Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Thursday 9th May 1918
Last night the French and the composite battalion formed by 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment and 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment launched a counter-attack on the enemy which had dislodged them from the front line west of Vierstraat. Sadly they were not strong enough to succeed and the front line remains the original support line. Early this morning the battalion retired to Saint Lawrence Camp west of Dickebusch.
In the last few days the 1st/5th Battalion, near Jaffa in Palestine, has been on the alert for Turkish agents and spies. As the adjutant explained over a crackling telephone line: "The intelligence system of the enemy has improved lately to a considerable degree, and there is no doubt that a number of his agents are passing backwards and forwards through our lines conveying information to the enemy as to our dispositions. This indicates the necessity of being much more strict as regards the movements of inhabitants in areas near the front line". They have fixed a line east of which "no Natives or Jews except those employed by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force are to be allowed".It is understood that many of these agents pose as orange sellers.
A sad piece of news has just been received. The army continues to be much under-strength and battalions are being disbanded to make up the numbers of other battalions. Such was the fate of the 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment in the early part of this year. The 6th Battalion, we understand, are now to be disbanded and the officers and men transferred to 1st/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment, which currently forms a composite battalion with 11th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. We believe that, as the majority of men (3 officers and 650 other ranks) will be from the Bedfords, the Hertfordshire men will transfer from 39th Division to 37th Division.
Source: X550/3/wd; X550/6/8; X550/7/1