The Action of Bois-Grenier, 25 September 1915


This local fighting was defined as a specific engagement by the Battles Nomenclature Committee of 1921. Along with the “Action of Piètre” and the “Second Attack on Bellewaarde” it was carried out as a diversion to the start of the British offensive the Battle of Loos and the major French offensives in Artois and Champagne, all on 25 September 1915.

Order of battle

This engagement was carried out by only one British formation, the 8th Division, which at the time was under command of III Corps, which was under First Army.


The location of this action lies a short distance south of the village of Bois-Grenier, which can be seen south of Armentières.

Outline of the action

8th Division was ordered to attack a 1200-yard section of the German front line between “Corner Farm”, a point opposite the British-held Well Farm, and a strongpoint known as the Bridoux Fort. The objective was to “straighten and shorten our line” and to “assist the main attack by First Army” (the start of the Battle of Loos).

Division selected its 25th Infantry Brigade to make the attack, supported by 24th Infantry Brigade. The 2nd Field Company of Royal Engineers, a section of the divisional cyclist company, number 12 Trench Mortar Battery (which would be positioned on the left flank) and a section from 36 Trench Mortar Battery of 23rd Infantry Brigade would also go into the attack.

The infantry assault would be preceded by four days of artillery bombardment. It was to be carried out by 8th Division’s own artillery, augmented by other to mass a total of 96 18-pounder field guns, 36 4.5-inch howitzers, four 6-inch heavy guns and one mounted on an armoured train. It was known that this artillery was insufficient to cut the enemy’s barbed wire on the whole of the assault front. A Stokes gun would be positioned on the right flank to lay down a smoke barrage 5 minutes before the assault. 20 catapults for throwing Threlfallite bombs were installed in the British front line. This would supplement a 34 minute discharge by smoke candles. All men were to carry gas helmets as it was expected that the enemy would respond by firing gas shells.

Dressing stations were estalished at Wye Farm, Crombalot and at a position on the Fleurbaix-Elbow Farm road. A collecting station for walking wounded was established at Le Toulette.

An advanced divisional HQ was set up on rue Biache, and that of 25th Infantry Brigade was in a dugout near “White City”, south of Bois-Grenier.

The area of the operation happens to be at the edge of two standard British grid maps of the time. It lies south of Bois-Grenier and between La Boutillerie and Le Bridoux. The red lines on this conjoined map mark German trenches as they were in late 1915. Dark blue lines mark British positions but after the operation. It nonetheless provides a useful comparator to the sketch maps below.
Deployment of the assault force. This and other sketch maps below are from the 8th Divisional headquarters general staff war diary. Crown Copyright. National Archives.
British front line at Bois-Grenier, August 1915. National Army Museum image number 134525. With thanks.
Dressing Stations, Small Arms Amunition and bomb stores for the assault.

Enemy forces

The German front included strong points at “Corner Farm” and “Bridoux Fort”, with a third, “The Lozenge”, in between. The line was entrenched and with breastworks. The front was protected by barbed wire defences and behind it was a network of reserve trenches and a second line. It was held by the 6th Bavarian Reserve Division.

The attack

The assault units were in position by 3.30am. In front, on the right, a company of 2nd Rifle Brigade; centre, the other three companies of that battalion; on the left, a company of the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. It proved to be a day of mist and heavy rain, and by afternoon visibility was very poor. Observation for the artillery became impossible.

Six of the 18-pounder field guns were taken into the trenches and dug in to fire from the parapet. They reportedly did good work and were eventually withdrawn undamaged. Two shallow mines were exploded and detachments of 2nd and 15th Field Companies of the Royal Engineers were detailed to go across and work on consolidating captured trenches.

At 4.25am the artillery opened fire on the German first and second lines and formed a standing barrage on both flanks. The smoke candles began to burn and produced a cloud about 100 feet high that drifted slowly Five minutes later the infantry went “over the top” into no man’s land. On the left, “Bridoux Fort” was quickly captured and the attack pushed on to the German second line. In the centre, “The Lozenge” also fell but the nearby “The Angle” could not be taken due to machine gun fire. “There was no hesitation and no pause. The enemy fought hard and there was continual bombing [that is, use of hand grenades] by both sides”. By 8am the two assault battalions had got in touch with each other in the German trenches, which were now entirely held except for a 300-yard portion between “The Angle” and “Corner Fort”. “The struggle went on throughout the morning”.

At 7.40am two companies of 1st Royal Irish Rifles were sent to assist the 2nd Lincolnshire. Bombers of the battalions of 24th Infantry Brigade (2nd Northamptonshire, 1st Worcestershire, 1/5th Black Watch) were sent forward to bring up a supply of bombs and assist with the fight in the trenches. German shellfire gradually mounted during the morning but did little harm to the well-distributed reserves of 24th Infantry Brigade. At 12.30pm two companies of 2nd Northamptonshire were sent to the reserve trenches behind the Bridoux salient.

A map from the war diary of 8th Division’s headquarters staff. It illustrates the gain of ground and straightening of the British front achieved by the attack. Note that this map is displayed with south to the top. Note also the word “brewery” just behind the original British front, and next to it along the road a larger dark block representing another building. That too was a brewery.

At 1pm a determined German counterattack drive the 2nd Lincolnhire Regiment from “Bridoux Fort” and recaptured the trenches for about 100 yards to the west of it. The 2nd Royal Berkshire also came under attack from both sides, and with its position becoming untenable it was withdrawn at 1.55pm. The 2nd Rifle Brigade held on, beating off counterattacks but becoming ioslated as the other units withdrew, until at 3.30pm it also received the order to fall back. The attack had achieved its objective of shortening the British front, but it came at terrible human cost.

Some three officers and 120 German other ranks were taken prisoner. The British Official History reports that they were of the Königlich Bayerisches 16. Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment.

The map from above is shown upside down so that it displays in the more usual “north to the top” configuration for ease of comparion with other maps.
A present-day map of the area, on which I have marked the larger brewery site with a red flag. It stands on the rue Jean Baptiste Messaen. The star- or asterisk-like shapes in the fields are German concrete bunkers dating to later in the Great War and which can still be seen to this day.
From Google Maps. Standing on the rue Jean Baptiste Messaen with out backs to the brewery, looking southwards across the fields. Not far in front of us was the original British trench, running across from left to right. The advance took the line further into the field.


This analysis includes only those men whose dates of death are officially given as 25 September 1915.

Divisional summary: figures given are officers and men. The figures for units of Infantry Brigade had question marks at the time.


2nd Lincolnshire Regt: 4 and 51
2nd Rifle Brigade: 5 and 39
2nd Royal Berkshire Regt: 4 and 37
Royal Engineers: 0 and 9
1st Royal Irish Rifles: 1 and 7
1/8th Middlesex Rgt: 0 and 6
Royal Artillery: 1 and 2
1st Worcestershire Rgt: 0 and 2?
1/5th Black Watch: 0 and 1
1/1st London Rgt: 0 and 1
2nd East Lancashire: 1 and ?
1st Sherwood Foresters: 0 and 1?
2nd Northamptonshire: 0 and 1?

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour. Major Henry Hoskyns DSO commanded the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment in the attack. He has no known grave.

The war diary of 105th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery suggests that the total shown above was optimistic.

3.15pm. “A” Battery had a direct hit on one gun emplacement which exploded the ammunition (Lyddite) in the emplacment and killed the detachment: one Sgt and six others. A second hit of the telephone dugout killed a telephonist and wounded two others.

National Archives. War diary. WO95/2176.


2nd Royal Berkshire Regt: 4 and 222
2nd Lincolnshire Regt: 6 and 171
2nd Rifle Brigade: 3 and 153
1st Royal Irish Rifles: 2 and 61
Royal Engineers: 3 and 43
1/1st London Rgt: 2 and 44
Royal Artillery: 5 and 25
1/8th Middlesex Rgt: 2 and 15
2nd Northamptonshire: 1 and 9?
1st Worcestershire Rgt: 0 and 9?
Royal Army Medical Corps: 0 and 8
1st Sherwood Foresters: 0 and 6?
1/5th Black Watch: 0 and 4?


2nd Royal Berkshire Regt: 3 and 128
2nd Lincolnshire Regt: 0 and 67
1st Royal Irish Rifles: 0 and 57
2nd Rifle Brigade: 1 and 40
1st Worcestershire Rgt: 1 and 26?
1/1st London Rgt: 2 and 23
Royal Engineers: 0 and 14
1/5th Black Watch: 0 and 1?


Officers: 16 killed, 28 wounded, 6 missing
Other ranks: 157 killed, 770 wounded, 356 missing.
“963 other ranks stated to have passed through Field Ambulances, so that a large number of those shewn missing may be accounted for”.

Burials and commemorations

Listing only those of the principal infantry units involved and the men of 105th Brigade RFA.

Brewery Orchard Cemetery, Bois-Grenier
2nd Lincolnshire Regiment:
Private 16897 Aspley, Harry
Corporal 14879 Crathern, James

White City Cemetery, Bois-Grenier
2nd Lincolnshire Regiment:
Private 7634 Baker, William
Lance Serjeant 8375 Fish, David
Private 16959 Harvey, John
Private 7258 Hull, Charles William
Private 9214 Hutchinson, Ralph
Private 17055 Jones, Charles
Serjeant 5635 Lee, Fred
Private 7700 Peck, George Frederick
Private 8457 Smith, Daniel
Private 17000 Smithson, Ernest
2nd Royal Berkshire:
Lance Corporal 10525 Eldred, Edward Henry
Private 9793 Gordon, Robert
Private 10174 Jones, William
Lance Corporal 8778 Warman, Alfred G

Y Farm Military Cemetery, Wye Farm, Bois-Grenier
2nd Rifle Brigade:
Rifleman 4892 Freestone, Richard
Captain Hunt, Charles Francis

Laventie Military Cemetery
2nd Royal Berkshire:
Lance Corporal 9796 Rowland, Francis

Le Trou Aid Post Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix
2nd Royal Berkshire:
Private 10231 Cox, Frederick

Merville Communal Cemetery
105th Brigade RFA:
Gunner 49939 Crabtree, Alfred

Ration Farm Military Cemetery, La Chapelle d’Armentières
105th Brigade RFA:
Gunner 51555 Pamplin, Walter Albert
Gunner 54758 Coutts, James Alexander
Bombardier 77670 Harrison, George
Serjeant 28224 Reade, George
Gunner 50257 Hadden, Ernest Charles
Gunner 51554 Lord, Walter Henry

Rue-Pétillon Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix
2nd Royal Berkshire:
Private 9765 Garlick, Albert Brice
Private 9199 Nightingale, George Frank

Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery
2nd Rifle Brigade:
Rifleman Z/1054 Barnard, George William
Rifleman Z/1279 Bird, Frederick
Rifleman 36 Spurgin, Isaac

Ypres Reservoir Cemetery
2nd Royal Berkshire:
Private 8425 Blatch, James
Private 9373 Housham, George Graham
Private 8292 Litchfield, Thomas

Loos Memorial (for officers and men without known graves)
2nd Lincolnshire Regiment:
Private 8191 Taylor, Richard
Royal Fusiliers, commanding 12 Trench Mortar Battery:
Lieutenant Schofield, Cuthbert

Ploegsteert Memorial (for officers and men without known graves)
2nd Lincolnshire Regiment:
Corporal ‘8333’ Alexander Edward
Private ‘15216’ Allan Edgar
Private ‘17023’ Allen Enoch
Corporal ‘7906’ Annetts Thomas William
Corporal ‘9007’ Aulton William
Serjeant ‘7899’ Austin William
Private ‘16905’ Barker Charles Lambert
Private ‘9170’ Basketter Albert Edward
Private ‘12449’ Bates John William
Serjeant ‘13773’ Beechey Bernard Reeve
Private ‘8027’ Bennett Arthur Henry
Private ‘13924’ Bennett Edwin
Private ‘16911’ Billington Charles William
Private ‘13922’ Booker Ernest
Corporal ‘8085’ Boulton James
Lieutenant Brooks Leslie (attached from West Yorkshire Rgt)
Second Lieutenant Budibent Cecil
Lance Corporal ‘8689’ Cammack Arthur Edward
Lance Corporal ‘15647’ Carey Edward
Private ‘13968’ Caudwell Christopher John
Private ‘15297’ Charlesworth Fred
Private ‘13669’ Chester William Henry
Corporal ‘7473’ Chester William Leggate
Private ‘4941’ Cheswick William Edward
Private ‘14900’ Cuckson Edward
Lance Corporal ‘4582’ Dale Arthur
Private ‘15263’ Davies Henry George
Private ‘8588’ Dobson Arthur
Private ‘17082’ Fallows James
Private ‘7581’ Fryer Cyril Craig
Corporal ‘8363’ Gledhill Ernest
Private ‘7645’ Greene George
Private ‘16953’ Grocott Henry
Private ‘7871’ Hackney Sydney Thomas
Private ‘15205’ Hare Frank
Private ‘13826’ Harris William
Lance Corporal ‘15298’ Harwood Albert
Private ‘13466’ Holmes William
Major Hoskyns Henry Charles Walter DSO
Lance Corporal ‘8107’ Humberstone Charles
Private ‘15327’ Hunt Charles Arthur
Lance Corporal ‘8874’ Hunt William Edward
Private ‘13726’ Lepla Jeffrey
Private ‘7605’ Maloney John Joseph
Private ‘7757’ Newcomb Arthur
Private ‘9213’ Nicholson Bert
Private ‘15422’ Nottingham John Hugh
Private ‘7898’ Osborne George
Private ‘15229’ Parrish Arthur William
Private ‘8247’ Pettman Frank Cleveland
Corporal ‘10376’ Purdue Edward Colston
Private ‘7549’ Read Charles William
Private ‘16010’ Scofield Francis Syd
Private ‘15223’ Shaw Charles
Private ‘14651’ Shepherd Arthur
Private ‘15356’ Taylor Charles
Private ‘9803’ Thorpe Arthur William
Second Lieutenant Tindall Richard Frederick
Private ‘8574’ Tinning David
Private ‘17012’ Tunnicliffe George
Lance Corporal ‘9305’ Walker Percy
Private ‘15201’ Ward John Henry
Private ‘14255’ Ward Leslie
Private ‘15859’ Wetherell Ernest Henry
Private ‘9002’ Woodforth Herbert
Private ‘14326’ Wright Albert Henry
2nd Rifle Brigade:
Lance Corporal ‘Z/2916’ Arney Russell Gerard
Rifleman ‘Z/570’ Arnopp Bert
Lance Corporal ‘3571’ Ayres John Nicholas
Corporal ‘2080’ Balls Charles Robert
Rifleman ‘4099’ Barker John Cornelius
Rifleman ‘1411’ Bateman George William
Rifleman ‘Z/2176’ Beilby Thomas
Lance Corporal ‘2258’ Bennett Thomas James
Serjeant ‘7442’ Birch Charles
Rifleman ‘Z/2681’ Bloodworth Frederick Horace
Serjeant ‘2640’ Bourne James
Rifleman ‘S/9326’ Browne Herbert Alfred
Rifleman ‘Z/121’ Buchanan Sidney Barry
Lance Serjeant ‘8365’ Bull Thomas William
Lieutenant ” Chapman Lawrence Vaughan
Lance Serjeant ‘2719’ Coombs Reginald
Rifleman ‘5870’ Corley Archibald William
Rifleman ‘S/6781’ Cottrill John Robert
Corporal ‘2607’ Cozens Herbert
Rifleman ‘Z/2603’ Crewe John
Rifleman ‘S/7141’ Dancza William Thomas
Rifleman ‘S/7020’ Drury Daniel George
Rifleman ‘Z/548’ Dryden Thomas
Rifleman ‘S/6976’ Edwards George Sadler
Rifleman ‘2543’ Ekins John Oscar
Rifleman ‘5853’ Flintham Joseph Harold
Lance Corporal ‘S/8778’ Green John
Lance Corporal ‘Z/2894’ Gwinnell Raymond Willie
Rifleman ‘B/2061’ Halls Richard Edward
Rifleman ‘S/8266’ Hammond George William Walter
Rifleman ‘2930’ Hatton Joseph
Rifleman ‘4085’ Higgs Joseph
Rifleman ‘S/9501’ Howlett Arthur
Rifleman ‘S/11242’ Hurry Henry Arthur
Rifleman ‘6/9524’ Jordan Frank Andrew
Rifleman ‘Z/1944’ Lewis Albert
Rifleman ‘B/715’ Lindsey James
Rifleman ‘S/3796’ Lory Manley Roy
Rifleman ‘S/6762’ Mckenzie George Stewart Sutherland
Rifleman ‘4672’ Mills Alexander
Lieutenant ” Monteith William Neve
Rifleman ‘Z/2647’ Munford Bertram John
Rifleman ‘3754’ New Harry
Rifleman ‘S/9382’ Nurse Joseph
Rifleman ‘Z/2282’ Oakes Joseph
Rifleman ‘Z/327’ O’Day Thomas
Serjeant ‘2520’ Rex George William
Rifleman ‘S/9214’ Roberts Robert
Rifleman ‘S/6597’ Rogers Arthur Henry
Rifleman ‘Z/374’ Rook William
Rifleman ‘S/8208’ Rowlands George Frederick
Rifleman ‘S/11254’ Rumble George
Lance Corporal ‘Z/2857’ Ryan Sidney Henry
Rifleman ‘5306’ Salmon John Richard
Rifleman ‘Z/1747’ Sanders William
Rifleman ‘S/7140’ Shepherd Thomas
Captain Sheridan, William Frederick Temple
Rifleman ‘Z/438’ Singer Pinkus Percival
Rifleman ‘S/8775’ Smith Carl Hollingworth
Rifleman ‘S/7203’ Smith Joseph
Rifleman ‘S/9510’ Spooner Benjamin John
Rifleman ‘S/6606’ Stratford William
Lance Corporal ‘Z/2914’ Tayler Francis Joseph
Rifleman ‘S/7001’ Tigar Bertrand Benoit
Second Lieutenant ” Turnour Arthur William Winterton
Rifleman ‘6/518’ Williams Robert
Rifleman ‘S/7042’ Windley Harry
Rifleman ‘S/6850’ Wise George
Captain ” Wolseley-Jenkins Charles Wolseley
Corporal ‘776’ Woolley John Edward
2nd Royal Berkshire:
Second Lieutenant Abinger Bernard Russell MC
Private ‘7179’ Allen Frederick James
Private ‘10118’ Allum George
Private ‘10608’ Anderson Alexander
Private ‘11555’ Anderson George Thomas
Private ‘9523’ Bailey Albert John
Corporal ‘8825’ Barnes Arthur Moody
Private ‘16338’ Barrett Edward Walter
Private ‘10259’ Beales Edward Ernest
Private ‘10320’ Bew Harry
Private ‘16648’ Bishop Stanley Charles
Private ‘9631’ Bitmead Albert Arthur
Private ‘11466’ Blissett Harry John
Private ‘9007’ Bolton Victor Alma
Corporal ‘8416’ Bone Edmund George
Private ‘5990’ Bourne Charles Alfred
Lance Corporal ‘9219’ Bradley Arthur Alfred
Private ‘10105’ Britnell Albert
Private ‘15864’ Burton William Arthur
Corporal ‘9733’ Buxcey Frederick
Private ‘10080’ Buxcey Reginald
Private ‘6976’ Chamberlain Maurice David
Private ‘18323’ Clarke George
Private ‘7215’ Collis Charles John
Private ‘9623’ Cook Charles
Private ‘9503’ Cook George Ernest
Private ‘10070’ Cooper John
Private ‘10096’ Cooper Sidney
Private ‘8767’ Couldrey Walter
Private ‘9472’ Cox Albert
Private ‘11685’ Cresswell Arthur
Private ‘11840’ Crockford Frederick Easter
Private ‘16654’ Dearlove Frederick
Private ‘7685’ Dew George Edward
Private ‘9220’ Easden Herbert
Private ‘9055’ Edwards Edward
Lance Serjeant ‘5694’ Eltham Ernest
Private ‘9806’ Englefield William John
Serjeant ‘16615’ Fairminer Edward James
Private ‘8122’ Farnorth William
Serjeant ‘8969’ Frankum George
Private ‘5531’ French John
Private ‘7263’ Fyfe William George
Private ‘8257’ Gaisford Dudley
Serjeant ‘8199’ Gardiner William
Private ‘10014’ Gardner Wilfred Harry
Private ‘9589’ Goodchild Walter John
Lieutenant Gregory Geoffrey Francis Gregory
Captain Guest-Williams Wynne Austin
Lance Corporal ‘9532’ Gylby Leonard William
Private ‘5448’ Harris Frederick
Private ‘8400’ Hedges Frederick Mortimer
Private ‘9294’ Hemley Alexander James
Private ‘15018’ Hemming Albert
Private ‘10069’ Hey George Leonard
Private ‘11520’ Higson Morris
Private ‘10626’ Hillier Reuben Ernest
Private ‘15788’ Hobbs Alfred
Private ‘9454’ Hobbs William
Private ‘11965’ Holmes Charles Edward
Lance Serjeant ‘8130’ Homer Arthur Thomas
Private ‘9228’ Horwood Christopher Willie
Private ‘8606’ Howard Walter
Private ‘14011’ Hutchings Alan
Private ‘15465’ Hyde George William
Private ‘8986’ Ingham Ernest
Private ‘9307’ Ingram George Albert
Private ‘15815’ James Frederick Herbert
Private ‘11826’ Jarrad Charles William
Private ‘15722’ Jenkins Richard James
Private ‘16185’ Jennings John
Serjeant ‘5699’ Josey John
Private ‘16280’ King Charles Edward George
Private ‘16341’ King John
Lance Corporal ‘6633’ Kitchell Timothy George
Private ‘7868’ Knight Bertie
Private ‘11639’ Lanigan William Joseph
Private ‘7392’ Lawrence Ernest Walter
Serjeant ‘8696’ Lee Joe
Private ‘9194’ Leonard George
Lance Corporal ‘15374’ Lewis Thomas Frederick Hawkes
Private ‘9816’ Light Harry
Private ‘9081’ Lloyd James Ambrose
Lance Corporal ‘7985’ Locke John William
Private ‘16769’ May Frank
Private ‘8737’ Mayho Ernest Archibald
Private ‘16139’ Mesher George
Private ‘16629’ Morse Tom
Private ‘10464’ Norvall Charles George Hughes
Captain Oke Robert William Leslie
Private ‘9818’ O’Regan James
Lance Corporal ‘9705’ Palfreyman Charles
Private ‘8326’ Parker Henry John
Private ‘11447’ Partridge Joseph
Private ‘6342’ Payne Herbert
Private ‘16832’ Perry Thomas Edward
Private ‘9722’ Poole George
Lance Corporal ‘7577’ Pusey Harry
Private ‘9081’ Rawlings William
Private ‘12574’ Richards Alfred
Lance Corporal ‘16310’ Rogers George Charles
Second Lieutenant Simmons Russell Louis Harry
Lance Corporal ‘9147’ Slatter Victor John
Private ‘11775’ Smith Victor Robert
Private ‘8634’ Southgate George
Lance Corporal ‘9812’ Sparkes Victor
Private ‘9862’ Speller James
Private ‘10262’ Steele Albert
Private ‘16835’ Street William J.
Private ‘16342’ Stroud Leonard
Private ‘9727’ Swain Albert
Private ‘18365’ Swain Arthur
Lance Corporal ‘9567’ Tedder Matthew
Corporal ‘6547’ Thomas Albert Edward
Private ‘8892’ Townsend Arthur
Lance Corporal ‘9349’ Trim Frank
Lieutenant Trotter Ronald Herbert Gillet
Private ‘5586’ Turner Horace Arthur
Lieutenant Vesey James MC
Private ‘16372’ Waite Ernest Steven
Lance Corporal ‘6510’ Waite Frederick Charles
Private ‘10053’ Webb Bertie Thomas
Corporal ‘8029’ Wheeler William James
Private ‘11592’ White Charles
Lance Corporal ‘9912’ Wickens Stephen
Private ‘10061’ Wilkinson Frederick
Private ‘9493’ Wilks Albert
Lance Corporal ‘8968’ Williams Albert
Lance Corporal ‘5748’ Williams William John
Private ‘9896’ Willis Frederick
Private ‘11877’ Wilson Arthur
Private ‘10173’ Witherell Thomas Edward
Private ‘15840’ Woodbridge Arthur
Private ‘9212’ Woodward Joseph
Serjeant ‘5408’ Wyer Percy


This list is work in progress.

Military Cross
London Gazette, 7 December 1915. Temporary Second Lieutenant Winchcombe Norman Carpenter van Grutten, 103rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. For conspicuous gallantry on 25th September, 1915, near Fleurbaix. At a time when his communications were continually being cut by the enemy’s shell fire, he volunteered to lead some bombers under a very heavy fire to the assistance of an infantry battalion, no infantry officer being available. It was mainly owing to his promptness and determination that these bombers reached their destination. (Van Grutten survived the war and only passed away in 1987).

Distinguished Conduct Medal
London Gazette, 29 November 1915. 60928 Serjeant A. E Keeley, 105th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. For conspicuous gallantry on 25th September, 1915, near Fleurbaix. Under heavy shell fire he displayed great coolness and resource in carrying water to quench a fire burning in a gun emplacement which had just received a direct hit, and later attempted to dig out the detachment until it had become plain that none were alive.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery and memorial registers
War diaries: all National Archives WO95 series. Piece number in brackets. III Corps General Staff (671); 8th Division General Staff (1673)


The Battle of Loos

The battles and engagements on the Western Front

8th Division

Gazetteer of the Western Front: Bois-Grenier