Sunday, 22 October 2017

Eighty Fourth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Monday 22nd October 1917

Three divisions have made attacks here today in an advance from Poelcapelle in the south to Veldhoek in the north - the northernmost part of the current battlefield. 18th (Eastern) Division took most of Poelcapelle on 12th of this month. Today 53rd Brigade has taken the Brewery on the eastern side of the town, which had held up their advance in 12th. They have also taken Meunier House, another target on 12th, as well as Noble’s Farm and Tracas Farm. This has been a highly satisfactory attack to add to the laurels of this élite division.

On their left flank, 34th Division pushed forward with two brigades, 101st and 102nd. 102nd Brigade took their objectives including Requete Farm. 101st Brigade had much more difficulty, being very badly handled, we understand, by a nest of pillboxes, and then by a counter-attack which seems to have pushed them back a good way.

35th Division has replaced the Guards Division in the line and their attack, with two brigades, was made due north against ground immediately south of Houthulst Forest. 104th Brigade has taken Colombo House and all its objectives, though, rather rashly, they pressed on into Houthulst Forest and were then forced to withdraw to the southern edge. 105th Brigade took Marechal Farm and Panama House and all their objectives. However, late this afternoon we are told, the Germans managed to break through 16th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment in a counter-attack, causing that battalion to retreat all the way back to its start line.

Thus today has been, as so often, a day of mixed fortunes. There has been sufficient success, however, to make the army believe that one more push, at one point or along the whole battlefront and some real success may result. 

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