Tuesday 31 October 2017

Ninety Third Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Wednesday 31st October 1917

The adjutant of 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, Captain J H Blackwell has managed to contact us after their disaster in the mud of the Paddebeek yesterday. They have been holding the line and, as I write this should be in the process of being relieved before marching back nearer to Ypres. We have heard that 189th Brigade of 63rd (Royal Naval) Division has again had to give up Banff House to the enemy.

In the early hours of this morning 50th (Northumbrian) Division made an attack which has been successful in advancing the line from a point at Turenne Crossing to Colombo House.

Source: X550/5/3

Roll of Honour - 31st October 1917

Killed in Action

2nd Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: reserve trenches at Chinese Wall
  • 9163 Private John Edward STIFF, 23, son of John and Hannah Stiff of Lennox Road, Finsbury Park [Middlesex], husband of Mary E Jones (ex-Stiff) of 139 Elthorne Road, Holloway [London], 7 years service (Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres)

Died of Wounds

4th Battalion
  • 43557 Private Percy RAINFORD ex-241465 East Surrey Regiment, born Teddington [Middlesex], resided Forest Gate [Essex], husband of Cecily Ella of 28 Foxham Road, Tufnell Parl [London] (Dozinghem Military Cemetery)
  • 22234 Private Leonard SMITH ex-30283 Suffolk Regiment, Saint Albans [Hertfordshire] (Dozinghem Military Cemetery)
  • 19848 Private Jesse WRIGHT, 33, husband of Mary Elizabeth of Fen Farm, Connington [Huntingdonshire] (Duhallow ADS Cemetery)

7th Battalion
  • 43310 Private Robert Ernest KEMP ex-18634 Royal Fusiliers, born Carshalton [Surrey], resided Earlsfield [London], husband of Lucy of 1 Pine Grove, Sheringham [Norfolk] (Mendinghem Military Cemetery)

Monday 30 October 2017

Ninety Second Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Tuesday 30th October 1917

As expected, 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment has been in action today, for the first time here at Ypres. Altogether four divisions have made attacks towards the village of Passchendaele and its spur.

The southernmost attack was made by 12th Brigade of 4th Canadian Division. The Canadians have suffered heavily, but have taken all their objectives, including Vienna Cottage and Crest Farm. Best of all, patrols pushed into Passchendaele found that the Germans are leaving. No attempt was made to force the village, on the basis that it it wasteful to attack a place the enemy are yielding up. It is hoped that the village can be occupied in the next few days as the division is now consolidating on the western outskirts..

Part of the reason why the Canadians of 4th Division did not advance further is that 3rd Canadian Division, on its left flank, had a more difficult time. Snipe Hill and Duck Lodge were taken, as were Furst Farm, Source and Vapour Farms but they could not advance quite as far as the 4th Division, which tempered its advance to make sure the line kept abreast.

63rd (Royal Naval) Division used its only formation of army troops, 190th Brigade, in its attack. They went over the top at 5.50 this morning and struggled in the vile conditions underfoot, clinging mud and standing water around the stream called Paddebeek. To make matters worse the enemy dropped a barrage just behind the advancing British barrage and right onto the advancing troops. This evening we are hearing that the division has managed to cling on to the line running through Source Trench, Varlet Farm, Bray Farm and Berks Houses which had been taken by the division in the attack of 26th October. Preliminary figures from the Bedfords suggest that two officers have been killed (Captain L C T Gate and Second Lieutenant A E Tee) and seven wounded; amongst the other ranks 52 are reported killed, 150 wounded and 23 missing(1).

On the left flank of the 63rd Division an attack was made by 58th (2nd/1st London) Division using 174th Brigade. An advance of about 100 yards was accomplished and pillboxes around Noble Farm have been taken as has a mound overlooking the Spriet road.

Source: X550/5/3

(1) Lieutenant Cecil Hootton Wareing would die of his wounds on 1st November and is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery. A total of 850 Canadians were recorded as dying on that day. Deaths from the British units taking part in the attacks this day number about 500 with 93 men from the Bedfordshire Regiment recorded as dying.

Roll of Honour - 30th October 1917

Killed in Action

4th Battalion: partially successful attack across the Paddebeek near Passchendaele
  • 40621 Private Hubert Owen ANDREW, 29, ex-45201 Suffolk Regiment, son of Hubert Owen and Mary Jane Andrew of 90 Derby Road,Northampton (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 204057 Private Jesse Arthur ARNOLD, 22, ex-240848 East Surrey Regiment, son of Christopher and Elizabeth Arnold of Woking Waterworks,Chertsey [Surrey], enlisted October 1914 in 2nd/6th Battalion East Surrey Regiment (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 204379 Private Percy AYRES, 29, son of Mary Ann Ayers of 3 Priory Terrace, Northampton and late William F Ayers (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 203266 Private Leonard Denton AYRES, born and resided Ramsey [Huntingdonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 12930 Lance Corporal Richard BEASLEY DCM, 23, born Didcot [Berkshire] son of Elizabeth Ann Beasley of New Road, Northchurch [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 25729 Private Joe John BENSON, born Southery [Norfolk], resided Peterborough (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 3/7667 Private Arthur BETTLES, born and resided Rushden [Northamptonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 43496 Private Mason Harold BOGGIS, 27, ex-242362 East Surrey Regiment, born and resided Hebden Bridge [Yorkshire], son of Emily Boggis of 9 New Road, Mytholmroyd [Yorkshire] and late Samuel Boggis, husband of Eliza of 8 Bank Buildings, Hawksclough [Yorkshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 37553 Private Frederick BONFIELD, 48, son of William and Mary Ann Bonfield of Guilden Morden [Cambridgeshire], husband of Edith of Potton Road, Guilden Morden (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40624 Private Alfred Albert BONHAM, ex-45194 Suffolk Regiment, born Kettering [Northamptonshire] resided Wellingborough [Northamptonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23181 Private Oscar John BOON, 20, born Folksworth [Northamptonshire], resided Bedford, son of William and Hannah Boon of 1 Willoughby Cottage, Great Barford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 29900 Private Edward BOWMAN, born and resided Bishop's Stortford [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 14620 Sergeant Edward BRADSHAW, born and resided Luton (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 14919 Lance Corporal Horace Percy BRIDGE, 22, born Cottershill [Staffordshire], son of John George and Florence Bridge of 14 High Street, Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 26761 Private William Charles CAKEBREAD, 22, born London, son of William and Harriett Cakebread of Woodview, Shefford Road, Meppershall (Poelcapelle British Cemetery)
  • 203345 Private Ernest CARTER, 19, born Walkern [Hertfordshire], son of George and Edith Carter of Dark Lane, Langford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 37185 Private Alfred CHAPMAN, 29, son of James and Jane Chapman of Bluntisham [Huntingdonshire], husband of Ada E of Bridge End, Somersham [Huntingdonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 15037 Private Alfred Claude CLARKE, born Walworth [London], resided Saint Albans [Hertfordshire] (Poelcapelle British Cemetery)
  • 304403 Private Ernest COLE, 34, born and resided Newport [Essex], son of late Alfred and Emily Cole (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40183 Private James COOPER, ex-28188 Essex Regiment, born and resided Norwich [Norfolk] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 205822 Private Harry CRAWLEY, 24, ex-1891 Bedfordshire Yeomanry, son of Harry and Amy Crawley of 12 Rothesay Road, Luton (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 203523 Private Arthur CROFT, born and resided Ramsey Saint Mary [Huntingdonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 43510 Private John William DALE, 31, ex-242199 East Surrey Regiment, husband of Gertrude of 7 Chelmsford Street, Leeds [Yorkshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 43511 Private Charles DAWSON, 33, ex-242533 East Surrey Regiment, husband of L Dawson of 88 Bank Street, Brighouse [Yorkshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 30147 Private William Charles Eastcott DAY, 30, born Wimbledon [Surrey], resided East Sheen [Surrey], son of Charles Lawford and Alise Maud Day, husband of Florence Martha of 6 Pope’s Grove, Twickenham [Middlesex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40186 Private George William DOUGHTY, ex-28205 Essex Regiment, born Suffield [Norfolk], resided Oulton [Norfolk] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 14443 Private Thomas DYMOCK, 33, son of E E Dymock of 26 Duke Street, Hoddesdon [Hertfordshire] and late Thomas Dymock (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 19925 Private Ralph FAREY, 29, born Royston [Hertfordshire], resided Stevenage [Hertfordshire], husband of Alice S of 12 Kent Place, Hitchin [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40585 Private Joseph Christy FERGUSON, 29, ex-25670 Northamptonshire Regiment, born Southwark [London], son of John and Jane Ferguson of 77 Northcote Road, Norwich [Norfolk] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 204394 Private Herbert Noel FIELD, 31, born South Hackney [London], resided Ilford [Essex], son of William B and Sarah J Field (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 203270 Private Hubert William FIELD born and resided Luton (Poelcapelle British Cemetery)
  • 203250 Private John Thomas FRENCH, born and resided Farcet [Huntingdonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 13756 Private Benjamin GOODMAN, 39, born Hemel Hempstead [Hertfordshire], resided King's Langley [Hertfordshire], son of George Goodman of Bellsize, Sarratt [Hertfordshire], husband of Annie Benjamin of 3 Dunny Lane, Chipperfield [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 30497 Corporal Lewis Thomas GOODWIN, 19, born London, resided Harpenden [Hertfordshire], son of Albert William and Katherine Goodwin of 65 Sangley Road, Catford [London] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40640 Private Leonard Vaughan HACK, 32, ex-45215 Suffolk Regiment, born Peckham [London], son of E Hack of 23 Jersey Road, Ilford [Essex], husband of Eleanor Priscilla of 55 Audrey Road, Ilford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 43526 Private Harry HAMBLETT, 21, ex-241986 East Surrey Regiment, son of Fred and Lucy J Hamblett of Walthamstow [Essex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40652 Private Walter Arthur George HARRISS, ex-47808 Suffolk Regiment, born and resided Bury Saint Edmund's [Suffolk] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 204510 Private Hamilton Charles HAVERS, 36, ex-200397 Norfolk Regiment, son of Francis Curtis and Emma E Havers of Norwich [Norfolk] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 12374 Lance Corporal William Alfred HAYNES, born and resided Lambeth [London] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40643 Private Charles Henry HILL, 20, ex-45173 Suffolk Regiment, son of Joseph and Sarah Hill of New House Farm, Bovingdon [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 39439 Lance Corporal Samuel Lark HOLFORD, ex-5477 Army Pay Corps, born Limehouse [London], resided Bow [London] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23647 Lance Corporal George HORSLER, born Sundon, resided Great Bramingham (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 27526 Private William Bertie ILOTT born Bengeo [Hertfordshire], resided Hertford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 204396 Lance Corporal George Alfred JACKSON, born and resided Chadwell Heath [Essex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 18797 Lance Corporal Wilfred George KITCHENER, 21, son of Charles Henry and Rachel Kitchener of 36 Church Street, Baldock [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23335 Private Alfred Harold LEONARD, 21, son of Mary Elizabeth Leonard of 5 New Road, Guilden Morden [Cambridgeshire] and late Alfred Leonard (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 18552 Private Joseph William LISTER, born and resided Saint Ives [Huntingdonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23515 Lance Corporal Frederick LITTLE, 34,  son of Charles and Sarah of Warden Lane, Ickwell, resided Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23605 Private Wilmot LORTON, 21, born Hanslope [Buckinghamshire], son of J and Emma Lorton of Little Brickhill [Buckinghamshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23720 Private Edgar MASSEY, 23, born Broughton [Buckinghamshire], son of Fanny Massey of 4 Aspley Hill, Woburn Sands [Buckinghamshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 204504 Private Edgar George MEDLAR, 19, ex-201427 Norfolk Regiment, son of George Medlar of Cranes Lane, Marsham [Norfolk] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 32004 Private Victor John MILTON, 19, son of Frederick J and Lizzie Milton of 43 Hitchin Street, Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23336 Private Albert John MURRER, 27, son of George and Elizabeth Murrer of 30 Bedford Street, Woburn (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 25675 Sergeant Arthur Frederick Owen NORRIS, 24, born Haynes, resided Boreham Wood [Hertfordshire], son of David and Kate Norris of Flitwick Lodge (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 26777 Private Alfred PAGE, born Wollaston [Northamptonshire], resided Bozeat [Northamptonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23429 Private Herbert PAINE, born and resided Gamlingay [Cambridgeshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 17532 Acting Corporal George Walter PALMER, 19, born Kennington [London] son of Alice Palmer of 109 Brookdale Road, Catford [London] (Poelcapelle British Cemetery)
  • 43548 Private Harold Henry PARSONS, 26, ex-242072 Norfolk Regiment, son of Elizabeth Jane Parsons of 4 Defford Place, Aston [Warwickshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 204157 Private Albert PAYNE, 22, ex-1549 Bedfordshire Yeomanry, born Blenheim [Oxfordshire], son of Sabta and Louisa Payne of Barton Hill Cottage, Streatley (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 14308 Sergeant Arthur Charles PEPPER, 26, son of Phoebe Pepper of 76 High Street, Ridgmont and late John Pepper, resided Oakley (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 26633 Lance Corporal Henry Charles PLAMPIN, 26, son of Charles Plampin of Rectory Road, Newton [Suffolk] and late Harriet Plampin (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 39463 Private Henry Frederick PLAYER, 26, ex-5940 Army Pay Corps, born and resided Plaistow [Essex], son of late Frederick Reed Player and Janet Player, husband of Lily Francis (ex-Player) of 11 Station Road, Greenhithe [Kent] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 25299 Private Harry POLLARD, 23, born Hitchin [Hertfordshire], son of Ada Pollard of 36 Lytton Avenue, Letchworth [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 12255 Private William Ernest POOLE, born and resided Writtle [Essex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 17621 Lance Corporal Sidney RENSHAW, born Battersea [London], resided Watford [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40654 Private Herbert George ROBINSON, 20, ex-45169 Suffolk Regiment, son of Albert Edward and Minnie Robinson of 6 Silverdale Street, Kempston (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 21274 Private Francis Thomas ROSE, 35, ex-94555 Royal Artillery, son of Isaac and Emma Rose of 53 Castle Street, Cirencester [Gloucestershire] husband of Florence Mary of Sutton Benger [Wiltshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40132 Private Jack ROWE, 28, ex-12851 Essex Regiment, born West Ham [Essex] resided Leytonstone [Essex], brother of Ethel E Bye of 92 Crowfield Road, Stratford [London] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40958 Private Headley ROWLAND, 28, ex-222278 Labour Corps, born Dunton, resided Biggleswade, husband of E J Buck (ex-Rowland) of 2 Waterloo Cottages, Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40501 Private Jonathan Barlow SAUNDERS, ex-29086 Essex Regiment, born Billockby [Norfolk], resided Fleggburgh Marshes [Norfolk] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40656 Private Edwin Backmore SAWYER, ex-45610 Suffolk Regiment, born Haggerston [London], resided Walthamstow [Essex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 26023 Private Frederick SMITH, 26, son of late Richard and Frances Smith of 23 Northcote Road, Walthamstow [Essex], resided Baldock [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40661 Private Walter SPARLING, 30, ex-45213 Suffolk Regiment, born Brightlingsea [Essex], husband of Florence of 6 Saint John’s Green, Colchester [Essex], son of E Sparling (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 10044 Corporal Walter John SPELLER, born Hunsdon [Hertfordshire], resided Hertford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40967 Private George STANBRIDGE, ex-30504 Suffolk Regiment, born and resided Hertford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 30032 Private George Henry STEVENS, 29, born Hackney [London], resided South Norwood [Surrey], son of Thomas W Stevens, husband of Violet of 6 Sydenham Park [London] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 22325 Corporal Thomas TAYLOR, born and resided Essendon [Hertfordshire] (Poelcapelle British Cemetery)
  • Second Lieutenant Albert Edward TEE, 28, C Company, son of Joseph Tee of Farcet [Huntingdonshire], husband of Christina May Hall (ex-Tee) of 330 Washington Street, Woburn [Massachussetts] (Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele)
  • 37590 Private Francis John TIDMARSH, 26, born Tetsworth [Oxfordshire], resided Woburn Sands [Buckinghamshire], son of Mary Tidmarsh of Cookham [Buckinghamshire] and late George Tidmarsh, husband of Gladys Winifred Phipps Tidmarsh of Stadhampton [Berkshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 43070 Sergeant Edward Frank TODD, ex-1196 Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion, born Brampton [Huntingdonshire], resided Hartford Hill [Huntingdonshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 203295 Private Gerald Theodore TRUSSELL, born Tunbridge Wells [Kent], resided Essendon [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 43568 Private Edwin VAUSE, 22, ex-242154 East Surrey Regiment, son of Nathaniel and Emma Vause of 65 Newport Street, Goole [Yorkshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 17273 Lance Corporal Harry WAGSTAFF, born Huntingdon, resided Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 240512 Private Arthur WARD, born Birmingham [Warwickshire], resided Sparkbrook [Warwickshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 43487 Private Albert Edgar WEAVER, 26, ex-242070 Norfolk Regiment, born Birmingham [Warwickshire], son of Thomas and Mary Weaver of 233 Slade Road, Eardington [Shropshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40669 Private Albert Joseph WELCH, ex-45182 Suffolk Regiment, born Aldgate [London], resided Letchworth [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 31255 Private Frederick John WEST, born Heath and Reach, resided Leighton Buzzard (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 30685 Lance Corporal Arthur Lionel WILLINGHAM, born and resided Flitton (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 20589 Private Herbert WILLSHER, 21, born and resided Caldecote, son of late Lilian Stokes (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 28442 Sergeant John WOODWARD, born Rickmansworth [Hertfordshire], resided Harefield [Middlesex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40670 Private Richard WRIGHT, 19, ex-45180 Suffolk Regiment, born Kempston, son of Frederick and Eliza Wright of Duck End, Biddenham (Tyne Cot Memorial)

10th Battalion
  • Second Lieutenant Leslie Charles Thomas GATE, 21, attached 4th Battalion, son of Thomas Alexander and Emma Augusta Gate (Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele)

Died of Wounds

4th Battalion
  • 18336 Private Henry HILLIARD, resided Saint Albans [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)


1st/5th Battalion
  • 201326 Private William PATTERSON, 24, born Sutton [Cambridgeshire] son of William and Alice Patterson of 9 Newtown, Haddenham [Cambridgeshire] (Jerusalem Memorial)

Sunday 29 October 2017

Ninety First Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Monday 29th October 1917

The 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment is about to enter the fray here at Ypres. The adjutant has wired to tell us that it moved up to the front line this afternoon, about a mile south-east of Poelcapelle and expects to attack at dawn.

2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, is at Chinese Wall, behind the lines near Ypres. Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer Hunter Weston KCB, DOS, commander-in-chief of VIII Corps has presented medals at a parade just west of Wytschaete. Distinguished Conduct Medal ribbons were presented to Acting Sergeant F Selby and Sergeant P Compton while a Military Medal ribbon was presented to Private R Baggott(1)
6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment is training at Westouter. Today one other rank was killed and four wounded when the enemy dropped a bomb from an aircraft. It exploded inside B Company Officers’ Mess and wounded Second Lieutenants B W Wright, A Waller, Artabor and J Blanksby.

Sources: X550/3/wd; X550/5/3; X550/7/1

(1) Percy Compton would be killed on 21st September 1918 as a Company Sergeant Major, having no known grave he is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial. 

Roll of Honour - 29th October 1917

Killed in Action

6th Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: bomb explosion inside B Company Officer's Mess at Doncaster Huts, Loker
  • 12331 Private Henry HOARE, born and resided Bethnal Green [London] (Dranoutre Military Cemetery)

Died of Wounds

1st Battalion
  • 20279 Lance Corporal Frank ASHPOLE, born and resided Wootton (Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery)

Saturday 28 October 2017

Ninetieth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Sunday 28th October 1917

We understand that 5th Division is being relieved in the front line by 14th (Light) Division following its attack two days ago. The 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment have been relieved by the 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment. The relief began at 4.45 pm and is drawing to its conclusion as I write these lines. The adjutant tells me that during the time the battalion was in the line it has suffered 101 casualties to other ranks, with two officers also being wounded one of whom, Second Lieutenant Croockewit, has subsequently died of his wounds.

Source: X550/2/5

Roll of Honour - 28th October 1917

Killed in Action

1st Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: front line between Reutel and Scherriabeek, relieved at evening
  • 18309 Private Joseph BILCOCK, born and resided Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 8780 Private Charles BUTCHER, born and resided Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)

Died of Wounds

1st Battalion
  • 291363 Private Charles John POORE, 34, born Southwark [London], resided Earlsfield [London], son of Robert and and Jessie Poore of Brixton [London], husband of Beatrice F of 390 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield (Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery)

7th Battalion
  • 29509 Private Ernest Henry JOHNSON, 28,husband of Nellie of 47 Nelson Street, Kettering [Northamptonshire] (Mendinghem Military Cemetery)


5th Battalion
  • 3/7908 Regimental Sergeant Major William James HOGG, 58, born Stratford [Essex] husband of Charlotte Amanda of 75 Albert Road, Dalston [London] (Kensal Green (All Souls) Cemetery)

Friday 27 October 2017

Eighty Ninth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

The attack on 26th October

Saturday 27th October 1917

Early this morning Hawke Battalion of 63rd (Royal Naval) Division recaptured Banff House. This strong-point had been taken in yesterday’s fighting but as darkness gathered last evening the troops inside had been forced to withdraw by enemy pressure. Some more ground has been taken by 4th Canadian Division, too. In fact they have taken all their first objective, which, again, pressure had forced them to relinquish yesterday.

Last night the 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment was relieved in the line by a battalion of the London Regiment. The adjutant explained to me, rather acidly: “This relief was about the worst on record, the relieving troops losing their way up and becoming thoroughly disorganised. The relief was not complete until about 10 a.m. this morning”.

Things are stirring in Palestine, as a few had predicted. With the arrival of the cooler weather another attempt to take the town of Gaza from the Turks seems to be on the cards. The adjutant of the 1st/5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment has explained to us that on Thursday they worked on Gas Training with box respirators then attended a demonstration by 1st/4th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment on scaling cactus hedges. He notes that the General Officer Commanding XXI Corps (Lieutenant-General Edward Bulfin) came to the decision that it is better to use a spade to dig through a hedge instead of using scaling ladders as the place or hole once cut through the cactus hedge is permanent while scaling ladders easily break and are by no means permanent.

Yesterday more training with box respirators was undertaken. These were only issued to the Battalion on Wednesday. Less happily a Field General Court Martial assembled at headquarters for the purpose of trying 200456 Private Arthur Horace Holderness. We are pleased to report that no execution followed(1)

Source: X550/6/8

(1) No member of the Bedfordshire Regiment was executed during the First World War. Over a quarter of a million men from the British and Imperial forces were subject to court martial during the war with nine in every ten being convicted; 3,080 were executed. Common crimes were: absence without leave; drunkenness; desertion; insubordination and loss of army property such as a rifle. There is no record of Private Holderness’ offence. As well as death, and far more common, was imprisonment or field punishment. Field Punishment Number 1 involved being shackled to an object such as a wheel and left for up to two hours over a number of days. Field Punishment Number 2 involved being shackled by not attached to anything. With both the object was to humiliate the prisoner.

Roll of Honour - 27th October 1917

Killed in Action

1st Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: front line between Reutel and Scherriabeek digging front line and communications trenches
  • 26573 Private Sydney Ronald GNAPP, 32, husband of Alice E of 15 Eastville Road, Bedford (Bedford House Cemetery)
  • 33829 Private Joseph WATTS, born and resided Biggleswade (Tyne Cot Memorial)

Died of Wounds

1st Battalion
  • 15932 Private William CHAPMAN, 37, born Eltisley [Cambridgeshire], resided Saint Neots [Huntingdonshire], husband of W Chapman of Wyboston (Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery)
  • 22578 Private John Arthur Charles KIVELLE, born Shoreditch [London], resided Hoxton [London] (Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery)

7th Battalion
  • 45672 Private Harry Toseland PETTIT, 39, born and resided Clapham, son of John Pettit, husband of Maud of 6 Peach Street, Warren [Pennsylvania] (Dozinghem Military Cemetery)

Thursday 26 October 2017

Eighty Eighth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Friday 26th October 1917

Another attack has been made today on the village of Passchendaele and its ridge as well as on the village of Gheluveldt along the Menin Road. These attacks have involved eight divisions.

For the first time in three weeks, serious fighting returned to the vicinity of the Menin Road. Here 7th Division attacked south-east towards Gheluveldt. Those with long memories have been struck by the fact that this division, which then included 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, saw its first action in this very vicinity almost exactly three years ago, making an attack from Gheluveldt towards Gheluwe on 15th October 1914. That attack ended in failure and retreat. Today’s attack seems to have been little more successful. 91st Brigade could make any headway against a solid wall of machine-gun fire. 20th Brigade, at times waist-deep in water, did penetrate the village, getting to within one hundred yards of the church. Then came a wave of German counter-attacks which pushed the attackers out of the village and almost back to their starting positions. Those who remember it tell me what a pleasant little place Gheluveldt was before the war, sitting on its ridge over-looking Ypres to the west and Gheluwe to the east. Evidently the enemy are very fond of it, too, and will not give it up without a prolonged struggle.

Next in the line going north is 5th Division, who were also in this vicinity three years ago. This division attacked with 13th Brigade, heading south-east along the north side of the Menin Road down the valley of the Scherriabeek, which has become vile, stinking bog. On 16th October the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment played a war game called “The Taking of Polderhoek Chateau”. That feat was achieved for real today by 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment but they were forced to pull back, because the units on either flank had made no progress, letting the enemy back into the strong-point he had lost. He then counterattacked the Warwicks and the last we heard the whole of the brigade was back at its starting line of this morning.

The adjutant of the 1st Bedfords told me that at ten o’clock this morning he had received a message from divisional headquarters that all objectives had been taken. At noon another message was received saying that the Warwicks had abandoned the chateau and that 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers had been ordered to reinforce the attack. At 1.15 pm the adjutant received orders for the Bedfords to the support the Borderers and the Battalion moved forward arriving at a spot called the Tower at 4.30. An hour later they were ordered to take over in the front line between the foul morasses of the Reutelbeek and the Scherriabeek which they are in the process of doing as I write this.

So much for the attacks along the Menin Road. The other main area of attack has been the Passchendaele Spur. 4th Canadian Division is astride the road from Broodeseinde to Passchendaele and their attack, by 10th Brigade, was aimed directly for the village. They seized their first objective but, under relentless counter-attacks have withdrawn nearly to their starting position. On the left is 3rd Canadian Division whose attack, by 8th and 9th Brigades, headed in the direction of Mossemarkt and Goudberg. Again, they made their first objective but could not go any further. Nevertheless, Wolf Copse and Bellevue have been taken.

63rd (Royal Naval) Division are next in the line, though 4th Bedfords are still in support closer to Ypres. The attack was made by 188th Brigade comprising two battalions of sailors and two of Royal Marines. As with the Somme last November, many have been the wry remarks about the battlefield being so flooded that the navy has been sent in. Only in the centre was the attack prevented from getting too far forward, the right flank taking Varlet Farm and the left flank taking Bray Farm and Berks Houses. Thus the majority of the first objective has been taken and consolidated.

58th (2nd/1st London) Division made the attack on the navy’s left flank, using one brigade, the 173rd, pushing north-east from Poelcapelle. Cameron House and its blockhouses fell quickly but then the advance stalled and we understand that enemy counter-attacks this afternoon have pushed the Londoners back to their original line.

57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division attacked with 170th Brigade but, in truth, never really began. It simply could not get through the marsh in front of it. A few men were able to get round the morass and establish posts in Memling farm and Rubens Farm, which were unoccupied by the enemy but that has been the extent of what was possible.

Finally, 50th (Northumbrian) Division, heavily involved in the final stages of the Somme campaign in the bitter fighting in the bogs around the Butte de Warlencourt was faced with more of the same today when 149th Brigade was ordered to attack north-eastwards towards Schaap-Balie. The weight of fire from the enemy, combined with the state of the ground has reduced their advance to one of eighty yards in some places, no advance at all in others.

The attacks today have not had the same success as some of those of recent times. The enemy’s resistance seems to be stiffening as the year fails and the weather closes in. Still the village of Passchendaele, which seems to have become something of a touchstone for the later stages of this battle, remains untaken.

This evening we hear that Brazil has joined the long list of civilized countries which have lost patience with German aggression. A few days ago one of their ships was sunk by a U-Boat and its captain taken prisoner. Relations have not been good between the two states for most of this year but this has been the final straw and Brazil has declared war on Germany. Whether we see any soldiers from the land of the samba remains to be seen(1)

Source: X550/2/5

(1) Only about twenty men were sent to the Western Front to learn the strategy and tactics of modern war. The Brazilian navy, however, played an important part in anti-U-boat operations in the South Atlantic.

Roll of Honour - 26th October 1917

Killed in Action

1st Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: took over the front line between Reutel and Scherriabeek following a partially successful attack by 13th Brigade
  • 14836 Lance Corporal Frederick John BANES, 23, son of F A Banes of Ivel Road, Sandy (Hooge Crater Cemetery)
  • 290810 Private William BURTON, 36, born Mildmay Park [London], husband of Frances Bella of 11 Kenwood Road, Lower Edmonton [Middlesex] (Hooge Crater Cemetery)
  • 203925 Private William Alfred DOUCH, ex-225725 Northamptonshire Regiment, born and resided Hastings [Sussex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 32982 Private Wallace DUNN, ex-8998 Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment), born Bermondsey [London], resided Walthamstow [Essex] (Hooge Crater Cemetery)
  • 23488 Private Bertie EKINS, born and resided Riseley (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 203930 Private Arthur FULLER, ex-3434 Cambridgeshire Regiment, resided Little Gransden [Cambridgeshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 39570 Private Horace Newton LAWSON, ex-M/230553 Army Service Corps, born Goole [Yorkshire], resided Hull [Yorkshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 12984 Private Frederick William PALMER, born and resided Saint Albans [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 205855 Sergeant Ernest Oliver PASK, 29, ex-265137 Suffolk Regiment, born Depden [Suffolk], son of late Arthur and Louisa of 26 Horringer Road, Bury Saint Edmund's [Suffolk], husband of Ethel Louise of 16 Lower Baxter Street, Bury Saint Edmunds (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 32149 Private Henry Cratwell PERKINS, born and resided Hoddesdon [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 21334 Lance Corporal Ambrose John TYE, ex-2812 Royal Field Artillery, born Poplar [London], resided Forest Gate [Essex] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 19002 Private James WILLIAMS, ex-18117 Hussars, born and resided Bristol (Tyne Cot Memorial)

Died of Wounds

1st Battalion
  • 9168 Corporal William PILSBURY, born Cambridge, resided Wootton (Tyne Cot Memorial)

3rd Battalion
  • Second Lieutenant Alexander Edward CROOCKEWIT, 31, attached 1st Battalion son of John Henry and Fanny M Croockewit of Menin, 32 Leyburn Road, Dover [Kent]; educated at Bedford School (Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Ypres)

6th Battalion
  • 31902 Private Ernest BIRD, 20, son of Jessie and Lizzie of 56 Capron Road, Dunstable (Dunstable Cemetery)

7th Battalion
  • 4/7223 Private Albert BURGESS, born and resided Great Berkhamstead [Hertfordshire] (Mendinghem British Cemetery)

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Eighty Seventh Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Thursday 25th October 1917

The adjutant of the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, which is in support at Stirling Castle near Hooge, reports that they have been shelled at intervals throughout the day. A victim of this has been Second Lieutenant A E Croockewit who has been severely wounded and Second Lieutenant L J Hobson somewhat less so(1).

A number of men from the 6th Battalion have been awarded the Military Medal: Lance Corporal L Orpin, Lance Corporal F Lee, Lance Corporal R Grubb, Lance Corporal W Wright and Private B Smith.

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/7/1

(1) Alexander Edward Croockewit died on 26th October and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, he was 31 and came from Dover [Kent] but had been educated at Bedford School. Hobson seems to have survived the war.

Roll of Honour - 25th October 1917

Killed in Action

1st Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: in reserve at Stirling Castle, carrying parties near FitzClarence Farm
  • 21118 Lance Corporal John ASTLES, ex-46616 Royal Garrison Artillery, born and resided Leek [Staffordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 23316 Private Herbert BRIGHTMAN, born Bramingham, resided Streatley (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 205858 Private Frederick Arthur BUSSEY, ex-265414 Suffolk Regiment, resided Harleston [Norfolk] (Hooge Crater Cemetery)
  • 7623 Acting Company Sergeant Major Sidney Spott CHAMBERLAIN, 31, born and resided Shepreth [Cambridgeshire], son of John Edward and Elizabeth Chamberlain of Council Cottages, Meldreth [Cambridgeshire],husband of Alice of Hope Folly, Meldreth (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 26310 Private Hugh CLARKE, born Tydd Saint Giles [Cambridgeshire], resided Wisbech [Cambridgeshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 240259 Private Jesse James GURNEY, ex-32474 Worcestershire Regiment, born and resided Upper Winchendon [Buckinghamshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 25484 Private Herbert James JEFFERY, born Hendon [Middlesex], resided Rickmansworth [Hertfordshire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 29549 Private Samuel Thomas SPICER, born Hoddesdon [Hertfordshire], resided Hertford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 10318 Private Sidney John WHITEHEAD, 19, born Old Chesterton [Cambridgeshire], son of Edward and Annie Whitehead of 34 Staffordshire Street, Cambridge (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 33738 Private William Horace WICKS, born Hyderabad [Andhra], resided Camberley [Surrey] (Tyne Cot Memorial)

7th Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: front line at Canal Bank, heavy shelling
  • 21525 Private Jesse Herbert WHITING, born Newport [Essex], resided Cambridge (Tyne Cot Memorial)

Died of Wounds

1st Battalion
  • 203955 Private Charles Henry RANGER, 37, ex-32823 Suffolk Regiment, son of David Ranger of Brighton [Sussex], husband of Sarah Ann of 10 Western Road, Eastbourne [Sussex] (Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery)

7th Battalion
  • 14726 Private Henry Charles BLAKE, ex-53106 Royal Engineers, born Great Hallingbury [Essex], resided Bishop's Stortford [Hertfordshire] (Mendinghem Military Cemetery)
  • 28877 Private George GRIMES, 32, son of William and Anna Grimes of Fern Cottage, Worstead [Norfolk] (Dozinghem Military Cemetery)
  • 3/7726 Private Frank RAYNER, 37, born Tewin [Hertfordshire], husband of Ann Baldock (ex-Rayner) of Bowmans Green Cottages, Saint Albans [Hertfordshire] (Mendinghem Military Cemetery)
  • 13216 Private Horace Alfred WOOD MM, born and resided Rickmansworth [Hertfordshire] (Dozinghem Military Cemetery)

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Eighty Sixth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Wednesday 24th October 1917

Today has been one of reliefs, with five divisions moving out of the line and five in. Amongst the newcomers are the Canadians for the first time in this battle, 3rd Canadian Division replacing the New Zealand Division. 63rd (Royal Naval) Division have also taken over from 9th (Scottish) Division, though the 4th Bedfords are not yet in the front line.

The 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, are back in familiar territory near Hollebeke. About midnight last night the Germans raided their trenches without benefit of artillery in what is known as a “silent raid”. The raiding party were observed moving immediately to the Right of one of the advanced posts. They were fired at by the Lewis gun at this post, after firing one drum a German threw a bomb which fell on the Lewis gunners’ shelter blowing it in, the Lewis gunner continued firing however and killed the thrower. The remainder of the Germans made off towards another of the Bedfords’ posts, which fired on them and wounded one man who was captured. It is thought that at least two other of the enemy were killed by the Battalion’s Lewis gun fire. The hostile raiding party numbered about fifteen and was completely repulsed - a bloody nose for the enemy unit taking part.

Source: X550/3/wd

Roll of Honour - 24th October 1917

Killed in Action

7th Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: relieved Royal Fusiliers at Canal Bank
  • 39947 Private George BLANKLEY, 19, ex-M/225394 Army Service Corps, son of A G and S Blankley of 87 Sneinton Dale, Nottingham (Cement House Cemetery)
  • 32981 Private William Richard DRAWBRIDGE, ex-8287 Royal West Kent Regiment, born Mile End [London], resided Walthamstow [Essex] (Cement House Cemetery)
  • 43314 Private James KIRKLAND, ex-24712 Manchester Regiment, born and resided Hollinwood [Lancashire] (Tyne Cot Memorial)

Died of Wounds

7th Battalion
  • 21556 Private Peter Melvin MCLAREN, 33, born Walworth [London], resided Harringay [Middlesex], son of John Cullis and Mary McLaren, husband of Jessie Margaret of 11 Rutland Gardens, Harringay (Mendinghem Military Cemetery)

Monday 23 October 2017

Eighty Fifth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Sir Ivor Maxse

Tuesday 23rd October 1917

The adjutant of the 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, tells me that the commander of XVIII Corps, Lieutenant-General Sir Ivor Maxse, has issued a congratulatory telegram to 18th (Eastern Division) after the success by 53rd Brigade yesterday. It reads: “The XVIII Corps Commander sends his hearty congratulations on the success of the 18th Division on the 22nd instant. He adds that this success was gained in spite of bad weather, bad mud and hot artillery fire, and that all concerned deserve great credit from highest to lowest”. It was issued via Major Arthur Percival, ex-7th Bedfords, now Acting Brigade Major of 54th Infantry Brigade.

The adjutant remarked wryly that he was not sure what Sir Ivor was congratulating the Bedfords about, possibly on resting, refitting and bathing, which was their part in yesterday’s attack! Of course, Sir Ivor was commander-in-chief of 18th Division until his promotion in January this year.

Source: X550/8/1

Roll of Honour - 23rd October 1917

Killed in Action

2nd Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: front line west and south-west of Hollebeke
  • 28983 Private John DUNNETT, 35, son of John and Louisa Dunnett of Forncett Saint Peter [Norfolk], resided North Runcton [Norfolk] (Kemmel Château Military Cemetery)

7th Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: drill exercises at Tunnelling Camp
  • 18171 Private John AYLOTT MM, 37, born and resided Bedford, brother-in-law of A M Aylott of 8 Pearcey Road, Bedford (Tyne Cot Memorial)
  • 40717 Private Arthur FOWLER, ex-38313 Leicestershire Regiment, son of E Fowler of 25 Buxton Street, Leicester (Minty Farm Cemetery)
  • 29813 Private Albert NASH, 32, son of John Nash of 1 Charles Street, Berkhamstead [Hertfordshire] and late Jane Nash, husband of Ellen Elizabeth of 19 Kitsbury Road, Berkhamstead (Tyne Cot Memorial)

Sunday 22 October 2017

Eighty Fourth Day of the Third Battle of Ypres

Monday 22nd October 1917

Three divisions have made attacks here today in an advance from Poelcapelle in the south to Veldhoek in the north - the northernmost part of the current battlefield. 18th (Eastern) Division took most of Poelcapelle on 12th of this month. Today 53rd Brigade has taken the Brewery on the eastern side of the town, which had held up their advance in 12th. They have also taken Meunier House, another target on 12th, as well as Noble’s Farm and Tracas Farm. This has been a highly satisfactory attack to add to the laurels of this élite division.

On their left flank, 34th Division pushed forward with two brigades, 101st and 102nd. 102nd Brigade took their objectives including Requete Farm. 101st Brigade had much more difficulty, being very badly handled, we understand, by a nest of pillboxes, and then by a counter-attack which seems to have pushed them back a good way.

35th Division has replaced the Guards Division in the line and their attack, with two brigades, was made due north against ground immediately south of Houthulst Forest. 104th Brigade has taken Colombo House and all its objectives, though, rather rashly, they pressed on into Houthulst Forest and were then forced to withdraw to the southern edge. 105th Brigade took Marechal Farm and Panama House and all their objectives. However, late this afternoon we are told, the Germans managed to break through 16th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment in a counter-attack, causing that battalion to retreat all the way back to its start line.

Thus today has been, as so often, a day of mixed fortunes. There has been sufficient success, however, to make the army believe that one more push, at one point or along the whole battlefront and some real success may result. 

Saturday 21 October 2017

Eighty Third Day of the Third Battle Ypres

Sunday 21st October 1917

The casualties incurred by the army during the present battle have made an impact on 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Today fifteen officers and ninety other ranks have been struck off strength as they have been transferred to XVIII Corps Reinforcement Camp to provide reinforcements to the divisions in that corps(1). Second Lieutenant T R G Cooke has also left the Battalion as he has joined the Royal Flying Corps.

Source: X550/5/3

(1) During the Third Battle of Ypres the divisions forming part of XVIII Corps fluctuated but included the following: 9th (Scottish) Division; 11th Division; 18th (Eastern) Division; 39th Division; 48th (South Midland) Division; 51st (Highland) Division; 58th (2nd/1st London) Division and 63rd (Royal Naval) Division.

Roll of Honour - 21st October 1917

Killed in Action

7th Battalion: 3rd Battle of Ypres: Tunnelling Camp
  • 31797 Private George NEGUS, born Ashton [Northamptonshire], resided Bedford (Tyne Cot Memorial)

Died of Wounds

7th Battalion
  • 30896 Private Charles William WARD, born Graveley [Cambridgeshire], resided Saint Neots [Huntingdonshire] (Mendinghem Military Cemetery)