Page 274 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES-BATTLE OF CAMBRAl
243
fluous; for the Germans launched yet another attack from the north
and north-east, this time to the number of about a battalion in
eight lines. But it was a half-hearted effort which withered away
under the rifle fire of the now firmly established line.
"D" Company on the left had also advanced with the barrage,
but seems to have drifted somewhat to its right . The British
artillery, unaware of the situation, was firing short at this stage and
several casualties resulted, including the death of the company
commander, Second-Lieutenant G. Garnet. Command devolved
on Second-Lieutenant B. W. Addison, but the men of the company
were by now so scattered that he was able to exercise little direct
control over it . Nevertheless he collected such troops as he could
and reached the final objective. He also established a post, con–
sisting of half a dozen men of the 16th Middlesex Regiment, between
Senegal Farm and Tranquille House, while a few men of one of his
platoons dug themselves in with men of the Newfoundland and
Worcestershire Regiments near the latter place. Lance-Corporal T.
O'Sullivan did useful work during this stage of the attack. With
three men, he attacked an enemy strong-point which had been
causing casualties, and seized it, capturing a machine gun and
killing or taking prisoner all its occupants.
Thus by about 10 a.m. the battalion had accomplished its task,
but with a loss of all but five of the company officers and of half the
total of other ranks. Its front line was strengthened at about noon
by the sending up under Company Serjeant-Major C. Murphy of
scattered parties collected from various places by him. He disposed
them in good defensive positions and took advantage of his presence
in
the forward area to mark out, under considerable fire, a track
leading back to battalion headquarters, without which the relief of
the leading companies would have been even more difficult than it
was.
Early
in
the afternoon, Lieutenant-Colonel Hart Synnot received
orders that the whole of his line would be taken over by the Middlesex
Regiment and the Royal Fusiliers and that he was to re-form his
battalion on the first objective. Shortly after, he received a second
order stating that the battalion would be relieved altogether that
night . Slowly and painfully the relief was carried out, but
Le
Mesurier and his flanking party, now reduced to four
in
all, could
not leave till some time after the remainder.
It
was not until next
day that they reached the battalion's camp near Elverdinghe.
When they did, the camp turned out
en masse
and greeted them
with cheers. As the Divisional Commander, Major-General Sir
H.
de
B.
de Lisle, said, "Whatever honour Lieutenant
Le
Mesurier
may gain in life, none can equal the spontaneous approbation of
their comrades
in
the ranks so freely offered to himself and his four
men."
The immediate honour awarded to him was the Military Cross.
For his conspicuous gallantry Serjeant
J.
Lister received the Victoria
Cross, the tenth to be won by the Regiment since the beginning of