Published By John Davies
Monchy le Preux. 2 Bn South Wales Borderers. 19 May 1917
2 Bn South Wales Borderers moved into the defence trenches at Monchy le Preux on 14 May 1917 when they relieved the 7 Bn KSLI. They were engaged on working parties building, amongst other things, latrines, forward ammunition dumps as well as wiring. On the evening of 19 May a raid on the enemy line was planned. At zero hour of 9.00pm the attack went forward. As soon as they had gone over the top they were met by heavy machine gun fire from their left centre and many men fell within yards of the start position. Nevertheless they pushed on until about 100 yards further when the hostile fire forced them to take cover. Two men, , Sergeant White (CWGC) and Corporal Norvell (CWGC), made a gallant attempt to silence the gun but both were shot down within yards of the enemy position. The machine gun fire made it impossible to continue and the attack was checked. Only 1 officer and 36 other ranks got back after dark unscathed, altogether there were 79 casualties – 2 officers and 6 ORs killed, 1 officer and 26 ORs wounded and 44 missing. The next day the battalion was relieved and returned to Arras.
References and Sources War Diary 2 Bn SWB
B&O 1917. Arras. Monchy le Preux. 2 Bn South Wales Borderers. 19 May 1917