Sunday 27 August 2017

Twenty Eighth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Monday 27th August 1917

A number of small attacks have again been made today, scattered across the battlefront around Ypres. 41st Brigade of 23rd Division, aided by two tanks, made an attack, in the rain, on about 600 yards of enemy trench running from the Menin Road through the western edge of Inverness Copse, without success.

To the north, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division attacked a line from Schuler Farm to Gallipoli Farm, again without success. On their right flank 15th (Scottish) Division tried to take Gallipoli Farm itself. On reaching the remains of the farm buildings heavy machine-gun fire forced the men of the Highland Light Infantry back. On the left flank of 61st Division, 144th Brigade of 48th (South Midland) Division attacked the strong-points of Springfield, Vancouver and Vampire Farms. As I write this there is word that Springfield Farm has finally fallen to the men of 1st/8th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, otherwise little of the muddy ground could be gained, the ooze being knee-deep in most places.

11th (Northern) Division, just to the north of 48th Division, They managed a short advance but were faced with severe machine gun fire from the German strong-points at Vampire, Vancouver and Pheasant Farms. However, we understand that the outer buildings of Vielles Maisons have been reached and part of Pheasant Trench has been taken. On the left flank of 11th Division, 38th (Welsh) Division tried to go forward but, we are given to understand, fell too far behind the barrage because of the bad going and were subjected to such intense fire that they could not advance.

Away from the mud of Flanders, we heard this morning that yesterday the 1st/5th Bedfords, in front of Gaza are occupying a position picturesquely entitled Wart Hill, a way behind the front line on Sire Ridge south of the enemy-occupied town. About 10.30 last night a man was killed while sleeping in a dug-out, the earth gave way and buried him(1). For the last ten days of so the Battalion has been digging communication trenches on Sheikh Abbas Ridge south-east of Gaza

Source: X550/6/8

(1) 200728 Private S Kirby, he is now buried in Gaza War Cemetery having been buried in Essex Cemetery at 18.30 on 27th August by Captain Rev. Marriot, Chaplain to the Forces.

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