Commanding officer holds conference of Company Commanders in Headquarters Mess at 9.30a.m. Company inspection at 11.00a.m. C.O. Inspected billets at 11.00a.m. Few civilians in town. Orders to move at 4.30p.m. Cancelled. Mayor of Mastaing returned to his home after absence of four years. He asked for a French newspaper. He was guest of officers to dinner. Weather Dull.
The weather continue misty and dull all day. A fatigue party of 2 officers and 100 Other Ranks reported to the Engineers to work on the roads. The rear details joined the Battalion from Estrum at 1630 hours.
In the course of the night orders were received to resume the advance in the morning at 1000 hours. The same programme of leap-frogging through the outpost line was adhered to. At 0820 hours the Battalion formed up on the main road leading to Lachoque and moved off. In accordance with instructions, the support and reserve Companies were sent to Les Faux and La Choque respectively, but later moved to Grand Bray and Les Corbets. Battalion Hqrs. were established at Brand Bray. Scout patrols passed through the 1st Battalion outpost line at 1000 hours and moved into the Foret de Vicoigne, followed by Nos.1 and 4 Companies. Direction in the bush was well maintained and from time to time the Companies came in touch with flanking troops. The enemy shelled the Forest intermittently and long distance machine gun fire from the railway sprayed over the area. Notwithstanding the difficulties attendant upon the fighting in such close country, the advance was steadily carried on, and little resistance met with until the advancing troops came under effective machine gun fire from railway line running from Valenciennes to St. Amand. At this point the machine gun fire was very intense and since it would have defeated the purpose for which the advance was ordered to have engaged the enemy by shock action, it was decided to hold the outpost line about 700 yards West of the railway. Scouts actually penetrated to the railway but the enemy was in considerable strength. It was reported that enemy machine gunners dressed in civilian clothes were serving a gun. Dispositions for the outpost line were taken up by the front Companies and the flanks connected. Weather: Unsettled.