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First Name: Francis Percy Campbell Last Name: PEMBERTON
Date of Death: 19/10/1914 Lived/Born In: South Kensington
Rank: Captain Unit: Life Guards2
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Current Information:

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 2nd Lifeguards, of 7th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division made their way north from the Aisne and by mid-October were operating near the village of Osstnieuwkerke, a few miles north-east of Ypres. On 19th October they advanced towards the Staden-Roulers railway line near Hooglede. As they approached the railway and a level crossing they came under heavy fire which forced them to retire. During this retirement Francis Pemberton was killed. The enemy was there in force and the 2nd Lifeguards found themselves falling further and further back ending up in billets in Zonnebeke.

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