Published By John Davies
100 Days. Battle of River Selle, 17-25 October 1918
Battle of the River Selle. Montrecourt. 9 Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 19-23 October 1918.
Following the capture of Cambrai the pursuit of the enemy continued speedily. By 13 October the British reached the western bank of the River Selle, the Germans were on the east bank. The river crossing was forced on 17 October and, after a pause to bring up he artillery, recommenced on 23 October.
During the 100 Days, Battle of the River Selle the 9 Bn RWF were in the area near St Aubert with Bn HQ at Montrecourt, to the north east of Cambrai, they were on the left of 19 Division’s front. Their objective was to capture the high ground along the railway embankment on the east bank of the River Selle. Zero hour was 2.00am 20 October.
During the afternoon of the 19 October a strong patrol was sent out with the endeavour to cross the river and secure a foothold on the east bank and on the embankment to cover the attack by the battalion. The patrol penetrated into the village of Saulzoir driving the enemy out – they also encountered civilians who informed them of the enemy dispositions. From this they were able to deploy advantageously and bring down fire to enfilade the embankment, again driving the enemy out. This allowed the remaining companies to come forward at zero hour and to quickly take up position on the embankment. They remained in this location until the night of 23 October when they were relieved and marched back to Rieux, Total casualties for the operation were Officers 1 KIA and 2 wounded, ORs 19 KIA and 61 wounded.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view centres on Saulzoir.
References and Sources WAR DIARY 9Bn RWF. Regimental History RWF p484
B&O 1918. 100 Days. Battle of River Selle. 9 Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 23 October 1918.