The 4th Middlesex retired in good order, both from Obourg station and from the Wartons lock (which is to the left of the station in the extension of the Wartons way). They took up position all along the wall that lines the road, being joined by two companies of the 2nd Royal Irish around 12:40 am.

A and C Companies as well as two platoons of B Company of the 2nd Royal Irish took up their position, under the command of Major SAINT LEGER in a racecourse to the north-west of the cemetery (it no longer exists today, but was located in what is now the street named after the 4th Middlesex) and towards the right under the cover of a sunken road. D Company under Captain ELLIOT was to the north of the road with, on its right, the last platoon of B Company. Finally, two sections of B Company, led by Lieutenant FERGUSON, in a field to the west of the cemetery covered the road’s exit between the asylum and the cemetery.

The remainder of the 2nd Royal Irish took up position at Faubourg Barthelemy as far as the intersection of the Mons- Binche and Mons-Givry roads (the place called « La Bascule ») in order to cover the Gordon Highlanders.

The companies of the 4th Middlesex prepared for battle to the right of the dispositions of the 2nd Royal Irish, from the end of the rue du Chene aux haies as far as the Binche highway (slightly above the crossing), thus forming the arc of a circle.

The German artillery heavily bombarded the sector, especially with incendiary shells. The buildings of the asylum started to burn and the 600 inmates, terrified, fled into the open. Several were killed anyway.

The companies of the 2nd Royal Irish had to scatter under the heavy fire from howitzers and machine-guns. The troops’ movement must have been seen by a spotter aircraft that overflew the sector and informed the artillery.

Major SAINT LEGER was forced to move his troops to new positions, since the bombardment was too intense and his men’s field of fire was very much reduced. The British losses were becoming heavy, especially in officers.

The situation was becoming desperate, for the enemy was attacking on both flanks and the German artillery had complete ascendancy. Major HULL and Major SAINT LEGER decided therefore to withdraw to a more favourable position. Gathering all the men that they could, HULL and SAINT LEGER retreated, covered by Major PANTERDOWNES and Lieutenant PHILIPPs who was wounded.

Go down rue du Chêne aux Haies, turn left and follow the Roeulx highway; then turn right and take the Mourdreux road so that you arrive at that Bascule cross-roads.