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Le Touret Memorial Le Touret Memorial
First Name: Edward Last Name: AUSTIN
Date of Death: 10/03/1915 Lived/Born In: Kensal Rise
Rank: Private Unit: London3
Memorial Site: Le Touret Memorial

Current Information:

Born-Paddington

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.

By 10am on 10th March, the leading battalions had reached their objectives but the Germans continued to hold part of their front line on both flanks. The supporting units moved up to the original British front line.  At 11.45am, 1st Seaforth Highlanders arrived at the front breastworks on the La Bassee-Estaires road with orders were to attack down the German line in conjunction with a frontal attack by 2 companies of 3rd London Gharwal Brigade, Meerut Division and the rest of 1/39th Gharwal Rifles. This gallant attack under heavy fire resulted in many casualties for 3rd London but the trench was taken, reversed and consolidated. 

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