Somme Crossings

23rd & 24th Mar 1918

During the night of the 23rd, 24th small enemy parties managed to cross to the western bank of the canal via broken girders and debris. But these troops were easy targets and the majority were shot or otherwise disposed.

By 5am the Bde had been relieved and withdrew to Foucaucourt 1, as a consequence saw very little action on the 24th. The 4th Bn marched west to Misery 2, where a meal was taken, arriving in Foucaucourt around 1pm. By this time the entire 149th and 151st Bdes were concentrated here, while the 150th Bde was at Belloy-en-Santerre 3.

Meanwhile the 8th Divn had attacked and driven back enemy troops who had succeeded in crossing the canal at St Christ 4 and Betherncourt 5. However, at Pargny the Germans were able to maintain their position on the west bank of the canal.

At 5pm the 149th Bde took up a line one thousand yards in length, running north and south through the eastern end of Assevillers village. The 5th Bn were on the right, the 6th Bn on the left and the 4th Bn were held in reserve on the Assevillers - Fay road. Bde HQ was at Estrees.

The Bn left Foucacourt at 6.30pm, marching to the sugar refinery near Ashevillers. At 8.30pm the 149th Bde was placed at the disposal of the 66th Divn.

Little is recorded for the 25th of March, the 4th Bn War Diary merely stating that at 10am they moved into the trenches in front of Ashevillers. The 149th Bde HQ Diary records that at 9pm the 149th Bde force withdrew fighting’.

At least 1 fusilier from the 4th Bn was killed in action or died of wounds during the Somme Crossings. For information on 4th Bn burial and memorial sites for casualties sustained during the Somme Crossings, select the link.


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Somme Crossings - Military Units

50th (Northumbrian) Division - Consisted of the 149th (Northumberland) Bde, 150th (York & Durham) Bde and 151st (Durham Light Infantry (DLI)) Bde.

The 149th (Northumberland) Bde - Comprised of the 1/4th, 1/5th & 1/6th Bns - Northumberland Fusiliers.

The 150th (York & Durham) Bde - Comprised of 1/4th Bn - East Yorkshire Regt, 1/4th & 1/5th Bns - Green Howards.

The 151st (Durham Light Infantry) Bde - 1/5th, 1/6th and 8th Bn - DLI.

66th Division - Consisted of the 197th, 198th and 199th Bdes.

The 197th Bde - Comprised of the 1/6th, 2/7th & 2/8th Bns - Lancashire Fusiliers.

The 198th Bde - Comprised of the 1/4th & 2/5th Bns - East Lancashire Regt and 1/9th Bn - Manchester Regt.

The 199th Bde - Comprised of the 2/5th, 2/6th & 2/7th Bns - Manchester Regt.

If would like to read the full story of the 4th NF in World War 1, then please select here




  1. Foucaucourt
  2. Misery
  3. Belloy-en-Santerre 
  4. St Christ
  5. Betherncourt