On this day 24th August 1916

No record in the War Diary [WO/95/2694]

A raid by “B” Company, the 1/5th Sherwood Foresters

Official Operation Orders 77 Operations Orders 77 from WO-95-2692-6

24th 7am: A patrol of 5th Sherwood Foresters found that the wire in the bed of the river under the BLOCKHOUSE was intact.

Sandover Raid August 24th 1916Blockhouse raid August24th 7.30pm: “A” PARTY under Lieut SANDOVER left our front line near the top of WILLOWS and reached the enemys wire under the BLOCKHOUSE forty minutes later.

At 8.30pm Lieut SMALLEY with 8 men and a Lewis Gun “B” PARTY left our trenches and took up their position in the RAVINE in support of the first party.

Lieutenant SANDOVER hearing a party working to his right front endeavoured to find a gap in the German wire between the RAVINE and the BLOCKHOUSE. After passing through two rows of wire he and Sgt LOOMES were cutting through a third row when they were challenged by the enemy’s sentry 15 yards from them who threw four hand grenades. Finding it was impossible to surprise the enemy’s post Lieut. SANDOVER ordered his party to withdraw. In the meantime Rifle and Machine Gun fire had been opened from the German trench & Cpl JOHNSON was hit in the head. Lieutenant SANDERSON dragged the Corporal through the wire with the assistance of Pte MARRIOTT who had returned to help him & the whole party gained the cover of the river bed without further casualties.

Supporting fire was soon afterwards opened by our Artillery who carried out the remained of the programme very effectively. On the guns opening fire Stokes Mortars and Rifle Grenades were fired from CAVENDISH SAP into the German Saps & Trenches in X3b, the enemy replying with 20 HE shells on left sector.

The Officers leading this raid were:-

  • Alfred Eric Sandover
  • Edward Arthur Victor SmalleySmalley

Edward Arthur Victor Smalley (1885-)

The NCOs and Other Ranks mentioned in the War Diary were:-

  • 20636/203482 Sergeant Christoper Loomes a Pre-War Regular of the 2nd Battalion who was attached to the 1/5th Battalion on 6th July 1916.20636 Loomes
  • 3944 Corporal Robert William Edward Johnson who died of his wounds aged 19 and is buried in Bellacourt Military Cemetery. Robert was the son of Robert Eilliam and Harriett Johnson of 19 Nuttall St. in Alfreton, Derbyshire. He was a native of Huthwaite in Nottsinghamshire. He is Commemorated on the Huthwaite and Alfreton Memorials3944 Johnson
  • 2584 Pte Fred Marriott who won the Military Medal (London Gazette 11th November 1916). Fred enlisted into the 5th 2584 Marriott

139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]

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