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Thanks van Kerch. the latest developments thanks to Bill.

Part IV

OPERATION ORDER No.140 1st. Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Map Ref.36.a. N.E. 1/20,000. April 26th. 1918

1. Battalion will be relieved on the night of the 26th/27th. as under: - Right Coy. "A". From K.21.a.15.05. to Road K.21.a.80.90. exclusive, to be relieved by a Coy. of the D.C.L.I. Centre Coy. "C". From Road K.21.a.80.90. inclusive to Canal at K.15.d.2.8. by a Coy. of the K.O.S.B. "D" Coy. Left Coy. "D" Coy. From Canal to corner of enclosure K.15.b.1.9. by a Coy. of the K.O.S.B. "B" Coy. Support Coy. "B". at K.15.c. central will be relieved by a Coy. of the K.O.S.B. ("A" Coy.) 2/Lieut. V.E.Farr will hand over all these trenches to this Coy. of K.O.S.B. They will not relieve the two platoons of "B" Coy. in Front of LES LAURIES [sic].

2. RECONNAISANCE. One Officer per Coy. and one N.C.O. per platoon of D.C.L.I. and K.O.S.B. will report at Battalion Headquarters at 8.30 p.m. whence they will be guided to their respective Coy Fronts, and stay there the night 26/27th.

3. GUIDES. on scale of One O.R. per platoon, and one O.R. for H.Q. (Coy) will meet relieving Units at Bn. H.Q. (Faggot Stack) at 8.45 p.m. on the 27th. inst. Guides will report to the Intelligence Officer. They will each be in possession of a slip of paper shewing which platoon and Coy. of relieving Unit they are to guide. Two guides from 2/Lieut. Farr's platoon "B" Coy. will be sufficient for support Coy.

4. ALL WORK in progress and proposed, all trench stores, S.O.S. rockets, V.P.A., etc. will be handed over, also tools. The two extra bandoliers per man will be collected in platoon or section dumps and kept dry and handed over. Lists of all trench stores etc., to be handed over will be sent to Battalion Headquarters by daybreak 27/4/18 by runner.

5. The greatest care must be taken in handing over forward posts, so that no ground is lost.

6. On completion of relief Coy's. will withdraw by complete platoons to bivouacs at J.20.b. Q.M. will arrange for one guide per platoon and one for Coy. H.Q., and two for Battalion Headquarters to be at Battalion Headquarters by 10.30 p.m. to guide Coy's. back to bivouacs.

7. T.O. will arrange for limbers to collect spare Lewis Gun Magazines at Bn. H.Q. also Lewis Guns and magazines of Coy's. Sgt. Faulder will supervise loading.

8. RELIEF COMPLETE will be reported by wire using following code message: - "BARBEDWIRE". O.C. Coy's. will also report at Bn. H.Q. on their way out.

[Headq]uarters, 15th. Infantry Brigade

The enemy attacked our right coy. this morning at about [tear in document] a.m. behind a heavy barrage. About 200 enemy advanced to within [tear in document] yards under cover of their barrage and the mist. Our M.G., L.G. and [tear in document] fire broke up the attack. The S.O.S. was not sent up on our front. It is reported that we are still in touch with the 12th. [Glouc]ester Regt. The Coy. has had about 15 casualties, caused by shell fire. [tear in document] W.W.White, Commanding this Coy. front line has been wounded. [Ti]me - 7.48 a.m. [27]/4/18.

To PILLOW. The following is a continuation of report about the enemy counter attack in the early morning of the 27th. April 1918: -

The barrage was put down chiefly on our part of the line, running through enclosure and going up thence to the 12th. Gloucesters. There is no doubt that the enemy suffered considerable casualties. Opposite the centre of our line, some of the enemy were seen to throw away their arms and equipment, and turn tail. Our Lewis Gun on the right, which was at K.21.a.05.15, was enabled to enfilade the attack, and greatly assisted. Touch was maintained during the action with the 12th. Gloucesters. Our patrols which were out on the night of the 27th. to cover the relief, report finding number of enemy dead. 28/4/18.

And what the regimental chronic from IR 49 says about 25 April 1918:

April 25th, at 10:30 (German time) drum fire started on the whole regimental area of responsibility. Soon the green star shells were fired to request artillery barrage. The enemy attacked. The left wing of 6./49 was forced back.

26 April 1918:

The positions in the forefront at I.Bn and II.Bn/49 were lost as well. The reserve companies from III.Bn were brought forward immediately. A further Bn from IR 14 was allocated (to IR 49). In the evening the old positions were all restored. The forefront to include the Vert Bois were recaptured.

27 April 1918:

In combination with IR 140 the regiment conducted the raids "Helene" against Vert Bois and furthermore an own raid "Vergeltung" against the houses 200m s/e of Les Lauriers (comment: this is indeed "Bedford Farm").Commander of the raid "Helene" was Lt.d.R. Freyer, commander of "Vergeltung" was Lt.d.R. Marienfeld (comment: Lt Marienfeld was Grandfather's CO, he also wrote the 3 May letter of condolence to Grandmother as seen here)

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I followed Granfathers thread when i first came to the forum and i have just decided to go back to the start again maybe tonight for a refresher.john

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Go back in time John!

This is a turn to the left from same positon as last picture. Vert Bois in the distance (seems much farther away, but actually it is only at 1000m distance)

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I began reading this thread this morning and I've just finished. I got hooked so much I couldn't stop, even to have lunch. What a tremendously inspirational story, told so well in words and pictures. Without a doubt this story transcends all past differences! Thank you!

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I too have returned to this thread after a long absence. It's good to read Egbert, keep up the good work.

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I'm new here so I've only just read some of this thread. Most of the time I was reading through moist eyes. What a fantastic piece of social history.

Thank you so much for sharing. I will pass the story on to anyone I think will want to read it.

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Egbert

I have not read all of this but it is very touching to have read about what you have from your grandfather. My grandfather was in the 5th div signal coy and it was they who were responsible when you grandfather died. I was fortunate that my did survive but he would never talk about the war.

With regard to your fathers rank if it was never established how to relate to translating is it possible what is termed a quartermasters comission in england which is where a soldier is promoted through the ranks and becomes an officer generally becoming a captain due to his age and experience.

With that fine chain and cord could it have been used to attach through a button hole on jacket lapel for holging a monocle.

I hope to read the rest in due course Regards Mike :poppy:

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...
Guest jonathantaylormusic

Hi Egbert! I am the guy who wrote the song about this thread in 2009. Sorry but I had to re-register to reply here and have asked others to post to you as I couldn't. Now that I can post again you'll probably get post from others about this so sorry to all in advance and thank you for your help and time.

Anyway, I have started a YouTube channel this year and am slowly getting around to making some vids for some of my songs, Eene Meene Miste being one of them. This was said at the time:

'When I saw a song had been written about the contents of Great Grandfather's box my initial reaction was - how could it possibly be done, and with a list too. Well, I think it's been done in a very clever way, and I really enjoyed it! It left me humming... CongraItulations Jonathan.'

I hope you still feel the same and I won't say enjoy the video but will shall we say approve of it? If the link below doesn't work then just Google search 'Jonathan Taylor Meene Meene Mister'

Thank you my friend, JT

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Jonathan, nice video with the chess game, with both opposing figures just marionettes of the big guys pulling the real strings.

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New discovery!

This picture from my archive shows Gottfried's sons with their uncle Erich. Erich was Gottfried's brother in law, serving the same regiment, but taken prisoner in France 1917. After the war he supported my Grandmother raising the two sons. Here he is seen with his two cousins in front of a house, late 1920s.

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Today I visited a cousin on the island of Sylt and guess what hung at the wall in her house? A painting of the house with exactly the same lime tree the 3 were sitting under in the 20s. So here is the collage of both pictures.

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I own 5 original PoW letters from my Granduncle ranging from 24.12.1917 until February 1920 from France, all censored from French officials. Overall tone is pretty depressing. No indication so far when he was released back home.

...”1.February 1919, Dear sister and boys!

This joyful postcard shall serve as my last greetings from France. We will be released in 14 days. I decided not to write another time from here, hope to see you very soon and last best wishes from Erich!"

Sadly Erich was not released, as I possess another letter dated Dec 7th 1919

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And this is what I discovered today. Erich's grave on the island of Sylt. R.I.P. and thanks for taking care of Gottfried's two sons.

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  • 1 month later...

I am very grateful that I had the chance to visit the birth-house of my Grandfather in Groß Börnecke today. It was strange to move around where he actually walked by himself before joining the Imperial Army.

picture dated before WW1

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Today

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This picture, taken from the doorsteps of his birth-house shows the (former) opposite pub (blue bldg.), where Grandfather probably had to buy the pints for his father......a small village where even today time does not count

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Also, I visited first time in person, the local Groß Börnecke memorial to the fallen of WW!. I saw pictures before from the memorial but due to the size of the oak tree never saw the complete structure. I was amazed to find such a complex, elaborate architecture in this small village

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