On the morning of the 18th September after a few days in reserve, the 15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Battalion attacked once more towards the village of Templeux le Gerrard.
Heading for the “Green” line, ‘B’ Company were on the right, ‘C’ Company on the left, behind were ‘A’ and ‘D’. In a change of the tactics of previous Battalions in previous battles, all four Company’s were committed to the assault, with no reserve. Two platoons at a time, the leading Company’s advanced to the right of the village of Templeux le Gerrard, The advance was swift and well executed, though thick mist covered the ground. The moppers-up in ‘D’ Company kept up close with the assaulting Company’s to ensure that any enemy that remained, were taken quickly.
“Being entirely successful” wrote the War Diary “enemy surrender without much resistance but MGs nests held out determinedly. Dense fog, direction difficult to keep”. Within two hours the first object had been taken and consolidation began. Over 300 prisoners had been taken along with 30 machine guns.
The following days were spent in salvage collecting and the administration of prisoners. Called to support an further advance by the 10th Buffs on the 21st, the remaining days of September were in support or being called up to act as moppers-up for other Battalions advancing. Heavy enemy shelling caused nearly one hundred casualties, during their period in the line here.
Trooper M.H. Rushbrook was one of the casualties of the advance towards Epehy, dying of wound received on 17th September. As No. 320112, Mapes Harry Rushbrook was one of just a handful of men still serving with the Battalion who had landed at Gallipoli almost three years before (as No. 1617). Born at Witton, Norfolk, he enlisted at Hasketon. he remained with the Regiment until 1918 (when he was renumbered as 320112). Buried at Bronfay Farm Cemetery, he had been a domestic groom at Redisham Hall near Beccles before the war.
Image courtesy: Norfolk County Archives
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.
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