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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, I914-I9I8
THE PRESSURE CONTINUES IN THE CENTRE
2nd and 2nd/5th Battalions
An interesting little operation-it was almost a "one-man show"
-was carried out at Givenchy in broad daylight on 27th September
2ND/5TH
by Captain C. V. Broadbent, M.C., of the 2nd/5th Battalion. He had
EN.
located an enemy post about five hundred yards from the battalion's
lines and during the afternoon he crawled out with Serjeant W.
Keating, D.C.M. (who had won his decoration with the IIth
Battalion at Warneton at the end of I9I5 for a gallant piece of wire–
cutting), and Privates A. Barlow and W. Roach. On reaching the
German post, Broadbent held up the sentry with his revolver while
the rest of the patrol captured the whole garrison of five men.
Broadbent then questioned his prisoners and, on learning that there
was a machine gun near by, he sent Keating for it and brought the
whole of the booty safely back to the battalion lines. For this gallant
display of initiative, Broadbent received a bar to his Military Cross,
while Keating, Barlow and Roach were awarded the Military Medal.
For the 2nd/5th Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel G. S. Brighten,
D.S.O.) the final advance began on 2nd October, when patrols were
able to make their way into La Bassee, while the remainder of the
battalion moved forward to part of the old German positions known
as the
La
Bassee line. That night Second-Lieutenant R. S. Lush led
a patrol into Salome, a distance of three thousand yards from that
line. On 3rd October, "D" Company (Captain
J.
R. Bodington,
M.C.) led the battalion as advanced guard through La Bassee and
Salome as far as Hantay, three miles east of La Bassee and five miles
from what had for nearly four years been the British line at
Givenchy. But the enemy was conducting his withdrawal deliber–
ately, making use of every suitable line for resistance .
It
was
therefore only to be expected that, when the leading troops of the
battalion reached the Douai-Lille Canal (sometimes called the
Haute Deule Canal) east of Hantay, it should encounter strong
opposition, which was sufficient to hold up the advance. The
battalion, which had had a long spell in the line, was relieved on the
afternoon of 3rd October and went back to billets in Bethune,
where it carried out intensive training in open warfare.
21'1 0
EN.
About fifteen miles to the south, the 2nd Battalion (Lieutenant-
Colonel H. A. Kirkby, D.S.O.) was at this time carrying out an
operation described in the War Diary as "minor" but none the less
of some importance. For some nights another battalion had been
trying to establish a foothold across the Trinquis Brook (an in–
significant tributary of the River Scarpe near Arras) which the
Germans had managed to turn into a substantial obstacle by skilful
damming, resulting in extensive floods. Beyond it, the enemy
firmly held ground which rose towards Sailly-en-Ostrevent. The
establishment of a bridgehead across the brook was an essential
prefuninary to clearing the Germans from their position; and the
2nd Battalion took over the sector to the west of it on the night of