This Day in History: 1914-11-02

The 2nd Battalion in France came under intense German attack which forced each of the four double companies from their front trenches. Despite best efforts the deployment of the Reserve was to no avail and after nightfall Colonel Norie withdrew the Battalion. Battalion casualties were: British officers: seven killed, one wounded; Gurkha officers: four killed, three wounded; Other Ranks: 31 killed, 64 wounded, 37 missing. The historians of the Indian Corps in France record: “the heroism of the British officers has seldom been more brilliantly demonstrated than on this occasion. Not a single officer of the 2nd Goorkhas in the front trenches got back alive, several being killed while leading attacks against vastly superior numbers. The bravery of all ranks fully sustained the great reputation of this Regiment”. The Regimental history has the last word: “So ended for us a disastrous but gallantly fought action against superior numbers far better provided with the modern machinery of war than we were”. The following morning the Battalion was ordered to retire and refit.