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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Frederick William Last Name: PEIRCE
Date of Death: 24/08/1914 Lived/Born In: Islington
Rank: Private Unit: South Lancashire2
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:


New North Road, Islington


The Battle of Mons  August 23, 1914

This was the first battle fought by the British Army (BEF) in the war. Since landing in France ten days earlier the four infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades of the BEF had advanced to a position on the left flank of the French Armies only to find themselves directly in the line of the advance of the German First Army as they swept through Belgium and headed for Paris.

With orders to hold the German advance for 24 hours and outnumbered two to one, the BEF dug in along the Mons-Conde canal. The battle commenced at 9 am and lasted all day. By nightfall the BEF had withdrawn to the Valenciennes-Maubeuge road, a position from which the Great Retreat began the next day. British casualties, killed, wounded or missing, amounted to 1600 for the battle. German casualties were higher.

On 24 August 1914 at 6am the Germans launched massive infantry attacks on 7 Brigade, 3rd Division  around Ciply but were repelled with heavy losses. Later that morning 7 Brigade withdrew to Genly but not before the 2nd South Lancashire battalion had been enfiladed by machine guns from the slag heaps near Frameries and suffered 200-300 casualties, one of whom was Frederick Peirce.

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