Thursday 27 April 2017

Nineteenth Day of the Battle of Arras

Friday 27th April 1917

After the disaster at la Coulotte on Saint George’s Day the 1s Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, has been withdrawn to a place called Gouy-Servins a few miles behind the lines. Here they have been training and today beat their fellow sufferers, 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment at football by two goals to one.

Meanwhile another of our battalions looks as if it is on its way to the front at Arras. The adjutant of the 7th Battalion has spoken with me by telephone. They have been at Bailleul-les-Pernes ten miles or so west of Béthune. Today they have been taken by train and are on the way to Arras.

Meanwhile, fighting has been taking place not just here around Arras but elsewhere. After the failure of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force’s second attempt to take the city of Gaza in Palestine, 1st/5th Bedfords have been digging. They have helped in the construction of roads and deep dug-outs as well as the unglamorous but vital work of digging refuse and latrine pits. They are in a neighbourhood of precipitous slopes and have been terracing these the accommodate the dug-outs and aforesaid pits.

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/6/8; X550/8/1

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