20th October 1914
The Dorsets spent another day in reserve. In the morning A Company occupied a small rise near the Rue D’Ouvert and began to dig trenches. They swapped with the Composite Company at 7pm and at 11pm the Battalion was withdrawn and went into billets in Rue de Marais about half a mile to the east.
All this sounds perfectly routine but this was definitely not the case. The front was incredibly volatile and unpredictable. The Dorsets dug these defences under constant fire from the south east and the east, according to the 13th Brigade’s diary. All units were in danger of being over extended or outflanked. The Cheshires had been told to hold Violaines but they were being attacked all the time. The 5th Division had been in combat for several days under extreme pressure. They were short of men, especially experienced officers, were fighting across open flat ground, and had very little artillery support. The strain on everyone was beginning to tell.