Flers/Gueudecourt (World War 1, 18 October 1916 to 16 November 1916)

Normal gueudecourt biscuit trench 1qaa1 1

About This Campaign

Flers / Guedecourt   18 October - 16 November 1916

Following Pozieres  / Mouquet Farm, the Australian 1st 2nd 4th and 5th Divisions were moved to Flanders. The 3rd Division meanwhile was in the UK, training, yet to deploy to the Front.

On October 9 the men of the 27th Battalion in the 7th Brigade, 2nd Division, received word they would be moving back to the Somme as winter approached. They found themselves moving into the line just east of Pozieres on the British right flank where they were to form a key part of planned 'winter offensive' as the cold came early in 1916. 

The soldiers noted that the British line had advanced some 3km since September but autumn rain had turned the place into a quagmire.  Much worse was to come - the coldest winter in living memory.

For the Second Division, an imminent attack at Flers was to be the 'the spear' thrust into the enemy.  For the men of the 27th Battalion and their comrades of the 7th Brigade, they were to be its tip.

 

Read more...

Stories

"....getting killed like flies.."

Guedecourt

Private W Lewis wrote:

‘Our officers gave the order, so we started. There were many who could not get out of the mud. I was one of them, so some of my cobbers gave me a hand and we got up on the parapet and had to stand there and scrape off the mud before we could go, not only me but everybody. While they were doing this, they were getting killed like flies. The fellow alongside of me got a bullet through his head.’


Private E Morrow wrote:


‘The road was sloppy, slippery mud and slush pitted with shell-holes filled to the level of the road with mud. We could only stagger and slide into them knee and thigh deep. Slimy, horrible mud! Ammunition limbers and G.S. wagons were lying beside the road shattered and broken. Dead mules and horses lay half covered with slush – a depressing sight calculated to make us curse the war with every carcass we passed. They died in harness as thousands of men did, but it was not of their own choosing or will.

Read more...

Private D.B. Harford wrote:

‘At six o’clock this morning I shot a Hun, an observer, at 400 yards. I happened to spot him with a pair of field glasses I had borrowed. He was all alone, looking through a pair of field glasses with his head and shoulders above the parapet (foolish fellow). My loophole was well hidden, a plate of steel (or iron, I am not certain which). About three eighths of an inch thick, set into the parapet, with a hole just big enough to put the rifle through. There was a big bush of giant nettles growing around the loophole, which added to its invisibility. Took careful but quick aim and pulled the trigger. He spread his arms out and fell backwards, throwing his glasses in the air as he fell. When I saw him fall a queer thrill shot through me, it was a different feeling to that which I had when I shot my first kangaroo, when I was a boy. For one instant I felt sick and faint, but the feeling soon passed and I was my normal self again and looking for more shots, which I did not get that day.’ 2

Read more...
Showing 3 of 3 stories

Names

Showing 8 people of interest from campaign

Thumb butcher
BUTCHER, Reginald George

Service number 4674
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 12 Oct 1892

Thumb 1a
NICHOLLS , Frederick William

Service number 4195
Private
25th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Mar 1882

Thumb 1d
ALLEN, Charles

Service number 232
Driver
2nd Field Artillery Brigade
AIF WW1
Born Mar 1894

Thumb 1a
MCNEIL, Loudon Bain

Service number 4027
Lance Corporal
3rd Field Ambulance
AIF WW1
Born 21 Jun 1891

Thumb normal img364
YOUNG, Allan

Service number 3971
Private
46th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 1894

Thumb 1
WATERS, Edward Harold

Service number 2386A
Gunner
11th Field Artillery Brigade
AIF WW1
Born 24 Apr 1895

Thumb 1a
MITCHELL, George Deane

Service number NX156027
Major
43 Port Landing Craft Company
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 30 Aug 1894

Thumb becker o
BECKER, Walter Oswald

Service number 504
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 20 Aug 1896

Thumb gueudecourt biscuit trench 1qaa1 1
Showing 1 of 1 image.
Click images to start slideshow.