Page 251 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THIRD BATTLE OF YPRE5--BATTLE OF CAMBRAl
223
Company in which he thanked the 497th (Kent) Field Company,
Royal Engineers, for their help in consolidation, the Steenbeck
appears under the name "Steambank" !
BEHIND THE LINE
It
is remarkable how Minden Day was almost invariably observed
by battalions of the Regiment throughout the war.
If
duty in the
line prevented celebrations on 1st August itself, they were usually
postponed till circumstances were more favourable. In 1917 the 1st 1ST
AND
and 2nd Battalions were able to keep the proper day and did so 2ND BNS.
thoroughly enough for the fact to be recorded in the brigade war
diaries. The 17th, 18th and 20th Battalions, however, had to hold 17 TH ,
their parades at various dates between the 8th and 16th .\ugust, but
18~~~ND
they were none the less joyous for that.
BNS.
A curious incident happened to the 2nd/5th Battalion (Major 2SD/5TH
G. S. Brighten) at about this time. Serjeant Petrie and Lance- BN.
Corporal Thorpe of "B" Company were walking one night along a
road near their billets at Le Poirier, about eighteen miles from
Boulogne-sur-Mer, when they were approached by three men, one
of whom said in very broken English "What ees the name of thees
place, plees?" Petrie's suspicions were aroused, and he and Thorpe
promptly arrested the men, who turned out to be Serjeant-Major
Hellengs of the 77th German Infantry Regiment and Corporals
Engel and Grethe of the Prussian Guard. They had escaped from a
prisoners-of-war camp at Marquise, near Calais, four days before and
were trying to make their way back to Germany. They were brought
to the battalion guard-room and given some food, which they badly
needed.
It
was also obvious that they had lacked all means of
attending to their toilet; and the adjutant, whose office was
separated from the guard-room by a thin wall, heard one of the
guard say to the Germans, "Chatty? Compris 'chatty' ?"
THE BATTLE OF LANGEMARCK, 16TH TO 18TH ACGUST, 1917
"LANGEMARCK"
9th Battalion
The second phase of the Third Battle of Ypres opened on 16th
August and has been given the name of the Battle of Langemarck
as most progress was made near that village. The Regiment was
represented in it by the 9th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel V. B.
9TH
BN.
Thurston, Dorsetshire Regiment) which, after spending a month in
careful training in attack and semi-open warfare about twenty miles
from Boulogne, moved to the Ypres area at the end of July. There it
practised forming up on a tape both by day and by night and
rehearsed the operation which it was to carry out on 16th August.
The position from which the attack was to start was to run along the
south-western bank of the Steenbeck stream about 1,300 yards
due south of Langemarck, since attempts by other division to