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Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium
First Name: John Cornelius Last Name: BARKER
Date of Death: 25/09/1915 Lived/Born In: Wapping
Rank: Rifleman Unit: Rifle Brigade2
Memorial Site: Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium

Current Information:


Action of Bois Grenier

With the aim of diverting German troops away from Loos when the British attack went in there on 25th September 1915, there was an attack by 8th Division at Bois Grenier, just south of Armentières. At 4.30am three battalions of 25 Brigade, 2nd Rifle Brigade on the right, 2nd Royal Berkshire in the centre and  2nd Lincolnshire on the left, attacked on a 1200 yard front between Corner Fort and Bridoux Fort, two strongpoints in the German line. Both of these were captured in the initial rush and the infantrymen pushed on towards the German second line. But the attack was held up at Angle Point at the junction of 2nd Rifle Brigade and 2nd Berkshire and from here the Germans were able to fire into the flanks of the advancing British line as well as hinder the passage of reinforcements and ammunition coming across no-man’s land.

At 1pm a German counter attack was launched against 2nd Lincolnshire which drove them back to and then out of  Bridoux Fort. Those still left standing withdrew to their original line. This put increasing pressure on both 2nd Rifle Brigade and 2nd Berkshire and as they were now in danger of being surrounded they too fell back to their starting line. By the end of the day no ground had been won but 25 Brigade had suffered over 1300 casualties.

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