Page 261 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES-BATTLE OF CAMBRAI
233
But on the right, elements pushed on and Cridland saw some men
approaching the "Green Line." This was confirmed by a message
from Cochrane that Second-Lieutenant A. Stafford was within fifty
yards of the Line and was about to advance. Shortly after, Cochrane
was killed. By now all but two of the officers who had gone forward
with the companies had become casualties, seven having been
killed and four wounded: Second-Lieutenant R. M. Barlow,
although severely wounded in the first few minutes, had refused
to leave his platoon until he had led them to Schuler Galleries
and seen their Gonsolidation begin. Three officers were left in
the forward area-Cridland at the command-post and Stafford
and Second-Lieutenant A. H. G. Griggs with the troops of whom
not more than about sixty were now left in organized bodies.
The adjutant (Captain
J.
C. Latter) therefore went forward at
8.45 a .m. to see what could be done. He learnt from Cridland that,
though the latter was in touch with some men of "A"
Company under Griggs on his right , he was unable to obtain any
news of the parties which had pushed on towards the "Green Line."
At
!I.30
a.m. an order was received from brigade headquarters and
issued to Cridland that no further attempt was to be made to reach
this objective, but that a defensive position was to be organized on
the line reached. A telephone line had by now been run forward to
Schuler Galleries, and several times during the day Cridland was
able to send back early information of German preparations for a
counter-attack which enabled the artillery to break them up. The
line was cut more than once by shell fire , but a signaller, Private H.
Jones, went out each time and mended it, with complete disregard
of his own safety.
At 4 p.m. an attempt to get in touch with any survivors of the
leading waves was organized by Griggs. But shortly after, a very
heavy German barrage was put down on the Galleries and over a
wide area, under cover of which a counter-attack was launched
against a neighbouring brigade. Owing to a false alarm, the "S 0 S"
was sent up from the Galleries, which caused the British barrage
to come down-some of it on parts of the Galleries-and Lieutenant–
Colonel Brighten to collect practically the whole of his headquarters
and dash forward with them to the help of what he knew to be an
inadequate garrison for the repelling of any attack. Finding that all
was comparatively well, he withdrew his party to Pond Farm
Galleries, instructing Latter to organize a proper defensive system
on the "Dotted Red Line." Griggs had already dug a trench, which
he called "Minden Trench," to the right of the Galleries; and Latter
proceeded to organize such men as he could find into sentry groups
and to place N.C.Os. in command of areas containing several groups.
The night was quiet; and apart from a heavy German bombard–
ment from 6 to 8 p.m., the next day was uneventful. During the
night the line of posts was advanced slightly, but the front line was
otherwise undisturbed.
The 22nd was quiet apart from German bombardment from