Lieut. - General Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter - Weston K. C. B., D. S. O.
Extract from 17/11/1916. Lieut.
- General Sir A. G. Hunter - Weston K. C. B., D. S. O., has been appointed
Hon. Colonel of the Hunts. Cyclist Battalion.
He is an officer who has seen a great deal of active service, and
specially distinguished himself in the South African war.
In the present war he has served in France and in the Dardanelles,
where he was in command of an Army Corps.
18/11/1916 = From the "Gazette" - Hunts Cycle Battalion - Lt. General Sir A. G. Hunter - Weston K. C. B., D. S. O., has been appointed to the honorary Colonelcy of the Hunts. Cyclist Battalion.
He was appointed Honary Colonel of the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion by 17th November 1916 taking over from the Earl of Sandwich, when he died.
He had seen a great deal of service in South African war. He served in WW1 as Lieutenant General 8th Corps. H.Q. He was with the 29th Division in Gallipoli as a G.O.C. and also served in France.
From the London Gazette dated 10-11-16 Huntingdonshire Cyclist Bn.—Lt.-Gen. Sir A. G. Hunter-Weston, K.C.B., D.S.O., is appointed to the Hon. Colonelcy of the Bn. llth Nov. 1916.
Extract from the front of a postcard in my possession:-
From LIEUT. - GENERAL SIR AYLMER HUNTER - WESTON, K.C.B., D.S.O.
To ALL OFFICERS, N.C.O.'s AND MEN OF THE VIII ARMY CORPS.
In so big a command as an Army Corps of four Divisions (about 8o,ooo men) it is impossible for me to come round all front line trenches, and all billets, to see every man as I wish to do. You must take the will for the deed, and accept this printed message in place of the spoken word.
It is difficult for me to express my admiration for the splendid courage, determination, and discipline displayed by every Officer, N.C.O., and man of the Battalions that took part in the great attack on the Beaumont-Hamel – Serre positions on the 1st July. All observers agree in stating that waves men issued from their trenches and moved forward at the appointed time in perfect order, undismayed by the heavy artillery fire and deadly machine-gun fire. There were no cowards nor waverers, and not a man fell out. It was a magnificent display of disciplined courage worthy of the best traditions of the British Race.
Very few are left of my old comrades, the original "Contemptibles," but their successors in the 4th Division have shown that they are worthy to bear the honours gained by the 4th Division at their first great fight at Fontaine-au-Pire and Ligny, during the great Retreat and greater Advance across the Marne and Aisne and in all the hard fighting at Ploegsteert and at Ypres.
Though but a few of my old comrades, the heroes of the historic landing at Cape Helles, are still with us, the 29th Division of to-day has shown itself capable of maintaining his high traditions, and has proved itself worthy of its hard-earned title of "The Incomparable 29th."
The 31st New Army Division and the 48th Territorial Division, by the heroism and discipline of the units engaged in this their first big battle, have proved themselves worthy to fight by the side of such magnificent regular Divisions as the 4th and 29th. There can be no higher praise.
We had the most difficult part of the line to attack. The Germans had fortified it with skill and immense labour for many months; they had kept their best troops here, and had assembled North, East, and Southeast of it a formidable collection of artillery and many machine-guns.
By your splendid attack you held the enemy forces here in the North, and so enabled our friends in the South, both British and French, to achieve the brilliant success that they have. Therefore, though we did not do all we hoped to do, you have more than pulled your weight, and you and our even more glorious comrades who have preceded us across the "Great Divide," have nobly done your duty.
We have got to stick it out, and go on hammering. Next time we attack, if it please God, we will not only pull our weight, but will pull off a big thing. With such troops as you, who are determined to stick it out and do your duty, we are certain of winning through to a glorious victory.
I salute each Officer, N.C.O., and Man of the 4th, 29th, 31st and 48th Divisions as a comrade in arms, and I rejoice to have the privilege of commanding such a band of heroes as the VIII Corps have proved themselves to be.
H.Q. VIII Corps, 4th July 1916 AYLMER HUNTER-WESTON, Lieut. - General.
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