Sunday 18 September 2016

Day Eighty on the Somme

Monday 18th September 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

In the poor weather conditions of last evening few of us were surprised to hear this morning that the attack by 20th (Light) Division towards Lesboeufs was unsuccessful. 1st Bedfords had been attached to this division but did not take part in the attack and this morning moved back from Waterlot Farm to the old German Front Line between Guillemont and Wedge Wood, a place all too familiar to them from their action around Falfemont Farm earlier this month. They have now, once more, come under the orders of 5th Division.

The battered 8th Battalion has moved into trenches nearby, south-east of Guillemont. They acted as reserve for another attack on the Quadrilateral, this time by 1st Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry supported by 2nd Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment and 1st Battalion, The Buffs. The Salopians succeeded where the Bedfords had failed and took the place. The main reason for this is that someone in the supporting artillery had obviously issued a “rocket” to the gunners who this time laid down an impeccable barrage ahead of the attacking troops. As I write this 5th Division, with the 1st Bedfords, is beginning to relieve 6th Division. 56th (London) Division attacked this morning towards Combles and the south-eastern face of Bouleaux Wood but could not make much headway.

Away on the left 47th (1st/2nd London) Division manage to reinforce men in the Starfish Line north of High Wood but could make no further progress. This afternoon 50th (Northumbrian) Division has made some progress in the same locality.

Source: X550/2/5; X550/9/1

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