Part 4: The Grand Bois attack.
The 1 Gordons attack on the Grand Bois was from the west supported by fire from 1 Black Watch in the Petit Bois (shown on the map as the Bois de Conchy).
“The final, and only successful, attack of 04 June was put in by the 1st Gordons, supported by the 1st Black Watch and machine-gunners from both the Northumberland Fusiliers and the 1st Kensingtons. There were two tasks: first to clear the Grand Bois from the north west, then to move on to the Bois de Cambron. This latter wood dominated the valley running south from Cambron to Moyenneville and when held would, in Colonel Swinburn’s estimation, ‘both cover the left flank of the final stages of the 51st Division attack and also cut off the garrison of the enemy posts on the Miannay-Moyenneville plateau’.
Two companies of the 1st Gordons, B and C, were due to storm the Grand Bois from their positions along the Cahon valley while elements of the 1st Black Watch attacked the Petit Bois, a much smaller wood to the south from where they could cover the Gordons’ advance. A Company of the 1st Gordons was to remain in position at Gouy, on the banks of the Somme Canal, while D Company would be waiting in reserve behind the forward companies.”
Extract, with kind permission, from “Churchill’s Sacrifice of the Highland Division”, Saul David (Pages 86-89)
The Petit Bois
Coming soon………….Part 5: Surrender at St. Valery.