The Hundred Days Offensive, a series of attacks launched by the Allies and bolstered by the American Expeditionary Force, forced the Germans to retreat behind the Hindenburg line and led to the Armistice in November. It began with the Battle of Amiens on August 8th, known as the ‘Black day of the German Army’. By the end of that day, the Allies had taken thousands of prisoners and captured over three hundred guns.
Battle of Amiens
August 8th – 12th, 1918
The battle, also known as the Third Battle of Picardy, was fought east of Amiens and saw one of the greatest advance of Allied troops in the war. It marked the end of trench warfare and a return to open warfare. The fourth army was present.
Gas attacks continued to be used. They were the cause at Amiens of the deaths of two Radcliffe on Trent servicemen:
August 11th, gassed, died September 9th 1918, Rouen: Private 204692 William Lodge, 10th Bn., Sherwood Foresters, 51st Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division. He was gassed on August 11th, taken to a casualty clearing station and transported four days later to Rouen. Died of wounds, Rouen military hospital complex, age 29.
August 15th, gassed, died September 3rd 1918, military hospital, Le Treport, Dieppe: Private 103567 Samuel Parkes, 10th Bn. Sherwood Foresters, 51st Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division. He died of gas wounds, age 18, following a heavy evening gas bombardment on August 15th which started at 12.15 a.m. and lasted for three hours. D Coy. were all casualties and most of B Coy. Total casualties in the battalion were 13 officers and 423 other ranks.
From mid- August to September 6th operations took place in the Lys valley, recapturing ground lost in April 1918. Second and fifth armies present.
September 2nd 1918, Picardy. Death of Private 46908 Samuel Bernal Osbourne, 2nd Bn. Essex Regiment, 12th Brigade, 4th Division, fifth army. Killed in the advance to victory in Picardy and Artois, age 19.
Information from Essex Regiment War Diaries
‘September 1st 1918 – B, C and D Coys moved up to assembly positions at night. Casualties:- a/Capt: G. Parker and 2/Lieut E.A. Lane killed 31.1.18. Lieut A. Sloan wounded. 8 other ranks killed. 14 other ranks wounded. 16 other ranks to Fields Ambulance (N.Y.D.N. Gas) 4 other ranks to Field Ambulance, 4 other ranks reinforcements.
September 2nd 1918 – Battalion assembled in depth by 4 a.m. in P.13.2 and attacked enemy trenches in P14, P 15 and P16 at 5 am. Attack successful but some confusion caused by other troops occupying same trenches’.
The Lancashire Fusiliers were in the Somme region in September 1918. On September 11th they captured Attilly and advanced to Holnon Wood, which they captured between the 12th and the 14th.
September 14th 1918, Holnon Wood. Death of 2nd Lieutenant Walter Whitworth, 1st/7th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers, 125th Brigade, 42nd East Lancashire Division. He was living in Radcliffe with his wife and child but also had a home in Argentina. Died at No. 41 Casualty Clearing Station, Proyart (Somme department, Picardy region), from wounds received during the capture of Holnon Wood (source: De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour).