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The Battle of Neuve Chapelle in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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The Battle of Neuve Chapelle



 The Battle of Neuve Chapelle  The Battle of Neuve Chapelle began on the 10th of March 1915, a British offensive in the Artois region of France and broke through at Neuve-Chapelle, but the British were unable to exploit the advantage. More troops had arrived from Britain and relieved some French troops in Flanders and enabled a continuous British line to be formed from Langemarck to Givenchy. The battle was intended to cause a rupture in the German lines, which would then be exploited with a rush to the Aubers Ridge and possibly Lille, the railway terminus from the east and south-east which was used by the Germans.

The attack was carried out by IV Corps under Lieutenant General Sir Henry Rawlinson. The First Army’s line rans through the water logged meadows of the Lys valley, dominated to the east by the 40 foot high Aubers Ridge, which offered drier ground and observation over the flat plains in all directions. The village of Neuve Chapelle, had been captured by the Germans in October 1914 and lay in a salient about 2,000 yards across, within sight of the strategic town of Lille.

The plan top secret plan was to capture Neuve Chapelle in two days, launching with a ‘hurricane’ bombardment of only 35 minutes duration, using 66 heavy guns. Artillery timetables are issued, giving each battery its exact targets for each stage of the action, a most important innovation. Gun platforms are devised to give stability in the soft muddy ground. The new innovation of Aerial photographs are used to create a map showing the network of German trenches. Each of the two corps involved receives 1,500 copies of this map. Haig insisted that every man must know exactly what his duty is. Officers familiarize themselves with the ground over which they will attack and the assaulting infantry are rehearsed in their tasks. To exploit a success, five divisions of cavalry are brought up behind the offensive front. Forming up trenches are dug along with dummy trenches for deception, advanced ammunition and supply dumps are established, the roads are improved ready for battle traffic and a light railway laid down.

At 7.30am The British bombardment opened, with three hundred forty-two guns firing on the German trenches, directed in part by eighty-five reconnaissance aircraft. More shells are fired in this short opening barrage than in the entire South African War.

At 08:05 the British and Indian divisions attacked along an 8,300 yard front. After three hours of hand to hand fighting, Neuve Chapelle is captured and four lines of German trenches over run. However, in the northern sector, a 400 yard length of German front line was not bombarded, as the guns allocated to this sector did not reach the front in time to take part in the attack. The three waves of men who advanced across No-Man’s Land faced intact German wire defences and most became casualties.

The battle would continue for three days, costing 7000 British and 4200 Indian lives. German losses are estimated to have been around 12,000.

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Want to know more about The Battle of Neuve Chapelle?


There are:8 articles tagged The Battle of Neuve Chapelle available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.


Those known to have served in

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Anderson William. Cpl. (d.13th March 1915)
  • Barber Edward. Pte. (d.12th March 1915)
  • Beale Harry. Pte. (d.12th Mar 1915)
  • Bergin Joseph. SSgt.
  • Bowker Archibald Edgar Baron. Capt.
  • Buckingham William. Pte. (d.15th September 1916)
  • Drew Alan Appleby. Lt. (d.10th March 1915)
  • Gilleeney John. Pte.
  • Grant Alexander John. Pte.
  • Gray John Arthur. Sgt.Maj. (d.4th March 1917)
  • Horsford Thomas Edward O'Bryen. Lt. (d.13th March 1915)
  • Negi Gobar Sing. Rflmn. (d.10th March 1915)
  • Noble Cecil Reginald. L/Cpl. (d.13th March 1915)
  • Reilly James. Pte. (d.10th Mar 1915)
  • Rivers Jacob. Pte. (d.12th March 1915)
  • Robinson Percy. Pte. (d.11th Mar 1915)
  • Spurr Douglas Bateman. Pte. (d.10th March 1915)
  • Turner Andrew. Pte. (d.22nd Mar 1915)
  • Warner John Verney. Pte. (d.11th Mar 1915)

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List


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Mar 2017

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Want to know more about The Battle of Neuve Chapelle?


There are:8 articles tagged The Battle of Neuve Chapelle available in our Library





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