42nd (East Lancashire) Division Memorial

Historical Information 

The 42nd (East Lancashire) Division attacked in this area on the 28th September 1918. The general offensive to take the Canal du Nord had, however, started the day before.  Forming the southern flank of the Third Army’s advance the IV Corps had two Zero hours. On the left, half of the 42nd Division would start at 0820 hours whilst the remainder of that Division and the 5th Division would start a little earlier at 0752 hours. The reason being to allow the latter to gain the high ground to the south before the remainder of 42nd Division began their assault.


The Hindenburg Line ran almost diagonally across the front from top left (actually passing through the 42nd Division’s position) to bottom right.  The 42nd Division’s 127th Brigade made good progress despite losing four of its six tanks from the get go. On its right however, the 125th Brigade which had started at 0752 hours was stopped in its tracks to the left of Beaucamp by heavy machine-gun fire on its own front and from Beaucamp which the 5th Division had failed to take.  These failures meant that the 127th Brigade found itself sitting out in front of both its flanking units and was in turn forced to conform with the line now running between Ribecourt and Beaucamp.


That night the Division attacked again at 0230 hours with great success. On a wet, dark night the attack caught the defenders by surprise and the Division with the 187th Brigade of 62nd Division on its left advanced to the Hindenburg Support Line with little opposition.