Page 239 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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raid was peculiar in other ways. "The History of the 2nd/6th
Lancashire Fusiliers" relates that soon after the raiding party
had returned a German climbed on to his parapet and beckoned to
the Englishmen who were on the lookout for stragglers. Both sides
sent out small parties into No Man's Land and began to clear the
dead and wounded, it being agreed, however, that neither side
should cross the half-way line between the trenches. One of the
Germans knew Manchester and said he wondered what was on
at "The Palace" that week! For their work on the raid Captain
Lee and Second-Lieutenant
H. Johnston received the
Military Cross; Military Medals were awarded to Serjeant W. E.
Bailey, Corporal T. Barnes, Lance-Corporal
W. Pratt , Private
H. Cowell and Private H. Flux. The party marched to Locon on
the following day and were inspected and warmly congratulated
by the Commander-in-Chief, Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig. "D"
Company of the 3rd/5th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel A. S. Bates)
helped to bring in wounded during this raid, Corporal
winning the Distinguished Conduct Medal for courageous work
in finding and bringing back casualties in daylight.
The whole of this Second-Line brigade received very high
compliments, when they left the Givenchy sector to go to the
Belgian coast towards the end of June, from Lieutenant-General
C. B. Haking, K.C.B., commanding the XI Corps, and from
the commander of the 2nd Division, which relieved the 66th (East
Lancashire) Division, Major-General C. E. Pereira, a Guardsman,
who said that his division had never taken over a line under more
comfortable circumstances.
At 1.30 a.m. on Ist July the I8th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel
BN .
A. Irvine, C.M.G., D.S.O.) carried out a raid at Honnecourt
Wood, near the southern end of the British line. A party consisting
of an officer and twenty-five other ranks of the 20th Battalion
(Lieutenant-Colonel E. Vaughan) formed a protective screen until
a.m. while the raiding party formed up facing its objective. The
attacking force was composed of sixty men of
Company under
Second-Lieutenants F. W. Hobson and G. S. Cormack and forty
men of "Y" Company under Second-Lieutenants S. G. Wolfe and
W. Topham. Although the distance to the objective was four
hundred yards, the advance was successfully carried through under
a barrage to the farthest edge of the wood. Unfortunately, the
night became wet and very overcast just as the advance began, and
the darkness was so intense that the Germans who were found
managed to escape with the exception of one man of the I24th
Infantry Regiment who was taken prisoner. The raiders made their
way back, with the loss of only one man wounded, their return
being greatly helped by small lamps which had been put out to
guide them, though these drew the enemy's fire to some extent.
During June the Second-Line battalions were joined on the
Belgian coast by three of the Salford units, the 15th, I6th and I9th
Battalions. The I5th Battalion has a claim to be regarded as the