Page 356 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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"MARCH,
1918"
3
2
3
entirely wiped out, though remnants of "A" succeeded in making
their way along a sunken road leading to Bucquoy village, where
they suffered further casualties. The 1st/7th were able to hold their
ground; and their right and right centre companies inflicted heavy
casualties on the Germans.
"c"
Company of the 1st/8th was also
able to maintain its position in spite of many casualties, thanks
largely to the inspiring leadership of Ivers, the only officer left in it,
who remained in command although wounded and indeed insisted
on staying with his men until he was again severely hit. His
company even began to work its way northwards up the trench
formerly held by "A" Company, though it was forced to fall back
when it became ahnost surrounded as the result of the retirement of
a unit on the right.
At 10.15 a.m. the 1st/5th moved to battle positions. At 11.40 a.m.
the 1st/8th were ordered to eject the enemy from the ground he had
taken, calling on the 1st/5th for support
if
necessary. Lieutenant–
Colonel Davies thereupon took his "D" Company and
all
available
men at his headquarters and, with the help of two platoons of the
1st/5th under Lieutenant W. Stringer, counter-attacked the village
of Bucquoy. Stubborn opposition was met and hand-to-hand
fighting took place in the ruins. Davies succeeded, however, in
reaching the cross-roads in the village and ordered Stringer to place
his platoons along a bank in it. Soon after, Davies was mortally
wounded; and his adjutant, Captain G. W. Sutton, assumed
command of the 1st/8th and successfully organized the consolidation
of a line which represented the regaining of practically all that had
been lost. During this phase, Company Serjeant-Major R. Shaw,
who had continued in this operation to show the same fine qualities
as he had shown in the fighting of ten days earlier, volunteered to
find out the dispositions of the troops on the right; he went across
the open through a heavy artillery and machine-gun barrage and
was never seen alive again.
In view of the developments on their
flank,
the 1st/7th had been
compelled to form a defensive
flank
with their "D" Company
(Lieutenant H. Gould), but their position was otherwise intact. At
1.35 p.m. the 1st/5th received an order to send two companies to
counter-attack from the right of the 1st/7th and to reoccupy the
line originally held by the 1st/8th. Lieutenant-Colonel Clive
therefore went over with his second-in-command, Major G. S.
Castle, M.C., to the combined headquarters of the 1st/8th Lancashire
Fusiliers and the 13th Royal Fusiliers to arrange the details with
Captain Sutton. At about 4 p.m. the 1st/7th improved their
position by gaining touch with the 1st/8th on their right . Half an
hour later, "C" (Captain W. M. Tickler, M.C.) and "D" (Second–
Lieutenant H. Jessup) Companies of the 1st/5th went forward to
counter-attack on the left under Castle, Lieutenant-Colonel Clive
taking other elements of the battalion with him to counter-attack on
the right
in
conjunction with eighty men of the Ist/8th, all that were
still available. Second-Lieutenant
A.
C. Gibbons of the Ist/8th