Page 190 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE BATTLE OF THE
SO~1ME,
1916
tenant-Colonel Da Costa advanced, but became separated from the
Northumberland Fusiliers party while going through a German
barrage. He made a detour to the left to avoid the fighting still
raging round Mouquet Farm, but came under machine-gun fire
which scattered his party so that they too were separated. On
nearing Zollern Redoubt he found the way completely blocked
by the enemy to his front and to his right. When it was clea,r
that the Redoubt was still held by the Germans, he decided to go
back to his original headquarters close to Pozieres and to try to
reorganize his staff. The effect of this fruitless journey was that
for seven hours he was cut off from his battalion and that not until
nearly daybreak on the 27th September did he succeed in reas–
sembling his headquarters and his means of communication.
The beginning of that day found only about sixty men of the
former companies still left, but they were undaunted and took steps
to clear Zollern Trench to the eastwards. In this they were largely
successful and managed to establish a good defensive position. On
the 28th the battalion was relieved and went first to dug-outs at
Ovillers and two days later to billets at Varennes.
Its losses had been nearly four hundred. In return, Second–
Lieutenant
J.
Hayes was awarded the Military Cross and Private
G. Temple the Distinguished Conduct Medal for their work in
transmitting information; Private G. Lyon also received this
Medal and Private B. Brierley the Military Medal for their gallantry
in the struggle near Mouquet Farm; and Company Serjeant-Major
W. Wilson was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his
splendid example in remaining with his company throughout the
operations, although wounded.
A Minor Operation near Thiepval.
To the west of the 9th Battalion, the Battle of Thiepval Ridge
had been largely a success. Thiepval itself had fallen; and on the
morning of 28th September the 18th Division attacked in a northerly
direction from the village, their objective being Schwaben Redoubt
and some trenches about six hundred yards north of Thiepval.
As the attack passed across pact of the line at the edge of Thiepval
Wood held by the IIth Battalion, the latter had a good view of the
ITTH
BN.
advancing waves. The attack in the main achieved its purpose,
though the Germans managed to hold parts of the Redoubt.
At 4-45 p.m. the 74th Infantry Brigade received a message from
the 18th Division reporting that the enemy were retiring down their
front line towards the River Ancre, to the west of the area covered
by their attack. The brigadier ordered the IIth Battalion to send
an officer's patrol to verify this statement and if possible to occupy
the enemy's trenches and exploit any success towards the river.
Three patrols, each of thirty men and a Lewis-gun detachment, were
detailed, two from "D" Company (Captain
R.
Ganly, M.C.) and
one from "C" Company. They were commanded
by
Captain