IWW Folkestone The Forgotten Adoption 9th August 1918

Prior to the Battle of the Somme the 20th Battalion Manchester Regiment moved out of Morlancourt towards Fricourt, along the road now named after them. They had been billeted along part of the road since January 1916 the Manchesters attacked Fricourt on the 1st July 1916. During the battle of the Somme, in 1916, Morlancourt was relatively quiet. Field Ambulances were based there. Field Ambulances were part of the casualty evacuation chain and were based behind divisional lines. In 1918 during the Kaiser Battles, the last German offensive, part of the area near and around the village, as well as Morlancourt itself, was capture by the Germans. On the 28th March 1918 the Australians were ordered to attack towards the village. The assault was undertaken by units of the 3rd Australian Division. They were the 41st and 44th Battalions from the 11th Brigade. Near Sailly-Laurette they were ambushed and lost 300 men. Morlancourt was to remain in German hands until August and was not liberated until the 9th August 1918 when the 1st/1st Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment, supported by tanks, recaptured the village. So ended the history of Morlancourt in the Great War. Compared to other places along the Western Front Morlancourt had suffered but not as badly as some places had. After the war the village still needed help and support though, and, like many small towns and villages to aid in there recovery they were adopted. Morlancourt was adopted by Folkestone and this small seaside town took Morlancourt into its care. Sadly the adoption is all but forgotten in Folkestone, a shame as it was a truly wonderful thing the town did.

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