Page 468 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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1918: AUGUST TO THE ARMISTICE
43S
companies. Soon after 8.30 a.m. orders were received that no
further attempts were to be made at the scene of Marshall's glorious
gallantry but that the battalion was to cross the canal by a bridge
put up by another brigade at Ors. Dunn led the remnants of the
16th across there under heavy fire but without incident, and the
battalion began to move in a north-easterly direction to regain its
proper place in the line.
It
met with stiff resistance from German
machine-gun nests and snipers, particularly from its exposed left
flank. But Lieutenant
J.
W. Lewis, M.C., the battalion's Lewis-gun
officer, saved many casualties by bringing his guns into a favourable
position from which he was able to beat down the hostile fire.
HorsIer again showed great skill and gallantry in leading his company
and dealt with a number of centres of resistance. In one company
all the officers became casualties except Second-Lieutenant
R.
G.
Boden, who at once assumed command and displayed valuable
courage and initiative in working round the flanks of several machine–
gun nests. Potts also led his company with great skill and bravery.
The result was the capture of all the objectives, so that at dusk the
battalion had consolidated in depth with its left on the canal bank
and its right in touch with the 2nd Manchester Regiment on the
Ors-Landrecies road. But the cost had been heavy: eleven officers
had been killed or wounded and the battalion could only muster
about one hundred rifles.
I
evertheless it continued its task next
day, 5th _ ovember, mopping up the ground east of the canal and
advancing to La Folie, a hamlet half-way between Ors and Land–
recies, where another brigade passed through. During this advance
the battalion captured 8 field guns,
26
machine guns, a large store of
shells and some transport.
It
remains to describe the part taken by the 15th Battalion in
15TH
BN.
this battle. At
SAS
a.m. on 4th November it advanced with two
companies of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and two
tanks, under a heavy and uncomfortably accurate German defensive
barrage, towards its objective, the west bank of the canal. Serjeant
Clarke again played a prominent part in making the advance
possible. Though he was faced with heavy fire from the canal bank,
he rushed forward through the barrage with a Lewis-gun team,
brought the gun into action and silenced the enemy's fire. His
company were then able to push forward and reach the canal. The
left of the battalion had to work methodically through the village
of Happegarbes, clearing up strong points and machine-gun nests.
Once more Private A. G. Bunce was conspicuous for his gallantry.
He was badly wounded early in the day but insisted on carrying
on single-handed with his Lewis gun in complete disregard for
the heavy fire through which he advanced. Cramer also showed the
same cool and calm bearing that had been so valuable in the previous
days' fighting; and for the third time he reached his objective with
only one section left. Horspool, too, repeated his good work of the
earlier fighting: on this occasion he took over command of the rem-
nants of three companies and handled them with such skill and