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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Henry J Last Name: LOWRY
Date of Death: 20/09/1914 Lived/Born In: King's Cross
Rank: Private Unit: Highland Light Infantry2
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-28

183, Pentonville Road, Islington

5, Wharfdale Road, King's Cross

 

The Battle of the Aisne 13th September -28 September

After the Germans were defeated on the Marne they fell back to the River Aisne, closely pursued by both the British and the French. The new German line was a very formidable defensive position. To attack it  meant  having to cross the Aisne and then climb up a 500 foot high ridge on top of which was the Chemin des Dames, a road that gave the Germans an easy way to move troops along the top of the hills. On 13th September the Aisne was crossed by both British and French troops but after that progress became slower, until there was no progress at all. Both sides dug in and the fighting settled down into trench warfare. The fighting on the Aisne continued for two weeks at the end of which both sides realised that frontal attacks on entrenched positions were both costly and non-productive, not that this deterred them from continuing with this tactic throughout the war.

The 2nd Highland Light Infantry battalion of 5 Brigade, 2nd Division crossed the Aisne near Bourg on 13th September. At dawn on 20th September the Germans attacked 2nd Division’s line immediately east of the Oise and Aisne Canal and came to within eighty yards of the British positions. They followed this up at 9 am with another attack and this time brought up two machine guns to the western slope of the Beaulne Spur. In order to clear these machine guns platoons of 2nd Highland Light Infantry and 2nd Worcestershire, both 5 Brigade, counter attacked through a wood. It was heavy going through the thick undergrowth but they got through, then charged and captured a German trench.  Proceeding further they fell into an ambush and were enfiladed on their left by machine gun fire.  With all their officers fallen they fell back in disorder on a company of 1st Liverpool (Kings), some of whom retreated further with them whilst others stood firm.  The situation was serious as 2nd Connaught Rangers on the ridge further east had been driven from their trenches by a heavy bombardment which exposed the right flank of 1st Liverpool (Kings).  The right company of 1st Liverpool (Kings) quickly threw back its right and reformed.  Their accurate fire then forced the Germans back leaving seventy dead or wounded behind. Along with the other units involved  2nd Highland Light Infantry suffered a number of casualties, one of whom was Henry Lowry.

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