Friday 4 November 2016

Day One Hundred and Twenty Seven on the Somme

Saturday 4th November 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

The army is aware that another major assault is coming. The “fancied” money seems to be on an attack at Beaumont-Hamel. We know the 7th Bedfords are expecting to attack Miraumont at any time in the next few days. It may be that an attack was planned before now but November has begun as October ended, wet. There has been some precipitation each day and the battlefield, churned to a morass by shellfire and incessant rain, has been difficult to walk over let alone attack over.

The 2nd Battalion have been in the front line at Berles-au-Bois just north of the Somme battlefield. They have been relieved today and have returned to billets in the village of Pommier. Given the dreadful conditions in the trenches it is commendable that only two men have reported sick this week.

The 6th Battalion are at Sarton, near the battlefield. On being asked what has been doing, the adjutant contented himself with remarking curtly: “Waiting for favourable weather for offensive operations”.

This has been the case with the 7th Battalion near Miraumont. Lieutenant H C Browning has been in charge of the regimental transport but such an experienced officer will be needed in battle if there is to be an attack and today he has taken over command of A Company with Second Lieutenant Brawn moving to the transport brief. Lieutenant Browning and his colleage Lieutenant Douglas Keep have been appointed temporary Captains whilst they command companies.

Sources: X550/3/wd; X550/7/1; X550/8/1]

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