Page 392 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE GERMAN ATTACKS IN THE NORTH AND ON THE AISNE
359
Bosworthwick was also driven back by heavy machine-gun fire, but
succeeded
in
capturing a machine
gun,
four prisoners (three of whom
had to be killed as they gave trouble) and some valuable maps and
'\ '
papers. No. 3 party under Waugh himself went towards the village
itself in order to "mop it up." After going about a hundred yards,
they too came under heavy fire from machine guns. Waugh and
two other officers were wounded and the party so disorganized that
Waugh was not seen again. The remaining party under Second–
Lieutenant S. Vasey, M.C., searched the ground west of the road
leading from Boyelles to Arras, but found only one German, whom
they killed. The casualties in this raid were Captain F. F. Waugh
and
I8
other ranks missing and 2 officers and 55 men wounded. The
Military Medal was awarded to Serjeants G. Faulkner and W. H.
Hughes and to Privates F. W. Morton and
J.
H. Rogerson for their
work in this raid.
Towards the end of June it was decided that the 2nd Battalion
2ND
HN.
(Lieutenant-Colonel H. A. Kirkby, D.S.O. ) should carry out a raid
on some German shell holes opposite them near Pacaut Wood,
about a mile and a half north of Hinges in Flanders. The first plan
submitted was rejected as being too simple and modest ; the orders
finally issued consisted of sixteen paragraphs and four appendices
and occupy five pages of the Lancashire Fusiliers Annual for
I9I8.
The objects of the raid were to obtain an identification, to damage
and destroy the enemy's position and to raise the morale of the
troops. The party chosen to carry out the operation consisted of
twenty-six N.C.Os. and men of "B" Company (Captain G. G. Bowen,
M.C.) under the command of Lieutenant H . H. B. Jones, with
Serjeant G. W. Wiggin as his platoon serjeant. "Granny" Bowen
himself took the party to rest billets at L'Ecleme for a few days'
training in crawling through standing corn, cutting and passing
barbed wire obstacles, and bayonet fighting . A model of the ground
was made and every man carefully rehearsed by Bowen and J ones
in
the part he had to play. The platoon went back to the line on
the evening of 5th July. Zero was fixed for 9.30 a.m. the next day,
6th July. Twenty minutes before, the party crawled forward through
the crops to an assembly position, where they formed up in line of
sections in file. At zero a quick bombardment of numerous batteries,
trench mortars and machine guns opened on and around the
objective. For one minute the attackers lay fiat as instantaneous
fuses were being used by the gunners; then for two minutes they
crawled forward towards the German positions; and finally the
barrage lifted and the troops dashed forward, led by J ones. Serjeant
Wiggin, however, dashed ahead and was the first to reach the enemy.
Seven Germans were met with; J ones and Wiggin between them
killed four and captured three. Finally the party withdrew safely,
with one man slightly wounded. Lieutenant H . H.
B.
J ones
received the Military Cross, Serjeant G. W. Wiggin the Distinguished
Conduct Medal and Private A. Poole the Military Medal for this
operation.