Wednesday 16 May 2018

Minute Observations

Thursday 16th May 1918

The 1st/5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment is near Jaffa in Palestine. This morning the adjutant was able to speak with me to tell me about the sort of patrol work they have been undertaking. On the night of 14th/15th, for example, whilst in no man's land, they spotted a patrol of ten Turkish cavalry and heard and saw Turkish picquets in their advanced posts along a railway line. These picquets seem to be eight strong and one was covering a working party of a dozen men who were cutting grass to enable a better view. Several wagons, each with six men, were seen coming forward to the front line. Three more cavalry patrols were seen. Such minute observations help to draw up a detailed picture of enemy positions and, over a number of nights, patterns of behaviour can be determined which may help in planning a raid. 

Captain R L V Doake [X550/1/82]

Meanwhile the 7th Battalion has been withdrawn from the reserve positions west of Albert to the village of Baizieux. They are pleased that Captain R L V Doake and Captain A B McBride have both been awarded the Military Cross, as has Captain Stevenson of the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached as Medical Officer. Captain McBride died on 24th April last(1). In addition Sergeant A Scott has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal - all four awards for actions in the recent fighting.

Sources: X550/6/8; X550/8/1

(1) He is buried at Longueau British Cemetery; Sergeant Alexander Scott would die on 1st October - he is buried at Vendhuile Communal Cemetery)

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