Page 422 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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I9I8:
AUGUST TO THE ARMISTICE
and "A" and
"c"
Companies were enabled to advance and to
capture twenty-five prisoners and three machine guns. In spite of
considerable interference from machine-gun and artillery fire , the
new line was consolidated by 7 p.m., Captain C. Wedgwood taking a
prominent part in mopping up several posts, one of which he rushed
himself, killing several of its garrison. But throughout the day
Bruce had had to face a very difficult situation, as his right flank
was still exposed and was nearly five hundred yards in front of the
nearest troops to the south. Five times the enemy tried to work
round this danger spot , but each time Bruce and his platoon, though
vastly outnumbered, drove them back with heavy losses.
He
maintained his position gallantly for eight hours before other
platoons were able to come up on his right and establish contact
with
him.
During the night "B" and "D" Companies relieved the weary
"A" and "C" ; and at 5.30 a.m. on 5th September they moved on
after a short barrage and, in spite of some machine-gun fire and not a
little sniping, gradually worked forward until the battalion's
final
objective east of Ploegsteert was gained at I1.30 a.m. The battalion
was relieved during the afternoon of 5th September and marched
back to Outtersteene. Its booty in this attack had been one officer
and forty-two other ranks prisoners and five machine guns : its
losses were
I
officer and 12 other ranks killed, 9 officers and 53
other ranks wounded, and 5 men missing. The rewards given
included :-
Military Cross
Captain C. Wedgwood.
Second-Lieutenant G.
\1cK.
Bruct!.
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Serjeant W. Mullane.
Military Medal
Company Serjeant-Major H . Rhodes.
Corporal N. Brown.
Private F . O. Harmer.
Private
J.
R edgrave.
Serjeant T.
Gadick .
Corporal
R.
Hilton.
Private P. Leyland.
Private H. Walden.
The 17th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel G. MacKereth, M.C.)
17TH BN
was less fortunate in its attempts to probe the German intentions
soon after it had taken over for the first time a sector of the line near
Voormezeele. On 9th September two strong patrols of "X" Company,
each consisting of an officer and twenty other ranks, made un–
successful efforts to obtain identifications and themselves lost three
men missing, of whom one was wounded. Patrols made further
endeavours to take prisoners on the following day but without
result , one party coming under heavy machine-gun fire from the
Spoil Bank east of Voormezeele, which had figured so largely in the
IOth Battalion's gallant fight at The Bluff in February, 1916. On
nth September three patrols went out with the same object. One
of them, under Second-Lieutenant
J.
Cooke, penetrated as far as