By Anon.,Alan H. Maude
this is often the tale of the second London department, which used to be numbered forty seven in could 1915 whilst the TF divisions have been allotted numbers. The background of the 56th (1st London) department has already been reprinted via N & M Press. The forty seventh left for France in March 1915, the second one TF department to reach there. 1915 used to be a hectic yr for the department. In could it was once within the Battles of Aubers Ridge and Festubert and in September/October it was once at bathrooms and the Hohenzollern Redoubt affliction a few 4,200 casualties in all. the 1st months of 1916 have been spent in reserve and within the Vimy region, battling amid the craters, combating which fee the department 2,100 killed, wounded and lacking. In August the department moved south to the Somme. It captured excessive wooden on 15 September, through the conflict of Flers-Courcelette, an motion within which it skilled the fiercest scuffling with within the complete of its carrier at the Western entrance. The divisional heritage documents that during 4 days it suffered 4,500 casualties, greater than within the 4 battles of 1915 mixed. regardless of the good fortune the GOC, Major-General C. Barter, was once brushed off and despatched domestic weeks later, charged with ‘wanton waste of men.’ He was once for that reason exonerated and knighted, even though his calls for for an legitimate enquiry have been refused. One can't aid feeling that the person who must have long past was once the corps commander, Pulteney. The lately restored divisional memorial is at the fringe of the wooden, beside the Martinpuich-Longueval highway, and at the different facet of the line is the London Cemetery, named after the department. In October the department left the Somme and went north to the Ypres salient the place it remained for nearly a 12 months, as a rule within the zone of the Bluff and Hill 60. the main conflict within which it took half in this interval was once at Messines, in June, the place it was once one of many attacking divisions following the explosion of the mines alongside Messines Ridge. In September the department left the Salient and moved right down to the Gavrelle-Oppy entrance, relieving the 63rd (RN) department. They have been now in Horne’s First military. After a remain of purely months the department moved back, all the way down to Byng’s 3rd military the place it used to be in motion within the defence of Bourlon wooden through the Cambrai conflict, recording the 3rd maximum casualty record of the entire divisions concerned - 3,357. while the Germans introduced their offensive in March 1918 the forty seventh department was once within the line within the Flesquieres salient, in V Corps, at the severe correct of 3rd military. Over the following six days the department carried out a scuffling with withdrawal until eventually, on 26 March it crossed the Ancre the place the enemy enhance was once delivered to a halt. paradoxically, the division’s line of retreat had taken it via excessive wooden which it had captured at nice rate eighteen months previous. within the ultimate increase to victory the department, now in Fourth military, retraced its steps throughout the Somme battlefield until, in October it got here lower than command 5th military within the operations in Artois. virtually its ultimate act was once to make the authentic access into Lille on 28 October, led via the military Commander, basic Birdwood, whereas the bands performed and the crowds cheered. it is a strong background, with extra photographs and illustrations than the other and extremely sturdy maps. there are many appendices supplying details on various matters: Order of conflict and adjustments; entire lists of Commanders and Staffs in addition to COs of infantry, artillery, engineer, clinical devices and divisional educate and all their adjustments; checklist of honours and awards together with VCs; short ancient notes at the devices that served within the department; the divisional leisure troupe ‘The Follies’ and extra besides.