Page 81 - A-History-of-The-Black-Watch-Royal-Highlanders-in-the-Great-War-1914-1918-Volume-III

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THE EIGHTH BATTALION THE BLACK WATCH
Thieushouk in relief of the 9th Scottish Rifles, and on August 1st
the 8th took over the support positions, disposed as follows :-
B company, two platoons in Fontainhouck south and two
platoons in the Reserve lines; D company in the switch line
astride the Fontainhouck-Meteren road; A and C companies
in Roukloshille switch line.
The Battalion remained in these positions until the night
of the 3rd, and supplied working parties for the Royal Engineers;
on that night it relieved the 7th Seaforths in the left front
sector, A and D companies taking over the front line trenches
with C in support, and B in reserve. Heavy shelling took place
during the relief, and enemy aircraft dropped several bombs on
the back areas and approaches. The bombardment was not
unexpected, as an enemy wireless message had been picked up
during the day to the effect that their artillery would shoot on
this area; 25 casualties were caused by this bombardment . D uring
the tour much drainage work was carried out, as the trenches
were very wet.
On the 8th, news was received of enemy withdrawals at
various points, but fighting patrols sent out to verify this
reported the enemy were still holding the posts in considerable
strength. During the night of the 8th a bombardment by gas
projectors was carried out by the Division on the left. This was
directed towards Mural Farm, and although the enemy alarm
whistles were heard, the result of the bombardment was not
known. The following night the 8th was relieved in the front
line by the South African Composite Battalion, and on com–
pletion of the relief about midnight it moved to camp, where
some days vv·ere spent in cleaning up, inspections of kit, bath–
ing and training.
On August 16th the Brigade Commander inspected the
Battalion, and the following day it moved to reserve positions,
with Headquarters in Fletre Chateau, in reserve to the 27th
Brigade. This Brigade attacked on the 18th, and all objectives
were taken . That night the 8th relieved the South African Bat–
talion in the left front sub-sector, the relief being carried out
without casualties. By this time the enemy artillery was much
less active; his guns were apparently very far back, indicating
a possible withdrawal.
The 36th Division carried out a minor operation on the
night of August 21st and captured Mural Farm. At
1.30
a.m.
under a separate barrage a platoon of D company, 8th Black
Watch, advanced from the outpost line without encountering
any of the enemy-a further indication of a withdrawal on this
front. During the night of the 22nd the 7th Seaforths re–
lieved the Battalion, which moved back to support positions in
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