Page 423 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
I9I4-I9I8
Blauwe Poort Farm, half a mile south of Zillebeke Lake, and threw
bombs at its garrison without however being able to take any
prisoners.
2ND/ 5TH
The 2nd/5th Battalion (Major J. H. Evans, M.C., in temporary
BN.
command) was not left in undisturbed possession of the ground
which it had won at Givenchy by steady "nibbling" at the end of
August and the beginning of September, and it had to submit to
several bombing attacks, especially at Canteleux Alley. At 2 p.m.
on I4th September two companies attacked the enemy in Canteleux
Trench. The Germans put up a strong resistance, but blocks were
established well within their lines. Company Serjeant-Major A.
Bullock, who had volunteered to take part in the operation, was in
command of one party and himself bombed a line of dug-outs
single-handed, capturing ten Germans and killing others. He was
wounded but refused to leave the line and insisted on carrying on
after having his wounds roughly dressed in the forward position.
Later, the Germans counter-attacked but, after fighting which
lasted for several hours and cost the battalion some ground, they
were driven back by Lewis-gun fire. Bullock was awarded the
Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallantry; Serjeant J.
Chadwick and Lance-Corporals H. J. Birch, W. Bowman, A. E .
Harris and P . Thomas received the Military Medal for their share in
the affair.
A clear indication of the enemy's intention to retire was afforded
18TH BN.
when the 18th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel C. E. Jewels, D.S.O.,
M.C.) took part in an operation by which the 35th Division, with only
a light artillery barrage, advanced south-east of Ypres to an average
depth of one thousand yards. Much of its success was due to the
patrolling carried out beforehand by day and by night by Second–
Lieutenant D. D. Rutherford, who penetrated far into the enemy's
lines, to equally good patrol work by Second-Lieutenant J. J.
Rewcastle and to the cutting of gaps in the German wire before
zero by Second-Lieutenant R. S. Bauld, M.C. The battalion crossed
the Ypres-Comines Canal near the Spoil Bank shortly after IO.30 a.m.
on 16th September. The left platoon, commanded by Bauld, had
the task of covering the left flank; it was faced by some untouched
wire south of Blauwe Poort Farm, but soon cut gaps in it; and
shortly after it rushed two German posts before their machine guns
could be brought into action, a third from which only a few shots
were fired being captured shortly afterwards. A little farther to the
south, the occupants of La Chapelle Farm held up the advance
temporarily with machine-gun fire and bombs; but Rutherford, to
whom this objective had been allotted, handled his platoon with such
skill and coolness that he surrounded the post and captured it with
fifteen prisoners and a machine
gun.
Rewcastle, who had kept his
platoon close behind the barrage without losing a single man, now
tried to exploit this success. He led his men some six hundred
yards farther into the German lines, but found no further signs of
the enemy. Rutherford also patrolled a great distance forward, but