Page 170 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME,
1916
143
H. T. Williams (who had been wounded) and W. F. Hall came in
with about a hundred and thirty more non-commissioned officers
and men, having skilfully evacuated their position at the Quadri–
lateral with few casualties. In the early hours of 2nd July the
battalion was reinforced by the arrival of Major A. ]. W. Blencowe,
seven other officers and about sixty other ranks, the ten per cent.
reserve.
The casualties during 1st July had been 6 officers and 31 other
ranks killed, 9 officers and 273 other ranks wounded, and
I
officer
and 48 other ranks missing.
The battalion stayed in the trenches at Elles Square till early
on the morning of 3rd July, when
it
moved back to its assembly
trenches of 30th June near Mailly-Maillet. During the afternoon of
3rd July a German counter-attack was feared and the battalion was
sent up to the line at n.30 p.m.
It
spent a very uncomfortable
night in a communication trench and a downpour of rain, moving
back to Mailly-Maillet on the night of 4th/5th July. On the evening
of 5th July it relieved the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers and part of the
King's Own in the line, its strength having been increased to 23
officers and 400 other ranks owing to the rejoining of various
carrying parties. The weather had now become very wet and the
trenches had been badly damaged by German artillery and were
full of dead, with the result that the battalion spent six most
uncomfortable days before it was relieved by the 1st Hampshire
Regiment on the night of 10th/nth July, after many casualties.
A raid, under the command of Second-Lieutenant D.
L.
Waghom,
tried on the night of 9th/lOth July to enter the German lines in
order to take prisoners and inflict casualties but with strict orders
to avoid losses in view of the weak state of the unit; and, though it
was not able to damage the enemy, it was successful in finding
out how and in what strength the enemy was holding the remains
of his line. Between 5th and loth July smoke and petrol bombs
were discharged, apparently with the object of frightening the
Germans; but the only results were retaliatory artillery fire and yet
more casualties.
At last the battalion was allowed to rest, and it spent five days,
from nth to 16th July, in a very pleasant camp at Bertrancourt.
The decorations awarded to the 2nd Battalion for its work
included a bar to his Military Cross to Captain
L.
B.
L.
Seckham,
the Military Cross to the Medical Officer, Captain G. M. Scott,
R.A.M.C., who was wounded, and the Distinguished Conduct Medal
to Company Serjeant-Major J. N. Laverick.
Quadrangle Tre'nch, Contaltnaison, 5th
to
7th July
10th
Battalion
The next scene in the first act of the drama of the Battle of the
Somme has a different setting from that just described, and takes
place farther to the south, on the undulating ground north of