28th October 1914
Although an attack on Neuve Chapelle had been postponed during the night, it didn’t stop the British from trying to retake the village. This time they opted for the classic unsupported daylight attack across open ground. The Germans had dug themselves into Neuve Chapelle with the result being that the 7th Brigade’s attacking troops, including an Indian brigade and dismounted cavalry, got absolutely slaughtered.
The Dorsets, under temporary command of General Maude of the 7th Brigade, had moved forward at 6am in support, close to the road that runs north out of Le Bassée (now the D947), east of Richebourg St. Vaast. Here they remained until darkness fell, whereupon they moved back west and joined the new draft at Richebourg St Vaast at 10pm. The History of the Dorsetshire Regiment recalls a rather obscure snippet of a story from Captain Fraser’s diary:
Exciting chase with Partridge after some geese at 1 a.m. Captured three.
At 4:30pm the 5th Division had been informed that II Corps was being relieved by Indian Corps. This happy news trickled through to the various brigades that evening, which might explain a rekindled lightheartedness in the annals of the Dorsets.