Page 311 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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CHAPTER XIII
1918 UP TO THE END OF THE GERMAN ADVANCE
ASTRIDE THE RIVER SOMME
"FIRST
SO~fE,
1918,"
"ST. QUENTIN, " "ROSIERES," "FIRST BAPAUME,
1918,"
"FIRST
ARRAS, 1918,"
" ANCRE,
1918"
(Maps
1
&
9)
1st, 2nd, 1st/5th, 2nd/5th, 3rd/5th, 1st/6th, 2nd /6th, 6th, 1st/7th, 2nd/7th,
1st/8th, 2nd/8th, 9th, 10th, 11 th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th
Battalions
ROUTINE AND REORGANI'ZATION
THE
year 1918, which was to include several periods of great
anxiety before its triumphal close, began quietly enough, though
somewhat sadly for the Regiment, which lost several of its battalions
in
the early weeks.
19 TH BN.
Typically the New Year found the 19th Battalion (Lieutenant-
ColonelJ. M. A. Grabam, D.S.O.) hard at work making and improving
roads and tracks
in
the area won during the Third Battle of Ypres.
Hardly ever was the whole battalion at rest ; some part of it was
always at work, week after week, month after month, its War
Diary consisting largely of a list of works carried out which provide
no exciting stories but which were essential to the safety and welfare
of the troops behind whose lines they lay. Nevertheless the 19th
was to have a period of hard fighting in 1918, as the next chapter
will
show, But no hint of this is to be found in January, during
which the War Diary records a visit on the 6th of several members
of the Parliamentary Labour Party who had come to see conditions
at the Front for themselves. The next day one hundred N.C.Os. and
men of high physical category were transferred to the 1st/5th,
1st/7th and 1st/8th Battalions, being replaced by the same number
of men of category "B.l," most of whom had been overseas before
but were not yet fully fit.
In the other battalions, trench routine alternated with periods
of rest and was relieved by constant patrols and occasional raids.
On 3rd and 4th January the 35th Division held an Assault-at-Arms
18TH BN.
in which the 18th Battalion won the relay race and were third in the
guard-mounting competition, while the 17th won the welter-weight
17TH BN.
boxing and were runners-up in the light heavy-weight; the 17th
also furnished the first man home in the cross-country race. On
9th January, and again between 28th and 30th January, Second-
20TH BN.
Lieutenant W. W. Cotton, of the 20th Battalion, distinguished
himself in valuable patrol work near Poelcappelle. Between 22nd and
27 8