At 0530 on April 14, the Newfoundland Regiment began its advance behind a creeping barrage. Although some men were lost to enemy machine-gun fire, the Regiment soon reached its first objective Shrapnel Trench. Troops found this deserted and proceeded to Infantry Hill. By 0730, with both of their objectives taken, the Newfoundland and Essex Regiments began to secure their positions.
At about 0800, the Germans began a strong counterattack. It soon became apparent that the Germans had used an elastic defence. With the Essex and Newfoundland Regiments in a salient, the Germans were able to attack them on three sides. Soon the Germans were able to move in behind the two Regiments and "pinch" them off from the village of Monchy-le-Preux. After fierce fighting, most of the Essex and Newfoundland men were either captured or killed.
Back at Battalion Headquarters in Monchy-le-Preux, commanders were having trouble determining what was happening on the battlefield. To help clarify the situation, the Newfoundland Regiment's Colonel Forbes-Robertson sent a soldier to investigate. The soldier soon returned with news it appeared that all of the Regiment's men were either wounded or dead and that 200 to 300 Germans were advancing on the village.
Thus began the second story of the Newfoundland Regiment at Monchy-le-Preux. Colonel Forbes-Robertson immediately gathered every available man, approximately twenty, to head off the German attack. Scavenging weapons and ammunition from dead and wounded soldiers, this small group of men braved enemy fire in an attempt to reach a well-banked hedge at the edge of town. Only nine of the men actually made it, and they were later joined by one soldier from the Essex Regiment.
The men reached the edge of the village at 1050 and immediately began firing on the advancing enemy. Their shooting was so rapid and accurate that it successfully repelled the German attack shooting down waves of advancing German soldiers in the open field. Additionally, the soldiers targeted German scouts in an effort to keep the enemy ignorant of the size of the force opposing them. The British Official History of the battle records that for the next four hours, those ten men "represented all that stood between the Germans and Monchy, one of the most vital positions on the whole battlefield."
By 1400, enemy fire subsided. Colonel Forbes-Robertson sent one of the men back to seek reinforcements, which they received at 1445. Together they continued to hold off the enemy until they were finally relieved at 2000.