The 4th Corps at Loos -- Story of Three Days' Fighting

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The 4th Corps at Loos -- Story of Three Days' Fighting - . , THE 1TH CORPS AT LOOS. STORY OF THREE DAYS'...
. , THE 1TH CORPS AT LOOS. STORY OF THREE DAYS' FIGHTING. WITHIN SIGHT OF A GREAT VICTORY. (FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPOJfDEJTT.) BRTTiBH HEADQUARTERS, Nov. 16. It - has been represented to me that since 1 peruntied to describe in some detail the h ! v. - nuHits of the Guards during the battle "f should publish now that fuller account v. is aailable to - day of the doings of the visions that actually led the hrst ad - ance. 1 i " them, after all. fell the brunt of the battle. nd. now that military considerations no longer hen tt,. firgt, secounta of the attack wre only fair that the men engaged UW r. . - .v,. ah due credit for their 1 ! kill. (rallantn - . and tenacity: I shall hoe myself to recording the achievementa ' 4th Corps, whose good fortune it was ' "rrv the bulk of the enemy lines and to tlie greatest advance that has been v one aay hi nee tne ngnting in : t led duwu into a war of entrench - redoubt, and the 47th Division, containing on the right. The task of the 1st Division, in general terms, was to advance by way of Lone Tree and the take the Lens - Loos road redoubt, and the was to be direct! luminal. tKn hU fVoicr which lies east of Grenay and soutb - west of Two brigades of the 1st Lh vision were thrown at once into the fight, while, a third was held m reserve. This Division, as it proved, had exceptionally hard task, for the enem trenches were protected bv masses of a cealed barbed wire which could not properly be observed by our artillery officers, and which, in consequence, could only be subjected to indirect lire. The result was that, while the 1st Brigade on the left was able to nenetrata without any perceptible check as far as the outskirts of Hullueh and to capture some gun BRILLIANT TACTICS. The) situation, aa .Sir John Peanrh haa remarked, was one of some danger, but, by a nes of tne position waa utilized to our advan tage. The gaps that had been created bv the check to this Brigade were seised upon as the advance. Acroruingiy, a toroe was the S moraine of Sontamher 95 the Ath 1 "tw uas m position on a front that ran. "'urniy, from a point south - east of Grenay, - i between that village and Loos, and 'x' :'Ut up to the Vermetles - Hullueh road ' had been designated to be the dividing floe U twen it and the 1st Corps to the north. 1st Division, including battalions of the JoyaJ .lierka, Gloneesters, Royal Munster hsrs, ami Royal Sussex, was on the left. J' Division, a Highland Division of the JT Army, oompriaing battalions of the Black V' h, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, al Scots, and other famous regiments, ui ua centre opposite tne Loos road render. In the meantime, however. th Ulkv had enabled the enemy to collect his local reserves behind Ins second line, and eventually our men swung off in the direction of the tainffri thenuielvM MiceMifiiUv until tk.v relieved by the 21st Division, which had been ordered up during the night of September 25 - 26. It fell to the lot of therlftth Division ia the centre to make the greatest stride forward of alL Aa early aa 2 a. mi the two attacking Brigades and the ream Brigade were in readiness. A slight rain and a light wind did not make the conditions very favourable for our gas and amoRe attack, but the advance was nevertheless made with magnificent dash and the left Brigade was delayed owing to the worn - out troops. The weather was wet, cold, vigour. The Division had been instructed to j check to the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division, and misty, and just about midnight they had go " all out " for their objectives, and it was j and at 10.30 100 grenadiers of the Camerons to repel a German attack. They were again that might be captured should be consolidated by a steady flow of reinforcements. However, for various reasons which are still somewhat obscure, and must therefore be left unspecified, it proved impossible to render to these incomparable incomparable Highlanders the full support which had been hoped for. Their phenomenally rapid a - Start as it a to the Boches. THE INFANTRY ASSAULT. At 6 30 sharp the infantry advance began, and the assault at first was virtually unchecked. The reserve Brigade had begun to move forward within 10 minutes of the first advance, and at 7.30 six lines of our men had crossed the first German line. This line had been only lightly held, and the little garrison, after having met our men with machine - mm fire, took to their dug - outs, where they were duly dealt with by our grenaaiera. - ine aeoona nne covering T.ros was eantured with almost count rapidity, and the Germane fled, either horn rearcruard house - to - house action, or else into their strongly fortified positions around On the outskirts of Loos the two - attacking Brigades Darted company to some extent. but from ' this point onward for some hours it is really impossible to fotfow with precision the movements of the different unite. Loos a fair - sired village, and it was almost in - i - itahl that, in the nromiacuous film tins which occurred in its small streem, and was waged succeeded in clearing 70 yards of trench. In the Later in the day we took the initiative ouraelyea, meanwhile the bulk of the two attacking and a heavy bombardment waa opened bv our Brigades of the 15th Division raced on. By guns at 8 a.m. After an hour the assault waa 9.50 thev were reported to be either in the ordered, and the division, reinforced by that western outskirts of. or nast. Loos, and shortly Brigade of the 21st Division which had Wn after 10 o'clock (some accounts say even by ordered up to their support on the previous day, 9.30) the leading men of the Brigades made two attempts to drive the Germans off the were reported to be already joining forces bill. Both these attacks were unsuccessful. even stop here, but, continuing their irre - 1 machine - gun fire, and about noon the situation sistible attack, swept on as far as the Cite , was rendered more critical by the loss of Puits Auguste, whence, it is sa.u, tneyviy. 01a. rjeewnere, nowever, tne line largely mixed up. While for some hours there was desperate hand - to - hand street - fighting, hunt in the Germans out of their cellars and dug - outs, isolated attacks upon individual one - gun emLwrmnm, am au toe ormn - ncidenU of such warfare, other large of men swept through the village and Tha left Rriffade Rweot alone bv war of th nkalk Pit and PuTta XIV. bia. wh.U the right Brigade attacked further south, and had more to do with cleaning up the village of Loos. For a time a portion of n I .ens makirur haatv depart. Many of these brave DELAY OF REINFORCEMENTS. The Germans were bv this time beginning pull themaelvos together, and were not only latrong fire from their posit ions south of Loos at Cite St. Laurent and Cite St. Emile. We. too. on our aide were rendering suen support aa we could a quickly aa possible. By 9.30 certain units of artillery had been instructed to advance front line reaer ve Rrisade of the division was directed to march up to Loos, whence subsequently two battalions were thrown into the fight. But at noon it had become clear that, owins to the check to the right - hand Brigade of the 1st Division and to the delay in the arrival of reinforcements, any further advance towards CSte 8t. Auguste was out of the question, and that we must content ourselves with our ooaitiona ton and around Hill 70. A Bricade of the 21st Division waa, indeed, ordered up about this time to assist the 15th Division, but its subsequent movements are not assy to follow. From now onwards it was. therefore, therefore, mainly a question of our holding on to what we had sained. The success of the 1st Division in the afternoon did much to relieve the danger to the left flank of the 15th. but we had not been able to retain complete mastery of Hill 70. and when, finally, atahout to consolidate the positions gained, the Germans had recaptured the redoubt, while mixed troops of our two Brigades ware dug in on That Saturday night brought no rest to our maintained bv the anlondirl hAtrino of tVw. w lr,k. landers. In the course of that afternoon the which had oth cavalry brigade were ordered up to Looa as a garrison, and ultnnatefy the 3rd Cavalry losses were heavy on both skies before the cemetery fell into our hands. The further we advanced amongst the outskirts south of Looa the more confused and bitter the fighting became, and the carnage among the actual combatants was further increased by bodies of civilians, women and children, pouring out of Looa to welcome our troops and coining under the heavy shell and machine - gun fire. From the cemetery these gallant London Territorials then pushed on to the square of house near the Looa pylons which is known as the Enclosure, to the Loos Ciusaier, and later to the Loos Chalk Pit, but their efforts to seize a copse near by were unsuccessful until two days later, and in the meantime they suffered , It in large Division waa thrown into the village whr & remained until relieved on the night of the 28th. Late on the Monday afternoon some of the cavalry were sent up to assist our ruud preased men on Hill 70, who, as I have already shown in a previous were now heimr further soon after midnight on the night September" draw from the firing line. GALLANT LONDON TERRITORIALS. No less glorious, though leas ambitious, was division attacked on a front of two Brigades, and the French, who were watching the advance, were almost petrified to see one of the London Irish dribble a football right But this apparent frivolity did not interfere Irish, and their cornradea from Blackheath. St. ana otner districts of tne the German first line without durinff this final assault on the mum. it will be remembered, that Lieutenant Pusch. of the 19th Battalion of the London Regiment, organized that bombing attack which helped fire of a and then, covered by a strong considerable - difficulty from a German machine - gun, but ultimately the whole team were knocked It waa not possible however to dislodge the errnansfrom the eastern and of the fiouhte iso tne lxmdooers. having behind a swept on into Looa cemetery'. Here put up a fierce reamauce, and the all its objectives by 9.30 that is to aay, within three hours of the start of the battle. During the remainder of the battle the function of the division waa to protect the flank of the other divisions of the Corps, and, though soma of the men in the first onrush found their way as far a. HU1 70 and had the satisfaction of walking about freely there while smoking and exchanging aouvenirs, the main bodyCayed in the southern suburbs of Looa till they were relieved on the Tuesday - . Such then ia the storv in soma r , a attack as Looa and of the days imroe - y succeeding. There are many points which are still obscure, and many alao which, if not so obscure, are not yet ripe for puhhea - ouSnno a shock from winch even now, near! to nKmth. afterwarda. they have not fuify re - cxrvered. and to which, aa yet. thev hava ENEMY TRADE MARKS. MELBOURNT. Nor. Ill

Clipped from
  1. The Times,
  2. 20 Nov 1915, Sat,
  3. Page 23

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  • The 4th Corps at Loos -- Story of Three Days' Fighting

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