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162
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
The advance to the second objective was carried out in satis–
factory order. But the right, already weak and bent back, came
under very severe machine-gun fIre from Zollern and Stuff Redoubts.
This had the effect of increasing the gap towards the 8th Northum...
berland Fusiliers. "Z" Company on the left met with serious
opposition from Midway Trench, where several enemy trench
mortars were in position, and from Hessian Trench. Violent fighting
ensued, in which Captain
E.
C.
Longworth and Lieutenant P . S.
B.
Schooling were killed. The Germans resisted stoutly and left many
killed and wounded in the trenches, in the open and in the dug-outs
in which some of them had taken refuge. Six trench mortars were
abandoned by the Germans
in
this area; round them were found
several of their dead, with some of the 9th Battalion. During this
phase also the battalion lost its Medical Officer, Captain G. P. Selby,
Royal Army Medical Corps, who was killed by a bullet whilst he was
attending to wounded in the open under fIre .
When the second objective was reached about 1.20 p.m., only
one officer and not more than a hundred and fifty men survived of
those who had left Constance Trench less than three-quarters of an
hour before. As a result of the heavy casualties incurred on the
right, the bulk of the survivors were grouped towards the extreme
left of Zollern Trench, in which some opposition was met and dealt
with. The men dug themselves in where the trench did not exist
or had been blown in; and
"Z"
Company's Lewis-gun section did
useful work as a covering party.
As Lieutenant-Colonel Da Costa had been ordered to keep
his
headquarters on the Ovillers road close to Pozieres Cemetery, he had
established an observation post behind the assaulting troops, under the
battalion intelligence officer, Second-Lieutenant
J.
Hayes, who sent
back the most valuable information throughout the operation, being
very ably and gallantly helped by Private G. Temple both in collect–
ing information and in taking it back to battalion headquarters.
Hayes was confident that he saw some men of the 9th Battalion at
the appointed hour advancing from the second to the third objective;
and brigade headquarters gained the impression by 6.25 p.m., from
the somewhat confused reports of wounded, that the goal had been
reached.
It
seems certain that Second-Lieutenant H. W. Potter
and a few men did advance towards Hessian Trench, but they were
too few to have made any impression in face of the determined
resistance of the enemy. No trace of the party was found until
some weeks later, when it was learned that Potter had been wounded
in three places and was a prisoner in Germany. The situation
therefore at the end of the day was that the western end of Zollern
Trench, the second objective, was firmly held, but the rest of it
and Zollern Redoubt were still in enemy hands.
When it was reported to
him
that troops had reached the second
objective, the brigadier, under the impression that Zollern Redoubt
had been captured, ordered the headquarters of the 8th Northumber–
land Fusiliers and 9th Lancashire Fusiliers to move up to it. Lieu-