On this day 13th August 1917 a trench raid by the 1/6th Bn

13 august 1917 raid

The raid was carried out by Captain HH Jackson, 2/Lts SN Deurance, LV Burrows and RW Oakley with 12 NCOs and men of “A” and “D” Companies.

The raiding party began to move out of the assembly position outside our own wire at 9.55pm. Each separate group got out without difficulty and apparently without attracting the enemy’s attention, but owing to the extreme darkness it was very difficult to make certain that each group took up its proper position. The artillery barrage started promptly.

The raiding party got across and got close…….a hostile machine gun firing from the left flank was firing high.

Hulluch trench raid august 1917Unfortunately the parties got mixed up owing to the broken state of the group….consequently the groups detailed to enter to the south of the HULLUCH ROAD lost direction and entered by the HAWK ALLEY gap.

Hulluch Road South (Burrows)

burrows2/Lt BURROWS and six men of the right blocking parts and one sapper with an explosive charge got through the enemy wire about 20 yards south of the HULLUCH ROAD – two of the party at once becoming casualties.

Trench 2He then worked to the left and met some German bombers at whom his men threw all their bombs inflicting several casualties.

2/Lt BURROWS then worked along to the right to a point about H.13.a.12.0. the sapper blowing up a dugout. The group now consisted of only 2/Lt BURROWS, one rifleman, two bombers and the sapper. A German double-sentry post was now met with and the leading rifleman fires, but missed and was at once bayoneted by the enemy.

The Germans then started a bombing attack from both sides and 2/Lt BURROWS now ordered his men to withdraw, he keeping the enemy off with his revolver. While the party was getting through the wire the enemy opened rifle fire and machine gun fire but luckily caused no casualties.

Hawk Alley (Deurance)Dewrance

The group ordered to mop up the first line from the right to HAWK ALLEY found one dugout which the NCO entered but it was empty. This group then lost direction and entered by HAWK ALLEY and failed to get in tough with 2/Lt BURROWS party.

A considerable number of the enemy was met with in the front line from HAK ALLEY to the left; dugouts were found to exist every thirty or forty yards and the moppers-up claim to have killed 8 Germans in the trenches and to have wounded a further 10 by rifle fire.

Second line and Hawk Alley Junction (Oakley)

The blocking parties for the right of the 2nd line and for the junction of HAWK ALLEY and the 2nd Line lost their way and did not reach their objective. 2/Lt OAKLEY and Sergeant HADFIELD went aout 50 yards further finding trenches very much knocked about but no Germans.

3023/240853 Sergeant Samuel Hadfield

Casualties during the raid

Our total casualties were 2 other ranks killed, Captain HH Jackson, 2/Lt KH Bond and 7 other ranks wounded, and 2 other ranks missing. Those of the enemy were about 30 killed and wounded, not including any in the bombed dugouts.

All four men missing or killed have no known grave and are commemorated on the Loos Memorial to the Missing:-

3642/241151 Pte James Brian Pratt aged 20 and son of Mrs L Varo (formerly Pratt) of 98 Victoria St. in Brimington, Chesterfield. James was a horseman from Staveley and enlisted in January 1915. He arrived in France inJuly 1916 with the 13th Reinforcement.

3641 PrattPratt POW

Army Service Record (top) for James Pratt records that he was missing and presumed to have died on or since 13th August. The Red Cross Records (bottom) indicate that James was captured by the Germans, but there is no indication of when he died. James’s grave was lost after the War and he is now Commemorated on the Loos Memorial. Recorded as presumed dead.

2802/240738 Pte Wilfred Buxton aged 21 and son of Harold and Emma buxton of Biggin in Hartington, Derbyshire. WIlfred was a bricklayer and enlisted in October 1914. He arrived in France in August 1915 and was wounded on the 17th July 1916. Recorded as presumed dead.

7800/242588 Pte John Henry Losco Field the son of William Gallard and Ruth Annie Field. John arrived  in France with the 28th Reinforcement in January 1917. A pre-War Territorial who enlisted in 1911 aged 17 he had previously served with the South Nottinghamshire Hussars in the 2nd Mounted Division in Egypt. Discharged time expired in January 1916 and conscripted in 1916. Recorded as killed in action.

3803/241225 Pte James McGuire from Chesterfield enlisted in February 1915 and arrived in France in 1916. Recorded as killed in action.

Gallantry Awards and Commendations

see also 25th August 1917

Captain Humphrey Henry Jackson

Jackson HHCaptain Humphrey Henry Jackson was awarded Military Cross. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in Command of a raiding party. The success of the raid was greatly due to his courage and cheerfulness. The night was exceptionally dark and he showed great coolness in collecting scattered parties under heavy fire and in getting them forward. Later, when very severely wounded, he continued to direct operations until oss of blood compelled him to return to own own lines. His pluck and gallantry under trying circumstances deserved the highest praise.

2/Lt Leonard Victor Burrows

Burrows August 1917

4457/241520 Pte Harry Browes

Harry enlisted in July 1915 and arrived in France in 1916. He only served overseas with the 1/6th Battalion.

251520 Browse August 1917

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