Page 283 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
guided and directed carrying parties over difficult ground to the
advanced positions, often under heavy shelling.
When the Commanding Officer of the 2nd/8th was wounded just
before the attack began and a company commander had to take his
place, much additional responsibility inevitably fell on the shoulders
of the adjutant, Captain
R.
L. Busby, who not only managed to keep
brigade headquarters informed of the situation but collected men
from various units who were scattered in shell-holes through lack of
a leader, put a N.C.O. or senior soldier in command of each party and
sent them forward. In every case the men, though dead tired,
responded cheerfully to the inspiration of his coolness and tact.
He was ably helped by his regimental serjeant-major,
J.
T. Le
Huray, who did most excellent work in organizing carrying parties,
collecting ammunition under bombardment and sending it forward
when it was needed. At one stage he went back himself under
machine-gun fire to the brigade dump in order to bring up a further
supply of
"s
0 S" signal cartridges. In the forward positions,
Company Serjeant-Major
J.
Bullen, of the 2nd/8th, behaved with
conspicuous gallantry. He found himself in command of one of the
most advanced posts. His party was much reduced by casualties;
and he went out, regardless of the machine-gun fire which was
sweeping the area, and collected a few more men, with whose help
he maintained his position until he was relieved.
The day after the attack was comparatively uneventful and was
devoted to reorganization and a strengthening of the line, in which
a gap was found during the morning. The 2nd/6th sent forward a
company which was behind Hillside Farm to complete the position.
The whole area was heavily shelled during the afternoon and again
in the evening. But the worst was over. For at
7.30
p.m. the 44th
Australian Battalion arrived to begin the relief of the brigade, which
was completed by 6 a.m. the next morning. Lieutenant-Colonel
Hobbins and a large party were left behind to ensure the removal
of all wounded of the brigade.
Messages of congratulation on what the troops had managed to
achieve, in spite of such discouraging handicaps, came from Army,
Corps and Divisional Commanders, and a few days later the brigade
was inspected by Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig himself, who
expressed his appreciation of its efforts. Telegrams were also
received from the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the East Lancashire
Territorial Force Association and the boys, girls and teachers of
Blackley Municipal School, Manchester. The decorations which
were awarded were as follows :-
3RD/ 5TH BATTALION
Military Cross
Captain F . M. Bentley.
Captain H. A. Sandiford. R.A.M.C.
Lieutenant
J.
A. Holdsworth.
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Private
J.
Anyon.
Lance-Corporal E. EdmondsoIl.