Page 266 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
the intelligence officer, going forward at
II
a.m. to find a place for
battalion headquarters near the "Dotted Red Line," disappeared
completely and it had to be presumed that he was the victim of a
direct hit by a German shell. The task of consolidation was begun
at once. "W" and "X" Companies each dug themselves in in a line
of shell holes about eighty yards in front of the objective, and
gradually linked them up to form posts. In rear of this line, "Y"
Company made another line of posts, while "Z" dug yet a third in
rear again. Pemberton, now in command, moved his headquarters
to within three hundred yards of the front line and was active
in
personally supervising the work of consolidation. Once again the
tanks helped, by bringing up Lewis guns and ammunition to the
fonvard positions. Patrols were sent forward under cover of a
protective barrage in order to clear the ground in front of the new
posts. They had orders to occupy Beek Houses, about three hundred
yards beyond the objective. But though these appeared to be empty
when they advanced, they were unable to reach them owing to the
barrage; and when the latter lifted, the place was seen to have been
reoccupied by the Germans in such strength as to make its seizure
by patrols out of the question.
The new line was twice counter-attacked during the day. At
4.30
p.m. the Germans advanced against both its flanks. But thanks
to the hard work put in by "W" and "X" Companies, tired though
they were, as soon as they had reached their objective, the attackers
were driven off. A second attack, delivered against the battalion on
the left and the left flank of "W" Company, met with the same fate.
The night passed in comparative quiet. Early next morning,
Captain
J.
F. T. Ward-McQuaid, who had just returned from a
course at the Senior Officers' School at Aldershot, came up from the
transport lines and took over the command from Pemberton who,
although a Sandhurst cadet twelve months before, had shown the
greatest initiative, gallantry and organizing ability in an emergency.
This very able young officer was awarded the Distinguished Service
Order. Captain A. Parke received the Military Cross, as did the
transport officer, Lieutenant H. Pollitt, who brought the rations
forward each night and, on one occasion when the ration party was
dispersed by enemy fire, personally superintended the delivery of
food to each company. Bars to the Military Medal were awarded to
Serjeant
J.
Blackledge, Serjeant G. F. Stacey and Private F. Radford;
while the Medal itself was received by Serjeants j. A. Smithson,
J.
Sockett and H . Wood, Lance-Serjeant G. jeffs, Corporal j.
Phillingham, and Privates R. Ashworth, T. W. Briggs,
J.
Feeney,
J.
Gardiner, W. Hammond, W. Illingworth, F. Liddiard, M. Lyons,
H. G. Macklen, T. Morgan, A. Rennison,
C.
Tandy and W. S.
Worthington. The casualties had been 4 officers and
15
other ranks
killed, 8 officers and
140
other ranks wounded, and
I
officer and 53
men missing. Most of the latter proved to have been wounded and
evacuated to hospital through the aid posts of other units.
During the night of 5th/6th October the battalion
was
relieved by