Page 488 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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"INTENTION.
)[ACEDO:\IA
45
1
(b)
The enemy's patrols are constantly met with
by night on the southern slopes of Dorsale."
The enemy's position will be attacked on
the night 13th/14th, captured, cleared of the
enemy and consolidated during the same
night."
The battalion moved to the position of assembly without
incident, "C" Company acting as advanced guard, and there took
up the formation in which it was to advance to the assault. "C"
Company (Captain G. F. Page) and "D" Company (Lieutenant
C. H. ]. Foster), under command of the former officer, were to lead,
with "B" Company (Captain ]. G. K. Farrar) in support and "A"
Company (Captain G. Wormald) in reserve.
Strong patrols were sent forward by both the leading companies
up the spurs by which they were to advance, and the companies
followed in columns of platoons. The night was not dark, but touch
was difficult to maintain as a deep ravine divided the leading
companies, and the crash and roar of the bombardment drowned
all
other sounds.
A wounded officer from a patrol now reported that the wire was
unapproachable owing to our bombardment, but that there seemed
to be gaps, and that the enemy was on the alert ; indeed, machine–
gun fire now began to make itself felt, mostly, however, passing over
the heads of the leading troops, who were lying on the rocky hillside
waiting for the signal to assault. But an unlucky bullet at about
this time found and killed Captain Guy Wormald, the senior
company commander and an officer of outstanding character and
ability.
At
2
a .m. on the 14th the artillery lifted and in the sudden
silence the leading troops were cheered on to the attack. Rifle and
machine-gun fire broke out from the ruined trenches, but the charge
swept through the broken wire, and those of the German garrison
who had braved and survived the bombardment were quickly
killed or captured.
Immediate enemy resistance was at an end, and for a time the
artillery of both sides spared the disputed ground, the opposing
gunners waiting for news of the issue of the fight. Consolidation was
quickly put under way, enemy dug-outs were bombed and explored.
and prisoners and captured machine guns were sent to the rear.
Lance-Corporal ]. Lancashire led several of these bombing attacks
with conspicuous gallantry. The captured ground being solid rock,
but little digging could be done, and what sandbags were available
were used to improve the shattered trenches and to construct posts
on the trace of the enemy's support line which now became the
forward slope of the new position.
As dawn broke the position had been organized, touch had been
gained with the King's on the right, and battalion headquarters was
established near the old enemy front line. The troops had leisure to