The British Commander-in-Chief, Sir John French, visited the 2nd Worcesters at Veldhoek on the night of Saturday, October 31, 1914, to convey his thanks and give the survivors some idea of the scale of their achievement.
By the time he spoke, it's clear that the plaudits they'd already received had made them aware that – even in the context of actions like Tillieul Spur, Langemarck and Polygon Wood – it had been no ordinary day.
Four weeks later, Sir John inspected the battalion at Bailleul. This is what he told them on Thursday, November 26, 1914.
For a deeper insight into his thoughts, please visit www.worcestershireregiment.co.uk:
I am very glad to have this opportunity of addressing you; this I have wished to do for some time, and I have taken this occasion to do so.
On October 31st we were in a very critical position. At headquarters we received the report that the village of Gheluvelt, an extremely important strategic point, had been taken by the enemy.
Shortly after I was informed that Gheluvelt had been recaptured by a counter-attack. Since then I have made repeated enquiries as to what officer was responsible for this counter-stroke and have invariably received the reply that it was The Worcestershire Regiment who carried out the attack.
I have, therefore, in my despatch to the Secretary of State, so mentioned it and said it was The Worcestershire Regiment who took action in relieving this critical situation.
You bear on your Colours the names of many famous victories, and in this war you have added lustre to your former reputation.
No man can say what the future has in store for us, but I have every confidence that in the future you will conduct yourselves with the same soldierly bearing as in the past.
REPRODUCED BY KIND PERMISSION OF WWW.WORCESTERSHIREREGIMENT.COM