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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: George Last Name: POWELL
Date of Death: 10/03/1915 Lived/Born In: Wapping
Rank: Rifleman Unit: King's Royal Rifle Corps1
Memorial Site: Le Touret Memorial

Current Information:

Born-St George's-in-the-East

The Indian Army Corps and IV Corps attacked the village of Neuve Chapelle in the Artois region of France between 10th and 13th March, 1915. During the winter of 1914-1915, reinforcements had arrived from Britain and this was seen as an opportunity to use them to break through the German lines.

It started well. At 7.30am on 10th March, a 30 minute hurricane bombardment destroyed the German wire and front line trenches and at 8.05am the infantry went in. Neuve Chapelle was captured and over a mile of the German line taken. But that was the end of the success.  The British chain of command was weak and their communications poor, which was hardly surprising given that many of the troops had no previous experience of battle. The Germans re-organised and reinforced during the night and no further gains were made. British casualties mounted to 12,000 by the time the offensive petered out on 13th March.

Whilst the main attack went in at Neuve-Chapelle,  a subsidiary attack was launched by 2nd Division a bit further to the south. 6Brigade assaulted on a 750 yard front east of Givenchy with Chapelle St Roche and Violaines as their objectives.  The attack was made by 2nd South Staffordshire on the right, 1st Liverpool (Kings) in the centre and 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps on the left. But here the British bombardment was not so successful. Mist caused difficulties in ranging and the shelling of the German line on the reverse side of a slight rise was inadequate.  Coming across No Man’s Land,  they met heavy machine gun fire from in front and both flanks.  On the left, the first line of 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps reached the German trenches but the supporting lines were held up and those who got into the German line were soon bombed out.  Further efforts were made but failed.  In the centre 1st  Liverpool (Kings) were stopped by the uncut wire and the leading men killed there.  After suffering heavy losses the battalion withdrew.  On the right the same thing happened to 2nd South Staffordshire as had happened on the left.  In the afternoon they tried a second attack on a reduced frontage after a 30minute bombardment.  Only the right and centre attacked but again machine gun fire checked them.  A 3rd assault was planned but postponed. 

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