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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: William Last Name: BARNES
Date of Death: 25/01/1915 Lived/Born In: Pimlico
Rank: Private Unit: Coldstream Guards1
Memorial Site: 1. Pimlico, St James the Less 2. Le Touret Memorial, France

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Enlisted-Westminster

 

1st Coldstream Guards and 1st Scots Guards of 1 Brigade, 1st Division, left their billets in Cambrin on 23rd January, 1915 and moved into the front line at Cuinchy. The trenches here were in a terrible state. They were incomplete in construction and rain, which fell heavily all night, meant that they were half full of water. To add to their woes they had to withstand a heavy German artillery bombardment throughout the next day. At 7am on 25th January a German deserter made it into their lines with the news that an infantry attack was imminent. This proved to be correct information when shortly after a mine was blown under the trench held by No. 4 Company of 1st Coldstream Guards. The enemy then rushed and seized the first line of trenches but 1st Coldstream Guards and 1st Scots Guards rallied and were able to hold on to their positions on La Bassée Canal and the notorious Cuinchy brick stacks. The other three battalions of the Brigade moved up but were unable to dislodge the Germans from the front trenches they had captured. Both battalions suffered a number of casualties in this encounter, one of whom was William Barnes of 1st Coldstream Guards.

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