Page 49 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

34
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
and more continuously at Le Touquet while the billets were at
Armentieres, Le Bizet, and once (in November) at Nieppe. But
rarely did a day pass without the War Diary having to record a
number of men killed or wounded.
On 7th November, while the battalion was resting in dug-outs in
Ploegsteert Wood, a company had to be sent to take part in a
counter-attack made also by two companies of the 3rd Worcester–
shire Regiment and a company of the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers
against a large body of Gennans which had broken through the
front of the Worcestershire Regiment in the wood. They succeeded
in stopping
all
further attempts to advance, but were not able to
recover any of the lost ground. The Worcestershire were again the
victims of an attack on the night of the 9th/loth November, and the
2nd Lancashire Fusiliers were ordered to support the 2nd Argyll and
Sutherland Highlanders in a night counter-attack. The latter
battalion became separated in the darkness and missed one trench
occupied by the enemy, which was dealt with by the Lancashire
Fusiliers, who also seized a fann, bayoneting the occupants of trench
and fann. The positions thus taken were, however, enfiladed by the
enemy and had to be abandoned and others used to watch him and
prevent further progress into the wood. The casualties in this night
attack were 2 men killed, and Lieutenant R. Northover and IS other
ranks wounded.
Four events of a personal nature next call for mention. On 21st
November, Lieutenant-Colonel Butler took over temporary com–
mand of 12th Infantry Brigade during the absence on leave of
Colonel F. G. Anley. On the 28th he left the battalion on pro–
motion to command the 3rd Infantry Brigade, the command of the
12th Brigade devolving for a short time on Major G. M. Tufnell,
2nd Essex Regiment, the senior surviving officer, and the command
of the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers on Major C.
J.
Griffin once more.
On 22nd November, Second-Lieutenant
L.
B.
L.
Seckham had
the misfortune to be bitten by a dog in a deserted farm near
Le
Touquet and had to be sent post-haste to the Pasteur Institute in
.Paris for treatment. On the night of lOth December, a man of the
battalion who was on duty in an advanced listening post was severely
wounded in the legs. Owing to the flooded condition of the trenches,
it was impossible for the stretcher-bearers to carry
him
away in the
usual manner. Tyrrell, the medical officer, who possessed the
physical strength that might be expected from a former Irish
Rugby international, went out and, with an entire disregard for his
own safety, carried the man back to a point from which he could
be taken on a stretcher. For this gallant action he was recom–
mended for a very high honour; he was awarded the Military Cross
in the first list of recipients of this newly created decoration.
The month of November saw the first institution of two systems
which were destined to continue with modifications to the end of the
war, namely the granting of leave to the United Kingdom and the
regular relief of battalions in the front line
by
those in support and