Page 433 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
The battalion reorganized and concentrated near Fort Garry, a short
distance to the east of the bend in the main road, with the exception
of "C" Company, which moved forward behind the left support
company, and under the orders of the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers, so
as to afford protection to its left flank. Early on 29th.September the
battalion advanced in echelon behind the left flank of that unit.
It
was not called upon to fight on this day and reached a line running
south-east from Becelaere without incident. Rain began to fall in the
evening and continued throughout the night.
It
was coming down
in torrents when the battalion resumed its advance at 7.30 a.m. on
30th September, with the battalion snipers under Second-Lieutenant
L.
A. Manly thrown out to protect the left flank and to keep touch
with the neighbouring division. By 9.30 a.m. the battalion had
reached the high ground at Molenhoek, a mile and a half north-west
of Gheluwe. After a pause, during which it was ascertained that the
Germans were holding that village and the farms north of it, an
attack was launched at
II
a.m. with "D" Company (now com–
manded by Lieutenant ]. C.
B.
Harris) on the right supported by
"C," and "B" on the left supported by "A." Scouts led the way,
followed by Lewis-gun teams. Heavy machine-gun fire was
encountered from various parts of the line held by the enemy.
Harris handled his company with great skill and organized the
seizing of several farms and "pill-boxes" occupied by the enemy.
Dunn also displayed great skill and moved about under heavy fire
with complete disregard of danger, ensuring that all parts of his
company did what was required of them and sending back much–
needed information. By
2
p.m. a position had been established facing
south-east astride the two roads leading from Terhand to Gheluwe.
The advance was then continued, though still in the face of
resistance. At 4 p.m. opposition was encountered from a farm about
a mile north of Gheluwe. Machine guns were brought up to engage
it, while the battalion "artillery," consisting of the rifle grenadiers
of all platoons concentrated into one body, was sent round under
Regimental Serjeant-Major W. Lund, D.C.M., to deal with it from
the south. This fire was too much for the garrison and "D" Company
was able to occupy it, finding a wounded German and two machine
guns from which the locks had been removed. During this incident,
Serjeant-Major Lund was killed-a great loss to the battalion, by
whom he was held in great respect and affection. "D" Company
had suffered numerous casualties and Rangecroft was ordered to take
up a platoon of "C" Company to its help. At 6 p.m. this platoon was
led by
him
to outflank a "pill-box" a short distance to the east of the
farm taken by "D" Company. Under cover of Lewis-gun fire, he
rushed the post, capturing an officer and thirteen other ranks,
without the loss of a man from his platoon. With the enemy's
attention distracted by this party, Hams with some men of "D"
Company was able to work round the other flank of the post,
arriving in it almost at the same time as Rangecroft. Another farm,
a short distance farther east, was taken; but the machine-gun fire