Page 368 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE GERMAN ATTACKS IN THE NORTH AND ON THE AISNE
335
forward troops had become necessary and the battalion's new
position had become the front line, up to which the Germans soon
advanced. In order to establish a satisfactory line of outposts, some
cottages in front of the line were attacked by parties under Captain
H. A. Hutson and Second-Lieutenant W. Stelfox and, after several
attempts, were finally captured at about midday. r
0
attack
developed, but several concentrations of Germans were seen and
dealt with by the artillery. On 17th the battalion was heavily
bombarded during the morning and a number of casualties were
suffered. But it was relieved that night and withdrew to a position
in close support. So heavy had been the losses of the battalion and
the brigade that the survivors of the IIth Lancashire Fusiliers, the
9th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and the 74th Trench Mortar
Battery were formed into a composite battalion under Major E . P.
Nares, M.C., of the Cheshire Regiment. The IIth Battalion's
casualties were 4 officers and 17 other ranks killed, 19 officers and
218 other ranks wounded, and 3 officers and 184 other ranks missing.
For his valuable services during these critical days, Captain R.
K.
Beswick, M.C., received a bar to his Military Cross: other awards
included :-
Milita1'Y Cross
Captain H. A. Hutson.
Second-Lieutenant R. F. Ackerley.
Second-Lieutenant \V. Stelfox.
Second-Lieutenant N. E. Ward.
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Company Serjeant-Major R. Abbott.
Milita1'y Medal
Company Serjeant-Major J. McConnell.
Serjeant F. Greaves.
Lance-Corporal R. Dugdale.
Corporal H. Jobber.
Private E. W. Brocklehurst.
Private A. Blackburn.
Private W. C. Oliver.
Private
R.
Nicholas.
Private C.
R.
Tabrum.
"THE BATTLE OF VIEUX BERQUIN"
ULYS," I'ESTAIRES,"
UHAZEBROUCK"
1st Battalion
Some of the difficulties experienced by the IIth Battalion on
IIth and 12th April were due to retirements on its right, and it
will
now be shown how unavoidable these were and what gallantry and
skill were displayed by those taking part in them, and not least by
the 29th Division and the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers in it. The latter had
spent the winter of 1917-1918 in a most uncomfortable situation
with its left resting on the ruins of Passchendaele church and its
communications overlooked by the Germans. From 21st March
onwards it was daily expecting to be sent down to the scene of the
drama which began on that date, for it was unthinkable that the
29th Division should not play a role-and a distinguished role-in
1ST
EN.
events of such importance. But it was not until late on 7th April
that the battalion came out of the line and received orders to
be