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Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France
First Name: Arthur Last Name: SANDERS
Date of Death: 19/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Stratford
Rank: Private Unit: Essex2
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Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France


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.

At  6am on 13th September, 12 Brigade of 4th Division began crossing the River Aisne at Venizel.  Heavy German howitzers on the Chivres spur, caused them problems but by 11am nearly all of the Brigade was across. In widely extended order the 1st Royal Lancasters, 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers and 2nd Essex battalions moved across two miles of water meadows to Bucy le Long at the foot of the northern ridge coming under shrapnel fire as they advanced but with little damage inflicted. 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers and 2nd Essex then launched an attack on the Chivres spur, across swampy, unknown ground where the thick undergrowth made progress very slow.  At 5pm 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers came under heavy fire from trenches south of Chivres village and also on their right flank from Germans on the western slopes of the Chivres spur. They engaged these forces but could advance no further.  Meanwhile, 2nd Essex gave what support they could from their newly dug trenches on the hill above Ste Marguerite where they were to remain for the next week. Arthur Sanders died from wounds on 19th September after having been taken back to a base hospital on the coast.

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