Page 90 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

Basic HTML Version

GALLlPOLl-SUVLA-EGYPT AND SINAI
73
trenches which enfiladed them. He ordered an attack on the
trenches, which were taken at the cost of heavy casualties. Ibbetson
was himself wounded, but refused to leave the line. The trenches
just taken proved to be enfiladed by the field work; Ibbetson could
therefore only order every man to take cover. The mound from
which they had moved was suddenly evacuated by the troops which
had followed Ibbetson's party, which was now completely isolated
for several hours until a battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment
attacked the field work. The Fusiliers joined in, killed a lot of
Turks as they were retiring, met another party of the enemy who
were about to counter-attack and scattered them . After further
adventures, Ibbetson handed over his party to the Commanding
Officer of the Sth Dorsetshire Regiment , by whom he was ordered
to go to hospital, weak from loss of blood as the result of remaining
in action twelve hours after he had been wounded.
The senior officer now left with the 9th was Captain M.
C.
Ferrers-Guy, 7 officers having by now been killed and 7 wounded.
Company Serjeant-Major T . Bleackley again did yeoman service;
when two of his company's officers had been killed, he took command
of a platoon, reorganized it and led it on. The situation on the whgle
front of the battalion was very confused. Our own and the Turkish
dead lay twenty yards apart on the sand hills. Tristram lay wounded
in the head within a few yards of three dead Turks and was nearly
burnt to death when the scrub caught fire from the bursting of the
enemy's shells. Fortunately he was rescued, thanks to the pluck of
Private
I.
Walton. Some of the wounded perished in the flames,
though others were saved by the gallant efforts of Second-Lieutenant
D. Graham-Brown and others. Many displayed great endurance that
day, conspicuous among them being Private S. Birtwistle, who was
wounded early in the day but refused to leave the line until the
evening.
By S p .m. the Northumberland Fusiliers and the Dorsetshire had
begun to dig in on the ground they had made good, with the 9th
Lancashire Fusiliers consolidating on Hill
10.
Early next day, 8th
August, the battalion was ordered to support the Dorsetshire in a
further advance and advanced without loss to a position two
hundred and fifty yards behind that unit . By now the battalion had
captured a white Turkish pony and two water-bags, which were
useful when it was safe to move them. That night the battalion was
ordered back to Hill
10,
to be ready to help the Dorsetshire in an
attack next day. Ferrers-Guy accordingly reported at S.30 a .m . on
9th August to the O.C. Sth Dorsetshire Regiment, which had already
deployed. The 9th Lancashire Fusiliers formed up on its right, with
two companies in front and two in support, and advanced with it.
When the attack had begun to develop, Ferrers-Guy received
orders to withdraw the battalion and place it
in
general reserve two
miles to the rear. The men were very exhausted and thirsty--one
man died of thirst. Ferrers-Guy came to the conclusion that he
could not carry out the orders without losing half his remaining