Papurau Newydd Cymru

Chwiliwch 15 miliwn o erthyglau papurau newydd Cymru

Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

1 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

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 ftnRmnQTAt?  1/<?WfIQtT THE GLORIOUS TALE OF THEjtíi"WEUSH ^t ? .r ?, '¡ I r:: V ■ ■ • ■ ■ I t t' ■ ■ 4 JLJ?<J?!L!LJL?L/ ???tL?L?JL ;.r- }; c.. j [Specially Compiled by the "Leader"} 'c_¿ I; i" r — 1. I THE BEGINNING. I Brigadier-General Sir Owen Thomas' iiiteresting story of the inception of the Welsh Army takes us back from tales of bloodshed to those early, happy, feather-bed" days when England was a land of plenty and to be in the Welsh Army "—we ♦ere not a division by any means, and the number 38 had not been thought of-was to be very comfortable indeed. THE H SWANSEAS." I For a while there was no group- ing of the units. The pals idea was being maintained of training battalions ut tome. The Swansaas were at work OIl the Cricket Field, a company was be- ing raised at Wrexham, another at Ban- gor, the Cardiff Citv and Carmarthens" were being raised, and the London Welsh" were training at Gray's Inn. Then the 1st N. Wales Pals (13th R. W. Fusiliers) went to Rhyl to form up. Some- thing happened at Cod ford, and from the mud of the Plain came the 1st Rhon- dd-a8" (10th Welsh) to Rhyl, to be joined by the "2nd Rhonddaa" (13th Welsh). They held the distinction of being in nniform-H Kitchener BtTre" of the worst order. The division was now begfinfting to take "hape, and it was decided to form up in brigades, and on November 19th the 13th R.W. Fusiliers moved to Llandudno, where the Carnarvon and Anglesey" (14th R.W. Fusiliers) were already stationed. Their place was taken by the wlinseas and "Carmarthens," who thus competed the 114th Brigade at Rhyl. Tho "London Welsh came to Llan- dudno, and. when Col. Wvniie-Edwardep left the 13th R.W. Fusiliers, to raise the 16th R.W.Fusiliers, the 113th Brigade was fleted. The 115th were forming in Cplwyn Bay, where the H Cordiff City" and two Gwent" battalions were sta- tioned, with a battalion of Bantams neat by at Rhos-on-Sea. Another battalion of R.W.F. bantams was forming at Degaijwy "At Winchester the brigade was completed by the inclusion of the 17th R. W. Fusi- liers, which trained at Llandudno. This, howeveer, was not the work of a few weeks, but, rather, represents the position, just prior to tile departure for Winchester in J tU). ;1915. UNIFORMS. I It was a plain-clothe* Army, our only uniform a celluloid badge of a red dragon. Gradually the uniforms came. The 14th R.W. Fusiliers did boast a khaki great- coat, but the London. Welsh arrived on < the scene fully equipped in khaki,. The newer blue uniforms began to appear, the Swansea Battalion having peaked caps and blue puttees, whilst the 13th R.W. Fusi- liers 'had soft Glengarries a-nd 4rhaki ptfttees. Writing of UnLforiaa revives1 memory of the talk of "brethyn llwyrf with which it was proposed to clothe the whole Welsh Army. It was tried at Col- wyn Bay, but was hardly voted a Success by the majority of soldiers. The mauve grey uniform, which sounded, eo well sin paper, did not work out quite so artisti- t tally re it sounds. One of the intereating memories of the war is the medley of uniforms in Swansea at Christmas, 1914, when were, collected together with kaleido- 1 &U,!Pic effect the improvisations oil service i battalions from all over the kingdom. > GWYL DEWt SANT, 1915. There were other big days during our stay in North Wales, as when, on Gtoyl j H'-ivi Sant, 1915, Mr. Lloyd George tra- velled along the coast to inspect the AmiY which now in oommon parlance bore his name. He spent the 1st March at Llan- dudno, and the 113th Brigade marches- past on the Prom. The country by this 4 time was beginning to sit up and talke notice, and the town was alive .with Press" photographers and cinematograph canieroa. "That night the Premier spoke at the Eisteddfod in the Pavilion. The next day he reviewed the 114th Brigade at Rhyl. II. I f TRAINING. ? But this was not serious soldiering, and the dfelav in getting on with the equipping ? titd., advanced traiiiing wac. beginning to v jeox&rdise the idea of an all-Welsh Divi- | pioxj taking the field, for men showed a •> tendency to transfer to the feeding units' of the lot, and 2nd battalions of their f regiments, and into other more fully > equipped arms that sent men to France in a few weeks. I remember the prophetic words of a colonel on parade, who said u You'll go to France, and many who have not yet i thought of joining will be there before this do is over." He belonged I to tht) Kitchener school, but we were -seriously beginning to chink that Lord Kitchener had forgotten us, when the equipments arrived, and from that day Cluwaro galling packs and cumbersome P,P.'f< punished our ill-faith. Then came Winchester. WINCHESTER. I Winchester to us spelt France in thrfce weeks, but the first battalion that wound wd the dusty road to Morn IIiH found that their own quarters at Winnal Down were not completed. whilst Morn Hill Camp, which was to house the 114th Brigade, had not been started. Weeks of Toad-making tlud drainage and building operations fol- lowed before the other battalions arrived. and part of the ground on which the 3,31-h "I were to camp was for a while still occupied by the 17th Division, which was preparing to go overseas. Winchester, however, was definitely the Army. Here we came in touch with other arms of the division We had men the formation at Conway of the Cyclists, who, in the Ger- man advance of March, 1918, when operat- ing with another division, were to die fisrhting eo gallantly before Lacouture. 4 We had also seen the R.A.M.C. at Pres- tatyn. But at Winchester we first came into touch with the artillery, engineers. v and A.S.C.. and understood that all the difficulties had been overcome. It was there that we felt definitely that we were a division One could dilute on the physical beauties of Winchester from King Alfred's statue to St. Cross, and yet not arrive at the r.c,cret of the charm of the old city with ite leaning cathedral and famous old High-Street. Ask any old 38th man to tell von what it is. and-he will reply, I don't kraywi but it's a great place." 5, OFF TO FRANCE. I were times when we left the civi- lly world still further behind, as when I we^used to go to Lark Hill to fire our I courses, and camped in the canvas huts 1. of Hamilton and Rollestone Lines under t-h* aliade, of Stonehenge, Mwbt inflam- mable some of those empty huts Ivere oven when the enow was on the ground. When they greeted us -at Troie Touris in the Ypres sector; hQwever, this -mmegtylt-. aF^kut' appeared the height of luxury, (tfttl, if it had not been the rail-head for Lark Hill, Amesbury was a village with real beauty. At the beginning of December, 1915, the division went to France. By that time onls division was fully trained, and reserve units at Kinme.l Park were getting ready to make up any losses. Whilst a brigade of bantams, largely re- cruited and officered by men of. the Welsh Army, had gone to swell another division. Thedroam had come true. How they jus- tified the confidence of their founder and confounded his critics has been told, by many pens, but that is another story. III. MAMETZ. Mametz Wood! What memories it con- jures up to those who took part in that awful fighting of July. 1916. To-day in )lametz Wood lie many of Wales's best and bravest: in its environs seine lads of Swansea sleep. It was a big price to pay.; hundreds fell beforj the Hun was forced to give up this forest fortress to whioh he had clung so tenaciously. The story of ;ts capture is a narrative of gallantry, of devotion to duty in face of—Deaiih; it is a story which should, a story which will, tvng down the corrdors of time. It will be told on Welsh hearths for niany a long ,year, and win rank in import&nc?' ?;th the epic of LI?we?yn's la?st ga 11(lllt.6bnd I for Wales. For the honour of the cap- ture of M?mptK Wood is credited to the Welsh I?nsion And forming part of that immortal division was the Swansea Battalion. MAMETZ, 1916." The narrative of the fight as it affects the whole d'vision is a long OM, but the present article purports to d«al only with the share of the Swansea Battalion in it. In the deepening twij/g'ht of a calm July nlght, Mametz Wood, a dark mass of trees, appeared impenetrable, and indeed up to this stage it had proved ;nvulner- able to dl attacks. Headquarters knew something of the task which lay before the Welshmen; it was known that the Wood was full of Germans, that it was teeming with machine-guns and, ibove all, that the enemy was prepared. The Swansea Battalion came into the trenches two nights before the attack, and the in- tervening period wa-s spent' ;n preparing for "the great adventure." Three days before, the Cardiff Battalion had, in con- junction with a Gwent BattaLion, made a frontal attack on the Wood, but had failed ffrer having suffered terrihle casualties from the devastating fire of the enemy. It was on Sunday night that the order was sent round intimating that tJl. Swansea Battalion were to attack at dawn on Monday morning HOWELL ANGAU I Accompanying the instruction,4 was an Order drawing attention to the deeds of other battalions in the battle. It is left," it read, to. the 3Sth Division to decide Whether the name of the Welsh Dirisioh' iSlo live in history." These words were sufficent exhortation -in them- fielves, and there in the gathering dusk the honour of Wales was pledged. The officers to a man wet# determined to rout ,the enemy next day or die in the abbempt. The intervening h>»urs soon pa&sod in that little WhJteTif;cnch-an old German ti-onch-and at 3.45 on July 10th the Swan- sea BatUilion was ready for the signal. At 3.30 a terrific bombardment had been cpened by the British guns and this in- creased ins in tensity until at four o'clock it reached its highest. At this hour the rhen were ready for the signal, and it was apparent that they were resolute in ir determination to emulate the deeds of other Welsh battalions. At the put four the order came, and a wave of two platoons went o er the top." They had 1.1)00 yards to go before reaching the Wood, and according to plan ten minutes was the time allotted for tlrs. The White Trench was situated on the top of a steep bank, and the men ns they rushed down the hUl afforded i target for a murderous fire from the enemy. Thanks, however, to a beautifully timed barrage the first company reached the Wood only a second or two after it was raised. So far events] had turned out according to plan." But unfortunately plans have a bad habit of going awry. And so it was on this occa- sion. Despite the heavy bombardment of the British artillery the enemy was stiill in his trenches when the battalion pjislied forward. Wood Trench had. however, been vacated, but in the support trench, a few hundred yards further on. the Huoa were ready to put up a-fight INDIVIDUAL GALLANTRY. Here a particularly heroic deed wasv performed by a Swansea officer-a Valley man. A German maeliine-gun was giving considerable trouble, and had already accounted for a fair number of the bat- talion, when this gallant officer dis- covered it. Immedialely advancing on it, and without regard to personal safety, he e;ngle-handed killed the ent're crew and captured the gun. In another case an officer extricate his men from an awk- ward position by accounting for seven Germans, who were holding up the ad- vance. These two officers, with others, were subsequently decorated. As the bat- talion moved on from Wood Support [see map] towards their, objective, they were caught by enfihdin 6 re, and it was here that they suffered tlie heaviest casualties. To keep a sense of direction was impos- sible, and the baftalion contented them- selves with following the enemy. Towards noon the battle raged in a sanguinary manner and the, attackers, despite the oppressive heat, fought like Trojans. Trees that had been blown up lay every- where and impeded ther progress, whilst the enemy had tied the branches together so that it wa.s extremely difficult to force a passage through. But despite these obstacles the battalion pushed forward. The story of one party of attackers ;s worth recording, as it serves to show the dauntless courage of the men. Having lost their bearings they were surprised by a numerically-superior enemy force. The Germans surged in upon them, and a grim struggle resulted. Fortunately reinforce- ments arrived, but the pile of German dead testified to the good aocount the Swansea lads had given. [ DEMORALISED ENEMY. I I A remarkable feature of the day's fight- ing w is the comparative fortune that At- tended the Swansea Battalion as compared with other battalions. It is thought hy those who took-part that the remarkable j d'splay of determinationlorl the part, of j the men may- hav-e been responsible for this. In any case, the f¡:L" indisputably remains that the Battalion succeeded not only in reaching its objectives but in com- pletely routing the enemy. Even when the Wood Support trench had bc-en reached the hag" of prisoners was one that deserved a bigger appellation than creditable," and in hand-to-hand en- counters the attackers were often e-Iô;ly victorious Small oarties of attackers, too, would make very respectable captures I after very brief fighting. Perhaps it ;s true that fortune did to some extent at- tend them but, without doubt, their dog- ged tenacity was the great contributing I factor. I THE PRICE. I Had fortune not attended them the Bat- talion would have been wiped out. As it was, out of 800 who went in only about *00 cam? out. SmaH partiN> that had lost I their way and had been surrounded by I Plikem Ridge, showing Canal, Village and Steenbeke River. I I Germanp had dred to a man, whilst a few of those wounded had been captured. Enemy snipers posted among the branches 'd laid several low, and cleverly conceale d heavy toll Germàns in the afternoon had brought in fresdi troops, and the Battalion suffered severely in an encounter with Bavarians whiclr ended in the laser's deicat. The perform •noble service, and the etdry of their db- votion to duty is an epic in itself. From the launching of the attack they had worked gallantly to succour the ever- growing crowd of wounded, and as they passed to and fro from the advance dress- ing station to the Wood they were open to heavy shelling. The oa-ualt:es among these bravo m'en were considerable, but despite this they continued to work with a devotion beyond praise. The annals of the war con give few finer examples of military virtue. ALL THAT WAS LEFT OF N I THEM." Th-e Battalion held their portion of- the Wood with comparatively small numbers, supported by other brigades on the right and left, until four o'clock next morning, when they were relieved. It i--§ difficult to givfa a pen picture of the return to bivouacs. A few days before the Bnt- taHon had been at full strength-one huge family of happy individuals. Return- ,ing to billets on the devastated rOàd, .tha;r drawn, haggard faces, looking still more haggard under the oppressive heat of that July day, they appeared a spent force. And they were. For nearly twenty hours they had been in the company of Death- Death in its most tragic garb. Away back in yametz Wood they had left their 1 I 1 ■ r I comrades lying wt'th their fll to, the sky, true to the?r vow to death, true to the honour of their Division. Th men ktiew noilvng of the pomp and grapdenr -of war, they onlvkllewthaf tney had clone their d'tlb', that: 'they'had been'/g-iven a task and that they had performed It. Let such a story; help us. to realize the kind of men who stood between Germany and the conquest of the world. And above all, let us remember that they Wert'! Swansea men. IV. I THE FIGHT AT TILKEM. It is said by those who served with them I that the powers of determination of the i battalion were most tried in the pro- tracted trench warfare on the Ypres Salient from Augustf, 1916, to September, 1917, culminating in the captuto of Pil- fcem Ridge on July 31st, 1917. It is with this, what we may call chef d'(Piivre oft theirs, that the present section will deal. I "WIPERS." Wipers," as it will ever be remem- bered by the British Army, may have been quite a clean. pretty town before August. 1P14. In 1916 it was the personification of desolation end desecration. When the Wolah Division first came into the area they had the French on .their left, but they eventually took pver that ground, afc} e t or tea i fed- iihe Boe si '-°^c t<> r, wair usually held by the 115th Infantry Brigade This was just clear of the town of, Ypres on the north eide. -and th bri- g?-h???.?????ts ?nd two hattaHo]M in t?pp??on t?Yypr?s canal b?n? The, map given below showa cl?rly tlie importance of the canal bank, and if the salient was to be held at all, the enemy must not cross the canal. Oty the opon ground at Estree Baluche t^fere was a replica, of all thtfj tre&chee^at the S wa nsea Ba tt^lion..were to attafelp-u p to the Sbheck, and these were practised over daily. When the Welsh Division had first moved up to the salient, the accom- modation wns particularly bad, and be- tween the work of keeping a.n eye on the Boche and trying to make their surround- ings a little more comfortable, the Swan- sea men had rather a busy time of it. As time went on conditions, improved some- what. and once the word was whispered around that an advance was imminent. rehearsals" for the great event took. placf with increasing frequency. THE PLAN OF ATTACK. The plan of the attack was this. With I the Guards on their left, and the 51st (Scotch) Division on their right, the Welsh Division was to attack in three I bounds; to the German front line, to the Pilkem Ridge, and to 100 yards beyond Iron Cross. Zero day and zero hour were, of course, not fixed till the last possible moment, but at aero a creeping barrage was to start (conforming to the shape of I the German trenches) on their front line. moving forward 100 yards every four l Mametz Wood and White Trench, whence the attack was t'utiched I minutes, but pausing as a protective bar- rage for one hour, after each objective, was gained, about 100 yards beyond the objective while the troops re-formed. The 13th and 10th Welsh .were detailed to take the German front line. They were then to consolidate while the Swansea Battalion with the 15th Welsh passed through them and got close under the barrage to attack Pilkem Ridge. After that objective want gained, two other companies were to pass through and attack the third and lact objective. JULY 31st, 1917. I On the night of July 80th the Swansea Battalion silently moved up to their I assembly positions from a mile behind the i Canal. It was a perilous enough under. taking for every night the Boche had put down a heavy rrage of high ex- I plosives and gas shells. Led by Colonel D. Brock Williams (who was destined to win the D.S.O. for his share in the glorious work of the following day), 'the battalion went ap in single file at 100 yards distance between platoons. All the while the enemy was shelling in desul- tory fashion, but the batbalion was sble to clear the obvious line of his shells, though very narrowly once or twice. And CoL William. had no casualty to report up to Zero. At last, at 3.50 a.m just as dawn was breaking, the British batteries opened an appalling heavy barrage. The Boche vraq slow in replying, and his bar- rage was only heaIT in places, so that nearly 'all the attacking troops cleared the front line before it came down. Capt. | Milbourne Williams, however, was pot so J fortunate. He, with the advanced sig- nallers of the battalion, had to follow up right at the rear, and a? a result had to move through a murderous fire which cent-Nyl-nd "Hlw battalion"'Ite^dquar-' tfe!1t: mai^ellous ^Wofk, "åd tn enemy's shelling was kept well under once" out men found thenlnge. The 13th find 10th Battalions had a walk over, and barring a few casualties from shelling B Company and C Company of the Swansea Battalion passed through them and moved on to Pilkem Ridge without difficulty, the re- maining Boches in that trench system eithef surrendering or quitting. The fire of our artillery Jiad been so terrible that, ground was a vast wilderness of *sfhell: bfofefe"1 And it was ifaposailjle t)»* £ eeprdirection?:?, ■' v ) Ù Nio.¡{E.$E <01 F"1=í cL.f,L.rris. <: t Despite the most careful rehearsals ¡ that had taken place, and despite the enormous care that had been exercised in preparing the attack, unforn diffi- culties' soon occurred, and the Swansea Battalion were early left to develop the movement on their own initiative. Capt. Milbourne Williams was supposed to have established himself at' the first objective aftd battalion headquarters 'were to move up there M' so-on as this had been done. Then Capt Williams was to proceed to the capture of Pilkem Ridge ITnfortOiiately, however, the whole 6ystem of communicatioa woIJ upSet by many unlucky casualties in the brigade. For instance, all Capt. Williams's runnors had been hit, and Col. Brock Williams waited for over two hours with- out. receiving a. measagje. At the enflof thatt."period hp deevtad to move up.. The tiitttkk4q .bs^l'ytelf y- foiled r to, strike Pilltem Ridge, the farm- there being obliterated, but, going by the eompaes, they reached the third, objective, where they came into contact with Capt. Mil- bourne Wiliiamfi and his men. SANGUINARY FIGHTING. I Here there were many sanguinary en- counters, the Wels'hmen having to face a strong defensive forOO. Capt. Sand- brook; a. gallant officer, who later in the day made the supreme sacrifice, was rein- forced by tieut. Bellinghagi And hijBjmen, and. & bifct^ wa £ \Carried on .,Iroun n (jfi&s. e enemy, who'were strongly placed in the buiMings around kept up a murderous fire upon the valiant Welshmen. Officer after officer fell, fight- ing to the end, until at last Capt. Sand- brook was the only one left. When things looked at their worst, Col. Brock Williams came up with II. and C Companies, and after a dogged effort, Capt. Sandbrook. with Lieut. Strange and about 70 men. occupied the position. Throughout this bitter struggle Capt. Sandbrook worked like a Trojan, and his wonderful example and extraordinary bravery contributed much to the eventual success of the under- taking. Alone with his runners he took. 40 prisoners, and' killed several of the enemy, before he fell. Of Lieut. Strange, too, it is impossible to speak too highly. He practically ran the whole show from the moment of his lieader's death. Despite the heavy fire that came from the Ger- man side, he reconnoitred down to the Stwnbeck personally, and all through the heavy bombardment of the next three days' showed absolute disregard for per- sonal .safety. CONSOLIDATIONS. J It rained heavily the next two days, and the; battalion had to hang on suffer. ing casualties all the time in shell holes and trenches full of mud and water under continuous and, unfortunately, accurate heavy shelling. In one respect the weather favoured the battalion, for it had made the ground an absolute quagmire, and a counter-attack was impossible. Even though the advance had been held up by -the climatic conditions, still the same conditions prevented the- enemy from attacking in turn. The battalion had been pitted against the cream of the German Army, and despite the most determined defence it had succeeded in gaining its objectives—not only gaining them, but keeping them. At a price I Yes, the price was heavy, for scores of Swan- sea's best and brat lie beneath .the. sod around Pilkem. I 1 The story is one to be remembered. j i v. AVELUY. The official communiques, issued with unfailing regularity twice each day dur- ing the war, quite as regularly gave very vague infQrmatign qoncqrniug what was really going on in that country of inces- sant activity known as "over there." A battalion after battling grimly for coveted positions for several hours would be re- warded bv the laconic official announce- ment There was some activity on the Sector." Old soldiers AiO not ( mind it so much. but .musfc I)a comdose-od, that the recruit straight from Blighty was a,pt tio, -hold very, strong views on. npaTjiv of Q.H.Q. when. after a particu- larly. successful raid in which ;he took part, the communique would mention I that tlkore was nothing of interest to report I FOB INSTANCE! The Swansea. Battalion were engaged in many minor en-oou aters, for which?" their praises have never yet been sung. There was, for instance, that little a*air in Langemarke. where an effort was made to ,carry- a. German position. Two --sinall j parties went out at midnight to nSake the attempt. The party which proceeded on th*- left reached its objective without a casualty, but the little band on the right found its progress held up by a strong de- fence. After several noars spent in-- manceuvring to try and bluff. the Huns, it was decided to withdraw, as the poeitioft was too strongly held. The official com- munique stated the next day that them was "nothing to report" on this parti- cular part of the lina. LACONISM. Perhaps the best example of la-conism, or what we may call ellipsis is the .,thuial version of the terriole ordeal the Swansea Battalion went through in their desper- ate, tiiough, unfortunately, unsuccessful, attack upon Aveluv Wood in May of 1918. Ü. in their official report, were oon* tent to mention it as "There was hard fightillgat Aveiuy Wood, with many hand to hand encounters." In this hard tighjtiug more than half the number of men engaged were reported subsequently as casualties. The Swansea Battalion took over their positions in front of Aveiuy Wood from the 63rd Division. It is interesting to note that the (3rd Division is better known as the Royal Naval Division, More* than a batiolion of which is made up;-of Swansea boys. The Battalion had t&ken over the trenches but a day, when the order came through that the BoChe had to be forced out of his front line, and that tlift wood was to be taken. The order ended with the terse announcement that this, was to be done at all eoet, and that the attack was to be made within 13. hours of the receipt of the message. The officer in command issued hurried .>rders to the men, everything was got ready at- post-hasite speed, and an hour before the L raid the Abertawe's were peering over the top, through the blapknc-a of the night, towards the direction, wherein they knew Aveltiv Wood lay. There was no preliminary fire. Aftr nearly four yearg of warfare some genius of the Headquarters Staff had discovered that preliminary fire resolved itself into a message to say that an attack was imminent! The battalion, in two eoin- panie& of two platoon6 each, numbered about 150 men. The first to go over at' five o'clock in the morning were the men from C Company, and they were followed later by two platoons from D Company. The attackers were under the command, of Capt. Strange, D.S.O., M.C., and them- were a number of officers in charge of the various platoons. Unfortunately the men bad to start off facing the direct front of the German trenches. While they were. assembling in the support trenches a heavy barrage had caught them, and heavy casualties were buffered.. Undeterred by this unfortunate occur- l rence, the men went over the top with a vigour that promised nothing good for the enemy. But there were other, and tragic, obstacle, for hardly had th?y r?ac)e No Man's Land when a further barrage caught them and accounted for more. than half of thier number. Capt. Stranio.- with commendable presendfe of mind. inspired the survivors and gallantly led them on to Aveluy Wood in face of a deadly fire. When the German trenebm- were reached there were onlv a hwidfffl of surr] vors, And Captain Strange, who appeared to have a charmed life, led this gaHant little band into the enemy lines. Once more the barrage caught them. and Captain Strange, after he had proceeded a very short distance, found that there"' was only a lance-oorporal left. The enemy held this line strongly, but despite the tremendous odds the intrepid officer forcod his "w^y thr<)ugii. In a rush after a ft- ing Boche he ran into a crowd of-Ger- mans, and a sharp hand-to-hand ejicoun- ter ensued. Captain Strange had five rounds loft in his revolTer. When the magaxine had been emptied, five enemy dead lay, grim evidence of the accuracy of the Britisher's aim. But still the Hun came on, and after killing two more Captain Strange, who was now, 90 far as he knew, the only survivor, was forced to surrender. A GLORIOUS FAILUftE. Had the attacks not suffered such severe casualties at the outset the Wood Height possibly have been taken, but in view of the wholesale massacre of the men before the German line was reached, and which was reported to Battalion Headquarters, the latter ordered .the at- tackers to retire. This order never reached Captain Strange, as jie was far in advance of the rest of the attackers, and the gallant few .who had. plodded on wth. him had fallen just as the German liP.- was reached. Of the 150 that set out otijy, about 40 men were left unwounded. As the official oommunique eai<}— There was hard fighting at Aveiuy Wood." I VI. TAKING OF MORVAL. 4 Next we have to relate the taking -of Morval Village. On August 29th, 1918, the Swansea Bat- talioa held a. position., wt Delvjile. In military parlanee the défint;on H pOe;i tion is an elastic one, and .in this oase it comprised shell-holes. For a night the Swansea men were dispersed here and- there in the," gteat cavities around the. outskirts of Delville, and some hours lafcer they moved up to Ginchy. Here what was once a village was now a heap of ruins. The cross-road* d'sappeared -,ini.- termittently in tha t region of shell-holes, and parties of men in their search fot *rue route would wander far away from their comrades The blackness of :he night was intense, but the oiftaeroj were unable to use their torch-lamps owing to the persistency of the "my macVme-guBA whicL held a position cent manding the Ginchy area. Eventually ife- was decided te move up along the sunkenf road, and warily the gallant little band" found their way to the trench^ Here there were two L'nes of trenches, anid-i. each was occupied by two companies the Battalion. On their right were 80. other battalions belonging te thB. I THE TASK.. I A battalion at full strength wo"old In (Continued on Page 8.\ z