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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: Charles Last Name: JOHNSON
Date of Death: 19/12/1914 Lived/Born In: Notting Hill
Rank: Private Unit: Highland Light Infantry1
Memorial Site: Le Touret Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-24

167, Portland Road, Notting Hill

 

The 1st Highland Light Infantry battalion of the Sirhind Brigade, Lahore Division arrived in France from India on 30th November, 1914 to bolster the ranks of the BEF which had suffered severe losses in the opening months of the war. The division was sent to the southernmost part of the line then held by the British, around the French village of Festubert. On 19th December, along with the 4th Gurkha battalion, they attacked the German trenches near Givenchy. Their attack went in at 5.30 am behind a supporting artillery bombardment and the first two lines made it across no-man’s-land and captured the enemy trenches and two saps. A third line was sent across but lack of room meant that most of them were sent back with eighty prisoners. At 6 am the pioneers began digging a communication trench across no-man’s-land but heavy enemy fire soon put a stop to this. Those who had made it across came under increasing pressure as the day progressed and despite their gallant efforts to hold their positions, by mid-afternoon they had suffered heavy losses and had been forced back into the right hand sap by machine-gun fire and bombing (grenade) attacks. At 4.30 pm the survivors  withdrew to their own lines which then came under artillery fire itself. There were many casualties as a result of this failed attack, one of them being Charles Johnson who was killed in action.

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