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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial
First Name: Richard Last Name: KING
Date of Death: 23/08/1914 Lived/Born In: Deptford
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Scots Fusiliers1
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:

Born-Deptford

 

The Battle of Mons  August 23, 1914

This was the first battle fought by the British Army (BEF) in the war. Since landing in France ten days earlier the four infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades of the BEF had advanced to a position on the left flank of the French Armies only to find themselves directly in the line of the advance of the German First Army as they swept through Belgium and headed for Paris.

With orders to hold the German advance for 24hours and outnumbered two to one, the BEF dug in along the Mons-Conde canal. The battle commenced at 9am and lasted all day. By nightfall the BEF had withdrawn to a position along the Valenciennes-Maubeuge road, a position from which the Great Retreat began the next day. British casualties, killed, wounded or missing, amounted to 1600 for the battle. German casualties were higher.

The 1st  Royal Scots Fusiliers battalion of 9 Brigade, 3rd Division held a position around Jemappes on the canal where 210 of them held back 2,000 Germans thus preventing the encirclement of the salient. At 11am German shells began falling on Jemappes in the rear of the battalion and their forward post north of the canal, was withdrawn.  At 3pm, 1st  Royal Scots Fusiliers fell back by order through Jemappes to Frameries with the Germans able to follow close behind because the bridge had not been destroyed. There was fierce fighting along the roads and around the slag heaps but eventually 1st  Royal Scots Fusiliers regrouped in Flameries. One of their casualties on this hard day of fighting was Richard King.

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