Friday 10 August 2018

Some Further Advances

Saturday 10th August 1918

The great advance begun on Thursday carries on more slowly today. Your correspondent has moved from Amiens to a position nearer the front, just west of near Albert, still in enemy hands. He has the honour of being a guest of 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment whose division, 18th (Eastern) has taken a full part in the action, though the Bedfords themselves are currently in reserve. He has thus got a closer look at the action. 

Today there has been some reorganisation. The former boundary between III Corps and the Australian Corps had been the River Somme. The river in this locality wriggles around like a snake making it a difficult boundary. Boundaries are better understood if they are straight. So he boundary between III Corps and the Australians has moved north of the river.

Today's fighting in the vicinity has been at a lesser pitch than of late, due to the reorganisations mentioned above. The village of Etinehem on the north bank of the Somme has been captured by the Australian 13th Brigade who are now advancing on the town of Bray-sur-Somme.

Your correspondent has also had the pleasure of seeing American units up close for the first time. These men, many a good head taller than our own men or the French, have a fine bearing and, if lacking in experience make up for it in enthusiasm. Their 131st Regiment pressed forward last night on the east side of the Bois des Tailles, crossed a ravine and occupied the old British defence lines seized by the enemy back in April. 

58th (2nd/1st London) Division is operating north of the Americans and also find themselves back in the old British defences. Meanwhile 12th (Eastern) Division is south of Meaulte, a suburb of Albert. and managed to advance a little way, though the Germans on the high ground have a fine field of fire and was able to stop them short of their objective. 

The Bedfords themselves are in Brigade Reserve and today welcomed Captain R E Oakley MC and Second Lieutenant W Ashton, both former members of 7th Battalion. 

Captain Oakley [X550/1/81]

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