T.E. Sandall, History of the 5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (1922)


The Attack on Lens

As the Germans showed no signs of any intention to evacuate Lens, preparations were made to put pressure on them to do so, and the 138th Brigade was detailed to attack Hill 65, S.W. of Lens, as a preliminary to a further advance. Assembly trenches were prepared for this attack, a model of the position was constructed at Fosse 10, which was studied by the officers at convenient opportunities, while the Battalion training was conducted specially with reference to the attack, and a taped course at Marqueffles Farm was visited by the whole Battalion. Brigadier-General G. C. Kemp, C.B., having been compelled through sickness to relinquish the command of the Brigade, was temporarily succeeded by Lieut.-Col. G. Thorpe, G.S.O. I of the 46th Division.

On May 28th billets were changed and the Battalion moved from Petit Sains to Bully Grenay, where we were at the disposal of the B.G.C. 137th Brigade in case of attack. On May 30th at a ceremonial parade at Marqueffles Farm, ribands for medals recently awarded were presented by the G.O.C. 46th Division. Large working parties were constantly required, but daily training was carried on by all available. On June 2nd the Battalion was taken over the taped course at Marqueffles Farm, and next day the model at Fosse 10 was inspected by all ranks, while on the 4th a rehearsal of the attack over the taped course was carried out before the Corps and Divisional Commanders. On the 5th a day's rest was allowed, and the Battalion [p120] sports were held in the afternoon; after a Brigade conference it was announced that the scheme of operations on the 8th had been changed, the attack being altered to a raid, as only a portion of the trench line occupied was to be retained, and consolidated. On the evening of the 6th the Battalion again changed quarters, taking over the reserve area at Angres from the 1/6th Sherwood Foresters, where the 7th was spent resting, while the final preparations were made for next day.

At 5.30 p.m. on June 8th, the Battalion marched from Red Mill to cellars in the vicinity of the church and Souchez River. At 8.30 p.m. the 138th Brigade raided the enemy defences on Hill 65, and round Fosse 3, the assaulting Battalions being the 1/4th Lincolnshire and the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiments with the 1/4th Leicestershire as "Moppers Up" and the 1/5th Lincolnshire in reserve. The active operations that the Battalion took part in were as follows:

C Company, detailed for wiring in front of the captured enemy trenches, was ordered to proceed at 10.30 p.m., but the start was postponed by a Brigade Order, and the Company eventually reached its destination about midnight. Lieut. J. E. Emerson in command showed great coolness and courage in organizing the work under heavy fire, and also assisted in the consolidation of the captured trench, when no other officer was available. Company-Sergt.-Major H. Pickard also exhibited conspicuous coolness and courage in issuing the stores and organizing the parties at the dump under heavy shell fire, which he completely disregarded; he was later of great assistance to his Company Commander in superintending the work and encouraging the men and set a fine example. The company put out screw pickets and four strands of wire and [p121] supports on a front of 300 yards in front of Brick trench—the work was completed at 1.45 a.m., and the company returned to billets.

A Lewis Gun section, rifle section and bombers took over a post in Absolom trench, and moved forward with the assaulting battalions, withdrawing again with the general withdrawal. A platoon of A Company detailed for carrying bombs for a further raid at 10 p.m., did not receive a message that the further raid was cancelled and consequently moved forward at the hour ordered, and came in contact with the enemy in superior numbers; some fighting took place, and the platoon withdrew with one casualty. Another party of A Company were detailed to carry ladders for the R.E. at 10.10 p.m. from Assert trench to the assembly trenches, and having performed the duty returned to billets. The Battalion also furnished two stragglers' posts.

On return to billets at 4.30 a.m. on the 9th, D Company, under Captain Collins, received verbal orders from the Brigadier to move forward again to support the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment, who were being counter-attacked. The enemy counterattack, however, was repulsed, and the Company did not come into action, and returned to billets later in the day. Having rested in the billets round Red Mill for the day, on the evening of the 9th the Battalion relieved the 1/4th Lincolnshire and the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiments in the right sub-sector at Lievin (Cité de Riaumont) 2½ Companies in the line and 1½ in support, with orders for a Company raid to be carried out during the tour, and D Company was selected for the operation, which was fixed, for the 12th, and arrangements were made by the C.O. for the co-operation of the Artillery, and the 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade on our right.

At 5 a.m. on June 12th, C Company from the [p122] support line took over trenches from D Company who at 7 a.m. carried out a daylight raid, the raiding party consisting of two officers, Captain Collins and Lieut. Brown, and 86 Other Ranks. Punctually at the zero hour the artillery barrage opened and the raiding party left the assembly trenches, the men moving forward to the bottom of the slag-heap; no wire was encountered and the enemy were evidently taken by surprise, and did not put down a barrage until the party were well over the open ground, and at the foot of the slag-heap the platoon Sergeants were able to move along the line to see their men were in the correct positions. Unfortunately at this point both the officers and several men were wounded by our artillery, which was short; Captain Collins however remained out until the Company withdrew, and was the last man to re-enter our own line. When the Company advanced up the slag heap C.S.M. W. E. Hamp took over command, and showed great gallantry and ability in handling the company, seeing the objective gained, and superintending the withdrawal. The company moved in two waves of platoons; on the left the leading platoon, No. 14, entered the enemy trench, established a bombing post, opened fire on some of the enemy, who were retiring, and held on till the withdrawal was ordered at 25 minutes after zero hour; No. 16 platoon, which followed up No. 14, could not reach the house which was their objective, as they were held up by our own barrage falling on it; No. 13, the leading platoon on the right, entered the enemy trench, established a bombing post, bombed a dug-out, and withdrew with the remainder of the company as arranged; No. 15 platoon, which followed No. 13, like No. 16, was prevented from reaching their objective by our own barrage. A special bombing party, consisting of [p123] specially selected N.C.O.'s and men from other companies, endeavoured to bomb down Brick trench and join hands with the Canadians on our right. A German dug-out was bombed, the sentry being killed, but several of the enemy came out into the trench through another entrance, ran round a traverse, and then fled across the open, being dealt with by Lewis gun and rifle fire, and casualties inflicted. Another party of the enemy came forward from Boot trench, but were dealt with in the same way. Our party advanced along the trench for a considerable way but could not join the Canadians before the time fixed for withdrawal.

The N.C.O.'s in command did excellent work, especially Sergeant F. Darley on the left and Sergeant A. Coppin on the right, after the officers became casualties. On the withdrawal C.S.M. Hamp assisted Captain Collins, who was wounded and had remained at the foot of the slag heap, back to our own trenches, but on the way back came across a badly wounded N.C.O. and remained with him in No Man's Land, while Sergeant Coppin obtained a stretcher, and not until all the wounded had been got in did Captain Collins and C.S.M. Hamp return to our trenches. Captain Collins was awarded the M.C., and C.S.M. Hamp the D.C.M. after this operation and Sergeant Darley the Military Medal, while Sergeant Coppin won a bar to his Military Medal, previously awarded. The enemy barrage cut the telephone communications, and several of the Company runners in the line exhibited great courage in carrying messages through the barrage, especially Privates E. Hallet, N. Cox, and C. J. Robinson, who were all awarded the Military Medal. Our casualties in this raid were: killed 1 Other Rank, wounded 2 officers and 16 Other Ranks and 1 officer from Battalion Headquarters (Lieut.Burr) [p124] slightly wounded but remained on duty. After the raid D Company returned to billets near the church, and at night took over the support company billets on the Lievin-Lens road.

The Brigade Horse Show was held at Marqueffles Farm on the afternoon of the 12th, and the Battalion Transport took 1st prize in the Brigade for a turn-out of selected animals and vehicles, limbers, cookers, pack-ponies, etc., and at the Divisional Show next day we took 2nd prize for the best turn-out in the Division.

On the night of June 13th we were relieved by the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment and went into Brigade Reserve in the billets at the Red Mill at Angres. Captain Binns, the Adjutant, was unfortunately compelled to go to hospital owing to sickness, and was subsequently invalided to England, and the duties of the Adjutant were taken over by Lieut. R. White, who was in due course officially gazetted to that position, which he filled with great ability until the end of our period of Field Service.

Instructions were received that on the 19th the Battalion would attack the enemy's position as a prelude to a larger operation, and training for the next few days was devoted to preparations for this attack, and on the night of the 15th 300 men were employed on digging an advanced trench for assembly, between Crocodile and Absolom trenches. On the 16th the Battalion came out of Brigade Reserve for two day's rest in billets in Bully Grenay. Brigadier-General Rowley now took over the permanent command of the Brigade, and next day issued a complimentary order from the Corps Commander, congratulating the Battalion on the good work of the raid on the 12th; on the same day 2nd Lieut. J. O'Reilly joined for duty.

On June 18th at I Corps Horse Show the [p125] Battalion Transport gained 3rd prize for the best turn-out in the Corps; the success of the Transport in the Brigade, Divisional, and Corps Shows was largely due to the excellent work of Lieut. H. B. Linley, the Transport Officer. In the evening we relieved the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment in the line at Cité de Riaumont, A Company on the right, and B Company in the centre, with a company of the 1/5th Leicestershire remaining in the line on the left; D Company were in cellars in Cité Garenne, and C Company in cellars with Battalion Headquarters in Lievin. After the relief the Battalion carried up bombs, rockets, wire, rations, and water and got very little rest during the night. During the morning of the 19th when the companies were fitted out for attack, Battalion Headquarters were moved to Cité Garenne, and companies detailed as follows: Assaulting companies, A and B; wiring company C; carrying company D; the strength being: A Company 2 officers, 89 other ranks; B Company 2 officers, 75 other ranks; C Company 1 officer 80 other ranks. Owing to the shortage of officers, none could be left behind. The two assaulting companies were in position by 2 p.m., C Company in assembly trenches near the left of the assaulting companies, while D Company remained in cellars until wanted. Zero hour was 2.30 p.m. and the barrage opened, and the assaulting companies advanced in two waves punctually. At Zero plus 6 minutes the enemy put down a barrage on our assembly trenches, especially on the left, but this did not interfere with our advance. The right Company got into the trenches without difficulty or casualties, many of the enemy were killed and some 30 taken prisoners, others being driven towards the Canadians on our right, who took 18 prisoners, who belonged to the 118th Regiment. The left [p126] Company was met by machine gun fire down the road and considerable resistance by rifle fire and bombing, causing a number of casualties, and was temporarily checked, but again advanced, drove the Germans from the trenches with rifle-grenade and rifle fire, and gained their objective. Lieut. M. Robinson, and Lieut. C. R. Madden, the officers of the right Company, led their commands most skilfully, organised the defence and consolidation of the captured position in a most able manner, showing great personal courage, and a fine example, and both won the Military Cross. Lieut. J. S. Nichols, the Company Commander of the left Company, was dangerously wounded when they were checked, and C.S.M. H. Brown, on whom the responsibility of leading the Company fell, exhibited great resource, reorganised the attack, personally led it forward very gallantly, and gained his objective, and immediately organised the consolidation and defence, whereby several counterattacks were repulsed; the Military Cross was subsequently granted to this very gallant Warrant Officer, who unfortunately fell in action on July 1st. Many of the N.C.O.'s and men exhibited conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty, Sergeants A. A. Mann and T. W. Huddleston led their platoons with much dash; Lance-Corporal W. Winters led a bombing party, and when the barrage lifted, was in the enemy position in two minutes, and repeatedly came back for ammunition under heavy shell fire; Lance-Corporal W. V. Hewitt, when the left attack was held up, and ammunition for his Lewis gun ran short, went back for more through the barrage, brought it up, and by renewed fire materially helped the final advance, and Lance-Corporal G. Harbron also did excellent work with his Lewis gun by directing his fire with great judgment on to the [p127] enemy trench holding up the left company, while Private F. Ashton, on the extreme left flank, showed great ability in pushing forward and assisting the advance by covering fire from his Lewis gun.

The Canadians on our right assisted in the attack, and touch was gained between them and both assaulting Companies. Two platoons of the carrying Company followed the second wave, and halted below the slag heap, thus forming an immediate support. The other two platoons of D Company at once started carrying bombs forward to the dump below the slag heap. The left company having suffered many casualties was re-inforced at 3.30 p.m. by the two supporting platoons of D Company, Lieut. G. H. Quantrill going up and taking command on the left. Shortly afterwards permission was obtained from Brigade to use the special wiring Company, C, and at 4.15 p. m., it went straight through to the slag heap, where two platoons were left in support, and two platoons went forward to reinforce the line. Three attempts at counter-attack were made by the enemy: (1) at 4.45 p.m. the enemy put down a barrage and left his trenches, but the S.O.S. was sent up and immediately responded to by our artillery, rifle and machine gun fire opened, and the attack did not reach our trenches; (2) at 7 p.m. the enemy were observed forming up E. of Admiral trench by Private C. R. Jacobs, a Lewis gunner, who immediately gave the alarm, and moving his gun to the top of the parapet opened fire inflicting many casualties; the S.O.S. was again at once responded to by our guns, and the attack dispersed; (3) at 10 p.m. the enemy again advanced, but were driven back by our fire from the trenches. The position being now consolidated, a platoon from the support under Sergt. G. Arliss, and two parties from the 1/5th Leicestershire Regi [p128] ment went forward to wire the position, and to some extent succeeded, but the operation was conducted under heavy fire, and there were many casualties.

During the action, when communication by runner was the only method possible, Privates J. W. H. Bull, W. Johnson, H. Catchpole, and N. Cox all did excellent work, and showed great courage in passing through the heavy barrage several times between Battalion Headquarters and the front line, while two stretcher bearers, Privates W. R. Sylvester and G. H. Ogden, did valuable work in attending to the wounded and carrying them to the dressing station under heavy fire. During the 20th the captured enemy positions were shelled all day, and at night A and B Companies in the new line were relieved by the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment and with Battalion Headquarters returned to Red Mill, but C Company remained in close support under the slag heap, 2nd Lieut. C. Robinson, the temporary commander, being wounded, while D Company moved to the assembly trenches used by our right assaulting Company. Our casualties in this attack were: killed 12 Other Ranks, wounded 2 Officers, 55 Other Ranks; died of wounds 4 Other Ranks; missing 1; total 74. During the night the right company of the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment suffered so many casualties from gas projectors fired into the trench, that C Company were called upon to go up into the line again.

On the 21st C and D Companies were relieved by the 1/8th Sherwood Foresters, and joined the remainder of the Battalion at Red Mill, and after a day's rest we were relieved by the 1/5th North Staffordshire Regiment, and went back for three day's rest to billets at Petit Sains, where a congratulatory message from the Army Commander on the attack on the 19th was received.


On June 25th, the Battalion rested during the day, and at night took over from the 1/6th North Staffordshire Regiment the newly captured enemy trenches Ahead and Admiral, with a support line on the west of Hill 65, the Battalion being distributed with C Company in the outpost line in Admiral trench, and D Company in Ahead trench, with A Company in support, and B Company with Battalion Headquarters in Cité des Garennes. On the 26th the Canadians on our right attacked and captured some trenches, but our sector was not affected except by the activity of the enemy artillery, and Lieut. Squire was slightly wounded. An explosion in a dug-out in Ahead trench caused many casualties killing C.S.M. Hamp, D.C.M., M.M., and dangerously wounding C.S.M. H. Pickard, D.C.M., who subsequently died of wounds, and the loss of these two very gallant Warrant Officers caused great sorrow in the Battalion. Lance-Sergt. O. Gouldthorpe showed great courage in going down the shaft after the explosion on three separate occasions, each time bringing out a man, until he was eventually overcome by fumes; he undoubtedly saved the lives of these men at the risk of his own and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty. As there was very little shelling at the time, a booby-trap was suspected, and the matter was investigated by the Australian tunnelling company, and it was established that the dug-outs had been mined by the Germans before retiring, the mines being placed in the dug-out roofs, the system of firing being by means of a wire passing through an acid bath. During the 27th, six more dug-outs blew up, but fortunately they had been previously evacuated, and so no casualties were caused in them, but the heavy shelling during the [p130] 26th and the 27th was responsible for nearly 50 killed, wounded or gassed.

On the evening of June 27th, the remainder of the Brigade took over their battle positions for the attack next day and relieved us in the line, and the Battalion went into reserve in Lievin for the night. At 2.30 a.m. on the 28th the Canadians attacked and captured a section of enemy trench on our right, and at 7.10 p.m. on the same day the Brigade with the 1/5th South Staffordshire Regiment attacked the enemy defences east of Hill 65, Abode, Adjunct, and Adjacent trenches, gaining all their objectives and consolidating the captured position. The Battalion moved up to its assembly position in reserve at 6 p.m., A and C Companies in Cité des Garennes, and B and D in cellars near Souchez River, but was not called upon to take any part in the operation, except that B Company was detailed to carry wire from the Quarry Dump to the front of the slag heap and sustained one casualty during the journey, returning next day to their cellars in Cité des Garennes.

In view of the attack of the 46th Division planned for July 1st, in which the assaulting Battalions of the 138th Brigade were to be the 1/4th and 1/5th Lincolnshire Regiments, the next two days were devoted to rest and preparations for the attack; the area was subjected to some gas shell bombardments, which caused a few casualties. Congratulatory messages with reference to our recent operations were received from H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, the Field Marshal the Commander-in-Chief, and from the Army Commander.

On the evening of June 30th the Battalion relieved the 1/4th Leicestershire Regiment in the line, the companies moving straight into their assembly positions, being from right to left D and A Companies, Ad [p131] jacent trench; B and C, Adjunct trench; the trenches however were practically obliterated, and the assembly positions really a line of shell holes, with Battalion Headquarters in Cité de Riaumont. At 2.47 a.m. on July 1st the 46th Division attacked the German positions west of Lens in front of Hill 65 and Cité de Riaumont on a three Brigade front, the 138th Brigade attacking on the right, the 1/4th and 1/5th Lincolnshire Regiments as the assaulting battalions, with 1/4th Leicestershire Regiment in support and 1/5th Leicestershire in reserve. The objective of the Battalion was Cité de Moulin. The two companies in the front line, D Company ( Lieut. Squire and 2nd Lieuts. Wrigglesworth and O'Reilly ) on the right, and A Company (Captain R. L. Hill and 2nd Lieut. Madden ) on the left advanced in two lines at 15 yards interval, B Company ( Captain Disney, Captain Haseldine, and 2nd Lieut. Le Fevre ) in support 30 yards behind, responsible for "mopping up", and C Company ( Captain Goodall ) in reserve.

At Zero hour, 2.47 a.m., both companies started punctually; it was still very dark and the right company lost direction somewhat, going too far to the right, and although touch was kept with the 1/4th Lincolnshire on the right, it was temporarily lost with the left company. It seems likely that the enemy had noticed the assembly, as his barrage came down not more than a minute after Zero, and his machine guns opened at once and fired through our barrage. For the sake of clearness it is desirable to describe the action of the two companies separately.

The left Company on entering the Cité de Moulin met with a certain amount of wire, not a serious obstacle, but sufficient to cause the barrage to outpace them. Some men penetrated the houses, but were everywhere held up by heavy machine gun [p132] and rifle fire. At 3.15 a.m. the support company came up, under Captain Disney, who now took command of this portion of the line, and after making a personal reconnaissance, he sent forward patrols, who located the enemy's position, but could make no impression either in front or flanks, and as the rifle and machine gun fire was heavy, Captain Disney ordered the line to be dug in, and the position already gained to be consolidated. About 4.15 a.m. a patrol was sent out to try and gain touch with the 137th Brigade on the left, but they were heavily fired on, and no sign of our troops could be found, so a defensive flank was formed. About 5 a.m. the enemy appeared in strength about the houses in front, apparently intending to counter-attack, but were dispersed by our rifle and Lewis gun fire. Meanwhile, digging in had been carried on under heavy shell and machine gun fire all the time, and this was continued throughout the day. At 6.30 a.m., three patrols under 2nd Lieut. Madden, were sent forward as it appeared possible that, as the objective line had been gained on the right and almost gained on the left, the enemy would retire if pressed. These patrols got forward some distance among the houses, but were met by heavy fire and could make no further progress. Another patrol about 10 a.m. gained touch with the 137th Brigade on the left, but could get no definite information as to their position, and for several hours no further movement could be made.

About 2 p.m. Sergeant Leadbeater, D.C.M. and bar, in command of the left post having located the position of an enemy machine gun, went forward on his own initiative to attack it single handed by bombing. Before he could reach it the enemy machine gun team fled, but he captured several belts of ammunition. Shortly afterwards he saw [p133] the enemy about 50 strong massing on his flank; although his party was only 10 or 12 strong, he at once attacked, opening fire with Lewis guns and rifles; several of the enemy were seen to fall and the remainder got into the houses. For half-an-hour the party remained in a forward position and fired on the enemy seen moving from house to house. Sergeant Leadbeater was subsequently recommended by the Divisional Commander for the Victoria Cross, but was awarded a second bar to his D.C.M.

About 3.30 p.m. the enemy shelling increased to a great intensity on the front of Cité de Moulin, much movement was observed, and apparently another counter attack was contemplated; however, rifle and Lewis gun fire was kept up steadily, and nothing occurred. When information was received that the enemy was moving in strength on our left flank, the reserve (C) Company were sent up to strengthen it. About 6 p.m., owing to heavy shelling and the fact that no cover was available, our advanced posts were withdrawn in order to make a continuous line. At 9 p.m. orders were received to attack the houses occupied by the enemy, without artillery support, at 10 p.m., and bombing and bayonet parties advanced up to the houses, but they were found occupied in strength, and no progress could be made. Another attempt was made at 11 p.m. but by this time the enemy had established a regular line close to our front, and nothing could be done.

The right Company (D) suffered some casualties in the assembly trenches, and on advancing met with some opposition from a machine gun, which was put out of action by our Lewis guns, and they went forward towards their objective, but the enemy held an organised position on a road in front in considerable strength, so Lieut. Squire decided to hold the line gained. At 3 a.m. the enemy opened [p134] fire with rifle grenades and bombs, and shortly afterwards left his position and counter-attacked. He was met by rifle and Lewis gun fire, and apparently suffered considerable loss as his line disappeared and bombing ceased. As touch at this time was lost with both flanks, the company withdrew a short distance, and took up a fresh defensive line, when the enemy again advanced in considerable strength and in good order for a second counter-attack, which was again dispersed by our rifle and Lewis gun fire. The Company then dug in under heavy fire and attempted to gain touch with both flanks, which was satisfactorily accomplished. Second Lieut. F. E. B. Le Fevre, who was in command of the right half of the supporting company, did excellent work during the day and made it his special mission to keep touch between the right and left companies frequently passing over open ground under heavy fire, and won the Military Cross. About 9.15 p.m. the left flank of the right company, which had got further forward than the left company, was slightly withdrawn to link up in one line with the latter. When orders were received at 10 p.m. to mop up the houses in front this change in position was taking place, bombs and ammunition were running short, casualties had been heavy and the enemy was found to be holding the houses strongly, and Lieut. Squire decided very rightly that the attempt should not be made. All through the day he had shown great resource and initiative and commanded the Company with great skill, displaying personal courage of a high order, and the Military Cross was subsequently awarded to him.

Throughout the day the companies in the advanced positions were subject to heavy and continuous fire, and did extremely well under very trying circumstances. The enemy and his machine guns were in stronger numbers than was expected, [p135] and it was apparent that the cellars in the houses in the Cité de Moulin were joined up; in these circumstances, with good cover, his fighting qualities were found to be higher than was expected from the 11th Reserve Division opposed to us, whose morale was known to be low from having been badly punished on several occasions this year. Several N.C.O.'s and men greatly distinguished themselves in the attack, and in the repulse of actual or threatened counter-attacks. Lance-Corporal G. R. Lunn, Private W. W. Mortimer, Private H. Tory, Lance-Corporal F. P. French, all did excellent work with Lewis guns, acting on their own initiative, and won the Military Medal. Lance-Sergeant O. Gouldthorpe, M.M., when his company was checked in the advance by a machine gun firing through the wall of a house, at once advanced single-handed, and attacked it with bombs, killing two of the team and causing the rest to retire. Later on he led a party forward and established them in a forward post, and although wounded insisted on remaining at duty until the position was thoroughly established; he was awarded the D.C.M. Sergeant T. Chapman was another N.C.O. who acted with initiative and gallantry throughout the day, pushing forward with his platoon, when the left company was held up, clearing the houses in front and digging in, and thus establishing a connecting post between the right and left companies, which was held throughout the day. He had previously distinguished himself at the Hohenzollern Redoubt and on the occasion of the attack on June 19th, and was awarded the D.C.M. in the New Year Honours List in 1918. The stretcher bearers also did very good work under heavy fire in the open, especially Privates F. Norton, E. Conroy, and Lance-Corporal C. S. Gill, while Sergeant E. V. Salmon also showed great courage in going out three times to bring in three [p136] men of his party who had been wounded and were lying in the open.

Communication was very difficult; the armoured cable from Battalion Headquarters to the Advanced Report Centre, where Sergeant H. Doughty in charge did excellent work under heavy fire, was repeatedly cut, and from thence to the advanced positions "runners" were the only means. Private W. Howard, J. W. Dugard, J. W. Cox and H. Moore, all showed great courage in crossing 600 yards of open ground under heavy fire on five or six occasions during the day, carrying messages and reports, and were awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in action. Our casualties were: Officers 2 wounded, Captain Hett and Captain Goodall ; Other Ranks 13 killed, 3 died of wounds, 18 wounded, 13 missing, believed wounded, and 4 missing; Total 51.

During the night of the 1st, the Battalion was relieved by the 1/4th Leicesters, but relief was difficult and slow, and two platoons of C Company could not be relieved owing to daylight; on completion the Battalion went into billets in Lievin for the night, and after a day's rest were relieved on the night of July 2nd by the 25th Battalion Canadian Infantry, marching to Aix Noulette, from which we were conveyed to Bailleul Les Cornailles where rest billets were found. During July 3rd the two platoons of C Company rejoined the Battalion, and also two sections of the same company, who had been sent up with tools but got lost, attaching themselves to the Staffordshire Battalion on our left with whom they went forward to the attack. A complimentary order from the G.O.C. 46th Division was received, and a day's complete rest was thoroughly enjoyed, with the prospect of several week's rest out of the line, as the 46th Division was now temporarily withdrawn.