On 13th June 1917, the C.O. of 2nd Suffolk, Major Guy Clifford Stubbs, went forward infant of his Battalions positions in the front line to reconnoitre the ground in preparation for the forthcoming attack the next day.
Accompanied by the commanding officer of 1st Gordon Highlanders, Lieutenant-Colonel James Burnett, they mapped the land in front of them, and agreed the Battalion boundaries for the attack. Satisfied that they had attained the necessary information, they returned to the Allied lines and drew up a combined co-operational attack for the next morning. In the darkness, Company's were detailed off into position at 1.00am and at 3.00am on the morning of the 14th operation orders were distributed by Adjutant, Captain Trollope, who had along with the CO, moved from their HQ in the rear into the Quarry just behind the Allied trenches.
The Battalion's objective was the high ground due east of the village of Monchy-le-Preux, named "Infantry Hill" The Hill had at its base "Hook trench" which was the Battalion's objective. At 7.20 am, the Battalion advanced. The scene was reminiscent of the first day of the Battle back in April - complete surprise. Fire came from one lone solitary sentry only as the War Diary recalled; "Attack launched, and appeared a complete surprise except for the fire of one sentry on our extreme left. Our artillery barrage came down according to programme. Bosch barrage fell on Saddle, Hill and Shrapnel trenches cutting all wires forward and to Brigade"
The enemy fire was for once landing in the area between the front and second lines, along a series of interlocking communication and support trenches, but the severing of communications was a blow. The Signals section were despatched from the Quarry by Major Stubbs, to see if the lines could be repaired, meanwhile the first message were coming in from the men out in front.
Lieutenant Barton reported at 7.30am, that "first line had reached HOOK TRENCH" and fifteen minutes later he reported that "X-Coy had passed over the crest (of Infantry Hill) and prisoners were coming in." As the sounds of fighting gradually died down, Major Stubbs waited patiently for news of his men on the Hill. Two hours later, a runner appeared with a written message from Hook Trench to state that many prisoners had been taken, along with several machine guns, and two grenade throwers, casualties being "light."
Just after 10.00am, further messages were received. The CO of 'X' Company reported that Long Trench (the closest to the enemy in front of the Bois de Vert) had been taken and they were making good their defences. A defensive post was established on the right flank of Battalion's new positions to cover a gap of some yards between the Suffolks and the Gordons, but the remainder of the dat was quiet.
At 6.00pm, the Germans tried to retake the Hill however, after a spirited artillery barrage, their attack was beaten back. The night was also "quiet" and the darkness allowed the Battalion to continue to strengthen their new positions.
The day was successful for the Battalion, but it was not without loss. One man killed that day was a young Jewish immigrant form London. Hyman Revensky enlisted into the Army in 1915, joining first the 20th Battalion, London Regiment (Blackheath and Woolwich) before being wounded on the Somme. After recuperation, he joined 2nd Suffolk in early 1917. He lived with his parents at 34, East India Dock Road in Poplar in east London, where they resided on the first two floors. Because the line advance far that day, Revensky's body was found and buried in Faubourge d'Amiens cemetery at Arras.
His grave is virtually unique for it states his first name, as well as his surname. Every other Commonwealth war grave bears just the deceased soldiers initials.
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.