Orchard Dump
Webmatters : The battle for Trônes Wood August 1918
Rough Map of Area

Trônes Wood

26th August 1918

Monument to the 18th Division

The wood fell to the Germans during their great offensive in March 1918. It remained in their hands until the 26th August 1918 when, by a quirk of fate, the 18th Division were once again required to take it.

On the evening of the 25th August 1918 the Division (which had recently taken Montauban) were brought forward after a days rest and ordered to take the wood: this time from north to south.

An artillery barrage was organised to follow their movement which was based on the presumption that their flanks were, or would be covered by the flanking Divisions which was not actually the case.

The 7th Bn Royal West Kent Regiment accompanied by the 8th Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment had little difficulty in getting through the German forward positions where they then waited for the barrage to turn from east to south before continuing on.

The 8th Berkshire were supposed to pivot about the northern apex of Trônes Wood with two companies either side of the wood

The failure to have Longueval secured put the Berkshire battalion in difficulty as it came under enfilading fire from Waterlot Farm on its left, whose garrison also launched a counter attack which pushed the Berkshiremen towards the western edge of the wood where they linked up with the West Kent battalion.

Despite the fact that the British artillery was shelling the wood the Germans now launched a strong counter attack against the southern part of the wood and the British were ejected from the wood.

An immediate riposte was ordered by 18th Division and two companies of the 10th Bn Essex Regiment and one from the 8th Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment crept up as close as they could to a new barrage and caught the new defenders by surprise killing fifty and capturing seventy-three along with twenty machine guns.

This time the wood was definitely held by the Allies.