3rd Oct 1918: 22nd Bn continues 2nd Div attack on Beaurevoir Line

braithwaite-2Orders arrived at 3pm for the 22nd Battalion to be prepared to move forward in readiness to attack the German positions on the high ground to the right of the village of Beaurevoir, between the villages of Estrees and Geneve. The area was filled with enemy dead, the result of an attack earlier in the day by the 5th Brigade. A new zero hour had been set for 6.30pm, but this message did not arrive back with Lieut-Col Wiltshire until just seven minutes before the off, passing the message ‘we attack in seven minutes’ to Lieut.’s Sutherland and Anderson. After a not very intense 18-pounder barrage of six minutes duration the 22nd waves pushed on through the 18th Battalion in isolated outposts just beyond the JOT. Resistance was strongest along the Roman Road along which the 22nd Battalion was attacking. From the men of the 5th Brigade near the road came a warning of ‘mind the quarry’, an excavation on the right of the road held by a strong garrison, all of whom were bayoneted once the position was reached. The attack was made with such verve and initiative that despite a strenuous resistance by enemy Paterson - P05833machine-gunners on the left flank all objectives were quickly secured along with 100 prisoners, thirty machine-guns, four 77mm guns and one 5.9 howitzer. This very decisive victory cost the Battalion only twenty casualties. However amongst the eleven killed were two very well-known and popular officers, Capt. Braithwaite, MC, (photograph above right) and Lieut. Paterson, MC, (photograph below right) commanding officers of ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies respectively. Capt. Braithwaite along with Lewis gunner Cpl Bonnet were killed in the act of charging the troublesome machine-gun on the left flank. As Capt. Braithwaite fell those nearby heard his last orders ‘Go on C Company’. Lieut.-Col. Wiltshire later wrote, ‘on they charged, mopping up the position and fully avenging their Captain’s death’. Capt. Paterson was killed at a copse on the crest. At 10.30pm instructions came through that the attack was to be continued in the morning in conjunction with the 23rd Battalion on the right and British 7th Brigade on the left. That night the Transport and Quartermasters Staff again did great work delivering rations and stores right up to the men in the front line.

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