Wednesday 22nd August 1917
Belgium, Trenches Wieltje
The 184th Infantry Brigade attacked the enemy defences from D14 c.6.7 to D7 c. 3.5 (Map FREZENBERG 1/10000 attached). The 44th Brigade 15th Division attacked on the Right, and the 143rd Brigade 48th Division attacked on the Left.
Zero was at 4.45 a.m. August 22nd, at which hour the Infantry advanced and the Barrage commenced. The 2/1st Bucks Battalion, OX and BUCKS LIGHT INFANTRY attacked on Right, the 2/4th OXFORD and BUCKS LIGHT INFANTRY attacked on the Left.
The 2/4th ROYAL BERKS found 13 platoons to attack various Strong Points which were known to exist. They followed close behind the leading Infantry, and on nearing their Objectives, dashed through the leading waves and assaulted the Strong Points.
The various platoons were detailed as follows:-
Platoon Commander Objective
No 1 2/Lt A C L Hill SOMME
No 4 2/Lt G W de St Legier SOMME
No 2 2/Lt A K Glover CROSS COTT
No 3 2/Lt C L B Kirkland AISNE HOUSE
No 5 2/Lt H W Jewell SCHULER
No 6 2/Lt G A F Gilmor POND FARM
No 13 2/Lt F A N Wilmot POND FARM
No 7 2/Lt A E Saw Left flank guard for 2/4 OXFORDS.
No 8 2/Lt F Exler HINDU
No 9 2/Lt W H Stevens MARTHA HO
No 12 2/Lt A H Robinson MARTHA HO
No 10 2/Lt D Mackinnon GREEN HO
No 11 2/Lt H S Griffin Gun positions near D13 central
The first Strong Point encountered was POND FARM. This was attacked from both flanks, 2nd Lieut F A N WILMOT working in from the Right, and 2nd Lieut G A F GILMOR from the Left. Both these Officers were wounded before reaching the farm. Owing to heavy machine gun fire Sgt SHACKLEFORD, then in charge of No. 13 platoon found he was unable to take the Farm, though these platoons kept the garrison of the Strong Point strongly engaged, thus enabling the assaulting waves and the platoons for the further Objectives to push forward without any serious trouble. Sgt SHACKLEFORD then reorganised his platoon and made a fresh attack on the Farm but on getting within 20 yards of his Objective he was again held up by very heavy machine gun fire. However he succeeded in surrounding the Farm, keeping the garrison fully occupied till late in the afternoon he joined two platoon of the 2/5th GLOSTERS and helped to successfully assault and enter the Farm. There were 35 Prisoners taken by us at this Strong Point.
The next Strong Point encountered on the Left was HINDU, 2/Lt F EXLER was wounded as soon as the Infantry advanced, but the platoon carried on and owing to the marshy state of the ground were unable to enter the Farm. However they succeeded in advancing beyond and surrounding the Strong Point, thus enabling the assaulting waves to push forward. Pte PIKE of "A" Company having lost his own platoon succeeded in entering this Strong Point, and found it garrisoned by 19 Germans, 13 of whom were unwounded. He took all these prisoners, and himself remained there alone for two days guarding them until he was relieved by an Officer of the 2/6th GLOSTERS.
The remaining Strong Point on the Left was SCHULER. Despite the fact that the left Division was held up and that his flank was exposed, 2nd Lieut H W JEWELL pushed forward and stormed the SCHULER Galleries, taking 2 Officers and 74 OR prisoners. These he dispatched to the rear. He then consolidated and held his post breaking up three local counter attacks. This post was almost isolated owing to the right flank falling back, but by great determination they held on for two days, till they were relieved by the 2/6th GLOSTERS.
The first Strong Point encountered on the Right was SOMME. On nearing this 2nd Lieut G W de St LEGIER pushed forward ahead of the leading waves and together with two men rushed through our own Barrage and entered this post from the rear, killing the whole of the garrison. He afterwards consolidated the position and broke up several local counter-attacks and held his post until he was relieved two days later.
Owing to the 15th Division being held up, and very heavy flanking machine gun fire being directed on our troops from HILL 35 and GALLIPOLI, the attacks on GREEN HOUSE, CROSS COTT and MARTHA HOUSE were unsuccessful but these platoons helped the 2/1st BUCKS to form a line running roughly from SOMME in rear of AISNE HOUSE close to the Gun Pits at D13 Central, on to SCHULER Galleries. Three enemy counter-attacks were repulsed.
Tanks were employed, but were unsuccessful owing to the marshy state of the ground. The line was taken over on the night of the 23/24th by the 183rd Infantry Brigade and the Battalion marched back to a camp at GOLDFISH CHATEAU, the last platoon arriving about 6 a.m. Casualties for the 22nd/23rd were as follows:-
7 Officers - 2nd Lieuts F A N WILMOT, GAF GILMOR, F EXLER, C L B KIRKLAND, A K GLOVER, A H ROBINSON and AE SAW wounded.
2 Officers - 2nd Lieuts H S GRIFFIN and D MACKINNON wounded and missing.
32 OR killed.
111 OR wounded.
25 OR wounded and missing.
54 OR missing.
Tyne Cot Cemetery, Ypres
They shall not grow old,
as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
and in morning
We will remember them.