3rd May 1918: Unsuccessful 48th Bn attack brings Somme fighting to a close

Mitchell, GD LieutAt 2am the 48th Battalion moved into position for the attack at Monument Wood but just as they were about to advance they were spotted and flares shot into the air to illuminate the area. A short and weak barrage at zero hour, followed by ferocious machine-gun fire and frenetic throwing of stick bombs in the area of the wire caused many casualties and the attack failed. Once the fighting had ended stretcher-bearers went out to recover the wounded under the supervision of a young German officer that had climbed out of his trench. Lieut. GD Mitchell, MC, (photograph above right) of the 48th did the same and they made arrangements for a formal armistice allowing the Australians to bury their dead in No-Man’s Land and bring back the wounded. At the end both officers saluted and returned to the trenches. With this unsuccessful effort the Second Battle of the Somme, which for most of the British Army had ended of 5th April, closed on the French and British forces in front of Amiens.

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