On the night of 6th June 1918 – a ‘minor operation’

Night 6/7-6-18 LEFT SUBSECTOR GORRE SECTOR: A party consisting of Lieut HD VAUGHAN (in Command), 2/Lt F TOUCH and 58 other ranks raided area enclosed by X.23.c.97.80. – X.23.c.85.60. – X.23.d.00.50. – X.23.d.10.65 (Intel Map No. 2 RUE DU BOIS).

Enemy garrison was annihilated and one light machine gun captured.

Casualties suffered by party were light, 1 man being killed and Lieut HD Vaughan (slightly) and 3 OR wounded.

1/6th Battalion War Diary [WO/95/2694]

93793 Pte Albert Edward Cleaver aged 19 awas killed by a stray bullet

Son of Mr JE and Mrs R Cleaver of 32 Bescot St., Walsall. Mobilised in the summer of 1917 and only served overseas with the 1/6th Battalion.

[Image courtesy of Graham Conway]

Report on the Raid

At the time of the raid, the enemy had a wiring party out of from 20 to 30 men, on the front of attack. On our barrage opening, this party ran back to trench at X.23.d.0.7.

Our parties moving forward all met thin wire, which they cut through

The enemy threw a few bombs from his post and opened fire to our right flan, from his light machine gun in the Post (at the time of capture this gun had fired some 60 rounds).

Our parties rushed the Post and bayonetted the German who was still firing his gun

Several other Germans were killed in the Post. One German was seized by one of our men and hauled out of the Post. He refused to move and was apparently consequently killed.The remainder of the Post and wiring party ran away and attempted to cross the dyke at X.23.d.1.7.

There they met Sergt WAGG’s party (less six men who had joined in the fight at the Post. Sergt WAGG and three men shot several of the fleeing enemy and charged the remainder who turned back and were lost apparently running into the barrage about X.23.d.3.6.

1680/240211 Sergt Richard Wagg

At this time Lieut TOUCH gave the recall signal, it having been reported to him that a prisoner had been secured.

Frank Touch

The enemy attempted to fire a Gun at ZERO plus 2′ from X.23.a.95.00. This was silenced and completely controlled by our three flanking Lewis Guns. The enemy fired red lights from Cse. Du Raux and X.23.a.95.20 at 1.12am and the first shell fell at 1.15am behind our front line.

Cse. Du Raux

The device of throwing up Very lights from 200 yards to the right flank of raid for illuminating the dark night was particularly successful, the effect being one of bright moonlight.

Owing to the fact that it was believed a prisoner had been secured, sufficient care was not taken to obtain further identification. On return, an hour after the raid, a further patrol was sent out for this purpose but was unable to enter the post as there were 4 Germans there and a party of 20 were advancing over the open towards the Post. Fire was brought to bear on this party.

Our casualties were:-

1 Officer accidentally wounded

1 man slightly wounded

I am exceedingly annoyed at no identification being obtained

X.23 in 2017

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