Thursday, 8 September 2016

Day Seventy on the Somme

Friday 8th September 1916: From our Correspondent in the Field

Following theire dogged fighting at Falfemont Farm the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, has been receiving due praise. Their brigadier wrote to each of the four battalions under his command (1):

“The Brigadier General Commanding feels he cannot too warmly express his admiration of the fine soldierly qualities again displayed by all ranks during the recent operations”.

“The taking of Falfemont Farm, a most important and strongly defended post, was a magnificent performance and is one of the greatest successes accomplished during the war”.

“This was made possible entirely by the good handling of their Battalions by Commanding Officers and the devoted conduct of all ranks”.

“Heavy working parties were required when the Brigade was not in the Line and these did excellent work”.

“The Brigadier-General thanks all ranks for their support and co-operation and trusts the Brigade will shortly enjoy a well earned rest”

Colonel Allason has also addressed his men, and your correspondent was privileged to watch his stirring address: “I have come here this morning to read to you a message that we have received from the Commander-in-Chief”(2).

“He says, with reference to the late operations, "The rapid advance on Leuze Wood, following on the capturing of Falfemont Farm, showed great judgement and determination, and has been of considerable assistance to the French Army on our right””.

““I very warmly congratulate you and the Commanders and Staffs and the Troops under you on the results you have already achieved and on the energy and determination with which they were followed up””.

“Well, now, you’re the people who took Falfemont Farm, and I am very glad to be able to tell you that not only the Commander-in-Chief, but the Army Commander and the Corps Commander all realise what a great and glorious fight it was”.

“It makes it all the better that you did it after there had been a failure; that always makes it more difficult”.

“Nothing in the world could have been finer than the show you fellows put up by that Farm and the line up to Wedge Wood on the left of it. It was magnificent”.

“I want to thank you all for what you have done and tell you that everybody thoroughly understands what a good show it was”.

There have been some other good shows today. 1st Division has taken the western half of the vile remains of High Wood and 55th Division defeated a German attack in the early hours of the morning.

Source: X550/2/5

(1)   1st Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, 16th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment .

(2)   General Sir Douglas Haig

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