Page 449 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
garrison. The bayonet was needed to dislodge several other parties
which often used their bayonets in defence. Lance-Corporal
J.
W.
Walmsley was wounded but led his section in a rush on one of the
posts, putting all its defenders out of action with the bayonet. Bird
and Sumner finally cleared the way and led their men through
heavy fire to the final objective. Even then the battalion's work was
not over, for it was subjected to strong retaliation by the enemy.
Again Bird and Carter did valuable work in organizing the con–
solidation of the position, as did Second-Lieutenant W. Charnock,
who, finding that most of the men in a platoon detailed for mopping
up had become casualties, organized a joint platoon with his men
and filled the gap, killing and taking prisoner many Germans. The
adjutant, Captain E. Fairhurst, M.C., had played a valuable part
throughout the attack in obtaining information of the greatest
importance: when communication with the leading troops broke
down, he went forward from battalion headquarters to find out how
things stood and where the companies were.
It
was from him that
the Commanding Officer first learnt that the battalion had reached
its final objective and that brigade headquarters received news of the
position of the battalion on the right of the 1st/8th. Other members
of the battalion headquarters displayed gallantry
in
this action:
the battalion's chaplain, the Reverend C. Smith, heard that a man
was lying wounded out in the open under heavy shell fire at some
distance from the aid post and, rushing out with a stretcher-bearer,
brought him safely in; and Regimental Serjeant-Major W. A.
Girling kept communications going between the attacking companies
and battalion headquarters, organized men who had lost their way
and helped wounded men to safety throughout the action. The
battalion's losses had been
2
officers and 60 other ranks; its gains
I
officer and 80 other ranks prisoners, 37 machine guns, one light
field
gun
and two trench mortars.
At 8.40 a.m., the appointed moment , the New Zealanders
passed through the brigade to continue the advance to the division's
final objective. Shortly after noon the brigade marched back to
Viesly, having gained the following honours :-
1ST/7TH BATTALION
Sewnd Bar
10
Mil itary Cross
(the only one awarded t o the Regiment)
Captain W.
J.
O' Bryen, M.C.
Military Cross
Lieutenant
F . B .
Webb.
Second-Lieutenant
J.
McCready.
Distingui shed Conduct Medal
Lance-Serjeant
F.
Hesford.
Military Medal
Lance-Corporal
A.
R.
F inch.
Lance-Corporal
A. E. Whitham.
Private
J.
Tempest, D.C.M.