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The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 - 1919

Chapter XXXI

page 224

Chapter XXXI.

Belle Vue—12th October—3rd Battalion Move Forward to Spree Farm—Worst Farm—Kron Prinz Farm.

ALL battalions were now strongly reinforced. The 3rd Battalion remained at Eceke until the 11th. The Fourth Brigade was to be in Divisional Reserve for the attack of the 2nd and 3rd Brigades on the 12th October. Early on the morning of the 11th, therefore, the 3rd Battalion marched three miles in Godswaersvelde and entrained there. Detraining at Ypres, it marched to Y. Camp, one mile south of St. Jean, and there bivouaced for the night, which turned out very wet and cold.

On the 12th October, the 2nd and 3rd Brigades of the N.Z. Division attacked at 5.25 a.m. It was the Division's one failure on a large scale. It suffices to say that nothing which courage and self-sacrifice could accomplish was left undone by those brigades.

At 5.30 a.m., the 3rd Battalion had moved forward by companies in single file and taker over bivouacs in the old British and German front lines, remaining in readiness there to move forward at half-an-hour's notice. At noon, it moved forward again some two miles to the vicinity of Spree Farm, with headquarters in Capricorn Keep. There it remained that and the whole of the following day in miserably wet and cold weather, and until late in the afternoon of the 14th, when it moved forward to Worst Farm line with headquarters at Kansas House.

During the next few days, the 3rd Battalion was employed burying dead, and salvaging arms, equipment, etc. Rations were brought up to Kansas House by pack mules, only with the very greatest difficulty, on account of the heavy shell fire and the deep mud.

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Kansas Farm

Kansas Farm

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page 225

On the 17th, the 3rd Battalion made preparations to take over the line from 3rd Otago. The relief was completed by half-past ten that night, 3rd Battalion Wellington's headquarters being at Kron Prhiz Farm. The weather was now fine; but the nights cold. Enemy activity was slight, and artillery fire spasmodic. Enemy aeroplanes, however, were very active, flying very low, and firing into our trenches at dawn and dusk.