Page 253 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THIRD BATTLE OF YPRE5-BATTLE OF CAMBRAI
225
touch with the neighbouring brigade. Inglis succeeded in doing so
and did very .useful work in consolidating the position so that the
battalion's left flank was secure.
The rest of the day was comparatively quiet. Although pre–
parations for a counter-attack were observed several times, no
assault materialized and the chief trouble experienced by the
battalion came from snipers located in Rat House and a wood to the
east of it. Rat House lay in a re-entrant of the battalion's line about
five hundred yards south-west of White House. Orders were therefore
issued for the battalion's posts to be advanced to include Rat House
and the wood and for the line to be straightened. This operation was
successfully carried out on 17th August by Hayes, who had remained
at duty in spite of a wound in the knee received the previous day.
Eight German snipers were found in shell holes which they had
improved so as to use as fire-positions. They were disposed of and
the line was carried forward at least two hundred yards. White
House itself had had to be evacuated during the 17th, as fire was
opened on it by the British heavy artillery; but it was reoccupied
later without opposition.
The battalion was relieved that night without incident and
marched back to Siege Camp near Elverdinghe. Lieutenant
J.
Hayes was awarded a bar to his Military Cross and Second–
Lieutenant A. W. Inglis received the Military Cross. Serjeant A.
Hodkinson was awarded the Military Medal. The battalion's casu–
alties were I officer and 33 other ranks killed, 9 officers and 181
other ranks wounded and 24 other ranks missing.
Two
SIDE-SHOWS
The two South-East Lancashire battalions carried out raids on
21st August, 1917, near the southern end of the British line with the
object of distracting attention from troop movements which were
taking place close behind the line and of damaging the enemy's
trenches.
The operation conducted by the 17th Battalion (Lieutenant-
17
TH
BN.
Colonel F.
J.
F. Crook, D.S.O.) could more suitably be described as
a minor attack, since all four companies and battalion headquarters
were employed in it. The first objective was the trench running
south from Canal Wood, about a mile south-south-west of Honne–
court; the second was two craters and a bank a short distance
beyond the first. The 23rd Manchester Regiment were carrying out
a similar raid on the right. At his inspection of the 17th Battalion on
their Minden Day parade on 8th August, Brigadier-General
J.
W.
Sandilands, commanding the I04th Infantry Brigade, had suggested
that the traditional Minden roses should be worn during this action;
those taking part in it accordingly wore red and white roses on their
steel helmets.
From midnight to 3.30 a.m. on 21st August, parties of
"Z"
Company acted as patrols in No Man's Land, which was nine
hundred yards wide at this point, to ensure that the Germans did not
Q