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Remembered Today:

1/4 Loyal North Lancs Reg


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I understand that the 1/4 bn was involved in the Cambrai battles but am unsure as to their actual whereabouts. As I am visiting the battlefield in a couple of weeks, can any pal give me a better idea as to where he may have fallen.

Bernard

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From the 55th Division History:

"By 8-20 a.m. the enemy were reported to have penetrated our lines at Holt's Bank, and a few moments after large bodies of the enemy were seen in Pigeon Quarry - north of the Liverpool Scottish and between them and the 1/5th Loyal North Lancs. Almost simultaneously the enemy were reported to be coming over in extended order and in large numbers, wave after wave, to Eagle Quarry, on the 165th Infantry Brigade front, and also to be advancing on Fleeceall Post to the south. By 9-15 a.m. the enemy had penetrated the Divisional front from the Birdcage northwards for about 800 yards, and were even reported to have been seen in Gloucester Road. Villers Guislain, turned from the north and eventually surrounded, was reported at 9-30 a.m. to be in enemy hands, and a little over half an hour later the enemy had succeeded in progressing to within a few hundred yards of Vaucelette Farm. He got no further, for he met there the 1/4th Loyal North Lancs.

The advance had been rapid and almost bewildering. Our troops, reduced in numbers, and holding, nevertheless a front of nearly seven miles, had not merely been attacked by overwhelming numbers, but had suddenly found themselves seriously outflanked. The situation at 10-45 a.m. was undoubtedly precarious and, unless restored, might have had grave consequences. It was restored.

It is needless to say that the battalions, though sadly at a disadvantage, resisted splendidly. The 1/5th South Lancs., it was subsequently discovered, had put up a splendid fight against the troops attacking on their front, when suddenly to their amazement the enemy appeared in force behind them. Unable, in consequence, to replenish their stock of ammunition, they none the less fought on to the last.

The 1/5th Loyal North Lancs., placed in a very hazardous position owing to what had happened on their left, made a gallant stand and, with the Liverpool Scottish, held on at the Adelphi and Gloucester Road, causing very severe casualties to the enemy, and very considerably delaying his advance. These troops, however, became sadly reduced in numbers and eventually, when in danger of being entirely surrounded, were compelled to withdraw, although Meath Post did not fall until 4-30 in the afternoon, and Limerick Post, garrisoned by a composite party of the 1/5th King's Own, Liverpool Scottish, and 1/5th Loyal North Lancs., though cut off and surrounded, resisted until 5 a.m. next day. when they succeeded in reaching their own lines. A magnificent counter-attack early in the morning by the 1/4th Loyal North Lancs., weak in numbers but indomitable in spirit, had not only caused the enemy very heavy losses, but had checked his advance towards Heudecourt. It was here that their gallant Commander, Lieut.-Colonel Hindle, D.S.O., fell, shot through the heart at the head of his Battalion. The North Lancs. suffered heavily, but the result of their action was that the enemy never gained a real footing on the Lempire-Epehy-Chapel-crossing Ridge. In a day of outstanding events, probably this counter-attack and subsequent stand at Vaucelette Farm is the most noteworthy, and was the most decisive in its result."

Epehy.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks to the suppiled information, I managed to get to Vaucellete Farm last month and the enclosed pictures show a close up looking north to Villers-Guislain and the other looks across the fields from the Villers-Guislain road to Epehy.

Bernard

post-23884-1274282082.jpg

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Thanks to the suppiled information, I managed to get to Vaucellete Farm last month and the enclosed pictures show a close up looking north to Villers-Guislain and the other looks across the fields from the Villers-Guislain road to Epehy.

Bernard

Bernard do you have any more pictures of the area i have a Lt (acting captain) of the 4th L N L regiment who was OC of a company on that day who was wounded badly and discharged but not before getting an MC and an MID for his efforts on the day.

Thanks MC

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Who was he, MC?

Ken

Hi i am at work dont have his name in front of me .I believe it is Lieut (acting Captain) F K Matthew the rest of the details i am sure of .if name is different i will correct Just checked now and yes its correct Frederick Keith Matthew 4th L N Lancs.Thanks Bernard for the pictures. MC

Edit just confirmed details are correct

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MC,

Do you have the citations for his MID and MC? Let me know if you want them.

Ken

Hi Ken no i dont as his MC was a New year just after he was wounded as said, MID do they have citations i thought as rare a rocking horse doo doo

but yes for sure any more detail no matter how small on 4th L N R would be great at that time.

Thanks MC

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I have a very special rocking horse here. ;)

2/Lieutenant Frederick Keith MATTHEW

1/4th Battn. Loyal North Lancashire Regt.(T.F.)

Date of recommendation: 09/10/16

Award recommended: Mention in Dispatches

"During the operations near GUILLEMONT from 2/8/16 to 7/8/16, and in DELVILLE WOOD from 9/9/16 to 12/9/16 this Officer showed great ability and devotion to duty. He took over command of men and dealt with situations in a most soldierlike and able manner."

Lieutenant (acting Captain) Frederick Keith MATTHEW

1/4th Battn. Loyal North Lancashire Regt.(T.F.)

Date of recommendation: 29/09/17

Award recommended: Military Cross

"For consistent good work and devotion to duty during the last six months. This Officer, by his energy and personal example, has raised his Company to a very high standard of efficiency and discipline. He is quick to grasp a situation and cool in an emergency; particularly was this noticeable when his Company completely defeated an attempted enemy raid north east of YPRES on the night 18/19th May, 1917."

Details from the Battalion History relating to his MID:

"August was a trying month. The line held extended from MALTZHORN FARM, where we linked up with the French on the right, to a point near ARROW HEAD COPSE. The trenches were incomplete, as they were newly dug, and besides being narrow and shallow, they had not been joined up in several places. The enemy bombardment was more or less severe every day, and on the 3rd Second Lieutenants C. S. Munro and J. Hunt were wounded, along with 16 Other Ranks, whilst three men were killed. About this time enemy snipers were very active along a ridge about 150 yards ahead, where they appeared to have established themselves. This ridge was on the south side of and abutted on the sunken road which ran from our line to GUILLEMONT. Part of this sunken road was held as a trench by the 2/5th Lancashire Fusiliers, who were thus enfiladed by the enemy snipers on the ridge and consequently had a considerable number of casualties daily, the losses among the Officers being especially heavy.

It was decided, therefore, to attack this ridge and establish a strong point there which would deny that ground to the enemy. This minor operation was considered important in view of the casualties mentioned and also because it would afford facilities for reconnoitring GUILLEMONT and the lines of approach, this being most essential in view of the contemplated general attack on the GUILLEMONT — MAUREPAS line.

At a conference held by the Brigadier with Major Crump and Major H. Parker, it was decided that Major Parker should carry out the operation with two strong platoons of D Company on the evening of the 5th of August; that under Brigade arrangements communication trenches (which were exceedingly narrow) should be kept clear to facilitate the movement of the troops taking part in the attack up to the front line; and that a barrage would be put down by the Divisional artillery who would also do counter-battery work.

When the attacking party commenced to move up to the starting-off place, it was found that the communication trenches had not been cleared as arranged, and it would have been impossible to get up in time by using them. The party therefore moved up over the open and managed to arrive in time, but, unfortunately, not till after dark.

Second Lieutenant A. Hague and his platoon attacked. The second platoon with consolidating material was kept in reserve in our front line, but the enemy was found to be in considerable force on the ridge, occupying a strong point, and a switch line running back towards Wedge Wood.

The attacking platoon encountered heavy rifle and machine gun fire, and our barrage brought down enemy artillery fire, which caused considerable loss to working parties in communication trenches. Three attacks in all were made, but finally the attempt had to be abandoned for that night. Second Lieutenant Hague was reported missing, two men were killed, and 25 wounded.

Major Parker subsequently reported to the Brigadier that he thought that he could attain his objective on the evening of the 6th August, provided he was allowed to attack at dusk without barrage but with only five minutes' preparation with two Stokes' Mortars, and this plan was assented to. The same troops were employed, having been brought up to strength. The attacking platoon, led by Lieutenant R. S. De Blaby, attacked at 20.30 hours. The attack was successful, the position was consolidated, and our troops were relieved by the 1/5th Liverpool Regiment just before dawn. During consolidation Major Parker went out with a patrol and located the enemy switch line, finding it heavily wired and strongly held.

The troops engaged in this operation rejoined the Battalion (which had been withdrawn to reserve) on the morning of the 7th August.

After a night in bivouacs, preparations were made to go over the ground prior to an attack on GUILLEMONT on the 8th. The Battalion returned to the line that night and assembled in trenches east and west of the road which ran south from the east corner of TRONES WOOD, C Company being detailed to consolidate the right of the enemy line and D Company the left on the west side of GUILLEMONT. A and B Companies acted in conjunction with the 1/4th Royal Lancasters and the 1/8th Liverpool Regiments respectively. The attack was not a success. The right was held up from the start by the switch line which had been reported by our patrol on the 6th, such report having been either overlooked or ignored, and the men had to fall back to the original line, though the 1/8th Liverpools went through the village on the left, and D Company of our Battalion commenced to consolidate, but were driven off by the enemy coming behind them and cutting them off from the Liverpools.

Considerable confusion was caused owing to the mist and the employment by the enemy of smoke bombs, the four platoons in reserve not being called upon for this reason, though all their officers were killed and they suffered many other casualties. The operation was a costly one. Nine Other Ranks were killed, 97 wounded, and 107 reported missing; whilst of the Officers, Captain E. M. Rennard and Captain H. Lindsay were killed. Second Lieutenants 0. H. Ducksbury and J. H. Holden missing (afterwards found to be prisoners of war), and Lieutenants De Blaby and A. T. D. Evans and Second Lieutenants E. L. Fairclough and T. A. Bigger wounded. Lieutenant De Blaby died the following day.

and

"The DELVILLE WOOD battle started on the 9th September. The British artillery were in action all day, and at 4 p.m. the barrage started; at 4 45 the Division on our left attacked. Our objective was to capture HOP ALLEY with B and C Companies, whilst the Lancashire Fusiliers were to go over with us and take ALE ALLEY. At 5 25 the Battalion went over and the first objective — HOP ALLEY — was gained, but the second wave did not succeed in reaching ALE ALLEY, and as HOP ALLEY had become untenable under intense machine gun barrage and gunfire, the remnant of B and C Companies withdrew and fell back to their original line. Supporting Companies from the l/8th King's Liverpool Regiment and 1/4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment were sent up to strengthen the lines, whilst working parties consolidated the position. Sergeant H. Farnworth was awarded the D.C.M. for work in this attack.

The casualties were heavy; amongst the 24 killed were Second Lieutenants W. E. Pyke and E. F. Falby. whilst, in addition to 125 men, Captains Donald and Bolingbroke, Lieutenant H. W. Strong, and Second Lieutenants W . V. Gray, P. Pollard, F. R. Vipond, C. H. Forshaw, and W. H. Berry were wounded. Under the heading of missing wre the names of 79 of the rank and file. As the result of these heavy losses the Battalion was withdrawn from the front line to the supports and rested for the day. In the afternoon we stood-to in view of a possible attack by the enemy. Though remaining in support, the Battalion was moved 1,000 yards nearer the front line for the remainder of its stay until the 41st Brigade came up as relief on September 12th, when we marched to bivouacs near FRICOURT."

And for his MC:

"At 9.15 that evening the enemy placed a shrapnel, trench mortar, and howitzer barrage on our front line first, then on our support line, and an S.O.S. being sent up by the Battalion on our left was repeated by us; as soon as the barrage started our front Company stood to and fired rapid over the parapet. No one in the front line saw the enemy leave his trenches, but two snipers, who had been out in NO MAN'S LAND all day and were waiting for it to get dark to come in, saw the enemy place a machine gun on his parapet, the team of which they proceeded to knock out; they also saw Huns entering the trenches of the Battalion on our left. Our trenches were badly damaged in places, one man was killed, one missing, and Second Lieutenant Francis and four men wounded; B Company relieved D that evening.

The following night we hit back; Major Crump, who was in command in the absence of Lieutenant-Colonel Hindle, who was commanding the Brigade, organised a raid, carried out under an artillery barrage by Second Lieutenant Tautz, three N.C.O. 's, and 20 men, who entered the enemy's lines and bombed dugouts. The party had great difficulty in getting through the wire, and our casualties were two men wounded of the party and one in the trench; three of the raiders were at first reported missing, but Private Metcalfe turned up at dawn, having got entangled in the wire and badly wounded, and in the evening another. Private Cooper, came in, having spent the day in a shell hole.".

I hope that helps.

Ken

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Well ken im speechless . Thats all great stuff looks like he got his mc a lot earlier than i thought .great example of a new year award with the recommendation . Where does this rocking horse come from?.Many thanks MC ...And the mid as well !!!

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  • 1 year later...

Well ken im speechless . Thats all great stuff looks like he got his mc a lot earlier than i thought .great example of a new year award with the recommendation . Where does this rocking horse come from?.Many thanks MC ...And the mid as well !!!

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I am looking for information on my grandfather 2nd Leonard Leonard Frost of the 1st/4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

He was only 17 at the start of the war in 1914. He was wounded in the war.

He was the grandfather I never knew as he died in 1943 aged 46 nine years before I was born.

I bear his name

Stephen Leonard Frost sftank at hotmail dot com.

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Hi Stephen, it looks like he was wounded on 2nd May 1918, in the Givency area.

"On the 2nd we were relieved by the 1/5th King's Liverpool Regiment, 12 men being wounded in the course of the day, and went back to rest."

Andy

This may help you... http://www.archive.org/stream/warhistoryof1st400grea#page/n11/mode/2up

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  • 8 years later...
A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy
On 21/05/2010 at 14:35, Ken Lees said:

of the Officers, Captain E. M. Rennard and Captain H. Lindsay were killed.

I came across this old post when looking at something to do with the 1/4th Loyal North Lancashires, who were in the same Brigade as my grandfather (2/5th LF, 164th Brigade, 55th Division in 1916).

I had not realised that these two men died until I read this post. My grandfather mentions coming across them both two or three times, as was natural with them serving in units so closely connected with each other. He knew Captain Lindsay, in particular, from Manchester University where they were both in the OTC. He describes an occasion in August 1915 when he was surprised that, as his unit was proceeding in the pitch black through Authuille Wood on the way down from the front towards rest in Martinsart, his cry of "Keep to the right" was answered by Captain Lindsay with "Well, I'm damned, is that Hall?", as the 1/4th LNLs passed them as they were on their way up to relieve the 2/5th LF in the trenches. "Fancy meeting in a wood in France", comments my grandfather.

It is a pity that I was unaware that the two men died (and I believe my grandfather may have been unaware of it too, as, writing his diary after the war, he mentions that Lindsay later won the MC, but not that he paid the ultimate price. In the published version of my grandfather's diary, A Lancashire Fusilier's First World War, I have included a Roll of Honour, aiming to list all those whom my grandfather mentioned, however tangentially, who did not survive. I am afraid that it is too late to include Captains Rennard and Lindsay in their rightful places in that Roll of Honour; as I have commented elsewhere on this Forum, a balance had to be struck between endeavouring to research every man whom my grandfather mentioned by name (of which there are over 400) and achieving the objective of publishing the book with such background information as I could discover within a reasonable time.

My grandfather also mentions meeting a "Lieutenant Matthews" of the 1/4 LNL from Preston in March 1916, which is likely to be the F.K. Matthew mentioned earlier in this thread.

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