7 July 1916

Extract from the official war diary of 11th Bn, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment

Albert

At 4 pm orders were received to attack and consolidate when captured the German 3rd & 4th Lines stretching from X 8 d 80 to X 8 d 3.4 and X 9 c 55 to X 8 b 8 0 respectively.

A Coy under the command of 2/Lt Curwen and “B” Coy under the command of Lt G E Martin were dispatched at 6 pm with instructions to assemble in the German 2nd Line then in British hands and push out patrols along the ALBERT-BAPAUME Rd and the track running through the  1st I in BOISELLE of the word OVILLERS-LA-BOISELLE on map 57D SE 1/20,000 to extreme boundaries of the first objective. At 6.30 pm the CO followed the above 2 Companies with the remainder of the Battalion and left it at the original British front Line on the ALBERT BAPAUME Rd where cover was taken from  considerable hostile shelling & Machine Gun Fire

The C.O. proceeded forward to gain touch with A & B Companies, C & D Companies being left under the Adjutant with orders to follow at 9.30 pm.

This was done but on passing the Head Quarters of the 8th S Lancs Regt  A & B Companies were encountered, no action having been taken by these companies with respect to the attack and the whereabouts of the CO being unknown. Enquiry showed that the 2 leading Companies lost their way and the C.O of the 8th S Lancs Regt reported that the trench from X 14 b 90 to X 8 d 3.4 was occupied by the enemy. This trench was according to the orders of the attack supposed to be in British hands and completely covered the left of the attack so that its capture was imperative prior to the objectives that had been laid down. The Adjutant at once proceeded to the Head Quarters of the 8th S Lancs Regt to arrange with the C.O. of that Regt a combined bombing action for the capture of the trench X 14 b 9.0 to X 8 d 3.4 so that the real attack could be undertaken.

Unfortunately this could not be arranged and the hours of darkness which were necessary for the success of the operations were then too short for any action to be taken. Meanwhile as events finally proved, Major Evans had been struck with a piece of shrapnel and was temporarily indisposed but rejoined the Battalion on the following day at 9 am. Meanwhile the matter had been reported to the GOC 75 Brigade, who immediately ordered Capt Hill to take 2 Companies to the trenches occupied by the 8th S Lancs Regt and send 2 Companies to the trenches near U S N A REDOUBT.

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