10th Battalion patch. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial
10th Battalion – July 1918
JUILY 1-5 – MERRIS SECTOR [France]
Battalion in line. On night of 4th July enemy, after a very heavy barrage attempted to raid No’s 1 and 2 posts, but retired after suffering several casualties. Our casualties were 4 killed and 6 wounded, all of which were caused by shell fire.
5-6 – HONDEGHEM [northern France]
Battalion relieved from front line by 4th Australian Infantry Battalion and proceeded to camp on night of 5/6th July. Relief completed without incident.
Battalion bathed, equipment cleaned up. Preparations being made for representative church parade. Battalion paid.
Representative Brigade church parade on Battalion Parade Ground. General Birdwood attended and after service presented medals and ribbons. Lieutenant Scott and Lieutenant Stephens received Military Cross ribbons. Lieutenant Coffey received Military Medal and Lieutenant Pennington received Distinguished Conduct Medal. Preparations being made for Battalion review parade.
Review parade in honour of Brigadier-General H.G. Bennett held on Battalion Parade Ground. Trophies captured during last tour in line inspected. Concert by 1st Division Concert Party in afternoon.
Training carried out in mornings. Recreational training and lectures in afternoons.
Preparations being made for tour in line. Battalion moved to support area on night of 13/14th July.
14-21 – MERRIS SECTOR
Battalion in support area. Divisional front re-adjusted on night of 15/16th July. Battalion relieved elements of 1st Australian Infantry Battalion and 11th Australian Infantry Battalion.
Battalion relieved 11th Australian Infantry Battalion in line on night on 21/22nd July. Relief completed without incident.
Inter-Company relief took place on night of July 24/25th.
[see Appendix 10 – Battalion order no. 109. (a) It must be remembered that a number of prisoners are absolutely necessary, as in most instances they can give valuable information in regard to such matters as impending attacks, (b) The greatest care must be taken not to get into fighting contact with our own men doing “mopping up” operations, (c) Officers will NOT carry maps showing the dispositions of our men. All ranks will be warned against carrying letters or documents which will supply information to the enemy if captured.]
[see Appendix 17 – Operations. Patrols. “Whilst returning Lieutenant Fenn was accidentally wounded through belt of machine gun being caught in barbed wire and the bearer stumbling, causing the gun to fire 2 or 3 rounds and hitting Lt. Fenn in the groin.”]
[see Appendix 17 – “…although every endeavour was made to bring in prisoners and obtain identification the prisoners had to be disposed of on account of their obstinacy, and of reinforcements which had come to their assistance. 3 enemy were killed and 2 wounded.”]
Preparations being made for capture of Merris. Attack launched at 12.15am on night 29/30th July. Merris taken, our casualties very slight.
Battalion relieved from line by 8th Australian Infantry Battalion on night 30/31st July. Battalion proceeded to camp. Relief completed without incident.