28 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 1st Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Front line

“D” Company, under Capt W.R. EASTERBROOK, carried out an operation on the morning of 28th June, N.W. of MERVILLE (K. 15. d. 7. 3).

The Company was ordered to attack and hold enemy position at K. 15. d. 7. 3.  Two platoons participated – No. 13 Platoon under 2nd Lieut J. HARPER and No. 14 Platoon under 2nd Lieut A.Q. ROBINSON.

Zero hour was 6 a.m.  At zero minus 4, a Rifle Grenade barrage was opened from the front line on the objective.  This barrage was maintained until Zero plus 4.  At the same time a Lewis Gun barrage was opened on the enemy positions to the right of the objective.  At Zero, 2nd Lieut HARPER led his platoon along the hedge running along ROUSSEL FARM – SCHOOL Road (K. 15. d) and 2nd Lieut ROBINSON led his platoon along the Canal Bank.  On reaching a position about 30 yards from the objective, both parties deployed into two lines and rushed the hedge.  2nd Lieut ROBINSON rushed at least 10 yards ahead of everybody else and got into the trench first.  Unfortunately he jumped right on to a party of 2 or 3 GERMANS, who immediately seized him and hurried him off back along the Communication Trench before the remainder could get in.

2nd Lieut HARPER then led the whole party.  He himself was the first (after 2nd Lieut ROBINSON) to get into the trench.  He got in through a gap where a GERMAN Machine Gun was and wounded the gunner.  Meanwhile the remainder of the party broke through the various gaps in the hedge and the GERMANS retired up the Communication Trench (leaving 2 Machine Guns) and throwing bombs as they went.  L/Cpl MOSES immediately organised a bombing party and drove the enemy right across the Road to the other side of the Shrine.  He then went back and turned his Lewis Gun on to them.

Sgt HARRISON (Mr HARPER’s platoon Sergeant) seeing that there was no Officer or N.C.O. on the left of the line (all having become casualties) immediately organised this platoon, got the captured Machine Guns into position for firing and eventually blazed away.

The GERMANS subsequently made two more Bombing raid along the Communication Trench, but were driven back each time by Bomb and Lewis Gun fire.

2nd Lieut J. HARPER was killed later in the day.

Casualties – 6 other ranks killed and 10 wounded.


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