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Webmatters : Battle of Festubert May 1915
Rough Map of Area

Festubert

16th May 1915

Continuing the battle

By 0900 hours Lieutenant General Sir Charles Monro commanding I Corps had ascertained that the offensive had stalled leaving a large gap between the two neighbouring divisions – 2nd to the north and the 7th to the south.

It was thus imperative that operations were put into action in order to close the gap down. The 6th Brigade (2nd Division) were therefore to work south-eastwards whilst the 7th Division which had suffered difficulties on its left flank were to make a further effort to link up to the north-east.

The manoeuvre was supposed to have begun at 1000 hours but the 6th Brigade was being so heavily shelled they couldn’t get sufficient supplies forward to undertake an assault.

The Ferme Cour d’Avoué from the rue des cailloux

The Ferme Cour d’Avoué from the Rue des cailloux
The junction is Princes Road coming in from the left
The Quadrilateral straddled the road between there and the farm

On the front of the 20th Brigade in 7th Division the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards managed to get across no man’s land as far as the Scots Guards and from here the two battalions mounted an assault towards the Quadrilateral stronghold by bombing along the trench. They took a number of prisoners and advanced 300 metres but an attempt to attack across the open was put to ground with heavy losses.

On the far right in 22nd Brigade the 1st Bn South Staffordshire not only consolidated their position but increased it by bombing their way southwards for a further 400 metres until they were opposite the front held by the 47th Division.

Next to the grounded 20th Brigade however, the Royal Welch Fusiliers who had gained the North Breastwork were unable to push the Germans out of the Orchard. With their left flank in the air and coming under increasing artillery fire the decision was taken at 1930 hours to abandon the position and retire back to the Quinque Rue.

The remaining 200 or so men from the Queen’s Regiment next to the Fusiliers also fell back but the Staffords held on to their newly won positions westwards from Staffordshire Corner.

During the night most of the battle worn units were relieved.