Thursday, 8 January 2015

First Bedfordshire Regiment Men Killed in Action this Year

Harry Hack

Friday 8th January 1915: Just over a week into 1915 and today the Regiment has had its first men killed in action. The 1st Battalion are currently in the front line trenches north-west of Wulvergem, which is south of Ypres.

They have been shelled whilst holding the trenches and six men have been killed. Three of these men were from Bedfordshire – Private Wright from Shefford, Private Pestell from Bedford and Lance Corporal Hack from Luton. The other four men are from Essex, Hertfordshire, Warwickshire. This shows how widely the regiment recruits.

Many men in the Bedfordshire Regiment have always come from Hertfordshire, as that county has no front line infantry regiment of its own and this seems to be continuing, with many Hertfordshire men joining since the outbreak of war. However, men are recruited from further a-field, particularly London and others of the eastern counties.

We understand that it is War Office policy to ensure that, wherever possible, regiments comprise men from a variety of geographical backgrounds. This makes good sense when one considers the disaster which might be visited upon a locality if one of the battalions in its local regiment were to suffer high numbers of casualties in an action. This policy should help to ensure no missing generation in the towns and villages of Bedfordshire, however long the war lasts.

Source: X550/2/5

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