Page 282 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THIRD BATTLE OF VPRE5-BATTLE OF CAMBRAI
2SI
units, his task being particularly difficult in view of the mixing of
units and the uncertainty as to the whereabouts of the line and of
the various headquarters. Private
J.
Anyon, of the 3rd/Sth, though
wounded in the thigh during the early stages of the attack, carried
on and brought his Lewis gun into action on an exposed flank. When
the enemy counter-attacked, he stayed where he was in an advanced
shell hole and kept up a sustained stream of bullets which effectively
prevented the Germans from turning the flank. He was quite
alone, but remained at his post until more men could be sent to him
on the following day. Lance-Corporal E. Edmondson, also of the
3rd/Sth, achieved an unusual feat . He had been most useful in
{;ollecting men and leading them fOD'Vard; and when the enemy
put down a barrage near his post and threatened a counter-attack,
he went out alone to meet a group of German scouts, shot one and
brought
in
two of them as prisoners. The medical officer of the
battalion, Captain H. A. Sandiford, R.A.M.C., established his aid
post close behind the front line as soon as the attack started and,
when it was full of men, continued to dress wounds in the open. In
this exposed position he worked devotedly for forty-eight hours
with the great est coolness in spit e of heavy shelling.
In the 2nd/6th Battalion, Captain
C.
H . Potter displayed great
devotion to duty in charge of a carrying party which brought up
water and ammunition through a heavy bombardment when it was
badly needed. He also did much useful work in collecting and
bringing back information when, owing to the confusion, the situation
was far from clear. Corporal F. H . Skelton took command of his
platoon when the officer was knocked out and held ground with it
against a determined counter-attack. Later, having located a
German sniper who had been causing a number of casualties, he
was on his way to try conclusions with him, when he was wounded.
As usual, signallers earned high praise. Serjeant W. Cryer several
times moved about in full view of the enemy in order to mend
broken lines under heavy fire; while Private W. G. Upton was
employed almost without rest for thirty hours in carrying messages
to all parts of the area over which the battalion was scattered,
never once failing to deliver them. Twice he was blown into the air
by shells, but pulled himself together and carried on. When at
length the battalion was relieved he collapsed from sheer fatigue
and had to be helped out of the line.
The 2nd/7th attained the unusual distinction of the Distinguished
Service Order being awarded both to the Commanding Officer and
the second-in-command, Major
C.
Alderson, for their skilful work
in leading the troops into action on their own initiative, in helping
to produce order out of chaos at various stages and in contributing
to the defeat of counter-attacks and to the successful withdrawal of
the leading lines when their Banks were exposed.
An
officer of the
battalion who was attached to brigade headquarters, Lieutenant
G. B. Parkes, was also singled out for reward on account of his work
when in charge of forward dumps and supplies: he personally