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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Herbert Arthur Last Name: VINCENT
Date of Death: 14/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Tooting
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Fusiliers4
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:


182, Lessingham Avenue, Tooting


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.

On 13th September. 1914, 9 Brigade of 3rd Division crossed the River Aisne and took up positions just beyond Vailly. The next morning, 14th September, 1914,  at the start of a day of confused fighting they moved forward up to the crest of the ridge with 1st Lincolnshire on the right and 4th Royal Fusiliers on the left. At 7.30am the Germans attacked and 1st Northumberland Fusiliers moved up in support and these three battalions were ordered to counter attack. Emerging from some woods, they met heavy fire and tried to entrench. 1st Lincolnshire gave way and this forced 4th Royal Fusiliers to do likewise and by evening they had fallen back to a sunken road near Vailly. Among their casualties during this day of fighting was Herbert Vincent.

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