Friday 9 June 2017

Decorations from the Somme

Captain Oakley [X550/1/81]

Saturday 9th June 1917

Today the battle at Messines Ridge has gone quiet.  It is fair to say that strong German counter-attacks were expected ere now and their failure to materialise must owe much to the stunning success of the first attack.

The adjutant of 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, tells me that they are about to be relieved in the front line, the exchange taking place as soon as it is dark. They will then move back to Poperinghe. News has been received that the following awards had been made for gallantry on 12th October, 1916 in the unsuccessful and bloody attack on Gird Trench: Captain R E Oakley has received a Military Cross, 10016 Sergeant A Howard and 9578 Sergeant A Mason have both received Distinguished Conduct Medals.
The Battalion’s total casualties for this most recent period in the trenches were: eleven other ranks killed; three other ranks died of wounds; two officers and sixty-six other ranks wounded; one other rank gassed and two other ranks suffering from shell shock.

Source: X550/3/WD

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