Page 414 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

19I8:
AUGUST TO THE ARMISTICE
"D" Companies which met with practically no resistance and reached
the hamlet of Noote Boome, two and a half miles south-east of
Merris. Large fires, extending for some miles, could be seen behind
the German lines, telling of the destruction of stores which could
not be removed. Other battalions passed through the Ist, which
was left in reserve until 3rd September when it moved forward to
take part in an att'l.ck which
will
be described a few pages farther on.
A more sustained advance, and a more difficult as the battalion
was originally a garrison unit and was therefore composed largely
of men of low medical category forbidden to wear packs, was that of
the 23rd Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel G. Hesketh, D.S.O., T.D.).
23RD BN.
The unit was detailed as the main guard of the 40th Division's
advanced guard for its march forward from the Forest of Nieppe
which began on 29th August, following up the retiring Germans.
On 3rd September, in spite of machine-gun fire and sniping, the
battalion established a line of posts along the River Steenbecque.
Next day there was some sharp fighting near Croix du Bac and the
battalion lost two officers and a large number of N.C.Os. and men.
But it scored successes. Corporal
J.
W. Williams, M.M., succeeded
in locating a machine
gun
which was holding up his company and
immediately opened fire, forcing its team to withdraw. His company
was then able to push on. Later, with his company commander:
(Lieutenant E.
L.
Thorogood), he rushed a machine-gun post,
capturing three prisoners, including an officer.
By now the enemy's resistance was clearly stiffening on the line
of the River Lys, and the battalion suffered somewhat severely from
frontal and enfilade fire between Pont de Nieppe (where the ieppe–
Armentieres road crosses the Lys) and Jesus Farm, a mile west of
Armentieres, before it managed to establish posts on the river on
5th September. The honours awarded for this operation included :-
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Corporal]. W. WiIliams, M.M.
Milita,y Medal
Serjeant R. Lloyd-Bryant.
Corporal A. Raby.
Private S. Evison.
Private P. W. Pitt.
Private T. E. Thornton.
THE ApPROACH TO THE HINDENBURG LINE
.. SECOND SOMME, 1918," "SECOND BAPAUME, 1918," "SECOND ARRAS, 1918,"
"DROCOURT-QUEANT"
2nd, 1st/5th, 1st/7th, 1st/8th and 10th Battalions
In the meanwhile, further blows were being rained on the
Germans in the south so as to give them no respite. On 3ISt August
the 10th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel
R.
E. Cotton) received
10TH BN.
orders to deal with Le Transloy on the following day very much as it
had dealt with Martinpuich a few days earlier: that is to say, it was
to work round the village from the north while the Duke of