Page 380 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE GERMAN ATTACKS IN THE NORTH AND ON THE AISNE 347
On 29th April, in consequence of a report that the Gennans had
captured two other valuable vantage points, Mont Vidaigne and
Mont Rouge near Locre, the 74th Brigade was hurriedly sent to fonn
a defensive flank about half a mile north-west of La Clytte. But the
alann was false and the brigade's destination was found to be already
occupied by large numbers of French troops. The brigade therefore
returned to its original position.
&
A PERIOD OF COMPARATIVE QUIET
In spite of the striking captures of ground and other outward
signs of success which have been described in this and the previous
chapter, the Gennans had not achieved the goals they had set for
themselves. This failure reacted on the troops; and a battalion
runner of the IS2nd Infantry Regiment of the 41st Gennan Division,
captured near Gommecourt by the Ist/Sth Battalion (Lieutenant-
1ST/5TH
Colonel G. S. Castle, M.C.) when he got lost on 2Sth April, said that
BK.
the morale of the Gennans was falling as their "push" had not been
such a success as was expected.
The enemy was nevertheless still quite alert, as was shown when
the Ist/Sth carried out a small raid under Lieutenant C. H.
1ST/ 5TH
Carruthers the following night. The trench attacked proved to be
BN.
very strongly held and the party had to withdraw, Carruthers being
wounded.
Nothing was more infuriating or likely to breed ill-feeling between
units than for a precious piece of ground which had been tenaciously
held by one fonnation, often at the cost of considerable casualties,
to be lost by the relieving brigade. But this happened at Givenchy,
where the SSth Division's successors lost some very important
positions in the craters which had been held on 9th and lOth April.
A small operation for their recapture was organized on 26th April.
At 2.30 p.m. a company from the 2nd/5th Battalion (Lieutenant-
2ND/5TH
Colonel G. S. Brighten, D .S.O.) under Captain
L.
J.
Sutton and one
BN.
from the 1St/4th King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment attacked
under a heavy barrage. The King's Own were successful in gaining
their objectives, but the 2nd/5th were less fortunate, partly owing
to the barrage not covering two important points on the frontage
attacked. Nevertheless, distinguished gallantry was shown by a
number of men, particularly by Private N. Turner who, when the
advance of his party up a trench was checked, climbed on to the
parapet under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and bombed the
Germans back, enabling his platoon to get forward. He was wounded
early in the operation, but refused to go back and continued to
bring messages to his platoon commander, Second-Lieutenant
C.
L.
Chorley, and supplies of bombs to the forward troops, in spit e of
heavy shelling and machine-gun fire. Chorley fell mortally wounded,
but Turner refused to leave him although the enemy, who had
brought up reserves and had begun a counter-attack, were advancing.
Indeed Turner, almost single-handed, held the Gennans off for some