Sunday 19 February 2017

What the Royal Engineers Did

Monday 19th February 1917 from our correspondent in the field

2nd Division were also in the fight for Petit Miraumont on Saturday and one of the units of engineers attached to the division is 1st Field Company, East Anglian Royal Engineers. The adjutant told us about their activities on Friday and Saturday: “We were at Wolfe Huts where preparations were made for the carrying out of work allotted to this Company. This work consisted of teo sections to construct posts for the consolidation of ground to be captured by the 6th Infantry Brigade. The attached sappers’ mates of these sections and half a company of 10th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry were under orders of our officer commanding and their work was to execute the wiring in front of ground to be captured by the Brigade”.

“The other two sections were attached to the 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers for the consolidation of ground to be captured by the 99th Infantry Brigade, between East and West Miraumont Roads”.

“Owing to the failure of the attack on Desire Support Trench [south of Pys and Miraumont] by the 6th Infantry Brigade , neither of the two sections attached to this Brigade were called up. Under orders from Advanced 6th Infantry Brigade Headquarters the attached sappers’ mates and half company of DCLI left billets at 11 pm and proceeded to work, which conxisted of repairing the wire of our own front line, which had been cut tp permit the attack made in the morning”.

“With reference to the two sections attached to 5th Field Company as only the first objective was reached by the 99th Brigade only Number 4 Section, under Lieutenant J H King was sent up to perform its allotted work. Previous to this a daylight reconnaissance of the positions of the strongpoints to be constructed had been made by Second Lieutenant J H King, taking advantage of the mist. This section, together with attached sappers’ mates and one platoon 10th DCLI started work about 4.30 pm and completed Strongpoint Number 1 and also did s consideravle amount of work on Strongpoint Number 6. Second Lieutenant King and one other rank were slightly wounded, both remaining at duty”.

Source: WW1/WD3

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