THE STORY OF THE BATTALION: The Battle of Loos Part 2 - 6th Cameron Highlanders Souvenir Book - FEB 1916

THE STORY OF THE BATTALION: The Battle of Loos Part 2 - 6th Cameron Highlanders Souvenir Book - FEB 1916

24th September 1915 - 27th September 1915

All through the night we were subjected to a continuous hail of shrapnel and exposed to the bullets of the hidden snipers of the enemy. The night was wet and very cold. Meantime fresh troops had arrived on our left and our position became more tenable. Our men by this time were utterly worn out, hungry and miserably cold. Such was the state of affairs when, early on Sunday morning, the enemy, considerably reinforced, launched his counter-attack. The troops on our left were driven back, but our men held on though exposed to very heavy frontal and enfilade fire, till it was impossible to hold on longer, and we too had to withdraw. Considering the condition of our men, and the example set by other troops, thereat first was a danger of the retirement developing into a rout. A rally was made with a few men at the pit, and again further back. Thus, some of our men fighting a rear-guard action, the enemy were checked in their advance, and the Battalion was able to retire in good order for about 500 yards. Here, under cover, we formed up and in a long thin line again advanced. The Colonel here was magnificent. A conspicuous figure, he was always in front, and never sought concealment. We advanced by short rushes to within a very short distance from the enemy, who unfortunately had by this time posted themselves in positions of vantage. We were unsupported right or left, subjected to a withering fire from the front, and enfiladed by machine-guns from the wood on the left. We could do no more and were forced to withdraw to a defensive position to re-form and be reinforced. We had stopped the advance of the enemy, who proceeded to strengthen the position he now held. Shortly after we started to go back the Colonel turned round to have one more look at the enemy’s position; there he received his death-wound. By this time there were only three unwounded officers left in the Battalion, and these reorganised what was left of the Battalion and established themselves in a defensive position and remained there throughout the night. Meantime, a very important position just north of Loos was in danger of being rushed at any moment. It was a position as dangerous as it was important, and volunteers were called for to go up to hold the line. Tired and hungry as they were, Lieut. Wilson had little difficulty in getting a sufficient number of men, chiefly Camerons, to follow him, and these advanced through retiring battalions and established themselves in the position. They held on there till they were relieved on Monday morning by a cavalry division and went back to Mazingarbe where the remnants of the Battalion had formed up.

Created by: Christine3721

  • Profile picture for Joseph Wilson

    Born 1887

    Died 1917

    British Army Second Lieutenant Cameron Highlanders

    British Army Temporary Captain Cameron Highlanders

    British Army Captain Cameron Highlanders