. Lewis Gun Officer will arrange for two spare Lewis Guns to be at Battalion Headquarters to replace any damaged in action A.E.Percival [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] Lt.Colonel Commanding 2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment. 29.6.1918
2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment O.O.No.27 reference Map: - SENLIS 1/20,000
1. 2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment will relieve 6th Bn.Northamptonshire Regiment in the Left Sub-Sector of the Brigade Front on night 29th/30th inst. 2. "B" Company, 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt, will relieve "A" Company 6th Bn. Northamptonshire Regt. "C" Company, 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment will relieve "C" Company 6th Bn.Northamptonshire Regt. (Except Strong Point at W.20.b.8.5 which will not be relieved) "D" Company 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt will be accommodated in MELBOURNE TRENCH W.13.d.4.5. - W.19.b.8.5. "A" Company 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt will be accommodated in MELBOURNE TRENCH W.19.b.8.5. - W.19.b.7.0. 3. Guides on the scale of one per platoon and one per Company Hd Qrs will meet "B" and "C" Coys at the Ration Dump W.20.a.2.0. at 10.45 p.m. 4. STARTING POINT: - W of WATTLE. Time 10.15 p.m. ORDER OF MARCH. "B", "C", "D", "A" Battalion Headquarters Move by Platoons at 2 minutes interval. 5. ROUTE TRACK N. of EATON STREET - CAREY TRENCH. All ingoing Units will proceed via CAREY TRENCH. All outgoing Units will proceed above ground. 6. RATIONS "B" and "C" Coys will carry two days rations in addition to Iron Rations "A" and "D" Coys and Battalion Hd.Qrs will carry one days rations. Rations for consumption July 1st for these two Coys and Hd.Qrs. will be dumped at Battalion Headquarters W.19.b.7.3 on night 29th/30th inst. 7. WATER. Two days supply of water will be sent up on night 29th/30th inst. 8. TRANSPORT. The necessary transport will report to "B" and "C" Coys at 8.30 p.m. and will carry up: - LEWIS GUNS AND DRUMS WATER HOT TEA (6 Tins per Company) BOMBS ("B" Company) OFFICERS TRENCH KIT, ETC. These will be dumped at Ration Dump W.20.a.2.0 and be picked up by Companies on arrival. Platoon representatives will be sent forward to prepare dumps. 2nd Lieut.Haward [Hereward Warren HAWARD] will supervise the Dumps and ensure that they are not too close together. Transport for Battalion Headquarters, "A" and "D" Coys will report at V.23.c.7.6. at 10.30 p.m. and will carry up water, one days rations, hot tea, officers trench kits, etc. These will be dumped at W.19.b.9.2. 9. The 6th Bn. Northamptonshire Regt will leave out Lewis Guns at about W.15.d.5.0, W.21.b.6.7 and W.21.b.5.2. These will not be taken over but all ranks must be warned of their positions 10. Battalion Headquarters will be at W.19.b.7.3. 11. Completion of relief will be reported by wiring the name of the Company Commander 12. Acknowledge A.E.Percival [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] Lt.Colonel Commanding 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment 29.6.1918
BATTALION ORDERS NO.819 BY LIEUT. COLONEL A.E. PERCIVAL DSO MC [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] COMMANDING 2ND BATTALION BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT B.E.F. 1.7.18.
1. INCREASES. No.16749 Pte.Knight E.W. "C" Company having rejoined the Battalion on 1.7.18 is taken on strength accordingly 2. DECREASES. 2/Lieut.T.N.Donovan [Terence Norman DONOVAN] having been accepted, on probation, for employment with the Royal Air Force is struck off strength from 1.7.18. Authority: - A.G.2154/275 (O) dt.27.6.18. - R.A.F.934/34/68 (A) dt.22.6.18. 3. CASUALTIES. The Commanding Officer regrets to announce the following Casualties on 30th June, 1918. WOUNDED IN ACTION "A" Company 49675 Pte.H.Freeman [Harry FREEMAN], 39758 Pte.J.Stammers [James STAMMERS], 25841 Pte.A.Hilliard [Arthur HILLIARD], 49635 Pte.H.J.Henley [Henry J. HENLEY]. "B" Company 17956 Pte.E.Albon [Edward ALBON, MM], 25230 Pte.H.Bird [Horace BIRD], 413528 Pte.H.Burn [Harold BURN], 37591 Cpl.E.H.Briston [Edward H. BRISTON], 18023 A/Sgt.O.Crawley [Oliver J. CRAWLEY], 20324 Sgt.W.Deighton [William DEIGHTON], 20284 Pte.M.P.Evans [Mark Pearl EVANS], 50195 Pte.E.Eastaway [Edward A. EASTAWAY], 18057 L/C H.Fernyhough [Harry FERNEYHOUGH], 12608 Pte.O.Goldsmith [Oliver GOLDSMITH], 14580 Pte.G.Hayden [George HAYDEN], 32128 L/C G.Houghton [George HOUGHTON], 25934 Pte.B.J.Hobbs [Bertie J. HOBBS], 15897 Cpl.W.F.Jacklin, 29471 Pte.J.H.Lilley [James H. LILLEY], 13293 L/C R.J.Minns [Richard J. MINNS, MM], 14322 Pte.H.Mattin [possibly 14332 Thomas H. MARTIN], 29287 Pte.A.G.Pegg [Arthur George PEGG], 202671 Pte.B.Rolf [Bertie V. ROLFE], 48974 Pte.C.W.Rayner [Charles W. RAYNER], 15782 Cpl.T.J.Squires [Thomas J. SQUIRE], 10837 Pte.J.W.Platts, 41559 Pte.A.S.Smith [Arthur S. SINGLE], 16531 Pte.P.Single [Percy SINGLE], 43556 Pte.W.Tidswell [Willie TIDSWELL], 18631 Pte.S.Todd [Samuel TODD], 18531 Pte.W.Woodfield [William WOODFIELD]. "C" Company 6594 Pte.C.Ansell [4/6594 Charles ANSELL], 49308 Pte.J.W.Bennett, 40241 L/C W.T.Davison [William T. DAVISON], 9603 Pte.W.Giles [William GILES], 49233 Pte.E.V.Hancock [Ernest V HANCOCK], 14446 Sgt.S.W.Jaggard [Sidney William JAGGARD], 206737 Pte.A.Lauderdale [Arthur LAUDERDALE], 271706 Pte.H.J.Mann, 21607 Pte.G.Price, [George PRICE] 47415 Pte.D.Plews [David W. PLEWES], 16575 Pte.A.Pindred [Arthur S. PINDRED], 203338 Pte.C.Thurley [Charles THURLEY], 43799 Pte.S.Trewhella [Samuel TREWHELLA]. WOUNDED AND REMAINING AT DUTY 41539 Pte.B.Fardon [Branwell FARDON] "B" Company 39837 L/C H.B.Wadsworth [Harold V. WADSWORTH] "D" Company. COURSES. The undermentioned will hold themselves in readiness to proceed on a III Corps Lewis Gun Course assembling on 3rd July. 18255 Cpl.Ellis, W.A. [William ELLIS, DCM & Bar] "C" Company 266424 Pte.Hilderbrand, F. [Frank HILDERBRAND] "C" Company. RATE OF EXCHANGE. The rate of Exchange for issue of Cash to the troops of the Expeditionary Force has been fixed at the rate of 5 francs equals 3 shillings and 8 pence for the month of July 1918. (G.R.O. 4385 dt. 28.6.18) R.I.Edwards Lieut. [Ronald Irving EDWARDS, MC] for Adjutant, 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment
ACCOUNT OF OPERATIONS AT BOUZINCOURT SPUR 30TH JUNE to 3RD JULY 1918
At 9.35 p.m. on the 30th June the 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment, in conjunction with the 12th Division on left and 6th Northamptons on right attacked the enemy trenches on the BOUZINCOURT SPUR N.W. of ALBERT. The attack was carried out by "B" Company under Lieut. H.B.Stewart [Hew Bertram STEWART, MC], with "C" Company under Lieut.K.J.Ritchie [Kenneth James RITCHIE], responsible for wiring the captured line and one platoon of "A" Company Carrying Party. "A" Company (less one Platoon) and "D" Company were in reserve in MELBOURNE TRENCH. The attack was carried out under a smoke screen and Stokes Barrages and was entirely successful, all objectives being gained, a large number of the enemy killed, three Machine Guns captured and about 20 prisoners taken. In addition Lieut. W.S.Oliver-Jones with a small party of men successfully bombed a number of dug-outs in the sunken road which were full of the enemy. Actual casualties during the assault were about one Officer 35 Other Ranks. Owing to enemy heavy artillery and Machine Gun fire "C" Company were unable to get any wire out and a Counter-Attack made by the enemy at 2.0 a.m. on 1st July succeeded in driving in our most advanced posts. At 7.30 a.m. a Counter Attack organised by Lieut. H.B.Stewart [Hew Bertram STEWART, MC] in conjunction with the 6th Queens on the left succeeded in regaining these posts but they were again lost at 4.30 p.m. after a long bombing contest. At 8.50 p.m. the enemy delivered a heavy counter attack on the whole front and succeeded in driving in the 12th Division on our left from their advanced position. "B" Company however held fast and at 2.0 a.m. on the 2nd July they were relieved by "D" Company under Captain Reiss MC MM. [Phillip Julius REISS, MC & Bar, MM] A quieter day followed but at 9.25 p.m. after two hours heavy shelling, in the course of which the enemy obliterated a large portion and knocked out two Lewis Gun teams, the enemy attacked under a very heavy 5.9" barrage and succeeded in recapturing their original front line In spite of a magnificent resistance put up by a party under Captain Reiss and Lieut.Hughes. The total Casualties during the attack were 7 officers and 146 Other Ranks. The following immediate awards were received for this action: - Captain P.J.Reiss MC MM [Phillip Julius REISS, MC & Bar, MM] BAR TO MILITARY CROSS Lieut H.B.Stewart [Hew Bertram STEWART, MC] MILITARY CROSS Lieut.W.S.Oliver-Jones MILITARY CROSS No.10731 Sergt. Clarke C. [Charles CLARKE, DCM] "B" Company. D.C.M. No.17442 Pte.Goodliffe A. MM [Albert GOODLIFFE, DCM, MM & Bar] "B" Company D.C.M. L.H.Keep [Leslie Howard KEEP, DSO, MC] Major for Lt.Colonel Commanding 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment
2ND BN. BEDFORDSHIRE REGT. ORDER NO. 28 Reference map. SENLIS & AMIENS SHEETS
1. The Battalion will be relieved by 15th Bn.London Regt. 2. The Battalion will move to FERRIERES tomorrow by bus. Time and embossing point will be notified later. 3. The Battalion will move out in Fighting Order. Blankets will be carried rolled over the Haversack. One Lewis Gun and 20 Drums per Platoon will be taken. 4. Movement to the embossing point will be by Platoons at 100 yards distance 5. Embussing Strengths will be rendered to Orderly Room by 10 p.m. tonight 6. One N.C.O. per Company and Headquarters will report to the Assistant Adjutant when required in order to allot buses at the embossing point 7. Guides on the scale of 1 per Platoon and 2 for Battalion H.Q. will meet the 15th Londons at their debussing point. Place and time to be notified later. 8. The Transport will move by road leaving about 4.0 a.m. 9. Sufficient cooking utensils for 12th inst will be retained and taken on the baggage lorry. This lorry will also take Officer's Valises, one Mess Box per Company and the remaining Orderly Room boxes. 10. All tents and shelters will be handed over the 15th Londons, and receipts obtained and sent to Orderly Room by 10 p.m. 12th inst. All tents and shelters in the new area will be taken over and receipts given for them, a copy being sent to Battalion H.Q. by 10 p.m. the 12th inst. 11. All Defence Schemes and accompanying Maps and documents relating to the sector, S.O.S. Rockets etc. will be handed over to the incoming Unit, receipts obtained and forwarded as in para.10. 12. ACKNOWLEDGE 11.7.18 F.S. Lapper [Frank Stanley LAPPER] CAPTAIN & A/ADJUTANT 2ND BN. BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT BATTALION
ORDERS No.831 By MAJOR L. H. KEEP [Leslie Howard KEEP, DSO, MC] MC COMMANDING 2ND BN. BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT B.E.F. 14.7.18.
DETAIL Battalion Orderly Officer: - 2/Lieut.S.E.Dancer [Sidney Ernest DANCER] "C" Coy Next for Duty: - Lieut.A.F.Woodford [Arthur Francis WOODFORD] "C" Coy. Company for Duty: - "A" Company Reveille: - 6.45 a.m. Breakfast: - 7.45 a.m. Orderly Room: - 2.0 p.m. Guard Mounting 11 am TRAINING. (i) 7.0 a.m. Running Parade under Coy.Orderly Officers. Dress: - Shirt sleeves, no puttees. 9.0 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. Close Order Drill under O.C. Companies on Company Parade Grounds. Drums will report to O.C. "A" Company. Dress: - Musketry Order 10.30 am t o12.45 pm Specialist training Bathing Companies will march down to baths in the River at AILLY. Times as under: - "A" & "B" Coys - 2.0 p.m. "C" "D" Coys & H.Q. 2.30 p.m. (ii) (a) Lewis Gun Training. The following will be employed as Instructors; and neither they nor those under instruction will be taken for Guards or other duties or fatigues while the course lasts: - Sgt.Turville, H.Qrs. Q.M.S. Ingall H.Qrs. "A" Company: Sergt. Baker L/Cpl.Adams, T. L/Cpl.Smith F. Corpl.Dines S. Corpl.Fynn D. Pte.Cook L.P. "B" Company: Sergt.Stone A. L/Cpl.Drage L. Cpl.Southerden E. L/Cpl.Wyles A. L/Cpl.Hubbard L/Cpl.Britton Corpl.Stokes "C" Company: Sergt.King L/Cpl.Langford Corpl.Carter "D" Company: Sgt.Cousins Cpl.Coles. Classes (a) Forty eight men partially trained at MOLLIENS AU BOIS last week, for completion of 6 days course. (b) 22 men per Company untrained men to undergo the 6 days course. Parade behind CHATEAU at 11.0 a.m. (iii) Young N.C.Os Class Parade behind CHATEAU at 11.0 a.m. Dress: - Musketry Order Major J.T. Payne will take this Class. (iv) Scouts. Parade behind CHATEAU At 11.0 a.m. Dress: - Musketry Order. Lieut. Lapper [Frank Stanley LAPPER] will take this Class. (v) Remainder will be trained in Musketry, Rifle bombing etc under Company Commanders INCREASE. No.9068 Sgt.Newnham W.L. [William L. NEWHAM] "D" Company having rejoined the Battalion on 14.7.18 is taken on strength accordingly No.49006 Pte.Freeman C.T. [Cyril T. FREEMAN] having joined the Battalion on 14.7.18 is taken on strength and posted to "C" Company. 4. PUNISHMENT. No.8736 Pte.Challis E. [Edward G. CHALLIS] "D" Company was this day awarded 14 days F.P.No.1 for "When on Active Service" Insolence to his Superior Officer 13.7.18. 5. EMPLOY. No.8736 Pte. Challis E. [Edward G. CHALLIS] "D" Company is returned to duty on completion of sentence H.Seys-Phillips [Howard Seys PHILLIPS], CAPTAIN A/ADJUTANT, 2ND BN. BEDFORDSHIRE REGT NOTICES Open Air Concert behind the CHATEAU at 5.30 p.m. Admission free Cinema Show in the CINEMA HALL at 7.0 p.m. Admission 3d.
2ND BN. BEDFORDSHIRE REGT. ORDER NO.29 16th July 1918
1. The Division is now in G.H.Q. Reserve at 9 hours notice. 2. The Battalion will be in readiness to move by train ir bus. Entraining and embossing points will be as follows: - (a) Entraining Stations HANGEST If moving North PROUZEL If moving South (b) Embussing point BRIQUESMESNIL [sic] - FERRIERES ROAD. Head of Column facing E. at W. end of FERRIERES 3. On receipt of the order "Prepare to Move" Companies will "STAND TO" in billets. The Transport will be packed and all arrangements made ready to move 4. If moving North the order of March to the entraining Station will be: 6th Northamptonshire Regt, 2nd Bedfordshire Regt, 11th R.Fusiliers. If moving South: - 11th Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Bedford Regt, 6th Northamptonshire REgt. Order of embossing: - 2nd Bedfordshire Regt., 6th Northamptonshire Regiment., 11th R.Fusiliers. Two N.C.Os per Coy., transport and Hd.Qrs. will report to Battalion Hd.Qrs. fully equipped with the strength of their Coys, as soon as possible after the warning Order has been received. One of these will proceed on the Advanced Billeting party under Lieut.G.B.Reed [Guy Baron REED] - the other will assist in entraining or embossing under Lieut.F.S. Lapper [Frank Stanley LAPPER]. 5. Until more Lewis Gunners are trained only 6 Lewis Guns per Coy. will be taken and manned, 24 Drums per Gun will be carried. 6. Officer's valises will be dumped at each Coy.H.Qrs as soon as possible after the warning is received, and will be collected by the Transport Officer. 7. Rations will be issued as per para.13 & waterbottles filled immediately the Warning Order is received. Blankets will be carried on the man. Company Commanders will report at Bn.H.Qrs. for instructions as soon as these orders have been complied with & their Coys. are ready to move. 8. Departure of trains - Numbers and times (1) If moving South from SALEUX No.8 Train (Battn. less "D" coy & 1 Cooker & Team) ZERO + 6 hours. No.14 Train ("D" Coy & 1 Cooker & Team) ZERO plus 12 hours (2) If moving North from HANGEST-SUR-SOMME Train Nos. complements & Times as in (1) The advance billeting Party will proceed by No.2 Train. In either case leaving at ZERO hour. 9. Busses Busses Nos.9 to 41 inclusive are allotted to the Battn.(including "D" Coy) and will be sub-allotted to Coys. according to strengths on the day 10. In the case of entraining, personnel will arrive at the entraining Station 1 hour and transport 3 hours before time of departure of trains 11. (a) Horses will be watered before entrainment (b) Units must provide head ropes for tying up horses in the trucks (c) Horses will not be unharnessed unless the scheduled time for the journey exceeds 15 hours; 2 men will travel in each truck. 12. Supply and Baggage wagons will entrain with Battalion Baggage wagons, and will report on the order to move being received. 13. Rations (1) Move by rail. The Battalion will entrain with the unexpended portion of the day's rations on the man. Rations for the following day will be carried on the Supply Wagons. (2) Move by bus. the Battalion will embus with the unexpended portion of the day's rations and the following day's rations on the man. Transport Rations and forage will be carried on 1st Line Transport and Supply Wagons. Rations for the 2nd day after embossing or entraining will be delivered to the Battalion by Train transport 14. Water Carts will travel full 15. The Signalling Officer will detail 2 cyclist orderlies to report to the Staff Captain or his Representative at the entraining Station 3 hours before the departure of the Battalion's train 16. The Signallers undergoing training at Brigade Headquarters will join the Battalion for entrainment or embossing. The Trench Mortar Section will proceed with the battery, in No.2 Train, leaving at ZERO hour. 17. ACKNOWLEDGE H.Seys-Phillips [Howard Seys PHILLIPS] CAPTAIN & A/ADJUTANT 2ND BATTALION BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT
2ND BATTALION BEDFORDSHIRE REGT. PROVISIONAL ORDER NO.30 Reference Map. SHEET 62E. 1/40,000. 28th July 1918
1. the 54th Infantry Brigade will relieve the 15th Australian Brigade in Divisional Reserve in the FRANVILLERS - LA HOUSSOYE AREA on the 29th JUly 1918. The Battalion will parade in full Marching Order with blankets at 11.30 a.m. and will embus on the FERRIERES - BRIQUEMESNIL ROAD (Q.7.c.) about Noon. Embussing strengths will be rendered to Orderly Room by 6.0 p.m. tonight. 2. Lewis Guns. Six Lewis Guns and 20 Drums per Gun will be carried by each Company. Rifle Grenade Discharger Cups will be carried by the Transport 3. Transport. The Transport will leave by road early on the 29th inst. and will be ready to move off tonight 4. Baggage. Orderly Room Boxes, Mess Boxes, Workshops and all surplus kit will be dumped outside Battalion and Company Hd.Qrs. ready for collection by 8.30 p.m. tonight. Officers Valises. Pending allotment of a lorry to the Battalion, Officers Valises will be collected at 8.30 p.m. tonight, if a lorry is available they will be dumped ready for collection by 9.0 a.m. 29th inst. 5. Advance Party. Reconnoitring and Advance Party already detailed will proceed by bus leaving Battalion H.Q. at 8.15 a.m. 29th inst. 6. Rations. Pending further Orders a hot meal will be prepared on the road ready for the Battalion on arrival. Should the final orders not allow of the transport arriving before the Battalion, rations will be issued to the men and camp kettles taken on the busses for hot tea on arrival 7. The Signallers and Trench Mortar Battery at present attached to Brigade will rejoin the Battalion 29th and proceed with Battalion Headquarters. The R.E. Platoon will move with the Battalion and join the 80th Field Company, R.E. in the new Area. 8. Battle Surplus. A Details Camp will be arranged in the new Area. Companies will send in a nominal roll of their Battle Surplus to reach Orderly Room by 4.0 p.m. today. 9. Stores. All practice S.A.A., bombs etc. will be handed over to the incoming Unit and receipts obtained and forwarded to Orderly Room. 10. ACKNOWLEDGE F.S. Lapper [Frank Stanley LAPPER], Lieutenant Asst/Adjutant, 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regiment Order No.31 Reference Maps: - Sheet 62.d.N.E. and N.W.1/20,000
1. INTENTION The Battalion will relieve the 55th Battalion A.I.F. on the night 30/31st July, 1918, as Battalion in Brigade Reserve. 2. RELIEF "A" Coy. will relieve "A" Coy & 1/2 "B" Coy 55th Bn. A.I.F. "B" Coy will relieve "D" Coy 55th Bn.A.I.F. "C" Coy will relieve "C" Coy and 1/2 "B" Coy 55th Bn.A.I.F. "D" Company will take up their position in RAVINE J.22.c.9. 3. STARTING POINT AND TIME. Cross Roads at C.29.d.8.8. TIME: - 8.15 p.m. 4. ORDER OF MARCH "B", "A", Headquarters, "C", "D". 100 yards interval will be maintained between platoons. 5. ROUTE AND GUIDES C.29.d.8.8. - C.6.b. - HEILLY - J.13.b.7.6. - J.14.a&b - J.15.a&d. Guides will be met at J.15 Central 6. TRANSPORT One Limber per Company and Headquarters will carry Lewis Guns, Drums, one dixie per platoon etc. to J.15.a.Central 7. RATION DUMP Ration Dump will be at J.22.c.45/50 8. WATER SUPPLY One Water cart will remain at the Ration Dump and be refilled nightly at HEILLY. 25 Tins of water for each of "A" "B" and "C" Coys will be sent up nightly 9. ADVANCE PARTY Advance parties will proceed under Company arrangements. The Sergeant Cook, 1 N.C.O. and 1 Runner from Battalion Headquarters will report to 2nd Lieut.DAVIES at 5 p.m. 10. TRENCH STORES Receipts will be given for Trench Stores, Maps, Fortress Rations, Defence Schemes, etc. taken over and sent to Headquarters by 9 a.m. 31st inst. Location of Ammunition and Other dumps will be given. 11. MOVEMENT Movement by day must be reduced to the minimum. All ranks will keep to the trenches during daylight 12. A.A.GUNS Each Company and Bn.Hd.Qrs will man two A.A.Guns, one N.C.O. to be responsible for each pair of guns. 13. T.M.BATTERY Will move with Battalion and remain at Bn.Hd.Qrs until positions are decided upon. 14. COMPLETION OF RELIEF Will be reported as follows: - "A" Coy BLACK. "B" Coy RED. "C" Coy GREEN. "D" Coy BLUE. Dispositions with sketch map will be sent in by midday 31st. 15. ACKNOWLEDGE F.S. Lapper [Frank Stanley LAPPER], Lieutenant Asst/Adjutant, 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. 30.7.1918
Report of Attack by Germans on 6 Aug 1918
[Comment: document is torn with some words missing] DISPOSITIONS. The 2nd Bedfordshire Regt. held [lacuna] front from the River at P.6.a.4.6. to junction of the r [lacuna] at K.25.b.7.7. with four Companies in line, each finding [lacuna] Supports (see appendix 1) The Bedfords were to be relieved on the night of 5/6th by the 8th London Regt. and on completion of the relief were to take over the line of the 55th Brigade from the East Surrey Regt from K.20.a.6.9. to K.25.b.7.7. Arrangements were made accordingly, and owing to the bad state of the trenches and the heavy shelling, guides for the incoming Units were ordered to start with their relieving Platoons from J.28.c.5.5. at 8.15 p.m., in order to get as far as possible before dark. This was essential in view of the double relief. At the last moment the incoming Brigade (174th) altered all arrangements and postponed the start till 9.30 p.m. and it was actually 10 p.m. and quite dark before the guides were able to start. The men were very exhausted and distressed from the start, and progress was slow. At 3.30 a.m. the leading Company was stuck in the communication trench 600 yards short of the front line. One incoming Company had relieved my right Company overland, but the other three incoming Companies were sticky and exhausted. At this period it became obvious that the double relief could not be completed by night, and all available Officers and N.C.O.s. from my Battalion Headquarters were sent forward to expedite the completion of the first relief. At 4.0 a.m. the enemy put down a heavy barrage on the old British Front line, all communication trenches and back areas which was followed by a strong Infantry Attack at about 4.30 a.m. SITUATION 4.45 a.m. My two right Companies had been relieved and were moving to their new positions in Support in COOLGARDIE TRENCH and GOBAR TRENCH N. of the COOTAMUNDRA TRENCH (communication) in the 55th Brigade area. My two left Companies had not been completely relieved. There was no communication with Companies except by Runner, and it took more then one hour to get a message forward. OPERATIONS. The enemy captured my Outpost Line between K.25.b.7.7. and K.25.c.5.5. and penetrated deeply on the front of the Battalion on my left (East Surreys) particularly on the BRAY-CORBIE road where a quarry at J.24.b.8.8. was entered by the enemy and prisoners taken. My two left Companies holding the original British Front Line from K.25.b.2.8. to J.30.d.8.4. put up a very strong resistance which prevented any further penetration, Counter-Attacked on their own initiative and regained the Outpost Line K.25.c.0.4. to K.25.c.central which was handed over to the London Regt. My Supporting Companies with the East Surreys' Stragglers cleared up the situation in K.24.b. and occupied COBAR LINE intact. At 6.0 a.m. I was holding CUMMINS TRENCH from K.19.d.4.1. to my junction with the London Regt. on my right inclusive, which position was maintained until relieved by the 36th Brigade on the night of 7/8th. During the 6th my Support Company moved a Platoon into CRUMP LANE. Local fighting took place during the 6th and all positions were maintained and improved. COUNTER-ATTACK. At dawn on the 7th acting under your orders, three platoons of my Reserve Company Counter-Attacked in conjunction with the Northamptons on my left and regained the original British Front Line at K.19.d.8.8. where connection was established with the Battalion on my left. This point was exclusive to my Battalion. Local and confused fighting took place during the 7th but my positions were always maintained and touch kept with the Northamptons in CONAMULLA SUPPORT. During the fighting the spirit of the men under my Command was excellent. The enemy presented numerous targets of which full advantage was taken by all ranks. About 3.0 a.m. on the 8th the Battalion was relieved by the Royal Sussex Regt. of the 36th Brigade, and my Outposts were withdrawn about 3.30 a.m. REMARKS. The state of the forward trenches and communication trenches cannot be realized by those who are not present. Enemy Artillery prevented movement of bodies of Troops over the top. Communications were bad on the 6th but better on the 7th. CASUALTIES. 8 Officers 163 Other ranks SICK WASTAGE. 1 Officer 80 Other Ranks (approx.) EFFECTIVES on the 7th inst. in four Companies (6.0 a.m.) 8 Officers 190 Other Ranks. Artillery support was indifferent at first but subsequently improved.
NARRATIVE OF OPERATIONS N.E. OF LE CATEAU - 23rd/24th OCTOBER 1918 Reference Sheet: - 57 B. N.E. and 57 A. N.W. 1/20,000
PRELIMINARY MOVEMENTS The 2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regt relieved the 18th Bn.Kings Liverpool Regiment in the front line N.E. of LE CATEAU on the evening of 20th October with a view to carrying out an attack on the enemy position opposite this front. The Line taken over ran along the RAILWAY EMBANKMENT from the RICHEMONT BROOK to the Level Crossing on the LE CATEAU -RICHEMONT ROAD, and thence in a S.E. direction for 400 yards. The latter part of the Line was handed over to the 10th Bn.Essex Regiment early on the evening of 22nd October 1918.
THE PLAN The Battalion was detailed to lead the attack for the 54th Inf.Bde. and the objective given was the Orchard S.E. of FOREST L.7.b. and d Squares (inclusive) and thence along the Road to L.13.b.8.3., which was our Southern boundary. We received permission from the 33rd Division who were attacking on our LEFT to use the ground up to the MONTAY-FOREST Road for the purpose of forming up and manoeuvre. It was decided to launch the main attack along the high ground N. of RICHEMONT MILL and a subsidiary attack South of the MILL, the big valley running M.E. from RICHEMONT MILL being left empty, but subjected to heavy artillery and M.G. Barrages. I accordingly detailed Companies as under: - "C" Company under Lieut.H.D.Chester [Henry Dibble CHESTER] was to lead the attack N. of the BROOK forming up 200 yards East of the Railway, the objective given to this Coy was RICHEMONT MILL and the three Gullies N. and N.E. of it and the High Ground about K.23.b.8.7. "A" Company under Lieut.C.H.Hart [Clarence Herbert HART] was to form up behind "C" Company and also E. of the Railway and was to move along the high ground N. of the Gullies. Two Platoons were to go to the sunken road running N.E. from WHITE SPRING and two Platoons were to go to the practice trenches about L.13 Central. "D" Company under Capt.P.J.Reiss M.C., M.M. [Phillip Julius REISS, MC & Bar, MM] were to form up behind "A" Company but West of the Railway and follow "A" Company passing through them on the line of the WHITE SPRINGS and going on to the final objective. "B" Company under 2nd Lieut.H.B. Lang [Harry Beckett LANG, MC] were to form up South of the RICHEMONT BROOK just E. of the Railway and attacking in an E.N.E. Direction were to establish themselves on the slopes of the Hill about K.24.b.Central. Two Tanks were allotted to the Battalion, one being detailed to proceed with "A" Company and one with "D" Company.
THE ATTACK. ZERO HOUR was fixed for 1.20 a.m. 23.10.18 and at 11 p.m. the Battalion Started to move into position. Tapes had previously been put out by 2nd Lieut.W.Tysoe, D.S.O. [William TYSOE, DSO, MC], the Battalion Intelligence Officer, for the Southern Attack and by "C" Coys Officers for the Northern Attack. The work of forming up was carried out successfully in spite of two heavy bursts of hostile Artillery Fire at 11.15 p.m. and 12.15 a.m. and by 12.45 a.m. the Battalion was reported in position. Battalion Headquarters had moved to the Railway Embankment K.29.a.5/4. The night was moonlight with thick ground mist in the Valleys which made direction difficult to keep. A very heavy barrage opened at 1.20 a.m. and at 1.24 a.m. the Companies commenced to move forward. "C" Company had little difficulty in capturing the first two Gullies, but experienced considerable opposition from M.G. fire in crossing the high ground to attack the third Gully and suffered Casualties. Here the attack was temporarily held up but good leading by Lieut.H.D.Chester [Henry Dibble CHESTER] and 2nd Lieut.W.Ashton, M.C. [William ASHTON, MC] got the Company going again and the third Gully was then cleared and the Company's objective reached. Meanwhile "A" Company had been moving North of the Gullies and after suffering some opposition and Casualties about K.18.c.0.0., where Lieut.C.H.Hart [Clarence Herbert HART] was killed, the Company pushed on to their objectives. A large number of the enemy were encountered in the Sunken Road running N.W. from WHITE SPRING and heavy fighting took place here, many of the enemy being killed. All four platoons eventually reached their objectives. "D" Company had become involved in the fighting about the RICHEMONT MILL gullies early in the attack but Capt.Reiss [Phillip Julius REISS, MC & Bar, MM] managed to detach half a platoon under 2nd Lieut.W.H. [William Henry WALDOCK] and send them forward with a Tank. This party reached their final objective about L.7.b.5.2., under the barrage. Later on Capt. Reiss [Phillip Julius REISS, MC & Bar, MM] was able to collect the rest of his Company and led them forward to their objective. In the meantime "B" Company, South of the RICHEMONT BROOK, had encountered considerable opposition right at the Start from Enemy M.G's who were located inside our Barrage. The Company was held up for some time and it was entirely due to the splendid leadership displayed by 2nd Lieut.H.B. Lang [Harry Beckett LANG, MC] and other Officers and N.C.O's, who led the men forward in the face of intense Machine Gun Fire and Bayoneted the gunners, that the Company was got going again. The Barrage had been lost but by sheer determination the Company fought its way forward, crossed the brook, and arrived on its final objective soon after its scheduled time. I consider the greatest credit due to 2nd Lieut.H.B. Lang [Harry Beckett LANG, MC] and his Company for reaching their objective in spite of such strong opposition. A subsequent examination of the ground showed the Hill both North and South of RICHEMONT MILL to have been very thickly held by a large number of Light and Heavy Machine Guns. By 5 a.m. all Companies were reported on their final objective.
The Battalion Casualties up to this time were: - Lieutenant C.H.Hart [Clarence Herbert HART] - Killed. 2nd Lieut.C.J.Vowles [Charles J. VOWLES] wounded. 2nd Lieut.W.F.S.Wilford, M.M. [William Frederick Shirley WILFORD, MM] - Wounded, Died of Wds 25.10.18. 2nd Lt.W.Ashton, M.C. [William ASHTON, MC] - Wounded and at Duty. OTHER RANKS Killed in Action: - 30 Wounded: - 122 Missing: - 8 Wounded & at Duty: - 5. Great loss was inflicted on the enemy, whose dead were numerous all over the Battlefield. the captures amounted to 100 prisoners, 3 Guns, 3 trench Mortars, 2 Anti-Tank Rifles and upwards of 60 M.Guns.
Battalion Headquarters moved forward to WHITE SPRING and Coys were re-organised on the Field. At 5 p.m. the Battalion received orders to move into FOREST and billet there for the night, the 54th Inf.Brigade was to take over that portion of the front immediately N.E. of BOUSIES with the 6th Bn. Northamptonshire Regt, the 11th Royal Fusiliers being in Support and the 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment in Reserve. We were warned that we might be required to continue the attack in the morning and at 10 p.m. a message was received to the effect that the attack would be continued between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. I immediately sent forward 2nd Lieut.W.Tysoe, D.S.O. [William TYSOE, DSO, MC], with one officer per Company with instructions to reconnoitre the Ground and meet the Battalion at the EPINETTE Cross Roads on arrival.
PLAN At 12.30 a.m. a Conference took place at 54th Inf.Bde.Hd.Qrs at which we were given the role of passing through the right two Coys of 6th Northamptons on the first objective, viz. 200 yards N.E. of the REUNART FARM - LA FOURQUETTE Road and go on to the final objective - the line of the ENGLEFONTAINE - LANDRECIES Road. Companies were detailed as follows: - "A" (Right) and "D" (Left), were to form up behind the 6th Northamptons and passing through them on their first objective seize the high ground in F.18.c.square 300 yards N.E. of the BROOK. "B" Company (Right) and "C" Coy (Left) were to pass through the above two companies and fight their way on to the final objective. Battalion Headquarters were to start at the Cemetery (BOUSIES) and move forward in rear of the Centre of the Battalion.
NARRATIVE The forming up was rendered exceedingly difficult by the enclosed nature of the Country and it was found necessary to form up in the road and move out in small columns. In spite of this and the short time at our disposal the Battalion was in position quarter of an hour before ZERO and duly moved off following the 6th Northamptons. On reaching the general line BOUSIES - WOOD FARM - F.23.Central - F.23.d.5/2 the Advance was held up by heavy Machine Gun fire from the High Ground in front and from our Right Flank. The latter especially was exceedingly uncomfortable and inflicted considerable casualties on our men. Finding a large number of men on the line of the road running S.E. from BOUSIES WOOD FARM, consisting of men of all Units I ordered an officer of the 11th R.Fusrs to collect all the men of his Battalion and take them on to his own front in the vicinity of BOUSIES WOOD FARM. A Platoon of the 6th Northamptons I sent to rejoin their own Company and then further thinned out the Line by ordering Lt.R.I.Edwards, M.C. [Ronald Irving EDWARDS, MC] who was in Command of "A" Company, to collect as many as possible of his Company and hold them in reserve in the ORCHARD about F.23.c.2.8. "B" Company were left to hold the front line with advanced posts in the Valley about F.23.Central. "C" and "D" Coys were dug in protecting our right flank about F.29.a.7.5 to F.23.d.0.0. In view of the heavy Machine Gun Fire which continued from our right flank I decided that further advance during daylight would be impossible without suffering heavy casualties. I established Headquarters again at the Cemetery with advance report centre at F.23.c.3.5. At about 9.15 a.m. a most regrettable incident occurred, an organised shoot by our heavy artillery falling short and causing two Companies to evacuate their positions, besides inflicting a number of casualties. This was duly reported but at 12.15 p.m. an exactly similar thing occurred again and again casualties were reported. During the afternoon a fine exploit by Lt.Hedges [Frederick William HEDGES, VC], 6th Bn. Northamptonshire Regt, who personally went forward with a Lewis Gun Section and cleared the Ridge on our immediate front enabled further operations to be undertaken. I had previously arranged with Lt.THOMPSON of the Tank Corps to work round our right flank at 4.30 p.m. with objective RENAUD FARM, taking on any enemy Machine Guns he encountered on the way and I now organised a joint attack on RENAUD FARM with one Platoon of the Queens and 2 Sections of the Bedfords, curiously enough, this attack coincided with that made by the Tank and the enemy was duly driven out of RENAUD FARM. The way was now open for a further advance and accordingly at 6 p.m. I instructed Lt.R.I.Edwards, M.C., [Ronald Irving EDWARDS, MC] to feel his way forward and if possible make good our original objective, viz., the line of the ENGLEFONTAINE LANDRECIES Road. I instructed 2nd Lt.I.L.Whittingham [Ivor Lancelot WHITTINGHAM, MC], Commanding "D" Coy, vice Capt.Reiss [Phillip Julius REISS, MC & Bar, MM] (Wounded) to form a defensive flank by taking up a position facing S.E. between RENAUD FARM and the BROOK. I moved "C" Company up in close support and kept "B" Company in reserve I sent 2nd Lieut.W.Tysoe, D.S.O. [William TYSOE, DSO, MC] to form a report centre at RENAUD FARM and by 9.30 p.m. telephonic communication had been opened to here by Lieut.R.B.Rednall [Reginald Barry REDNALL, MC], the Bn. Signalling Officer. By 10 p.m. Lt.R.I.Edwards, M.C. [Ronald Irving EDWARDS, MC] reported his Company holding a position along the road running N.W. and S.E. in A.13.d.Square in touch with the E.Surreys on his right but a gap on his left. Contact had been obtained with the enemy at the road junction A.13.d.93.05. At 2 a.m. 25th October this line was handed over to the 10th Bn.Essex Regt. REMARKS Although no opposition was encountered, I consider Lt.R.I.Edward's [Ronald Irving EDWARDS, MC] performance in moving forward his Company a distance of over a mile on a very dark night without loss of direction and again establishing contact with the enemy is worthy of considerable praise.
In conclusion, I wish to mention the excellent work done by the Tanks both on the 23rd and 24th October. They frequently appeared on the scene just when they were wanted and assisted the advance of the Infantry and they also displayed a fine spirit in returning to the fight in spite of having the majority of their crew wounded by Armour Piercing Bullets. A.E.Percival [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] Lt.Colonel Commanding 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment 29.10.18
2nd Bn.Bedfordshire Regt. Casualties 24.10.18. Capt.P.J.Reiss, M.C., M.M. [Phillip Julius REISS, MC & Bar, MM] Wounded. 2nd Lieut.W.T.Hall Wounded. 2nd Lieut.H.Dysart Wounded. Other Ranks Killed 9 Wounded 39 Missing 4
Following Congratulatory Wire received from General Sir Ivor MAXSE (late Commander of 18th Corps) Inspector General of Training and General MORLAND, French Comdr. Sir T.L.N.Morland
From Gen.MORLAND To 18th Division 25.10.1918 "Hearty congratulations to yourself, staff and all ranks on their great success of last two days which reflects the greatest credit on all concerned" Sd. MORLAND
From Sir Ivor MAXSE "Hearty congratulations to 18th Division on their splendid fighting successes this week." Sd. MAXSE
Operation Order By Lt.Colonel A.E.Percival, D.S.O., M.C. [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] Commanding WIPE Ref.Map 57 B., N.E.
1. The Battalion will relieve the 8th E.Surrey Regt in the right Brigade Sub-Sector tomorrow and act as Brigade Reserve. relief to be complete by 12 noon 2. Companies will be disposed as arranged at Conference held this evening 3. Guides will meet "A" Coy at F.29.c.2.7. and "B" and "C" Coys at L.5.c.5.4. at 0800 4. Order of March "A" and "C" Coys will move off at 0715 and "D" and "B" Coys at 0730. Hd.Qrs will follow "B" Coy. Coys will march by platoons at 200 yards interval 5. Route as explained at Conference 6. Headquarters will rendezvous at L.5.b.6.4., where Bn. Report Centre will open. 7. "D" Coy Cooker will proceed with "D" Coy. "B" Coy Cooker with utensils for "A" and "C" and Hd.Qrs will be ready to move off when a guide returns for them. A water cart will remain in EPINETTE. 2 Cooks per Coy will proceed to the line. 8. Completion of relief will be reported to E.Surreys Headquarters, ROBERSART. 9. O.C.'s "A" and "C" Coys will meet the Commanding Officer at L.5.b.6.4 at 1000 10.Breakfast at 0600 Sd. A.P. Methuen [Arthur Pemberton METHUEN], Lieutenant A/Adjutant, WIPE 26.10.18
2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment Narrative of Operations 4.11.18 including attack on PREUX-AUX-BOIS Reference Sheet 57 A. N.W. 1/20,000
PRELIMINARY. After holding the line in front of ROBERSART for 3 days the Battalion was relieved by the 11th Royal Fusiliers on the evening of the 1st November and went into Support on the S.E. outskirts of BOUSIES. The general plan of attack had been explained to O.C.Battalions at a Brigade Conference held on the 31st October and reconnaissances of the ground over which the operations were to take place were carried out on the 1st November and succeeding days.
The PLAN. The 54th Brigade in conjunction with the 53rd Infantry Brigade on the left and 150th Infantry Brigade on the Right, was to take part on the 4th November in an attack on a wide front on the German positions. Objective of the 54th Brigade was PREUX-AUX-BOIS and the orchards to the N. of it as far as the edge of the FORET de MORMAL. 6th Northamptonshire Regt. were to advance at Zero and capture the orchards in A.14.a&b. and A.15.a. squares; 2nd Bedfordshire Regt. forming up in the orchards in A.13.b.square were to follow the 6th Northamptons and, facing right, were to attack PREUX-AUX-BOIS and orchards in the vicinity from the North in conjunction with one Company of 11th Royal Fusiliers on the Right and one Company 6th Northamptons on the Left. 11th Royal Fusiliers (less 1 Company) were to hold existing front line West of PREUX and make a demonstration. Companies were allotted roles as under: - "C" Coy. (Right) and "A" Coy (Left) were to lead the attack. "C" Coy being responsible for the orchards in A.14.d. and A.20.b. squares between the main street on the East and the stream on the West, and "A" Coy. being responsible for both houses on both sides of the street running North and South from A.15.c.0.7. to A.21.a.0.4. About the line running East and West through A.21.a.0.4. "D" Company (Right) and "B" Coy. (Left) were to pass through the above two Companies and push on to the final objective A.20.d.2.5. to A.21.c.5.7. where liaison was to be made with the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers. Two Tanks were allotted to the Battalion, one of which was to proceed with the Right two Companies and the other with the Left 2 Companies.
The APPROACH MARCH. The march to the Assembly position on account of the darkness of the night and the advisability of avoiding the roads which were under constant bursts of Machine Gun fire, was realised to be a matter of some difficulty and every precaution was therefore taken to prevent the Platoons losing the way. In addition to Platoon representatives being taken over the ground on the preceding day, the Battalion Scouts under Lieut.A.W.G.Smith, were employed in marking out the route by means of bicycle lamps and white tape. At 2345 hours the Companies commenced to move up and thanks to the above precautions the approach march was carried out without difficulty with the loss of 1 N.C.O.Killed. Battalion Headquarters moved forward to the SUNKEN Road A.13.b.8.5.
THE ATTACK. At 0615 the barrage opened and at 0650 the Companies commenced to move forward in rear of 6th Northamptonshire Regt, who made an excellent and spirited attack and cleared the whole of the area over which the Battalion had to advance. Companies duly reached the forming up position and lined up just North of the brook in A.14.d.square waiting for the entire barrage to start at 0807. A very heavy enfilade shrapnel barrage, with 4.5 howitzers beyond, came down on the line of the brook and after a pause of 4 minutes commenced to move South at the rate of 100 yards in 5 minutes. "C" Company on the Right, under command of Captain R.L.V.Doake MC [Richard Lionel Vere DOAKE, DSO, MC], closely followed by "D" Company, commanded by 2/Lieut.W. Pennington [William PENNINGTON, MC], at once commenced to make good progress, though a number of the enemy were encountered in the orchards. The latter both fighting well, were taken in flank and quickly overcome thanks to the splendid leading of the Officers and N.C.Os of "C" and "D" Company, many small local attacks and enveloping movements being organised on the spur of the moment and successfully carried out. "C" Company arrived on their objective shortly after scheduled time and leaving garrisons at important points pushed on into the Village in Support of "D" Company. Here a large number of the enemy were encountered in the streets and the cellars and taken prisoners and at about 0930 "D" Company had reached their final objective and got into tough with the 2nd Bn.Loyal Munster Fusiliers. I consider the success of "B" and "D" Companies was largely due to the splendid leading of the officers Captain R.L.V.Doake MC [Richard Lionel Vere DOAKE, DSO, MC], 2/Lieut T.F.Vaughan [Thomas Frederick VAUGHAN] and 2/Lieut.W.Ashton MC [William ASHTON, MC] (Wounded) ("C" Company) and 2/Lieut.W. Pennington [William PENNINGTON, MC] (Wounded) & 2/Lieut.I.L.Whittingham [Ivor Lancelot WHITTINGHAM, MC] ("D" Company). These Officers, well backed up by their N.C.Os, led their Companies forward in spite of the attack being held up on both flanks and by their action enables the rest of the attack to go on. On the left "A" Company commanded by Lieut.A.F. Aldridge [Arthur Frederick ALDRIDGE], had almost immediately been held up by Machine Gun Fire from the road junction A.15.c.0.5., causing them to lose the barrage. Two attempts were made by a Tank to deal with this strong point, but without success. Elements of the two right Platoons of "A" Company however well led by Lieut.W.J.Holbrook MC [William James HOLBROOK, MC] were able to work round the West of the strong point and attacked the enemy in the Cemetery at A.14.d.9.4. which was cleared after a spirited struggle. This opened the way for the right two Platoons of "B" Company under 2/Lieut.H.B. Lang [Harry Beckett LANG, MC] to move forward and clear the main street as far as the road junction A.21.c.3.8. An isolated Machine Gun Nest which was harassing troops in the Village from about A.21.a.5.0. was engaged and finally mopped up by a party led by 2/Lieut.H.B. Lang [Harry Beckett LANG, MC]. Meanwhile the Left two Platoons of "A" Company under Lieut.A.F. Aldridge [Arthur Frederick ALDRIDGE] and the Left two Platoons of "B" Company under 2/Lieut.S.W.Goble MC [Sidney Walsingham GOBLE, MC], had worked their way round the East of the Strong Point at A.15.c.0.5. and were clearing the houses along the side of the lane running S.E. and N.W. in A.15.c.square. The enemy in the Strong point at A.15.c.0.5. seeing themselves outflanked and being attacked from the rear, now gave in. It was found on examination that the Machine Gun had been firing through a hole in the wall of a house well camouflaged. At 1100 Lieut.A.W.G.Smith, the Intelligence Officer, was sent forward and established a forward report centre at PREUX-AUX-BOIS and by 12 noon all the village was clear and the way was opened for other troops to pass through. Battalion Headquarters moved forward to A.20.b.95.65 and Companies were reorganised and billeted in PREUX.
The battalion's Casualties were: - Officers: 2/Lieut S.H. Abbott [Sidney Herbert ABBOTT] Killed, 2/Lieut.W. Ashton MC [William ASHTON, MC] Wounded, 2/Lieut.W. Pennington [William PENNINGTON, MC] Wounded, 2/Lieut.S.A.G.Hill [Sidney Adolphus George HILL] Wounded. Other Ranks 7 Killed 33 Wounded 3 Missing. Captures included 300 prisoners, 20 Machine Guns, 2 heavy Trench Mortars and 1 Anti-Tank Rifle, besides much other material.
Prisoners most of whom were Jaegers stated that practically the whole of the defence was concentrated on the PREUX line; this was borne out by subsequent events as directly the way was clear to the Forest, the troops passed through and met with practically no resistance. 1400 Civilians were liberated in PREUX
CONCLUSION: - The success of the attack and the small number of casualties suffered appears to have been due firstly to the well conceived plan of taking the village from the North. Most of the enemy Machine Gun positions were sited in hedges facing west and by attacking them in flank it was possible to work along the hedges and get close to them before being seen. Secondly I consider the success to have been due to the adoption of principles recently taught in training, namely the value of local flanking movements when dealing with enemy Machine Guns. The thick hedges and enclosed nature of the country was peculiarly adapted to these tactics. Thirdly to the dash and drive and quickness to take advantage of an opening shown by all ranks. The tanks were useful in breaking down hedges but were not on this occasion of much assistance in helping the advance as one broke down and two others were put out of action before they had gone very far. All ranks were unanimous in their praise of the Barrage, which was both thick and accurate. Bill-hooks were carried and were exceedingly useful in getting through the thick hedges. Casualties were saved by a careful choice of the assembly position which was just clear of the enemy barrage line. The Medical Officer established an Aid Post near the front line where he worked unceasingly all morning attending to casualties of all units of the Division without assistance A.E.Percival [Arthur Ernest PERCIVAL, DSO, MC] Lt.Colonel Commanding 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment 7.11.1918
All Companies Transport Officer Sergt Cobbold 6th
1. The Battalion will move to LE CATEAU by route march today. 2. Starting point: Crossroads A.20.d.50.65. 3. Time: 1155 4. Order of March HQ D C B A 5. March by Companies at 200 yds distance 6. Dress: Battle Order. Blankets rolled round the haversack. Steel Helmets worn 7. Tools. Company Commanders will ensure that all picks & shovels are taken back. They will be carried on the man. Billhooks will be put in the L.G. Limber 8. Route: A.25.b.4.0. - BOUSIES - L.2 - FOREST - K.18.b&c. - K.29.B&c. 9. Company L.G. Limber will march with Companies & will be under the orders of O.C. Companies 10. Guides will meet Companies on arrival at K.35.a.5.4. 11. Dinners will be ready on arrival 12. O.C. Companies will ensure that the men parade as clean as possible & that strict march discipline is maintained during the march. 13. ACKNOWLEDGE
2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment Order No.41 Reference Map. SHEET 57B 12th November 18
1. The Battalion will march to SERAIN tomorrow, November 13th 2. Starting Point - Bridge K.34.b.0.1. 3. Time - 0740 4. Route - K.33.a.4.6. - MARETZ - W.21.d.7.9. 5. Order of March - Drums, Hd.Qrs. "A", "B", "C" & "D" Coys 6. Distance between Companies - 100 yards 7. Dress - Fighting Order. Caps will be worn - Steel helmets on back of the haversack blankets rolled round the haversack and waterproof sheets on the belt. Rifle covers will not be on the rifles unless it is wet 8. Reveille will be at 0600. Breakfast will be at 0630. Dinners on arrival 9. Packs will be dumped by Companies and Headquarters at Quartermaster Stores by 0630. They will contain Great Coat and Jerkin and must be clearly marked on the back with number name and Company. Drummers Blankets will be dumped at the same place and time. Officers valises will be dumped at the Quartermaster Stores by 0730 10. Transport (1) A. Echelon will accompany the Battalion. (2) All A Echelon will be across the Bridge at K.34.b.0.1. before 0730 and will await the arrival of the Battalion there (3) Lewis Gun Limbers will march with Companies, one Gun will be mounted on each Lewis Gun Limber and a Lewis Gunner will accompany the Limber (4) The remainder of A Echelon will march 100 yards in rear of "D" Coy. (5) B.Echelon will march under the Brigade Transport Officer passing the Starting Point at 0835 (6) Supply wagons will move under orders of O.C. No.3.Coy.Divisional Train (7) Officer's Chargers will report at Battalion and Company Hd.Qrs at 0725 11. Advance Party One N.C.O. per Company and Battalion Hd.Qrs will report to 2/Lieut.W.Tysoe DSO [William TYSOE, DSO, MC] at Headquarter Mess at 0700. They will bring bicycles with them and will be in possession of accurate parade states. 12. ACKNOWLEDGE sgd. H.SEYS-PHILLIPS [Howard Seys PHILLIPS] Captain Adjutant, 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment 18th Division No.G 375
The following letter addressed to Major-General Lee has been received H.Q. Fourth Army 23rd November, 1918
"My dear Lee I have not had time to come and see you, and therefore write these few lines to express to you, and to all ranks of the 18th Division, my warmest thanks for the splendid work that has been done by the Division, not only during these 100 days which have won us the war, but from March 1918 onwards. The fine spirit of discipline and fighting energy which had characterised the 18th Division throughout these operations has filled me with admiration, and I offer to all ranks my warmest thanks for their gallantry and skill in so many hard-fought battles. I specially call to mind the strenuous times before GENTELLES and CACHY the talking of ALBERT and MEAULTE, the capture of BERNAFAY and TRONES Woods, the forcing of the TORTILLE River, the battles around and beyond RONSSOY and finally the attacks on BOUSIES, HECQ and the FORET DE MORMAL. It is, indeed, a record that every Officer, N.C.O. and man, has a right to be proud of, and I very much regret that you are not marching to the frontier with the Fourth Army. The very best of luck to you all and again a thousand thanks for the brilliant part which the Division has played in these battles of the 100 days. Yours sincerely" (sgd) H.RAWLINSON Major-General R.P.LEE, C.B. Comdg. 18th Division
The following reply has been sent 25th November 1918
"My dear General All ranks of the 18th Division join in thanking you for your generous appreciation of the part they have played in the closing phase of this Great War. The Division has done much of its fighting in the Fourth Army, commencing with the SOMME Battles in 1916 and ending so gloriously in the 100 days of victory, and will ever be grateful to you for your counsel and leadership Many of us still hope to rejoin your Army in Rhineland Yours sincerely" (sgd) R.P.LEE General Sir H.S.RAWLINSON, Bart, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., K.C.M.G. Commanding Fourth Army
Site built by and © Steven Fuller, 2003 to 2017