Friday 22nd February 1918
2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment is, as I write these lines, moving into the front line near the village of Francilly-Selency, just west of Saint-Quentin. They will occupy the line shown in orange on the map above. B Company will be on the right, D Company in the left, minus one platoon which will be in Francilly. A Company will be counter-attack company on Manchester Hill and C Company will be in reserve in a redoubt on the same hill. Headquarters is in Brown Quarry, shown by the orange cross.
The British Army on the Western Front is in the process of becoming smaller, with the number of battalions in a division reduced from twelve to nine or, to put it another way, a division at full dtrength is being decreased from around 12,000 rifles to 9,000. At the same time the army is taking over about 45 miles of extra front to accommodate our French allies who are also much weakened. Thus the Battalion is stretched rather thin as it has to cover a larger area with two companies (400 men or so) than has been the practice hitherto.