Page 210 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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Second-Lieutenant A. H. Lamb did good work which earned him
the Military Cross: when Smith was wounded, he took command of
the company, organized tbe defence and drove back several strong
German thrusts before being finally forced to withdraw, when
Slingsby took over the company. Small though the operation was,
the losses of the battalion in officers that day were heavy : Second–
Lieutenant]. F. Dodd was killed by a shell and Second-Lieutenant
Corkhill by a sniper; Captain D. H. Smith and Second-Lieutenant
Cook were wounded; and Captain T. Slingsby cut his foot in some
German wire and had to retire to hospital for a fortnight .
The months of February and March, 1917, saw the concentration
in France of
the Territorial battalions of the Regiment. The 66th
(East Lancashire) Division came from Colchester in the last few
days of February, bringing
it the 197th Infantry Brigade, which
consisted of the 3rd/Sth (Lieutenant-Colonel A. S. Bates, D.s.O.,
London Rifle Brigade), 2nd/6th (Lieutenant-Colonel A. Berry, 7th
Battalion), 2nd/7th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel S. H . Hingley,
Middlesex Regiment) and 2nd/8th (Lieutenant-Colonel H. Gordon
Roberts, 4th South Lancashire Regiment) Battalions. The 3rd/Sth
had taken the place of the 2nd/sth when the latter went to France
with the IS4th Infantry Brigade of the SIst (Highland) Division in
May, 1915. The 197th Brigade made its first appearance in the line
at Givenchy, near Bethune, the 3rd/Sth and 2nd/7th taking over
sectors on 14th March. The 2nd/7th was not long left undisturbed.
2 N D / 7TH
On 17th March the Germans, perhaps led by unaccustomed
E N.
happenings to believe that they had some new neighbours, put
down a heavy barrage of shrapnel and trench mortars on the
front line at LIS a .m . and then attempted a raid. Several
Germans were seen approaching the battalion's line, dragging
behind them what looked like two machine guns on trolleys. But
rapid rifle and machine-gun fire was opened and the artillery
answered the
0 S" call, with the result that the attack was
driven off. The XI Corps Commander, Lieutenant-General Sir R.
Haking, KC.B., was very pleased with the good start made by the
new division and sent a cordial message of appreciation. Private A.
Prestwood was awarded the Military Medal for his coolness on this
occasion, the first honour to be won by the 66th Division.
The 2nd/6th and 2nd/8th began their first tour of duty in the
2 N D/8 TH
line on 19th March, and it did not lack excitement; for on the last
E N.
day, 23rd, the Germans blew a mine opposite a sap held by the
2nd/8th, causing four casualties but little damage to the trenches.
When the other half-brigade went back into the same sector at
Givenchy, it was the turn of the 3rd/Sth Battalion to be disturbed .
3RJ) / 5TH
At 4.So a.m. on 24th March about a dozen Germans approached a
E N.
post in Canadian Orchard and threw bombs. This attack was
immediately answered with rifle fire and with bombs, though
unfortunately the nearest Lewis gun jammed. Nevertheless a