Profile Page

London Cemetery, Neuville-Vitasse, France London Cemetery, Neuville-Vitasse, France
First Name: Frank Ellis Last Name: RIX
Date of Death: 09/04/1917 Lived/Born In: Middlesex
Rank: Rifleman Unit: London12
Memorial Site:

Current Information:




London Cemetery, Neuville-Vitasse, France


The Battle of Arras was a series of offensives by the British Army between 9th April 1917 and 16th May 1917. It had been planned in conjunction with the French who would attack in Artois and between them the Allies would force the Germans out of the large salient they had held since the line of trenches was first established. But the Germans had spoiled this plan by falling back to the new and very strong Hindenburg Line in January 1917 and the salient no longer existed.  For the want of an alternative plan the attack went ahead anyway. It all started well for the British who made substantial gains on the first two days but then the offensive ground to a halt and by the end their losses amounted to over 150,000.

The First Battle of the Scarpe (9-14 April)

56th (London) Division attacked at 7.45 on the morning of 9th April, 1917 with their objective being the Wancourt-Feuchy trench system, the Brown line. 168 Brigade attacked from Beaurains on the left of the divisional front with 13th London and 12th London (Rangers) in front. The objective of 13th London was the strongly fortified village of Neuville-Vitasse while 12th London, on their left, were charged with capturing 600 yards of the ridge running north from the village, along which ran Pine Lane, a well wired German trench. Despite a terrific pounding from the British artillery, this wire had not been cut and the advance of 12th London was checked with many casualties being sustained as they tried desperately to get through the entanglements. Eventually help arrived in the shape of a tank which lumbered up to the impasse and then proceeded to crush the wire beneath its tracks. This allowed 12th London to penetrate the barrier and continue on to capture the trench. 13th London were equally successful and shortly after midday, 14th London were able to pass through and continue on to attack the Hindenburg Line. By the end of the day, 56th Division had advanced some 2000 yards, but not without cost having sustained over 800 casualties. Many of these came from 12th London including Frank Rix.

« Back to Search Results
If you think any of the information shown here is incorrect, Click Here to submit your amends and comments
Copyright 2024 London War Memorial