Friday 15 August 2014

The Bedfords at Sea

Southampton Quay, le Havre

Saturday 15th August 1914: This afternoon the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment left Belfast on board SS Oronsa, heading for France. We understand that the 2nd Battalion is also on the high seas, heading to England in a convoy of steamers protected by two cruisers. We all pray that the convoy will arrive safely and that it does not meet the Kaiser’s warships or any of his vile U-Boats.

George Smith, a Biggleswade veteran, who fought in the Crimea and Indian Mutiny would dearly like to go with the Expeditionary Force on to the Continent. As he is 82 years old there may be some truth in his sorrowful admission that “perhaps he could not hardly be equal to it”. “But,” says the old fellow, “I could cook for the chaps: I could make a pie or pudding with any of them”.

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/3/4; Luton News 20th August 1914 

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