Tag: Germans

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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6 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

MONTAGNE de BLIGNY

At 3.a.m the enemy put down a heavy barrage on the positions occupied by the French on the immediate right of the Brigade front.  This gradually spread to the left and by 3.30 a.m the battalion area was being subjected to the barrage fire.  The enemy was shortly afterwards observed to be advancing to the attack in a South-Westerly direction, covering fire also being given by his Machine Guns from both flanks.  Many casualties were inflicted on him by rifle, Lewis Gun, and Machine Gunfire.  He succeeded however by 7.a.m in driving the French out of the village of BLIGNY and into the BOIS de REIMS.  This left the Brigade right flank completely exposed.  The 8/N. Staffs. therefore formed a defensive flank by withdrawing to the road (about the letter E of CHAMBRECY – reference map SOISSONS 1/100,000).  By attacking in large numbers the enemy contrived to eject our front line troops and gain possession of their trenches.  The Commanding Officer immediately issued orders for a counter-attack, and Lieuts Clarke and Berry re-organised their men and assisted by the supports, launched a counter-attack up the Southern slopes of the MONTAGNE.  This attack was held up by heavy machine gun fire before reaching the final objective, and did not succeed in turning the enemy out, in spite of flanking tactics that Lieut. Clarke organised.  The parties were compelled to withdraw and took up a defensive position on the road immediately South of the MONTAGNE de BLIGNY.  The enemy had by now (10.a.m) strong forces in our late front line and attempted to advance.  All his efforts were however frustrated by fire from the line in the road.  About 10.30 a.m orders were received that the hill must be held at all costs.  The Commanding Officer commenced reorganising for further counter-attacks and at 12.30 pm the reserve battalion, 1/4th K.S.L.I. arrived to assist.  The counter-attack was duly launched about 1.p.m. – the details of the 8/N. Staffs. were on the right – those of the 9/ Cheshire in the centre and the 1/4th K.S.L.I. on the left.  Before the objective, our front line, was reached the K.S.L.I. and the N/Staffs had orders to stand fast until the arrival of French troops, this they did and took up positions on the Southern and Eastern slopes of the hill.  The Cheshire party pushed forward however, and on reaching the crest of the hill, where they came under heavy fire from the enemy established on our old front line, charged and recaptured our positions at the point of the bayonet.  Two machine guns and 50 prisoners were taken and passed down through the K.S.L.I.  This charge was led by Lieut. CLARKE – Lieut. BERRY (who was missing in action) and 2nd Lieuts WRIGHT and LEES also took part and amongst the men were N.C.O’s and men of other units, who had become attached to the battalion.  The situation on the Battn. right was now completely restored and remained intact from this time onwards.  On the left, however, the enemy still retained hold in our trenches and attempts were made by small parties of the K.S.L.I. to get into close touch with him.  The Commanding Officer took a small party up the Western slope of the hill to try and eject the enemy but hostile fire was too heavy and the party practically wiped out.  He again organised two parties to attack this left flank; one was led, very gallantly, by 2nd Lieut JONES (9th Welsh Rgt) but was unsuccessful, the officer being wounded; the other Captain Griffiths himself led and succeeded in capturing a small portion of the trench, Killing several of the enemy and wounding others – the remainder fled.  The attacking party, oddments of all Units, remained in occupation of this post.  The situation at 7.20 pm was as stated in the Commanding Officer’s report (App K99.) and remained unaltered.  About 8.0 pm. orders were received that the Brigade would be relieved by the 150th Composite Brigade that night, the 6/7th June.  The situation was now becoming quiet and by dusk all was quiet on the Brigade front.  Stretcher parties were able to get to work and many wounded were brought in.  Guides were despatched (as detailed in A/44 –App K 100 (b) to meet the incoming unit, the 151st Composite Battn. and this battalion arrived in the line at 11.30 p.m.  Owing to the darkness of the night the relief took some time to carry out and was not completed until 2.a.m (App K100(c)).

5 June 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

MONTAGNE de BLIGNY

Enemy artillery very active but no concentrated shoot was carried out.  At dusk the attached company of S.W. Bdrs. was ordered to leave the Battalion and marched away about 10.p.m.  A readjustment of the front line took place – the 9th Cheshire Regt taking over half the left company frontage of the 8th N. Staffs. on our right.  Patrols were sent out and the patrol detailed to investigate the suspected enemy post in the small wood (discovered last night) came into contact with about ten of the enemy there and shots were exchanged – two Germans being killed.  This was about midnight.

30 May 1918

Extract from war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Sarcy

Orders were issued to the Commanding Officer to move the Battalion in the early morning to the vicinity of SARCY village and to establish HQ in the village.  This was carried out starting at 4.30 a.m, as detailed in App K83.  Reconnaissances were carried out, of the ridge just N.W of SARCY with a view to holding it [sic].  At 11.45 a.m orders were received to take up these positions to allow other units of the 58th Brigade to withdraw through this line and to gain touch on the right with the 56th Brigade whose left was to swing back to SARCY village (App K84).  This was completed by 1 p.m.  There were no troops by this time on the left and as enemy Scouts could be observed in BOIS D’AULNAY the left Company “A” Coy, formed a defensive flank running towards the farm 1 Kilometre SE. of the BOIS D’AULNAY (reference Map SOISSONS 1/100,000) ‘B’ Coy also sent a platoon to reinforce this defensive flank.  From this time onwards considerable enemy movement was seen both of scouts and of larger bodies who followed them up.  The enemy shelling also increased and by evening was fairly heavy, especially on SARCY village.  The enemy attempted to advance from the BOIS D’AULNAY but was held up by the fire of our Lewis Guns and rifles on the left.  Owing to the situation on the left a withdrawal of the Division to a line just South of SARCY village was ordered at 7.30 p.m and the Battalion withdrew by companies from the left, starting at 8.30 p.m.  This was most successfully carried out without casualties and without attracting the attention of the enemy.  The only casualties sustained up to the present were, Officers: – Lieut E.S. EVANS.  2ndLieut L. COOPER 2ndLt. A.B. INCHBOARD, all wounded, and 22 other Ranks.  By midnight fresh positions had been taken up astride the CHAMBRECY-SARCY road and on the high ground 1 mile North of CHAMBRECY and also that ½ mile South of SARCY.

28 May 1918

Extract from war diary of 10th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Pevy

2am Enemy brought up L.T.M’s & rifle grenades  –      casualties heavy.      Capt. J.H.E. DEANE killed   2 LT.SIDDONS sent down to try to get artillery support  – Estimated casualties 200 O.R.  2 LT P.COOKSON. W.& M – 2LT S.A.ELLIS–M.   2 LT G.B.JORDAN – M.  2LT. T. MOULTON – M.  2LT H.J.HOLLAMBY  M.

6am Composite Batt of 7th Bde formed under command of Lt Col MORRIS D.S.O.  1st WILTS.  –  Part of this Batt under command of Capt & Ajt W.S.FARMER –

Marched North to take up position of slope 1 Mile North of PEVY –     Met troops from that position retiring – enemy having broken through on left,   CHESHIRES of that part fell in together forming one Coy of 5 Officers & 62 O.R. in composite Batt.     Capt R.E. HUFFAM sent off to endeavour to find transport & bring up rations

8am Composite Batt ordered to retire through PEVY & PROUILLY in small parties & take up position on high ground S. of PEV PROUILLY.     Enemy M.G. fire very heavy as we retired across open ground –

9am Took up position on heights S. of PROUILLY. Enemy M.G. fire heavy.

11am Enemy brought up battery of field guns in front (i.e.South) of PEVY and brought very accurate fire to bear on our men who were lying in open without any cover from view or from fire.

11.30am This Battn’s Coy ordered to take up defensive flank on right of hill till 21st Divn fell back through us.    Enemy shelling heavy.    Casualties (estimated) 30 O.R.

2LT A.DOUGLAS wounded.

2.50pm Advised C.O. 1st LINCOLNS that no one left on left or right of Batt. & that I had only 15 men left.

3pm Fell back on partially dug line held by 1st LINCOLNS  –  250x in rear  – Shelling heavy –  Left flank went & enemy brought up M.G. which enfiladed us from left rear.

7.30pm 1st LINCOLNS received orders to withdraw to TILE WORKS  S of LA VESLE River. Marched out with them – and afterward moved W. along JONCHERY road and got in touch with S. STAFFS again ¼ mile N. of T in BRANSCOURT  Ref Map SOISSONS 1/100000.     Drew rations from dump on road  –  and let men sleep for 2 hours in ditch with sentries out in front.

27 May 1918

Extract from war diary of 10th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Pevy

Before noon, orders were received to move into support, the line running round the Eastern outskirts of CORMICY astride the CORMICY – GUYENCOURT ROAD.     1 Plat per Coy went up in advance.  Batt in position 2pm.   S.W.BORDERERS on right –    S. STAFFS on left. –     Reported to Bde that gap of ¾mile between our right and left of S.W.B. –     Sent out 2 platoons of A Coy to form defensive flank in this gap.    6 p.m. Bde orders received that S.W.B to take over one Company front of this Battn – two Coys of ours being withdrawn to Bde support –    A Coy on right & D Coy on left ordered to withdraw accordingly –     B & C Coys on centre to extend over whole Battn front. Batt HQ were with 1st LINCOLNS at 9.90.   2.60. (Ref. map BERRY AU BAC.

6.30pm Orders received from Bde Major who was present – for B & C Coys to retire along CORMICY – GUYENCOURT Road, as enemy had broken though on left –

Enemy shelling very heavy throughout, & our guns had ceased firing altogether.

7pm Enemy M Gs were enfilading line from left rear, and large number of low flying enemy planes were firing from M Gs on the troops. Companies sufferd heavil[y] in retirement – particularl[y] B Coy who brought up rear, and D Coy who were on left, and appeared to have been cut off.     2LT. A.H.J.JONES wounded  Lt Col E.C. CADMAN killed by M G. from aeroplane.     Capt & Adjt W.S.FARMER took command and collected stragglers to cover retirement of Battery at  LA BLADCHETACHE as requested by Lt Col Commandg Brigade of Artillery –

7.30pm LT COL MORRIS 4th S Staffs.  arrived & took over command of whole party.     Marched to PEVY where he reported to 7th Bde HQ.  Total of this party 3 off. & 42 O.R. of this Batt. – Arrived PEVY 2.30 am. 28/5/18

Remainder of A. B & C Coys reached position behind BOUVINCOURT where they came under orders of MAJOR CANNON, 1st Wilts.  Total party 3 Off. & 30 O.R. of this Batt.   Party dug in on ridge S. of BOUVINCOURT.   Enemy shelling very heavy & accurate, being directed by aeroplane  – one hostile plane brought down in flames by our rifle fire.

26 May 1918

Extract from war diary of 6th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Battalion proceeded by train from Etaples at 3pm. and travelled till 7pm the following day, arriving in the area of FRISMES, which was found to be occupied by the enemy.  At this time considerable E.A. attacked the train with bombs and machine gun fire, and also an advanced enemy outpost was seen firing a machine gun on the train.   A party went out and attacked the outpost, who surrended and were brought back.   The train was then reversed and returned through the French outpost line to FERE en TARDENOISE, the Battalion detraining there about midnight and resting in the wood.   At 8am the 28th. the Bn entrained for LA FERTE MILON, remaining there till 6pm when they again entrained and arrived at DORMANS at 2am. 29th May. Proceeding immediately by route march to ROMIGNY and reporting to 9th Corps and being attached to the 8th Division.