MONDAY, JULY 24th

The relief was completed about 1.30 a.m. Not a bad place to relieve at all. We have come off well, as the 12th have taken the front line, and we are in support and have a fairly easy time. Our H.Q. are quite comfy and we have fitted in all right. Yes, get H.P. to agitate about Ulster Division men being sent back to Ulster Res. Bde. He will manage it all right. You cannot believe what the men say about officers being killed. Their various stories do not tally. A man writes saying he saw ‘At.’ killed just outside our line, which I know is wrong. Gen. N. round today; very affable. A draft of 40 arrived today, and three officers tomorrow. There is not much room here, and I’ve had to have some out of the line, which I don’t like. Shill is simply splendid, and an enormous help. We have dug-outs to ourselves, which is a great boon. Cole Hamilton, Pratt, Menaul, and the 12th Adjt. and myself. Coy. messes crowded rather, I fear. The 11th R.B. [Rifle Brigade] left a man for us to bury as they hadn’t got a Wesleyan minister! Strange some people are. Have asked Padre to come today, but if he can’t must do it myself. Another fierce attempt to take Poziere last night; partially successful.  Stuart Wortley and H. Fanshaw gone home. Latter’s place taken by his brother, the Gunner, who is our Corps Commander. The 11th Bde. in 4th Div. lost the Brigadier and four C.O.s in the Push. Holt has not moved with us. Expect he’s still S. [South] Fergie’s sending you a typed copy of casualties; there are bound to be inaccuracies, but it will be right in the main. C.M.J.’s kit was sent off on July 5, but with so many (16) there will be delay, and much formalities—inventories to be made, valises sewn in sacks, and sealed, as if we had sealing wax and seals, and we moving every day; then to be sent to the railhead, and three times they were sent back from different railheads; perfectly maddening it was, as we had to cart them round the country. This is a quiet bit of the line. So far days are peaceful, but M.G. irksome at night. The trenches are shallow, as you come to water about three feet down. They will be bad in wet. Sgt. Keith came back last night. He stated he saw ‘At.’ fall our side of the ravine. Personally I don’t believe him. It’s contrary to evidence, and he’s given to romancing. The weather is dull and hot, but no rain, thank goodness. We have got the greater part of Pozieres. I am not sanguine about breaking through.


Footnote

The senior officer casualties in 11th Brigade were, in fact, somewhat worse than recorded by Lieutenant Colonel Blacker. The Brigade attacked with its own four battalions and two attached battalions. The brigade commander and four commanding officers were killed and the other two commanding officers wounded.

Killed: Prowse DSO, Brigadier General Charles Bertie, 11th Brigade; Thicknesse, Lieutenant Colonel John Audley, 1st Battalion, Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry); Palk, Lieutenant Colonel The Honourable Lawrence Charles Walter, 1st Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment; Wood, Lieutenant Colonel Donald, 1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own); Innes CMG, Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Arthur, 1/8th Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Territorial Force).

Wounded: Green, Lieutenant Colonel James Edward, 1st Battalion The East Lancashire Regiment; Franklin, Lieutenant Colonel William Hodgson, 1/6th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Territorial Force).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s