Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Ninth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Wednesday 8th August 1917

Last night 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment took their place in the front line at a place called Clapham Junction on the Menin Road. Today all ranks have been carefully instructed in the ground to be attacked and peculiar features and land marks were pointed out to them. All were subsequently examined to ascertain whether they had thoroughly grasped the situation. Enemy strong points and wired areas were pointed out and noted.

Before the first day of the Battle of the Somme detailed training over a facsimile of the ground was undertaken for weeks. At Chérisy in May this year no time was allowed for any reconnaissance and the attack was made only with reference to maps. The Somme attack was a success, that at Chérisy a failure. The preparations today are an attempt to learn the lesson of Chérisy and to impart as much information on the ground to be attacked as possible in the short time available.

As I write this report a heavy storm has blown up and intense rain is falling (so much for summer). This can only make the ground become exceedingly heavy and very muddy. This may lead to a postponement of the battalion’s attack.

Source: X550/8/1

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