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First Name: Arthur Louis Last Name: KINGS
Date of Death: 21/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Brockley
Rank: Private Unit: Worcestershire3
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-25

1, Kneller Road, Brockley 

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 20th September there was a general attack by VII Reserve Corps of German Seventh Army on the Aisne front. A dawn attack on French troops immediately on the right of the British line, drove them back out of their trenches and put great pressure on the right of the British line. In a day of heavy fighting, often hand to hand, the Germans were finally pushed back to their own lines.

7 Brigade, 3rd Division saw the brunt of the fighting. Between 8 am and 9 am, 1st Wiltshire. In the centre of the line were attacked by German infantry, some 200 of whom managed to push their way through dense undergrowth between 1st Wiltshire and 3rd Worcestershire and bring their machine guns into action. By noon, the three companies of 1st Wiltshire had managed to hold the Germans at bay on their front. 2nd South Staffordshire from 6 Brigade were sent midway between Chavonne and Vailly and began to work north up the valley against the German left flank.  British artillery also came into play and by 2 pm the German advance was stopped.  They fell back a little and tried to entrench but were driven back further by British shrapnel.  At 4 pm, 200 men of 1st Wiltshire, 3rd Worcestershire and 2nd South Lancashire,  advanced and after sharp fighting drove the Germans back to their original line. Although this death is recorded as 21st  September, it is much more likely to have occurred on the 20th September.

 

 

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