MAJOR H. G. HARCOURT, D.S.O., M.C.,
OF THE MACHINE GUN CORPS,
ON March 23, 1918, Major Harcourt, with "C" Company, 51st Battalion M.G.C., had fallen back to Headquarters, at the crossing of two sunken roads. The enemy was working round on Velu and the right flank, and the company was under snipers' fire from sides and rear. Major Harcourt sent back two hundred men to the ridge behind, to hold a gap for retreat and prevent the Boche encircling them. Later forty men were sent back to reinforce; but these were picked off, and the enemy was closing in. Twenty minutes had been allowed for the forty men to get to the position. Meanwhile Harcourt, armed with a rifle and bayonet, and another bayonet for luck, one machine gun and belt fillers, was holding the German attack. This is the subject shown. When retiring Harcourt remembered that the telephones were left on the road, and he went back alone to blow them up, being severely wounded while doing so; yet he managed to clear the snipers and drag through the gap in the Boche ranks behind him. The D.S.O. was given the Major for this gallant defence.Previous to this, during two days of fierce fighting, he visited and located all the machine guns under his command, and then on horseback he led a limber down the line, dropping ammunition and water at each gun.His actions had incalculable results, in keeping up the supply of ammunition to the guns, defeating the enemy's attempts to cut off valuable positions, and successfully covering withdrawals of troops.Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Major H. G. Harcourt, D.S.O., M.C.; Corporal Porter (beside gun); Private Pipe (firing gun).
THIS sketch shows triple-line belts of wire on the left, Cantaing Mill in front of right edge of wood, and on the right the beginning of Fontaine-Notre-Dame.
FONTAINE -NOTRE -DAME.
CAMBRAI in the distance, La Folie Wood on right, Boche "cubby holes" in the road---near Cambrai, but exasperatingly far away during the attacks on Cambrai.
BOURLON WOOD FROM THE BOIS DE L'ORIVAL.
THE graves include those of Captain MacDonald, of the 4th Seaforths, and Lieutenant MacIntosh, 5th Seaforths, attached to the 4th. Lieutenant MacIntosh made a reputation during his service in France for his poems.
CANTAING VILLAGE --CAMBRAI IN THE DISTANCE.
IN the foreground the defensive works which the Huns compelled the civilians to dig.
A PASSING REFLECTION --WRECKED CHURCH IN HORDAIN.
THIS shows in part the Boche method. He seems to have destroyed bridges by blowing up both ends and allowing the bridge to break its back in the fall. A similar plan would seem to have been followed with regard to churches. Almost invariably both ends of the nave were mined, perhaps with the idea that the weight of the steeple would crash through a fractured roof. This rarely happened, with the result that most churches looked like this one at Hordain, where the 6th A. & S. H. quartered after the Armistice.
404TH FIELD COMPANY, R.E., AT THIANT.
LIEUTENANT E. F. SMITH and party building bridge over the Ecaillon at Thiant in October 1918. The engineers found that two fifteen-foot decks could just span the crossing, and they constructed this bridge from standard parts in eighteen and a half minutes under heavy shell fire.Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Lieutenant E. F. Smith; Coy. Sergeant-Major C. S. Boyle; Sergeant W. Moir; Corporal J. MacIntosh; Lance-Corporals W. M'Kay and J. Lynch; Sappers T. M. Young, A. Snook, E. Evans, A. Oliver, J. Swinton, W. D. Leggatt, J. O. Minifie, J. Stewart, G. Christmas, J. R. Rattray, W. T. Hastie, and J. Mitchell
IWUY, WHEN THE CIVILIANS WERE RETURNING.
BEYOND the mud there was nothing to see but the Boche sentry-box doing duty for the guard at the 7th Black Watch Headquarters. The houses indicate the type of billets. A house had no sooner been re-roofed, linen-windowed, and otherwise made habitable, than the civilians, with an almost uncanny intelligence, returned to claim it.
ENTRANCE TO CAMBRAI FROM ARRAS.
SHOWS demolition of canal locks and road bridges. Marwitz Barracks seen on right. Underneath, a Canadian board: "No Souvenirs---Keep Out." On the Arras side of the temporary bridge was another: "This Town is Out of Bounds to All Troops. Those on Duty---Enter; Those Not---Beat it."
In a casualty clearing station.Name of Sister appearing in the Sketch:-- Sister A. E. Milburn.
8TH ROYAL SCOTS AT CULVERT AT THIANT.
THE three-span railway culvert had been completely wrecked, and the road to the dressing station---a main road---entirely blocked. The 8th Royal Scots, as pioneer battalion, are shown when they had cleared the débris sufficiently to allow of ambulance cars, walking wounded, and civilians passing over the ramp that had been made. The road had subsequently to be cleared to ground level to allow heavy guns and ammunition columns, lorries, etc., to pass; and the work went on day and night, with many interruptions owing to heavy traffic, shelling, etc., till the road was cleared for all traffic.Names of Officers and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Lieutenant R. D. Lawrie; Second-Lieutenant D. C. Ross; Sergeant J. Coutts; Corporal J. Dalgleish; Privates P. Smith, T. M'Gaff, J. Lorimer, J. Kelly, H. Smith, and J. Hanlon.
6TH GORDONS AT ROEUX CHEMICAL WORKS.
ON April 23, 1917, the 6th Gordons attacked the Chemical Works. At the outset they had to move over a tract of ground commanded by enemy machine-gun fire from Greenland Hill. Very heavy casualties were suffered, the Commanding Officer and Adjutant both being wounded. Small parties, however, continued to press on independently, and, after heavy fighting, succeeded in reaching the Chemical Works and driving out the enemy.Between April 1917 and September 1918 the Chemical Works changed hands many times, but in September 1918 the Germans were finally ejected, this time also by the 6th Gordons, in the final great advance to the Canal du Nord.Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Captain Ralph Risk, M.C.; Corporal D. Denoon; Lance-Corporal J. Wright.
"SURRENDER ENGLANDER!"--NEUVILLE ST. VAAST.
APRIL 1916.AN N.C.O. of the 8th A. & S. H. and another man were stationed at a saphead. In the darkness a German officer climbed the facine, pointed his revolver into the trench, and cried, "Surrender Englander! " The N.C.O. had a bomb in his hand, and without taking time to pull the pin, he threw it at the Boche, shouting, "I am no Englander; I'm a Scotsman! " The force of the blow killed the German, who dropped more silently than he had risen. Throughout the night nothing further happened on this sector. It was afterwards discovered from German prisoners that this incident had stopped an organized attack, the enemy thinking we were holding in force.
ATTACK BY 4TH SEAFORTHS.
APRIL 9, 1917.
CAPTAIN C. HAMILTON HARRIS, M.C., and party reaching the Boche second line. This shows the method of bayonet attack.Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Captain C. Hamilton Harris, M.C.; Reg. Q.M. Sergeant T. Cumming; Corporals N. Ross and Irvine; Privates J. Wilson and E. Robb.
NOVEMBER 13, 1916.
ATTACK by the 152nd Infantry Brigade, approaching what was to be afterwards known as "Windy Corner," in the mist of the early morning, prior to carrying the attack through what had been the village, over the quarry to "Munich Trench."
LIEUTENANT J. GILLESPIE, M.C., 256TH BRIGADE, R.F.A., BEFORE LIEU ST. AMAND.
OCTOBER 13, 1918.
LIEUTENANT GILLESPIE was in charge of a forward section in close support of the advancing infantry. Observing that one of his ammunition wagons had been set on fire by enemy shelling, he promptly ordered it to be emptied to obviate danger, personally helping in the work. He subsequently carried on with one gun, sufficiently reducing the machinegun fire in and in front of Lieu St. Amand to allow the infantry to continue their advance. His initiative and gallantry on this occasion gained him a bar to his Military Cross.Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Captain J. Gillespie, M.C.; Sergeant E. Newall; Signaller F. Fallon; Gunners R. H. Lacy, S. Bull, H. Mills, and J. P. Rowe; Drivers D. J. Reynolds, J. Gilmore, D. Burnett, W. Masson, and L. Tilbury.
OBSERVATION POST, 253TH BRIGADE, R.F.A.
SHOWING Major F. C. Jack, D.S.O., M.C., Major J. C. Duffus, M.C., and signallers reporting observations to batteries.Names of Men appearing in the Sketch:---Bombardier A. Gardner and Gunner W. S. M Allan.
5TH SEAFORTHS ON THE LAWE.
THIS shows Lieutenant William Thorburn and party in trench covering the flooded area below Locon. At one period they had actually crossed the Lawe at a point between "The Fosse" and Zelobes.Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch.--- Lieutenant W. Thorburn, Coy. Sergeant-Major J. Mowat; Sergeant George Hotchkiss, Privates R. M'Kay and J. Rolla.
DAYLIGHT RAID BY THE 6TH GORDONS AT ROCLINCOURT.
THIS shows Lieutenant Clark and party leaving the old French trench in the morning, following the barrage. There had been a slight fall of snow that morning, as indicated in the drawing. On the left is seen Themes Wood, on the edge of Vimy Ridge.Names of Officers and Men appearing in the Sketch.--- 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.
7TH A. & S. H. DEFENDING THE LAWE AT LOCON.
THIS shows Captain Gladstone Millar and his men in "scoop-out" holding the flank that bent back but was not broken. The uncertain nature of the fighting is illustrated here, in that, unknown to the Argylls, the flank of the adjacent brigade had been turned on the north, and the first party of the enemy had actually crossed the river and were pressing the left flank, before Captain Millar's party were aware of anything untoward having happened.Names of Officer and Men appearing in the Sketch:--- Captain Gladstone Millar, M.C.; Sergeants T. Kerr and Ct. Johnston; Lance-Corporals J. Smith and Alan Ferguson.-----