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The New Zealand Division 1916 - 1919: A Popular History Based on Official Records


Particulars of Raid carried out on the Night of lst/2nd July Reference Map 36 N.W.4 1/10,000

  • A raiding party under Capt. A. B. McColl, consisting of 4 officers and 77 other ranks, assaulted the enemy's trenches on the night of the 1st/2nd July at 1.17.a. 1½/5½.
  • The night was dark and the weather fine.
  • The scouts2 moved out through the sally port as soon as it was dark, and at 11.45 p.m. two returned and led out the remainder of the raiding party to selected positions in No Man's Land.
  • The bombardment by the artillery and M.T.Ms. commenced at 12.30 a.m. Six M.T.Ms. were employed solely for cutting wire.
  • After 20 minutes' bombardment, the artillery firing at the assaulting point lifted and formed a semi-circular barrage.
  • The scouts went forward and found the wire had been thoroughly cut. They had only to clear the loose wire away. They were not fired on and encountered no opposition.
  • Where the wire had been cut, a listening sap had come out to the outer edge of the wire, and the centre party had an easy method of entry to the trench along this.
  • None of the parties met with the slightest resistance. What men were in the trench were cowed by our artillery fire and were crouching in shelters under the parapet. These were either passed up to the prisoner parties or killed if they refused to move.
  • The raiders remained 8 minutes in the trench, and at a whistle signal withdrew. Without waiting in No Man's Land they returned direct to battalion headquarters.
  • The artillery ceased fire at 1.24 a.m.page 45
  • The enemy continued his bombardment until 1.45 a.m.

Telephonic communication was satisfactorily maintained throughout.

Our casualties were:—

  • 1 officer died of wounds.
  • 1 man killed.
  • 9 men wounded.

Of these, one man was killed and four others were wounded by a shell bursting when waiting in No Man's Land. One man was wounded in our trenches after the return of the parties. Four were wounded during the course of the raid.

Capt. A. B. McColl reached our trenches, but returned to help our stretcher-bearers, who had got into difficulties in a ditch not far from our parapet. When getting back over the parapet he was caught by machine gun fire and severely wounded. He died before reaching the dressing station.

Prisoners—Ten prisoners were brought back, two of whom were wounded.

All the enemy that were in the trenches were taken prisoners or killed. It is not known how many were killed, as bombs were used and nobody took account of the dead.

2 It should be added that the scout sergeant, R. C. Potter, guided the raiders with great skill and courage and was the first man to reach the enemy's parapets.