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First Name: Alfred Last Name: BLACKMAN
Date of Death: 10/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Bow
Rank: Rifleman Unit: King' Royal Rifle Corps1
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Born-Mile End

Montreuil-aux-Lions 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.

By 10th September they had re-crossed the Marne in pursuit of the enemy and as they advanced the 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps battalion of 6 Brigade, 2nd Division saw German troops moving from Vinly towards Chézy and watched as they unlimbered their guns and deployed their infantry in a sunken road.  At 10am 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps advanced on these German positions and succeeded in pinning them down. At the same time the 1st Royal Berkshire and 2nd South Staffordshire battalions worked round their flanks as a result of which they surrendered. One of the casualties suffered by 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps during this operation was Alfred Blackman.

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