The HAC in the Great War - October 1917

In France and Flanders the HAC’s two battalions and three batteries were variously engaged, and all visited by the Earl of Denbigh at the end of the month.

For the first week of October the 2nd Battalion was involved in the seesaw fighting around Polygon Wood, leading up to an attack on Reutel at 0530hrs on 9th October. In that attack A Company suffered heavily in the German counterbarrage, but by 0600hrs the Battalion had gained its objectives.

Fighting continued throughout the morning however and by mid-day all the officers in the assaulting wave had been killed or wounded. When the Battalion was relieved on 10th October, it had suffered over 80 killed and 180 wounded. The 2nd Battalion rested then until 26th October when it was once again in action around Vierstraat, relieving the Queen's following an attack where the assaulting infantry had literally been held up by mud and killed and wounded in large numbers by machine gun fire. The mud was waist deep in places and conditions were very difficult. The Battalion spent much time recovering wounded from the previous assault, suffering itself a further 40 casualties over two days and losing yet more to shell fire in bivouacs as it withdrew.

The Siege Battery, as well as 2/A and 2/B Batteries were in action all month in front of Passchendaele Ridge; the Siege battery remembering particularly the 26th October when it fired solidly from 0545hrs until night-fall.

The 1st Battalion was at Hesdin for October. Together with the newly arrived Band it provided ceremonial welcomes for the Portuguese President and the Lord Mayor of London as well as continued preparations for tactical demonstrations. 
A and B batteries prepared for offensive operations against the Turks as part of the Australian Mounted Division whilst also providing piquets as part of a refused right flank.