Saturday, 6 August 2011
Friday, 5 August 2011
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Went round the trenches at 5am with De Lisle, Going, Raikes & Nickalls; everything was very quiet. Got back at 9am to meet the Army Commander (Plumer) at our hd qrs; he came to see how we were getting on. Bayley & Handress Llloyd dined & Bayley spent the night in my dugout.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Our bde hd qrs are quite comfortable and fairly safe. They are in the Ypres ramparts. My dugout looks and smells like a cabin on board ship but is much bigger. It has 2 electric lights fitted in it. It has a light shaft which lets in a good deal of light. It only has one entrance so I trust it wont get blown in. The mess has a very fine tiled porch with hat racks and umbrella stands, and a glass door which has not been blown in yet, with quite a good mess room inside; it has not been knocked down yet though it requires a good many more feet of sandbags all round yet, to make it quite safe. We have one of the old cathedral bells stuck up on the ramparts just above us to give the gas alarm.
Monday, 1 August 2011
Just read an article in Warfare magazine that describes the Somme - incl. preceding bombardment and July 1st from the German point of view.
It is particularly relevant for CHTL and the 87th Brigade because the battlefield testimony of those troops directly opposing them was ...'The entire garrison was able to occupy battle positions and then open fire'
The article is extracted from a book by Jack Sheldon
So the 87th Brigade, one month after being decimated with 70% casualties on July 1st is moved to the quieter sector of Ypres…
This blog will continue to record the reflections of Brigadier General Lucas as his troops take up position in this other area synomnous with the suffering, bravery and loss of British forces on WW1… having already been at Gallipoli in 1915 and on the Somme in 1916.
Many thanks to the Centenary Team at the Imperial War Museum who have recognised the blog and made it one of their partnership projects.
I have some ideas for enhancing the impact of the blog, particularly with reference as to how it can be used by secondary school students in their studies in Year 9 and above. Interactive maps - Western Front and sector-specific - showing 87th Brigade activity and key events - are one of the features I'd like to create.
The Brigade took over the trenches in the left sector tonight. The SWB took over the left half and the KOSBs the right half . The Borders came up to the canal bank and the Inniskillings into the prison. Relief completed by about 12.30am.
Borrowed a car from the ASC and started off for LA Panne at 1130am with Gillon. We passed through Furnes, which has a very nice old market square and Hotel de ville. The NE end of the town has been shelled a bit but not much damaged. The Belgian army are all over this area, and are smarter than I expected. On arrival at La Panne we stopped at a house to ask the sentry the way to the British Mission (Military with Belgian Army). The house turned out to be King Albert’s, and he was there at the time. O’ Connor is with the mission and we intended to have lunch with him but Prince Algernon of Teck who is head of the mission met us at the door and asked us to lunch. O’Connor turned up later. We had a very good lunch, and borrowed their bathing kit afterwards and bathed. All along the cost there are wire entanglements along the sand and machine gun emplacements just behind, which form the defences. O’Connor showed us round the town. We started back about 3.30pm , we wanted to go through Dunkirk but were told we should be stopped without proper passes, so we went back through Furnes. Outside Furnes we were stopped by a sentry, and as we had not got a pass to travel in the Belgian area, he would not let us go through the town but made us take a detour round the E side. However we took a wrong turning and some found ourselves going through the square again.
The 88th Brigade took over the right sector of the divn line last nigh.The SWB and KOSB moved up into Ypres this evening , the SWB relieving a battn of the 71st on the canal bank and the KOSB, a battn Ypres prison and surrounding cellars.
Started off in a car for Ypres at 5.30am with Fuller and Gillon, and went round the trenches of the 71st bde which we are taking over on the night of 1st/2nd. The Bde Major 71st Bde took us round. The trenches are very bad, as the line runs along the low ground and water stands 1’6” below the surface. You have to build up breastworks which the Bosch continually knocks down. In several places he looks into the back of your trenches. We got back about 9.30am Went over to the 6th Divn hd qrs after lunch as De Lisle had a conference. Our divn hd qrs are living with the 6th Divn at present & take over from them tomorrow or the next day. Dined with Walsh at 6th Divn hd qrs Evans was there, he is GSO2 to the divn.