Thursday 17 August 2017

Eighteenth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Friday 17th August 1917

We have grown accustomed to days of intense activity followed by “down days” where the new lines are consolidated, the men relieved and new plans made. Today has been such a day. Virtually no attacks have been made and three of the divisions taking part in yesterday’s struggle, 16th, 20th and 36th have been relieved by new units. The only attack has been made early this morning, while it was still dark, when the Worcesters of 48th (South Midland) Division tried to take Maison du Hibou, a thorn in the division’s side yesterday, but were unsuccessful.

There has been no rain today.

One feature of today which we had been expecting was enemy counter-attacks of features taken in yesterday’s fighting. There have been none. This leads the armchair generals amongst us to speculate that the enemy’s resources are getting fewer by the day and that they can no longer afford the manpower for costly counter-attacks. Needless to say this is a cheering thought.

The 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, is still in the front line at Stirling Castle, though their neighbours, 6th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, have been relieved by 12th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. The adjutant tells me, however, that the men are expecting to be relieved tonight after a long and difficult time in the front line. He has prepared a list showing casualties since the beginning of the month, as best he can reckon, which I give below.

Second Lieutenant Craig [Z550/1/82]

Officer Casualties

Second Lieutenant S. M. Connor - killed in action 10th August;
Second Lieutenant F. Halsey - missing 10th August(1);
Captain H. Driver DSO - wounded 10th August;
Second Lieutenant E. C. H. Conyers - wounded 10th August;
Captain J. C. M. Ferguson - wounded 10th August, still at duty(2);
Lieutenant H. F. Trewman - wounded 7th August, still at duty;
Second Lieutenant G. R. Craig - wounded 8th August, still at duty(3);

Summary of Casualties Other Ranks

Killed - 35
Wounded - 163
Died of wounds - 5
Missing - 47
Missing believed killed - 6
Missing believed wounded - 3
Total - 259

Source: X550/8/1

(1) He was, in fact, killed and is buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery; he lived at 7 Wellington Street, Bedford.
(2) He would die on 19th November 1918 and is buried at Saint-Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.
(3) He would be killed on 3rd April 1918 and is buried at Namps-au-Val British Cemetery.

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