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First Name: William Henry Last Name: MARTIN
Date of Death: 14/09/1914 Lived/Born In: City
Rank: Driver Unit: Royal Field Artillery 27Brigade 112 Battery
Memorial Site:

Current Information:


Enlisted-Warley, Essex

Ciry-Salsogne Communal Cemetery, France


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.

27 Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery were part of 5th Division and on 13th September the 121st Battery went with 14 Brigade to Moulins des Roches, just upstream from Venizel, which had been selected by the Engineers as a suitable place for bridging. They waited while the engineers built a raft, on which they began crossing the Aisne. On the following day, 14th September, 5th Division attacked the German defences north of the Aisne and at some stage during the fighting William Martin was killed.

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