Sheldon Gledstanes War Diary

War Diary – 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

5 May 1915 At a little after 8 a.m. enemy attacked with asphyxiating gas laid on from two points opposite our trenches. Battn stuck to its trenches, though a few men killed by gas, & all were badly affected. Troops on right, however, were driven out of trenches & enemy captured Hill 60 & trenches on our immediate right. Our left trenches were then attacked but drove back enemy: our right trenches were attacked all day with bombs, rifles & machine guns. Desperate fight all day enemy & selves in same trench, both sides using hand grenades fiercely. Enemy eventually worked round our right flank & enfiladed our right, but men gallantly maintained their position. A Battery of our own artillery spent the whole day firing into our own right trenches, causing many casualties but in spite of everything right trenches held out. Lt Whittemore [Frederick John WHITTEMORE, MC] alone claims over 50 Germans to his own rifle, & he was seen by Artillery observing officer to shoot seven Germans in a couple of minutes. Our casualties in right trenches were heavy. Lt Hopkins [Eric Arthur HOPKINS] killed, Capt Gledstanes [Sheldon Arthur GLEDSTANES; died of wounds 9th May] & Lt Whittemore [Frederick John WHITTEMORE, MC] wounded. Attack made by 13th Inf.Bde to recapture Hill 60 & re establish line not successful.

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