Attack West of Lens 1st July 1917

Lens July 1917

6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters

June 29th: Line of forward Posts – CAVALRYHOSPITAL GROUNDS – N.7.c.1.9 – COPPER – N.7.a.20.25.

July 1st 1am: Posts had been established in CORNWALL Trench N.13.a.65.90 – N7.c.85.15.


No.1 Party: 1 Officer and 37 Other Ranks assembled in COLLEGE Trench about N.7.c.35.10. Objective to move down COLLEGE and establish Posts N.13.a.85.60. and 70.62.

No.2 Party: 1 Officer and 17 Other Ranks assembled on the tape line S. of COLLEGE Trench. Objective to assist in clearing COLLEGE S. of N.13.a.85.60. and RAILWAY CUTTING N13.b.1.5.

At Zero:

Both parties advanced and entered enemy trench through gaps in the wire bout N.13.a.9.6. No.2 Party losing its Officer and 6 Other Ranks before reaching the trench.

Shortly afterwards the party became mixed with men of the 2nd and 5th Battalions Sherwood Foresters who must have lost direction during advances.

A bombing squad from No.1 Party bombed the enemy back along COWDRAY to N.13.b.10.75 supported by a Lewis Gun in sap at N13.b.05.80. A block was established at the former point. A party of the 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters had by this time crossed Railway Cutting and reached the Houses N.13.b.4.3. – N.13.b.2.6. which the enemy were holding in strength. The 5th Battalion party stated to have occupied the trench about N.13.b.2.5.

At 4.30am a message was received from Officer I/c/ No.1 Party 2/Lt DOLLEY he had occupied his objective N.13.b.9.6. with light casualties. Later the Post formed at N.13.b.10.75 was heavily counter attacked and driven back to the SW side of the Railway Cutting about N.13.a.92.62. from where the enemy made several unsuccessful attempts to dislodge them. Later 2/Lt DOLLEY went along COLLEGE Trench and is though to have been killed or captured by a party of Germans who were seen to jump into the trench close to him.

Later again the N.C.O I/c of the Post at N.13.a.92.62. reports that strong parties of the enemy advanced over the top about N.13.b.25.50. along the cutting about N.13.b.18.45. and from the direction of COTTON TRENCH. As his party had been reduced to 4 men and his right flank was exposed, this N.C.O. withdrew the Post up COLLEGE TRENCH.