MACHINE GUN IN HOUSE
LIEUTENANT DAVIES, M.C., of the Machine Gun Corps, placed a gun in the upper window of a house in the village of Maing, and gave excellent support to the attacking forces on Famars Ridge.
Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Lieutenant Davies, M.C.; Corporal Wonnall; Lance-Corporal N. Troy; Privates W. Jones and E. Tyler.
BOMBING RAID ON
LIEUTENANT W. W. SPEED, M.C., of the 7th Black Watch, with bombing party, working up a trench on the Hyderabad Redoubt, East Neuk.
CROSSING OF THE ECAILLON.
6th R. H. (BLACK WATCH).
ON October 24, 1918, the morning of the attack (which was launched at 4 a.m.), platoons were carrying duckboards with petrol tins on the ends, designed to enable the crossing of the river to be made. It was found extremely difficult even to approach the river, especially on the Monchaux side, and, in the case of Second-Lieutenant J. M'Caig-Walker, one end of the board caught in the fence, the other dropping into the water close to the bank. On the opposite bank the enemy could be seen, in the glare of Véry lights and gun flashes, busily setting wire. Lieutenant Walker decided to swim the river. Going down to the edge of the duckboard, he jumped into the water, followed by his corporal and the remainder of the platoon, his Lewis gunner on the bank covering the crossing. On their gaining the opposite bank the Germans withdrew. Walker followed up and cleared out two machine guns stationed in the houses on the left, and thirteen "nests" in the village of Monchaux on the right of his position, where they had been working considerable havoc amongst troops crawling down the slope to the river and holding up the whole attack. For this action Lieutenant Walker was awarded the D.S.O.
Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Lieutenant J. M'Caig-Walker, D.S.O.; Sergeant Symon; Privates Black and Storrar.
THE HYDERABAD REDOUBT.
HERE the Division saw bitter hours. There was constant bombing, and the desolated flat was a network of trenches, a tangle of wire, and a havoc of shell-holes. The few trees running from the left of the sketch mark the Arras-Lille road, and on the right, in the distance, is Gloster Wood. Forward from the latter, and in the angle of the trenches, is the "East Neuk" of the 7th Black Watch.
7TH GORDONS CLEARING " Y " RAVINE.
ON November 13, 1916, in the advance on Beaumont-Hamel from the Auchonvillers region---a shell-broken plateau---a veritable nest of machine guns had to be cleared before the deep ravine could be occupied for the attack on the hill behind Beaumont-Hamel. Lieutenant R. G. Lindsay, M.C., with " C" Company, 7th Gordons, had the right arm of the ravine to "mop up," and he is shown at the end of the plateau directing the advance to the junction and the clearing of the dug-outs. Beyond is the hill with the Boche reserve line (Munich Trench) under our artillery fire from Auchonvillers to Mailly-Maillet.
Names of Officers and Men appearing in the Sketches "Roclincourt" and "'Y' Ravine":--- Captain M'Duff, for the late Captain Donald Clark, D.S.O., M.C.; Lieutenant R. G. Lindsay, M.C.; Privates J. Kay, W. Emslie, A. Chisholm, W. Shearer, J. Robertson, J. Newlands, W. M'Gregor, J. Trail, C. M'Lean, and P. Steuart.
BATTERY POSITIONS BETWEEN AUCHONVILLERS AND MAILLY-MAILLET WOOD.
THE guns were massed here for the clearing of " Y" Ravine and the advance of the Highlanders on Beaumont-Hamel. The Division's "hour of éclat came in the attack, when, to the surprise of the Higher Command, it did what had not been expected of it."
"JUMPING-OFF" GROUND FOR LAST ATTACK BY DIVISION.
ON left, The Chateau wall, Avesnes-le-Sec; on right, Moulin de Pierre, Battalion Headquarters, 6/7th Gordons, 6 p.m., October 12, 1916. Lieutenant-Colonel J. G. Thom, D.S.O., M.C., was shot while observing from the superstructure of the mill.In the distance, from right to left, Château Wood, Iwuy, Iwuy church spire, churches of Escaudoeuvres, Cambrai; and, bearing to left, Naves, which was Divisional Headquarters during the battle. The sketch shows the ground of attack from the German position on crest of upland.
THE "EDGE OF THE UPLAND" FROM LIEU ST. AMAND ROAD.
THE right flank of the attack.From right, Moulin de Pierre, wood and château, Avesnes-le-Sec, and the flat field of fire running to the wood on the left. This wood was unregistered on our maps, and was strongly held by machine guns, whose fire, with that from positions in the shrubs and willows, swept the skyline. So intense was the fire that the American doctor with the 6/7th Gordons, Captain Burton Maltby, M.C., could only save his wounded by laying them out behind the Moulin de Pierre in a line parallel to the direction of fire. The mill was his only screen, and when a wounded Highlander gave up his soul the body had to be pulled into the field of fire to give place to a living man.
END OF THE CHARGE.
6TH A. & S. H. AT FAMARS.
" C " Company, Lieutenant W. D. Bissett in charge of one platoon, set out before dawn, and early in the day, owing to machine-gun defence and heavy casualties, Lieutenant Bissett was the only officer left to command. He decided that the allotted objective, which they had reached, would be difficult to hold, there being no field of fire. He reconnoitred with Sergeant W. Cunningham and Sergeant Sinclair, and led his men forward to an open position in front of the railway. This movement was observed by an enemy aeroplane, and soon afterwards a heavy "box" barrage of high velocity and gas shells cut off any possibility of communication. The enemy, strongly holding the trench on Bissett's left front and above him on the slope of the ridge, made two attacks, which were repelled at the cost of all the ammunition the party carried. The Germans were seen to be bringing up strong reserves in front, while parties of them had got round on the right flank and were keeping up a harassing machinegun fire. Realizing the danger, Lieutenant Bissett retired to the railway, temporarily saving the situation. The enemy, however, continued to force matters, and Lieutenant Bissett, with odds of thirty to one massing against him, determined to go forward with the bayonet as a last hope. The charges were brilliantly carried out, and thirty-two men mustered on the bluff facing Famars. Bissett aggressively waved an empty revolver, and the party made a feint of having enough ammunition to repel any attack. This is the moment depicted in the sketch, when only annihilation was expected. The Boche, however, having lost his positions and some fifteen hundred prisoners, had retired on the village. This action gained for the Division an advance of four hundred yards, Famars, and Mont Hucy. Lieutenant Bissett was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Lieutenant W.D. Bissett, V.C.; Sergeants W. Cunningham and A. Sinclair; Lance-Corporal G. Stevens; Privates J. Adams, A. Leishman, R M'Neill, and J. Bonner.
LIEU ST. AMAND.
THE left flank of our attack again commanded the top of the hill, sweeping it with a murderous fire from machine guns in the houses and on the sunken part of the road from Avesnes-le-Sec. Here the advance was held up until Lieutenant Gillespie, 256th Brigade, R.:F,.A., brought his gun under the hill and shelled the village.
"PHEASANT FARM," YPRES SALIENT,
THIS shows the hideous country from "Pheasant Trench" and the line of approach of the 4th Seaforths when they captured the "pill-boxes."
"PHEASANT TRENCH" THE RIDGE BEFORE "PHEASANT FARM."
DEATH gazed from the ridges upon men who met it with unflinching eyes, their vision strained as long as it was daylight; at night, when they crawled between opposing trenches on some duty of war, it was with the sense of hearing almost incredibly intense and alert.
THE STEENBECK YPRES SALIENT.
AT this point Colonel Booth of the 6th Black Watch and thirty men of "D" Company advanced over a plank bridge and captured the gun emplacements.
"HINDENBURG FARM" --YPRES SALIENT.
THE immense "pill-box" known as "Hindenburg Farm," and the cluster of smaller ones seen from "High Command Redoubt." It is almost impossible to realize that our men advanced over this sea of lakes and ruts, barbed wire and spikes, to attack, far less capture, such a position.
MAJOR T. DAVIDSON, D.S.O., AT ROBECQ.
A SUDDEN attack just before dawn on the 12th April broke through the left centre of the 51st Division about Pacaut, arid but for the gallantry and resource of two batteries of the 255th Brigade, R.F.A., commanded respectively by Major T. Davidson, D.S.O., and Major F. C. Jack, M.C., might have enabled the enemy to cross the La Bassée Canal. About 5.30 a.m. word was sent to the batteries of the 255th Brigade that Headquarters were surrounded, and that batteries must look after themselves." A" and " B " batteries decided to hold the bridgehead across the canal. Major Davidson met the last gun of each battery on the drawbridge, placing "A" battery's gun under the command of Lieutenant Jenkins and " B " battery's gun under Major F. C. Jack."A" gun was placed in action close to Mont Bernenchon, and covering the footbridges across the canal at that point. " B" gun was placed immediately opposite to, and about four hundred yards from, the bridge which the remainder of the batteries had succeeded in crossing.Complete silence reigned for about a minute after the trails of the guns had been dropped, and it is this period which is illustrated. Major Davidson is seen consulting with Lieutenant Jenkins, acting as No. 2 of "A" battery's gun, at the moment when the hedge had been cut, the gun laid, and the first round was coming up.The enemy were advancing less than eight hundred yards off, and Major Davidson's task was to hold the advance in that sector, at the same time reserving ten rounds until more ammunition should arrive. A patrol of the enemy did get to the bridge, but were dispersed by fire. It was upon the house on the left of the drawing that Major Jack fired after waiting until the enemy had occupied it.Major Davidson received a bar to his D.S.O., and was specially mentioned for having held the German advance at Mont Bernenchon; Major Jack received the D.S.O., and was specially mentioned for his gallant part in the operations; and Lieutenant Jenkins was awarded the M.C.Names of Officers and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Colonel T. Davidson, D.S.O.; Major T. Jenkins, M.C.; Sergeant J. Conn; Gunners M. Bristow, J. Collard, J. W. Gray, and H. Davenport.
ROEUX AND THE CHEMICAL WORKS.
SHOWING the Arras road. On the left of the road the Chemical Works and Roeux; Arras in the distance.
POINT DU JOUR REDOUBT.
A shell-swept. waste north-east of Arras.
THE MAIN STREET, VIEILLE CHAPELLE.
AT the bridgehead one company of the 6th Gordons held the position for some time after being completely surrounded, fighting till they were all killed or taken prisoners.
"SCOTS FARM," CAMBRAI-BAPAUME ROAD.
SCENE of the raid by the 5th Seaforths on Christmas 1917. Moeuvres in the distance.
MOEUVRES FROM "SCOTS FARM."
ON the left of Bapaume-Cambrai road (where Corporal Hunter of 5th H.L.I. won the V.C.).