Attack at Ypres-Comines Canal, in vicinity of Lock No 6. 10th Battalion (Kent County) Royal West Kent Regiment report "At daybreak the Battalion assembled on the east side of lock 6 and attacked, reaching line East of Houthem. The Battalion was relieved at night by 11th Queens.
At 0535 the Battalion formed up to attack down the eastern side of the Ypres-Commines Canal, final objective being E of Houthem and 500 yards north of Comines Railway Station. The 23rd Btn, Middlesex Regt had their left on the canal and their right 600 yards east. The 10th Kents attacked on a 1200 yard front on the Middlesex Left. Both the battalions passed through the outpost line of the 124 Brigade at Kortwild. The morning was fine but a ground fog hid the attack from the enemy. Several MG Posts were surprised and outflanked with little loss. Four Howitzers and a 4.2 Battery were taken at breakfast. Also three 7.7cm guns were captured with 40 prisoners, 5 machine guns. At 0915 the Battalion was on the Comines railway line and the 23rd Middlesex had sent out patrols to get in touch with XVth Corps coming up from Warneton.
Casualties up to time of reaching the objective was 6. The Enemy was seen flying in Motor Cars from Comines and from Messines in Motor Lorries.
Owing to the Brigade on the left not coming up and the XV Corps not gaining their objectives, the 123rd Brigade had made a salient of 4500 yards x 1800 yards. Both flanks of the 10th Kentís were exposed and the enemy pushed out machine guns and enfiladed both flanks. Also firing 7.7cm guns from the other side of the canal into their backs over open sights.
The 10th Kents and Middlesex were compelled to withdraw to Houthem. 2/Lt. E.F.Weston in Command of B Coy, and 3 Machine Guns covering the left flank. The enemy counter-attacked twice, trying to recover his guns and lost heavily from Rifle Fire, Machine Guns and our Artillery Barrage leaving many dead in front of Commines. That night the 11th Queens relieved the 10th Kents in the Houthem Line.
This was the Battalions first experience this year in open warfare and the men had thoroughly learnt the lessons of encircling Machine Guns and keeping their extension. The losses up to the final objective being only 6 proving this as they worked under very heavy Machine gun fire from Front and both flanks. The leading and direction in a thick ground fog was excellent.
Total Casualties for the day Officers Wounded 7 Other Ranks Killed and died of wounds 35 Wounded 90 Missing 20.
Lt Colonel Commanding 10th Btn. Royal West Kent Regt.
Trench map, World War, 1914-1918; Ypres, Belgium 30amp; France. January, 1918 - 1:40,000.
Lock 6 is near the point where the canal turns sharply SE."