20 October 1914

The battalion is action on the outskirts of the village of Frelinghien, on the banks of the river Lys northeast of Armentieres and on the border between Belgium and France. 

At 4 am, B & D coys moved on through A coy (which was left in reserve) and occupied the houses [of Frelinghien] with C coy. Loopholes and defences were improved and it was arranged to attach the trenches in conjuction with the artillery and with the Irish Fusiliers who were now between the Battn and the R Dub Fus. There was a certain amount of fire directed against us in the houses, but not fire from artillery. However, till supported by them we could not advance. Irish Fusiliers commenced their advance across the open but found it heavily entangled with barbed wire. After a time, the enemy fire slackened under our artillery. It was thought that they had reached their trenches. R Irish Fus were now advancing towards the German trenches under partial cover of a low bank and thin line of trees and we were preparing to advance into the trenches on our left. A heavy fire was suddenly opened by the enemy who had been lying low in their trenches near us, though most of the line had been evacuated. We were at that point within 200 yards of them and it was decided to take the position by assault. At about 11 am this was effected by C company, under a heavy fire, most gallantly lead by captain D. C. Methuen and 2/Lt J. F. Glass. The latter was wounded, attempting to storm the trench, while the former was unfortunately killed shortly after it was taken. As the trench was on a high, steep bank and the ground was very slippery, our men had very great difficulty getting into the trench. They were also brought under crossfire from snipers in a large Brewery on the edge of the town near the river. None of the Germans escaped out of this section of the trench, about 30 being killed and 20 being captured.
Their trench was now occupied by B company, who advanced and occupied with a few men the edge of the town. East of the main road, the Brewer west of the road still being occupied by snipers.
About 1pm, several Germans showed the white flag (15 men) and leaving their trenches without arms surrendered. Soon after, a few more surrendered from some houses in the town. One of them returned to the Brewery and brought in 3 more Germans by arrangement with the commanding officer. He also reported that the Brewery was now unoccupied, which subsequently proved quite correct. This was about 3.30pm. After dark, the Brewery was occupied by 2 1/2 platoons of A coy, after a thorough search of the buildings and cellars had been made. The remaining 1 1/2 platoons of A coy occupied houses east of road with 1 platoon of D coy. C & D coys occupied the original houses taken the previous night, with Headquarters.  B coy occupied the catptured trenches with R Irish Fus on their right. The position generally was retrenched and placed in a state of defence.
During the preliminary occupation of the edge of the village, Major Stockwell was wounded severely, later dying of his wounds.
2 coy Rifle Brigade came up as support during the night and occupied B Coy trenches.

Killed: 13
Wounded: 17

Germans killed: about 30
Germans captured: about 50

Lewis casualties

Last address in Lewis: 37 Gelir
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 6401
Date of death: 20 October 1914 at the age of 35
Killed in action in France.
Interred: Houplines Communal Cemetery Extension, grave II. D. 10
Local memorial: Point (Garrabost)
Was the first to fall from [Bayble] district

Last address in Lewis: 32 Breasclete,
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Service number: 6946
Date of death: 20 October 1914 at the age of 32
Killed in action at Ypres
Interred: Houplines Communal Cemetery Extension, grave II. D. 5
Local memorial: East Loch Roag, Callanish

Other casualties named in this diary entry
Son of Gen. Stockwell (late Seaforth Highlanders); husband of Mabel Margaret Stockwell
Late of "The Cottage," Shedfield, Botley, Hampshire
Service unit: 2nd Seaforth Highlanders
Date of death: 21 October 1914 at the age of 38
Interred: Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, grave IX. A. 72.

Son of the late Col. and Mrs. Methuen, of Llystroyddyn, Pumpsaint, Carmarthenshire
Service unit: 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Date of death: 20 October 1914
Memorial: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, panel 8
The location of Captain Methuen's grave is not known
Served in the South African Campaign.

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