Page 169 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
of the latter division could not cross No Man's Land; but
opposite a German strong point known as the Quadrilateral (about
1,200 yards south-west of Serre) , which had been seized by the
IIth Brigade, it was possible to cross without great difficulty or
many casualties. At about 9.15 a .m., in view of the lack of success
on the front as a whole, orders were issued for the 12th Brigade
to stand fast. But as all its units were on the move, messages
had to be sent by runner, and they failed to reach any unit
except "C" Company. The remainder of the battalion pushed on;
and by inclining to the left and so getting some shelter under the
north side of Redan Ridge, they were able to avoid the machine–
gun fire from Beaumont Hamel. Crossing the German front line
south of the Quadrilateral, they pressed forward to reinforce the
advanced elements of the IIth Brigade. Heavy casualties never–
theless occurred, Captain M. P. Gamon (intelligence officer) and
Second-Lieutenant H .
C.
Kenion being killed and Lieutenant A. D.
Macdonald and Second-Lieutenant C.
L.
Rougier being wounded at
this stage. On entering the German lines, companies broke up into
sections and a good deal of telescoping and mixing occurred. "A"
and "B" Companies worked their way up to the furthest trenches
held by the IIth Brigade, and were followed by part of "D"
Company. The remainder helped to consolidate the old German
front line.
It
was now II a.m. The enemy were counter-attacking in front
and from the flanks, chiefly with bombs, but supported by very
accurate machine-gun fire. At first our troops, suffered from a
serious shortage of bombs. Later a line of bomb carriers was
organized across No Man's Land, and a good supply was maintained
for the rest of the day. A ding-dong struggle, with much close
fighting, continued in and near the Quadrilateral throughout the day
and far into the night. Seckham and part of "B" Company,
working under the orders of the Commanding Officer of the 2nd
Seaforth Highlanders (loth Brigade), held on until 2 a.m. ,on 2nd July.
He was ably helped by Company Serjeant-Major
J.
N. Laverick,
who not only organized men of different units into sections and
platoons, but found a Stokes mortar and brought it into action,
though he had never seen one before, firing it as long as the ammuni–
tion lasted. Lieutenant-Colonel Freeth moved from company to
company, often across the open, and encouraged the men with praise
for what they had done.
Shortly before nightfall orders were received that the battalion
should assemble in the trenches in Elles Square, in the old British
line, so as to be in support to the front line, which was occupied
by the Essex, King's OVill Royal Lancaster and Duke of Wellington's
Regiments. The majority of the battalion being still in the Quadri–
lateral,
all
that could at first be collected was Lieutenant-Colonel
Freeth, Lieutenant G. C. Martin (adjutant), two officers of "C"
Company and about a hundred rank and file. During the night
Captains Seckham and Mansell and Second-Lieutenants
C.
P. Ranger,