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82
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, 19I8-I9I8
counter-attack. Consolidation of the whole of the new position was
successfully completed next day in spite of shelling by a Turkish
heavy
gun.
The Corps Commander, Lieutenant-General Sir Francis
Davies, sent his congratulations to the battalion and authorized the
crater to be officially named "Boyd's Crater." The decorations
awarded were:-
.l\{ilitary Cross
Captain A.
w.
Boyd.
Second-Lieutenant L. Morrison.
Dislingttished Conduct
.11
edal
~erjeant
A. Harvey.
Private C. Bent.
THE EVACUATION
The failure of all attempts to advance on any of the sectors on
the Gallipoli Peninsula and various other factors had brought about
a decision to withdraw all troops from it, beginning with the Suvla
1ST BN.
and Anzac fronts in the middle of December. The Ist Battalion
embarked from Suvla on 14th December and went to Mudros,
where, to its surprise, it was transhipped next day and sent to
RelIes to occupy very dirty bivouacs on the East Krithia road till it
took part in the final evacuation on 2nd January and sailed for
9TH
BN.
Alexandria. The 9th Battalion left Suvla on I8th December and,
after a month's stay in Mudros, sailed to Alexandria at the end of
1ST/5TH,
January, I9I6. The Territorial battalions embarked from RelIes on
IST~6TH,
the night of 27th/28th December and, after a fortnight
in
Mudros,
I S_~;;H
likewise went to Alexandria. The evacuation of all six battalions
1ST/8TH
was accomplished 'without serious incident, though naturally there
BNS.
were many anxious moments and the operation was not helped by
the prevailing mud and pitch darkness. The Ist/8th Battalion was
relieved
in
the front line on Christmas Eve and bivouacked on the
cliff-side north of Gully Ravine, hoping for a Christmas Day of rest
and peace. At 8.0 a.m. on 25th December, however, it was turned
out and ordered to move up the Ravine to bivouacs north of the
Eski line. On its way up it passed divisional headquarters, where a
band was playing the carol "God rest ye merry gentlemen," which
the battalion thought singularly inappropriate!
EGYPT AND THE SUEZ CANAL
1ST BN .
The Ist Battalion went to France
in
March, 19I6, having spent
some weeks
in
the defences of the Suez Canal at Darb-el-Raj, about
four and a half miles, and El Kubri, about six miles, north of
Suez. The other battalions evacuated from Gallipoli were to
spend many months
in
Egypt, training, manning defences and
making new defence works, particularly during that process of
pushing out a line to the east of the Suez Canal which followed Lord
Kitchener's caustic question whether the troops lining the canal
itself were protecting the canal or whether the canal was protecting
them. The Territorial battalions moved from Alexandria to Tel-el–
Kebir in January, 1916. They spent part of that month and