The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1917 War Diary appendices
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
No. 73. SECRET. Battalion Operation Orders
by Colonel Lord Henry Scott [Lord Henry Francis Montague Douglas Scott], Commanding 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 4th January 1917
1. The Battalion will be relieved by 2nd Y.&L. tomorrow, 5th instant, at after 1.0 p.m. On relief the battalion will move into Brigade Support. Companies will move by platoons and occupy areas already stated in B.D.0.11.
2. C.S.Majors or one N.C.O. per company will report at 1st The Buffs Headquarters at 8.30 a.m. tomorrow, 5th instant. They will take over all trench stores in their respective areas, and make a note of sentries to be furnished.
3. A list of all trench stores etc.to be handed over will be rendered to the Orderly Room by 9.0 a.m. tomorrow, 5th Instant. Companies should retain receipts from relieving companies.
4. List of stores taken over in Support Line will be rendered to Orderly Room by 9.0 a.m. 6th instant.
5. Completion of relief in trenches will be immediately reported to Battalion headquarters by phoning the word "ASH"
6. During relief in trenches where work is going on, care must be taken not to destroy or remove sandbag blacks which have been made to collect water for pumping purposes.
7. Petrol tins and food containers must be stored at Cook House by 1.0 p.m.
8. Care must be taken that all tunnels, dugouts, etc., are cleaned before handing over, also ammunition.
9. No men must move down QUARRY ALLEY till the last men of the 2nd Y&L have come up.
10. BARTS ALLEY, via Battalion Headquarters should be used by all units moving down to LANCASHIRE TRENCH or VERMELLES.
11. Battalion Headquarters will move after relief to G.3.c.6.4. Companies will report there by phone on completion of second relief by the word "OAK"
12. Companies will be prepared to find working parties on morning of 6th if necessary.
(sd) J. Ash [John Luscombe ASH] Lieut. and a/Adjy (sic) 8th Bedfordshire Regiment
No. 76. SECRET. Battalion Operation Orders
by Colonel Lord Henry Scott [Lord Henry Francis Montague Douglas Scott], Commanding 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 16th January 1917
1. The Battalion will relieve 2nd Y.&L. in the left sub sector HOHENZOLLERN tomorrow, 17th instant B Company will relieve right front company C Company will relieve left front company A Company will relieve right support company D Company will relieve left support company
2. R.S.M. for Headquarters, Signallers under Sgt. Gillow [17150 Charles Frederick GILLOW] and C.S.Majors to take over trench stores, will parade outside Battalion Orderly Room at 8.30 a.m. Lewis Gun detachments will proceed with their respective companies; they will store their carts under a guard to be detailed by R.S.M. where they were previously.
3. The leading platoon of B Company will enter QUARRY ALLEY at 10.0 a.m. at intervals between platoons of 300 yards The leading platoon of C Company will pass the CROSSROADS NOYELLES (L.11.c.9.1.) at 8.45 a.m. The leading platoon of A Company will pass the CROSSROADS at 9.20 a.m. Company Commanders will allow 300 yards interval between platoons
4. A & C Company Commanders will arrange to send forward 1 N.C.O. and man per platoon to draw Gum boots for their respective platoons. These N.C.O.'s and men must ascertain numbers and sizes required beforehand.
5. Sgt. Draper [Sergeant Cook 3/7915 Alfred William DRAPER] will arrange for sufficient number of camp kettles for companies. Two cooks will go into Support Line where all cooking is done.
6. Blankets will be rolled up tightly in tens and tied for the Transport. They must be stacked at Divisional Recreation Hut at 7.30 a.m. B Company will have their blankets stacked under a guard at CLARK KEEP by 8.30 a.m. The Transport Officer will arranged (sic) to collect these. One limber per Company and Headquarters will convey Mess Baskets and Officers' Valises to Quartermasters' Stores at 9.0 a.m.
7. A and C Companies will draw Gum Boots at the Gum Boot Store VERMELLES. Men must be warned to take the greatest care of their puttees, and ankle boots, and see that none are lost either in mud or water
8. List of Trench Stores taken over to be rendered to Bn. HQ by 4.0 p.m. 17th inst.
9. Company Commanders will ensure that huts and dugouts are left scrupulously clean.
10. Company Commanders will wire HQ "BETHUNE" when relief is complete.
11. Company Commanders to send in to Bn. HQ disposition of Companies with sketches by 8.0 p.m. 17th inst.
12. The Transport Officer will arrange for a limber to be at Battalion Headquarters by 9.0 a.m. to convey HQ Stores and Orderly Room boxes to CLARK'S KEEP.
13. All water bottles to be filler before morning.
14. Watches (except "B" Company) to be synchronised at 8 a.m.
(sd) J. Ash [John Luscombe ASH] Lieut. and a/Adjutant 8th Bedfordshire Regiment
No. 77. SECRET. Battalion Operation Orders
by Colonel Lord Henry Scott [Lord Henry Francis Montague Douglas Scott], Commanding 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 18th January 1917
1. (a) The following parties from C Company under Lieutenant W.J. Holbrook [William James HOLBROOK, MC] will move down QUARRY ALLEY at 9.30 a.m. 60 men to be trained as bombers 10 men to be trained in use of torpedoes 10 men to be trained in use of mobile charges An interval of 300 yards will be maintained between each party of 20. The party will proceed to Divisional Grenade School at CHATEAU LE CHARMEUX. A billeting party of 1 N.C.O. and 2 men will proceed to CHATEAU LE CHARNEUX, starting at 8.0 a.m. (b) O.C. C Company will also detail 1 Sgt., 1 Cpl. and 18 Other Ranks to report to Battalion Headquarters at 9.30 a.m. to proceed to VERQUIN for instruction on 'P' Bombs. Gum boots to be handed in at Gum Boot Store. The Transport Officer will arrange for 1 G.S. Wagons to be at CLARK'S KEEP by 10.0 a.m. to convey:- (i) Packs of men proceeding to CHATEAU LE CHARMEUX (ii) Packs of men proceeding to VERQUIN These wagons will collect two blankets per man from Quartermaster's Store
2. O.C. A Company will detail 1 N.C.O. and 24 men to relieve post now occupied by C Company in QUARRY ALLEY at 8.30 a.m.
3. O.C. B Company will detail 25 men to report to O.C. C Company at 10.0 a.m.
4. O.C. D Company will detail 20 combers to report to O.C. C Company by 10.30 a.m.
5. O.C.'s A, B & D Companies will select good and reliable men for these reliefs
6. A Company will relieve D Company as counter attach company in left half reserve trench tomorrow, 19th instant, at noon. Relief to be completed by 12.30 p.m.
7. Men proceeding to schools to take unconsumed portion of day's ration with them.
(sd) J. Ash [John Luscombe ASH] Lieut. and a/Adjutant 8th Bedfordshire Regiment
No. 78. SECRET. Battalion Operation Orders
by Colonel Lord Henry Scott [Lord Henry Francis Montague Douglas Scott], Commanding 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 24th January 1917
1. The battalion will relieve the 2nd Y.&L. Regt. In the left subsector of the Brigade Front tomorrow, 26th instant.
2. Companies will take up their positions as under:- A Company 3 Platoons Right Front Sector, 1 Platoon in Support D Company 3 Platoons Left Front Sector, 1 Platoon in Support B Company Counter Attack Company Left Support Sector Each Company will supply their own ration parties
3. A Company will leave the KEEP at 1.0 p.m. D Company will cross BARTS ALLEY at 1.15 p.m. The 2 Platoons of B Company in LANCASHIRE TRENCH will enter QUARRY ALLEY at 1.45 p.m. and the 3 Platoons in RAILWAY RESERVE TRENCH will move off at 1.45 p.m.
4. The R.S.M. (for Hd. Qrs.) and C.S.Majors will report at Y. & L. Hd. Qrs. At 10.30 a.m. tomorrow to take over all trench stores in their respective areas.
5. A list of all trench stores etc. to be handed over will be rendered to the Orderly Room by 9.0 a.m. tomorrow. Companies will obtain and retain receipts from relieving companies.
6. Lists of stores taken over from 2nd Y. & L. will be rendered to Orderly Room b 9.0 a.m. 26th instant.
7. Completion of relief in trenches will be immediately reported to Bn. Hd. Qrs. by 'phoning the words "KNOW NOTHING ABOUT SGT. HOME"
8. Care must be taken that all dug-outs, etc. are left scrupulously clean
9. Gum Boots will be worn where necessary
10. Dispositions of Companies will be rendered to Orderly Room by 8.0 p.m., 25th instant
11. B Company will take over Bombing Post in QUARRY ALLEY also as far as junction of QUARRY ALLEY (East) and RAILWAY RESERVE.
12. C Company will furnish a Lewis Gun Team quite complete for A Company
(sd) J. Ash [John Luscombe ASH] Lieut. and a/Adjutant 8th Bedfordshire Regiment
No. 80. SECRET. Battalion Operation Orders
by Colonel Lord Henry Scott [Lord Henry Francis Montague Douglas Scott], Commanding 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 28th January 1917
1. The Battalion will be relieved by 2nd Y. & L. tomorrow, 29th instant. Companies will be relieved as follows:- A Company by [blank] Company, 2nd Y. & L. D Company by [blank] Company, 2nd Y. & L. B Company by [blank] Company, 2nd Y. & L. The relief should be complete by 1.0 p.m.
2. B & D Companies after relief will proceed into huts at NOYELLES. An interval of at least 300 yards must be maintained between platoons. A Company will move into LANCASHIRE TRENCH and relieve one company of 1st The Buffs. An N.C.O. must be sent to take over, to be there at 11.0 a.m. B and D Companies will move down QUARRY ALLEY A Company will move down LEFT BOYAU, and BARTS ALLEY A Company will supply 1 N.C.O. and 4 men to form guard at CLARK'S KEEP, also two men to relieve 1st The Buffs guard and should proceed before the company is relieved. D Company will supply the following caretakers:- NOYELLES KEEP N. 2 men L.11.b.7.2 BULLY KEEP 2 men L.6.c.5.7 SAILLY KEEP 2 men L.3.d.7.9. CHATEAU DE PRES N. 2 men F.27.d.1.9. CHATEAU DE PRES CENTRAL 2 men F27.d.5.4.
3. Company Commanders will ensure that these men receive their rations.
4. C.S.Majors and R.S.M. (for H.Q.) will be prepared to hand over all trench stores etc. These should be collected together where possible, to facilitate handing over.
5. A copy of the lists of all trench stores, etc. to be handed over will be rendered to the Orderly Room by 10.30 a.m., tomorrow A Company will render the list if stores (if any) taken over from 1st The Buffs by 9.0 a.m. 30th instant.
6. Lamps used in tunnels belong to Battalion. Company Commanders will be held responsible that these are brought down by their respective Companies.
7. Latrines, dugouts, etc., must be left scrupulously clean. This order has been somewhat neglected lately.
8. Gum Boots will be carried and handed in at Gum Boot Store VERMELLES with the exception of A Company who will retain them.
9. The Quartermaster will see that blankets at the rate of 1 per man are sent up to LANCASHIRE TRENCH for A Company.
10. The Mess Cart will be at CLARK'S KEEP at 11.0 a.m. to convey Officers' spare kits, mess blankets, etc.
11. Completion of relief in trenches will be immediately reported to Battalion H.Q. by 'phoning 'O.K.' Company Commanders on arrival at billets will report to Orderly Room when their respective companies are in.
12. A Company will find the following working party tomorrow; Party No.7 1 N.C.O. and 12 men, time 10.15 a.m. unloading at CLARK'S KEEP
13. Salvage to be brought down and landed in at CLARK'S KEEP and list of same forwarded to Orderly Room by 10.30 a.m. 30th instant.
14. C Company Lewis Gunners attached to A Company will rejoin their company at NOYELLES on relief
15. Those men of A Company at NOYELLES or at SAILLY LA BOURSE who are not specially employed will rejoin their company in LANCASHIRE TRENCH by 10.30 p.m. 29th instant.
16. The Quartermaster and C.Q.M.Sergeants will take over from 1st The Buffs at NOYELLES.
(sd) J. Ash [John Luscombe ASH] Lieut. and a/Adjutant 8th Bedfordshire Regiment
8th Bedfordshire Regt. Field State January 31st 1917
Killed 1 Missing 2 Wounded 7 Sick to Hospital 88* Sick from Hospital 52 Evacuated from FA 47 Strength of A Coy 12 Officers 273 Other Ranks Strength of B Coy 5 Officers 290 Other Ranks Strength of C Coy 7 Officers 268 Other Ranks Strength of D Coy 5 Officers 275 Other Ranks Total 29 Officers 1106 Other Ranks * The majority of the sick are men recently out from England
8th Bedfordshire Regt Field State February 28th 1917
Killed 9 Wounded 18 Sick to Hospital 97 Sick from Hospital 67 Evacuated from F.A. 49 A Coy Strength 14 Officers 260 Other Ranks B Coy Strength 6 Officers 265 Other Ranks C Coy Strength 8 Officers 268 Other Ranks D Coy Strength 6 Officers 274 Other Ranks Total 34 Officers 1067 Other Ranks
8th Bedfordshire Regt. Field State March 1917
Killed 10 Wounded 20 Sick to Hospital 107 mainly due to outbreak of measles Sick from Hospital 49 Evacuated from F.A. 70 Strength of A Coy 13 Officers 239 Other Ranks Strength of B Coy 8 Officers 248 Other Ranks Strength of C Coy 6 Officers 240 Other Ranks Strength of D Coy 6 Officers 251 Other Ranks Total 33 Officers 978 Other Ranks
8th Bedfordshire Regt Field State April 1917
Killed 2 Off 50 O.R. Wounded 6 Off 218 O.R. Missing 8 O.R. Sick to Hospital 129 Sick from Hospital 36 A Company Strength 14 Off 180 O.R B Company Strength 6 Off 158 O.R C Company Strength 5 Off 163 O.R D Company Strength 7 Off 155 O.R Total 32 Off 656 O.R A draft of 100 at Div. Training Coy. not posted to Coys
8th Bedfordshire Regt Field State May 1917
Killed 7 O.R. Wounded 2 Off. 37 O.R. Sick to Hospital 77 Sick from Hospital 47 Strength of A Coy 13 Officers 189 O.Ranks Strength of B Coy 4 Officers 187 O.Ranks Strength of C Coy 5 Officers 192 O.Ranks Strength of D Coy 7 Officers 171 O.Ranks Total 29 Officers 739 O.Ranks
8th Bedfordshire Regt. Field State June 1917
Killed 22 O.R. Wounded 5 Off. 53 O.R. Missing 12 O.R. Sick to Hospital 69 Sick from Hospital 47 Strength of A Company 13 Officers 185 Other Ranks Strength of B Company 4 Officers 199 Other Ranks Strength of C Company 3 Officers 180 Other Ranks Strength of D Company 6 Officers 204 Other Ranks Total 26 Officers 768 Other Ranks
8th Bedfordshire Regts Field State
Killed 2 Off 4 O.R Wounded 1 Off 27 O.R Missing 4 O.R Sick to Hospital 44 Sick from Hospital 49 Strength of A Company 16 Officers 184 Other Ranks Strength of B Company 6 Officers 191 Other Ranks Strength of C Company 5 Officers 187 Other Ranks Strength of D Company 6 Officers 186 Other Ranks Total 33 Officers 748 Other Ranks
8th Btn. Bedfordshire Regiment Field State 1-9-17
KILLED NIL WOUNDED NIL MISSING NIL TO HOSPITAL 45 FROM HOSPITAL 22 STRENGTH OF A COMPANY 17 OFFICERS 211 O.RANKS STRENGTH OF B COMPANY 7 OFFICERS 216 O.RANKS STRENGTH OF C COMPANY 8 OFFICERS 218 O.RANKS STRENGTH OF D COMPANY 8 OFFICERS 211 O.RANKS TOTAL 40 OFFICERS 856 O.RANKS
8th Bedfordshire Regt. Field State C.338
Killed 5 O.R. Wounded 3 Off. 44 O.R. Hospital To 25 Hospital From 24 Strength of A Coy. 21 Officers 210 Other Ranks Strength of B Coy. 8 Officers 206 Other Ranks Strength of C Coy. 7 Officers 217 Other Ranks Strength of D Coy. 8 Officers 210 Other Ranks Total 44 Officers 843 Other Ranks
8th (S) Bn. Bedfordshire Regt Field State 31st Oct. 1917
Killed 6 O.R. Wounded 16 O.R. To Hospital 63 From Hospital 52 A Company Strength 22 Officers 189 Other Ranks B Company Strength 8 Officers 206 Other Ranks C Company Strength 8 Officers 216 Other Ranks D Company Strength 7 Officers 208 Other Ranks Total 45 Officers 819 Other Ranks
SECRET Copy No.8 Battalion Operation Orders No. 157 by Lieut. Colonel R. le Huguet Commanding 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 16th November 1917. Ref. Maps = MARCOING 57 c N.E.4. GONNELIEU 57 c S.E.9.
1. INTRODUCTION (a) The 16th Infantry Brigade is to participate in an attack at a date and at an hour (ZERO to be notified later). (b) The 16th Infantry Brigade with "B" Battalion Tanks co-operating will attack in 3 waves. 1st Wave - 2nd York and Lancaster Regiment on Right, and 8th Bedfordshire Regiment on Left. 2nd Wave consisting of one company 1/The Buffs on Right, and one company 1/K.S.L.I. on Left, will pass through the 1st Wave and capture the Blue Line The 3rd Wave - 1/The Buffs (less one company on Right) and 1/K.S.L.I. (less one company on Left) will capture the Brown Line. (c) The 8th Bedfordshire Regiment will be in Front Line of attack. The 2nd York and Lancaster Regiment will be on the right, and the 71st Infantry Brigade on the Left. (d) The enemy at present on the front to be attacked belong to the 90th R.I.R. and 27th R.I.R., both of the 54th Division.
2. OBJECTIVES (a) The 8th Bedfordshire Regiment, with which No. 6 Company (9,11, and 12 Sections) "B" Battalion Tank Corps will co-operate, will attack and capture the Hindenburg Front Line System, including the enemy's Outpost Line, between the Battalion Right Boundary and the Brigade Left Boudary. (b) BATTALION BOUNDARY The Battalion Boundary will be as follows: - RIGHT BOUNDARY - R.7.d.26.80. - R.7.b.63.34 - R.1.d.60.80. - R.9.a.35.60 - L.38.c.60.30. LEFT BOUNDARY - R.7.c.30.78. - R.7.a.38.33. - R.1.c.70.70. - L.31.d.12.25. - L.31.d.88.63.
3. ASSEMBLY POSITION (a) The assembly place for 8th Bedfordshire Regiment will be close in rear of PLOUICH SUPPORT. Ground will be marked out and allotted under Brigade arrangements, and the Battalion will be in position 2 hours before ZERO. (b) On night previous to attack, two platoons of "D" Company will be on outpost duty in No Man's Land to prevent hostile patrols discovering assembly. (c) The 8th Bedfordshire Regiment will attack on a two company frontage. DISPOSITIONS "B" Company on the Right "C" Company on the Left "A" Company, less 1 platoon and 1 section, in Support (two platoons less 1 section in rear of "C" Company, one platoon in rear of "B" Company). B Company will follow No.12 Section Tanks. "D" Company, less 1 platoon, in Reserve. "C" Company will follow No.11 Section Tanks. No.9 Section Tanks, followed by 1 platoon of "A" Company and Subsection Trench Mortars, will move along the Battalion Left Boundary. On arrival in Hindenburg Line, this platoon will clean up and get into touch with "C" Company, and will then come under the command of O.C. "C" Company. One platoon of "D" Company will be detailed to keep touch with 71st Infantry Brigade on our Left. Touch will be obtained with the 71st Infantry Brigade at the following points: - (1) R.7.a.40.38. (2) R.1.c.70.70 (3) L.31.d.10.27. (4) L.31.d.30.54. One Section of "A" Company under an officer will be detailed to keep touch with 8/York and Lancaster Regiment. "A" Company will follow "B" and "C" Companies at 200 yards distance. "D" Company will follow "A" Company at 250 yards distance. As soon as the Tanks pass through the German Outpost Line (PLUSH TRENCH), the two platoons of "D" Company on outpost will rush PLUSH TRENCH through the gaps made in the wire by the Tanks, and will clear up. They will then reform, and follow in rear of the Battalion under 2/Lieut. E.Kinkead [Edward KINKEAD, MC].
4. INTER-COMPANY BOUNDARIES The Inter-Company Boundaries will be as follows: - R.7.b.18.70. - R.1.d.40.18. - R.1.b.70.63. - R.1.b.65.97 - L.31.d.90.30.
5. The primary duty of No. 10 Section of No. 6 Company Tanks will be to assist the 1/K.S.L.I. in establishing themselves in the Blue Line, but will assist the 8th Bedfordshire Regiment by fire as opportunity offers.
6. TIMES FOR ADVANCE The First Wave of Tanks will commence their advance 10 minutes before ZERO.
7. ARTILLERY The action of the Artillery will consist in placing a shrapnel and heavy howitzer barrage on each objective prior to its assault, in firing smoke screens and barrages on the front and flanks of the advance of the Tanks, neutralising hostile batteries, etc. The barrage will commence with a salvo of smoke on the first objective. Times and places of barrage will be as follows: - From ZERO to ZERO plus 3 - R.7.b.80.90. - R.1.c.70.70. From ZERO plus 3 to 15 - R.8.c.05.65. - R.1.a.90.40. From ZERO plus 15 to 24 - R.2.a.20.35. - R.1.a.90.90. From ZERO plus 24 to 30 - R.3.a.30.65. - L.31.d.10.35. From ZERO plus 30 to 45 - L.30.c.65.35. - L.31.d.45.75. From ZERO plus 45 to 70 - L.38.d.10.90. - L.31.b.65.15.
8. The Tanks and troops for assault on Second Objective (Brown Line) will not pass the Blue Line until 2 hours, 30 minutes after ZERO.
9. CONSOLIDATION The objective when gained will be immediately consolidated. The 1st Defensive Line will be the Hindenburg Line which will consist of consolidated Platoon Posts in depth. No post must be nearer than 20 yards from any existing road, so as not to impede future traffic. In consolidation the following steps will be taken: - (1) Post Sentries. each sentry to have a periscope. (2) Make fire steps. Every man to have a position from which he can fire. (3) Lewis Guns to be placed in position. Rifles and Lewis Guns will then be cleaned; oil and flannelette must be carried for this purpose. (4) Company Commanders see that they have dumps of S.A.A. and bombs, and that men are acquainted with position of same. (5) Every Company and Platoon Commander must have a chosen Head-quarters. (6) Rockets and stands for "S.O.S." will be kept ready. (7) Communication Trenches leading to enemy's lines must be blocked.
10. COMMUNICATION. Gaps in wire will be marked with the discs dropped by Tanks and will be improved. These discs are about 10 inches to a foot in diameter, painted white on one side and khaki on the other, fastened on a short stick. These will be stuck in the ground, white side towards our line.
11. REORGANISATION Company and Platoon Commanders will reorganise their units as soon as the objective is gained, and Company Commanders will keep one platoon to meet any hostile counter-attack on their particular front.
12. DUMP A Forward Dump is being established in VILLERS PLUICH [sic] at R.13.a.7.3.
13. Men to carry on them the scale of fighting equipment issued to Companies on separate sheet.
14. Regimental Aid Post will be established at about R.13.a.60.60.
15. Battalion Headquarters will be established at R.7.d.10.65. and will be in this position until after capture of 1st Objective, when it will move forward to about L.31.d.45.05.
16. Water Point will be at R.13.a.9.9.
17. Compass bearing to objective from present front line trench is 19 degree bearing. (magnetic variation 12 degrees therefore compass bearing without error of compass would read 31 degrees)
SECRET Copy No.8 Addenda to Battalion Operation Orders No.157 by Lieut. Colonel R. le Huquet Commanding 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 19th November 1917.
1. CONSOLIDATION & REORGANISATION. Objective when gained will be immediately consolidated. Posts of a Lewis Gun and 3 men will be pushed forward. "A" Company will garrison new front line, "B" Company in close support on right, "C" Company in close support on Left. "D" Company will be withdrawn and will establish itself on a line about R.1.b.80.65. and dig in. This will be held as Battalion Reserve. Bridges or steps must be constructed over captured trenches to assist the advance of other troops moving through. Companies occupying captured trenches will detail parties to improve existing gaps and make fresh ones where necessary through the wire to allow passage of pack animals. All loose wire must be cleared an a clear gap left. These gaps must not be on roads, as all roads will be required for other troops, and only cross-country tracks for infantry will be available.
2. "A" Company, which is in Support, will be responsible for clearing up any area between lines of trenches containing hostile machine guns or posts in isolated positions.
3. Souvenir hunting is strictly forbidden.
4. In case any Tank breaks down, the filled Lewis Gun drums and any other ammunition should be removed from the Tank and regarded as an extra reserve.
5. Each Tank will carry 1 box S.A.A. which will be dumped on gaining the objective.
6. TIME OF ADVANCE No. 6 Company Tanks, followed by their infantry at the prescribed distances, will move off from the assembly position at 10 minutes before ZERO.
7. SIGNALLERS Communication with Battalion Headquarters will be opened by Company Signallers by Visual (Lucas Lamp or discs) as soon as possible, until wires can be laid forward.
8. Runner Posts are being established by Brigade Headquarters on HIGHLAND ROAD.
9. A contact aeroplane will fly daring operations. Flares will be lit when called for - if no flares are available, attention will be attributed by any means available.
10. Prisoners will be sent to Battalion Headquarters. Escorts not to exceed 10% of total number of prisoners, and they should be chosen as far as possible from slightly wounded men.
11. Outpost platoons of "D" Company covering the whole Battalion front will be in position by 2.30 p.m. Information to be sent to Battalion Headquarters when in position.
12. Battalion Headquarters will open at R.7.d.10.85. at 6.0 p.m.
13. STRETCHER BEARERS Six will be attached to each Company, and two per Company will be attached to Battalion Headquarters.
14. The Battalion of the 71st Infantry Brigade on our Left will be the 9th Suffolks.
To O.C. 8th Bedfordshire Regiment 3/12
14th D.L.I. are across Canal on line L.23.d.10.30. to L.23.d.70.70. and one company of your Battalion is on their left from L.23.d.70.70. to L.23.a.80.00 AAA Get in touch with R.E. at old Bde. H.Q. at L.22.d.40.40. and as soon as bridges are ready for demolition, inform 14th D.L.I. and all troops across Canal and order them to join you on this Bank AAA As soon as this is done report all clear to R.E. and order them to blow up bridges From 16th Infantry Brigade 8.10 p.m. (Sd) J.Horlington, Captain
To 8th Bedfords B.M. 188 3/12
Send one company as soon as possible to reinforce 14th D.L.I. who have been heavily attacked but have driven off the enemy AAA Company should proceed by small parties across railway ridge and barge bridge in L.23.d. and will report to O.C. 14th D.L.I. aaa Send officer on in advance to report to his H.Q. AAA From 16th I.B. (Sd) R.B.Leslie, Captain
To O.C. 8th Bedfordshire Regiment B.M. 160 3/12
The 1/K.S.L.I. have withdrawn from TALMAS LOCK AAA Take steps at once to man this lock and prevent enemy crossing at this point AAA 71st I.B. have been informed they may also send a party there AAA Ensure patrols hold crossings from RAILWAY BRIDGE inclusive to TALMAS LOCK From 16th Infantry Brigade. 8.55 p.m. (Sd) J.Horlington, Capt.
To O.C. All Coys. 3.12 OPERATION ORDERS (Ref. Map - Sheet 57 c N.E.)
8th Bedfords Regt. have been ordered to take up a line from the Railway Bridge over the Canal inclusive at L.23.c.50.90. to the Lock at L.17.d.65.70 AAA The Y.& L. will be on our right and touch to be gained with 71st Bde. on our left about L.17.a.25.25. AAA B Coy will withdraw from the East side of the CANAL and take up a position on West Side of Canal L.25.c.50.95 AAA D Coy will take up a position on West of Canal covering lock at L.23.b.10.80 and will also establish a post where road crosses canal at L.23.a.40.85 AAA C Coy will take up a position on West of Canal covering the Lock at L.17.d.70.70. and will be responsible for Chateau Talmas and touch will be gained by 71st I.B. at L.17.a.85.15 AAA A Coy when withdrawn from the Canal will be in reserve and will take up a position West of ESCAUT RIVER in L.17.c. from about l.17.c.15.40 to about L.17.c.60.65. AAA Companies will defend their posts in depth and frequent patrolling will be done between posts AAA Position of Bn. H.Q. will be in Sunken Road at about L.15.b.85.20. AAA Control post will be posted here as guides to guide runners etc. aaa Companies will report when in position aaa D Coy will be responsible for the Bridge in L.23.c.50.95. until relieved by B Coy. AAA Rations will be dumped at Cross Roads L.22.a.95.25. and coys will arrange to draw these after they are in their new positions. (Sd) J.McCormack 2/Lieut. & Adjt. 12.50 a.m.
SPECIAL ORDER OF THE DAY
The Divisional Commander in reviewing the operations between 20th November and 4th December, wishes to express his appreciation of the following: - (1) The good work of one company 9th Suffolk Regiment in pushing forward and holding bridges at MARCOING on 20th November. (2) The initiative shown by 2nd West Yorks in charging and capturing an enemy battery on 20th November. (3) The dash shown by 2nd Durham Light Infantry in capturing a German battery on the same date. (4) The initiative and spirit of 14th Durham Light Infantry in supporting the attack by Cavalry and Tanks on CANTAING on 21st November. (5) The good fight put up by 2nd York and Lancasters on the night of the 30th November/1st December in their attack on the QUENTIN RIDGE. (6) The gallant behaviour of the Transport of the 2nd West Yorks and 2nd Durham Light Infantry on the 30th November, when they prevented the enemy reaching a part of GOUZEAUCOURT. (7) The splendid fight of the 14th Durham Light Infantry on 3rd December when without wire or any protection they repulsed three attacks on part of their front and counter-attacked three times, regaining a portion of the line which had been broken through. When finally borne down by superior numbers they retired, reorganised, and advanced again. (8) The steady behaviour of two companies 8th Bedfordshire Regiment on 3rd December, who advanced through a barrage and reinforced and helped to hold the line across the Canal at MARCOING. (9) The gallant conduct of 16th Machine Gun Company on 3rd December especially that of No. 2 Section under Lieutenant Battershill, M.C. These are worthy of the best traditions of the 6th Division and of the British Army, and the Divisional Commander heartily congratulates the officers and men who were responsible for these achievements. (Sd) W.H.St. John, Major, General Staff. 18th December, 1917.
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