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268
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
accurate and not only destroyed at least two Lewis guns but
caused so many casualties in Tiger Trench that movement along it
was very difficult. As arranged, parties at once began to bomb
outwards on both flanks. The party which went to the left
encountered Germans after going about a hundred yards along
Tiger Trench. Seven of the enemy surrendered, but four of them
refused to go over the top of the trench towards the British lines and
were killed. The other three left the trench but, as they threw stick
bombs back into it, they too were shot.
In the meanwhile, Second-Lieutenant W. H. Wild, of
"A"
Com–
pany, who was consolidating his position in Tiger Trench, realizing
that the German support trenches commanded it, asked Blarney
if he should take some men forward and attack them. On Blarney's
orders he did so, captured part of Nameless Trench and established
a Lewis gun in it under heavy fire. Second-Lieutenant]. F. Morrison,
also of
"A"
Company, was beginning his consolidation when he was
bombed from his flank. He at once jumped out of the trench and
dispersed the attackers with his revolver. He resumed his task and
established a block in the trench from which he kept back
all
further
attempts. Having made his part of Tiger Trench secure, he sent
back a most useful report to battalion headquarters and finally
brought cross fire to bear on the German trenches to his left, thereby
rendering very valuable help to the parties which were working
forward along Tombois Trench.
Farther within the German position, Second-Lieutenant R.
L.
Addie had led his platoon into Beel Avenue and established a block
in the trench. But as casualties had been heavy and the troops on
the right appeared to have been unable to come forward, Blarney
decided not to attempt any further progress in this direction, though
he ordered Macfie to capture the remainder of Nameless Trench at
all costs, as the fire coming from it was a matter of serious concern
to the occupants of Tiger Trench. Other bombing parties also met
with very strong opposition and were with difficulty managing to
hold posts about fifty yards forward of Tiger Trench.
It
was evident
that, unless some further impression was made on Nameless Trench,
no further progress could be made. Macfie accordingly collected
a few men and went over the open to attack that position. His party
had hardly jumped down into it when a body of between twenty
and thirty Germans came over the open from the trench just beyond
and threw stick bombs at them. Rifle and Lewis-gun fire was at once
opened on the enemy, but Macfie's party suffered about eight
casualties and was left dangerously weak.
At about 7.30 a.m. the German artillery became very active and
a heavy barrage came down on the British front line and continued
for some time. At the same time the various bombing parties which
had succeeded in penetrating several hundred yards along the
enemy's lines to the left were in a precarious position, one having
by this time only one unwounded man left as the result of repeated
German onslaughts with bombs. Some of the enemy succeeded
in