The Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment


Unvielling Beds Herts War Memorial at Bedford   Unvielling Beds Herts War Memorial at Bedford

Unveiling of the

Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire

Regimental War Memorial

at Bedford



Pictures from collection of photographs

The Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regt

(2nd Battalion)

Kamptee, C.P.


Photos by Shalom, Jubbulpore


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First World War History

When the Great War broke out the 1st Battalion landed at Le Havre on August 16th, and was soon after engaged in a series of battles at Mons, Le Cateau, The Marne, Aisne, La Bassee, Messines und at Ypres where, in November, 1914, it met the remnants of the 2nd Battalion, reduced from 1100 men to a weak company, and clinging on to hastily-dug trenches, but still presenting a firm front to the foe. Neuve Chapelle, Hill 60 the first gas attack at Ypres, Festubert, Loos, then came welcome reinforcements in the shape of New Army Battalion The fierce Somme fighting in 1916 was participated in by the 1st, 2nrl, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions. The 5th Battalion was at Gallipoli landing, and later in the Palestine fighting. Various Battalions of the Regiment worthily upheld its great traditions at Vimy Ridge and Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres, Hindenbnrg Line, St. Quentin 1915, Nieppe Forest, and finally. the great, final effort in 1918, when the Germans were completely defeated in a series of battles. The list of dead, amounting to 337 officers and 6065 N. C. Os. and men, gives pause to think of many deeds of heroism unseen and unrecorded. Eight V. Cs. were won in the Regiment Major Foss, D. S. 0., 2nd Battalion, was awarded the Victoria Cross for a splendid attack on a strong point in the battle of Neuve Chapelle. Private E. Warner died a hero's death, but won the Cross at Hill 60, by holding on to a trench filled with poison gas. Lieut. T. E. Adlam, 7th Battalion, although twice wounded, led a desperate attack that won the village of Thiepval, after many attacks has failed, and was awarded the Cross. Private C. Cox, 7th Battalion, was awarded the Cross for courageously rescuing wounded men under fire at Achietle-Grande. Lieut.-Colonel J. S. Collings- Wells, 4th Battalion, after winning the D. S. O., won the Victoria Cross, but lost his life in a series of gallant actions in stemming the last great, German attack at, Albert. Lieut. J. W. Hedges won the Cross in the final British advance. while serving with the 6t. Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, and Private S Needham, 5th Battalion, was awarded the Victoria Cross for some brilliant patrol work in Palestine, Captain A. A. Burt. 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment, was the second Territorial to win the Victoria Cross, which was awardedd him in 1915 foran act of great bravery; and Leiut. F. E. Young, of the same battalion, was awarded the Cross carrying on a four-hours hand-to-hand fight in which, after capturing a series of machine-gun posts, he was finally killed.

In August 1919, the regimental title was changed to the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, so as to create a closer bond between the Regiment and the two counties which kept its ranks filled during the war.

The book consists of a hard cover, a two sided printed history of the regiment, from which the above extract is taken, and 11 pages of photographs. These include the regimental trophies, the above pictures of the war memorial, a picture of Fort Sitabuldi, Nagpur, and "Trooping the Colour" Malplaquet Day 11th September, 1923. There are also comprehensive coverage of the officers and men (no names, and various sports teams) but that the picture of "B" Company has been removed.

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September 2014   Page Created