John Duesbery (Sherwood Foresters) killed on Somme, item 77
- November 1, 2018 10:15:25 Anastasia Ioannou
as possible taking in the remaining men of "D" Company. "B" and "C" Companies were also ordered up to continue the line to the left
14th. All fairly quiet last night On account of Enemy Machine Guns commanding the approaches to Bn Head Quarters Dugout, H.Q. reired about 200 yards and took up a position in a trench at about T.20.A.10.6. The Brigadier sent for the C.O. to go to Brigade for a conference and arranged for Major E.R. Street D.S.O. to come up from the Transport line and take over command of the Battalion for the time being. Except for Machine Gun fire all fairly quiet during the day.
6 p.m. The C.O. having returned Major Street rejoined the Transport line. 8.45.p.m. Battn. H.Q. again moved up to the German Dugout under the Railway. Operation orders were received from the Brigade for the Battn to Support the 1st Leicestershire Regi in an attack tomorrow morning at 6.20 am. 9.15 p.m. The C.O. saw Company Commanders and gave verbal orders to them. Lt Taylor came up from the Transport line and took over Command of A Coy.
15th. 6.20 am. All fairly quiet last night. 1st Leicestershire Regt passed through the Battalion to attack their 1st objective. The Battn. got into position in attack formation ready to advance and take over positions captured and vacated by 1st Leicestershires 1 hour and 30 minutes after their 1 st advance, in the following order:-A Company with remainder of D Company in front line and a Two Platoon in front B and C Companies each two platoons strong on a one Platoon front in Support.
7.30 am. Battn Head Quarters moved up to where Battn were formed up. 7.50 am. Battn advanced 150 yards between Companies and immediately came under heavy Machine Gun fire from our right front We had not gone far before we heard the Leicester's were held up by M.G. fire and unable to get on. After an advance of about 500 yards we found the Leicester about 150 yards in front of us so dug in in rear of them. 8 am. Battn Head Quarters moved up to a Shell hole immediately in rear of the Battn.
8.15 am. Orders were sent to O.C. "A" Company to try and get in touch with the 9th Suffolks on our right The Battn dug in in shell holes. 8.28 am. C.O. went up to O.C. Leicester and asked if he required any support from us. No support was required- Both Battalions have suffered heavily, mostly from M.G. fire.
9.30 am. A Patrol was sent out from "A" Company to reconnoitre German trench running N. from Quadrilatral in front of Leicesters where men in our helmets could be seen on our left front Patrols reported trench held by the Boche and heavily wired. N.C.O. i/c Patrol killed and 2 men wouncfcd.
1.30 p.m. Two Platoons of "A" Company were sent forward to get in touch with the Guards on our left. All efforts to get in touch with 9th Suffolks on our right were unuccessfiiL 5.40 p.m. Ordeis were received from Brigade to dig in and remain where we are.
6.20 p.m. About 200 of the enemy were seen coming over the rise West of LESGOEUF, advancing in a North Westerly direction. We opened fire at 1,400 yards which seemed to be effective, this counter attack was broken up by the Guards on our left. 7 p.m. A large number of the enemy were seen advancing towards the Guards fromLESBOEUF. 10 p.m. The Battn were heavily shelled during the day at short intervals. Sent a wire to Brigade asking for Major Street and Lt Mellor to join from Transport.
16th. All fairly quiet last night and very cold. At several periods during the day we were heavily shelled especailly at Day break.
7.17 am. received orders from Brigade for our Battn to co-operate with the 18th Brigade in an attack timed to take place at 7.30 p.m. last night These were cancelled later.
9. p.m. Orders received from Brigade stating that the 1st Bn. West Yorkshire Rcgt 18 Infantry Brigade would relieve us tonight, 12 m.n.there being no signs of relief sent a wire to Brigade to that effect.
DUGOUT T.20.B.2.8. - MALTZ HORN FARM TRENCH
17th. Received orders from Brigade to vacate the portion of the line held by us immediately and proceed to MALTZ HORN FARM trenches where we arrived about 5.30 am. After having breakfast the Battn had a well deserved rest and sleep. Commenced to rain during the afternoon which made things uncomfortable there being very little cover
18th. Still raining, plenty of mud, and everybody most miserable. Orders received for 1 Officer and 30 O.R’s to go back to the position vacated by us to collect wounded and salvage Machine and Lewis guns etc. Lieut F.J.Melbr wounded and 1 man killed by Shell fire with this party. 7.30 p.m. Received orders that the Brigade will march to V1LLE-SUR-ANCRE tomorrow leaving here 10. am.