Battle of Langemarck
In the Ypres Salient; 16 Aug 1917

49th Inf. Bde.

Sketch map of 8th R. Innis. Fus. Area

Orders for the Attack

John Thomas Robinson

UNIT. 8 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Strength Officers 19.
....... O.R. 462
In Command. Lt Col. A.J. Walkey,M.C.
Attached Troops "C" Coy. 7/8th R.Irish Fusiliers(moppers up)
Strength 4 Officers 50 O.R.
O.C. COY> 2/Lt C.L. HENRY.

AT ZERO ............... Frontage D.25.a.75.05. - D.25.a.80.90. H.Q. LOW Fm.

The line was equally divided in two parts:
C.&D. Coys. in depth were on RIGHT. A.&B. Coys. on LEFT.
Coy. of Irish Fusiliers occupied whole front forming 2nd WAVE of ATTACK, which consisted of 5 waves.

At Zero the troops advanced and were not affected by the enemy's Artillery Barrage which was put down behind our FRONT LINE- calibres mostly 4.2s and 5.9s.

MACHINE GUN fire was encountered about 200x W.of BORRY Fm. causing very heavy casualties and at this stage Battn. on our RIGHT (R.D.F.) swept across our front towards BORRY Fm. but were held up by M.G. fire.
We advanced another 100x and were then completely held up. This was about 5.0 a.m.
RIGHT LEADING Coy. made an attempt to take BORRY Fm. from front by rushing it under cover of L.G. fire.
This was unsuccessful and 2 FLANK ATTACKS were made by the same Coy. endeavouring to get in from the W.side of the Fm. which consisted of 3 concrete dugouts linked up by a breastwork & was strongly garrisoned by about 100 men and at least 3 M.G.
The remnants of "C" Coy. took cover in these holes about 100x W. of BORRY Fm. and held this position all day.
"D" Coy. were about 50x N.W. of "C" Coy.
As far as can be ascertained the LEFT Coys. advanced about 800x, in conjunction with Battn. on LEFT which fell back after a time.
Germans advanced from dugouts, and made an encircling movement on A.&B Coys who stood their ground until almost surrounded, and then fought their way slowly back; only about 15 men were left in each of these Coys.

No definite information was received throughout the day as to action or disposition of Battn. on RIGHT.(R.D.F.)

About 8.30 a.m. I received a message from 7th R.INNIS FUS. to effect that 2nd. R. IRISH REGT were sending forward 1 Coy. to capture BORRY Fm.
This attack did not take place but a Coy. certainly did take up a position along general line D.25.c.80.35 - D.25.a.70.80.(approx). This Coy. was in touch with some 7th R.INNIS FUS. some 7/8 R. Irish Fus. on LEFT.
At noon the LINE held by 49th I.Bgde was to best of my knowledge as follows -
D.19.c.5.5 - D.19.c.9.4 -
Detached posts 100x W. of BORRY Fm.(1 off. & about 30 O.R.)
From about 10.0 P.M. onwards enemy filtered over RIDGE from direction of DELVA Fm. & HILL 35 and appeared to take some of our men prisoners.
Troops near LOW Fm. were able to fire on enemy who made no organised counter attack.

I attribute failure on my FRONT to following factors-
(a) BORRY Fm. was intact & strongly held, and no fresh troops were at hand to press forward & take this place. The surrounding ground was very much cut up & wet & rapid movement was impossible. Many casualties were suffered throughout the day from garrison at BORRY Fm. from whence fire was FRONTAL & ENFILADE.
(b) Lack of proper communication.
It was almost impossible to communicate with troops in front as orderlies were sniped at constantly, several being killed, and vincinity of LOW Fm. was under shell fire nearly all day.
Communication backward had to be maintained solely by orderlies and much delay appears to have occurred in sending back messages from SQUARE Fm. to Bgde. H.Q.
(c) Heavy casualties among officers & N.C.Os. during the 1st half-hour of attack, only one Coy. Officer survived and consequently my information is somewhat scanty.

Cmdg. 8 R. Innis. Fus.