Monday, 16 April 2018

A Lull and A Death

Tuesday 16th April 1918

Today the enemy has shown little in the way of offensive intentions. This has allowed your correspondent to catch up with some of our battalions. The 2nd Battalion has withdrawn, in common with the rest of 2nd Army, to new positions. They are now lining the Steenbeek north of Ypres and are in the front line. All bridges over the stream were destroyed to make it as great an obstacle to an enemy attack as possible. The adjutant reported to me a few minutes ago: "The withdrawal was carried out without trouble and was not noticed by the enemy until the afternoon. After three o'clock he could be seen advancing in small parties and at six o'clock two hundred were reported to be entering Langemarck". One sad note was the death during the day of Second Lieutenant Cecil Shekury MC. This Jewish officer was born in Singapore and enlisted at the outbreak of war whilst at school in England as a private soldier. He received promotion due to his courage and ability and will, without doubt, be sorely missed.

Second Lieutenant Cecil Shekury MC [X550/1/81]

The 7th Battalion is still in billets near Gentelles. Today they received a much needed addition to their strength of 97 men. Their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Percival has proceeded to England on duty for seven days and Captain Browning has taken over command of the battalion, with Captain H Seys-Phillips becoming acting adjutant.

The 6th Battalion is in reserve in the Bois de Warnimont near Fort-Mahon-Plage on the coast just south of Boulogne.. The adjutant mentioned to me grumpily: Very bad accommodation in tents".

Sources: X550/3/wd; X550/7/1; X550/8/1

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