The Fifth Leicestershire eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 383 pages of information about The Fifth Leicestershire.
of ammunition, waited until they came near enough to start bombing, and then gave them a volley of Mills grenades.  But once again we were ruined by the inefficiency of those in rear; the bombs had no detonators.  In a few minutes the Company would have been completely surrounded, so slowly and in good order they withdrew, first to the edge of the heap, and then down to the cottages at the bottom.  One group of men stayed for an incredibly long time on a ledge partway down the face, but in the end they too had to come away.  During the night the Company lost one killed and twenty-eight wounded, five of whom stayed at duty; two others were badly wounded during the counter-attack, were subsequently captured, and died as prisoners in Germany—­Privates A. Beck and R. Collins.  At the time, the withdrawal from the slag-heap seemed like a defeat, but, had we stayed, our casualties would have been far worse and the result the same; for with daylight, nothing could have lived on the heap, so long as the Generating Station and “Hill 65” remained in German hands.

The night after the battle we were relieved by the 5th Lincolnshires and marched out to Red Mill again for a few days’ rest.  We were congratulated by the General on the fight, and Captain Moore and “C” Company came in for special praise for their work with the bayonet.  Capt.  Wynne and 2nd Lieut.  Farrer were buried in Bully Grenay, and Lieut.  N.C.  Marriott took over “B” Company.  For the last twenty four hours it had been commanded by Lieut.  Petch, who returned from Hospital in the middle of the battle.  He now went to “A” Company again, and was promoted Captain.  Lieut.  Marriott got his Captaincy a few weeks later.  Capt.  Shields returned from leave and took command of “D” again, while Capt.  Burnett went to Headquarters.


Hill 65.

13th June, 1917. 4th July, 1917.

Those who had hoped for a rest after the battle were disappointed, for, on the 13th of June, we once more went into the line opposite Fosse 3.  The enemy seemed to have recovered from our attack on the 8th, and we spent a quiet five days, gaining no ground and suffering practically no casualties.  Towards the end of the tour the Canadians gained a footing on the Southern corner of the slag-heap and established a post there, and at the same time took the whole of the Generating Station and the high ground round it.  It seemed improbable that the Boche could hold Boot and Brick trenches much longer, so the General brought the 5th Lincolnshires into the line on the evening of the 18th to make a new attack on Fosse 3.  This attack was to take the form of a large raid.

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The Fifth Leicestershire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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