Page 75 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
battalions only. The companies advanced in artillery formation and
reached the front line with little loss. Lance-Corporal H. Schofield
showed conspicuous courage in exposing himself frequently under
heavy fire in order to locate the Turkish trenches accurately. The
Inniskilling Fusiliers were in considerable strength in the nullah,
but they had difficulty in leaving it, and Captain Willis with two
platoons of No. 2 Company decided to call on the men to make a
long rush to seize Fir Tree Wood, so well known later on, where the
Turks had one of their posts. The men begged to be allowed to leave
off their heavy packs, and permission was given. This was a mistake,
for the packs were never recovered, and they were soon badly
wanted.
After covering fire the two platoons and a few of the Inniskilling
Fusiliers started their long rush. Training told and, with bursting
lungs, the little party made good the corner of the wood with few
casualties, among whom, however, was Lance-Corporal H . Schofield,
who, after being bandaged, volunteered to go back across the fire–
swept ground with a report calling for reinforcements.
It
was
evident that the Turks had had enough at this point, and with reason,
for in one platoon post of about twenty men, every Turk lay dead in
his rifle pit, with one exception. 2nd Lieutenant P . D. W. Dunn was
sent forward with a patrol and Pioneer-Serjeant W. A. Burchell
volunteered to accompany him. He went almost into Krithia and
found that the Turks had retired. At this juncture a small party
under Captain H. M. Farmar, who was acting as brigade major,
arrived, and the situation was explained. The adjutant, Captain
C. Bromley, who was with another small party on the left, was
wounded in the leg and had to be helped back. Major G. S. Adams
with the remainder of No. 2 Company was by this time
in
the
nUllah, and as it was impossible to get the line to advance, the small
parties in front came back, and the chance of reaching Krithia was
lost.
The situation was very confused and the fact that no senior
commander could be found to whom report could be made, led to the
inevitable result, a retirement. A position behind the nullah was
carelessly chosen and the troops dug in. The situation was critical,
and boldness and vigour at this point might have changed a stale–
mate into a local success of great importance. Impressed with this
view, Captain
R. R.
Willis went off to find some responsible com–
mander to whom to report. While on his quest he met a staff officer
belonging to the divisional artillery who, after hearing the news,
advised him to go with
him
to divisional headquarters, now at
"w"
Beach. The orderly's horse was commandeered and eventually the
report was made to Major-General Hunter-Weston. The situation
in the front line was not improved by the rain and cold which
prevailed that night. Then the lack of the discarded packs was
severely felt by the men, who lost no time in making up the deficien–
cies from the many casualties as best they could. In addition to
Bromley, the battalion lost Lieutenant
L.
B.
L.
Seckharn and many