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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: William Victor Last Name: FINCH
Date of Death: 09/05/1915 Lived/Born In: Wanstead
Rank: Corporal Unit: Northamptonshire1
Memorial Site: 1. Wanstead Memorial 2. Le Touret Memorial, France

Current Information:

Born-Wanstead

Battle of Aubers Ridge

On 9th  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.

1st Division attacked in front of Richbourg-l’Avoué. 1st Northamptonshire and 2nd Sussex led the attack on 2 Brigade’s front but heavy machine gun fire from 22 German machine guns hit these leading units and only a handful of them reached the German front line . About twenty of 1st Northamptonshire penetrated the German trenches where, according to the Germans, they were dealt with by bayonet and hand grenades. 1st Northamptonshire’s casualties amounted to over 550.

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