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Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium
First Name: William Alexander Last Name: HENDERSON
Date of Death: 10/11/1914 Lived/Born In: Hampstead
Rank: Captain Unit: Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders2
Memorial Site: Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium

Current Information:


24, Heath Drive, Hampstead


On 7th November, 1914, after their involvement in the The Battle of Armentières, the 2nd Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders battalion of 19 Brigade, moved from Pont de Nieppe to bivouacs at Ploegsteert, north of Armentières and just over the Belgian border. The next day they took over some of the front line in Ploegsteert Wood and prepared for an attack. This took place during the night of 9th/10th November when, at 11.30pm, after a half hour artillery bombardment, half of ‘B’ Company advanced to the edge of the wood while at the same time ‘A’ and ‘D’ Companies moved forward from their position near the St Yves-Le Gheer road. At 11.45pm Captain William Henderson gave ‘D’ Company the order to charge but was himself immediately shot and killed. As a result ‘D’ Company lost direction and were hit by enfilade machine-gun fire. ‘B’ Company tried again but the enemy had brought up reinforcements and heavy machine-gun fire forced them back to their own trenches. By 4.30am the attack was called off. 2nd Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders suffered over one hundred casualties during this failed operation.

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