South of the river Scarpe, the 7th Battalion were also attacking on the 28th April.
The action was one of the very few times that two Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment, were attacking the same objective.
Their Brigade (35th), attacked along the front line and advanced towards the remains of the village of Pelves. As with their counterparts in the 11th Battalion who were at the same time, advising about a quarter of a mile north of the river, the artillery had failed to silence the german machine gunners or cut all of the belt of defensive barbed wire. 7th Suffolk met a similar fate as 11th Suffolk at Roeux.
7th Norfolk on the left, and 5th Royal Berks on right advanced, but met withering machine-gun fire. 7th Suffolk remanned in their assembly trenches, but after just three minutes, the Germans launched a heavy counter-barrage, that came down on the reserve positions where 7th Suffolk were waiting.
Out in front, 7th Norfolk had failed to reach their objective. They were forced to go to ground and try to hold a line through the numerous shell holes that pock-marked the landscape. 5th Royal Berks succeeded in taking a small section of the German front line known as "Bayonet Trench" and its intersecting communication trench know as "Rifle Trench" but they could get no further.
Twenty minutes after zero hour, 7th Suffolk advanced from their positions at 4.48am and in artillery formation advanced towards the Royal Berks at Bayonet Trench. The Wair Diary recorded that "Heavy barrage + M.G. fire and attack failed. Unable to advance beyond Bayonet and Rifle trench" The machine-guners in the village of Roeux, north of the river had, once the Cambs-Suffolks attack failed, switched their line of fire south against the 12th Division's area of advance. Movement, and progress was now impossible in daylight so the Battalion consolidated in Bayonet Trench and here they remained, until relieved the following day.
Two failures, for two Suffolk Battalions in the Third Battle of the Scarpe. Things would however get better...
Welcome to our online 'blog' charting the history of the many Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment and the part they played in the Great War.
Starting back in March 2014, we have recorded the events of 100 years ago on the centenary of their happening.
Keep checking back to see how the Great War is progressing for the men of the Suffolk Regiment.