Published By Ben Hillidge
Somme. La Fère & River Oise. 2/2 Bn London Regiment. 21 March 1918.
During March 1918 the 2/2 Bn London Regiment were operating in the line at the Oise Canal near La Fère. On 20 March they were occupying a line between Travecy and the Canal close to La Fère. Early in the morning of 21 March, the opening day of Operation Michael, Kaiser Offensive, the battalion posts reported ‘All quiet’; by 6.30am they were reporting heavy shelling, then communications were cut. By 7.30am the enemy was reported to be in the Brickyards and had occupied the communication trenches cutting off B Company – by 8.00 am their War Diary reports ‘no further news from A Coy at Travecy’. By 9.30am the enemy was occupying the Quarry and were also moving to hold the Japy Works. At 10.15am orders were received to withdraw, the Diary records that ‘Capt. GC Seers, CSM HM Boag and 40 OR constituted the remnants of the battalion’ retreated back to the line of the St. Quentin Canal, The battalion role on 20 March was 22 Officers and 585 ORs, apart from those who had got back to the St Quentin Canal, all others were killed, wounded, missing or taken prisoner. The fighting continued the following day with further retreats back towards Amiens.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view centres on La Fere.
References and Sources WAR DIARY 2/2Bn London Regiment.
B&O 1918. Kaiser Offensive. Op Michael. La Fère & Oise Canal. 2/2 Bn London Rgt. 21 March 1918.