Monday, 21 August 2017

Twenty Second Day of the Battle of Ypres

Second Lieutenant W R Shaw [X550/1/81] 

Tuesday 21st August 1917

As I indicated yesterday, the rumours we hear of impending attacks are seldom to be trusted. Today is a case in point, action today was promised by the “millers” yesterday but has not come to pass. Still, I doubt Tommy Atkins minds.

At the moment the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, is in camp, training. Today they have had a new recruit - Second Lieutenant W R Shaw. We have also had news from far-off Palestine where 1st/5th Bedfords find themselves still in front of the enemy-held town of Gaza. Yesterday they heard that five of their number previously simply listed as missing after the first raid on Umbrella Hill on 20th July are, in fact, prisoners-of war. While glad that they are alive, none of their fellows is under any delusion about how dreadful being a prisoner-of-war of the Turks is(1).

The men concerned are: 200497 Sergeant Cleaver; 200573 Private A. Cook; 201316 Private H A Miles; 201326 Private W Patterson and 200696 Private F D Smith.

Source: X550/3/wd; X550/6/8

(1) The Turks were reputed to routinely starve, beat and abuse their prisoners, including sexual abuse. 200573 Private G Cook died on 4th November 1918 and is buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery. 201326 Private William Patterson, from Ely [Cambridgeshire], died on 30th October 1917 and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial.  

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