Richebourg-l'Avoué

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Richebourg-l'Avoué is a village and former commune in the Pas-de-Calais region of France. It was merged with Richebourg-Saint-Vaast to form the commune of Richebourg on 21 February 1971.[1]

World War I[edit]

Richebourg-l'Avoué area

The Battle of the Boar's Head was fought on 30 June 1916, to divert German attention from the Battle of the Somme which began on 1 July. The attack was conducted by the 11th, 12th and 13th (Southdowns) Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment, part of the 116th Southdowns Brigade of the 39th Division commanded by Major-General G. J. Cuthbert. The preliminary bombardment and wire-cutting by the artillery commenced on the afternoon of 29 June and was reported to be very effective. The final bombardment commenced shortly before 3:00 a.m. and the 12th and 13th battalions went over the top (most for the first time) shortly afterwards, the 11th Battalion providing carrying parties. The guns lifted their fire off the German front trench and put down an intense barrage in support. The infantry reached the German trenches, bombing and bayoneting their way into the German front line trench and held it for some four hours and briefly took the second trench for about half an hour, beating off repeated counter-attacks and then withdrew because of a shortage of ammunition and mounting casualties. The German support position was not reached by the infantry, because the German defensive tactics included shelling trenches, where the British had gained a foothold.[2] In fewer than five hours the three Southdowns Battalions of the Royal Sussex lost 17 officers and 349 men killed, including 12 sets of brothers, three from one family. CSM Nelson Victor Carter was awarded a Victoria Cross (posthumous) for his actions in the battle. A further 1000 men were wounded or taken prisoner. In the regimental history this is known as "The Day Sussex Died". The Corps commander looked upon the attack as a raid and considered it to be successful.[3]

Commemoration[edit]

The Le Touret Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery and memorial is sited here. It was begun in November 1914 by the Indian Corps (in particular by the 2nd Leicesters), remaining in use until the end of the war (barring a time in German hands in April–August 1918). The Le Touret Memorial is part of the cemetery. The Rue-des-Berceaux CWGC Cemetery is also sited here and includes the burial site of New Zealand tennis star Tony Wilding.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Code officiel géographique, INSEE. (French)
  2. ^ Wiebkin 1923, p. 13.
  3. ^ Miles 1938, p. 544.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°34′19″N 2°44′41″E / 50.57194°N 2.74472°E / 50.57194; 2.74472