Page 415 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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Wellington's Regiment worked round the south, the two units
then joining hands and taking a line about two hundred yards east
of the main Peronne-Bapaume road. This operation was to be
preceded at midnight by the capture of Le Transloy cemetery by
Company of the lOth Battalion. The night was very dark and
the ground was covered by a mass of old wire-entanglements and
trenches, dating from 1916 and 19I7, as well as new wire which the
Germans had recently put out.
Company lost direction and did
not gain its objective. Another attempt was made at 4.20 a.m., but
the enemy began to use "Blue Cross" gas, which caused the men to
sneeze, alarmed the Germans and brought about such a heavy fire
by artillery and machine guns that no progress could be made. Two
platoons remained in touch with the enemy about two hundred
yards in front of their original position, but the remainder had to
withdraw to it. The main attack began at 5.40 a.m., with "A"
Company on the right and "D" Company on the left in front, and
and "B" Companies in support. "D" Company quickly made
good progress and, in spite of heavy machine-gun fire, advanced to
within two hundred yards of the main road. Unfortunately, the
division on the left had not been able to make such good progress,
and "D" Company found itself not only unable to advance farther
but seriously exposed. Many casualties were incurred; and, as "A"
Company had been held up by heavy artillery and machine-gun fire
after advancing about two hundred yards, "D" Company was
compelled to withdraw, with "A," to the starting line. Late the
same day the battalion was relieved and moved south to a position
near Morval.
was in reserve during an attack by two other
battalions on 2nd September. But "D" Company had to be called
upon to make good some high ground about a mile north-west of
its mission, but once again found
itself out of touch with units on its flanks and had to remain in a
very dangerous position until it was relieved and rejoined the
battalion on 3rd September at Rocquigny station. Military Medals
were awarded to Company Serjeant-Major H. Ashton, Serjeants
S. M. Crabtree and G. Pike, Lance-Serjeant F. Smith and Privates
F. Teasdale and
L. ]. ].
The 2nd Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel H. A. Kirkby, D.S.O.)
moved down from Flanders at the end of August and was sent once
more to the trenches it knew so well near Monchy-le-Preux. On 1st
September orders were received that the battalion was to take part
in an attack on the Drocourt-Queant Line on the following day.
The preparations were not helped by the persistent gas shelling
which caused the unit to lose Second-Lieutenant C. Dunlevy, M.C.,
about noon and Captain G. N. Stange, M.C.,
the afternoon, both
belonging to "A" Company. Nevertheless, by the evening the
battalion had assembled north of Remyand close behind the two
leading battalions of the 12th Infantry Brigade, the 2nd Essex
Regiment and the 1st King's Own. Further difficulties were caused
by the facts that "A" (Second-Lieutenant
W. Montgomcry) and