Published By John Davies
Lens. Avion. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 10 June 1918.
During June 1918 the 6 Bn KSLI were in the line at Avion near to Lens. At this time, and in this sector, the Kaiser Offensive operations had subsided. The next phase, Operation Gneisau, would be against French troops to the south. With the ending of the Offensive life in the trenches had returned to ‘normality’. Since the 1 June the 6 Bn KSLI had been in the front line with battalion HQ in Anxious Trench at Avion. The time had been relatively quiet with few casualties. At this time too the battalion was sending out frequent patrols to gather intelligence as to enemy disposition and activity.
At 10.45pm on 10 June two patrols were sent out into ‘no man’s land’, which in this sector, rather than ‘countryside’, had many wrecked buildings and much rubble meaning it was difficult to move around without making noise. The patrols were spotted. The enemy immediately ordered down an artillery and trench mortar barrage on the British front line. Gas shells were also fired into the support lines. The two patrols were caught in the open. The barrage lasted for about 30 minutes then the men were able to make their cautious way back to the front line. Casualties were 1 officer KIA (Lieutenant LA Cox – CWGC) and 1 wounded, 3 ORs KIA and 16 wounded. William Collins was hit in the leg, back and arm. He and the other wounded were evacuated back to a CCS at Aubigny. William died three days later.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view centres on Avion,
References and Sources WAR DIARY 6 Bn KSLI. Regimental History KSLI
B&O 1918 KO. Blucher-Yorck. Avion, Lens. 6 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 10 June 1918.