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First Name: Albert Edward Last Name: LADD
Date of Death: 09/05/1915 Lived/Born In: Homerton
Rank: Private Unit: Devonshire2
Memorial Site: 1. Hackney, St Luke 2. Ploegsteert Memorial

Current Information:

Born-Homerton

Battle of Aubers Ridge

On 9 May 1915 the British attacked north at Arras as part of the British contribution to the Second Battle of Artois, a Franco-British offensive. Their objective was the capture of Aubers Ridge but it turned into an unmitigated disaster. The German defences had been much improved since the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March and the British  artillery was in a parlous condition and failed to destroy the German defences during the short and insufficient 40 minute bombardment that preceded the attack. Extra artillery had been requested but further to the north, the Second Battle of Ypres was being fought on a ferocious scale and none was forthcoming. The few initial gains could not be held and by the evening of 9 May, all the British forces were back where they started, except of course the dead who littered the battlefield. There were 11,000 casualties for the British Army.

23Brigade, 8th Division were in reserve to the attack made by 24 and 25 Brigades. Full of hope, 2Devonshire began moving up at 7 am to the old front line trenches where confusion reigned. They came under heavy machine gun and artillery fire as they advanced and all attempts to further reinforce the attack failed.  No Man’s Land was swept by German machine gun fire. They could get no further than the original front line trenches where they remained all day, ending up with over 200 casualties.

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