Report on the Raid carried out by 5th Yorks Bn against enemy crater E. on the morning of 10th July 1916.
[Sketches of positions were attached to this report and seem to have disappeared.]
1. COMPOSITION OF RAIDING PARTY.
Total - 3 Officers, 8 NCOs and 25 men.
Capt H Brown, 2 NCOs and 4 men.|
2nd Lt HP Bragge, 1 NCO and 4 men.
1 NCO and 3 men.
1 NCO and 3 men.
1 NCO and 4 men.
2nd Lt ER Saltonstall, 1 NCO and 4 men.
1 NCO and 3 men.
Enter at Point A and block CT "X" after disposing of sentry at point of entry.|
Enter at point A mover round East side of crater and block CT "Y".
Enter point at A and clear trench round West side of crater.
Enter at point A and clear centre of crater.
Remain outside trench at point of entry with rope ladders to take over prisoners and material.
To make across No Mans Land to point B, cut wire to provide an alternative route back and take over
prisoners and material.
Remain in our Advanced Bombing Post [half way across No Mans Land and act as covering Party.
1. To obtain identification by contact.
ii. To kill Germans.
iii. To discover if Crater E had a mine shaft.
At 12.30 am. A, B and F Parties left our front line from the North end of K1 trench and assembled in Advanced Bombing Post.
At 12.55 am C, D and E Parties left our front line from the North end of K1 at five minutes intervals and assembled in Advanced Bombing
At 1.15 am the Parties in the following orders crawled out two deep and made for point A:-
A, B, C, C [dash],D.
E Party crawled direct to point B.
F Party remained in Advanced Bombing Post.
The enemy's trenches were reached in complete silence and without the alarm being given.
A and B Parties now assembled at Point A on top of enemy's parapet, the broken nature of which gave a certain amount of cover from view.
What transpired after this can only be shown by the following narratives, given by members of different Parties:-
Capt H Brown DSO.:-
Sergt Daggett and I were now lying in close touch with Fire Bay 1. We waited until a Very Light was lit up and then saw that this Bay was
untenanted, though a rifle with fixed bayonet was leaning against the parapet.
A party of about 10 or 15 men now passed beneath us, moving from our left to our right.
As soon as they were past, I rose and was just preparing to get into the trench when a sentry entered the post, followed by another man.
One of these picked up the rifle and looking out straight into my face said "Ach", at the same moment firing at me from the hip, just as I
pulled the trigger of my automatic pistol within an inch of his head.
He went over; the discharge of his rifle singed my right eyebrow, but the bullet passed over my head. I jumped into the trench and
Sergt Daggett shot the other man in the bay.
Bombs now began to fly from the crater and A and B parties replied with showers of Mill's Grenades.
I was met by two Bosches from the right, who came at me with fixed bayonets.
I was able to shoot them before they had time to get withing striking distance.
I now sheltered for a minute or two under a piece of overhead cover, as bombs were falling too close to be pleasant.
I saw numbers of the enemy in fire bays.
I saw some running away and others falling as our bombs exploded among them.
I then moved to the next fire bay on my right and
found two men, one of whom was firing and the other throwing bombs. I shot them at close quarters from behind. Then, remembering that
my objective was the CT "X" I proceeded there.
I met a Bosche Officer or NCO hurrying up and shot him in the chest.
As I was stooping to get his effects a man ran into me from the crater.
I covered him and made him put up his hands.
He cried "Kamarade Kamarade".
I signed to him to get over the parapet [here some 8 or 10 feet high] but he refused and screamed.
As he was obdurate I shot him.
Immediately afterwards, another man approached.
My magazine, which had only contained seven cartridges, was now empty, but I covered this man and after some trouble managed to induce him
to get over the parapet.
About 20 yards off I found our main party still outside the crater.
As it was now ten minutes after the time arranged for return, I gave the order for all to return to our trenches.