Page 79 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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1st, 1st/5th, 1st/6th, 1st/7th, and 1st/8th BattaUons
The rest of the month of May passed in trench routine, accO:ql–
panied by all the unpleasantness of Gallipoli, and in further reorgani–
zations which included the attachment of the 1st Battalion to the
29th Indian Infantry Brigade. By now both sides had full and
properly organized trench systems so that the general attack ordered
for 4th June, which proved to be a day of brilliant sunshine with a
stili north-easterly breeze, had to be based on principles different
from those of its predecessors. Elaborate orders covered every
stage of the advance; and the objectives nowhere entailed an
advance of more than eight hundred yards. No longer was Achi
Baba to be taken in a day.
1 ST
B !-I.
All the five battalions of the Regiment by then on the Gallipoli
Peninsula took part in the Third Battle of Krithia, which lasted for
six days. But, whereas the Territorial battalions were involved for
the whole of that time in varying degrees, the 1st Battalion (Major
Bishop) took part in the first day's fighting only; and it will
be convenient to describe its actions first.
The battalion was occupying the centre section of the front-line
trenches at Gurkha Bluff. The plan for 4th June was that two
companies should take the first objective, a Turkish trench known
as "J
and that the other two companies should come forward
and carry the whole line on to the second objective, a trench known
as "J
As elsewhere, the attack was preceded by a long and
heavy bombardment by guns of many calibres, ashore and afloat.
The results, however, were negligible and in some cases disastrous.
The Turks were provoked to a counter-bombardment far more
effective than the British shelling; and much of the latter fell
short, causing casualties to the 1st Battalion, including Captain
T. H. W. Cunliffe and the whole of his machine-gun team with its
gun. At 12 noon the bombardment ceased, and "A" (Major H.
Shaw) and "B" (Lieutenant
Cross) Companies climbed over
the parapet and advanced at the double, to be greeted by con–
tinuous and rapid rifle and machine-gun fire at one hundred yards
range. Many men were hit while still on the parapet . Several
managed to advance between thirty and seventy yards. But the
Turkish fire was too intense and accurate for any to reach even the
first objective, which was, moreover, well protected by mines which
caused a number of casualties.
Company, gallantly led by
Captain H .
Clayton, followed close behind "B" and were held up
with them, though Clayton himself forced his way right up to the
Turkish trenches before he was killed. His body was found on the
Turkish wire two months later. The explosion of the mines set ,on
fire some patches of gorse on the right. This stopped"
and, though a few men succeeded in reaching "J
most had to
get down into a nullah where some cover was to be found. By now