The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
26th April 1916On this day:
- Enemy Mine Explodes 6th County of London Brigade RFA at
Lt Barnard proceeded on 7 days leave of absence to England.
During the afternoon the enemy trench mortars were very active. They appeared to be using a new very heavy bomb.
At 1906 the enemy sprang a mine. The explosion was a large one and big columns of flame leapt into the air. Immediately after the explosion the enemy opened a heavy bombardment of our trenches and our artillery formed an effective barrage. The bombardment lasted about half an hour, died down, then opened again for a short time and then died down again.
- Inniskillings warned of gas attack On 26 April 1916 the 7th Inniskillings were holding the line near
Hulluch when word was given of a possible gas attack by the Germans.
According to reports, a German deserter had come across to the British
lines and informed them of the impending attack. Everything was done to
strengthen the lines of defence. Dug-outs were provided with blanket
curtains as protection against the gas.
- 26th April 1916 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Coy War Diary
- 26th April 1916 Regimental Field Work
- 26th Apr 1916 Supply drop Attempted
- 26th Apr 1916 7th Northumberlands on the Move
- 26th Apr 1916 Enemy Mine Explodes
- 26th Apr 1916 Supplies Sent Up
- 26th Apr 1916 Training
- 26th Apr 1916 Baths
- 26th Apr 1916 New CO
- 26th Apr 1916 Hot Day
- 26th Apr 1916 In Action
- 27th Apr 1916 Under Shellfire
- Early in the morning of the 27th April 1916 enemy action started with intensive fire from rifles and machine guns: this was followed about 4.45am with a heavy artillery bombardment and the release of great clouds of gas. The wind was particularly favourable to the enemy and at this stage of the War the means of defence against gas were hardly perfect.
Opposite the Inniskilling front the Germans left their trenches to attack. The Germans suffered some casualties crossing no mans land but penetrated into the 7th’s trench between B and C companies under cover of thick clouds of gas and smoke. Hand to hand fighting ensued and Germans were able to get away with a few prisoners including Capt. R.N. Murray who died the next day in a German field hospital from gas poisoning. D company also suffered severely. Very quickly Major Ross White came up from Battalion HQ and took the situation in hand. Within a few minutes the enemy were driven out of the trench a lot of them being shot as they retreated.
Later about 8am more gas was released by the Germans and a second advance attempted but it broke down under fire. Lt. H.B.O. Mitchell with the Lewis gun teams being specially notable for rapid and well-directed fire. By 11am the crises had passed, the 7th Battalion held its wrecked and gas poisoned trenches.
The night passed quietly and the Battalion sent out parties into no mans land which brought in several men who had been wounded or gassed.
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