Page 133 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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CHAPTER IX
TRENCH WARFARE, 1915-1916
(Maps '. 3. 4 and 9)
1st, 2nd, 2nd/5th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and
19th Battalions
HITHERTO,
the story of events in France has been simple and
straightforward, in that the Regiment was represented by a single
battalion whose doings could be followed continuously. But while
the 2nd Battalion was struggling with the unexpected horrors of the
Second Battle of Ypres
in
May, 19I5, new battalions of the Regiment
were beginning to arrive on the scene. On 3rd May, I91S, the
2nd/5th Battalion landed in France as part of the lS4th Infantry
Brigade, SIst Division, though transferred on 3rd January, 1916, to
the 164th Brigade, 55th Division. In July came the loth Battalion
(S2nd Infantry Brigade, 17th Division); in September the nth
Battalion (74th Infantry Brigade, 25th Division), and the 12th
Battalion (65th Infantry Brigade, 22nd Division) soon to move to
the Near East; in November the 15th, 16th and 19th Battalions
(96th Infantry Brigade, 32nd Division, the I9th being transferred to
14th Infantry Brigade, 32nd Division, in December, 1915) ; and in
January, 1916, the 17th, 18th and 20th Battalions (104th Infantry
Brigade, 35th Division). The total was brought up to eleven
battalions on the Western Front by the transfer of the 1st Battalion
to France
in
March, 1916, as the result of the evacuation of the
Gallipoli Peninsula at the end of December, 19I5.
If,
therefore, a
clear sequence of dates is to be preserved, the narrative henceforth
must skip from one unit to another and from one part of the line to
another. This chapter deals with all the events of importance in
which any battalion took part between the end of May, I9I5, and
the end of June, 1916, and brings the story up to the eve of the
great Battle of the Somme, any incidents
in
June which were
strictly preliminary to that battle being reserved for the next
chapter. No battle honours were earned in this period, as no
battalion took part
in
the Battle of Loos
in
September, 1915.
Indeed, so much were most of the events about to be described part
of the routine of trench warfare that the only ones to be mentioned
in the Official History are the action at The Bluff in February, 1916
(10th Battalion), and the capture of "Crosbie Craters" on Vimy
Ridge in May, I916 (nth Battalion).
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