Page 313 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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280
THE
LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, 1914-1918
The battalion's War Diary closes with letters of appreciation and
sympathy from Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Commander-in–
Chief of the British Armies in France, and from General Sir Henry
Rawlinson, Commander of the Fourth Army. The two other
3R:~~TH
battalions to disappear were the 3rd/5th (Lieutenant-Colonel T.
J.
2ND/6TH
Biddolph) and the 2nd/6th (Lieutenant-Colonel W. Wike). The
BNS.
first was disbanded and its personnel distributed amongst the
2nd/6th, 2nd/7th, 2nd/8th and 19th Battalions at a touching
ceremony which took place at St. Janster Biezen on 13th February,
when the Divisional Commander, Major-General
N.
Malcolm,
D.S.O., bade the battalion farewell and paid tribute to its good
work, after which the companies marched off to their new battalions
to the tune of "Good-byee" played by the drums and fifes of the
2nd/8th Battalion, while the remainder of the I97th Infantry
Brigade presented arms to them. (This ceremony was used as a
model seventeen years later when the 7th Battalion left the I25th
(Lancashire Fusiliers) Infantry Brigade in I935 on its conversion
to be the 39th (Lancashire Fusiliers) Anti-Aircraft Battalion,
Royal Engineers, though the tune played on that occasion was
"Auld Lang Syne.") At the same time, in order to reduce the I25th
Infantry Brigade to its new establishment of three battalions, one
of its four battalions had to be removed from it. But they were
all
first-line Territorial units and it had been decided that none of
these should be disbanded. The problem was solved by transferring
1ST/ 6TH
the 1st/6th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel
C.
H. de St. P. Bunbury,
BN.
Yorkshire Regiment) from the I25th to the 197th Infantry Brigade,
2ND/6TH
in which it was amalgamated with the 2nd/6th Battalion. The
BN.
combined unit was thenceforth known as the 6th Battalion, command
being assumed by Lieutenant-Colonel Bunbury.
MORE PATROLS AND RAIDS
Late on 1st February, 19I8, Second-Lieutenant
A.
Elliott, of
JST/7TH
the 1st/7th Battalion, led a patrol to reconnoitre the enemy's front
BN.
line near Cambrin, entered a mineshaft and explored the enemy's
tunnelling system for a distance of one hundred and fifty yards,
gaining valuable information. He then took his party down the
German front line and found a strong enemy post, which he pro–
ceeded to bomb though under heavy fire. For his courage and
initiative he was awarded the Military Cross. Second-Lieutenant
F. Walker of the same battalion led a patrol under heavy fire the
same night through the enemy's front line posts and reconnoitred his
second line, which was found to be strongly held. He had previously
done similar work and, at this time, gained much valuable informa–
tion by daring reconnaissances, often under considerable opposition.
1ST/8TH
BN.
He too received the Military Cross.
The 1st/8th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel O. St.
L.
Davies,
Manchester Regiment) was less fortunate on 1st February. A
patrol under Second-Lieutenant J. C.
J.
Toomer went out near