October 1916

Wherever Tatler Trench was at the beginning of October 1916 in relation to the front line, this was where 11th DLI had its headquarters. The first week or so was a continuation of trench work, at night, under fire, with the added danger of gas shells. The slow attrition continued, wearing the men down until the 9th, when the battalion pulled back to Waterlot Farm and on to rest, first at Meaulte and then at Treux. Ten days later, they were back at The Citadel, a massive encampment behind the lines near Bray-sur-Somme. This was their base, from which they sent out work parties, mostly on roads, railways, mining, building huts. It was a miserable month – changeable weather, frost, rain, cold, wind – the men were wet through after work, with the camp thick with mud. Corporal Thomas Bashforth found himself promoted to Sergeant, taking the place of Sergeant Hodges in B Company. Well done grandad!

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