Page 180 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE BATTLE
OF
THE SOMME, 1916
At about 6 a.m. the enemy counter-attacked and temporarily drove
back the South Lancashire; but the situation was restored by the
latter with the help of Lewis-gun fire from No. I Company, and
Point 18 was never again lost. During this episode a party of
Germans tried to retire across the new front occupied by No.
2
Company just south of Ovillers Church. Coming under Lewis-gun
fire from the company, they surrendered to Palk, who went
out himself to bring them in, although the Germans had by then
turned their machine guns on their own men. The prisoners
were 37 men of the Guard Fusiliers. For this incident and for its
" exceptionally good work" throughout the operation, the battalion
was conunended by the Divisional Conunander.
Further counter-attacks were made by the enemy on 14th July,
but without success. On 15th July the battalion was withdrawn
from the line to billets at Warloy Baillon. The fighting had cost
the battalion
2
officers killed (Second-Lieutenants
L.
G. Longley
and T. G. Mahoney),
I
wounded, and 40 other ranks killed or
wounded, many of the latter being the bombers of No: I Company.
THE BATTLE
OF
BAZENTIN RIDGE
14TH TO ' IJrH JULY, 1916
11 th, 15th and 16th Battalions
Second-Lieutenant M. A. Callaghan's D.S.O.
After three days of rest, spent in training and refitting at Senlis,
IITH BN.
the IIth Battalion moved up on 14th July to trenches at
La
Boisselle
where it was attached to the Jih Infantry Brigade as support.
The brigade attacked Ovillers that evening, but without success.
At II p.m. "A" and "B" Companies took part in a second attack,
which also failed at about
2
a.m. on 15th July, owing to uncut wire.
Their losses from machine-gun fire were considerable. Later in the
day the battalion returned to La Boisselle, where it was in support
to its own brigade, the 74th.
At 1.30 a.m. on 16th July the latter delivered an attack on the
south-eastern edge of Ovillers which was partly successful. A neigh–
bouring brigade also attacked, and one of its battalions, the 5th
Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was cut off.
It
was decided that
the 74th Brigade should try to reach them by means o( bombing
attacks. At about noon three bombing squads of the IIth Battalion
were ordered up to make the attempt. Two of them, consisting of
sixteen non-commissioned officers and men, were under the command
of Second-Lieutenant M. A. Callaghan. They attacked the enemy
with such a rain of rifle and hand grenades that the Germans were
driven back into a strong point. But even here they could not
withstand the bombers' onslaught, and at about 7.30 p.m. a German
with a large white flag got out of the trench. Callaghan, followed by
Lance-Corporal W.
H.
White, climbed on to the parapet and
advanced on the flag-bearer, whereupon the garrison of the strong