Tuesday 12 July 2016

Day Twelve on the Somme

Wednesday 12th July 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

The 2nd Battalion’s ordeal in Trônes Wood has continued today. About 10 pm last night the enemy surrounded the force formerly led by Captain Tyler, bombing it from three sides. In the circumstances Lieutenant L H Walker ordered the men to fall back to the old brickworks on the other side of Bernafay Wood where they joined the Battalion’s headquarters. C and D Companies, entrenched in the south-west of the wood managed to retain their toe-hold all night despite frequent attacks.

Lieutenant Walker

This morning Lieutenant W White and Second Lieutenant L A L Fink were sent from the reserve of officers at the Battalion’s transport lines to replace those officers who were lost yesterday. Lieutenant White took over command of A Company from the unfortunate Captain Tyler who is either dead or a prisoner.

Lieutenant White

Just after midnight two companies of 17th Battalion King’s (Liverpool) Regiment occupied the southern edge of the wood and linked up with C and D Companies of the Bedfords. Through the day this line has been held despite many determined attacks with bombs by the enemy. Second Lieutenant H J Bricknell was wounded during the day.

Second Lieutenant Bricknell

We understand that 55th Brigade of 18th Division (7th Bedfords are in 54th Brigade of that division) has been temporarily attached to 30th Division because, although the division now holds the southern part of the wood, it has suffered many casualties over the last four days and is exhausted. I can vouch that the lined faces of the officers and men I have seen today attest to their expenditure of strength and courage over the last day or more.

Source: X550/3/wd

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