Published By John Davies
Arras. Feuchy. 1/5 Bn Cheshire Regiment. 20-23 May 1918
In the days following the end of Operation Georgette the 1/5 Bn Cheshire Regiment was in the Arras area. At this time there had been a lull in the offensive which would recommence the next week and the start of Operation Blucher-Yorck.
The 1/5 Bn Cheshire Regiment was a pioneer battalion. They were fighting soldiers but their main function was to excavate and prepare trenches and fortifications. On the 8 May 1918 the battalion had moved into billets at Rue de Capucins in the south west quadrant of Arras. They would spend the month working on the Feuchy trench system, each night going up to the front digging and improving the trenches as well as laying wire. The weather was hot and sunny. The nights were clear and starlit with a bright moon. The days were spent at Arras preparing for the next evenings labours.
The men were also given some time off with alternate platoons taking rest days. Also, on 16 May, the battalion played a rugby match against a team from C Battery 277 RFA, Northern Rugby Union rules – the battalion lost 39-3, according to the War Diary ‘The opposing team was exceptionally strong. The personnel of the Battery are primarily men of Widnes and Runcorn, the meeting of the teams was much appreciated by all’.
The battalion had started by working on Blangy Trench in the area to between Feuchy and Tilloy les Mofflaines on the west slope of the shallow Scots Valley. Over the 20-23 May they were working on communication trenches between the support lines and front line. They were also constructing a camouflaged communication trench leading to two machine gun posts in the forward area at H27a & G36c Enemy activity was light with work hindered on occasion by enemy shelling with HE and gas. Casualties were 10 ORs wounded.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view centres on location of Blangy Trench, Feuchy
References and Sources War Diary 1/5 Bn Cheshire Regiment.
B&O 1918 KO, Georgette. Arras. Feuchy. 1/5 Bn Cheshire Regiment. 23 May 1918