The Diary of 1st Battalion
The West Yorkshire Regiment
The 3rd DIVISION with the 9th INF BDE on the left attacked the GERMAN lines immediately on the right of the Battalion and in the direction of BELLEWARDE FERM. The right of the Battalion nested on the RAILWAY with 2 platoons of B Coy on the Southern side. The Battalion with 2 Companies of Queens WESTMINSTERS and one section No 12 Coy R.E. under the orders of LT COL F.W. TOWSEY were ordered to protect the left flank of the 9th INF BDE and if the attack succeeded to support and assist the attack as opportunity offered.
The Artillery bombardment commenced at 2.50 a.m. and ceased at 4.15 a.m. when the 9th Infantry Brigade assaulted and took the 1st and 2nd line of German trenches and also part of the 3rd line on a front of 1000 yards. About 300 German prisoners were taken. The Northumberland Fusiliers were unable to take the trenches immediately South of the railway – the artillery not having destroyed the wire on the front of the trenches. The enemy commenced to heavily shell our trenches at about 5.00 a.m. and continued to do so very heavily with short intervals throughout the day. The shelling prevented any reinforcements being brought up and also held up the attack compelling the 9th Brigade to retire from the 2nd and third line of trenches and fall back to the 1st line of German trenches which they strengthened and continued to hold.
The Battalion were able, from their position, to assist the attack by rifle and infilade fire, the Machine guns also getting some excellent targets.
Very useful information by CAPTAIN HUFFMAN commanding C Coy was sent back which enabled the Artillery to prevent counter attacking.
Casualties: 2nd LIEUT. O. TENNENT Killed
LIEUT. E.R. CHOMELEY Wounded
LIEUT. N.E. ATKINSON Wounded
Other Ranks 8 Killed
*2 suffering from gas
* Caused by gas shells. CAPTAIN SCOTT RAMC, SERGT BURKE and the stretcher bearers rendered invaluable assistance throughout the days and nights of the 16th and 17th in helping to evacuate the great number of wounded of the 9th Bde in addition to our own. This work was carried out very often under heavy shell fire.