In August 1914 the British Expeditionary Force found itself in a precarious position astride the Mons canal. Retreating French forces had appealed to the BEF to hold its ground to aid their withdrawal, but this exposed the British Army to grave danger, for its flanks were exposed and the strength of German forces advancing against it was uncertain. Nevertheless, British commander Sir John French agreed to hold his ground for 24 hours to cover the French retreat, setting the stage for Britain’s first pitched battle of the First World War.
This virtual tour will focus on the struggle for control of the Nimy bridge where the 4th Royal Fusiliers and 4th Middlesex fought to stem the tide of the German advance. The intense fighting produced acts of incredible heroism on both sides, exemplified by the award of the first Victoria Crosses of the war to Lieutenant Maurice Dease and Private Sidney Godley.