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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: Edward Alfred Last Name: READDY
Date of Death: 09/05/1915 Lived/Born In: Notting Hill
Rank: Private Unit: Gloucestershire1
Memorial Site: Le Touret Memorial, France

Current Information:

Enlisted-Fulham

Battle of Aubers Ridge

On 9 May 1915 the British attacked north at Arras as part of the British contribution to the Second Battle of Artois, a Franco-British offensive. Their objective was the capture of Aubers Ridge but it turned into an unmitigated disaster. The German defences had been much improved since the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March and the British  artillery was in a parlous condition and failed to destroy the German defences during the short and insufficient 40 minute bombardment that preceded the attack. Extra artillery had been requested but further to the north, the Second Battle of Ypres was being fought on a ferocious scale and none was forthcoming. The few initial gains could not be held and by the evening of 9 May, all the British forces were back where they started, except of course the dead who littered the battlefield. There were 11,000 casualties for the British Army.

2nd Munster and 2nd Welsh led the attack of 3 Brigade, 1st Division,  but within minutes of going over the top, both battalions were stopped in their tracks by deadly German machine gun fire and the German front line trench was not captured. 1st Gloucestershire moved up from reserve only to find the  British front line trenches full of troops from the support battalions who could also go no further. After some reorganisation 1st Gloucestershire were ordered to renew the attack, which they did along with 1st South Wales Borderers at 7 am and after another less than adequate artillery bombardment of the German trenches. As with the first attempt this attack came to grief in No Man’s Land and the survivors crawled back to their own trenches where they stayed for the rest of the day. 1st Gloucestershire’s losses for the day amounted to over 250.

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