Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Wednesday 23rd October 1918
The enemy are reported to have their last defensive line a little to the east of where our armies are currently grouped, close to the border of France and Belgium(1). Accordingly, today, a major assault has been underway. First, Third and Fourth Armies have been at work, though the main effort has been by the Third Army.
The attack began at 1.20 this morning, with a bright moon but also with ground mist. The 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment went over the top at 3.20. They were initially held up by machine gun fire from their right flank but, after the judicious use of mortars, managed to capture the village of Beaurain, two officers and fourteen other ranks were killed and a total of 112 men, including the padre, Rev J B Mayal, were wounded; five men are missing.
The Bedfords were not alone. Fighting was hard in places and at times but this evening it is clear that advances of up to five miles have been made and ,most objectives seem to have been taken.
(1) The so-called Hermann positions, based, not on constructed defences but on natural obstacles such as the Sambre-Oise Canal, Schelde Canal and River Selle.