N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment Killed in Action, September 1914
The survivors of the 1st Battalion at Audregnies were amalgamated into the remnants of “B” Company, under Capt. John Linton Shore (right), and joined the remainder of 5 Division in retreat.
As a result of this reorganisation and thanks to the dogged determination and hard work of their Commanding Officer, the retreat was an orderly one as far as the Battalion was concerned.
It was far too decimated a unit to take part in Smith-Dorrien’s stand at Le Cateau, and so at the end of August the the 200 or so men were put in reserve near Troisvilles.
Although the retreat from Mons’ says Crookenden ‘was a disorganised movement, the complete absence of panic made it a not unworthy performance. Indeed if all factors are weighed, it was worthy of the place which it has on our Colours.’ “The History of the Cheshire Regiment in the Great War” – Col. A Crookenden (p. 19)
Most of the Battalion’s men killed in action during the Retreat from Mons have no known grave and are commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, a small town 66 kilometres to the east of Paris.
By the 5th September 1914 the Retreat from Mons was over. In a little orchard on the outskirts of Tournant, 18 kilometres from Paris, the 1st Battalion’s depleted force came to a stop. The Battalion was in good spirits, despite their losses, as a result of the valuable few days of rest, and the turn back northwards, which had begun on 6th September was reported to be welcomed by all ranks.
The northward push involved three strongly disputed river crossings which collectively became know as the Battle of the Marne. The 1st Battalion was hardly involved in any of these river struggles and actually crossed the Marne at Saacy.
2nd September 1914 – Nanteuil-le-Haudouin
- Pte. 7432 John CLARKE (A.R.) [‘D’ Coy.]
10th September 1914 – Bezu-le-Guery
- Pte. 7926 Charles Alfred KING (A.R.) [‘C’ Coy.]
15th September 1914 – Battle of the Aisne
17th September 1914 – Le Mesnil
- Pte. 7523 Ernest HADFIELD (A.R.) [‘D’ Coy.]
25th September 1914 – Le Mesnil
26th September 1914 – St Marguerite
- Pte. 7496 James Alfred SMITH [‘C’ Coy.]