On 21 November 1951, the 2nd Battalion, Le Royal 22e Régiment (the Van Doos) relieved the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Days before, on 4 November, Private Speakman of the Shropshires had earned the Victoria Cross for his role in defending the position.

D Company of the Van Doos held ground on a low saddle between Hill 355, which was occupied by the Americans, on its right and Hill 277, which was unocuppied, on its left. At 3:00 p.m. on 22 November, the Chinese commenced an intense bombardment of Hill 355 and the position of the 2nd Battalion. The D Company trenches were under particularly heavy attack. Shells and rockets fell on the position throughout the night. Rain changed to snow, creating extremely difficult conditions for the engineers trying to keep the supply routes, mere dirt tracks, open into the beleaguered companies.

On 23 November, the bombardment of shells and rockets intensified, creating a situation that might be described as "hell on earth." Late in the day, the Chinese launched an assault on Hill 355 and two companies assaulted D Company from the left flank. A fierce battle ensued. Platoons were forced to tighten in on each other, but, at the end of the day, they had held their ground. Hill 277, unoccupied, fell to the Chinese, and the Americans withdrew from Hill 355.

 

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