Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:19 am
I hope this helps a wee bit, it's from the History of the 8th Battalion, Black Watch.
"On the 17th, orders were received that the 5th Camerons would attack Snag Trench early the following day, together with one company of The Black Watch………….On the evening of the 17th the Camerons and B company (sic 8th Black Watch) concentrated in the front line, the remaining three companies (sic 8th BW) occupying the Flers line, now vacated by the reserve companies of the Camerons. At 3.40 a.m. on the 18th the Camerons attacked and captured Snag Trench. B company (sic 8th BW) did not actually take part in the attack, but remained in the Camerons old front line in support. During the day the Camerons consolidated their ground, and at 8.30 p.m. the 8th (sic BW) relieved them in the newly captured position, the line being held by D company on the right, A company in the centre and C on the left, with B in support in the original front line. The 21st Brigade, 30th Division, was on the right and the South African Brigade on the left.
The rest of the story is about 8th BW.
"At 5.30 a.m. on the 19th the Germans started a counter-attack by bombing; on the right D company easily held its own, an attack with a flamenwerfer being stopped by Private Tait with a well-aimed Mills bomb. On the left, things went badly, the South Africans were bombed out of their trench and crowded into C company's line, completely blocking the trench. The German bombers were close after them, and, hurling their bombs into the overcrowded trench, inflicted heavy casualties on C company. Second Lieutenant Anderson was killed while trying to organize a counter-attack, and the Company Commander and Company Sergeant-Major were both wounded. During the confusion which followed the Germans succeeded in capturing C company's line and pressed down onto A, but a counter-attack, headed by Second Lieutenants Campsie and Craven, drove them back; Craven was unfortunately killed and Campsie wounded.
At 7.30 a.m. captain Taylor brought up B company, which had been in support, and by vigorous bombing attacks succeeded in capturing C company's line, with the result that by noon the 8th had retaken the whole of its line, though touch with the South Africans was not regained until 5 p.m., when the whole position was reoccupied.
Throughout the day rain fell in torrents, and the trenches were in an appalling state, movement along them being practically impossible; in fact, the conditions under which this fighting took place could not have been worse, and its success in recapturing the position speaks highly for the determination and fighting spirit of the Battalion. In the History of the 9th Scottish Division the author major J. Ewing M.C., concludes the account of the fighting with the following words "The whole of the defences were then reorganized, but the enemy did not venture again to tackle The Black Watch." "
My Gt Uncle was in B Coy , 8th Black Watch.