Page 374 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

THE GERMAN ATTACKS IN THE NORTH AND ON THE AISNE
341
all units, regardless of their normal functions, were laid under
contribution to stem the flood. The Regiment's pioneer unit, the
19th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel J . Ambrose Smith), was no
19TH
B
exception, though it must not be forgotten that pioneers are as
much combatant troops as any other infantrymen. After a winter of
routine work in the Ypres Salient, the 19th Battalion was moved
by train on 10th April to Busse Boom, about
3,000
yards south-
east of Poperinghe, and on the morning of IIth to La Clytte, a mile
and a half north-west of Kemmel. Early in the afternoon of that
day it moved forward to man the defences of Mount Kemmel as
part of a mixed force called the Kemmel Defence Force under
Lieutenant-Colonel H. D. Bousfield, C.M.G., D.S.O., 7th West
Yorkshire Regiment. Outpost positions were occupied by "A"
Company (Lieutenant
J.
M. Smith) on the right, "B" (Captain G. A.
Wright) in the centre and "C" (Captain H. Musker, M.C.) on the
left. On 12th "A" and "C" Companies were shelled and on the
following day the latter was withdrawn into reserve. On the next
four days shelling continued and numerous casualties occurred. .
The shelling on the 17th was more severe and it covered a strong
German attack, in the holding up of which "A" Company took a
full
share. The next day, 18th, also saw considerable shelling, but it
brought the relief of the forward companies by French troops; and
the 19th Battalion concentrated on the west side of Mount Kemmel
where it dug itself in.
It
spent the next few days at its normal work
of improving defences and communications, but in a few pages it
will
be found to be involved in the thick of the fighting.
Throughout this period, Regimental Serjeant-Major W. Garner
worked unremittingly to organize ration and ammunition parties
and to keep supplies moving up to the troops. It was entirely due
to his initiative that they did not lack for ammunition even at the
most critical moments. Another who did excellent work was
Serjeant
J.
F. Jackson, who as signalling serjeant showed great
courage in establishing telephone communication with the companies
and in repairing the lines which were frequently broken by the
shelling. The awards made for this action included the following:-
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Regimental Serjeant-Major W. Garner.
Serjeant J. F. Jackson.
Military Medal
Company Quartermaster-Serjeant J.
Serjeant E. T. Osmond.
Moulson .
Corpora l A. Fennel! .
Corporal F. Mayel!.
Lance-Corporal F. Chadwick.
Lance-Corporal J . Hitchin .
Private W. H. Booth.
Private V. Fisher.
Private C. Fogell.
Private F. Milligan.
Private A. G. Pooley.
Private T.
J.
Prosser.