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First Name: Charles William Last Name: WATERS
Date of Death: 27/08/1914 Lived/Born In: Woolwich
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Munster Fusiliers2
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Born-Woolwich

Etreux British Cemetery, France

 

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 27 August, 1914, the  2nd Munster Fusiliers battalion of 1 Brigade, 1st Division, fought an epic rear guard action that allowed the rest of I Corps to retire unmolested, but which destroyed the battalion. They began their action at Fesmy and during the morning held off an entire German Army Corps. At midday the Brigadier sent them orders to retire but these failed to reach them and when they did fall back through Oisy to Étreux they found themselves cut off. But they kept fighting until late evening by which time there were only 250 survivors. One of their many casualties during this action was Charles Waters.

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