4.3.1917 SOUASTRE: HQs, “A” and “D” Companies moved to FONQUEVILLERS with HQs at the BREWERY.
1/6th Battalion War Diary [WO/95/2694]
4th FONQUEVILLERS: Enemy retired to a line east of BEIZ WOOD and in front of ESSARTS. Some sharp fighting took place around PIGEON WOOD where two platoons of the 8th Sherwood Foresters were heavily counter attacked and were withdrawn after they had inflicted a number of casualties.
5th Sherwood Foresters held from SE corner of BEIZ WOOD – RETTEMOY FARM – LANDSTURM GRABEN.
8th Sherwood Foresters held LANDSTURM GRABEN – PIGEON WOOD – LA BRAYELLE FARM.
6th Sherwood Foresters HQs and 2 Companies in GOMMECOURT – 2 Companies in FONQUEVILLERS.
139 Infantry Brigade: Headquarters War Diary [WO95/2692]
The first skirmish with the retiring Germans
“Pigeon Wood” was captured during the afternoon, after some fighting and an unpleasant sort of game of hide and seek, and we also occupied Rettemoy Farm, and “The Z”. Evidently thinking that we were too close on his heels, the enemy delivered a determined counter-attack about 6 p.m. against “C” Company, who were holding the trench line in front of La Brayelle Farm, forcing them to withdraw slightly.
During this attack Lieut. Duff [William Peter Duff] did magnificent work in holding off a bombing attack, and L.-Sergt. Sansom gallantly held on to a bombing post which was cut off, until he was rescued by a party ably led by Corpl. Street, who went forward under heavy fire, and opening fire on the attacking enemy, enabled the post to withdraw. Sergt. Henley also did splendid work in holding his post against a strong bombing attack, until he was eventually wounded in the head, dying the next day [306367 Joseph Henley won the Military Medal].
The Battalion suffered a great loss the same day by the death of Lieut. Abrams, who was killed during the afternoon whilst reconnoitering near La BrayeIle Farm. Thinking, apparently, that the coast was clear, he was walking across the open with his batman when a Boche machine gun suddenly opened fire on them at close range, killing them both instantaneously. “C Company” then came under the command of Lieut. A. Bedford.
The casualties that day in other ranks, were seven killed and 17 wounded.
1/8th Battalion Battalion History
1/8th (Nottinghamshire) Battalion Casualties
- Lieutenant Reginald Arthur Abrams aged 28 and son of Edward Arthur and Elizabeth Abrams of 82 Southmoor Rd., in Oxford.
- 305805 Pte Percy Faulkner aged 20 and son of Walter and Alice Faulkner of Keeper’s Cottage, Carlton-on-Trent in Newark.
- 306103 L/Cpl Reuben Marriott aged 19 and son of Mary Ann Marriott of Pountain Head in Gedling.
- 328004 Pte Joseph Myatt aged 28 and son of George and Mary Myatt of 48 Stansfield St., Old Radford.
- 307600 Pte Sydney Cooper aged 18 and son of lewis and arabella cooper, of 104, high st., derby.
- 307066 Pte Herman Chandler Rimes aged 20 and son of Ernest William and Julia Rimes of Nottingham.
- 306447 Pte Samuel Irving Preece aged 24 and son of Harry John and Annie Elizabeth Preece of 74 Belle Vue Rd., Ramsgate in Kent.
- 306367 Sergeant Joseph Henley.
1/5th (Derby) Battalion Casualties
- 203441 Pte Frank Redgwell aged 28 and son of Mr and Mrs Redgwell of Great Totham near Witham in Essex.
- 6565 Pte Jesse Dawson aged 34 and son of James Dawson of Nottingham; husband of Louisa Elizabeth Dawson of 12 Pole st., Nottingham.
- 2907 Pte Bertram Riley Wright aged 21 and son of George William and Mary Wright of 49 Granby St., in Ilkeston.
- 200521 Pte Herbert Smith.
Original burial report recording the names of the 12 Sherwood Foresters killed on the 4th and 5th March 1917 along with an unknown German solider