Thursday, 11 September 2014

News of the Bedfordshire Yeomanry and a Wet Day in France

General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton

Friday 11th September 1914: A message from a trooper in the Bedfordshire Yeomanry reads: “We now have to go through a stricter training than when we first left Bedford. Every morning we have riding school for two hours, which is as much for the benefit of the horse as for the man. The idea is to teach the horses the various drills. Some of them were very obstinate at first, but it is surprising what a difference the school has made to them. Each afternoon is devoted to musketry and a lecture by the officers. These lectures are very interesting and will by very useful to the men. On Thursday the regiment was inspected by General Sir Ian Hamilton[1], who was quite satisfied with our appearance. When we were on our way to inspection one of the horses dropped dead owing to staggers caused by the heat. Several people from Bedford visit us on Sundays. All the men are in good health and spirits”.

The 1st Bedfords have been advancing through the rain, going about sixteen miles. The adjutant reports tersely: “Weather abominable: drenched by torrents of rain”. Our contact with the battalion bemoans: “Having no Burberry – as I had thrown it away in the Retreat – I got absolutely soaked through”.

Source: Bedfordshire Times 11th September 1914; X550/2/5; X550/2/7

[1] He is remembered today for presiding over the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.

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