2 July 1916

Extract from the war diary of Joseph Norton, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

We went and bombed a trench so as to relieve a number of men belonging to a Scotch regiment. We were cut off from their Regiment. We cleared the trench and also took 60 prisoners, besides what got killed as our lads didn’t trouble to take and the dead were lying everywhere and as thick as the bees, in fact they were numberless.

Extract from the official war diary of 9th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

British front line  4.30am

The Commanding Officer received telephone orders from the Brigade Major to attack the GERMAN front line without delay.  Twenty minutes were occupied in preparing for this and the majority went over into the crater and GERMAN front line adjacent.

On arrival a report a report was received that there were already too many men in the GERMAN line, so C Coy was kept back to reinforce, in the Crater.  Communication was established with OC Coys.   At about 4 pm.  Orders were received from the Adjutant who was still in the old front line, that the Battalion would attack LA BOISELLE and bomb through it, blocking and clearing out all dug outs.  Copies of these orders were sent to OC Coys in the GERMAN line.

At 4.10 pm the men in the Crater were brought forward into the GERMAN front line.  At 4.30 pm advanced again over ground into the support trench about 40 yards in rear.  Here Coys reorganised as far as possible.  It was then decided to attack the support line proper over ground.  After preparation with LEWIS gun fire, the Battalion advanced in a N. Easterly direction.  Unfortunately the advance was stuck up by a deep and wide communication trench across the front.  This trench was entered & occupied.  Bombing parties were formed and were ordered to work forward to the support line & from there to work on to the right and left.  At this stage very good work indeed was carried out by Captain T.L. Jackson, afterwards killed, Lieut C.F. King who although wounded stuck to it and set a splendid example, only leaving when the position was consolidated & he, was quite exhausted, and Lieut E. Watts the only officer left beside the Commanding Officer who worked untiringly till the Battalion was relieved.  Lieut Hunter, Bombing Officer of the 6th Wilts also gave magnificent aid but was eventually killed.

At about 8.30 p.m. it was considered that the Battalion had gone as far as their strength warranted.  The position of the Battalion was then from about x20 a 7.8 to x20 b 0.8 with blocks established up the sap at x20 a 8½. 8½ and also to the right.

 

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