moggs, on 13 December 2010 - 10:07 PM, said:
Many thanks, Moggs - so a raiding party in moderate strength, the purpose of which is not revealed in the unit's own war diary and doubtless needs to be sought in the records of higher echelons. It sounds like a doughty scrap, though, so thanks for drawing attention to this action a couple of weeks before the major battle at Fromelles.
Counter-attacking across NML to the enemy trenches after repulsing a raid doesn't sound at all like 6BRD, who had been in the sector for a very long time and were essentially defensive within the positions they had devoted a lot of time and effort to constructing - as witnessed by the fact that they did not counter-attack across NML in the wake of the attacks on 9 May 1915 (Aubers Ridge, but over basically the same ground) or 19/20 July 1916, despite having available reserves and, at least for the time being, the tactical advantage. So I think it must have been their neighbours to the right.
Incidentally, according to the war diary, the raid appears to have taken place on 2 July rather than 3 July, and it was the German counter-attack that took place the following day. The war diary also uses the term 'gallantly' to describe the conduct of the officers and men of the battalion in the face of the enemy bombardment and the subsequent assault on their trenches, which cost the enemy 12 killed and 30 wounded and ended with twelve Germans reaching their parapet and five entering their trenches. That term seems entirely appropriate in the context of troops successfully defending an entrenched position, and it was clearly considered to be the right term by the battalion diarist at the time. To now hype such a minor action to the level of 'heroism' is to leave no scope for characterising the extremes of courage that transcend 'mere gallantry' and, when applied to a unit only recently arrived on the Western Front, seems more than a little disparaging to the troops who had been stoically and equally gallantly enduring similar and greater trials there since 1914.