Thursday 13 October 2016

Day One Hundred and Five on the Somme

Captain E S M Poyntz

Friday 13th October 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

The 2nd Battalion tell me that the night passed quietly and the enemy did not counterattack. Today I have learned a little more about the Battalion’s attack of yesterday. Captain Poyntz told me that they reckon to have gained about 200 yards of Bite Trench and about 70 yards of Gird Trench. He commented: “The Battalion did magnificently and were the only Battalion to gain any ground on the whole of the Corps Front, all the others having to withdraw to their front trenches”. I am very pleased to say that the message carried by second Lieutenant Pitts reached Captain Beal's party last night and they were able to withdraw to the original front line.

Second Lieutenant Chadwick

The total of dead comes, so far, to 82 dead. Officers killed were: Second Lieutenant Joseph Chadwick; Second Lieutenant Harold Fyson; Second Lieutenant Lawrence Walker and Lieutenant William White. Amongst the wounded were Lieutenant-Colonel Poyntz, Second Lieutenant William Bird, Lieutenant R. Hopkins and Second Lieutenant J P Pitts. The latter two were both slightly wounded but remain at duty.

The 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, are in front line trenches near Gueudecourt. Enemy artillery has been active, as have snipers. There was an intense bombardment this evening which ended about three-quarters of an hour ago, which we hope does not foreshadow an enemy attack. So far today casualties have been four other ranks killed and eleven wounded.

Sources: X550/3/wd; X550/9/1

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