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First Name: Robert Last Name: ELLIS
Date of Death: 08/10/1914 Lived/Born In: Shepherd's Bush
Rank: Private Unit: Coldstream Guards2
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Born-Tiverton, Devon

Braine 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.


For the first two weeks of October, 1914, the 2nd Coldstream Guards of 4 (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division were in the trenches at Chavonne, where, according to the battalion diary, ‘nothing of special note took place’. However this did not mean that they were immune to the everyday dangers of trench warfare, especially the persistent enemy shell fire and casualties were incurred. However it was not enemy action that killed Robert Ellis 8th October, but rather enteric fever or typhoid.

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