1st Sept 1918: 6th Bgde captures Mont St. Quentin

Mactier VC - H06787AThe 6th Brigade, some 1,334 strong, had been ordered to cross the Somme and move up behind the 5th Brigade in readiness to carry the attack and take possession of the remainder of the main Mont St. Quentin spur. Passing over the line won the previous day the 21st, 23rd and 24th Battalions assault in the rain carried it well over the crest of Mont St. Quentin. Pte Mactier (photograph top right) of the 23rd Battalion was killed while silencing machine guns that blocked the way for which he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. Sgt Lowerson of the 21st Battalion (photograph bottom right) led a charge that overcame the centre of resistance on the left flank, and Lieut. Towner of the 7th Machine Gun Company Lowerson VC - P02939_037provided continuous covering fire for which both men were awarded the Victoria Cross. Ferocious hand to hand fighting took place, with the bayonet to the fore and as a result very few enemy prisoners were taken that day. After two attempts the summit of the Mont was taken and with it a commanding position over Peronne and the land to the east. The 7th Brigade moved forward into support thereby relieving the 5th Brigade from front line duty. Meanwhile just to their south on the Australian 5th Division front the 14th Brigade had crossed the river at Clery (see map below) besides the 6th Brigade and the 53rd and 54th Battalions assaulted with a direct attack against Peronne. Many belts of wire had to be struggled through before crossing the moat and taking the western half of Peronne. Cpls Hall, Buckley (posthumously) and Pte Currey were all awarded the Victoria Cross. During the day the Brig-Gen. Elliott’s 15th Brigade made spirited attempts to cross the river and to co-operate from the south but suffered a number of casualties in the process.

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