Thursday 3 November 2016

Day One Hundred and Twenty Six on the Somme

Friday 3rd November 1916 From our Correspondent in the Field

The adjutant of the 1st Battalion has telephoned me today with the results of the examination of the three prisoners Captain C A S Morris’ raiding party captured on the night of Halloween. All three belong to 6th Bavarian Regiment, 6th Bavarian Division, III Bavarian Corps

The first man is a reservist and served from 1910 to 1912. He was mobilised on the 4th August 1914, and joined the 21st Bavarian Regiment. He was wounded in the leg towards the end of August 1914 and remained in hospital until February 1915. He was sent out to the front again in July 1916, to join the 21st Bavarian Regiment. He and about twenty other men were transferred to the 6th Bavarian Regiment about the middle of August 1916, owing to the heavy casualties that regiment had suffered at Verdun. Since being with the 6th Bavarian Regiment this man seems to have spent most of the time in the rest station, as his leg is still very troublesome, and only returned to the regiment about fourteen days ago.

The second man belongs to the 1915 class, was called up for service on the 1st March 1915, and received his training at the Depot of the 6th Bavarian Regiment. He joined the regiment at the front on 27th July 1915. This man has gone through the Verdun fighting, was buried by the explosion of a shell at Flers, and sent to a rest station. He returned to duty about eight days ago. His company went into the Somme fighting about 240 men strong and came out with 63 men, having suffered many casualties from their own artillery fire. He does not think the 6th Bavarian Division will take part in the Somme fighting again, as they were severely handled both at Verdun and on the Somme and the men would consider it a punishment if they were sent down again.

Neither of the prisoners were able to give much information about the composition of the recent drafts, they said these mostly consisted of returned wounded men and young recruits.

German reliefs are carried out every five days by battalions. One battalion holds the front line, and one battalion is in reserve line near Lorgies. The remaining battalion of the regiment is in rest billets at Petit Hantay, where they live in barracks. The last relief took place on the 31st October.

The Germans’ rations are very indifferent. There is no issue of fresh meat now, only tinned meat is served out. The bread ration has been cut down to one-third of a loaf per man per day, it used to be half a loaf a day(1).

Source: X550/2/5

(1) The blockade of Germany by the Royal Navy, an important part in the collapse of the German state in November 1918, was obviously already beginning to have effect.

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