Page 355 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

3 22
on to a distance of three hundred yards beyond his objective and
established a screen under the protection of which "A" Company
(Captain F. F. Waugh) constructed a line of eight posts several
hundred yards in advance of the line originally held by the battalion.
These were firmly consolidated. The casualties had been heavy in
these operations, amounting to 2 officers and 8 men killed, 5 officers
and 55 other ranks wounded, and 17 men missing. Second-Lieuten–
ant S. Vasey was awarded the Military Cross for his work.
Two nights later, at
p.m. on 5th April, a platoon of "D"
15TH BN .
Company of the 15th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel H.
D.S.O.) under Second-Lieutenant
C. B. Chester and Second–
Lieutenant H . A. Davis raided a German post about three-quarters
of a mile south of Ayette. In spite of considerable rifle and machine–
gun fire from the garrison, which appeared to number about a
hundred, the raiders rushed into the trench and bombed up it for
about two hundred yards, inflicting many casualties. Davis then
established a block pending the arrival of a supporting platoon.
Soon after, however, the Germans delivered a strong counter-attack
down the trench. In view of the overwhelming numbers brought
and in the light of the orders which he had received,
Chester ordered his party to withdraw. He saw everybody clear of
the German trench, but was killed as he was leaving it himself.
Davis also refused to leave the enemy lines till all his men were
clear. He received the Military Cross for his gallantry, as did
Lieutenant A. G. Edghill, of the 15th, who displayed fearless
devotion to duty in providing the trench-mortar support for this
raid and the raids of the 16th Battalion on 2nd and 3rd April just
The Germans' Last Fling in the South
"FIRST SOMME, 1918,"
1st/5th, 1st/7th,
1st/8th Battalions
After its gruelling ordeal in the last week in March, the 125th
Infantry Brigade enjoyed a few days of rest at Gommecourt Wood
before going on the night of 1st/2nd April to Bucquoy, with 1st/8th
Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel O. St.
Davies) in the line in front
of the village on the right, the 1st/7th Battalion (Lieutenant–
Colonel G. S. Brewis)
the line on the left and the 1st/5th Battalion
(Lieutenant-Colonel P. A. Clive, D.S.O., M.P., Grenadier Guards) in
support behind the village.
At 5 a.m. on 5th April the whole brigade area was subjected to
very heavy shelling which included much gas and lasted for three
hours. Then, under cover of a hurricane bombardment by heavy
trench mortars, the Germans attacked. The brunt of their blow fell
on the centre ("A") and left ("B") Companies of the 1st/8th, whose
"C" Company was on the right of its front and "D" (Lieutenant
H . B. Ivers) in support. "A" and "B" Companies were almost