Sunday 10 July 2016

Day Ten on the Somme

Monday 10th July 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

The Battle for Trônes Wood began in earnest yesterday, with the wood being taken and then lost by 30th Division. Last night a trench was dug by 30th Division on the south-west edge of the wood and early this morning troops from 90th Brigade used this to move into the wood, which seemed empty. However, the enemy then moved back in and fighting has been confused throughout the day, dead British and German bodies are intermingled and, added to the fallen and splintered trees and shell-holes have made a once pleasant wood into something from Hell. It is a thoroughly confusing place where it is easy to lose one’s bearings according to men who have been in and come out again alive.

2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment forms a part 90th Brigade but has not yet been used in any attack in this ten day-old battle. Tonight the adjutant has received orders that they are to go into action in the wood tomorrow. It is believed that it is currently only lightly held by the enemy but these things can change quickly. Certainly the defenders have put up a stiff fight today. Tonight the Battalion rests near an old French brickworks close to the south-west edge of Bernafay Wood which lies a few hundred yards west of Trônes Wood.

This afternoon the village of Contalmaison was finally captured by 23rd and 34th Divisions. This place has been in the army’s sights for over a week and great satisfaction is felt that it is finally “in the bag”. 6th Bedfords did not take part in the capture but formed a defensive flank against German counter-attacks, which cost them 6 dead, 4 missing and 40 wounded.

The 38th (Welsh) Division has been involved in heavy fighting in Mametz Wood. It is understood that they have managed to infiltrate and capture a good portion of it.

Source: X550/3/wd

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