Sunday 7 May 2017

Bullecourt Attacked Again

Monday 7th May 1917

A major attack has been made today on the troublesome village of Bullecourt, attacked, without success, by 62nd (West Riding) and 7th Divisions in the last few days. Today 7th Division were ordered into another, limited, attack, to try and seize the south-east corner and then push patrols to the northern edge. The south-west sector, known as The Red Patch, the highest point from which machine-gun fire could sweep any attack, was to be kept quiet by artillery barrage. 2nd Australian Division was to attack to secure the 7th Division’s right flank.

The two attacks went in just before dawn. The 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders took their first two objectives, taking about a hundred prisoners. The Australian attack was also a success, taking the Hindenburg Line immediately east of Bullecourt. Due to this success it was hoped that 9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment would attack the Red Patch and clear it, however, a German counter-barrage seems to have dissuaded the commander from this attack and the Gordons even lost part of their second objective to it. We have heard that some men of the Honourable Artillery Company , who had attacked Bullecourt on 3rd May, were found still holding a small section of the ruins, completely cut-off from the rest of the British Army. One can only imagine their relief at being thus rescued. For the moment, we have a foothold in Bullecourt but no doubt German attacks to drive our men out will not be long delayed.

Yesterday we heard that 1st and 4th Bedfords had played each other at football. Not to be outdone, today the 2nd Battalion, at Buire-au-Bois, about thirty miles west of Arras played the Bedfordshire Yeomanry, the equitable result being two goals each. Second Lieutenant S H Smith was also admitted to hospital, sick, though the two events do not seem to be linked.

Source:  X550/3/WD

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