Friday 11 November 2016

Day One Hundred and Thirty Four on the Somme

Saturday 11th November 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

After two inspections in two days the 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, have today left Puchevillers for Varennes, much closer to the front line. They seem to be heading towards Beaumont-Hamel. This village lies at the meeting place of two interlocking spurs of land close to the west bank of the River Ancre. High Command had planned to capture it on 1st July but the casualties here were so terrible and the failure so complete nothing further has been tried against it since.

Trench Mortar at the Imperial War Museum

Today Stokes mortars fired lachrymatory shells, or tear gas, on it five o’clock this morning. At three this afternoon nearly fifty drums of poisoned gas were fired into the village, with nearly forty fired at a feature called Y-Ravine which lies just south of the village.

Last night the Canadians seized the parts of Regina Trench east of the road from Courcelette to Pys by a midnight attack. Appropriately one of the attacking battalions was the 46th (South Saskatchewan), the province of which Regina is the capital. Nearly one hundred prisoners were taken and counter-attacks during today have been beaten off. First class work by the Canucks.

Source: X550/5/3

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