Sunday 29 May 2016

Congratulations for Digging

30th Division badge

Monday 29th May 1916: The Bedfordshire Regiment have a special reputation for being good workers and have won praise whenever they have had to do a hard job in the way of digging trenches and constructing fortifications. A formidable task of this nature was allotted to the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire two nights ago when, together with the Wiltshire Regiment they were called upon to dig 1,500 yards of new trench to as to bring the line 100 yards nearer to the enemy at Maricourt on the Somme. This work had to be done at night, of course and required most elaborate previous organisation, so that every man should know exactly where he had to go and what he had to do and in order that the work might proceed noiselessly. So successful was this organisation and so skilfully and vigorously was the work carried out in spite of machine gun and rifle fire not a single casualty occurred. The men had dug themselves in sufficiently to be under cover about half an hour before the enemy discovered the operations. The following congratulatory messages provide ample evidence of the meritorious nature of the achievement which has added to the high reputation of our County Regiment.

The General commanding the Division(1) wrote to the Brigadier(2): “I congratulate you on the result of your very thorough preparation. Please thank all ranks of the Bedfords and Wilts for the good work of last night”.

Source: Bedfordshire Times 9th June 1916; X550/3/wd

(1) Major-General Sir John Stuart Mackenzie Shea

(2) Frederick Charles Stanley, who was 4th son of the 16th Earl of Derby and brother of the 17th Earl of Derby who implemented the Derby Scheme which preceded conscription, becoming Secretary of State for war in December 1916. The crest of 30th Division was the Stanley family crest.

No comments:

Post a Comment