The Action
 

The attack commenced at 1405. As the creeping barrage began, Companies "A" and "B" of the Newfoundland Regiment began to move forward with "D" and "C" Companies behind them. The plan was for the barrage to jump ahead forty-six metres each minute. The soldiers' instructions were to follow approximately forty-six metres behind it.   

Video

Video

In the excitement and confusion of battle, many of the soldiers moved ahead too quickly. As a result, fifteen percent of the men were struck by fire from the barrage. Another fifteen percent fell from enemy fire before reaching their first objective. Despite this loss, the barrage was effective in hindering the Germans' ability to use their machine guns. The Regiment advanced to Hilt Trench. Finding little barbed wire in front of it, they used grenades and hand-to-hand fighting to seize control of it by 1430. To the Newfoundland Regiment's left, the Essex had also been successful in securing its part of Hilt Trench.   

Bayonet
The Rooms Provincial Museum

Lee-Enfield Rifle
The Rooms Provincial Museum

The Essex and Newfoundland Regiments then began advancing toward their next objective. After moving forward ninety-one metres, heavy enemy fire forced the men from the Newfoundland Regiment to stop and dig a new defensive position. As they did, more than half of the men were killed or wounded. With continued German machine gun fire, the men were eventually forced to retreat to Hilt Trench.

Meanwhile, some of the Essex reached Grease Trench. However, with their left side unprotected, they were soon forced to turn back to Hilt Trench. (The advance by the 12th Division's 35th Brigade on the Essex's left had been stopped by uncut enemy wire.) At 1600, the Newfoundland Regiment learned that a German counterattack had forced the Essex Regiment to withdraw from their portion of Hilt Trench and retreat to their starting line.

The men from the Newfoundland Regiment moved quickly to take over the unoccupied part of the trench. They constructed a blockade between themselves and the Germans, further along the trench on their left. Within an hour, the Germans counterattacked with approximately 500 soldiers. The Regiment resisted this attack and several other smaller counterattacks throughout the early evening. At 2100, reinforcements began to arrive at Hilt Trench. However, the Regiment continued to hold the trench until they were relieved at 0300. They were then able to begin the two kilometre march back to the support trenches behind Gueudecourt to get food and sleep.