Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

3 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

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6 iCORD OF THREE f 'iONTHS'…

Rhestrau Manwl, Canlyniadau a Chanllawiau
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

6 iCORD OF THREE f 'iONTHS' WARFARE. I I I ;perate Character of the fighting.,I i LSH REGIMENT'S BRILLIANT WORK. I I ligh Praise for the Territorial I 1 Units. BRITAIN'S MAGNIFICENT ARMY. I I ,night the Press Bureau issued the rig long dispatch from Sir John 1, received on the 12th inst. It ;a period of nearly three months— j ov. 20th, the date of Sir John's is dispatch, until the first week in ry-and deals principally with the y>, fighting round La Bassee and i iy- the Field-Marshal Commanding- lief, tho Britiah Army in the Secretary of State for War, War j, London, S.W. General Headquarters, Feb. 2, 1915. rd- re the honour to forward a further on the operations of the Army nay command. the period under review the i feature was the presence of his | y the King in the held. B-is. y arrived at Headquarters on 8 and left on Dec &. .0 time when the strength and en- :e of the troops had been tried to tmost throughout the long and s battle of Ypres-Armentieres the je of his Majesty in their midst the greatest possible help and en- enient.. Majesty visited all parts of the ive area of operations and held OllS inspections of the troops be- he line of trenches. OV. 16 Lieutenant his Royal High- he Prince of Wales, K.G., Grena- uards, joined my Staff as Aide-de- Limitations of Weather. nee the date of my last report the one of the Army under my com- have been subject almost entirely limitations of weather. )ry teaches us that the course of igus in Europe, which have been y prosecuted during the months ember and January, have been innuenced by weatlier conditions, ild, however, be thorough.y under- ihroughout the country that the ecent development of armaments le latest methods of conducting o have added greatly to the difttf and drawbacks of a vigorous win- npaign. ause anything more than a waste ununition long-range artillery hre BS constant and accmate cbserva- ut this most necessary condition i? ed impossible of attainment in the ?01 continual fog and mist. ?n, mmies have noW grown accm:- to rely largely on aircraft recon- 3ce for accurate information of thé but the effective performance of •rvice is materially influenced by md weather. deadly accuracy, range, and quick- capabilitjcb of the modern rifle and ne gun require that a lire-swept lEI crossed in the shortest possible of time by attacking troops. But are detained under the enemy's fire ? difficulty of emerging from a Logged trench, and by the necessity sing over ground knee-deep in hold- ud and slush, such attacks become cally prohibitive otving to pspfts they entail. Forces Mixed Up. ring the exigencies of the ?y fighting which ended in aBt week of November, the jih and British forces had ine somewhat mixed up, ea- ?g a certain amount of dim- in matters of supply and In ing unity of command- the end of November I was f to concentrate the Army I r my command in one area, j by holding a shorter line, to 1 lish effective reserve. m ij tho beginning of December t was a considerable falling i the volume of artillery firp- r i ted against our front by the y. Beoonnaissaii.ee and re- showed that a certain nt of artillery had been lrawn. We judged that the ry in our front, with the ex- )a of one Division of the d, had disappeared. ere did not, however, appear ve been any great diminution a number of infantry holding  -renches. I Although both artillery and fire were exchanged with the .y every day, and sniping on more or less continuously ig the hours of daylight, the fcions which call tor special d or comment are couapara- Y few. ring the last week in Novem- jorne (successful minor night I ations were carried out by the Corps. the night of November 23-24 a 1 party of the 2nd Liucoln- Regiment, under Lieutenant L Impey, clea.red three or the! ly's advanced t tenches oppo- j the 25th Brigade, and ndth- without loss. Velsh Fusiliers at Work. the night of the 24th-25th J. R- Minshull Ford. 1 Welsh Fusiliers, with 15 of the Royal Engirfteers and Welsh rHsihers, success- 'Jlined and blew up a groiijr irJllS immediately in front of na-n trenches on the TOll 'Bridonx Road which haa ) used by German snipers. On the night of November 28th-27th a small party of the 2nd Scots Guards, under Lieutenant Sir E. H. W. Huise, j BarL, rushed the trenches opposite the 20 tb Brigade, and after pouring a heavy! hie into them returned with useful iu- formation as to the strength of the Ger- mans and the position of machine-guns. The trenches opposite the 25th Brigade were rushed the same night by a patrol ¡ of the 2nd Rifle Brigade, under Lieu- tenant E. Durham. On November 23rd, the 112th Regiment ¡ of the 14th German Army Corps succeeded in capturing some 800 yards of the trenches held by the Indian Corps, but ¡ the General Officer Commanding the Meerut Division organised a powerful counter-attack, which lasted throughout I the night. At daybreak on November 24th the line was entirely re-established. I Tho operation was a costly one, in- i volving many casualties, but the enemy suffered far more heavily. We captured over 100 prisoners, in- cluding three officers, as well as three machine guns and two trench mortars. On DE". 7 tho concentration of the Indian Corps was completed by die arrival of the Sirhind Brigade from Egypt. On Lle- 9 tho enemy attempted to oom- TRenoe a eti-ong a?ta?k &?&ij?t the &rd C?rps, partiomaj-ly in tront of tho tr'<mhe51 li??ld by ,he Ajg?-U and Sutherland Rish- landers and the Middic-?x Regiment. They were driven be<c k wioh heavy }oes: and did not renew the aitteanpU Oar esksual- tiea were very slight During the early days of December cecr- tain indications ■aicug1 the whole front of tho Allied lilJÆ, induced iihe French Coon- majKiene and mJ"lf to believa that thoi, ea?iny h?d withdrawn coDsid?ra?le forces i from tLe W<?'<u"n theat,' o? I Combined ,ac:¿o-n: (ho-I Arrangieinente were ai?de Trit.h t?e Oom. m?nflQi' ci' tho 8th Fn<:h Army for &u I a<tUic;k to be oemxaenoed on. morning of Doo. ill,. a Operations began at 74 akin. by a. com-I bined heavy a-rtiiloiy bombaaximent by the I two French and the 2nd Biiufch Corps. The British objectives w,-iie the Petit Bois I and the ifaedetet«<jd Spur, lying 'r«sj)ec- itdvoly to the west aaid the eoutu-wectt of the } viliago of Wytschaeta At 7.43 a.in. ih& Soya1 Scote, with great d66h. rushed forward and attaefced the I former, whilo the Goi-don Hirhia.ndoi^ at, tacied the latter plaoo The Royal Sc-oub, command-ed by Major F. J. Duneap, D.&O., in faoe of a terrible machine gim fera, cejrried the German tren- h on the west edge of the Petit Bois, oaptiuing two gutis and 53 pri- sonens, in-cJmLiiig one oSoer. The Gordon Highlanders, with great sal- lantry, advanced up the Maede'lsteed Spur, fcrsinar the eneany .to evacuate xlioir froivt trench. They were, however, losing heavily, and foiEid themselves unable to get any further. At nightfall they were obliged to fall back to their original poeitiom | Capt. C, Bodd.am- Whetham and Ldeut. W. F. R. Dobie showed splendid dash, and I with a. few mcii entered the enemy"slea.ding trenches; but they were ail either killed or captured Lieut. G. R. V. Hume-Gore aod Lieut. W. H. Paterson also diatinguished thlèmsel VElS I by their gallant leading. Although not eucceissfuJ, the ope-ration ViM most creditable to the fighting spirit of the Gordon Highlanders, most ably commanded by Maj. A. W. F. Baird, D.S.O. Artillery Skilfully Handled. i As the 32nd French Division on the left I had been unable t,o make any progress, the further advance of our infantry into the \7ytfishaete Wood was not practicable. Pouaeesion ci the western edge of the Petit Boia was, however, retained. The ground waa devoid of cover and so water-logged that a rapid advance was im- possible, the men sinking deep in the raid at every step they took. The artillery throughout the day was* very skilfully handled by the O.K.A.'a ref h ,+. '5 h D.. the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Divisions-. Major- General F. D. V. Wing, C-B.; Brigadier- General G. F. Milne, C.B., D.S.O., and Briga- dier-GreneraJ J. E. W. ileadlam, CJB., D.S.O. The casualties during the day were about 17 officers and 407 other ranks. The losses of the enemy were very considerable, large members of dead being found in the Petit Bois, and also in tho communicatr ing trenches in front of the GoTdon High- landers, in one of which a hundred were r counted by a night patrol. On this day the artillery of the 4th Divi- sion, 3rd Oorps, was used in support of the ,attack, under orders of the General Oifioer Commanding 2n.d Corps. The remainder of the 3rd Corps made demonstration' against the enemy with a j view oi preventins; him from detaching troops to the arm of operations of the 2u;i i Gorpa. From Dec. 15 to 17 the offensive oper.v tionR which were commenced on the 14th were continued, but were oouiined chiefly to artillery bombarrlraent. The infantry advance against Wyt-! sch?.ete Wood was not pr?cucab?o until thf French on our left could make some! progress to afford protection to that flank. On the 17th it was agreed that the plaza of attack as arranged should be modi tied; but I was requested to continue demon- strations along my line in order to assist and support certain French operations I which were being conducted elsewhere. Indian Corps' Task. 4. In his desire to act with energy u:pl to his instructions to demonstrate and occupy the enemy, the General Officer Commanding the Indian Corps decided to take the advantage of what appeared to him a favourable opportunity v.o launch attacks against the advanced trenches in his front on Dec. 13 ami 19. The attack of the Meerut Division on the ieft was made on the morning of the i%h with energy and determina'dcn, and was at first attended mth considerable success, the enemy's advanced trenches behig c8.pturoo. Later on, however, a counter-attack drove them back to their original position with considerable loss. The attack of the Lahore Division coin- j menced at 4.30 a.m. It was carried cut by t?o companies each of the l?t High-! land Light Infantry and the 1st Battalion. 4th Gurkha Puiflœ, of the Sirhind Brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel R. W. n, Ronald-son. This attack was completely sueeasfui, two lines of the enemy's trenches being captured with little loss. Before daylight the captured trenches were filled with as many men as they would hold. The front WB.S very re- ?bnot?d, commTmication to ?e reo? im- possible. ¡ At dayfcieak it was found that the posi- tion was practically untenable.* Both Sanks were in the air, and a supporting attack, which was late in starting, and therefore, conducted during the daylight, failed, although a tempted wich the greatest gallantry and resolution. Lieut.CoL .Ronaldson held on till dusk, when the whole of the captured trenches had to be evacuated, and the detachment feH back to its original lins. By the night of Dec. 19 nearly all the ground gained during the day had been it. From daylight on Dec. 20 the enemy commeaced a heavy fire from artillery and trench mortars on the whole front of the Indian Corps. This was followed by infantry attacks, which were in especial force against Givcm hy, and between that place and La Quinque Rue. At about 10 a.m. the enemy succeeded in driving back the Sirhind Brigade and cap- turing a considerable past of but the 57th Rifles and 9th Bhopals, north of the canal, and the Connaught Rangers, south of it, stood firm. The 15th Sikhs of the Divisional Reserve were already supporting the Sirhind Bri- gade. On the news of the retirement of the latwr being received, the 47th Silch? were also Mn t up tc; reinforce General Brunker. The 1st Manchester Regiment, 4th Suffolk Regiment, and tvro battalions of French Territorials under General Car- negy were ordered to launch a vigorous counter-attack from Pont Fixe through Givenchy to retake by a flank attack the trenches lost by the Sirhind Brigade. Orders were sent to General Carnegy to divert his attack on Givenchy Village, and to re-establish the situation there. A battalion of the 58th French Division was sent to Ann-equin in support. Manchester's Clear Enemy Out. I About 5 p.m. a gallant attack by the 1st ¡ Manchester B-egiment and one company of the 4th Suffolk Regiment ha.d captured Givenchy. and had cleared the enemy out of the two lines of trenches to the north- east To the east of the village ihe 9th Bhoprel Infantry and 57th Rifles had main- tained their positions, but the enemy were still in possession of our trenches to the north of the villaga General laacbean, with the Secun2cra.ba.,i Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles, and the 47th Silks, sent up to- support General Brunker, who at 2 p.m. directed General Macbean to move tu a position of readiness in the eeccnd line trenches from Marie northward, and to counter-attack vigourously if opportunity offered. Some considerable delfty appears to have occurred, and it was not until l a.m. on the 21ot t,bat the 47th Sikhs and the 7t.h Dra, gcon Guards under the command cf Lieut. Col. 11. A. Lempriere, D.S.O., of the Latter regiment, were launched in eount<er-a.ttRck. They reached the enemy's trenches, but were driven out by enOlade fire, their gal- lant Commander being killed. I The main attach by tho remainder of General Macbean's force, with the rem- ¡ nants of detach- ment (which had again been rallied), was finally pushed in at about 4.50 a.m., and j also failed. I In tbe northern section of the defensive line the retirement of the 2nd Battalion ?nd J Gurkha Rules. at about 10 a.m. oa th? 20th, hnd leH the Hank cf tho 1st Seaforth 1-iigh-I landers, on the extreme right of the Meerut I Division line, much exposed. This battalion hut shortly afterwards completely in the! air by the retirement of the Sirhind Bri- gade. The 55th Rifles, therefore, were ordered j to support the left of the Seaforth High- landers, to fill the gap created by the; retirement of the Gurkhas. Gurkhas Occupy Trenches. During the whole of the afternoon strenuous efforts were made -by the Sea- forth Highlanders to clear the trenches to their right and leit. The 1st Battalion, 9th Gurka Rifles, reinforced the 2nd: Gurkhas near the orchard where tha Ger- mans were in occupation of tho trenches abandoned by the latter regiment. The! Garhwal Brigade was being very heavily attacked, and their trenches and loop'? holes "eH much damaged; but the briga(io' continued to hold its front and attack, connecting with the 6th Jats on the left cf the Dehra Dun Brigade. No advance in force was made by the; enemy, but the troops were pinned to their ground by heavy artillery fire, the ?>eaforth Highlanders, especially suffering heavily. Shortly before nightfall the 2nd Royal; Highlanders on the right of the Seaforth Highlanders had succeeded in establish-! ing touch with the Sirhind Brigade; and: the continuous line (though dented near: the orchard) existed throughout the, Meernt Division. Early in the afternoon of December 20 j orders were sent to the 1st Corps, which was then in general army reserve, to send an infantry brigade to support the j Indian Corps. The 1st Brigade was ordered to Bethune, and reached t.hat place at midnight on December 20-21. Later in the day S,* I Douglas Haig was ordered to move the! whole of the 1st Division in support of the Indian Corps. | The 3rd Brigade reached Bethune be- j tween 8 on the 21st.. and on the same date tho 2nd Brigade arrived at Lacon st 1 p.m. The 1st Brigade was directed on Givenchy. via Pont Fixe, and the 3rd Brigade, through Gorre, on the trenches evacuated by the Sirhind Brigade. The 2nd Brigade was directed to support; He cl Er;gz,.de .-as dirc ,?tcx i-to s-,ipport; tie,! De?bLri I)II-I 'PI,ign-de bein:7 plaeefl at the 1 disposal ?f the Genenil C?eor Command- d?lspc.al t-f the ePr Command?l Welshmen Establish Themselves. At i p.m. the General Officer Coin-1 manding the 1st Division directed the 1st Brigade in attack from the west ofi; Givenchy in a north-easterly direction, and the 3rd Brigade from Festubert in an east-north-easterly direction, the object being to pass the position origin- ally held by us and to capture the Ger- man trenches 400 yards to the east of it. By 5 p.m. the 1st Brigade had obtained j a hold in Givenchy, and the ground south j as iar as the canal; and the 3rd Brigade! had progressed to a point half-a-milo5 vest of Festuberi. j By nightfall the 1st South Wales Bor- derers and the 2nd Welsh Regiment of the 3rd Brigade had made a lodgment in the original trench es to the nortlJ-OMit of lostubert, the 1st Gloucestershire Regi- ment continuing the line southward along the track eaet of Festubert. j Tho let Brigade had established itseLf on the east aide of Givenchy. By 3 p.m. the 3rd Brigade wa« con centra,ml at Le Touret, and was ordered to retak o the trenches v/hieh Had beeu lost by the Dehra. Dun Brigade. By 10 p.m. the support trenchep. west of the orchard had been carried, but the! original fire trenches had been so oom-1 pletely destroyed that they could not be occu pied. This operation was performed by the 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment, sup- ported by the 2nd King's Royal Rifle Corps, in reserve. Throughout thi day the unibs of the Indian Corps rendered all the assistance and support they could in view of their exhausted condition. Situation In Frosit Line. At 1 p.m. on the 22nd Sir Douglas Haig took over command from Sir James Will- cocks. The situation in the front line waje then approximately itS follows: South of the La Bassee Canal the Connaught Rangers of the Ferozopore Brigade had not been attacked. North of the canal a short length f our original line was still held rv tha fth Bhopals and the 57th Riflles of .he vazrie breads. Connecting with the latter was the 1st Brigade holding ilio tilia-a of G ivenchy and its eastern and northern approaches. On the left of the 1st Brigade was the 3rd Brigade. Touch had bean lost betnvoen the led; of the former end the right of the latter. The 3rd Brigade held a line along, and in places advanced to, the east of the l'estlmber t. Road. Its left was in communication with the right of the Meerut Division, line, where troops of the 2nd Brigade had fust relieved the iff Seaforth Highlanders. To the north, units of the 2nd Brigade held an in- dl-nte d rine ii-es t 0, 4 ?ii orc b .,a'ri-oyal ]Tig?a- dented Tine west ot the orchard, connect- ing with half of the 2nd Royal High- landers, half of the 41st Dogras, and the 1st Battalion 9th Gurkha Rifles. From this point to the north the 6th Jats and the whole of the Garhwal Brigade occu- pied th odgiqal line which they had held from the commencement of the •operation,s. The relief of most units of the southern sec lor was effected oil the night of Decem- ber 22. The Meerut Division remained under the orders of the 1st Corps, ard was not completely withdrawn until December 27 In the evening the position at Givenchy was practically and the 3rd Brigade had rc-occupied the old line of trenches. During the 23rd the enemy's activities ceased. anrlthe whol e position was re- stored to very much its original condi- tion. Praise for Indians. I In my last dispatch I had occasion to mention the prompt and ready help I re- i ceived from the Lahore Division, under the command of Major-General H. B. B. j Watkis, C.B., which was thrown into i action immediately on arrival, when the British Forces were very hoxd pressed] during the Battle of Ypres—Armentieres. The Indian troops have fought with j tha utmost steadfastness and gallantry ) whenever they have been called upon. t Weather conditions were abnormally I bad, the snow and floods precluding any I active operation; during the first three weeks of January. 9 At 7.30 a.m. on January 25th the enemy began to shell Bethune, and at 8 a strong hostile infantry attack de- valóped south of the caned, preceded by a heavy bombardment of artillery, minen- werfexs, and, possibly, the explosion of mines, though the ktter is doubtful. The British line south cf tILe canal Xorm&d a pronounced L"OM the oanoi on the left, theii.36 running forward towards the railway triangle oILU() baok to the ri-adn La. Baesee—Bethune Road, wheri) it joined the French. Thie line was occupied by hah" a battalion of tho 800<8 Guard- and half a battalion of The, Coldstream Guards, of the lBt. Infantry Brig-ade. The trenches in the salient were blown in almost at'once, and the enemy's et-tack penetrated thio line. Our troops retired to a partially prepared second line, running approximately due north and south from the canal to the road, j gome 5(!) yea-d-3 west of the railway triangle. ( Thin second line had to be strengthened by tbe construction ox a keep hallway between the canal and the road. Here the other two half battalions of the above-mentioned regiments were in fcuppor.s. London Scottish in Action, These suppo:t* held up tne enemy, wrto, however, managed to establish himself in the brick stacks and sonte COmIDlUlÍ<ati<m trenched between the keep, the road, and. Lhe canal end even beyond and west of the keep on either side of it. The London Scottish bad in the mean- time been sent up in support, and counter-attack wa with the 1st. Rcyal Hl¡:hla.ndii..r¡;ve.n f tho Cameron Highlanders, and the 2nd Eoyal Rifle Corps, the latter regiment bavin? been cent forward from the The counter-attack wae delayed in order i to synchronise with a counter-attack north of the canal which was arranged for 1 ILID. At 1 p.m. these troops moved forward, their flanks making good progress near the read and the canal, but their centre tveing? ?cYd up. T? 2nd Royal Sn?seY 13-e-n.g iip. 117!ie 2ntcl noy-al Sn?;?_:e% the afternoon, toO reinforce. The result was that the Germans were driven back far eaoug-h to enable a somewhat broken lir-s to be taken up, running from the cul- vert on the railway, aimwt duo couth to the keep, and tbanoe south-east to the main road. The French left na-ir the road had alao been attacked, and driven back & littio. but no", to so grcat an exwnt as the British right. Coiiseyuentiy the French left was in advance of the British right, and exposed to a, possible flank attack from the .north. Tho Germans did not, however, persevere further in their attack The above-menticnad line was etrongth- ened during the night, and tha 1st Guarda Brigade, which had suffered severely, was wthdi-awn into reserve and replaced by tho 2nd infantry Brigade. Hostile attack broken. "While this was taking place another and equally severe- attack was delivered north of the canal against the village cf Givenchy. At 8.15 a-za, after a heavy artillery bom- bardment with high explosive shells, the enemy's infantry advanced under the eCec- tive fire of our artillery, which, however, was hampered by the constant interruption of telephonic communication between the observers and batteries, hevertheleos, our artillery fire, combined with t)tat of the in- fantry in the fire tranches, had the effect of driving the enemy from its original direction of advance, with the result that his troops crowded together on the north- cast corner of the village and broke through into the centre of the village as fjj aa the keep, which had been previously put in a state of defence. The G-ermans had lost heavily, and a well-timed local counter-attack, delivered by the reserves of the 2nd IVelsh Begimeat and 1st South Wales Borderers, and by a company of the 1st Royal Highlanders (lent by tLe 1st Brigade as a working party—this company was at work on the keep at the time), was completely success- ful, with the result that after about an hour's fc-trert fighting all who had broken inio the village were either captured or killed, and the original line round the j j vilage was re-esta,hli-shed by ncon. J South of the village, however, and close to the canal, the right of the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers fell back in conforxvuty with the troops south of the canal; but j after d^rk that regiment moved forward and occupied the old line. During the course of the attack on Givenchv the enemy made five assaults on the salient at: the north-east of the vil- lage about French Farm, but was repulsed i every time with heavy loes. i The La Bassse Batils. 6. On. the morning of Jan. 25 attacks were made on the right of the 1st Corps, south of the canal in the neighbourhood of La Basse«. The enemy Cpart of the 14th G°rm«n Corps), after a severe shelling, made a violent, attack with scaling ladders on the keep, ako to the north and south, of it. In the keep and on the north side tLe Sussex Regiment held the enemy oiL 1n- i flicting on him serious losses. On itie south side the hostile infantry succeeded in reaching the Northampton-shire Regi- men tJs trenches; but were immediately counter-attacked and all killed. Our alr- tillery co-operated well v.iUi the infantry Ln repelling the attack. In this action our casualties were n-j considerable, but the enemy lost severalv, of his killed alone tedjjg left, in front of our position. 7. On Feb. 1 a iin piece .of work was carried out by the 4th Brigade in the neighbourhood of Cuinchy. Som cf the 2nd Coldstream Guards were driven from their trenches at 2.30 a.m., but made a stand some twent-y yards east of thv-ca in a position which they held till A counter-attack, launched at 3.15 a.m. by one company of the Irish Guards and half a company of the 2nd Coldstream Guards, proved unsuccessful, owing to heavy rifle tire from the east and south. At 10.5 a.m., acting under orders of the 1st Division, a heavy boihbardmeri* was opened on the lost ground for ten minutes; and this was followed immediately by an assault by about 50 men of the 2nd Cold- stream Guards with bayonets, led by Capt. A. Leigh Bennett, followed by 30 men of the Irish Guard-s, led by Second-Lieuten- ant F. F. Graham, also with bayonets. These were fcllowed by a party of Royal Engineers ^ith sand bags and wire. All the ground which had been lost was brilliantly Coldstream! Guards also taking another German trench j and capturing two machine guns. Gunners' Absolute Precision. Thirty-two prieoners fell into our haD--Is. The Geatral Officer Co-nun ending let Division describes the preparation by tho ) artillery as splendid, the high explosive shells dropping in th* exact cpot. with ab- eolute precision." In forwarding his report on this en- 4' gagement, the General Officer Command-1 ing First Army writes as follows: ) Special credit is due— (i) To Major-General Haking, Com- manding 1st Division, for the prompt i manner in which he arranged this counter-attack and for the general pla n of action, which was crowned with mcoess. (ii) To the General Officer Command- ing the 4th Brigade (Lord Cavan) for the thorough manner in which he carried out the orders of the General Officer Commanding the Division. (iii) To the regimental ofifcers, non- commissioned officers, and men of the 2nd Coldstream Guards and Triph Guards, who, with indomitable pluck, stormed two sets of barricades, cap- ttured three German trenches, two | machine guns, and killed or made pri- toners many of the enemy. The Flying Corps. 8. During the period under report the RDal Flying CArps bas again per- | formed splendid service. Although the weather was almost uni- j formly bad and the machines suffered from the constant exposure, there have bean only thirteen days on which no actual reconnaissance has been effected. j Approximately, or.e hundred t'houeand miles have been fi^vn. In adclition to the daily and constant work cf reconnaissance and co-operation I with the artillery, anum ber of aerial combats have been fought, raids carried out, dc-traiuments harassed, parks and petrol depots bombed, etc. Various succesful bomb-dropping raids; have been carried out, usually against1 the enemy's aircraft, material. The prin- ciple of attacking hostile aircraft when- ever and wherever seen (unless highly important information is being de- livered) has been adhered to, and has re- sulted in the moral fact that enemY" machines invariably beat immediate re- trl':l t w 11{>n cha&0d. Five German aeroplanes re I?nown to have been brought to the ground, and it would appear probable that others, though they have managed to reach i their own lines, have done so in a con- siderably damaged condition. What Terr?orisjs Have AeccmpH?hcd. 9. In my dispatch of Nov. 20, 1914, I referred to the reinforcements of Terri- torial troops which I had received, and I mentioned several units which had ai-, ready been employed in tne fighting line.! In the positions which I held for some years before the outbreak of this war I was brought into close contact with the Territorial Force, and I found every reason to hope and believe that, when the hour of trial arrived, they would justify' every hope and trust which was placed ill them. The Lords-Lieutenants of Counties and the Associations which worked under them bestowed a vast amount of labour and energy on the organisation of the | Territorial Force; and I trust it may be some recompense to them to know that I, and the principal commanders serving under me, consider that the Territorial Force has far more than justified the most j sanguine hopes that any of us ventured to | entertain of their vajue and use in-the ir-, o i d. Commanders of cavalry divisions are unstinted in the praise of the manner in which the Yeomanry regiments at- tached to their brigades have done their I duty, both in and out of action. The ser- | vice of divisional cavalry is now almost entirely performed by Yeomanry, and < divisional commanders report that they are every efficient. Army corps commanders are lend in their praise of the Territorial battalions which form part nearly all the bri- gades at the front in the first line, and more that one of them have told me that these battalions are fast approaching if they have not already reached—the etan- dard of efficiency of Regular infantry. Officers' Training Corps. Icers r31r!Jnr¡ orps. I wish to add a word about tlie Officers' Training Corps. The presence of the Artistes' Rifles (28th Battalion, the Lon- don Regiment) with the Army in France enabled me also to test the value of this organisation. Having had some experience in peace of the working of the Officers'' Training Corps, I determined to turn the Artists' Rifles (which formed part of the Officers' Training Corps in peacki time) to its legiti- mate use. I therefore established tb« battalion as a Training Corps for Officers in the field. j The cadets passed through a course, j which includes some thoroughly prao tical traiiyiig, as all cadets do a tour of 48 hours in the trenches, and afterwards write a report on "Eat they see and notice. They also visit an observation post of a battery or group of batteries, and spend some hours there. A Commandant has been s^pofnfed, and he arranges and supervises the work, set8 schemes for practice, administers the Fchool, delivers lectures, and reports on the candid^tos. The cadets are instructed in all branches of military training suitable for platoon commanders. Machine-gun tactics, a knowledge of which is so necessary for all junior oiffcers, is a special feature of the course cf instruction. When first started tLe school was able to turn out officers at the rate of 75 a month. This has since been increased to lGH. Reports received from Divisional and Army Corps Commanders on officers who hare >er-n trained at the school are most satisfactory. A Magnificent Army. 10, Since the late of my last report 1 have been able to make a *;losa personal inspection or all the units in the com- mand. I was most fiavourably impressed by all I saw. The troops composing the. Army in Franco have, been subjected to as severe1 a trial as it is pr ? ibie to impose upon any body of men. The desperate fight- ing described in r, 7 last dispatch had hardly been brought to a conclusion when they were called upon to iace the rigours and hardships of a winter campaign. Frost and snow have alternated with periods of continuous tain. The men have been called upon to stand for many hoars together almost up to their waists in bitterly cold water, only separated by one or two hundred yards from a most vigilant enemy. Although every measure which science and medical knowledge u suggest to mitigate these hardships was employrd, the sufferings of the men have been great. In spite of all this they presented, at j the inspections to whicii I have referred, a rncit soldier-like, splendid, though somewhat war-worn, appearance. Their spirit remains high and c-antident. their general health is escallunt, and their j condition most satisfactory. I regard it as moei unfortunate tb-ati, drcnmoiancas have prevented any ac- ■ count of s?By splendid in?ta.nc&s of courage =d eo?ur&nce, in the fact of al-1 st unper?U?ied hardship and i&tigTie in war, coming ivguiaxiy to the kiw-w- kdg* of the public. j :a.tn.fots .au a.TTiv?d from Eng land witu nmwkabgo promptitude ",d i ) rapidity. Th<y have been speedily drafted into the ranks, and most of the units I inspected were nearly complete when I saw them. In appearance ard quality the drafts sent out have exceeded my most sangnine expectations, and I consider the Army in France is much indebted to the Adjutant-General's Department at the War Ofii^e for the efficient manner in which its requirements have beea met in. this most essential respect. Good Work in the Trenches. With regard to these inspections I may mention in particular the fine appearance presented by the 27th and 2-Sth Divisions, composed principally of battalions which had come from India. Included in tho former division was the Princess lat- ricia's Royal Canadian Regiment. Tbey are a magnificent set of men, and h&ve since done excellent work in the trenchea It was some three weeks after the events recorded in paragraph 4 that I made my inspection of the Indian Corps. rnde-r Sir James Willcocks. The ap- pearance they presented was most satis- factory, and fully confirmed my first opicion that the Indian troops only re- quired rest, and a little acclimatising, to hring oat all their line inherent fight- ing qualities. I saw the whole of the Indian Cavalry Corps, under Lreut.-General Rimington, on a mounted parade soon fter thtir arrival. They are a magnificent t; dy of cavalry, and will, I ieel sure, give the best possible account of themselves when called upon.. In the meantime, at their own parti- cular request, they have taken their torn in the trenches and performed z±i st use- ful and valuable service. Unostentatious Chaplains. 11. The lit. Rev. Bishop Taylor Smith, C.V.G., D-D., Chaplain-General to the Forces, arrived at my Headquarters on Jan. 6, on a tour of inspection throughout the command. Th3 Cardinal Archbishop of Westmins- ter has also visited most of the Irieh regiments at the front and the principal centros on the line of communications. In a quiet and unostentatious manner the chaplains ox all denominations have worked with d-evotion and energy in their respective spheres. The number with the forces in the field at the commencement of the war was com- paratively small, but towards the end of lust year the Rev. J. M. Simms, D.D., K.H.C., Principal Chaplain, assisted by his secretary, the Rev. W. Drury, re- organised the branch, and placed the j spiritual welfare of the soldier ou a more satisfactory footing. It is hoped that the further ii;creaeQ of personnel may be iound possible. I cannot s- too highly of the devoted manner in which all chaplains, whether with the troops in the trenches, or in attendance on. the sick and wounded in casualty clearing static ins and hospitals on the Line of cciaraunicariorts, hav« worked throughout the campaign. I The Medical Branch. II Since tbo commencement of ha-tjlitiea the work of the Royal Army Medical i Corps has been carried our with untiring zeal, skill, and devotion. Whether at the front under- conditions such as obtained during the fighting on the Aisne, when I casualties were heavy and accommodation tor their reception had to bo improvised, j or on the line of communications, where an average of some 11,000 patients have been daily under treatment, the organisa- tion. of the medical services has alwaya of tl.Le demands made upon L? The careful system of sanitation mtro- duced into th^ Army has, wIth the as&i?c- auc-a of other measures, kopt the troops free from any epidemic, in support of which it is to be noticed thaL since the commencement of the war some ot'O cases j only of enteric have occurred. The organisation for the nrst tim im war of motor ambulance convoys is dua to the initiative and organising powers of Surgeon-General T. J. O'Donnell, D.P.O., ably assisted by Ma?or P. Evans, Royal Annv ??dnal Cjrps. Two of these convoys, composed entirely of Red Cross Society personnel, have ctone excellent work under the superintendence of regular medical officers. Twelve hospital trains ply between the front and the various bases. I have visited several of the trains when halted in stations, and have found them con- ducted with great comfort and efifciency. During the more recent phase of the campaign the creation of rest depots at the front ha-s matHnVy reduced the vrasta'^e &f n?n to t?e Line of communi- MtioTLR. gir? tbe fatter p"'? of Ocrooor, 13?? the whole of th,?i &rra-z,,inp-nf3 have bean in the handa of Saryeon- General Sir A. T. Sloggett C.M.G.. under whom Pnrgeon-Gen<»r*i T. P. Woodhouse and Burgeon-General T. J. O'Donnell have b!I responsible tor the organisation on the line of Gommuipca* tioixs and at the front respectively. The Royal Engineers. 1.2. The exceptional and peculiar con- I d:itiOD.$ brought about by tne weathet? have caused large demands to be made upon the resources and skill of the Royal Engineers. I Every kind of expedient has had to he thought out and adopted to keep the lines of trenches and defence work. eJToo- the. The Royal Engineers have shown them- selves as capable of overcoming the ravages caused by-violent rain and flood* as thT have been throughout in neutralis- ing the effect of the enemy's arHUcty. In this connection I wish particularly to mention be excellent services per- formed by my Chief Engineer, Brigadier- General G. H. Fowke, who has been in4 defatigable in supervising ail such work. ?r- ? suc,- wor k Bis ingenuity and skill have been most valuable in the local construction ci the various expedients which experience has shown to be necessary in prolonged trench, warfare. 13. I have no reason to modify in any material degree my views of tha general military situation, as expressed in my dispatch of November 20th, 1314. 14. I have once more gratefully to acknowledge the valuable help and cup- port I have received throughout this period from General Foch, General IKUrbal, and General MaudTiuy of the French Army. I have the honour to be. Your Lordship's most obedient Servant, i. D. P. French, Field-Marshal. Commandirg-in-Chief. The British Army in the Field.

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