Vandelicourt


Vandelicourt1 Vandelicourt2

The Heavies reached Vandelicourt around 4pm on 26 March 1918 and were immediately ordered to a new position at the top of the hill at L'Ecouvillon shown in the photograph.

Since 23 March the Battery had covered over 30 kms in difficult conditions and were now faced with a very hard climb up the steepest of hills on which two teams of horses and all the men were required to get each of the 3 guns to the required position. The guns were in position at 1am on 27 March when orders were received to return to Vandelicourt which took until 5.30am.

In the words of the Battery Commander "Although not under shellfire, I look on this march as the most trying part of the whole retirement, coming as it did on the top of three unusually strenuous days of active fighting...". "As regards the men. I should like to put in a word on behalf of the sixty pounder gunner... Whereas in action the work done on the guns is not much harder than 6in howitzers, though the 'hows' have (on paper) double detachments, yet the march to the 60pr gunners does not only mean foot slogging along the road in the thick of the dust of the column, but also a good deal of heaving on drag roaps, helping guns and wagons out of ditches, etc - where even the best of drivers will sometimes put themselves and their vehicles when dead-tired on dead-tired horses - and more than likely the gunners have to turn-to on the buckets to help water the horses when they do get in."

"The spirit in which the officers and men got their guns up the hill at L'Ecouvillon was a true test of their endurance, and they came through it without a single complaining word."

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