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Photo from De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour Photo from De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour
First Name: William Gilbert Last Name: HOULDSWORTH
Date of Death: 23/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Kensington
Rank: Lieutenant Unit: Scots Guards1
Memorial Site: 1. Belgravia, St Peter 2. Notting Dale, St Clement

Current Information:

Age-23

44, Lennox Gardens, Knightsbridge

Neuilly-sur-Seine New Communal Cemetery, France

 

The Battle of the Aisne  13-28 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.

In the morning of 14th September there was a general advance by 1st Division, led by 1 (Guards) Brigade.  But German counter attacks in the afternoon drove the British back, including 1st Scots Guards. One of the battalion’s casualties was William Houldsworth who died from wounds on 23rd September after having been sent to a hospital in Paris.

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