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First Name: George Armand Last Name: FURSE
Date of Death: 16/09/1914 Lived/Born In: South Kensington
Rank: Captain Unit: Royal Field Artillery 39 Brigade
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Age-34

6, Queens Gate Place, South Kensington

Vendresse British Cemetery, France

 

The exact circumstances of the death of George Furse on 16th September, 1914, are not known but artillery men faced many dangers and during the course of the war nearly 50,000 of them were killed. Their gun batteries were targeted by the enemy’s guns which accounted for many of their casualties. Others were sent forward to act as ‘spotters’ which meant going forward to the front line and signalling back to the guns necessary changes in target and other vital information. Keeping the batteries supplied with ammunition was a dangerous task as the enemy guns would target the known supply routes, especially at night. Brigade Diaries rarely shine any light on casualties sustained, unless of course they were officers and even then information is sparse.

The Battle of the Aisne 13th September -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.

39 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery were part of 1st Division, that crossed the Aisne at Bourg. At 4am on 14th September battle commenced but the enemy were  well dug in and little progress was made. 

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