Chapter XXII
The Capture of Pozieres
Randwick to Hargicourt, pp. 162-163
Eric Wren

July 22nd [1916] was spent in making final arrangements and in giving instructions for the operations of the ensuing night. The fact that the three waves of each attacking line – scouts, attackers, and carriers – had to issue from the same assembly trench, made it necessary to effect a change in the organization [sic] of the sections on either flank. While this somewhat complicated  movement was being carried out in a trench, the narrowness of which hardly allowed men to pass each other, further confusion was caused by a German 5.9 (the only shell to fall in the trench while we occupied it), which killed Lance-Corporal A.D. HAMILTON [558] and wounded most of his section. HAMILTON’s death was greatly mourned by D Company. He had been a vaudeville artist, and his songs and cheerful humour had done much to enliven route marches and battalion concerts.

At the appointed time, 8 p.m., the companies moved off in single file and reached the front line without incident, except in the case of the rear half of D Company, which was neatly cut in two by a traffic-control man, who misdirected it to the right. After wandering in the “outer darkness” somewhere in the 3rd Brigade area, the “tourists” were eventually discovered by a patrol sent out by the company commander, and were re-united with their company. Though the 3rd Battalion had nearly four hours (from 9 p.m. to 1 .a.m.) to wait, almost the whole time was occupied in sorting out and reorganizing [sic] the attacking lines. This task was carried out under moderate to heavy machine-gun and artillery fire, which rather rattled the men and made it impossible to carry out the precises details of the plan. As it happened, the right company (D), escaped serious sheeling, but the left (C) and supporting companies (A and B) suffered severely, the loss in the two last mentioned being mainly due to the shallowness of their assembly trench.

[In total 139 soldiers have been identified as having died in the fighting at Pozieres (20 July-18 August) who all have no known grave. One hundred and four (104) soldiers from the Pozieres fighting are indicated as having died between 22-27 July 1916 and have no known grave. Of these only three have their date of death recorded as 22 July 1916].

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