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330   DAYS OF PREPARATION

newly instituted Military Cross. Lieutenant Colquhoun's decoration was the reward for many acts of "conspicuous gallantry and resource, especially at St. Eloi on January 26th, when he rescued, with the assistance of one man, a mortally wounded officer after three others had failed in the attempt, being under heavy close-range fire the whole time." Both Corporal Ross and Company Sergeant-Major Lloyd of No. 4 Company would undoubtedly have received the Distinguished Conduct Medal, but unfortunately both laid down their lives in the assault. Lieutenant Colquhoun failed to return, and it was at first thought that he had been killed. but many months afterwards the regiment learned that he had been taken prisoner and was held in Germany. Some two years afterwards he made good his escape into Switzerland.

This vigorous onslaught perturbed the Germans in no small degree, and although hitherto always a lively sector, St. Eloi now became notorious for attack and counter-attack. On March 2nd the enemy massed in force, drove our lines right back upon the village itself, but the lost ground was immediately recovered by a subsequent operation.

On the 17th of March, the regiment lost its youngest officer, Lieutenant Eardley-Wilmot, killed by a sniper. He was buried where he fell alongside Trench No. 22. On the 20th occurred the crowning disaster of this period. Colonel Farquhar and his orderly, Pte. G. E. Pearson, were showing the Commanding Officer of the King's Royal Rifles the progress that had been made in the construction of a communicating trench to the rear of the position, when an enemy sniper, who probably sensed the importance of the individuals concerned, succeeded in hitting Colonel Farquhar and inflicting a mortal wound. The loss was keenly felt. The Colonel was a much-loved officer, whose every thought was centred on his men, and there was no member of the regiment who did not view his death as a personal loss. He was


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