Profile Page

La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: John William Last Name: BURKIN
Date of Death: 20/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Limehouse
Rank: Private Unit: Northumberland Fusiliers1
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:


1, William's Place, Salmon Lane, Limehouse


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.

On 13th September 9 Brigade of 3rd Division crossed the River Aisne and took up positions just beyond Vailly. At dawn on the following morning, 14th September, 1st Lincolnshire and 4th Royal Fusiliers led the advance on the German positions while the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers battalion moved up on the left in support. The fighting became confused with attack and counter attack taking place. Pushing forward again, 9 Brigade emerged from some woods, where they met heavy fire and tried to entrench. The leading company of 1st Northumberland Fusiliers had advanced further than the others and as a result suffered severely.  The rest of the battalion rallied on 4th Royal Fusiliers. The situation was critical for most of the day and eventually 9 Brigade withdrew back to Vailly where they entrenched. 1st Northumberland Fusiliers remained in these trenches until relieved on 22nd September during which time they worked  on improving their position while contending with sniper and shell fire as well as a number of infantry attacks on their lines, none of which succeeded in breaking them. The battalion suffered a number of casualties one of whom was John Burkin who lost his life on 20th September.

« Back to Search Results
If you think any of the information shown here is incorrect, Click Here to submit your amends and comments
Copyright 2024 London War Memorial