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Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium
First Name: Daniel Richard Last Name: BROWN
Date of Death: 23/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Hampstead
Rank: Rifleman Unit: Rifle Brigade3
Memorial Site: Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium

Current Information:




The Race to the Sea. September-October 1914

By the middle of September 1914, the Aisne battlefield had stagnated into trench warfare and in order to break this impasse, both sides tried to outflank each other in a general movement northwards. Moving up through Picardy, Artois and Flanders the race was over by 19th October when the North Sea was reached. The Western Front, a line of trenches stretching from Belgium to Switzerland, was now a reality. Initially it was the French army that conducted this movement whilst the British Expeditionary Force remained on the Aisne but by 6 October British reinforcements were needed to help beat off German attacks around Lille. They moved north and along with reinforcements from Britain, they took up new positions in Flanders, on the left of the Allied line and much closer to the Channel ports.

The Battle of Armentières  12th October-2nd November 1914

The official History pinpoints the battle of Armentières to a series of battles that took place between the river Douve and a line between Estaires and Foumers. It was part of the Race to the Sea and it determined the line of the Western Front in that sector. It was fought by III Corps. (4th and 6th Divisions + 19Brigade)

From 18th-24th October, 6th Division, including 3rd Rifle Brigade of 17 Brigade were on the Lille Ridge, holding the line Radinghem-Ennetières-Prèmesques-Epinette where attacks and counter-attacks were part of the daily routine. On 21st October the Germans captured Prémesques and 3rd Rifle Brigade withdrew to Porte Egal Farm. There was a strong attack on their positions here on 22nd October which was beaten off and then on 23rd October they had to contend with a heavy artillery bombardment, particularly on ‘C’ Company in the centre of their lines which caused over sixty casualties. One of these was Daniel Brown who was killed.

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