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51st Again!
51st Again! 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 23 March 1933, page 2

51st Again!

Dear "Non-Com." - Some time ago I saw an article in the diggers' page referring to a raid by Fritz on "A" Company, 51st Battalion, at Domart, on the night of August 3, 1918. I well remember the incident, seeing that I was a member of No. 1 platoon, "B" Company, which had to proceed to the front line at daylight and take over the whole of that part which "A" Company had held before the raid.

I also knew one of the five prisoners who were taken by Fritz during the raid. Scotty Hamilton lost a leg during the proceedings. We were afterwards in the same hospital (Devonport Military), as I was gassed at Chipilly on August 17.

I also remember the night after we took over the line from "A" Company and one of our chaps shot an Alsatian who was evidently coming over to "Kammerad."

I was on listening post with Billy Williams (lance-corporal) and Wanke when Jack Stedman and Billy decided to throw a "Mills" each at what we all thought was a Fritz patrol about 40 odd yards away on the opposite side of a nearby hedge. You can imagine our consternation and the general turmoil when without any warning the two "Mills" exploded just short of our own front line, which was a bit crowded, as a ration party from "Don" Company had just arrived!

Re the five prisoners taken at Domart. German documents were captured on August 8, about these men, and stating that their conduct was so soldierlike that the story had to be read out to German troops as an example of what to do and what not to do when captured.

Major Owen, one-time adjutant of the 51st, was married in Adelaide on Saturday last. He is one of the few 51st men residing in this State - A. E. (Bertl) Denman, "B" Company, 51st Battalion. "Sailley Laurette," Pompoota, River Murray, South Australia.

(The sergeant in charge of the party mentioned was Sam Acton, now managing a business up at Port Hedland. I have already described the incident in this page. The Germans thought so highly of the conduct of the prisoners after capture that they issued a special order commending them as an example to their own troops in similar circumstances. As it happened, the occasion was fraught with tremendous import for "Germany's Black Day" would never have been had the prisoners given the enemy any information about the Canadians in rear. The incident is mentioned in nearly every important historical work.-"Non-Corn."

Bean, CEW, Volume VI - The Australian Imperial Force in France: May 1918 - the Armistice (1st edition, 1942), Chapter XIII, The Origin Of “August 8TH” the A.I.F. in France, 2nd - 6th Aug., 1918, p. 511

At 3.5 a.m on August 4th. however, after sharply bombarding the outposts of the 51st Battalion (W.A.) astride the Amiens-Roye road at Hourges, they raided the ruins there. The posts killed ten Germans and captured one, mortally wounded, but the raiders effected their purpose, carrying off a sergeant and four men.