Friday 14 October 2016

Day One Hundred and Six on the Somme

Saturday 14th October 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

Last night the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment were relieved in the front line by 18th Battalion, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment and withdrew to reserve trenches west of the village of Flers. Just before this, about 8.10 pm in Gird Trench Sergeant F Brown successfully bombed a party of the enemy, capturing one, who was a Saxon. This proved important, as it showed that a relief had taken place, as Bavarians had occupied the trench during the attack on October 12th. Total casuatlies for the attack on 12th are now reckoned to be 10 officers and 242 other ranks killed and wounded.

It appears that another hard-fighting battalion of the regiment is preparing for a third attack in this battle. 7th Battalion have today received orders to the effect that the 18th Division had opened advance Divisional Headquarters at Albert: the 53rd Brigade have moved up in readiness for an attack on Regina Trench and the 54th Brigade will move to Beauville. All necessary arrangements are being made for the Battalion to move tomorrow morning. Advance billeting parties were detailed to proceed ahead at 2 pm today - but, this was cancelled just before time to march off.

This afternoon 25th Division made a successful attack on an area known as The Mound, west of the River Ancre and Saint-Pierre-Divion. Seizing this objective gives them observation of the village.

Perhaps the most momentous news of the day is the capture of the last parts of the Schwaben Redoubt. This was achieved by the 39th Division, specifically the 4th/5th Battalion, Black Watch, the 17th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and our close neighbours from 1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment. About 150 prisoners were taken. So the position first attacked by 7th Bedfords and others on 28th September has finally fallen.

About half an hour ago we were told that 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders of 4th Division have assaulted Rainy Trench and gun pits south of Dewdrop Trench east of Lesboeufs. 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers have also attacked gun pits in front of Hazy Trench.

Source: X550/3/wd; X550/8/1

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