Friday, 23 June 2017

Turks Seem Less Aggressive

Saturday 23rd June 1917

The adjutant of 1st/5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, has wired to mention that since a relief took place a few days ago, the enemy has been growing less and less active from a machine-gun point of view.

During the last three nights especially, very few bullets have come near the bivouac and most of those have been from single rifle shots and not from machine-gun bursts. A few shrapnel and high explosive shells have come over - generally about three to five between 3 pm and 6 pm and the British guns have always replied with one or two salvos which seems to have a sobering effect on the enemy guns.

Source: X550/6/8

Roll of Honour - 23rd June 1917

Killed in Action

2nd Battalion: in camp at Dickebusch with men on working parties
  • 202669 Private Harry Morris MEDCRAFT, 24, born Stanbridge, son of Joseph and Emma Medcraft of 19 Saint Leonard’s Avenue, Bedford (Dickebush New Military Cemetery Extension)

8th Battalion: front line near Hulluch
  • 40134 Private Edwin George HODGES ex-16046 Essex Regiment born East Ham [Essex], son of Thomas Hodges of 12 Cyprus Place, New Beckton [Essex] (Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe)

Thursday, 22 June 2017

8th Battalion Caught Napping

Friday 22nd June 1917

The adjutant of the 8th Battalion, in the front line near Hulluch, spoke to me on the blower today, admitting that they had been caught unawares by a German patrol. At three o’clock this morning the enemy opened up with concentrated intense mortar fire on B and C Companies in the front line. At 3.10 am an 'S.O.S.' signal flare was observed to go up from the front line which was repeated at Battalion Headquarters and sent through by the Brigade Headquarters by telephone to the artillery.

It transpired later that a small party of one officer and fifteen German other ranks had managed to enter the front line between two of the Battalion’s posts under cover of smoke and darkness. They surprised the inhabitants of the front line trench and are believed to have captured nine of the Battalion’s men. As if that was not enough a patrol of one non-commissioned officer and two men who were in No Man's Land when the bombardment commenced are missing. In their defence, the adjutant stressed that the enemy only managed to enter the front line for a few minutes, although he kept up his intense barrage unil 3.45 a.m.

Second Lieutenant Haywood [X550/1/81]

The 2nd Battalion, in camp at Dickebusch near Ypres, reports that Second Lieutenant C.Haywood has been wounded whilst on a reconnaissance of infantry tracks leading to the trenches.

Sources: X550/3/WD; X550/9/1

Roll of Honour - 22nd June 1917

Killed in Action

8th Battalion: front line near Hulluch, German trench mortars active
  • 39555 Private Albert John CAMP, 26, C Company, ex-M/222316 Army Service Corps, born Stepney [London], resided Manor Park [Essex], son of Peter and Annie Camp of 43 Coleridge Avenue, manor Park, husband of Anna Bella Steel (ex-Camp) of 276 Mortlake Road, Ilford [Essex] (Loos Memorial)
  • 202783 Private Frank Harold JACOBS, 34, born Islington [London], husband of Ethel Mary of Saint Kilda, Oliver Road, Leyton [Essex] (Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe)
  • 33407 Lance Corporal William Scott LITTLE, 25, ex-24759 Northamptonshire Regiment, son of Robert and Agnes Little of Edinburgh [Midlothian], resided Pitsea [Essex], husband of A L G Reeves (ex-Little) of 13 Ingrebourne Road, Rainham [Essex] (Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe)
  • 203082 Private Harry LIVOCK, 27, son of Edward and Sarah of 50 Langley Street, Norwich [Norfolk] (Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe)
  • 15421 Private George WEBSTER, 29, born Kneesworth [Cambridgeshire], son of Emily Mary Webster of Wendy [Cambridgeshire] (Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

All Quiet South of Gaza

Thursday 21st June 1917

The 1st/5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment is currently in the support line south of Gaza. The adjutant wired me to mention that yesterday he made a reconnaissance of the front line and advance posts of the left Battalion of the left sector where the line skirts the sea. He noted that everything seems extremely quiet and that it was quite possible to keep his head and shoulders over the parapet for fifteen minutes at a time without being sniped at.

Source: X550/6/8

Roll of Honour - 21st June 1917

Killed in Action

8th Battalion: front line near Hulluch
  • 9044 Corporal John Robert CLARK, 32, husband of Sarah of 7 Morris Street, Peterborough (Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe)

Died of Wounds

2nd Battalion
  • 19017 Private Alfred BRITTAIN, 22, born Old Warden, son of A E Brittain of 14 Hartington Street, Bedford (Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery)

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A Celebratory Dinner

Wednesday 20th June 1917

The officers of 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire, Regiment are holding a celebration dinner tonight in the mess. This is to celebrate the winning of the silver bugle in the 37th Division efficiency competition held in April.

Source: X550/7/1