Friday 22 July 2016

Day Twenty Two in the Somme

Saturday 22nd July 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

We understand that 18th (Eastern) Division, of which the 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment forms a part, is leaving Fourth Army and this Battle of the Somme, now in its twenty second day. Rumour has it that the move north will be to the area near Béthune and Loos, scene of so much of the fighting last year but comparatively “quiet” this year.

Colonel Price shared the following telegram sent by Fourth Army commander General Rawlinson to the whole of 18th Division: “The part which the 18th Division has taken in the Battle of the Somme reflects the highest credit on every Officer, Non Commissioned Officer and Man, and I desire to tender to one and all my gratitude and congratulations”.

“The gallantry and determination displayed in the assault of the enemy's first system of defence, together with the night attack on, and final capture, of Trônes Wood, were feats of arms which will rank amongst the best attainments of the British Army. Nothing could have been finer than the behaviour of those men of the West Kent Regiment who held their position throughout the night when surrounded by the enemy at the northern end of the wood”.

“The heavy fighting in the village of Longueval and Delville Wood in which portions of the Division were engaged was an example of discipline, valour, and endurance which was wholly admirable”.

“It is with great regret that I hear the Division is to be transferred to another Army and I trust at some future time I may be honoured by again having it under my command”.

Source: X550/8/1

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