Page 204 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

19 1
6-
19 17
177
praise in a letter in which he remarked that "even the Strombos
horn was polished."
Two days later, on 30th September, the 1st Battalion was
1ST AN .
responsible for a successful raid on the enemy lines opposite Railway
Wood. At 7 p.m. that evening, a raiding party consisting of Captain
J.
F.
B.
Stevenson, Second-LieutenantRDownes, Second-Lieutenant
F. R Logan and 37 N.C.Os. and men assembled in the front line.
At 7.30 p.m. Logan and a small party carrying a Bangalore torpedo
moved out to a selected position in No Man's Land, while flank
guards were posted in shell holes on the right and left. Between
8 p.m. and 8-40 p .m. a barrage of fire was gradually built up, first
light trench mortars, then Stokes mortars, howitzers and field guns,
and finally machine guns. At 8.30 p.m. the raiding party left their
trenches and formed up in No Man's Land. Ten minutes later
Logan's party moved forward to the German wire, which it found
partially destroyed. In another ten minutes, after two missfires, the
Bangalore torpedo had made a sufficient gap; and after an
intensive bombardment for five minutes, the main party under
Stevenson entered the German trench. Downes led some men to
the right and met a German post of four men who threw away their
rifles and fled, while Logan and his party moved to the left for
fifty yards and blocked a communication trench. No further signs
of the enemy were seen; but, when the raiders were recalled at
9.20 p.m. by the sounding of the Regimental call on a bugle, they
brought back with them three rifles, a quantity of ammunition, bombs
and periscopes and five bundles containing greatcoats and kit from
which some useful identifications were obtained. The only casualty
suffered was one man slightly wounded. Telegrams of congratulation
were received from the Army andCorps Commanders; Captain
J.
F. B.
Stevenson was awarded the Military Cross; and Serjeant
J.
Hughes,
Corporal E. Wright, Lance-Corporal W. H. Whittaker and Private
T. W. Pollard received the Military Medal.
In the same week the 18th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel R
A.
18 TH BN .
Irvine, C.M.G.) was involved in a night of bombing encounters
while in the line at Dainville near Arras. At 10.30 p.m. on 2nd
October two bombing patrols were sent out. That from the right
("Z") company was unable to find a way through the enemy's wire,
but bombed one of his sap-heads and returned by midnight without
loss. The other, from the left ("X") company, got into the German
wire where it was bombed, Second-Lieutenant H . F. Ward being hit.
At 2-45 a.m. Serjeant Coates returned to the British lines, having
partly carried, partly rolled, Ward across No Man's Land, an action
for which he was subsequently praised by the Divisional Commander.
Four other men came in later, but three N.C.Os. and men were
wounded and one missing as the result of this affair.
The 18th Battalion was less successful as regards praise
18T R AN .
from the Divisional Commander when he visited part of the
front line during the morning of 4th October, for he commented
adversely on the number of officers' servants in Serjeant Rushton's
N