to the officers and men of the Royal Scots Fusileers, Second
Battalion, by Brigadier H. S. Watts, CB CMT, commanding 21st
Pollarde, officers, NCOs and men of the Royal Scots Fusileers.
is only within the last few days that I have learnt the true
history of the gallant doings of your battalion on the 31st of
October last, and in case where troops are captured, I think
the facts should be known.
the 30th of October in order to cover the right flank of troops
on our left, your battalion was ordered to take up a very bad
and exposed position on a forward slope and sure enough on the
morning of the 32st you were exposed to a very heavy shell fire
followed by an infantry attack by vastly superior numbers. As
far as your battalion was concerned, all went well, until the
troops on your left were driven back, and your left flank exposed.
Germans came pouring through, and it soon became obvious, that
your position was untenable, and we were ordered to take up a
position farther back. I tried to telephone to Colonel Baird-Smith
but the wire had been cut by shrapnel. I then sent two orderlies
with a message to withdraw but the message was never received,
both orderlies must have been killed or wounded.
Baird-Smith, gallant soldier that he was, decided and rightly
to hold his ground and the Royal Scots Fusiliers fought and fought
until the Germans absolutely surrounded and swarmed into the
think it was perfectly splendid, mind you it was not a case of hands
up or any nonsense of that sort, it was a fight to a finish.
What more do you want, why even a German General came to Colonel
Baird-Smith afterwards and congratulated him, and said he could
not understand how his men had held out so long.
may well be proud to belong to such a regiment, and I am proud
to have you in my Brigade, a regiment with a spirit like that
cannot go far wrong, and I feel sure, that when next called upon
we need none of us feel nervous as to the results.