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La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France
First Name: Henry George Last Name: DAVIS
Date of Death: 15/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Chelsea
Rank: Private Unit: West Riding2
Memorial Site: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France

Current Information:

Born-St Luke's


The Battle of the Aisne 13th September -28 September, 1914

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.

The 2nd West Riding battalion of 13 Brigade, 5th Division, did not cross the Aisne until 15th September when they did so by pontoon rafts at Missy, while being shelled by the enemy. The battalion then, according to the battalion diary, advanced under heavy shrapnel fire to a position in woods. At some stage Henry Davis as killed.

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