4th Feb 1917 – Capt. Murray of 13th Bn wins Victoria Cross

The 13th Battalion was tasked in attacking Stormy Trench again. In order to meet the chief danger of the German counter-attack 12,000 bombs were carried forward to the ‘jumping-off’ position, plus 1,000 rifle grenades to combat the greater range of the enemy egg bombs. The field artillery was also to double its expenditure of shells. To avoid noise during assembly the men’s feet were muffled with sandbags. As with the previous attack good progress was made and the trench easily captured along with a number of deep dug-outs. The counter attack came and desperate bombing fights ensued, followed by a swift, heavy and accurate German barrage on the supporting and bomb-carrying troops. The success of the attack was largely due to Capt. Murray’s leadership on the right for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, though the operation had cost the Australians about 350 casualties against the German losses of 250 including 100 missing.

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