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Loos Memorial, France Loos Memorial, France
First Name: John Upton Last Name: VENN
Date of Death: 25/09/1915 Lived/Born In: Brompton
Rank: Corporal Unit: Royal Engineers91Field Coy
Memorial Site: Loos Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-31

Enlisted-Bath

The Battle of Loos

This was fought by the British Army from 25th September, 1915 through to 13th October, was conducted along a six-and-a-half-mile front running north from the mining village of Loos on the outskirts of Lens in Northern France. It was the largest offensive carried out by the British so far. The opening day involved an attack by six divisions, with others entering the fray as it progressed and it was part of a much wider offensive with the French launching their own attacks in Champagne and at Vimy. It was the first time that the British used gas during the war, despite their condemnation of the Germans for doing the same in April 1915. There were some encouraging results on the first day but no major breakthrough was achieved and in the successive days of the battle it became bogged down in brutal trench warfare. By mid-October the battle had petered out with the British having suffered over 60,000 casualties during its course.

Each division that attacked at Loos had three Royal Engineer Field Companies attached.  A Field Company consisted of some 220 officers and men, usually under the command of a Major. 91st Field Company were part of 15th Division which, on 25th September, 1915, attacked on a frontage of 1500 yards astride the Béthune to Lens and Vermelles to Loos roads with their objectives being the Lens road and Loos road redoubts. This they achieved but further success did not happen. 91st Field Company went forward at zero hour with the first wave of the attack.

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