Sunday 16 April 2017

8th Battalion Advance Continues

Monday 16th April 1917

Readers will remember that yesterday 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment seized some enemy ground near Loos. This evening we have heard once again from their commander, Lord Ampthill. A and C Companies of the battalion, under heavy bombardment, have bombed their way forward and consolidated the objective, some way towards a prominence called Hill 70. However, the battalion attacking on their left failed and retired, leaving the companies of the Bedfords “in the air”, that is, with their flank exposed to enemy fire and attack. Despite this all attacks were repulsed and the Bedfords hung on with just two men killed and seventeen wounded. It is not surprising that Lord Ampthill expressed his pride in men he had trained himself at Ampthill camp, their courage and professionalism being, in his lordhip’s words “second to none”.

Second Lieutenant S E Cline [X550/1/81]

The adjutant of the 2nd Bedfords contacted me late last night with the news that they are at Couin, east of Doullens. They have received significant reinforcements – 170 other ranks and three officers, Second Lieutenants Cline, Haywood and Lydle.


Second Lieutenants Haywood and Lydle [X550/1/81]

We have heard that the French have burst into life some way south of here, around the city of Saint-Quentin on a long ridge known as the Chemin des Dames or Ladies’ Ride. They have had a successful first day, gaining ground and taking prisoners, Vive la France!

Sources: X550/3/WD; X550/9/1

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