Thursday, 16 February 2017

Counting the Cost

Friday 16th February 1917 from our correspondent in the field

Today the 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment completed its move back from the front line north of Beaucourt-sur-Ancre to Mackenzie Huts at Martinsart, having been relieved by 1st Battalion, Royal Marine Light Infantry. The battalion has been in the line since 6th February and made a successful attack on the night of 11th/12th.

The adjutant informs me that the cost of the last ten days has been 68 killed, 90 wounded, 3 missing and 45 missing, believed killed. This is the equivalent of about a company of men, nearly a quarter of the battalion’s strength. Among the casualties were eight officers - three killed (Lieutenant Despicht, Second Lieutenant McKirdy and Second Lieutenant Shott) and five wounded (Second Lieutenant Stimson, Second Lieutenant Smart, Second Lieutenant R S Thomas, Second Lieutenant A W Thomas and Second Lieutenant Berry)

Meanwhile 7th Battalion are just about to go into the fray. It is in support for an attack planned at Miraumont tomorrow. Two companies are at Farback Trench between Thiepval and Miraumont and two in reserve at Mouquet Farm between Thiepval and Pozieres.

Sources: X550/5/3; X550/8/1

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