Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.
To - Z - 11.
Day of Month 18-8-16.
INTELLIGENCE. At 2.24 a.m. 3 O.R. under Sergt. POPE left our sap running out from TORR TOP and placed an ammonal tube under the enemy wire 20 yards south of sap under cover of our bombardment of LOOP and of our M.G. fire. At 3 a.m. the tube was fired successfully and a raiding party under Lieut. BOLE left our sap and attempted to rush enemy trench by means of the gap created in the wire.
When the leading men got through the wire they were caught by enemy machine gun fire and bombs and every member of the raiding party except Lieut. BOLE was either wounded or killed. It would appear that the enemy were standing to and awaiting our attack as the enemy trench was very thickly held and they appeared to be waiting for us as immediately our party left our sap enemy bombs began to fall and our men were wiped out almost as they came out of the sap. In spite of this however our men succeeded in throwing about 20 mills bombs amongst the enemy, the orders being "Out of the trench a volley and a rush". L/Cpl. Reynolds in spite of enemy's fire succeeded in reaching their parapet where he found three lines of trip wire. On realising the gravity of the situation he threw as many bombs as possible into the enemy trench and retired wounded in several places.
At this junction Lieut. Churchill and his support party proceeded to the assistance of the raiding party. Lieut. Bole seeing them coming gave orders for them to stand fast knowing with what reception they would have been met. Lieut. Bole then proceeded to clear the wounded from the field of action ably assisted by Lieuts. Churchill and Munn, the latter being the Lewis Gun Officer, he having stationed himself with one of his guns in No Man's Land.
Lieut. Bole sent order back by runner to 41ST Battery, Stokes Gun and 2" trench mortars to open up as prearranged for our retirement. This barrage was most satisfactory and must undoubtedly been effective. Under cover of this these three officers evacuated all the casualties. At this point I may say that having cleared the first two wounded, Lieut. Bole was of the opinion that a block in the sap was immediately necessary. he and Lieuts. Munn and Churchill proceeded to build the same, after which they continued clearing the wounded. Lieut. Munn had a Lewis Gun placed at this block to meet any counter move of the enemy. The whole operation took about 60 minutes.
POPE carrying out a reconnaissance located two hostile patrols, one north and one south of the sap on our side of the wire. One of these patrols was bombed by Sergt. POPE and seen to retire. It was after this that the second enemy patrol was seen further to the south than the first one, this latter being about 45 yds. away.
Our patrol on its return reported to Lieut. BOLE. During the time that the ammonal tube was being placed in position the party placing it heard a man apparently wearing heavy boots moving along enemy trench from south to north. This was duly reported. It will be seen from the foregoing that although casualties were suffered from the time the party left the sap, those who were not hit advanced until every man of the party was a casualty.
I cannot speak too highly of the bravery and tenacity of the three officers who took part in the raids, vis. Lieut. BOLE, CHURCHILL and MUNN and or every man of the raiding party. Had not the enemy been standing to at the time of the raid we would have undoubtedly established identity and cause more casualties to the enemy than we did. The clearing of the casualties by the three officers above mentioned was done under heavy machine gun fire and rifle fire. Our casualties were:- 1 killed and 15 wounded, two or three of whom I regret to say will probably die.
Another patrol under Cpl. Murphy of the Scouts operated from 10.45 p.m. to 2.15 p.m. from trench 60 to the LOOP to endeavour to ascertain the damage to enemy trenches by our bombardment of the afternoon. They saw a strong enemy wiring party working in front of the LOOP. Patrol on discovering this returned as they were unable to get closer to actually ascertain what damage had been done.
A.C. HILL, Lt.-Col.
O. Commanding Royal Cdn. Regt.
From - R.C.R.
Time - 9.50 A.M.