21 May 1915

Extract from the official war diary of the 2nd Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

HERZEELE

In billets.  Lieut. E. J. Groves and draft of 93 other ranks arrived.

11am Battalion together with the other units of the 84th Brigade were assembled in the Market Square under the Brigade Commander Brig. Genl. L. J. Bols C. B. D.S.O. and were inspected by the Commander in Chief Field Marshal Sir John French. G.C.B. &c.

The C. in C. addressing the Brigade said –

“I have come here today to see you & to express to every officer, N. C. O. and man my personal thanks for and appreciation of the splendid work you have performed in what will probably be known as the second battle of Ypres, your magnificent fighting qualities and bravery.

Though your past records are splendid they have never excelled the truly wonderful spirit you have manifested during the recent heavy fighting against vastly superior numbers.  You have sustained very considerable losses, I am sorry to say, but your achievements have been great.  During those trying days when the enemy endeavoured in vain to break through your lines in order to reach the coast the eyes of the world were on you.  Had you not possessed the undaunted courage which you then exhibited in repelling him and he had got through it is difficult to say what might not have happened.  Italy, then watching the trend of events, has now joined the allied forces. 

Again I thank you for your self sacrificing devotion to duty and I trust the nation will recognise it as I do.”

 

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