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HAC Cemetery, Ecoust-St Mein, France HAC Cemetery, Ecoust-St Mein, France
First Name: Edward Last Name: WHITE
Date of Death: 29/08/1918 Lived/Born In: Herne Hill
Rank: Private Unit: London14
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Age-18

28, Carver Road, Herne Hill

HAC Cemetery, Ecoust-St Mein, France

 

The Battle of Albert was a continuation of the Battle of Amiens that had been fought earlier in the month and which had been the start of the Hundred Days Offensive that culminated in the collapse of the German army and the end of the war. On the first day, 21st August, the British Third Army attacked along a front that stretched over ten miles northwards from the town of Albert as far as Moyenneville and made significant advances everywhere. The following day the British Fourth Army came into action when they attacked the ridge of high ground that lay between the Somme and Ancre river valleys, stretching north from Bray to the town of Albert. Within a week the front along which the British, Australians and Canadians were engaged had spread north as far as Arras and the Battle of the Scarpe and the Battle of Bapaume took over from where the Battle of Albert left off. These however were official military nomenclatures and for the men on the ground the fighting was continuous and  there was little to differentiate them from each other.

On 28th August, 56th (London) Division re-entered the battle on a front roughly half way between Albert and Arras, where they attacked towards the village of Bullecourt,  which had been the scene of fierce fighting during the Battle of Arras in April 1917. 169 Brigade were given the task of advancing in a south-east direction on Bullecourt itself but their attack came under machine-gun fire and was confronted by deep, uncut wire, which caused them to swerve left, lose direction and end up in front of the village of Hendecourt where they eventually took up a position 500 yards north-west of the village. The next day, 29th August, 168 Brigade resumed the attack on Bullecourt. Overnight the Germans had evacuated the ground to the west of the village which enabled the men of 13th London and 14th London to take up a position 300 yards away, Supported by an artillery barrage the 14th London battalion captured the ruins of Bullecourt against fierce opposition which caused considerable casualties for both sides and then went on to occupy trenches on the southern and eastern sides of the village. The 13th London battalion had to overcome a strongpoint at the station to the south of Bullecourt before they could move on to reach the Ecoust St Mien road. There were many casualties for both battalions during a day of hard fighting, one of whom was Edward White of 14th London who was killed in action.

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