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Le Touret Memorial, France Le Touret Memorial, France
First Name: William Fane Last Name: SEWELL
Date of Death: 11/03/1915 Lived/Born In: Marylebone
Rank: Private Unit: Seaforth Highlanders4
Memorial Site: 1. Marylebone, St Cyprian, 2. Clerkenwell, St James 3. Le Touret Memorial, France

Current Information:

Age-18

Enlisted-London

Born-South America

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 10th  March  at 4pm Dehra Dun Brigade in the shape of 2/2nd Gurkhas, 1/9th Gurkhas  with 4th Seaforth Highlanders in support  moved forward from their positions behind the original front breastworks along the La Bassee-Estaires road, towards Neuve Chapelle. Brigade HQ was established in houses on the southern edge of the village and the men deployed along the Port Arthur to Neuve Chapelle  road.

The following day, 11th March, 2 companies of 4th Seaforth Highlanders, moved forward to the front line to join 2/2nd Gurkhas, 1/9th Gurkhas . Whilst there they came under German artillery and sniper fire. After dark  Dehra Dun Brigade withdrew to a position behind the Garwhal Brigade to escape this fire and ended the day behind the La Bassee-Estaires road. 

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