Thursday, 21 January 2016

A Typical Day on the Western Front

Friday 21st January 1916: Soldiers expect there to be casualties in battles and may even be able to resign themselves to becoming one. This war, however, is particularly notable for the numbers of men killed and wounded every day merely “holding the line” – a phenomenon known as “daily wastage”.

A good example of this dreary roll call of casual death happened to the 6th Bedfords yesterday. It was a fine day and a German Fokker aeroplane came over their lines and bombed the town of Bienvillers without doing much damage. Later the Germans shelled battalion headquarters in Hannescamps with eleven shells of 77mm shells. Again no material damage was done. Then one of the Bedfords’ trenches was shelled. A corporal – M Brand and three privates – A Prior, C Greenslade and C R Mitchell were wounded. One man, Lance Corporal R Taylor is missing believed killed whilst out on his own sniping at the enemy(1)

Source: X550/7/1

(1) Lance Corporal Robert Taylor, from Hertford, is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Private Conrad Greenslade died of his wounds at home on 10th October 1916 and is buried at Fort Pitt Military Cemetery, Chatham [Kent] and Private Albert Prior was killed in action on 17th July 1916 and is also commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial

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