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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Alfred Charles Last Name: SAMBROOK
Date of Death: 14/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Limehouse
Rank: Private Unit: Cornwall Light Infantry1
Memorial Site: 1. Limehouse, St Anne 2. La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:


The Battle of the Aisne 13th September -28 September, 1914

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.

1st Cornwall Light Infantry 14th Brigade, 5th Division crossed the River Aisne on 13th September an on the next day they joined in the general attack, moving eastward from Ste Marguerite. As dawn broke on 14th September,  they were targeted by German artillery in the valley near Missy. The attack continued however and 1st Cornwall advanced with 1st East Surrey to Missy. In the afternoon 14 and 15 Brigades attacked the German lines but without success.

Additional information supplied by Michael Sambrook points out that Alfred Sambrook is remembered in the DCLI museum Bodmin as firing one of the opening shots of WW1. He ambushed German cavalry killing an officer whose helmet is in the DCLI museum

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