Reinforcements 114 other ranks arrived. Fine weather. Battallion Moved up during previous night to Qurscourt, Reserve at Rosieres. Showers in afternoon.
Battalion paid – fine weather. Free from bombing.
Battalion cleaning up and resting, weather: hot.
Battalion relieved in course of the night. Reinforcements for all the Battalions in that Brigade arrived. Weather fine. Huns continue bombing and shelling.
Battalion relieved from the front on the night of the 13th.
Connected up on the left with “C” and “D” Companies, and on the right with the 78th Battalion. This was the situation during the 12th and 13th.
The 85th Battalion having taken positions in Support with one Company forward in close support. At 2.30a.m. on the 11th the enemy placed a heavy concentration of artillery on our right Companies, “A” and “B” and on the forward Companies of the 78th Battalion, and about 9 o’clock made an attack from the East and North-East. “A” and “B” Companies withstood this attack gallantly but suffered many casualties, especially from their left flank where the enemy worked in behind them. After repelling this attack orders were received that the forward Companies would be withdrawn a short distance to improve and straighten our line. [Follow the link for the full entry]
Zero hour was arranged for 10.15 a.m. and proceeded by Tanks, the leading Battalions moved off followed by the support Battalions at about 800 yards distance. The advance through Rosieres-en-Santerre was carried out without incident, but an emerging on the East of this Village, we came under machine gun fire and light artillery fire. The 85th Battalion suffered considerably from this cause, and upon arrival at the Meharicourt-Lihons Road had lost both their acting Battalion Commander and acting Second in Command of the Battalion. [Follow the link for the full entry]
Before Zero Hour at 12:10am, large bodies of Cavalry assisted by Whippet Tanks proceeded us and practically cleared our area of advance until we arrived in the vicinity of Cayuga Woods where long range machine gun fire was encountered from the right flank, and was taken on with Lewis Guns and rifles. As no serious opposition had been encountered at our first objective the leading Companies proceeded to our final objective being about 1000 yards West of the Village of Caix. The two Support Companies and Battalion Headquarters remained in the vicinity of Cayuga Wood. There was still some hostile fire from machine guns on our right flank, but this was not of a serious nature.
At Zero hour, 4.20a.m., our barrage opened and the Battalion formed up prepatory to moving off and final instructions were given to Company Commanders. At 5.20 a.m., Zero plus 60 minutes, the Brigade moved from their position of assembly, the 28th Battalion being the left leading Battalion. Owing to there being no enemy barrage, companies moved in file and advanced in this formation in rear of the 3rd Division, crossing the River Luc at Damuin and proceeded to the assembly position for the afternoon advance on the rising ground west of Demuin. The advance during the morning had been carried out without opposition and the Battalion suffered only a few slight casualties from shells. Orders were received at 11.30 a.m. that the second phase of the attack would commence at 12.10p.m.