Saturday 9 July 2016

Day Nine on the Somme

Sunday 9th July 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

Attacks on Trônes Wood and Contalmaison have continued today. Maltz Horn Farm was rushed by 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers (which is in the same brigade as 2nd Bedfords) whilst it was still dark this morning. The 30th Division pierced the wood and, despite the chaos of poisoned gas, splintered trees, shells holes and resistance, captured the pace in its entirety. Sadly an intense German bombardment around lunchtime caused it to be abandoned again, though some groups of men seem to have remained behind and we have to assume they were killed or captured when the Germans re-took the place a short time ago. In the last few minutes we understand that men from 30th Division have advanced again and begun to dig a trench along the south-west edge of the wood. No doubt this will be the jumping off point for further attacks tomorrow or in succeeding days.

Meanwhile 23rd Division continues to give its attention to Contalmaison. No major attack was planned today but the Germans made an attack themselves which was, we are pleased to report, quickly dispersed. This evening the enemy have made another attack but we understand that his, too, has been dealt with. One of the units fending off German counter-attacks is 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment of 112th Brigade. In so doing today they have lost 14 dead, 1 missing and 75 wounded.

17th Division attacked a trench called Quadrilateral Trench south of the village of Contalmaison. This has been in dispute for some days. Again, little has been achieved.

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