Message from GOC 51st Division 13 Nov 1917.

Message from GOC 51st Division 13 Nov 1917.





Message from the G.O.C. to be read out to every man at Dinner on November 13th 1917.




Today is the Anniversary of the Capture of BEAUMONT HAMEL. This was the first real opportunity the Division had of shewing its superiority over the enemy.


The following is an extract from the message sent by the Corps Commander after the Battle:-

“All the world looks upon the capture of BEAUMONT HAMEL as one of the greatest feats of the war, and to those who know the ground and defences it must ever be a marvellously fine performance.”


Since BEAUMONT HAMEL the Division has inflicted several crushing defeats on the enemy, and has established a glorious record unsurpassed by any Division in the British Army.


The reputation of the Division is known throughout the Army: it is appreciated by the enemy.


I am absolutely confident, and I feel that every man in the Division is confident, that, given a fair chance, the Highland Division can always defeat the enemy.


I send every man my heartfelt wishes for the best of good luck in the future.


G.M. Harper

Major General


51st (Highland) Division

13th November 1917

Alf Smith letter 12 November 1917

Nov 12th 17


My Dear Father


Thank you very much for Sunday Pictorial.  I have been waiting to hear from you but no doubt it was owing to me telling you not to write when I went to the rest camp.

Well it is about the same as usual not a lot of news to tell you but I expect you are glad to hear from me if it is only a few lines.

What do you think of this weather it is blooming rough out here now.  We came here about 5 A.M. yesterday morning soaked through so we had a day between the blankets to allow our clothes to dry.

You will be surprised to hear I met Sid Taylor last week he had been looking out for me for sometime & he discovered that we were billeted close together but we were both moving the next day so I don’t know where he is now I have got his address so I might run across him again he looks very well.

How are you all getting on at home have you had any more air raids lately?  Do you have much trouble to buy provisions now I suppose there will not be many people making Xmas puddings this year.

Cannot think of any more news. Hoping you are all enjoying good health glad to say I am tres bien.

Au revoir

With much love from

Your devoted



Letter from Jack Hammond 12 November 1917

Sent with letter of 23 Nov 17



PS Bill sent me a bottle of pickles the other day


Dear old Jack

Your’s to hand I recognised the place immediately, rather bon beer there evidently we crossed on our journey.  You will be glad to learn that I am now a captain .  you are an old dog to have the cheek to go on leave while your young brother is doing the old shell hole work but take it from me old man you *** to be steady with the ***.  I am not exactly sweating on leave yet being the 5th ***.  I should think in a months time I ought to be somewhere near.  We may get home together yet.  I suppose it’s too cold to do any bathing where you are.  We had quite a nice lot of swimming here.

I am looking forward to a good bottle of Bass it will **** something to get tight now at home.  Well so long drop me a line as soon as you know you are going.  I would not mind a round on the links with you.  I think most of the time would be spent in the Golf House.  Don’t forget to buy some **** when you go home.

Yours *** *** Jack