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First Name: Wilfred Marryat Last Name: BLISS
Date of Death: 10/03/1915 Lived/Born In: Earl's Court
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel Unit: Scottish Rifles2
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Age-49

81, Philbeach Gardens, Earl's Court

Brown's Road Military Cemetery, Festubert

The Indian Army Corps and IV Corps attacked the village of Neuve Chapelle in the Artois region of France between 10th and 13th March, 1915. During the winter of 1914-1915, reinforcements had arrived from Britain and this was seen as an opportunity to use them to break through the German lines.

It started well. At 7.30am on 10th March, a 30 minute hurricane bombardment destroyed the German wire and front line trenches and at 8.05am the infantry went in. Neuve Chapelle was captured and over a mile of the German line taken. But that was the end of the success.  The British chain of command was weak and their communications poor, which was hardly surprising given that many of the troops had no previous experience of battle. The Germans re-organised and reinforced during the night and no further gains were made. British casualties mounted to 12,000 by the time the offensive petered out on 13th March.

Although on 10th March, there had been success on the right, the British bombardment on the left, where 23 Brigade, 8th Division attacked, failed. This was largely due to the late arrival of the artillery batteries and as a result, the Germans in the line opposite 2nd Middlesex were untouched. . Although the bombardment in front of 2nd Scottish Rifles had been successful, they too suffered heavily.  The leading company on the right, advancing along Signpost lane, reached the German trenches but the left company was stopped. Their commanding officer,  Lt . Col. Bliss, was killed trying to bring troops over to the right to exploit the success there. After a further bombardment at 10.10am, 2nd Scottish Rifles were able to move up to the Smith-Dorrien trench and consolidate their position there. 

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