Published By John Davies
Battle of Epehy. St Emilie & Ronssoy. 10 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 18 September 1918.
The Battle of Epehy was part of a general advance made against the Hindenburg Line on the Somme. The objective was to establish a line from which the Hindenburg line could be assaulted. The attack commenced at 5.30am on 18 September 1918.
The 10 Bn KSLI moved off from Longavesnes at 2.00am on 18 September and took up positions to the south of St. Emilie at Map A. The KSLI were on the right of the brigade front supporting the 16 Bn Devonshire Regiment in the lead. The first objective was the trench line at Orchard Post (Map B), once captured by the Devonshires the 10 Bn KSLI would take over the lead for the assault on the second objective of Benjamin Posts. Map C & D)
At 5.30am zero hour the barrage opened up and the attack commenced, the troops advancing under the creeping barrage. There was a dense mist which caused the lead battalion to lose direction. Despite this the KSLI reached Orchard Post. They waited here until the barrage recommenced after 1½ hours and then moved forward to the second objective. Progress was slower as units to their right became held up, by noon the KSLI had reached the Switch Trench at Map E – Second Lieutenant J McMillan (CWGC) was KIA during the advance. Soon afterwards they had reached the crossroads to the south of Benjamin Post and from there rushed the position and captured it and their objective was achieved. The support and reserve companies then came forward to occupy the Switch Trench and Hussar Road just to the rear. To their left the 25 Bn RWF had been held short and the KSLI flank was exposed. During the night the enemy tried to get around the left flank but were driven back with hand grenades. The next day the advance would continue.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view centres on St Emilie and Ronssoy
References and Sources WAR DIARY 10 Bn KSLI. Regimental History KSLI page 196
B&O 1918. 100 Days. Battle of Epehy. Somme. 10 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 18 September 1918.