Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Next Onslaught is Coming

Monday 8th April 1918

We have had confirmation today that the enemy has been laying down a heavy bombardment on the front line between Armentieres and Festubert (see sketch map above showing the front line); so it seems certain that the next attack will take place here. Unlike the front line round Saint-Quentin this one is of long-standing, having been in place largely since the end of the fighting in 1915. To penetrate this line, held by determined British soldiers, will require a good deal of force and luck.Hence everyone seem to feel that the enemy will fail.

Our county regiment has no battalions in the neighbourhood of this attack. The nearest battalion is the 2nd Battalion near Ypres but it seems unlikely the enemy will attempt a breakthrough here. The 1st Battalion arrived back at the Western Front today, their two trains pulling into Frevent, north of Doullens and west of Arras. 

The 6th Battalion is still being pounded in the front line at Bucquoy, north of Albert. Today two officers, Second Lieutenants Ambridge and Binns have been killed, along with seven other ranks. One man has died of wounds this evening and one officer and nine other ranks have been wounded.

A draft of 52 men has joined the 7th Battalion today, at Gentelles, south-east of Amiens. The adjutant informed me that they seemed to be of good physique; a goof number more will be needed to bring the battalion up to anywhere near full strength.

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/7/1; X550/8/1

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