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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Harry Last Name: GARDNER
Date of Death: 14/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Wood Green
Rank: Lance Corporal Unit: Middlesex4
Memorial Site: 1. Wood Green Memorial 2. La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:



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 dawn on 14th  September, 8 Brigade of 3rd Division , having crossed the Aisne the previous day, moved up towards the crest of the Jouy spur. 2nd Royal Scots led the way and came under close range fire, the German trenches being just on the other side of the ridge. 2nd Royal Irish came up on their right and 4th Middlesex on their left.  The three battalions, about 1500 strong, almost reached the crest but lacked artillery support. At 4 pm 8 Brigade retired and moved back to a position one mile north of Vailly where they were to stay for nineteen days. Harry Gardner was one of the battalion’s casualties on 14th September.

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