Chapter 10a – Aisne

Redeployment to the Aisne Towards the end of April the 50th Divn was busy training and reorganising in the Roquetoire area when, rumours began to circulate of a move to another part of…

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  1.  Lt Gen. Sir Alexander Hamilton Gordon - (1859 - 1939). Took command of IX Corps in 1916 and was relieved in 1918 
  2. Chemin des Dames (literally the “Ladies’ Path”) is a 30km long limestone and chalk ridge running from east to west between the Aisne and Ailette rivers
  3.  General Robert Georges Nivelle (1856–1924)
  4.  Gen. Philippe Pétain replaced Nivelle in May 1917. Thousands of French troops were court martialled and the ring leaders executed, however, going forward Petain ensured that leave was subsequently more frequent and of longer duration
  5. Pernes – southwest of Bethune 
  6. The town of La Fere en Tardenois served as HQ for Gen. Sir John French during the 1st Battle of the Marne and Aisne
  7.  The 4th Yorks arrived on 28th April. The entire day of the 27th was spent aboard the trains, the Bn arriving at Fismes at 8.00 am. From here they marched to billets in Courville 
  8. Open warfare tactics
  9. Concevreux village website  (Concevreux History) 
  10.  On 30th March, the 33rd Regt relieved a part of the 110th Regt in the la Ville aux-Bois sub-sector. On 3rd May, the 33rd was detailed by the 217th Regt to move west and replace the 73rd, in nearby sub-sector. On the evening of the 6th of May, the Regt was replaced by the NF and withdrew to Courcelles and Concevreux for rest. Embedded 14th May, Braine station, Regiment, went in the Beauvais region 
  11. Capt. Sidney Rogerson served with the 23rd Bde (25th Divn) and published a book of his experiences on the Aisne in a book entitled the [zotpressInText item="{UI9W5GEQ,1}"] 
  12. 8th Divn HQ was south of the river in Roucy 
  13. The village of Pontavert lies on the north bank of the Aisne River and canal crossing. It was immediately south of the 149th Bde sector
  14. 23rd Bde - 2nd Devonshire Regt, 2nd West Yorkshire Regt, 2nd Middlesex Regt
  15. French 19th, 62nd & 118th Regts (22nd Divn, 11th Corps)
  16. 25th Divn HQ in Montigny 
  17.  Maj. Gen. Denis Auguste Duchêne – GOC French 6th Army
  18.  A young officer called Charles de Gaulle had served with the French 33rd Regt prior to his capture in 1916. 
  19. (Historique du 33ème Regiment D’Infanterie)
  20.  'The Trench of a Thousand Days’ - Boyau Des Mille Joures
  21.  Boyau - French term for a communication trench
  22. Command Post Kleber 
  23. 6th NF War Diary (Adjutant_6th_NF, 1914 -18
  24.  La Hutte 
  25. Command Post Verdun 
  26. Command Post Marias 
  27. Mt Hermal 
  28. Trench Behart 
  29. French 22nd Divn – 19th, 62nd, 118th Regts 
  30. Butte is a knoll or small hill
  31. War Memorial - The Great War 1914 - 1918  (Noble) 
  32. Lachrymatory – tear gas
  33. The detonation of a Thermite shell produced a flaming shower of incendiary shrapnel. It was developed for anti-aircraft guns
  34. [zotpressInText item="{SAB4IGA7,10}"] 
  35. There was always a natural tendency to blame withdrawals on being outflanked by the enemy penetrating other units on the left and right.  However the role of the storm trooper was to slip past strongly defended positions in order to attack the HQ and artillery positions to the rear
  36. The Boyau de Margrave was a communications trench running north from Route 44 to the front line, on the right flank of the 4th NF. It was also the divisional boundary 
  37. Boyau de Siegfried was a communications trench running north east from Trenches ‘de la Redoubte’ and ‘de la Plaine’ to Route 44
  38. [zotpressInText item="{UI9W5GEQ,31}"] 
  39.  3rd Battle of the Aisne (Blanchard, 2005)
  40.  3rd Battle of the Aisne (Blanchard, 2005) 
  41.  Maj. Ivan Marshall Tweedy (5th NF) first embarked for France on the 20th of April 1915 
  42.  Brig Gen. Cuthbert Thomas Martin, formerly of the 2nd HLI 
  43. [zotpressInText item="{4R6FADJ9,347}"] 
  44.  A ‘Detail’ is a military term for a small body of men selected for a specific or special duty 
  45.  (Adjutant_149th_Bde, 1918)
  46.  Supplement to London Gazette dated 26 Jul 1918 p.8784. (D.S.O. gazetted 11th December, 1916) (First Bar gazetted 26th September, 1917) 
  47. Under the command of Capt. R. Green, M.C 
  48. Lt. Col. F. Walton – OC 6th DLI from April 1918 – 18 Oct 1918 
  49.  The German 7th Army was comprised of the 3rd, 7th, 8th, 17th and 65th Corps. A total of 42 Divns 
  50.  39th (Niederrheinisches) Füsilier Regt, 53rd (Westfälisches) Regt, 158th (Lothringisches) Regt (100th Infantry Bde, 50th Infantry Divn, 65th Corps, 7th Army) 
  51.  39th (Lower Rhineland) Füsilier Regt 
  52.  Onlineprojekt Gefallenendenkmȁler  (Verlustliste: Füsilier-Regiment General Ludendorff (Niederrheinisches Nr. 39):)
  53.  The actual location of the Kugelberg is unknown
  54.  The Winterburg was the German name for the Californie Plateau 
  55.  This would have been 8am 
  56.  Height 77 is likely to have been a 77 metre high knoll approximately 1 km south of the Butte d’Edmond -IGN Map Ref 559.5473 
  57.  Ployon Wood lay immediately behind the line of redoubts (It is now referred to on maps as Marias du Temple
  58.  25th Divn HQ – Montigny sur Vesle 
  59.  Green line – Reserve line 
  60.  1st Wiltshire Regt, 10th Cheshire Regt, 4th South Staffordshire (7th Bde, 25th Divn) 
  61.  8th Border Regt, 1/6th Cheshire Regt, 11th Cheshire Regt, 2nd South Lancashire  Regt (75th Bde, 25th Divn) 
  62.  Général de Joseph Bodin de Galembert - GOC French 157th Divn (214th, 233rd and 252nd Regts) HQ - Braine 
  63.  (L’offensive dans l’Aisne ) 
  64.  The Royal Engineers used explosives to demolish the bridge at Chaudardes 
  65.  Chaudardes – on the north bank of the Aisne River south-west of Pontavert 
  66.  Words taken from Lt Goodbody’s Military Cross citation 
  67.  Pte Stephen Robert Futers (200835)
  68.  Pte John Daykin (204568)
  69.  Futers and Daykin were awarded the Military Medal for their actions on this day. 
  70.  Presumably four crossing points for both waterways 
  71.  8th Border  Regt, 1/6th Cheshire Regt, 11th Cheshire Regt, 2nd South Lancashire Regt (75th Bde, 25th Divn) 
  72.  The 8th Divn Machine Gun School, commanded by Major A H Cope of the Devons was based at Roucy prior to the offensive (Scully) 
  73.  (Adjutant_6th_NF, 1914 -18) 
  74.  RSM George Dodds Fewster is commemorated on the Soissons memorial 
  75.  [zotpressInText item="{S3P253E2,208}"] 
  76.  Maj. John Ridley Robb
  77. 3rd Worcestershire Regt, 74th Bde, 25th Divn  
  78.  1st Wiltshire Adjutant 
  79.  Lt Kenneth George Kelly  (Noble) 
  80. 3rd Worcestershire Regt (74th Bde, 25th Divn). Assigned to support 50th Divn 
  81.  Details and remainder of Bde organised on line running from Concevreux bridge - Canal Bank - to bridge at 47.47 (Berry Au Bac 1/20,000) thence to the west end of wood. (Adjutant_6th_NF, 1914 -18) 
  82.  Probably the entire 50th Divn 
  83. This may have been part of the Green Line
  84.  Just north of point 200, where the track crossed the road [zotpressInText item="{HUXKQ9EA}"] -High ground south of Roucy (Ref Soissons 22 1/100,000) 
  85.  11th Lancashire Fusiliers (74th Bde) 
  86.  Fusilier Regiment: Rheims, May 1918 (39th Fusilier Regt) 
  87.  L/Cpl Halliwall was awarded a Victoria Cross for his gallantry here after evacuating ten wounded men, one by one, on horseback 
  88.  11th Lancashire Fusiliers War Diary (Adjutant 1. B., 1918) 
  89.  8th Divn HQ and 8th Bn M.G.C. had moved to Montigny-sur-Vesle around 6pm 
  90.  Brig. Gen. A.A. Kennedy 
  91.  Maj. Gen. William Charles Gifford Heneker. GOC 8th Divn from 9 Dec 1916 
  92.  Maj. George R. Hennessy 
  93.  (39th Fusilier Regt) 
  94.  8th Border Regt War Diary (8th Battalion War Diary, May 1918)
  95.  214th , 252nd & 333rd Infantry Regt & 70th Territorial Regt (French 157th Divn) 
  96.  Lt Col J.N de la Perelle DSO, MC - CO 8th Border Regt 15 May 18
  97.  Cpl John Edward Mogerley, DCM (4/920, 200091). Citation for Military Medal [zotpressInText item="{NH3TRT6B,85}"]
  98.  S.A.A - Small Arms Ammunition 
  99.  2nd Lt Alexander Armstrong Pickering (1890-1964), a farm worker from Barrasford, Northumberland who originally enlisted in the Northumberland Hussars.
  100.  Pte John J Knott - 4th NF (4/1905, 200489) Citation for Military Medal [zotpressInText item="{NH3TRT6B,85}"]