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Vimy Memorial, France Vimy Memorial, France
First Name: Alfred Last Name: WALKER
Date of Death: 15/06/1915 Lived/Born In: West Hampstead
Rank: Sergeant Unit: Canadian 1Bn
Memorial Site: 1. West Hampstead, St James 2. Vimy Memorial, France

Current Information:

3, Palmerston Road, West Hampstead

 

The Second Action of Givenchy, 15-16 June 1915

This was an attack by 7th Division, 51st Division and the 1st Canadian battalion of the 1st BrigadeCanadian Division to gain the high ground north of the La Bassée canal. The original plan called for an attack south of the canal as well but a shortage of artillery ammunition put paid to that.

There was a slow bombardment of the enemy trenches for 48 hours but the artillery shortage meant that there was little covering fire for the actual attack and this was to have grave consequences. The enemy defences here were very strong and had been practically untouched by the British bombardment so when the assaulting troops rose from their trenches to attack they were met by a withering fire that decimated their ranks. Nevertheless some made it across to the German lines where a bombing fight took place. This was an unequal contest with the Germans having a better supply of more efficient grenades and inevitably the British and Canadians were forced back to their own lines, leaving their dead behind. Undeterred by this setback exactly the same thing was tried again the next day with the same results.

On both days, when the attack went in the 1st Canadians moved forward to secure the right flank and attack a German strongpoint there called “Dorchester” but as the fortunes of the main attack waned, 1st Canadians also found themselves forced back. One of their casualties was Alfred Walker.

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