Page 153 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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126
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
I9I4-I9I8
it moved forward, it lost direction and missed the point selected for
entering the German trench and consequently the lane cut in the
wire by the artillery. Craig thereupon set to work with a small
party to carve a way through the wire by means of wire-cutters and
two Bangalore torpedoes which were fired at I2.38 a.m. Only just
in time the party was ordered back so as to be clear of a renewed
bombardment due to fall at I2-40 a.m.; even so, Craig stayed close
to the wire with Serjeant G. Gilman and Private S. Smallman with
the object of getting quickly to work again to complete any wire–
cutting that still might be needed when the guns again lifted on to
the German trenches. When a lane had been cut, two parties, led by
Craig and Rudd, entered the German line. They found it deserted
but collected some very useful documents from the empty dug-outs.
Corporal T. McManus went into a dug-out by himself and bombed
the occupants. Two rifle grenades were fired from the German
support trenches, but with no ill effects. The time limit had now
come and at I2.55 a.m. the party made its way back, pursued across
No Man's Land by shrapnel and machine-gun fire, but only losing
one man wounded and one slightly wounded. Before leaving the
German trench, the party had time to note with admiration that
they were "scrupulously clean." Appreciation of the gallant work
done on the enemy wire was shown by the award of the Military
Cross to Second-Lieutenant G.
R.
Craig and of the Military Medal
to Serjeant G. Gilman and Private S. Smallman.
16TH BN .
Fine work in saving and attempting to save life was done by
several members of the I6th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel C. M.
Abercrombie) on 5th June when
the
IIth Border Regiment made a
successful raid from its sector. The Germans put down a heavy
barrage
in
retaliation and a number of men of the I6th were buried.
Serjeant
A.
Smith set to work to dig three of them out. He was
nearly buried by a shell while he was at work, but he carried on and
got the men away safely though injured. He was awarded the
Military Medal. After the raid, Second-Lieutenant
J.
B.
Roth led
a patrol which searched No Man's Land till nearly dawn for
casualties of the Border Regiment and brought
in
four bodies.
18TH BN .
The I8th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel
R.
A. Irvine) were not
so fortunate in an attempted raid near a German salient known as
"The Boar's Head" not far from Richebourg L'Avoue
in
the small
hours of IIth June. Careful preparations had been made during the
preceding day, including the laying of a telephone line into No
Man's Land. At I2 .45 a.m. the party advanced and had reached
the German wire, when they were observed. Machine-gun and rifle
fire was opened on them and the situation was not made easier by
the fact that a good deal of shrapnel was bursting over No Man's
Land. However, the party succeeded in throwing several bombs into
the enemy's trenches before they were forced to withdraw.
Lieutenant
J.
W. Strong was killed and Second-Lieutenant E. M.
Stansfield was wounded while trying to bring his body in, a task
which was successfully accomplished by others of the party. Eight
N.C.Os. and men were also wounded.