Monday 11 September 2017

Forty Third Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Inniskilling Fusiliers cap badge

Tuesday 11th September 1917

There is an enemy strong-point nicknamed The Hut which the 9th Battalion, Manchester Regiment of 42nd Division attacked today. As with the majority of these small-scale attacks in recent weeks, it proved unsuccessful. We are hearing, however, that they did achieve something remarkable. This was to rescue and bring in for treatment a man of the Inniskilling Fusiliers who had been lying wounded in No Man’s Land since 11th August - exactly one month ago! He had managed to stay alive because the waterlogged ground provided enough liquid for him, but one can only imagine the state of this poor man - in pain, starving hungry and tormented by fear, lying unprotected in a bog for a month whilst the war.

This year has seen two major offensives, in April and May around Arras and now around Ypres. Because they have not been able to receive sufficient reinforcements, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, in a quiet area near Vimy Ridge, have reorganised into three platoons per company rather than the usual four. At least they have had two officers, Lieutenant J P Kingdon and Lieutenant J B Spreston and 21 other ranks join them in the last two days.

Second Lieutenant A J H Rogers [X550/1/82]

The 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment is today moving back from the front line east of Oostaverne. They are moving into support in the vicinity of Wytschaete. During the relief ten other ranks suffered ill-effects from enemy gas shells. Two new officers joined today, Second Lieutenants A J H Rogers and Second Lieutenant W F Billingham, while Captain W J Holbrook MC has returned from leave.

Second Lieutenant W F Billingham [X550/1/82]

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/3/wd; 

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