Page 181 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, 1914-1918
point surrendered, to the number of 2 officers and 124 other ranks
of the Prussian Guard Fusiliers. Callaghan then led his bombers
rouRd the strong point and succeeded in gaining touch with the
beleaguered 5th Royal Warwickshire at 8 p.m. He was wounded
during this operation, but remained at duty.
For their gallantry and good leadership Callaghan was awarded
the Distinguished Service Order, a rare honour for so junior a
subaltern, and White received the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
In Reserve
15 TH AND
The 15th and 16th Battalions also qualified for the battle honour
I6THBNS.
It
Bazentin
JJ
by being in support near
La
Boisselle and Aveluy
respectively on 15th July.
THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME-ENTRACTE
2nd/5th, 17th, 18th and 20th Battalions
While heavy fighting was being carried on by other troops
elsewhere, several battalions of the regiment were involved in minor
incidents towards the end of July, particularly the Bantam and
Salford units.
18TH BN.
On 21st July the 18th Battalion, which had taken over a sector
of the trenches close to Trones Wood the day before, was attacked
in
the small hours of the morning by two lines of Germans, number–
ing about two hundred, who advanced under cover of a mist but
were stopped by Lewis and machine-gun fire when fifty yards
from the British line.
At 5 p.m. that day the brigadier (Brigadier-General
J.
W.
Sandilands, C.M.G., D.S.O.) issued orders for the 18th Battalion to
carry out a strong raid that night on a trench running from a point
just south-east of Arrow Head Copse, close to Guillemont, to Maltz
Horn Fann, about 1,200 yards south-west of that village. The
object was to destroy the wire in front of the trench so that
troops might pass it. To enable it to carry out the raid, the
battalion was relieved in the front line by the
IJth
Battalion. The
enemy interfered considerably with the relief by putting down
a barrage, which lasted for two hours, on the front line and the
area behind it. As a result, the relief was completed only ten
minutes before the attack was due to begin, and the raiding parties
had to form up in front of the parapet instead of in a valley behind
the front line as had been intended. Moreover, the ground was
strange to everybody, the warning order for the raid was only
received at 6.30 p.m. and the company commanders did not receive
detailed orders till midnight. As a final difficulty, the Germans
became very suspicious seven minutes before the attack began and
showed considerable activity, which included the firing of a number
of red rockets.
At 1.30 a.m. the raiders advanced in two columns, separated by
five hundred yards, with the object of getting through the wire