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Loyal North Lancashire's

Guest kerry21

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What a great website, so many interesting articles. My great grandfather served with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 8th Btn. His name was Harry Ditchfield 14130. he is buried at Ecoivres military cemetry, Mont St. Eloi. He died at Vimy Ridge, 19th May 1916. After checking the CWGC website it seems that most of the people who are buried along side him also died on the same date. Does anyone have any diaries or know of anything specific that may have happened on May 19th 1916 at Vimy Ridge or about this btn. I would be so gratefull for any information. Thanks.

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Regt History page 291-292

On the night of the 18-19th May The Germans by sudden attack, succeeded in capturing certain of our posts about what was known as “Broadmarsh Crater” an d the battalion was thereupon ordered to provide, on the evening of the 19th a party one hundred strong to counter attack and endeavour to recover the lost ground. Our guns bombarded the crater until 09.15 pm, when the barrage lifted and the battalion parties went over the top?

N° 1 party, twenty strong, under Lt Howard, was to crawl forward in two lines, each of ten men ,to within twenty yards of the enemy position, and was then to charge home with bayonet, rifle fire and the bombs which each man carried, being only used if absolutely necessary.

N°0 2 party of the sale strength, under 2nd Lt Tatam was to leave the front trench when nr 1 party commenced the charge, carrying a good supply of bombs and also sandbags to consolidate the position once recaptured. To this party ten more men were attached whose duty it was ti see that a good supply of bombs was kept up, passing these along to the men in front by a small trench running up to the right of the crater.

N°3 party. Fifty men, under 2nd Lt Walsh. These were to be held in reserve and to be employed to follow up and complete the work of consolidation. A Lewis gun was to provide covering fire from a block some half way up the small communication trench running up to the right of the crater ;this block was between the British and German trenches?

On the attack opening N° 1 party left the trench and the 2Nd Lt Howard very skilfully led his men unobserved to within twenty yards of the enemy position, then charging with a cheer. The officer was almost at once wounded by a bomb, when sergeant Powell took charge of the party which gained the lip of the crater, holding it under heavy fire?. 2nd Lt Walsh now came up from the rear and took charge of the further operations which he conducted with much skill and judgement. The Germans had now decamped in great haste, leaving behind much animation and some rifles. The enemy guns now, however, opened a terrific bombardment. Keeping it up for some three-quarters of an hour, but the casualties there from were not heavy



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Thanks for your help Koyli. Do you know if a list of casualties exists? Reason being, there has always been a "rumour" that my great grandfather was "shot at dawn" for desertion, but Iv'e never found any hard evidence of that and I am desperately trying to clear his name. Thanks, Kerry.

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