Page 403 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
I9I4-I9I8
then tried to work forward, but was stopped by heavy machine-gun
fire from the trucks. The platoon commander, Lieutenant
I.
Gorfunkle, brought up a second Lewis gun round the end of the
trucks and enfiladed the Germans behind them. The enemy
suffered a number of casualties and some of them retired. But
others returned the fire of the Lewis gun and killed Gorfunkle. The
other forward platoon of the company was unable to make any
progress, and Lieutenant S.
J.
Scurlock, who assumed command
when Gorfunkle was killed and made a personal reconnaissance of
the situation under heavy fire, decided to withdraw his company
to its original position, which he did with skill, and to reorganize it.
He also brought back very useful information as to the German
dispositions. "D" Company, on the right, had little luck. After
the bombardment of the trucks had ceased, the leading troops
advanced about a · hundred yards before they were met with
such heavy machine-gun fire that
all
further movement was
impossible. Attempts were made to counter the German fire with
five Lewis guns, but although these succeeded in silencing two
German machine guns near Labis Farm, five hundred yards
to the south of the trucks, the machine guns were quickly
replaced, and were moreover reinforced by an artillery barrage.
This, together with the machine-gun fire from both flanks, made
it impossible for the troops to maintain their position, and a
withdrawal was ordered. At dusk the Germans put down another
heavy barrage and delivered a counter-attack which forced the
battalion's line back to its original position west of Celery Copse.
The operation had been costly-the losses being 2 officers killed,
I
officer wounded and 80 other ranks killed and wounded-but it had
achieved its object of locating the enemy's line of resistance and
paved the way for its capture later by another unit under cover of an
intense barrage which included 8-inch howitzers. Enemy snipers
were very active on I3th August, but at night Second-Lieutenant
L.
A. Manly and Lance-Corporal
C.
E.
Lovewell skilfully brought
back parties of seven and twelve men who had been out all day in
advanced positions, Manly having succeeded
in
getting very close
to the enemy's position on the I2th but being unable to get back
owing to the shelling. The following received awards for this affair:-
Military Cross
Lieutenant S.
J.
Scurlock.
Second-Lieutenant L. A. Manly,
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Corporal A. Amsom.
Bar
to
Military Medal
Lance-Corporal W. Morgan. M.M.
Military Medal
Lance-Corporal C. E. Lovewell.
Private
J.
A. Astin.
Private W. Broster.
Private
J.
Chambers.
Private W. H. E. Chantler.
Private C. Gould.
Private
1.
I veson.