Page 241 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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enemy's lines. They reported that the area in which they found
themselves was not occupied by the Germans and that the ground
was fairly firm. Phillips was awarded the Military Medal.
Elsewhere, even so early in the year, the ground was not always
firm. The 18th Battalion had to record on 19th July that when the
J
8TH BN.
Corps Commander visited the line near Epehy that day he was
reported to have stuck in the mud. The account adds, with evident
relief, that no adverse criticism followed this visit.
A good deal of banter seems to have been exchanged between
the 18th Battalion and the units of another division on its right. In
the middle of July several pieces of information were received which
indicated that the Germans intended to deliver a strong raid on the
front of that division, which however refused to believe in it, even
when a deserter told the 20th Battalion that 400 enemy troops were
~OTH
Bs.
being trained for it. By 21st July, everybody was certain that an
attack was imminent-except the -th Division. The 18th and
20th Battalions consequently were able to mingle a sense of triumph
with their discomfort when they were very heavily shelled on the
26th by the German artillery which was supporting a raid on the
front of that division! The 18th Battalion helped to deal with the
attacking infantry; and Private A. Mizon was awarded the Military
Medal for his gallantry and soldierly conduct in keeping his Lewis
gun
in action during the bombardment, although severely wounded.
The last event to be recorded before passing on to the big
offensive of 1917 is a raid carried out on Tino Trench, near
Vendhuille, on the night of 29th/30th July, by the 20th Battalion,
20TIf BN.
helped by a diversion on its left created by the 17th Battalion.
17TH BN.
Lieutenant F.
J.
Toms laid out tapes on which a party composed of
Second-Lieutenants H. MacLeod and
L.
Taylor and 68 other ranks
under the command of Second-Lieutenant F.
J.
Butler, formed up.
At midnight the raiders moved forward behind a creeping barrage in
two detachments. The right party was preceded by a few men
carrying a Bangalore torpedo to complete the cutting of the wire;
but the bombing section would not wait for them to do their work
and, putting "traverser mats" on the wire, crossed into the German
front line just as the barrage lifted to the support trenches. They
were thus able to catch the enemy still
in
his dug-outs, four of which
they bombed. In two of them were small parties of the enemy who
offered resistance but were soon quietened by bombs and rifle fire.
Two Germans were captured and passed back to the moppers-up as
prisoners, but, attempting later to escape, they were "dealt with."
One prisoner was, . however, sent back alive by the right party,
together with five rifles. The prisoner provided a most valuable
identification, as it transpired that a Jager division, hitherto
in
the
Ypres area, had taken over the line only that night at 10 p.m.
The torpedo detachment of the left party saw a listening post
of two men in front of the wire, but left them to be made prisoners
by the bombers. There was trouble with these prisoners too, and
only one could be sent back to the British lines, the other having to