- designated as the 'Special Reserve' battalion, this was essentially the regiment's second 'Reserve' battalion, but has also been referred to as the 'Extra Special Reserve' or 'Extra Reserve' in some publications.
They initially provided home defence around Harwich and Felixstowe in England, until mobilised and sent to France in July 1916.
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Their bravery and determination was unquestionable, as was their capacity for singing and laughter even under the most extreme and adverse conditions.
The court heard how Widdowson, 51, was driving a fully-laden car transporter along the westbound carriageway of the A14 near Swavesey, in Cambridgeshire, on April 20 last year when he collided into a white Ford Transit at speed.
PC Andy Ralph from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire investigation unit said: “This collision was completely avoidable had Widdowson paid proper attention to the road ahead.“His actions on the day of the collision and the length of time it has taken for him to admit his responsibilities have caused great distress to the families of those who died and everyone involved.”Widdowson was given 16 months for each count of causing death by dangerous driving.
A Bedfordshire Regiment officer's cap badge (1898 to 1919) * Casualty statistics are often subjected to manipulation so the most subjective and impartial facts I have to work with are as follows; 6,740 Bedfordshire Regiment Great War graves and memorials are in the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), although when adding up the CWGC database losses per battalion, the figure breaches 7,100 (after removing duplications).
Making allowance for those who died at home but whose families chose to bury them in private graves, I believe that 7,200 is a 'safe' figure to use, although how far beyond that it reaches is speculative.