Cite St. Elie in December 1917

Cite St Elie

I CORPS
Monthly Record of Patrol Work of Exceptional Merit
December 1917

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barham and lake


Report on patrol carried out by 2/Lt: C.F. Barham and 2/Lt: A. Lake of 6th Sherwood Foresters on 22 December 1917

Task: To confirm the report of former day-light patrol of same unit as to the existence of an enemy post on LOOKOUT CRATER.

Time and place of departure: 10.50 a.m. G.12.c.56.75.

Time and place of return: 12.15 p.m. G.12.c.50.75.

2/Lt: Lake and myself proceeded from No. 7 LOOKOUT round outer edge of LOOKOUT CRATER to a point G.12.c.52.82. when we entered enemy’s trench. After examining the right sap we returned and crawled over block in enemy trench on the left of point of entry and crawled along the trench running in the direction of QUARRIES, at a point about 15 yards along we found enemy trench was in good condition and good repair, also a latrine recently used. Following trench to the right we suddenly came on a German dugout, the entrance facing his own line, and a sentry was emerging from dug-out at the moment of our arrival. He turned suddenly and saw us (we were then at a distance of 3 yards from him) and he put up his hands in token of surrender, but apparently altering his mind, he suddenly reached for his rifle which had bayonet fixed, and attempted to turn on us. We fired at very close range with our revolvers, the German being apparently hit low, twice in the stomach, and the second time we fired he fell with a hit in the left cheek and fell headlong down dug-out steps. Immediately after our opening fire two shots were fired at us from the left by enemy behind barricade in trench with wire in front of it, followed by rapid rifle fire and we consequently were unable to follow up our advantage as the shots were very close, we were obliged to retreat hastily, being in a very exposed position and managed to jump into crater and return quickly to our own lines.

Immediately after our shooting the German, there were shouts on stairway of dug-out which apparently contained a good number of enemy.

We found that trench at point G.12.c.51.86. was completely blocked with barbed wire and sandbags, the wire crossing the trench – this was the point the enemy opened fire on us and obliged us to return – his distance from us being about 20 to 25 yards. The sap facing LANCER is apparently not used and is in bad condition. We were unable to obtain any information as to identity as we were already heavily fired at.

 The German was in full equipment as if moving, mess tine strapped to his back with other things.

Corp’s Commander’s remark:-

“I think this was a most enterprising patrol and would like both Officers congratulated for me on their bold and useful work”

1st January, 1918                                                                   G V Horden
Brigadier General,
General Staff, I Corps.


Lake Jan 1918Barham Dec 1917

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