Published By Ben Hillidge
Amiens. Villers Bretonneux, 1 Bn Worcestershire Regiment. 22-26 April 1918.
The 1 Bn Worcestershire Regiment (24 Brigade, 8 Division) had been heavily engaged during the later days of Operation Michael and the advance across the Somme towards Amiens. They had come out of the line at the end of March and had spent the first weeks of April 1918 in billets around Amiens. Here they spent the time training, reorganising and re-equipping. During this time too about 200 ORs and 24 officers joined the battalion – this includes a draft of 14 officers attached from the Manchester Regiment who joined on 17 April and including Lieutenant Crescens Bason.
During the opening stages of Operation Georgette, the continuation of the Kaiser Offensive, the battalion was in billets at Querrieu, about 10kms NE of Amiens. On 18 April, they moved south to Glisy where they billeted overnight and then at 6.30am moved to Bois de Blangy to go into the reserve and support lines on the approaches to Amiens. That evening the Brigade took over the lines in front of Villers Bretonneux with A & B Coys to the south of the village and with C & D Coys at Cachy. They remained in these locales until 23 April when there was a partial relief with A & B Coys moving to Bois de l’Abbe. On 24 April the enemy attacked Villers Bretonneux. Preceded by an artillery bombardment the infantry rushed the village and overran the forward positions and threatened the support lines. The 1 Bn Worcs. was called into action with heavy fighting all day. Villers Bretonneux was captured but the line was held. On the next day the battalion was relieved by 52 Australian brigade and moved back to billets at Camon where they stayed for the rest of the month.
Casualties for the period 22-26 April were: Officers – 2 KIA, 6 wounded (5 on 24/25th) and ORs – 18 KIA, 21 wounded.
GOOGLE MAPS Satellite view centres on Villers Bretonneux
References and Sources War Diary 1 Bn Worcestershire Regiment.
B&O 1918. KO. Georgette. Villers Bretonneux, Amiens.1 Bn Worcs. Rgt. 22-26 April 1918.