Saturday, 4 November 2017

Ninety Seventh Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Sunday 4th November 1917

Here in cold, wet, boggy Ypres Drake Battalion has captured some enemy posts. Most of our attention is focused on warm, dry Palestine however. The adjutant of the 1st/5th Bedfords continues to keep us informed of the previous day’s events.

Yesterday a section of Royal Engineers put a pump and well into the Beach Road which “is giving us a good supply of water”. However, “The men are very tired, the long advance over the sand carrying heavy loads took a lot out of them, they got a little sleep last night, and blankets are expected up for them tonight, bivouac sheets are already up. The morale of the men is excellent all-round, and needs to be on account of the heavy shell fire they are subjected to”.

Patrols were sent out during the night went out to Turtle Hill, where they found the enemy consolidating and Lion and Tiger Trenches where they found he same thing. Two observation posts have been established. Small parties of Turks were seen at different times all yesterday morning on high ground behind enemy lines. Then, at 3.45 pm the Turks came forward over a small ridge in front of a trench on the Lion-Tiger Line. They were in full march order suggesting they were reinforcements. The adjutant remarked: “Johnny Turk is evidently unwilling to give up his prize just yet”

The adjutant gives total casualties for 2/3rd as one officer killed and three wounded, of whom two remain at duty. He is not yet sure of casualties amongst the other ranks. A British cemetery has been made in Sheikh Hasan Garden. On a happier note, two barrels of beer were brought up with the rations and issued to the men.

Source: X550/6/8

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