"August 1914 found the 2nd Devons in Egypt, where their first task was to protect the Suez Canal. Arriving at Southampton in October, they absorbed drafts of reservists before landing in France on 6th November. By mid-November they were at Messines (close to the 1st Devons) where, in two tours in the trenches near Neuve Chapelle, they suffered 20 casualties and lost another 70 men to sickness (mostly frostbite). In December they captured a German position known as the Moated Grange cost 128 casualties. They remained in this area until March 1915, when they lost heavily in an attack on the German lines on the 10th before next day repulsing a German counter-attack. Their losses in March totalled 284 men. An attack on Aubers Ridge in May 1915 cost another 250 casualties. (John/Jonas Clegg's Medal Index Card shows him arriving in France 18/5/15.) Remaining in this sector until April 1916, they moved to the Somme to prepare for the offensive. On 1st July, the 2nd Devons attacked between Ovillers and La Boiselle, losing 232 killed and 199 wounded, many of whom fell to German machine guns in what they called Mash Valley."
Created by: Ian105013