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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
bearer carne to him to offer to take him down to the aid post, he
refused to go and pointed to more serious cases.
It
was only when
Blamey gave
him
a direct order that he finally left the German
trenches, having given much encouragement to those around him by
his wonderful cheerfulness and pluck. Two officers, Lieutenant
A. C. Altham and Second-Lieutenant E.
B.
Allan, also remained at
duty for a long time after being wounded, Allan bandaging several
wounded men of his company and, like Coker, refusing to go to the
aid post till ordered to do so. The decorations awarded to the
battalion were:-
Military Cross
Lieutenant A. C. Altham.
Second-Lieutenant E. B . Allan.
Second-Lieutenant
J.
F. Morrison.
Second-Lieutenant W. H. Wild.
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Private F. Coker.
Serjeant Y. Saxton.
Corporal W. H. Hartley.
Lance-Corporal E. Sykes.
Private
J.
A. Crossley.
Private P.
Losh.
Military Medal
Serjeant
J.
Singleton.
Lance-Corporal
J.
McGrady.
Private
J.
W. Birtwistle.
Private G. Lord.
Private W. T. Smith.
Private F. Wrigley.
The battalion's losses had been 4 officers and
23
other ranks
killed, 6 officers and 82 other ranks wounded (including Captain
K.
T. Blarney, who, however, remained at duty) and 3 officers and
103
other ranks missing.
A
n
Interlude
1ST BN.
The 1st Battalion was not allowed to enjoy a very long rest , for
it moved back to Masnieres on the afternoon of 2znd November and
relieved two battalions of the 88th Infantry Brigade
in
the sector
which lay between the roads which ran north from Masnieres t o
Cambrai and to Rumilly, "B" and "C" Companies being in the front
line. The night was spent in improving the latter and in digging a
communication trench to it from the supporting positions, which
were situated in a quarry.
It
was decided to try to seize the crest
which lay in front of the battalion by means of "peaceful penetra–
tion"
in
order to deprive the enemy of the observation which it gave
him. "B," "C" and "D" Companies were ordered to advance, each
with a strong patrol leading. At
II
p.m. on 23rd November they
moved forward; but it at once became obvious that the Germans
were holding the crest in force and that they were on the alert. For
a hunting horn was sounded in their lines and heavy machine-gun
and rifle fire was opened. "B" and "D" Companies could make no
progress at all. "C" managed to get within forty yards of the
enemy's line, but withdrew when it was evident that the Germans
were too strong, about twenty-five casualties being suffered in so
doing. Second-Lieutenant]. Cassidy fearlessly exposed himself in
rallying his men and organizing their orderly withdrawal. He