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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
they could not reach their objective. By 7.30 p.m. the three
companies had established touch with each other on a line about
three-quarters of a mile east of the main road, but were not in touch
with any troops on the flanks, though contact with the Scottish
Horse on the left was established two hours later.
At 3.15 a.m. on 9th November, a fine day with bright sunshine,
word came that troops farther to the north had advanced a con–
siderable distance without meeting any opposition and were anxious
about the safety of their flank. A platoon of "C" Company, under
Second-Lieutenant N. J. Gibson, was therefore ordered to advance
along the Sars Poteries road to see
if
the enemy had withdrawn in
that area too and if possible to establish a strong post on the eastern
edge of the Bois de Beugnies, which lies to the north-west of the
village of that name. "A" and "B" Companies were ordered to
send out patrols under officers to a road which ran between that
wood and the Bois de la Villette, west of Felleries. They all soon
found that the enemy had withdrawn during the night; and they
pushed on to their allotted points. A troop of the 12th Lancers,
attached to the battalion, sent back word at the end of the morning
that Felleries had been evacuated by the Germans who, after
blowing up the level crossing over the railway there, were retiring
across country. The battalion stayed on its appointed line for the
rest of the day except that "D" Company established forward
posts, in conjunction with a machine-gun company, near Beugnies.
At 5 p.m. a South Mrican brigade passed through and the 6th moved
into billets in Beugnies.
FoUowing
up
17th and 18th Battalions
Although they were not involved in any fighting, brief mention
should be made of the doings of the 17th (Lieutenant-Colonel G.
MacKereth, M.C.) and 18th (Lieutenant-Colonel C. E. Jewels,
D.S.O., M.C.) Battalions just before the Armistice, as they are to
some extent linked with those of the 2nd/5th Battalion which are
shortly to be told.
Summoned on 9th November from billets near Courtrai, these
two battalions crossed the Scheldt at Berchem with a view to
passing through another brigade and continuing the pursuit of the
18TH BN.
rapidly retreating Germans. The 18th Battalion formed part of the
advanced guard and moved off at 7 a.m. on loth November.
It
met
little opposition, except from mounted patrols, but a very enthu–
siastic welcome which often took the practical form of food, coffee
and beer. By 5 p.m. the battalion had reached its objective, a line
from Boekanter to Boschstraat, between Renaix and Grammont,
after an advance of nearly eight miles.
It
sought to return the
hospitality it received by arranging for its band to march with
the transport and entertain the inhabitants at halts.
17TH BN .
The 17th Battalion spent the lOth November in marching
uneventfully with the main body from Berchem to Audenhove.