A Party: 2/Lt EL Flewitt and 10 other ranks
B Party: Captain ALM Dickins, Lieut JN Wightman and 5 other ranks
A and C parties crossed the HAIRPIN CRATERS at G.11.b.80.50. C Party was posted at G.11.b.80.50 and A Party advanced along the parados of the enemy trench in single file towards enemy post at G.11.b.90.80.
On reaching point G.188.8.131.52 A Party was spotted and fired upon by the enemy post at G.11.b.90.80 who also threw a shower of bombs at them which chiefly passed over their heads although a few dropped short. At the same moment an enemy MG from G12.a.10.75 opened fired on A Party hitting 2/Lieut EL FLEWITT in the head and Pte Hall in the back of the knee.
When the enemy post at G.11.b.90.80 opened fire on A Party, B Party was approx at G.11.b.85.80. Lieut WIGHTMAN and myself at once crawled forward and threw bombs at the enemy post at G.11.b.90.80 hoping to distract the attention of the post from A Party. We managed to draw the fire of the post on to ourselves and judging by the rifle flashes the post could not have been manned by less that 10 men. But we were unable to entirely draw the fire of the MG from A Party as the gun simply traversed the ground between A Party and ourselves, firing very low and hitting the enemy wire.
We waited for 8 minutes and then crawled 10 yards to the left flank and threw more bombs still hoping to drive the enemy post towards A Party. The enemy post again opened rifle fire on us and there several bombs, putting up white lights in rapid succession.
It was obvious that the enemy was very much on the alert and that there was no chance of getting around the flank of the post, so at 3am B Party returned to our lines and discovered that A and C Parties were all in with the exception of 2/Lieut EL FLEWITT, Pte’s Bridgestock and Andrews who were reported missing.
[267117 Pte Tom Bridgestock]
As soon as possible a small party of volunteers was formed to go in search of the missing. Groans were heard coming from the HAIRPIN CRATERS and proceeding into the Craters we discovered 2/Lieut FLEWITT who had been badly hit in the head and in the stomach. Pte’s Bridgestock and Andrews had carried him under very heavy rifle and MG fire from within 20 yards of the enemy post back to the HAIRPIN CRATERS. Pte’s Bridgestock and Andrews showed utter contempt of danger and devotion to duty under the most trying circumstances.
Albert Light Moody Dickins