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First Name: Frederick Last Name: GIBSON
Date of Death: 15/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Bow
Rank: Private Unit: Bedfordshire1
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Born-Bethnal Green

Vauxbuin French National Cemetery, France


The Battle of the Aisne 13th September -28 September

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 14th September, 1914,15 Brigade, 5th Division moved out from Ste Marguerite and at 2.30pm reached the village of Missy. A company from each of the 1st Bedfordshire and 1st East Surrey battalions worked their way for some distance up a wooded spur beyond Missy, displaced the few Germans they found there and established a line.  Heavy shelling of Ste Marguerite slowed the progress of the rest of the brigade but by 4.30pm, both 14 and 15 Brigades were in position to try to secure the crest of the spur.  Moving north up the hill they found the Germans in an organised system of trenches protected by wire netting and fencing. On the left, 1st  Bedfordshire and 1st East Surrey made good progress but this was not the case on the right of the attack where confusion reigned. Eventually all units were ordered to withdraw and 15 Brigade reformed South of Missy. Their rapid advance from the Marne had come to a standstill. On the following day, 15th September, 1st Bedfordshire were in positions in Missy when, around midday, they were came under shell and rifle fire which caused over 30 casualties, one of whom was Frederick Gibson.

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