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First Name: James Edward Cecil Last Name: KIRK
Date of Death: 27/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Pimlico
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Fusiliers1
Memorial Site: 1. Pimlico, St Gabriel Memorial 2. La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:


63, Westmoreland Street, Pimlico

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.

At the outbreak of the war, 1st Royal Fusiliers were in Ireland, but along with the rest of 6th Division they were sent to France, where they arrived in the beginning of September 1914 as part of 17 Brigade. By 21st September they had reached the Aisne and went into the trenches north of Soupir. Patrols were sent out to determine the position of the Germans. On 27th September, a daylight patrol was sent out to test the strength of the German line. It must have been quite strong because 17 men were killed and another 12 wounded. Daylight patrols were dangerous exercises. 

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