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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Walter Last Name: GILBURT
Date of Death: 19/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Silvertown
Rank: Corporal Unit: Royal Fusiliers4
Memorial Site: 1. Old Ford, St Stephen 2. Silvertown, Brick Lane Music Hall Memorial 3. La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memo

Current Information:




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.

From 14th- 21st September, 1914, the 4th Royal Fusiliers battalion of  9 Brigade, 3rd Division, were in hastily dug trenches south-west of Rouge Maison on the Aisne where they were subjected to all the fire the enemy could bring to bear upon them. On 19th September, they were heavily shelled from 2.30pm onwards which was followed at 6pm by an infantry attack. This was dealt with and the attack petered out but by the end of the day, 4th Royal Fusiliers had suffered 50 casualties, one of whom was Walter Gilburt.

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