At 7.20pm 4th instant, a heavy barrage of TMs of all sizes intermingled with artillery fire, opened on the left Battalion front. Heavy mortars fired on all 3 Company Headquarters in the line. The Left and Centre Company Headquarters each had one entrance blown in. A trench mortar barrage was put down on CTs a short distance from the front line.
“ATTACK HILL 70 LEFT “ was sent through by telephone by the Left Company. Communications were cut between Centre and Right Company Headquarters and Battalion Headquarters almost immediately the hostile barrage opened. No message was received from the latter two Companies until 9.30pm, except by green light signals.
The “ATTACK” message was quickly followed by green lights (SOS signal) all along the Battalion front, also along the front of the Brigade on our right. Our guns quickly opened an intense fire on the enemy front.
At the time the enemy barrage opened our posts on the left heard a good deal of noise and movement in the enemy lines opposite them and saw Germans get out of their trench. The Lewis Guns opened fire and a barrage of Rifle Grenades was put down along the enemy front line trench. Several Germans were seen in ‘No Man’s Land’ but none of them reached our Posts on this Company Sector. Great numbers of bombs were thrown by the enemy but out posts relied mostly on rifle and Lewis Gun fire and Rifle Grenades.
On the Centre Company front a party of 5 to 10 Germans attempted to rush the right post firing point blank with Rifle Grenades. They followed up their barrage and were close on the Post (near RAILWAY) before they were discovered. The Lewis Gun Opened fire at once and the enemy fled in disorder. None of the enemy reached our trench.
As far as can be ascertained the Right Company were not visited by the enemy but were subjected to a heavy fire from hostile TMs and artillery.
Patrols were immediately sent out to secure identifications but nothing could be found. Communication was established with the two Companies who were cut off by runner from Battalion Headquarters and the Support Company.
Left Company also got a runner through to the Centre Company. Message was also sent by Power Buzzer from the Centre Company from another Power Buzzer. Two messages were later received by this method and proved very useful.
The barrage put down by our guns was prompt and extremely good. Machine Guns opened immediately on seeing the Signals and fired a large number of rounds. The one Stokes Mortar in the Centre Company Sector fired practically all its available ammunition.
The Battalion was in process of relief which was afterwards completed.
Our casualties amounted to about 1 OR killed, 12 OR wounded (3 or 4 seriously). None of our men are missing.
The Son of Charles and Frances Kirtland of 7 Salisbury Rd. in Hexthorpe near Doncaster. Formerly 3113 Nottinghamshire Yeomanry but only served overseas with the 1/7th Sherwood Foresters. Transferred to 1/7th Sherwood Foresters in late 1916 and given number 20090 prior to the 1917 Territorial Force Renumbering.
1864/265214 Pte Ellis Boardman was killed in action
A Pre-War Territorial who arrived in France with the North Midland Division in February 1915. Ellis was the Son of C Boardman of 24 Mount Court, Mount st. in Nottingham. Buried in Philosophe British Cemetery in Mazingarbe.