Sunday 30 July 2017

6th Battalion Anniversary

Monday 30th July 1917

The adjutant of the 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment has spoken to me on the blower this afternoon. Today is the second anniversary of their arrival in France. He reckoned that during that time they have taken part in eight significant actions. Their “blooding” was to be the victim of a German trench raid on 4th May 1916 at Monchy-au-Bois. During the Somme battles they formed a defensive flank for operations resulting in the capture of Contalmaison on 10th July and five days later participated in an unsuccessful attack on Pozières. On 9th August they were involved in fighting around Bazentin-le-Petit and their final action on the Somme was an unsuccessful attack on Munich trench on 15th and 16th November.

This year they fought two actions during the battle of Arras. They were part of the seizure of Folie Farm on 10th April and participated in the successful attacks on Monchy-le-Preux. From 23rd to 28th April they were involved in the partial gains at Greenland Hill.

With resignation the adjutant revealed casualty figures to me. The Battalion lost 11 dead in 1915, 253 in 1916 and, due to the exceptional ferocity of the Arras battles they have had 211 fatalities so far this year. Thus 475 men have made the noblest sacrifice since they landed in France, or nearly half the strength of the Battalion.

Source: X550/7/1

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