Page 85 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

68
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS,
1914-1918
steep ravine from the top of which it had to deploy. "C" Company
(Lieutenant D. C. Marshall) on the right and "D" Company
(Captain G. C. Griffiths) on the left were to fonn the firing line; "A"
Company (Captain M. Honan) was in support and had the task of
bringing up picks and shovels to enable "C" and liD" to entrench on
reaching their objective; while "B" Company (Captain Ross)
was in reserve with an entrenching role. The leading wave of "C"
Company was commanded by Second-Lieutenant N. Petty and that
of "D" by Second-Lieutenant E. Westcott. They moved off at 1I.30
a.m. and at first went well, although they became somewhat mixed
with stragglers from the leading units of the brigade. Soon, however,
they were fired on from their outer flanks and obeyed the natural
instinct to turn towards the source of danger. "D" swung to the
left and all touch was lost with it for many hours. "C" Company
reached Gully Ravine lower down than was intended and con–
sequently lost touch with the troops on its left.
Early in the attack, Bromley was wounded in the foot but
refused to leave his post, being helped by Company Serjeant-Major
J.
Hill,
who was acting as Regimental Serjeant-Major, when
battalion headquarters moved later in the day into Gully Ravine.
In the meanwhile Captain M. Honan and Lieutenant
R.
F.
Scrivener with "A" Company had advanced and captured a Turkish
position in the ravine with 62 prisoners and some material. They then
proceeded to fortify a position on the eastern side of the ravine and
to establish a line between the left of "H 12" and the ravine. They
were counter-attacked by the Turks, but succeeded in driving them
off with heavy loss. Bromley, unable to get about himself, sent Hill
to find out the position in the battalion area. Hill found some
remnants of "C" Company in the ravine, but without any officers or
its company serjeant-major; and he learnt that Lieutenant P. D. W.
Dunn, the machine-gun officer, had been wounded. An attempt was
made to advance up the ravine, but nothing could be achieved in the
face of very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. Of "D" Company he
could get no news. At 3.30 p.m., therefore, two patrols were sent
out to locate the troops on the left; but they failed to do so. Later
in the day the 1st Border Regiment, which had brilliantly captured
a Turkish trench on the east side of the ravine at the outset of the
action, relieved "A" Company between "H 12" and the ravine.
After dark the brigade major came to battalion headquarters with
orders that 120 men of the battalion were to help the 1st Royal
Dublin Fusiliers to dig a trench connecting"
J
II"
with the captured
portion of
"J
12": the work, it may
be
mentioned in passing, was
continually checked by Turkish counter-attacks against the latter.
He then set out with Hill to look for the missing "D" Company,
which had been reported as being in
"J
12" and
"J
13." They
eventually found a few survivors of it near those trenches: though
they had lost their officers and m::l.ny of their comrades, they had
clung grimly to the ground they bad reached, Corporal Reed in
particular having done magnificent work in helping to repel with