Sunday, 17 December 2017

Confusion over Billets

Monday 17th December 1917

The 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment are at Mory, behind the lines north of Bapaume. This morning they marched the five miles from Courcelles-le-Comte, via Gomiecourt. They arrived at 11 a.m. but did not get into their billets until 12.30 as they were occupied by 7th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantryt from 3rd Division. Things like this are commonplace and annoying to the men involved. This was especially so as snow fell during the whole of the march and the men were wet and cold when they arrived. Tonight four officers and two hundred men have the pleasure of going up to the front line again to carry out the dangerous job of putting up barbed wire.

Source: X550/9/1

Saturday, 16 December 2017

1st Bedfords Arrive in Italy

Sunday 16th December 1917

The 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment have arrived in Italy after their long train journey from Anvin. As you can imagine we have been desperately trying to get hold of maps of northern Italy in preparation for this event, so that we can give you an idea of where the boys end up.

It turns out that they are in the province of Padua. B and D Companies left their train at Fontaniva and marched to San Giorgio in Brenta where they rested for a few hourse before resuming their march eleven miles south-east to San Giorgio delle Pertiche, where they are billeting for tonight - about thirty miles north-west of Venice. A and C Companies are billeted in San Giorgio in Brenta. Emboldened by his efforts with a sketch map of Palestine your correspondent has done something for northern Italy.

The 7th Battalion, meanwhile, are in the vicinity of Roesbrugge-Haringe north-west of Poperinge at a place called Claude Chappe Camp. They are due a rest period. Brigadier-General Lionel Sadleir Jackson, commanding 54th Infantry Brigade, took a march-past today and was pleased with the general turn-out of the Battalion.

The Battalion arrived in the new area in time for dinner; each company being billeted in a separate hut, and one detached company in Northampton Lines. There is a cinema hall in the centre of the camp.

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/8/1

Roll of Honour - 16th December 1917

Killed in Action

6th Battalion: working parties in the Ypres area
  • 240494 Private William Henry GLOSSOP, born Small Heath [Warwickshire], resided Digbeth [Warwickshire] (Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery)

Died of Wounds

6th Battalion
  • 20150 Sergeant Bert SHERWOOD, born and resided Baldock [Hertfordshire] (Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery)

Friday, 15 December 2017

Restful Leisure Pursuits

Lieutenant T J Pemberton [X550/1/81]

Saturday 15th December 1917

6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment has been relieved from the front line near Ypres and is now enjoying providing working parties on the old battlefield, bringing up supplies, repairing trenches, collecting salvage, burying human remains and other restful leisure pursuits, as the adjutant described them. Five officers have joined for duty today - Lieutenant D J Greig, Lieutenant T J Pemberton, Second Lieutenant H Skipp, 2; W A S Ogden and Second Lieutenant A B Warnecke.

Source: X550/7/1

Thursday, 14 December 2017

4th Battalion on the Move

Friday 14th December 1917

We have heard from the 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, that they are on the move. At the beginning of the month they were training at Houtkerque just on the French side of the border with Belgium west of Ypres. On the 6th they marched south to Godewaersvelde

On 9th they boarded trains for the journey to Miraumont in the northern part of the old Somme battlefield, marching via Ligny-Thilloy and le Transloy, skirting the wasteland of the battlefield itself, to Rocquigny. Yesterday they marched a few miles south-east to Étricourt-Manancourt where they will sleep under canvas tonight.

In two days time they expect to march north-east to Metz-en-Couture ending up on Highland Ridge near Villers-Plouich, ground won from the enemy during the Battle of Cambrai, on 16th of this month, ready to hold the front line over Christmas. They are all delighted.

Source: X550/5/3

Roll of Honour - 14th December 1917


1st/5th Battalion
  • 203151 Private Alfred STANBRIDGE, 38, son of Emma Stanbridge of Maulden, husband of Lizzie Richardson (ex-Stanbridge) of The Breach, Maulden (Kantara War Memorial Cemetery)

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Stand To, Stand Down

Thursday 13th December 1917

8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, after its exertions in the Battle of Cambrai is now at Courcelles-le-Comte, five miles north-west of Bapaume. We heard from the adjutant that as of six o’clock this morning they were standing-to in fighting order, ready to move as an attack was expected on 3rd Divisional front. The order to stand down was issued at 7.45 a.m.

Baths were then alloted to the Battalion from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 150 men managed to have a bath. Thee were the last ones to be bathed since the Battalion came out of the line on 9th December.  Companies played football in the afternoon and B Company are giving a concert tonight.

Source: X550/9/1