Thursday, 16 November 2017


Lewis Gun by Balcer on Wikipedia

Friday 16th November 1917

Salvage is important. That has been the word from British Expeditionary Force General Headquarters. Salvage means retrieving such items as weapons, ammunition and steel helmets from battlefields so that they can be re-used. This puts less stress on the factories at home and round the Empire which are running at full steam to produce enough of these items to feed a front which seems to have an inexhaustible appetite for the material of war, just as it does for the men that use it.

The adjutant of the 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, tells us that the battalion is in the front line near Hollebeke. Today A Company was shelled by our own heavy guns though, fortunately, no casualties have been reported. The adjutant reports that a great deal of salvage work has been done by the reserve company at Corner House. After so great a battle as the Third Battle of Ypres has been there will, sadly, be many former soldiers in need of burial and equipment in need of salvaging.

Men I have spoken to at the front, not unnaturally, express a preference for salvage duty over burial duty. A number of them have cheerfully requested that this organ of news make known their theory that salvage would be greatly increased by the payment of a bounty - perhaps sixpence for every dozen rifles retrieved, or a shilling for a usable machine-gun.

Source: X550/7/1

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