Page 347 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
During the night of 26th/27th March, orders were issued to
prepare for a still further withdrawal, but they were afterwards
cancelled and a quiet night was enjoyed. The next day, 27th, was
devoted to consolidating the support position which the brigade
occupied, and to rest. The Germans attacked the front line, but the
brigade was not involved until late in the evening when, in conse–
quence of a report that the enemy had broken through east of
Ayette, the 1st/8th sent out patrols to clear up the situation and two
companies of the 1st/7th were placed at the disposal of the 127th
Brigade; later two companies of the 1st/8th were ordered to be
ready to support the 126th Brigade if needed. Early on 28th the
patrols of the 1st/8th reported that there was no cause for alarm as
the Ayette valley was clear of enemy and the front line was intact
in that direction. A few hours later, however, a German attack
developed on the front of the 127th Brigade and the two companies
of the 1st/7th were ordered forward as reinforcements. The bombard–
ment which heralded this attack caused some casualties to the
brigade, particularly
in
the 1st/5th. The situation looked so
threatening that, at II.25 a.m., the 1st/7th were ordered to send
their remaining companies to the help of the 127th Brigade and to
occupy the sunken by-road which led from Bucquoy to Douchy–
les-Ayette. By 2.30 p.m. the whole of the 1st/7th had established
itself
in
this position, but was not called upon to take any further
action, as the attack on the 127th Brigade was met
in
the open and
driven back.
It
was, however, necessary to relieve the troops
in
the
front line and this was accomplished that night, the brigade taking
over a sector round the eastern outskirts of Bucquoy. The day of
29th March was quiet, except that the 1st/7th were again called
upon to move, this time to the support of 126th Brigade which was
attacked but which was able to drive the Germans back without
help. After internal reliefs on the evening of that day and a good
deal of shelling on 30th, the brigade was finally relieved on 31st
March and assembled
in
the old German trench system near Gomme–
court, whose capacious and well-arranged dug-outs provided a fair
measure of security and comfort.
The decorations awarded specifically or mainly for these opera–
tions were as follows:-
Bar to Distinguished Service Order
Lieutenant-Colonel G. S. Brewis, D.S.O.• 1st/7th.
Distinguished Service Order
Major M. G. Bird, 1st/8th.
Second-Lieutenant A. EUiott. M.C.• 1st/7th.
Bar
to
1'1-1
ilitary Cross
Captain W. M. Tickler. M.C.• 1st/5th.
Military Cross
Captain E . Fairhurst. 1S't/8th.
Captain B . Shelmerdine. 1st/7th.
Lieutenant R. R. Brewis. 1st/7th.
Lieutenant C. Kershaw. 1st/7th.
Lieutenant
J.
K.
S. Page. 1st/5th.
Second-Lieutenant
J.
E. Ashworth.
1st/7th .
Captain A. M.
J
ohnson. R.A.M.C.•
attached to 1st/5th.
Lieutenant H . Gould. 1st/7th.
Lieutenant H . L . Murgatroyd, 1stl7th.
Lieutenant H. R. Waugh. 1st/5th.
Second-Lieutenant E. W. Rose. 1st/8th.