Page 231 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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19 l
6-
l 9 l 7
20
3
was very heavily shelled. The cellar was blown in, and a number
1ST/6TH
of the garrison buried. In spite of the continued shelling, Private
AiD
R.
Stock of lst /6th, Private
J.
Davies of the lst/7th and some
I~N~~H
others volunteered to dig them out. They succeeded in extricating
all those who were still alive. Stock and Davies were awarded
the Military Medal for their gallantry.
A few days later, on l8th April, at 3 a.m. a party of 2 officers and
24 other ranks of 2nd/7th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel S. H.
2ND/ 7 TH
Hingley, Middlesex Regiment) left "D" Sap at Givenchy with the
EN.
object of entering the enemy's trench, securing identifications and
bombing dug-outs. The enemy were found to be alert, however, and
the raiders were forced to retire under heavy fire. Serjeant
J.
Sillitoe
displayed great gallantry and succeeded in bringing back to his trench
under fire Lieutenant W. Robinson, who had been wounded. He was
awarded the Military Medal. Three men were wounded and 5 missing.
The sister battalion, 2nd/8th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel H .
2ND/8TH
Gordon Roberts, 4th South Lancashire Regiment), shortly afterwards
EN.
had a disturbing experience in the same sector. At "Stand to"
early on 2nd May, the enemy blew a mine between two saps occupied
by the battalion which had the curious effect of exposing to view a
large part of the German line hitherto hidden. Major G. H .
Ramsbottom, second-in-command of the battalion, was partially
buried and received severe shock and head injuries from falling
debris.
Exactly a week later and a few hundred yards farther north,
another battalion of the brigade, the 3rd/Sth Battalion (Lieutenant-
3RD/5TH
Colonel A. S. Bates, D.S.O., London Rifle Brigade) carried out a most
EN.
successful raid with the co-operation of the Royal Artillery and the
Royal Engineers. A few nights before, Lieutenant F.
H.
Crouch,
3rd/Sth Battalion, and the Brigade Intelligence Officer, Second–
Lieutenant D. Gray, 2nd/6th Battalion, carried out a close recon–
naissance of the wire in bright moonlight. The Royal Engineers not
only placed and fired a Bangalore torpedo which opened a way for the
raiders, but also discharged several hundred Mills bombs simul–
taneously from projectors by way of a preliminary bombardment.
To judge by letters captured a few
~ays
later, the enemy was very
considerably shaken. The raiding party consisted of Lieutenant F . H .
Crouch, Second-Lieutenant S. E. Reid, Second-Lieutenant
J.
W.
Pickett and thirty-seven N.C.Os. and men of "D" Company.
It
spent
less than five minutes in the German trenches, but captured several
men of the 3rd Bavarian Reserve Regiment (lst Bavarian Reserve
Division)-a very valuable identification-who had evidently only
recently joined as their equipment and kit were new and complete.
Highly complimentary messages of congratulation were received
from the Corps, Divisional and Brigade Commanders. Crouch was
wounded but remained on duty ; three men were wounded; other-
wise there were no casualties.
As
if
determined not to be beaten
in
a competition, the battalion
which the 3rd/Sth replaced in the 197th Infantry Brigade also