Page 400 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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Uniacke was wounded by it before its capture by his battalion.
In the meanwhile the 15th had pushed on but had come under
very heavy machine-gun fire near the Amiens-Roye road and
had suffered heavy casualties. They were reinforced by the
16th, and the two units captured "Wood 101" with two machine
guns at about 9.20 a.m. At that moment the Germans put down
very heavy artillery barrage which caused many casualties to both
battalions. The advance was nevertheless continued. Major
Mandleberg, M.C., and Second-Lieutenant
Hurst, M.C., both of the
15th, distinguished themselves by their dash, the former replacing
some of his company's casualties by picking up stragglers as he went
forward. In the 16th, Captain H. C. Gill led his company splendidly,
collecting stragglers from other units as he advanced. Second–
Lieutenants F. Allcott and P. Forman and Regimental Serjeant–
Major E. Anderson all found themselves in command of companies
owing to casualties among their seniors and allIed their men to their
objectives with few casualties. When Second-Lieutenant W: B.
Tobey's company was held up by machine-gun fire, he led two
platoons forward to a position from which he could bring superior
fire to bear on the Germans and so enabled it to move forward.
When it was again held up by snipers he crawled towards them,
killed three and drove off the rest, once more making progress
possible. Movement was, however, slow owing to the large amount
of old French and German trenches of 1915 and 1916 and the very
heavy wire which protected them. By 10.30 a.m. the two battalions,
now greatly reduced in numbers, had entered the old German line
west of Damery, but were under heavy fire from both flanks.
Nevertheless they reached La Cambuse on the main road south-west
of Damery, Major
B. Knott, M.C., of the 16th contributing much
to this progress by working forward with a Lewis-gun team through
an old communication trench and opening fire on the edge of a wood
which commanded the open space between it and the Amiens-Roye
road. Soon after, he, with a mixed party of the 15th and 16th, and
Lieutenant W.
Brockman with a party of the 15th captured a
battery of German field guns which was firing over open sights.
The Germans began to filter back into Damery Wood. Knott led a
Lewis-gun team to engage them inside the wood, but was wounded
before he had come to grips with them. Gill then assumed command
of the 16th. At 11.50 a .m. the two battalions were ordered to halt
and consolidate the ground they had won. But before the order
could reach them, they had rushed a copse known as Bois en
Equerre, captured a "pill-box" on its western edge and pushed
through to the eastern edge. The Germans counter-attacked and
forced the troops back to the other side of the wood but could not
deprive them of the "pill-box" or the captured guns. Allcott and
Tobey again did useful work during the consolidation in spite of
heavy fire, Tobey being responsible for repelling an attempted
bombing attack. Unfortunately, Lieutenant-Colonel Utterson, of
the 15th, was killed during the fighting in the wood. Captain G. H.