A 1916 Hohenzollern Scottish Rifles Casualty Group of three awarded to Private William Hartstean, 10th (Service) Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) comprising 1914-15 Star, (22248 Pte W. Hartstean. Sco: Rif:), 1914-1920 British War and Victory Medals, (22248 Pte. W. Hartstean. Sco. Rif.), very fine mounted for wear.
William was born in 1894 in Dalston London he had an elder brother, Samuel Charles Hartstean, who joined the Lincolnshire Regiment at the outbreak of the Great War. William joined the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and was sent to France on the 24th of November 1915 to join the 10th (Service) Battalion, presumably as a reinforcement after the Battalion had lost 255 men at the Battle of Loos in September of that year. He was wounded on the 11th of May 1916 during the German attack on the Kink Salient at the western end of the Hohenzollern Redoubt with a Gun Shot Wound to his left thigh. William was evacuated to England on the Hospital Ship Asturias on the 27th of May 1916.
The following is an account of the German attack at The Kink on the 11th of May 1916 in which William was wounded:
The Loss of the Kink Salient occurred during a local attack on 11 May 1916, by the 3rd Bavarian Division on the positions of the 15th (Scottish) Division. The attack took place at the west end of the Hohenzollern Redoubt near Loos.
At 4:00 p.m. German artillery began to fire on the front of the 15th (Scottish) Division and at 4:25 p.m., the shelling fell on the Kink, from Border Redoubt to Clifford Street, in the area of the 13th Royal Scots of the 45th Brigade. The British artillery returned fire soon after, but dust and smoke obscured the front and made observation impossible. McCracken ordered the reserve brigade to readiness, moved a battalion to Noyelles and manned machine-guns in the Village Line. At 5:00 p.m., the Germans sprung a mine near Hohenzollern Redoubt and then the German artillery-fire on the Kink diminished and increased at the redoubt. British artillery also switched targets and a German infantry attack was repulsed by the artillery and the small-arms fire of the 11th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (11th Argylls).
German artillery-fire increased at the Kink again at 5:45 p.m. and became one of the greatest concentrations of shellfire on a small area of the war. Villages and artillery positions behind the front line were bombarded with high explosive and gas shells. The 13th Royal Scots in the first line had been killed, casualties had reduced the rest of the battalion by half and the ground had become a field of shell-holes. Battalion headquarters had been hit by a shell at 4:00 p.m., which wounded or killed everyone inside and created a command vacuum. At 6:00 p.m., German infantry moved forward, screened by the craters in no man’s land and overwhelmed the survivors in the front line, after a short exchange of fire. The attackers then occupied Anchor Trench just behind, as the surviving 30–40 Scots in the trench retreated to Sackville Street.
The German attackers overshot because the British trenches were unrecognisable and almost reached the British third line in the gloom. The troops were rallied and returned to the objective at the British second line. Entrances of the British mine galleries were captured and 39 tunnellers were taken prisoner. The 12th Royal Scots reserve company bombed forward from Sackville Street but were repulsed. British artillery fire continued onto the crater field and the German front line, since telephone cables were buried only 6–12 in (15–30 cm) deep and had been cut as soon as the German artillery opened fire; observation was still impossible in the smoke and dust. During the night, the British artillery continued to fire at the wrong target and the German infantry were able to consolidate the captured ground undisturbed. At 6:30 p.m., the commander of the 6th/7th Royal Scots Fusiliers (6th/7th RSF) the 45th Brigade reserve battalion, took over in the sector.
Organised counterattacks by bombing parties from the 6th/7th RSF began and other groups from the46th Brigade area to the right joined in. The attacks failed against German machine-gun fire and Brigadier-General Allgood, commander of the 45th Brigade, ended the attempts to bomb along trenches. Allgood prepared a counterattack with artillery support, to take place at 9:30 p.m. over open ground. Most of the attackers were mown down by machine-gun fire but some reached the west end of Hussar Horn. At 3:00 a.m. on 12 May, the attempts were abandoned, and a new front line was established in Sackville Street, which was consolidated with help from the 73rd Field company RE and the divisional pioneer battalion.
Sold with Copy Medal Index Card, Copy Medal Roll and information from Ancestry.