Top brass tribute to Bedfords

Tributes to the Bedfordshire and Cheshire Regiments, both of which had suffered heavy casualties since the early days of the war, were paid in a letter to commanding officers from the general officer commanding their brigade.

With the 1st Bedfords and 1st Cheshires having a few days rest, the Brigadier expressed his deep appreciation of their work in the trenches.

"After 15 days of unremitting hardship and danger, they have come out with flying colours and done immense credit not only to their regiments but to the brigade and also to the Army in general," he wrote.

"Only eye-witnesses could appreciate the dogged courage with which the battalions have faced not only the enemy at close range, but have sat tight under shell fire and borne every sort of hardship - cold, wet, mud, serious losses, exhaustion, nerve strain, and insufficient clothing - without a murmur.

"There is only one word to qualify the conduct of both officers and men - it has been magnificent, and the Brigadier is proud of having had the honour to command them.

"In conclusion, the Brigadier wishes to thank all for their devotion, and trusts that by holding the line a little longer the enemy will be in full retreat, the whole of the British Army at his heels."

[The Luton News, December 10th, 1914]