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First Name: Harry Last Name: MASON
Date of Death: 13/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Leyton
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Scots2
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-25

2 Boundary Rd, Leyton

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.

On 13th September, 8 Brigade led the advance of 3rd Division on Vailly but were checked at Chassemy on the edge of the plateau by German howitzers firing from the promontory at Chivres.  At  10am, 2nd Royal Scots worked their way down the wooded slopes and reached the canal between the light railway bridge, totally destroyed, and the road bridge, spanned by a single plank. At 3pm they began crossing the Aisne on this plank.  As they did so they were shelled and there were some casualties.  By 4pm 2nd Royal Scots were established in Vauxelles Chateau, 1 mile north-west of Vailly. 

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