Page 255 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THIRD BATTLE OF YPRE5--BATTLE OF CAMBRAI
227
losses had been light : 2 killed and 2 officers and 35 other ranks
wounded. Captain W. D. Cheshire was awarded the Military Cross;
and Military Medals were granted to Corporal W. Shepherd and
Privates
J.
Diggle and
J.
A. Hall. Even in a comparatively small
operation such as this, the expenditure of ammunition could be
surprisingly heavy : on this occasion the mac'hine guns taking part
in the barrage fired a total of 136,750 rounds.
Later the same day the 20th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel E.
20TH
BN.
Vaughan, D.S.O.) carried out a smaller raid about seven hundred
yards farther north at a spot called "Les Tranchees" ("The
Trenches"), which curiously was the peace-time name of it. Profiting
by the experience of the 17th Battalion, the brigade commander
decided to take steps calculated to ensure that the wire was properly
cut; and, during the afternoon, 100 rounds were fired on it by 6-in.
howitzers with aerial observation. Even so, when the raiding party,
consisting of Captain C.
C.
Cressy, Second-Lieutenants T . A. Clegg, J .
Slater and W. D. Campbell, 62 other ranks of "X" Company, 23 other
ranks of
"w"
Company, and two Lewis guns , set out at
II
p.m. under
cover of a heavy barrage, they found the German wire still uncut.
With the aid of a Bangalore torpedo and "traverser" mats, an entry
was eventually effected, though not before some twenty casualties
had been caused by a heavy trench-mortar and machine-gun barrage
which the Germans opened on the edge of their wire. When the
raiders reached the German trench, they found no occupants, the
latter having perhaps been driven out by the barrage covering
the attack. Following the established custom of leaving some
indication of a visit when its intended recipient is absent, the
attacking party left in inconspicuous places a number of small mines
with delay-action fuzes. Military Medals were awarded to Serjeant
C.
H. Bellerby, Serjeant
J.
K.
Craig, Private
J.
Maguire and Private
J. E. Quance.
AN ILL- STARRED ATTACK
1st/5th, 1st/6th, 1st/7th and 1st/8th Battalions
The First-Line Territorial battalions spent the greater part of the
summer opposite the Hindenburg Line near the extreme right of
the British line. But towards the end of August, 1917, they moved
to the Ypres district, taking their place in the line near Frezenberg.
As elsewhere, the forward positions were in reality an outpost line,
which in this area was not satisfactory as a base for further opera–
tions on a big scale. It was therefore decided that an attack should
be launched with a view to obtaining a better line. Several divisions
were to take part ; and the share allotted to the 125th (Lancashire
Fusiliers) Infantry Brigade was the capture of Borry Farm, Beck
House and Iberian Farm, which lay to the north-east of Frezenberg
and just to the south of the scene of the 2nd/5th Battalion's attack
on 31st July. The key to any attack on Iberian Farm was Hill 35,
which was three hundred yards to the north of it; but the division