The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1919 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
War Diary for January 1919
Bn still in billets at RANSART. Educational classes have been formed and are well attended, much benefit being derived from the scheme. A recreational room has been opened and, in addition, a Battalion Concert Party has been formed. Physical drill is carried out daily and on January 23rd a battalion route march was carried out. Weekly trips to WATERLOO and BRUSSELS have been arranged for Officers and men. The Demobilisation Office has been opened twice weekly to enable men to find out their position. Considerable numbers have taken advantage of the opportunity. Twenty Seven men have been sworn in for the Regular Army.
During the month the following awards were announced:
O.B.E. -Major T. Barber - Quartermaster [Quartermaster & Honorary Major Thomas BARBER, OBE, TD].
Bar to the Military Cross -Captain L.G. Gold, M.C. [Leslie G. GOLD, MC & Bar], [?] F.A.W. GIBBS M.C. (A.C.D.), 2/Lieut. C.J.G. Fryer M.C. [Christopher John Gwynne FRYER, MC & Bar] (Killed).
The Military Cross - Lieut. R.H.T. Rowley [Robert Halford Taylor ROWLEY, MC], 2/Lieut. A.J. Bailey [Alan John BAILEY, MC].
The Distinguished Conduct Medal - No. 13089 Sgt B. Farrow [Bertie FARROW, DCM], No. 265477 Sgt F. Kiff [Frank KIFF, DCM].
The Meritorious Service Medal - 265018 RQMS Ketterer [Joseph KETTERER, MSM], 265055 Sgt G. Couldrey [George COULDREY, MSM], 266539 A/Cpl Randall A.H. [Alfred Herbert RANDALL, MSM], 43598 Pte Bidder T. [Thomas BIDDER, MSM].
Mentioned in Dispatches T/Capt. (A/Lt-Colonel) R.C. Carthew M.C. [Reginald Caunter CARTHEW, MC] 27-12-18. Qr. Mr. and Major J. Barber T.D. [Quartermaster and Honorary Major Thomas BARBER, OBE, TD] 30-12-18.
A number of Officers and Other Ranks have proceeded to England for Demobilisation. A return showing numbers who have left unit is attached herewith:
RETURN SHEWING DECREASE IN STRENGTH for the month of January 1919 Strength of unit 1st January 1919 - 40 OFF. 878 O.R. Decrease during month - (a) Demobilised: Pivotals - 1 OFF. 7 O.R. Long Service - 1 OFF. 14 O.R. Watford Details - 1 O.R. Guarantee Letter Men - 1 OFF. 48 O.R. A.F.Z. 56 - 1 O.R. Releasable Groups - 6 OFF. 54 O.R. Regular Soldiers with 2 or more years to complete - 13 O.R. Total - 9 OFF. 138 O.R. (b) Evacuated sick and struck off strength -10 O.R. (c) Other causes -3 O.R. Total -9 OFF. 151 O.R. [Final strength] -31 OFF. 727 O.R.
War Diary for February 1919
The battalion still in billets at RANSART. The education classes have been well attended during the month. The battalion concert party, formed last month, proved a success and drew large audiences at each performance. Owing to bad weather it was impossible to play the league football matches arranged for the early part of the month. The battalion team however played the 37th Division D.A.C. on Feb 18th and the 37th Division R.A.M.C. on the 21st, winning both matches by 9-1 and 3-nil goals respectively. The battalion is now at the top of the Divisional football league.
3-2-19. The Bn attended a parade for the presentation of colours to two battalions in the Division. During the month a further number of Officers and Other Ranks proceeded to England for Demobilisation and a number of horses and mules have been sold by auction in the neighbouring district.
A return shewing [sic] number of Officers and Other Ranks who have proceeded to England for Demobilisation is attached:
RETURN SHEWING DECREASE IN STRENGTH for the month of February 1919 Strength of unit 1st February 1919 - 31 OFF. 727 O.R. Decrease during the month: (a) Demobilisation. Pivotals - 1 OFF. 5 O.R. Long Service - 0 OFF. 25 O.R. Guarantee Letter men - 1 OFF. 72 O.R. A.F.Z. 56 - 0 OFF. 2 O.R. Releasable Groups - 0 OFF. 74 O.R. Serving Soldiers -0 OFF. 1 O.R. Group 43 - 1 OFF Group 45b. - 1 OFF. (b) Evacuated sick and struck off strength - 13 O.R. [Total decreases] - 4 OFF. 186 O.R. Total strength on 28-1-19 27 OFF. 541 O.R.
War Diary for March 1919
RANSART 1-3-19. Bn in billets at RANSART
RANSART 2-3-19. All available releasable personnel dispatched to the 4th Corps Concentration Camp for Demobilisation.
RANSART 3-3-19. Battn. reorganised into two companies.
RANSART 7-3-19. Lt.-Col. Heselton D.S.O., M.C. [John Lister HESELTON, DSO, MC], proceeded to England. Major A.G. Clark, D.S.O., M.C., [Aylmer G. CLARK, DSO, MC] assumed command of the battalion.
RANSART 10-3-19. Division concentrated on GORMET area. Battn. moved to GORMET at 1430 hours.
GORMET 11-3-19 to 31-3-19. Bn in billets in GORMET. Billets good. Lt G.H.Y. Gilbey M.C. [George Harold Yates GILBEY, MC] and Lt B.V.H. Tennant [Bernard Victor Ashlin TENNANT] proceeded to England for Demobilisation 27-3-19.
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