Profile Page

Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium
First Name: Charles William Last Name: GURNEY
Date of Death: 27/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Paddington
Rank: Private Unit: East Yorkshire1
Memorial Site: Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium

Current Information:


74, Cirencester Road, Paddington


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 which consisted of 4th and 6th Divisions as well as 19 Brigade.

On 25th October the 1st East Yorkshire battalion of 18 Brigade, 6th Division, left Bois-Grenier and relieved the 1st Leicestershires in trenches at La Guernerie where they remained until they were themselves relieved on 29th October. During these four days the battalion was regularly shelled as well as attacked by the enemy infantry on an almost daily basis. As a result of this they sustained 85 casualties one of whom was Charles Gurney who was killed on 27th October.

« 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