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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: Gilbert Alexander Leighton Last Name: BOYCE
Date of Death: 15/06/1915 Lived/Born In: Norwood
Rank: Private Unit: Seaforth Highlanders6
Memorial Site: Le Touret Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-26

26 Lansdowne Hill, West Norwood

 

The Second Action of Givenchy, 15-16 June 1915

This was an attack by 7th Division, 51st Division and the Canadian Division to gain the high ground north of the La Bassée canal. The original plan called for an attack south of the canal as well but a shortage of artillery ammunition put paid to that.

There was a slow bombardment of the enemy trenches for 48 hours but the artillery shortage meant that there was little covering fire for the actual attack and this was to have grave consequences. The enemy defences here were very strong and had been practically untouched by the British bombardment so when the assaulting troops rose from their trenches to attack they were met by a withering fire that decimated their ranks. Nevertheless some made it across to the German lines where a bombing fight took place. This was an unequal contest with the Germans having a better supply of more efficient grenades and inevitably the British were forced back to their own lines, leaving their dead behind. Undeterred by this setback exactly the same thing was tried again the next day with the same results.

Just before 6pm on 15 June, 1915, the Royal Engineers blew a large mine at the Duck’s Bill, a stronghold in the German line and two minutes later, on the 51st Division front, 6th Scottish Rifles and 4th Loyal North Lancashire of 154 Brigade rose to the attack. Their casualties soon mounted and 5th Seaforth Highlanders and 6th Seaforth Highlanders, both of 152 Brigade, sent forward men in support. But eventually German pressure and numbers proved too much and all of 51st Division, including both 5th Seaforth Highlanders and 6th Seaforth Highlanders were forced back to their starting lines.

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