Friday, 25 May 2018

Another Battalion Bows Out

Saturday 25 May 1918

The 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment was disbanded in January and the 6th Battalion was absorbed into the 1st/1st Battalion, Herfordshire Regiment three days ago. Today it has been announced that it is to be the turn of that extraordinarily successful unit, the 7th Battalion. The 2nd Battalion has been so reduced in strength by the gruelling retreat in March and then by the German attacks south-east of Ypres that the decision has been made for it to join the much larger 7th Battalion as part of 18th (Eastern) Division, though, naturally, the new battalion will be numbered as the 2nd. 

It is a measure of the casualties inflicted by this war that since 1916 the Bedfordshire Regiment has had seven battalions in the field but now only has four.

Lieutenant-Colonel R O Wynne [X550/1/81]

As with the 6th Battalion, a training cadre will continue to be known as the 7th Battalion and will be bust training Americans. This cadre will be commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel R O Wynne DSO with Major J T Coe as adjutant. The company commanders are Captains J K Batten, F Everitt, S E Cline and R E Oakley MC. The Lewis Gun Officer is Second Lieutenant J Kerr, the Scout Officer Second Lieutenant W Ashton and the Signalling Officer is Second Lieutenant H Flavell(1). There are fifty other ranks. 

The cadre will leave at 6.30 tomorrow morning and head by train to Chipy-Valines andwill be billeted at Rogeant about six miles south-west of Abbeville. They will come under the aegis of 30th Division, from whence came the 2nd Battalion.

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

(1) Joseph Keith Batten, from Peterborough, would die on 27th September serving with 4th Battalion, aged 26, he is buried at Moeuvres Communal Cemetery Extension; 

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