Sutton-1917 - The Tubbs - online

Geoffrey Alfred Sutton

4.4.16. The Brigadier General including 1st Battalion Artists states that GAS was wounded at St Julien in 1915, ie in the Ypres salient, very close to where Seymour Tubbs was killed in 1917. The story so far. After leaving Haileybury College Monk attended the School of Engineering at Crystal Palace where he studied railway engineering and diving. He joined the Artists Rifles as a territorial and played Rugby for a junior side of the London Irish and was a successful rower with the Kensington Rowing Club. He mostly resided at the Brook Green Hotel Hammersmith, near the rowing club. He was a member of Leander. He went out to France with the Artists in 1915 and was injured at St Julien ( within a mile or so of where Seymour Tubbs would be killed two years and many more lives later). After his convalescence he got treatment for his stammer and also worked in the pay office of the Artists at Colchester. Sufficiently cured of his stammer he got a commission in the Royal Irish Fusiliers. After training with them in Donegal he went out to France in the autumn of 1916 and shortly afterwards was involved in an incident involving drink which led to his resigning his commission and being court-martialled. He then applied to join the Irish Guards and was interviewed by Lord Brassey its Colonel. His family had moved from Eaton Bray in Bedfordshire to Grundisburgh in Suffolk.

December 5th 1916 Monk writes to his mother from Brook Green. “I kick off down to Caterham this afternoon and I suppose I shall be on parade about 6 o’clock tomorrow with the rookies”. I find there are two or three old members of the London Irish down there as privates, so I’ll meet somebody I know.

December 8th 1916. 5th Coy Irish Guards, Caterham. GAS to AHS. “I have been down here three days now and have started to learn the goose step and other things a young soldier must know”..” My style and title by the way is 11686 Pte G A Sutton, address as above.”

Undated letter from GAS 5th Coy Irish Guards, Caterham, Surrey. “Please don’t count too much on my getting reinstated, the only chance is commendation on the field and that wants some doing besides a lot of luck. It takes at least 10 weeks to pass out of the depot and then if you are alive you have to survive the battalion at Warley before you can chance your arm in France. Sorry to hear Dad is not well.”

December 17th 1916. GAS to AHS from 5th Coy Irish Guards, Caterham. “I don’t know why you should think the London Irish here are likely to get me into trouble. If I want trouble I can find it without anybody’s assistance. As a matter of fact the two of them here are both very staid respectable city men and with large families.” He is overdrawn at the Cox’s Bank and says that he has taken up boxing and hopes to win a sovereign by knocking out a large Scotchman next Tuesday.”.. “I find the gold stripe very useful”. i.e. Monk had been promoted Lance Corporal.

Perhaps this is the point to note a very curious episode which I find utterly astonishing. I quote from Hansard, a parliamentary question and its answer. HC Deb 05 July 1917 vol 95 cc1311-2W 1312W § Mr. FITZPATRICK asked the Undersecretary of State for War if he is aware that recruits in the Irish Guards who are at present undergoing training at the military quarters, Caterham, Surrey, complain that the non-commissioned officers in charge make them run up and down in the sun until they are ready to fall down from exhaustion, and if any of the men make any mistake while drilling they are placed in the guard-room and charged with being idle on parade and receive as punishment three pack-drills for one hour each evening round the square; that as a result several men have to be removed on a stretcher to hospital from time to time; and what steps the War Office intend taking to put a stop to this method of training? § Mr. MACPHERSON No, Sir; I am not aware that there is any foundation for the suggestions in the hon. Member's question. Men are not doubled up and down the parade ground aimlessly. If a man continually makes mistakes and shows that he is not trying, he would be brought before his company officer. If the hon. Member would care to visit Caterham, the commandant of the depot would be glad to give him facilities for seeing anything he wishes. There can only be speculation about this but the obvious inference is that the Irish trainees were being given a hard time because of bad feelings about the Easter Rising of 1916. Monk does not seem to have been uncomfortable in his role as a junior NCO, but the question always has to be asked why Monk got involved twice in Irish regiments. Was it merely because of his friendship with Irishmen such as Nolan and the London Irish or had he come to form political views about the Irish Question. Is the fact that Monk was English a reason why he was steered into the Irish Guards as potential NCO material both to give the men a hard time and act as an additional security buffer between the army and its possibly dissident recruits? The fact that the Undersecretary of State for War denied the allegations is no reason to believe that there was no smoke and no fire, nor do I know if Mr Fitzpatrick took up the offer of inspecting the barracks, but as we see here Monk was there at the time and he was an NCO at the time. Fitzpatrick was the Irish Parliamentary Party member for Queens County Ossory, which is part of present day County Laois, in the Midlands of the Irish Republic. The IPP was a moderate Nationalist party, ie it favoured independence from the UK to result from negotiation rather than an armed struggle. Monk rapidly rose to Lance Corporal which is not surprising as he was an experienced soldier with experience of command. He complained several times by way of an excuse for delays in writing home that NCOs were especially hard done by as they were constantly required for guard duty, but that is what soldiers do, guard duty and complain, so I don’t think we learn a lot there.

December 22nd 1916 . GAS to AHS. .”I was beaten in the semi final by a Grenadier (Guard) who knew a thing or two about boxing.” February 6th 1917 Monk’s old friend Nolan writes to him from 33 West 16th St, New York City. Assuming Nolan was an Irish Citizen he would not have been subject to being drafted, but I find it hard to drop the hypothesis that Nolan had moved from Ireland to avoid political if not military complications. 2nd February 1917. 5th Coy Irish Guards, on their notepaper. “I wonder if Dorothy will make much money at her new job… She might even get an air bloke for a husband”. In the event of course Dorothy never did get a husband, nor Monk a wife. “The Grenadiers by the way are our deadly enemies. It appears they ran and left the Micks in the lurch on some occasion in France”. This sounds like dangerous banter. 11th February 1917 on Irish Guards notepaper. “I am thoroughly fed up with the war but I am afraid that that is a fairly common complaint. I can hardly believe now that I was longing for it before it came… I think the Yanks will soon be stuck in it now and I suppose they should help a lot, in the way of carrying food etc though I don’t suppose she will do much fighting in Europe if any at all”. Tell that one to the Marines. USA did not officially declare war until 6th April. He continues “We are well able to look after ourselves. When this squad goes out I fancy ‘Tom Ger’ as they call him here, will be getting very uncomfortable”. That is a nickname for Fritz, Jerry, Les Boches etc which seems to have been localised and short lived. “I am expecting to get leave in about a fortnight or three weeks, so if you can spare a bit from the loan before then I should be delighted.” 11am 24th February 1917, St Matthews Day, Grundisburgh. “I am glad I sent you the WO (War Office) papers before settling it, as there may be some mistake. If it is all right I suppose it must be paid, so let me know, and we will settle it.” You don’t say a word about when your leave is. Do not forget that you must come home. It will be lovely to share you. I have heard from Will… He has got settled down at GHQ (?) on his senior staff course.” Mama and Papa had called on the Pelham Aldriches. Aldrich was a retired Admiral who was well known as an explorer and provided naval backing to several important scientific expeditions. As newcomers to Suffolk they were getting to know their neighbours as well as their parishioners.

26th February 1917. Caterham. He had been boxing again and won one round but was beaten in the semi finals. “I don’t think I’m much of a boxer”. Monk notes “That War Office Thing is a bit of a jar. I thought I had finished with them”. I guess this is to do with his indebtedness. 28th February 1917. Grundisburgh. “Do you think there is any chance of being reinstated soon. Would it be any use to apply for a commission? Will says that officers are tremendously wanted at the front. I would like to write to Sir D Haig, but I suppose that would be no use.” … “Basil is very thankful the frost is over for he seems to have had a terrible time with burst radiators.” 5th March 1917. 5th Coy Irish Guards, Caterham. “We have been very busy passing out this week and that means a lot of shining and extra parades. “I will get leave about the middle of this week”. 17 April 1917. On Irish Guards notepaper. It looks as if the war will be over before I see France again. There is news about Will, which appears to be his Engagement.

14th May 1917. Warley barracks. “No you can’t do anything about the £4, but if you can send me a few shillings occasionally I would be very grateful”. “When are they getting married by the way?”

May25th – Warley Barracks. Thanks for note. Hopes to arrive Woodbridge about 5.30pm. Probably this was the leave he had hoped to get in March, though the lack of correspondence between 15 March and 17 April may be because he did have leave then.

6th June. Warley Barracks. I have been passing out (again) today and have had rather a lively time but so far as I know I seem to have done all right so far. We have another day of it tomorrow and then I’m finished with the School of Instruction.. Could you send me a toothbrush I left behind. It is rather a dirty one though very useful all the same.. (Soldiers often use toothbrushes for kit cleaning- ed) You never get any peace with the stripes on.. I am writing this on the coal box”. I am not aware that Monk got a second stripe but he would have worn one stripe on each shoulder. The OH Register lists him as Lance Corporal.

12th June Warley Barracks. Thanks very much for the note, also the cigarettes and handkerchiefs, all very useful. Splendid news about Messines and Wytschaete. The Messines ridge had been captured following a spectacular series of mine explosions. This was an early success in what became the 3rd Battle of Ypres, and one of the few attacks that was less costly for the allies than it was for the Germans. The 16th Division, Monk’s old division was involved in the attacks. This was an Irish Division and so he was referring to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. “Apparently in just the same place that I left them. I am afraid there will be very few that I know left”.

June 24th – Warley Barracks. Is due to go to Tadworth on a course of anti gas measures. Claims a 10/- gift from his mother was missing from the envelope.

26th June 1917. London District Anti Gas School, Tadworth, Surrey. “Did you find the note?” – ie the 10/- note. His card was posted to Marshalls Hill, Shinfield, Reading but was forwarded to Grundisburgh. I don’t know which Sutton family was resident in Shinfield.

17 August 1917. Tadworth Camp. “I arrived all right after standing all the way from Ipswich and found plenty of room as a draft had gone out last Monday”.

19th August 1917. “There is rumoured to be a big one (draft) going in a week or so.”

24th August 1917. Tadworth Barracks. “I am glad to hear Will has got leave and hope Barbara and himself have arrived safely by this time. I am afraid there is no chance of leave as a draft is going soon. I am glad they have managed to square the railway men in time. It would have meant guarding stations and bridges and would have been a frightful bore, unless it happened to be in London but I think they are frightened to have Micks in London, or too many of them anyway.” To this day Micks is an acceptable term for the Irish Guards though it is generally found to be pejorative in any other context. It must be stressed that the Micks were volunteers as there was no conscription in Ireland.

29th August 1917. No 4 Coy, IG, Warley Barracks, Brentwood – on IG notepaper. You see we are back here at last. We left Tidworth on Tuesday, so probably passed Will somewhere near Ilford, if he came up on the 2 o’clock. We had a terrible time the night before. Several tents including the mess tent were blown away, but eventually fixed up. The coffee bar marquee collapsed., destroying a lot of cigarettes., but the canteen stuck it bravely till almost exactly the moment we finally marched off, when it quickly caved in as if it thought it had done its bit….. yet as we paraded in the morning we were inspected as if we were going on King’s Guard.” “That was a short leave Will got. I suppose next time there will be a reception and river of fizz”. That might be thought of as a bit provocative to his abstaining parents. There is an official rumour that we are for London shortly to take over duty. I hope it is true. Wellington Bks (The home of the Guards regiments on Birdcage Walk near Buck House) would be very handy though I don’t fancy mounting guard at St James’s”. This seems to be a rumour that persisted in spite of the settlement of the railway dispute mentioned on 24th August.

8th September 1917. Warley “Fancy Will hoping for a month’s leave! I imagine I shall be across the water by then. That pipe in the case is mine. I find that one pipe is enough for this job and amber mouthpieces are out of it altogether. I wonder if you could let me have a little money.. I am broke and look like always being so as the rise in pay appears to have been chucked out.. We have a new scheme for air raids now. Since the Naval barracks affair we have had to dig trenches outside barracks and whenever an air raid is on we have to get in them. As the raids are nearly all moonlight stunts it looks as if it will be bad for the soldier. It seems a pity to go and die in a trench when you might do it decently in bed”

17 September 1917. Warley Barracks on Irish Guards notepaper. “I got the 12/- all right thanks. I am for the draft all right, and we leave here on Wednesday, so far as is known so I shal be back with Old Jerry again shortly. I am glad Will has found a fairly genial spot and hope he will successfully dodge things till the wedding which I hope will not be in Cardiff. I should have thought London was the best place if not their own place in Ireland. I am glad you have had some tennis. There is not much news about and I suppose henceforward there will be less. Love to all”.

22nd September 1917. A.P.O. S12 (Army Post Office) Passed Field Censor 53 (?). “We kicked off on Wednesday. The voyage wasn’t much to write home about “ (ho ho ed!). “My address is 1st Irish Guards, Guards Division Base Depot, BEF We shall be leaving here shortly for the batt, but I think they will send on any letters all right”. Presumably 1st Irish Guards is just an address of convenience for he shortly gives his address as 2nd Irish Guards.

1st October 1917. Received 10th October. Field Post Office. “I have left the GBD (Guards Base Depot), so I expect I won’t get your next letter for some time. The address now is ‘No 1 Coy, 2nd Irish Guards, BEF.’ If Will is where he was last year I know the place all right. I’m not much further from him than I was then, but as communications go it might be in America”. I don’t want anything in the line of food or clothing, but if you could send me a little money now and then it would be very useful.”

12 October 1917 Field Post Office, a Fireld Service Post Card. Received October 16th. “I am quite well”, “Letter follows at first opportunity”, “I have received no letter from you lately”. Postmarked 13 October 1917. “We are just out from a highly successful little scrap with the Ger, in which we advanced about a couple of miles, with very light casualties. The actual show was quite good fun, like walking up rabbits, except for the shell fire. (The night before) “We had to get into position in flooded shell holes in pouring rain after ploughing across about 4 miles of the same sort of country I wrote ro you from the Base, giving my address”. “The Micks went over the top in huge form and in fact were right through in front of our own barrage, notwithstanding the filthy night before. This batt. Never uses rum in the line so there was no Dutch courage about the business. There’s no doubt this is a great mob. “By the way don’t send any parcels out – we really hardly need them but a postal order now and then would be very useful”. 20th October. I have got all your letters now except those addressed to the Base but they will come along all right I expect. I got the 10/- all right thanks. I fancy po’s (Postal Orders) are easier to change

20th October 1917. AHS notes it should be dated 22nd. “We are scrubbing and shining here as if we were going to mount guard at St James’s: still it is better than the line. Our attack was early in the morning of October 9th. We had to cross a river just in front of Fritz’s front line.. I am sure the Ger never dreamt we would chance it. However when we kic ked off everything went beautifully, and I really quite enjoyed it.. “I was delighted to see Fritz getting some of his heavy stuff back at himself, but I must say he takes it pretty coolly, especially his machine gunners, who stuck it well, but happily did less damage than they might have done and did in other parts of the line. I forgot to mention last time that my Coy Commander was killed early in the show. He was an O.H. (Old Haileyburian) and was in Lawrence (boarding house) two or three years with me. (This was Lieutenant Claude Everard Robert Hanbury, a native of Slough - who is buried in Canada Farm Cemetery, Belgium, possibly related to the brewing family of the firm of Truman, Hanbury and Buxton). Our officers were rather unlucky, most of them going out, either wounded or killed early in the show. I think there is no more news now, except I am hoping to get some Rugger and think the war will soon be over”. Kipling’s history of the 2nd Irish Guards states he was a Captain, which may mean it was a brevet rank. Kipling set himself the task of writing the history of the Irish Gurards , perhaps in expiation for the loss of his son. There are allegations that John Kipling felt obliged to join up after pressure from his father, but his health and eyesight were not really suited to soldiering. Kipling’s archive is kept at Haileybury, his old school and Monk’s.

Kipling’s account of that action is The rain gave over in the night and was followed by a good drying wind. Zero of the 9th October was 5.20 A.M. which gave light enough to see a few hundred yards. An intense eighteen-pounder barrage was our signal to get away. Four barrages went on together—the creeping, a standing one, a back-barrage of six-inch howitzers and 60-pounders, and a distant barrage of the same metal, not to count the thrashing machine-gun barrages. They moved and halted with the precision of stage machinery or, as a man said, like water-hoses at a conflagration. Our two leading companies (3 and 4) crossed the river without a hitch, met some small check for a few moments in Ney Wood where a nest of machine-guns had escaped the blasts of fire, and moved steadily behind the death-drum of the barrage to the first objective a thousand yards from their start. There the barrage hung like a wall from the French flank, across the north of Gruyterzaele Farm, over the Langemarck road and Koekuit, and up to Namur Crossing on the battered railway track, while the two leading companies set to work consolidating till it should roll back and the rear companies pass on behind it. The dreadful certainty of the job in itself masked all the details. One saw and realised nothing outside of one’s own immediate task, and the business of keeping distances between lines and supports became a sort of absurd preoccupation. Occasionally a runner passed, very intent on his errand, a free man, it seemed, who could go where he chose at what pace suited his personal need to live; or the variously wounded would lurch by among the shell-holes, but the general impression in the midst of the din was of concentrated work. The barrage held still for three quarters of an hour, and about half-past seven the 2nd Coldstream came up through our Nos. 3 and 4 Companies who were lying down, curiously unworried by casualties, to carry on the advance to the last objective which was timed to take place about eight. No. 3 Company was told to move up behind the Coldstream and dig in a couple of hundred yards behind Nos. 1 and 2 as a support to them, where they lay behind the second objective, in event of counterattacks. Unluckily a French gun on the left began to fire short, and that company had to be withdrawn with some speed, for a “seventy-five” that makes a mistake repeats it too often to be a pleasant neighbour. Battalion Headquarters came up as methodically as everything else, established themselves behind the first objective, strung their telephones, and settled down to the day’s work. So far as the Battalion was concerned they suffered no more henceforward than a few occasional shells that do not seem to have done any damage, and at six in the evening their two leading companies were withdrawn, with the leading companies of the 1st Scots Guards, and marched back to Dulwich Camp. The remaining two companies of the Scots Guards passed under the command of the C.O. of the Irish (Alexander – later Earl Alexander of Tunis, but already an Irish hereditary peer -ed), who had been slightly wounded in the course of the action. The four companies then were in direct support of the troops at the third objective waiting on for counter-attacks which never came. On the dawn of the 10th October, Battalion Headquarters moved forward again to the second objective line, but except for some low-flying enemy planes, the day passed quietly till the afternoon when the same French “seventy-five,” which had been firing short the day before, took it into its misdirected head to shell No. 1 Company so savagely that that had to be shifted to the left in haste. There was no explanation, and while the company was on the move the enemy put down a two hours’ barrage just behind the second objective. It has often been remarked that when the Hun leads off on the wrong foot, so to say, at the beginning of a fray, he keeps on putting his foot into it throughout. Luckily, the barrage did not do much harm. The Welsh Guards relieved in the late evening, and by eleven o’clock the whole Battalion was safe in Dulwich Camp with an amazingly small casualty list. The only officer killed had been Captain Hanbury. Lieutenants Close and Bagot were wounded and also Alexander and Father Browne, these last two so slightly that they still remained on duty. Of other ranks they had but twenty dead, eighty-nine wounded, and two missing. 1st November. Envelope only. Field Service censor 3575. Received 4 November.

10 November 1917. Field Service Post Card. “I am quite well”. “I have received your letter dated Nov 3rd”. Letter follows at first opportunity”.

This signifies that the battalion was on the move from the Ypres sector, marching from there to the attack that was supposed to result in the capture of Cambrai. 17 November 1917 . Envelope sent while on Active Service in the field. Contents ?

20th November 191? (Can’t read date but must be 1917 as he was in in England on that date in 14, 15, and 16)– In the Field. Monk reports that he is still trekking (which also fits the description of the route march) and the hide is getting case hardened already and he will be comfortable soon. He has lost his pipe and writes asking for another. He specifically requests a Civic Salmon and Gluckstein with a long straight stem and no silver mounting. This company became part of Imperial Tobacco which had retail interests as well as manufacturing. The pipes were originally made in France and finished in England, so if he got his pipe it was quite possibly a re-import back to France, but it is most unlikely he was there to enjoy it.

21 November 1917. Envelope passed by censor 3575. Probably the above letter. Kipling’s account of the attack on Bourlon Wood follows. As you might expect from the winner of the Novel prize for literature, the account sometimes surpasses the standard military narrative by miles. One comment he made of events round about this time for example was “Battles are like railway journeys in that the actual time of transit is as nothing compared to that wasted in getting from door to door.”

The Battalion spent the night of the 26th working its way up to the front line, through Flesquières where bombs were issued, two per man; then to La Justice by Graincourt; and thence, cross-country, by companies through the dark to the Bapaume–Cambrai road, where they found the guides for their relief of the Scots Guards. Just as they reached the south edge of Bourlon Wood, the enemy put down a barrage which cost forty casualties. Next it was necessary for the C.O. (Alexander) to explain the details of the coming attack to his company commanders, who re-explained it to their N.C.O.’s, while the companies dressed in attack-order, bombs were detonated and shovels issued. (“There was not any need to tell us we were for it. We knew that, and we knew we was to be quick. But that was all we did know—except we was to go dancin’ into that great Wood in the wet, beyond the duckboards. The ground, ye’ll understand, had been used by them that had gone before us—used and messed about; and at the back, outside Bourlon, all Jerry’s guns was rangin’ on it. A dirty an’ a noisy business was Bourlon.”)

By five in the morning, after a most wearing night, the Battalion was in position, the 2/5th West Riding of the 1st Brigade on its left and the 1st Coldstream on its right; and the Wood in front alive with concealed machine-guns and spattered with shells. They led off at 6.20 behind their own barrage, in two waves; No. 1 Company on the right and No. 2 Company on the left, supported by No. 3 Company and No. 4. Everything was ready for them, and machine-guns opened on well-chosen and converging ranges. Almost at the outset they met a line of enemy posts held in strength, where many of the occupants had chosen to shelter themselves at the bottom of the trenches under oil-sheets, a protection hampering them equally in their efforts to fight or to surrender. Here there was some quick killing and a despatch of prisoners to the rear; but the Wood offered many chances of escape, and as our guards were necessarily few, for every rifle was needed, a number broke away and returned. Meantime, the Battalion took half a dozen machine-guns and lost more men at each blind step. In some respects Bourlon was like Villers-Cotterêts on a large scale, with the added handicap of severe and well-placed shelling. A man once down in the coppice, or bogged in a wood-pool, was as good as lost, and the in-and-out work through the trees and stumpage broke up the formations. Nor, when the affair was well launched, was there much help from “the officer with the compass” who was supposed to direct the outer flank of each company. The ground on the right of the Battalion’s attack, which the Coldstream were handling, was thick with undestroyed houses and buildings of all sorts that gave perfect shelter to the machine-guns; but it is questionable whether Bourlon Wood itself, in its lack of points to concentrate upon, and in the confusion of forest rides all exactly like each other, was not, after all, the worst. Early in the advance, No. 2 Company lost touch on the left, while the rest of the Battalion, which was still somehow keeping together, managed to get forward through the Wood as far as its north-east corner, where they made touch with the 1st Coldstream. Not long after this, they tried to dig in among the wet tree-roots, just beyond the Wood’s north edge. It seemed to them that the enemy had fallen back to the railway line which skirted it, as well as to the north of La Fontaine village. Officially, the objective was reached, but our attacking strength had been used up, and there were no reserves. A barrage of big stuff, supplemented by field-guns, was steadily threshing out the centre and north of the Wood, and, somewhere to the rear of the Battalion a nest of machine-guns broke out viciously and unexpectedly. Then the whole fabric of the fight appeared to crumble, as, through one or other of the many gaps between the Battalions, the enemy thrust in, and the 2nd Irish guards, hanging on to their thin front line, realized him suddenly at their backs. What remained of them split up into little fighting groups; sometimes taking prisoners, sometimes themselves being taken, and again breaking away from their captors, dodging, turning, and ducking in dripping coppices and over the slippery soil, while the shells impartially smote both parties. Such as had kept their sense of direction headed back by twos and threes to their original starting-point; but at noon Battalion Headquarters had lost all touch of the Battalion, and the patrols that got forward to investigate reported there was no sign of it. It looked like complete and unqualified disaster. But men say that the very blindness of the ground hid this fact to a certain extent both from us and the enemy, and the multiplied clamours in the Wood supplied an additional blindage. As one man said: “If Jerry had only shut off his dam’ guns and listened he’d ha’ heard we was knocked out; but he kept on hammer-hammering an’ rushin’ his parties back and forth the Wood, and so, ye see, them that could of us, slipped back quiet in the height of the noise.” Another observer compared it to the chopping of many foxes in cover—not pleasant, but diversified by some hideously comic incidents. All agreed that it was defeat for the Guards—the first complete one they had sustained; but the admitted fact was that they had been turned on at a few hours’ notice to achieve the impossible, did not spoil their tempers. The records say that the 2nd Guards Brigade with the rest of the Division “fell back to its original line.” Unofficially: “We did—but I don’t know how we did it. There wasn’t any Battalion worth mentioning when the Welsh Guards relieved us in the dark, but stray men kept on casting up all night long.” The losses were in proportion to the failure. Of officers, two were killed—Cary-Elwes, just as they reached their objective, by a bullet through the head, and A. F. Synge shot down at the beginning of the attack, both of them men without fear and with knowledge. Three were missing, which is to say, dead. Four were wounded—The C.O. (Colonel the Hon. H. R. Alexander), the Second in Command (Captain the Hon. W. S. Alexander), Captain Nugent, Adjutant, 2nd Lieutenant W. D. Faulkner, Assistant Adjutant Captain Sassoon and Lieutenant O’Connor, these last two being company officers in reserve who were kept with Battalion Headquarters, were unhurt. Twenty-five men were known to be dead on comrades’ evidence; one hundred and forty-six were missing, of whom a number would naturally be dead; and one hundred and forty-two were wounded and brought back. Total, three hundred and twenty-two.

Of the 322, Monk was one of those killed. He is buried at Ontario Cemetery, Sains-Les-Marquion. His name is on war memorials at Grundisbugh, Haileybury and the Kensington Rowing Club.