MONDAY, MAY 8th

Company Sergeant Major F E Cross

Company Sergeant Major F E Cross

It has turned very cold again, very trying, and showers. A great strafe last night. Ricardo on our right had arranged a raid for 11.30 p.m. The Bosche arranged one just on his right for 11.00 p.m. He was desperately bombarded for three hours with trench mortars and other missiles. He carried out his raid, and did great execution. His casualties for the night were heavy, 17 killed and 67 wounded. They put in a lot of stuff here from 11.00 p.m. to 2.00 a.m., but we got off lightly—one killed (Sgt-Maj. Cross) I’m sorry to say, and four wounded. It was a noisy night. The men manned the trenches and fired a certain amount, which kept their minds occupied, but they were splendid. Just heard from Ricardo, who says his men were magnificent. I was in touch with the three Coys in the line the whole time, as the wires were not cut, and sat with the ‘phone in my hand till 3.00 a.m., thoroughly knowing the situation on our front. Gen. N. and G.S.O.1. arrived on their way to Ricardo, anxious to know what we saw from here, and our views. I told him it was asking for trouble doing the same thing each time on these raids, and that the Bosche knew exactly what to expect and when. The night’s casualties must have been 200. We got one German officer and some prisoners, and of course, cannot guess approximately what the Bosche casualties from our fire was, but it must have been equal to ours. Relief tonight.


Footnote

The casualty was:
15719 Warrant Officer Class II Francis Edward Cross, killed in action by shellfire at Hamel on 8 May 1916; Hamel Military Cemetery.

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