Page 102 - The-Devonshire-Regiment-1914-1918

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)Iarch.
1<)15
2nd Battn.
74 THE
DEVO~SHlRE
REGIMENT,
1914-1918
were relieved by a battal ion of the 25th Brigade,
and went back to billets at Pont du Hem. Compared
with some units in its Division they had not lost very
heavily, but 10 officers and 274 other ranks was quite
a long enongh casualty list, and the battalion was the
poorer for the loss of some of its finest officers and
X.C.O.'s . Still, it had reason to feel proud of its share
in Neuve Chapelle.
It
had done all that had been
asked of it
:J
nel had been mainly instrumental in
capturing its brigade's objec t ive; it hael given proof
that the long winter in water-logged trenches had
not sapped its initiative or dulled its fighting-spirit;
and the Commander-in-Chief, who visited it early in
April, spoke warmly in praise of its services. These
were recognized later by the award of the C.M.G. to
Colonel Travers,! of the
M.C.
to Lieut. Cobb
2
and
Sergt.-Major Pritchard, and of the D.C.M. to C.S.M.
King
3
and CpI. Lock, while Major lngles received a
Brevet Lieut.-CoIoncky and Captains Lafone and
Eardley Wilmot were mentioned in dispatches along
with 2nd Lieuts. Bristowe, Cox and Wright.
Some indication of the reputation which the regi–
ment enjoyed was afforded by the experience of a
draft which joined the 2nd Battalion just after Neuve
Chapelle. As it marched through La Gorgue, near
Estaires, it was greeted with "What regiment?"
On the reply" Devons," came shouts of " Good old
Devons," " Well done, Devons," and the men standing
round watching the drafts march throt!gh dived into
any shops \vhich were handy, and pressed cigarettes,
tobacco, chocolate and other presents on the men.
I
t was an encouraging and inspiring reception for the
new hands.
I
Shortly after the battle Colonel Tra\'ers, who had been in bad
health for some limE', was compelled to retire to hospital, where
he underwent a serious operation, and did not return until June,
Major [ngles taking comma nd in his absence, and 2nd-Lieut.
Home , who had come out in February, acting as Adjutant .
• He had been acting as Brigade Signalling Officer.
• He had taken command of D Company when Captain Lafone
was hit, and did excellent work.