Page 203 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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Tweed, M.C., who also commanded the operation. The moon was
nearly full but the night was cloudy. At 2.30 a.m., after an artillery
bombardment of the German trenches which lasted for fifteen
seconds and then lifted to form a "box barrage" round the edges of
the area of attack, the main raiding party consisting of Lieutenant C.
W. Smith, Second-Lieutenants C. S. Marriott and W. E. Foss and 71
other ranks advanced, while Second-Lieutenant W.
A. Sydes and
18 men attacked some enemy posts known as "Railway Craters" in
order to cover the right flank. A Lewis
guarded the left flank.
The main party took with it two Bangalore torpedoes, both of which
had to be fired by Smith before a way could be made through the
German wire. The trenches were entered and several dug-outs
searched. Marriott prevented the alarm being given by shooting a
sentry who was on the point of firing a signal rocket. Blocks were
placed in communication trenches and the party returned with four
prisoners of the 162nd Regiment. Its casualties were seven men
slightly wounded by shell splinters. Congratulations on "good and
useful work" were received from the First Army Commander, who
said in his telegram that the identifications were of great importance
not only to the Army but to all the Allied armies fighting on the
Western Front. The Military Cross was awarded to Lieutenant
C. W. Smith and Second-Lieutenant W. E. Foss and Military Medals
to Serjeant
Wilkinson, Lance-Serjeant E. Holland and Corporal
D. Smith.
The Military Medal and the Divisional Commander's con-
20TH BN .
gratulations were earned by Serjeant H. C. Bolton of the 20th
Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel E. Vaughan, Manchester Regiment)
for a brilliant piece of daylight patrolling near Arras on 20th
September. He went out during the afternoon to investigate an old
chimney in No Man's Land which had given rise to much suspicion.
At a second attempt he succeeded in entering it and found a
ladder leading up to a hole made by a shell in the wall about
twenty feet from the ground. Iron supports were fastened inside
the chimney as if to enable an observer or sniper to sit in
comparative comfort while using the hole. There were traces of
fresh mud on the rungs of the ladder. The chimney was afterwards
suitably dealt with.
The fine spirit and the close interest in
things concerned with
active soldiering which
always be associated with the memory
of King Albert of the Belgians were exemplified by a visit with
1ST BN .
which he honoured the 1st Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel M.
Magniac, D.S.O.) in the line at Railway Wood, near Ypres, at
6.30 a.m. on 28th September. Accompanied by Prince Alexander
of Teck and the Corps Commander, Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer
Hunter-Weston, His Majesty inspected the battalion's front-line
trenches, in which the parapet had to be raised by sandbags at
dangerous spots owing to his height. He expressed himself as highly
satisfied with the condition of the trenches and the amount of work
put into them. The Corps Commander afterwards endorsed this