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Merville Communal Cemetery, France Merville Communal Cemetery, France
First Name: William Last Name: GUERAN
Date of Death: 21/12/1914 Lived/Born In: Old Kent Road
Rank: Private Unit: Royal West Surrey (Queens)2
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

60, Loder Street, Old Kent Road

Merville Communal Cemetery, France


On 15th  December, 1914, the 2nd Royal West Surrey (Queens) battalion of 22 Brigade7th Division, were relieved from the front line at La Bouteillerie, near Fleurbaix by the 2nd Warwickshire battalion and moved back to reserve positions at Rue de Biache. Then, on 18th December they were called upon to support an attack by 2nd Warwickshire on the enemy trenches at La Bouteillerie.  The attack was launched at 4.30pm after a heavy artillery barrage which did little damage but wounded a few of 2nd Warwickshire and let the enemy know that an attack was imminent. As they crossed no-man’s-land they met heavy rifle and machine-gun fire and as the wire was still intact they were unable to get into the German trenches. A request for assistance was sent back to 2nd Queens who responded by sending forward one and a half companies but they could not swing the balance and along with the Warwickshire men they took what cover they could and then tried to make it back to their own lines. The attack had been an abject failure and there were many casualties among both battalions. On the following morning there was a short truce so that the wounded could be brought in and the dead buried. William Gueran died from wounds on 21st December and it is likely that he was wounded during this operation.

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