Published By Ben Hillidge
Battle of Menin Road. Tower Hamlets. 1/6 Bn Cheshire Regiment. 24 September 1917
On 20 September, the opening day of the battle of Menin Road, the 1/6 Bn Cheshire Regiment was in reserve to 118 Brigade. By 2.00am they were in position at Shrewsbury Wood (Map A). The main assault went over at 5.40am but had been held up by the German strong point of Tower Hamlets (Map B). At 7.40am a company of the battalion was called forward to reinforce 17 Bn King’s Royal Rifles at Tower Hamlets. A second company went forward shortly afterwards and secured the left flank. Here they remained until late afternoon. At 6.30pm a company was ordered to support an attack by 41 Division to their left. The advance was made under machine gun fire but they secured their objective. However the main assault failed and after holding out all night the company was withdrawn. The battalion was relieved on the night of 22 September and went back to the reserve lines in Larch Wood at the railway line near to Zwarteleen. The next day they moved forward, again in reserve, to occupy the old British front line (Map C). On the evening of the next day, 24 September, they were ordered further forward to occupy a line of connected shell holes along the banks of the Bassevillebeek stream (Map D). They were to support and be a reserve for the 4/5 Black Watch and were put under command of that battalion. However, with the failure of the main assault no further progress could be made. The battalion remained here until the night of 27 September when they were relieved and moved back to camp to the south of Westoutre. Casualties during this period were KIA 2 officers 49 ORs, wounded 8 officers 167 ORs and 51 missing.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view, centres on approximate site of Tower Hamlets. Shrewsbury Wood to the south west,
References and Sources WAR DIARY 1/6 Bn Ches. Rgt. page 106. History Ches.Rgt. 119
B&O 1917. Third Ypres. Battle Menin Road. 1/6 Bn Cheshire Rgt. 24 Sept 1917.