Page 263 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES-BATTLE OF CAMBRAI
235
withdrew his party to a place of cover and superintended the blowing
of gaps by means of two Bangalore torpedoes. He then took his
party forward once more and entered the trench. Its occupants had
been withdrawn and the time limit of half an hour for the raid was
reached before any could be found. But a valuable identification was
obtained in the shape of a greatcoat belonging to the 184th Infantry
Regiment, at a cost of two casualties, Wallis and one man being
wounded. Wainwright carried Wallis back under fire from a German
machine
gun.
He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry
and good leadership on this occasion; Serjeants
J.
Tomlinson and
W.
J
ohnston and Private
F.
Rowles received the Military Medal.
A short distance to the left, Second-Lieutenant H.
F.
Ward, with
two other officers and fifty other ranks of the 18th Battalion and
two sappers, had met with the same difficulty at the wire. The
sappers made a way through with two Bangalore torpedoes; and,
after crossing a second belt of wire by means of "traverser" mats,
the raiders invaded Knoll Trench. Here they divided into two
parties and had better luck than Wainwright's party as several
Germans were found. A corporal and three men of the 440th
Infantry Regiment were taken prisoner and two other men were
bayoneted. During their withdrawal the raiders came under con–
siderable machine-gun fire, but only seven men were wounded in the
operation, three of them so lightly that they were able to remain at
duty. Second-Lieutenant H.
F.
Ward received the Military Cross.
At the end of this month, the 18th Battalion received drafts of
281 men, most of whom had been transferred from the Inland Water
Transport branch of the Royal Engineers and from the Army Service
Corps-an indication of the seriousness of the manpower problem
and the difficulty of finding reinforcements of the highest physical
. category for combatant units.
IN THE
WINGS
"POLYGO:-; WOOO"
Although they took no part in the fighting, the 1st, 2nd, 9th and
19th Battalions were in the prescribed area during the Battle of
Polygon Wood, which took place from 26th September to 3rd
October, and thus gained this battle honour for the Regiment.
THE NINTH BATTALION'S LAST ACTION, 4TH OCTOBER, 1917
"BROOOSEINOE"
9th Battalion
The next big phase of the Third Battle of Ypres took place on
4th October, 1917, in the shape of a wide attack which made the
most progress near Broodseinde, whence it took its name. Towards
the extreme left of the frontage of attack, the 9th Battalion (Major
9TR BN.
]. Milnes) took part in what was destined to be its last fight, though