James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Morgan takes command

The previous map is here again for reference.

Then, at 4 a.m. on 14 August there was a further attempt to force a passage across the Steenbeek and to try to take Au Bon Gite. Under an artillery barrage, two companies of the Battalion together with all 10th RB moved forward across swampy, shell-torn ground and with great difficulty managed to manipulate bridges across the canal; some men waded through the canal. There was hand to hand fighting with swords (the RB’s word for bayonets), bombs and rifle grenades. As the infantry advanced to try to capture Au Bon Gite they encountered stiff resistance and had to dig in; Casualties were considerable . Some objectives were captured and at one point the men of one company from 11th RB were all around and on top of the solid structure that was the core of the defences but it had been scarcely damaged by the artillery bombardment; it was impossible to get past the strong iron door to capture the Germans. A counterattack drove the men back about 200 yards but they remained on the east bank of the Steenbeek.

At 5 a.m. the following morning Morgan’s men inflicted heavy losses on the enemy as they attempted an unsuccessful outflanking movement and a day later 11th RB was able to provide covering fire to permit the Light Infantry to advance across the Steenbeek and to move up for an attack on Langemark. The Battalion took Au Bon Gite and then withdrew, as ordered. During this period the weather conditions and the state of the ground surpassed anything yet experienced by this battalion even in winter on the Somme.

A few days later Morgan again took command as Lieut. Col. Cotton was evacuated, suffering from the effects of a gas bombardment. He would be away for two and a half months. The Battalion was back at Elverdinghe and was about to move still further back from the fighting for more training before returning to be in reserve and then moving forward to take part in the Battle of Langemarck.