Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:53 am
He was killed during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle when his battalion were given the task of taking the German trenches north east of Givenchy. The attack commenced at 8.45am on the day of his death and almost immediately the battalion suffered heavy losses for little or no gain. The enemy had sited two machine guns to cross fire the 80 yards the battalion had to cover to reach their trenches. The German wire remained intact so a second bombardment was ordered in an attempt to provide a passage through.
Following this, at 2.45pm, the battalion again charged the German lines but, again, the enemy wire remained intact. The battalion was cut down by the accurate machine gun fire and suffered the loss of 4 officers and 24 other ranks killed, 2 officers and 74 other ranks wounded and 1 officer and 33 other ranks missing. The attack ground to a halt with no gain being made in the enemy trenches.
The War Diary (in part) records,
“10 March 1915 - At 8.10am “B” Company advanced against the enemy’s trenches in front of Duck’s Bill just east of Givenchy. As soon as the men left the shelter of our parapet they were subjected to a very severe cross fire from machine guns (2) in the German trench which at this point was 80 yards distant from our own. A certain number of men reached the German trench but were unable to remain there…
Eventually the attack ceased and the right column was ordered to reform. About 1pm orders were received that a fresh bombardment would take place at 2.15pm followed by a fresh assault at 2.45pm. “C” Company was told to lead the assault supported by “A” Company. “B” Company, which had suffered very heavily in the morning, being withdrawn.
The bombardment commenced at 2.15pm and at 2.45pm the leading sections advanced only to be mown down by machine gun fire, as soon as they had surmounted our parapet. The German wire not having been cut and their trenches having apparently suffered very slightly from the preliminary bombardment, it was decided not to press the assault further.
About 4pm orders were received to repair the trenches and to collect all wounded and their equipment.”