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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Leslie Edgar Last Name: TUCKWOOD
Date of Death: 19/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Finsbury Park
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Berkshire1
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:




The Battle of the Aisne 13 September -28 September, 1914

After the Germans were defeated on the Marne they fell back to the River Aisne, closely pursued by both the British and the French. The new German line was a very formidable defensive position. To attack it  meant  having to cross the Aisne and then climb up a 500 foot high ridge on top of which was the Chemin des Dames, a road that gave the Germans an easy way to move troops along the top of the hills. On 13th September the Aisne was crossed by both British and French troops but after that progress became slower, until there was no progress at all. Both sides dug in and the fighting settled down into trench warfare. The fighting on the Aisne continued for two weeks at the end of which both sides realised that frontal attacks on entrenched positions were both costly and non-productive, not that this deterred them from continuing with this tactic throughout the war.

On 14th September, 1914 at 5am, 6 Brigade of 2nd Division began crossing the Aisne at the pontoon bridge at Pont Arcy,an operation that took two hours to complete by the time all the guns and supplies had been taken across. The 1st Royal Berkshire battalion with two troops of 15th Hussars in front pushed on up the long valley between the Oise and Aisne canal, towards Braye.  At 9am they were checked by heavy shell and rifle fire but later continued the advance across the lower ground, their left flank guarded by two companies of the 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps battalion on the subsidiary spur of La Bovette, north of Soupir.  But the timing was wrong and 1st Royal Berkshire’s advance outstripped that of the battalions on their right. Reaching the foot of the spur just north east of Braye, they found themselves in action on the lower slopes  but could go no further with tiers of German trenches in front and fire coming in from the flanks.  Later an enemy counter attack pushed the battalion back to a position abreast of Beaulne with Battalion HQ at La Mets Ferme. Here a trench line was established and here the battalion remained until they were relieved on 22nd September. Leslie Tuckwood was killed on 19th September.

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