Page 232 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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20 4
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
carried out a useful raid at Ypres on the night of IIth/12th May.
Second-Lieutenant T. Dickinson, of the 2nd/5th Battalion (Lieuten–
~ND/5TH
ant-Colonel
B.
Best-Dunkley), was given only a few hours' notice of
BN.
the raid, but made all the arrangements with the artillery and
trench mortars himself and then took out a party of twelve men
under cover of a creeping barrage. This had, however, not completely
destroyed the German wire and the party had some difficulty in
getting through. While efforts were being made to cut the wire,
they were quite heavily bombed from their right. After some little
delay, they succeeded in entering the enemy trench. The party then
divided: one squad went to the left for twenty-five yards, but met
nobody except one German who hurriedly retreated; the other
advanced to the right through three bays from which the garrison
had withdrawn and bayoneted one of a party of Germans found in
the next section. The party then withdrew with the loss of one man
killed and one man wounded. Dickinson had done much good work
previously. The day before this raid he had collided with a German
bombing party while out on patrol and had driven it off with rifle
and Lewis-gun fire. He then followed it up to look for wounded and
stayed out for two hours. The night after his raid, he went out quite
alone into No Man's Land during a hostile raid on the battalion on
the right and brought in a wounded officer and man, going back
later and bringing in two British dead.
In
two days he received
five congratulatory messages from the Brigade and Divisional Com–
manders and from the Commanding Officer. He also received the
Military Cross.
Late the same day, 12th May, a very successful raid was carried
20TH BN.
out by the 20th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel E. Vaughan) at
Pontruet, near the southern end of the British sector, in which area it
had been since the advance to the Hindenburg Line.
It
was resting at
the time; but, after several previous reconnaissances very skilfully
and gallantly carried out, Second-Lieutenant R. Irvine took up to
the front line at 8.45 p.m. that evening a party from the battalion
consisting of himself, Second-Lieutenant A. N. Kennedy and eighty
N.C.Os. and men. The objective was a crater half a mile north-west
of Pontruet, known as Fisher Crater, which was believed to be held
by the enemy in advance of his main line of trenches. The raiders
set out at II.30 p.m. in two parties. They were fired on after
advancing about fifty yards. The crater was at once rushed and the
German garrison of fifteen fled. The left-hand raiding party occupied
the crater while the other pursued the enemy and overtook two of
them, shooting one and bayoneting the other. The remainder of the
Germans ran into the barrage which the British artillery and
machine
guns
put down at II.45 p.m. with the object of isolating
the German garrison and covering the raiders' withdrawal; and they
suffered further casualties. At 12.15 a.m. Irvine's party retired
in accordance with his orders, his only casualties being two men
wounded. Irvine received the Military Cross for his good work on
this and previous occasions.