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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Cyril Herbert Spencer Last Name: WHITTLE
Date of Death: 24/08/1914 Lived/Born In: South Kensington
Rank: Lieutenant Unit: Hussars15
Memorial Site: 1.South Kensington, St Augustine 2. La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-31

 

After the opening battles of the war at Mons on 23rd August, 1914 and Le Cateau on 26th August, the British Army (BEF), in conjunction with the French Army, began a retreat that took them all the way back to the River Marne, 200 miles to the south. With the Germans in hot pursuit they were forced to fight a series of rear guard actions as they fell back in extremely hot weather. The Great Retreat, as it became known, came to an end on 5th September, 1914 when the allied forces attacked along the River Marne and drove the Germans back to the River Aisne.

On 25th August, 1914, as the retreat of the BEF got underway,  a troop 15th Hussars were sent to guard the bridge over the River Sambre north-west of Maroilles. Another troop guarded a lock bridge two miles further down the river.  At  6pm German patrols engaged these detachments of 15th Hussars at Maroilles Bridge.  The Germans were easily held at bay for an hour until they brought up a field gun under cover of some buildings, the demolition of which had been refused by the French authorities.  This resulted in 15th Hussars falling back and suffering a number of casualties, including Cyril Whittle who was killed. Although the date given by both the CWGC and SDGW is 24th August, this action took place on the evening of the 25th August.

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