THE HAC IN THE GREAT WAR - AUGUST 1918


In Italy, the 2nd Battalion left the relative safety of the support lines, returning instead to the front. Although little contact was made with the enemy. The Battalion suffered many casualties due to shelling. In one incident an explosion launched a 300lb boulder through the roof and into the bed of Lieutenant N Viney MC. Thankfully, he wasn’t present at the time. After twenty days of shelling the Battalion was finally sent down the Asiago Mountains to a small village called Grumo where they enjoyed pleasant billets with large open spaces, utilised as cricket, football and hockey fields.

In Palestine ‘A’ Battery, having been relieved by the 270th Royal Field Artillery, had begun diligent training due to rumours of a ‘Great Autumn Offensive.’ On the 23rd, one section was ordered to take up a prepared position just north of Arsuf before engaging three lines of Turkish trenches on the 25th and 26th.



At the Rheims-Soissons sector in France, the Siege Battery on the 8th August opened fire upon the entire enemy front. Inflicting huge amounts of damage on the enemy Batteries. Reportedly at such a pace that many of the enemy guns were never able to come into action. The next evening the Battery was taken out of action in readiness to move to Buire-sur-Ancre in the early hours of August 10th.  After another successful attack, on the morning of the 12th August, The Battery then moved once again to Dernancourt where they participated in an evening attack, which pushed the enemy back even further. In the words of Gunner W.R. Kingham “the rapidity of the enemy’s retreat gave us a welcome spell of enforced idleness.”

On the 7th August, 2/A Battery was relocated to the Tilloy Reserve Trench, 28 kilometres south east of Arras, with the rest of the Brigade. Having camouflaged their positions brought ammunition to the point the Battery dug in until the 26th August when they launched a barrage in support of the British assault on the German lines astride the Scarpe River.

2/B Battery assisted with a large assault at Arras on the 26th August where they fired a barrage from concealed areas, taking the enemy by surprise. Canadian infantry following tanks then stormed the village of Monchy-le-Preux, the final objective of the attack.