24 APRIL 1915, Page 3

What is described as "the first independent, detailed account" of

the battle of Neuve Chapelle, issued by the London Newa Agency, was printed in the daily papers on Monday, and proves an illuminating commentary on Sir John French's despatch of April 5th. The narrative describes the nature and importance of the positions which had been wrested from us five months previously, and the massing of the troops for the eurprise onslaught to be made before the Germans could rush up reinforcements. The great artillery preparations—preceded by a couple of hours of " registering " in which the guns were making sore of their respective ranges—lasted thirty-five minutes, and in the centre of the line had smashed the enemy's trenches into irreeog- nimble pits dotted with dead and cut away the barbed wire like so mush twine. The Lincoln. and Berkshires captured the first line of trenches, letting the Royal Irish Rifles and the Rifle Brigade through to advance on the village of Reeve Chapelle, already reduced to chaos by our guns. By 8.30 Neuve Chapelle was taken after fierce hand-to-hand fighting, and the Rifle Brigade and Gurkhas were fraternizing in the Brat flush of victory; but on the right the Garb widis Scottish Rifles, and 2nd Middlesex, advancing on barbed wire and untouched trenches, suffered terribly from machine-grin fire, though none of them turned back. Even when all the officers of the Scottish Rifles were killed or wounded the men remained as steady as on parade.