The War diary of the 2nd Bn. of the Royal Irish Regiment mentioning the death of Capt James P. Tighe
14th July 1916. Attack started at 4:30am. First stage swiftly successful, Circus Trench taken and held by 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment without much opposition. Village of Bazentin le Petit captured by the 2nd Royal Irish at 6:30am. 150 prisoners taken in village including a battalion commander. Consolidation of positions laid down in order commenced with assistance of RE. In this attack the village was captured by C Company commanded by Captain Tighe. The Grenade Company cleared all cellars and dugouts closely following C Company’s attack. A Company commanded by Lieutenant Hegarty attacked the cemetery and established a defensive line running from X Roads S8a.8.7 to the cemetery including a strong post at the windmill. The Company formed a defensive flank on the left of village and obtained connection with 21st Division … the Wood. D Company was in Battalion Reserve.
At about 11:45am the enemy counter attacked the Wood on our left and in response to an urgent appeal for reinforcements two Platoons of B Company and two Platoons D Company were sent to their assistance. This reinforcement almost immediately encountered the enemy in large numbers and was driven back into the village with severe casualties. Lieutenant Finlay was killed in his counter-attack, C Company in process of consolidating strong point northern end of the village was attacked from the Wood on the left hand and outflanked. RE working on the strong points were ordered to retire by their own officers, which retirement was successfully carried out. At this juncture Captain Tighe in command of C Company was killed by an enemy machine gun firing from his left flank in the Wood, and Lieutenant Stuttaford and CSM Smith seriously wounded together with practically all the NCOs of this Company. The enemy at this juncture gained the northern extremity of the village but they vacated it on being counter attacked by heavy fire from D Company and A Company from our right flank.
At 12:45pm the enemy again counter attacked the east side of the village, assembling apparently in High Wood. This attack gained the windmill which was been held by A Company and almost reached the village. Lieutenant Deane and three men were killed at close quarters in to the windmill. A counter attack was organised and commanded by the Adjutant which succeeded in driving off the attack. Afterwards the same officer worked through Bazentin Le Petit Wood and re-established the line there previously held by the 21st Division. During these counter attacks the enemy shelled the village and wood very heavily, and B and D companies suffered very heavily. Lieutenants Tod, Hodges, Ryan, Pike, Pollack, Moran and Grant were wounded. At about 5pm the 2nd Gordon Highlanders arrived and reinforced the northern end of the village and gained complete touch with the wood on the left. At about 7pm the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment took over the strong points in the village and the Royal Irish assembled on road south of village, whence we marched to bivouack in Mametz Wood.
Our total casualties on this day were 334 all ranks. At 8pm on this day the first cavalry went through the position held by us, the first cavalry used in this campaign for a period of over 18 months.