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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: Herbert Last Name: BOSHER
Date of Death: 13/03/1915 Lived/Born In: Clapton
Rank: Private Unit: Leicestershire2
Memorial Site: Le Touret Memorial, France

Current Information:

Born-Clapton

The Indian Army Corps and IV Corps attacked the village of Neuve Chapelle in the Artois region of France between 10th and 13th March, 1915. During the winter of 1914-1915, reinforcements had arrived from Britain and this was seen as an opportunity to use them to break through the German lines.

It started well. At 7.30am on 10th March, a 30 minute hurricane bombardment destroyed the German wire and front line trenches and at 8.05am the infantry went in. Neuve Chapelle was captured and over a mile of the German line taken. But that was the end of the success.  The British chain of command was weak and their communications poor, which was hardly surprising given that many of the troops had no previous experience of battle. The Germans re-organised and reinforced during the night and no further gains were made. British casualties mounted to 12,000 by the time the offensive petered out on 13th March.

On March 10th, the Garwhal Brigade of Meerut Division   attacked at Neuve Chappelle with 4 battalions along a 600 yard frontage between the Port Arthur salient and Pont Logy.  On the right, 1/39th Garhwal Rifles were immediately in trouble but he assault of the remaining three battalions, 2nd Leicestershire, 2/3rd Gurkhas & 2/39th Garhwal Rifles was more successful. They advanced in lines of platoons,  50 yards apart with little loss and took the front trenches within 15 minutes and then pushed on to the German support lines. By 9am the line of the Smith-Dorrien trench, 200 yards beyond the Port Arthur-Neuve Chapelle road had been reached and 200 prisoners had been taken.   With this trench full of water the leading companies took up a line 50 yards back and entrenched largely undisturbed with 2nd Leicestershire along Layes Brook. But there was a   250 yard gap between 2nd Leicestershire and 1/39th Garhwal Rifles where ½ coy of Germans  still hung on.  Some of these Germans from the uncaptured portion worked  along their trench behind the new front of 2nd Leicestershire but the support company forced them back with hand grenades and bayonet as far as a barricade south of the Port Arthur-Neuve Chapelle road.

The following day, 11th  March , the Dehra Dun Brigade, which had also been involved in the attack the day before,  moved back to a position behind the La Bassee-Estaires road which made the Garwhal Brigade’s trenches the front line and then, on 12th March, the Gemans attacked the centre and south of Neuve Chapelle from the front of Bois du Biez, crossing the Layes Brook on planks under the cover of mist and taking possession of the trenches evacuated by Dehra Dun Brigade.  From here they attacked astride Brewery Road and the track between Neuve Chapelle and the Bois du Biez.  North of Brewery road there was only 2nd Rifle Brigade whilst south  of it were 2/3rd Gurkhas & 2nd Leicestershire.  When the Germans emerged through the mist in a dense mass of grey were met by point blank fire.  Few got  to within 10 yards of the British line and after 1 hour the attack was called of and the Germans retired leaving several hundred dead and wounded behind. At noon one  company of 2nd Leicestershire advanced to the Layes Brook with little loss. 

Nearly all of the casualties for 2nd Leicestershire during Neuve Chapelle are recorded as being on 13th March, when the battle was over and they had time to write up their records, so this death could have occurred any time between 10th and 12th March. 

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