Page 151 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

124
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, I9I4-I9I8
and craters. The casualties between I5th and I9th May had been
4 officers and
30
other ranks killed, and 40 other ranks wounded.
The Military Cross was awarded to Lieutenant W.
1.
Edwards and
Second-Lieutenants
J.
E. Kinna and
R.
Ganly; the Military Medal
was awarded to Serjeant G. W. Walton, Corporal W. Hall, Lance–
Corporals E. Trudghill and T. Yates, and Privates
L.
Alty, T.
Annstrong and A. Davies. The Third Army Commander (General
Hon. Sir
J.
H. G. Byng) sent his congratulations to Lieutenant–
Colonel Crosbie and all others concerned; and the Divisional
Commander (Major-General B.
J.
c.
Doran) sent a special message
of appreciation to Lieutenant W. H. Reynolds and his signallers
for the way in which, largely by means of electric torches, they had
kept communications open between the craters and headquarters
throughout the operation. The Commander-in-Chief himself inspected
the 74th Brigade on 24th May and congratulated it on its work,
particularly Lieutenant-Colonel Crosbie, Major G. H. Cotterill, the
nth Lancashire Fusiliers and the 9th Loyal North Lancashire
Regiment. He also mentioned the nth Battalion in connexion with
these operations in his despatch of 19th May, 19I6. The craters
were named "Crosbie's Craters" and are so described in the Official
History.
PATROLS, RAIDS AND COUNTER-RAIDS
1ST BN.
It
is a long time since any mention was made of the ISt Battalion
(Lieutenant-Colonel M. Magniac, D.S.O.) which, since its arrival in
France in March, I916, with the rest of the 29th Division, had been
finding its feet in the strange conditions of the Western front in a
quiet part of the line near Beaumont Hamel on the River Ancre,
quite close to the 2nd Battalion. Nothing of any interest occurred
to it until the middle of May. Then, after several nights of active
patrolling, Lieutenant-Colonel Magniac and Second-Lieutenant
P. Uren went out in front of the line on 17th May to visit a patrol
commanded by Second-Lieutenant H. C. Pyper and to reconnoitre
No Man's Land. The three officers went forward together and were
fired on by an enemy listening-post at very close range. The two
junior officers were both hit and the party scattered. Pyper was
badly wounded
in
the arm, which was afterwards amputated;
Uren was missing. Later the patrol, now commanded by Lance–
Corporal Williams, saw an enemy party approaching, fired at it and
killed its leader, the remainder bolting. On the following night,
Second-Lieutenant G.
R.
Craig took out a patrol to clear up the
situation and to bring in the body of the Gennan shot by Williams.
Shortly after the body had been brought in a strong enemy patrol
appeared which tried to surround Craig's party; but, owing to his
clever initial dispositions and the coolness shown by
all
ranks, the
Gennans, though greatly superior in numbers, were driven off.
Craig had previously been commended for good patrol work and his
action on this occasion was mentioned in the citation with which the
Military Cross was awarded to him a few weeks later. The Gennans