The Great War Part 175, December 22nd 1917

Conquest o f the Wytschaete-Messines Ridge 337 After the men had dug themselves in one of their soldier- poets started anew version of the “Wearing of ”the Green while all the batteries rolled forward up the ridge amid the cheers of the forces of attack resting on the lower slopes. The guns that covered the victorious brigade were dressed in green foliage as a concealment device. So as the Irishmen sang :They love the ould division in the land the boys come from And th eyre proud of what they did a t Loos and on the Somme. If b y chance we all advance toW hitesheet and Messine T h ey'll know the guns that strafed the Huns were wearing of the green. Amid the joy of victory there was a feeling of mourning, for Major William Redmond the brother Major Redmond of the Nationalist leader was killed near killed W ytschaete. H e was borne away in an Ulster ambulance thus serving in death to bring North and South into brotherhood of sorrow ashe had striven in life to unite them in a confraternity of heroic adventure. The Ulsterm en outset alongside the Dublins and began b y breaking a brigade of the 4th Grenadiers of Prussians. The German commanding officer did not follow the proper tactics of putting two battalions inline and keeping one in reserve. H e placed all his men inaction with the result that all lost heavily and rapidly. One company was destroyed b y a gigantic explosion of the mine at the point known at Peckham and amid the flaming confusion and smoking obscurity the Northern Irish charged and broke the Grenadiers. Two other brigades of the 2nd Prussian Division were also routed in the first phase of the advance. Therefore about noon General von Captives of the Arm in threw into the furnace of the Red Hand ridge battle all his 1st Reserve Division but as this was thinly extended from the south of W ytschaete to Messines it could not withstand the combined pressure of Irish English and Anzac troops. The Ulsterm en also took prisoners from the 40th Saxon Division and from the 3rd Bavarian Division that had partly relieved the Saxons. There were thus fragments of four enemy divisions in the captives of the Red Hand. On the right of the Ulsterm en was an English force who connected southward with New Zealand troops. Some of the hardest work in the battle was given to the Englishmen. The distance from their starting-place at K ruisstraat Inn to their objective over the ridge Was two thousand yards. Fronting them was the Bois de lEnfer New Zealand official photograph. GERMAN GUN EMPLACEMENT ON MESSINES RIDGE. Result of the British bombardment on the concrete emplacement of one of the enemys 77 mm. guns during the attack on the Wytschaete-Messines Ridge in June 1917. Although the gun had been effectually putout of action the concrete shelter for the gunners had been only partially destroyed. YY
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