This was a hand-drawn by Charles Bean, it shows the battlefield the the 1st Battalion faced - they had to go down hill and then up.

The 1st Battalion attack

 

The 1st Battalion attacked near the intersection of Bayonet and Hilt Trench. They immediately came under machine-gun fire from Hilt Trench. After the first failed attempt another two were made. Each running into the same problems - the mud and the machine-gun fire.

 

After these three failed attempts many men were lost and the attack was finally called off. Unfortunately, due to the multiple attacks, the mud and the ground most of these men laid on being No Man's Land, the bodies had to be left where they lay - some fortunate men were recovered on November 5th.

 

Most of the men of the 1st Battalion who were killed November 5th weren't recovered on that day. Those whose bodies weren't retrieved on November 5th, 1916, were recovered March 3rd, 1917 when the 1st Battalion were in reserve at Bancourt Le Abbey.

 

Burial parties were sent out from C and D Company of the 1st Battalion. They went searching for the missing men reported after the Gueudecourt attack on November 5th. Seventy-four 1st Battalion soldiers were reported missing after the attack, of these seventy-three were confirmed as being killed in the attack near Gueudecourt.

 

There are multiple reports of the burials. Most reports state that the men were buried where they lay in shell holes. These reports also state that there was "...a collection of 50 graves, with one cross erected in the middle bearing all the names." Near by a battlefield cemetery was created called 'Bayonet Trench Cemetery' (all of those buried in this cemetery after the war were moved to Grevillers British Cemetery).

 

Fourty of the seventy-three 1st Battalion men killed November 5th, 1916 to this day have an unknown grave. They are remembered on the walls at Villers-Bretonneux, France and Canberra, Australia.

War Diary

Unit History

Distances involved in attack:

 

[TRENCH]   100 yards   [Jumping off point]      300 yards (last 50 yards - downhill)  [German Trench]

Various maps about the 1st battalion for the November 5th attack

Various photographs about the 1st battalion for the November 5th attack