13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment attack at La Boisselle
To straighten the line to X14.c. 39 -79-99 to X14d. 29-38. 2nd objective X14a. 67-65-85-84-95-93 to X14. B.42 3rd Objective X8d.24 to x14.b.75
The operation commenced at 8am 9th Loyal North Lancs (L.N.L) on the right and 13th Cheshires on the left.
2nd Royal Irish Rifles (R.I.R) in support, 2 companies 11th Lancs Fusiliers in reserve, both in La Boisselle. 2 Companies 11th Lancs Fusiliers on the Tara Usna line for carrying parties.
7th July 1916
At 8am the operation commenced, at 8.20am the 13th Cheshires had gained their 1st objective, at 8.55am the 9th L.N.L had gained their 1st objective and were pushing on in conjunction with the 13th Cheshires. At 9am the 2nd R.I.R moved forward taking up original line evacuated by the 9th L.N.L and 13th Cheshires.
The 13th Cheshires were unable to hold on to their objective except a small portion on the right, here they linked up with the 9th L.N.L. The chief reason for this was because the German trenches in the centre of the Cheshires objective had been blown out of all recognition.
The 2nd R.I.R. plus 1 ½ companies 11th Lancashire Fusiliers were sent forward to consolidate the position. The result of the first stage of the operation was that the whole objective plus communication trenches leading up to it were in British hands except for a gap of about 400 yards in the centre of the left half. The regiments had become so mixed up during this first stage of the attack, plus the high casualties and along with the reserves being reduced to 2 platoons of the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers, meant that when the time came for advancing to the second objective at 10am there were so few officers and NCOs left to direct operations that troops were not reorganised in time to carry forward the advance, so they consolidated.
The same evening the 7th Suffolks belonging to the 35th Brigade were sent up by the 12th Division to form a reserve and hold the British original trenches in La Boisselle. The same evening the units were reorganised in the captured position as far as possible, and an attack was arranged to gain and consolidate the gap up the left half of the captured position. 2 companies 11th Lancashire fusiliers were formed up in trench X14 A.93. towards X14. C.79 at 10.30pm with orders to occupy and assemble behind the line about X14.a.94 to X14.a.62. basically, along the Albert to Bapume road. From this position they were to advance quietly towards the left flank where the 2nd R.I.R had a (bombing post) to seize the German position X14.a.46 where they had established a post with machine guns, at the same time to bomb along the gap in front of the line between X14.a.95 and 67. On reaching X14.a.46 the bombing post of the 2nd R.I.R was to advance and bomb up to X14.a.67. This operation was entirely successful, and the Germans were cleared out of this part of the line, but it was reported impossible to consolidate the gap before day light, as the ground had been so badly broken up by shell fire.