Published By Ben Hillidge
Somme. Lebucquiére. 1/4 Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. 23 March 1918.
On the opening day of Operation Michael, Kaiser Offensive the 1/4 Bn KSLI was at Beaulecourt. Early in the morning of 21 March 1918 they were stood to and moved out at 12.30pm towards the front line. They were to go into the support line. The battalion took up positions near to Lebucqiere, with A Company at the Beetroot Factory on the Bapaume – Cambrai Road and the remainder at Velu and Gaika Copse. The battalion remained here until 11.00pm when they were ordered back to Frémicourt to support the defence of Beugny. They took up positions in Frémicourt Wood. The following night, 22/23 March, the battalion moved back to the positions at Lebucquiére which was by now the front line. By 10am on 23 March units to the right of the KSLI were seen to be retiring pursued by large numbers of enemy. Orders were received to fall back again. By 11.00am large numbers of troops were seen moving towards Lebucquiére. The battalion was ordered to retire fighting back towards Frémicourt which was completed at about 1.00pm. Shortly afterwards a build up of enemy forces was observed near to Beugny and a further retreat was ordered back to Bancourt. This move was completed by 3.00pm. The battalion remained at Bancourt until late on 24 March they moved back to a line to the west of Baupame on the road to Albert. The battalion was relieved on 26 March and went into camp at Wulverghem. No casualties are recorded in the War Dairy but the Regimental History notes the battalion was ‘much depleted’ and ‘now reduced to 50 men’.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view centres on Lecubqiere.
References and Sources WAR DIARY 1/4 Bn KSLI, Regimental History KSLI.
B&O 1918. Kaiser Offensive. Operation Michael. Lebucquiére. 1/4Bn KSLI. 23 March 1918.