An infrantryman in the first world war who was killed in action at Arras during the Third Battle of the Scarpe

 

George Weighill Farndale
Born December 1886 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAR00617

 

 

 

  

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George Weighill Farndale, born Tadcaster District. Parents not identified.

(BR)

George Weighill Farndale registered Tadcaster District Oct-Dec 1886

(GRO Vol 9c page 596? - 1837 Online)

Military Service:

15/319 L/Cpl George Farndale, The West Yorkshire Regiment, aged 30 (ie born 1887) killed in action, France 3 May 1917 Awarded British War medal, the Victory Medal and the1914 - 15 Star. Served in Egypt in Dec 1915.
 
(Medal Roll)

 

 

 

 

The Battle of Arras (also known as the Second Battle of Arras) was a British offensive on the Western Front during World War I. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British troops attacked German defences near the French city of Arras on the Western Front. The British achieved the longest advance since trench warfare had begun, surpassing the record set by the French Sixth Army on 1 July 1916. The British advance slowed in the next few days and the German defence recovered. The battle became a costly stalemate for both sides and by the end of the battle, the British Third and First Army had suffered about 160,000 and the German6th Army about 125,000 casualties.

 

For much of the war, the opposing armies on the Western Front were at stalemate, with a continuous line of trenches from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border. The Allied objective from early 1915 was to break through the German defences into the open ground beyond and engage the numerically inferior German Army (Westheer) in a war of movement. The British attack at Arras was part of the French Nivelle Offensive, the main part of which was the Second Battle of the Aisne 50 miles (80 km) to the south. The aim of the French offensive was to break through the German defences in forty-eight hours.[3] At Arras the Canadians were to re-capture Vimy Ridge, dominating the Douai Plain to the east, advance towards Cambrai and divert German reserves from the French front.

 

The British effort was an assault on a relatively broad front between Vimy in the north-west and Bullecourt to the south-east. After a long preparatory bombardment, the Canadian Corps of the First Army in the north fought the Battle of Vimy Ridge and took the ridge. The Third Army in the centre advanced astride the Scarpe River and in the south, the British Fifth Army attacked the Hindenburg Line (Siegfriedstellung) but made few gains. The British armies then engaged in a series of small operations to consolidate the new positions. Although these battles were generally successful in achieving limited aims, they came at considerable cost.

 

When the battle officially ended on 16 May, the British had made significant advances but had been unable to achieve a breakthrough. New tactics and the equipment to exploit them had been used, showing that the British had absorbed the lessons of the Battle of the Somme and could mount set-piece attacks against fortified field defences. After the Second Battle of Bullecourt (3–17 May), the Arras sector became a quiet front, that typified most of the war in the west, except for attacks on the Hindenburg Line and around Lens, culminating in the Canadian Battle of Hill 70 (15–25 August).

 

 

Third Battle of the Scarpe (3–4 May 1917)

 

After securing the area around Arleux at the end of April, the British determined to launch another attack east from Monchy to try to break through the Boiry Riegel and reach the Wotanstellung, a major German defensive fortification. This was scheduled to coincide with the Australian attack at Bullecourt to present the Germans with a two–pronged assault. British commanders hoped that success in this venture would force the Germans to retreat further to the east. With this objective in mind, the British launched another attack near the Scarpe on 3 May. However, neither prong was able to make any significant advances and the attack was called off the following day after incurring heavy casualties. Although this battle was a failure, the British learned important lessons about the need for close liaison between tanks, infantry and artillery, which they would use in the Battle of Cambrai, 1917.

 

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Usma_battle_of_arras_1917.png

 

Front lines at Arras prior to the attack

 

The Third Battle of the Scarpe, as the fighting over 3/4 May was named, was an unmitigated disaster for the British Army which suffered nearly 6,000 men killed for little material gain.

 

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First Battle of Scarpe

 

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The Arras Offensive

 

 

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 Buried: Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

 Arras Memorial

The Arras Memorial is in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, which is in the Boulevard du General de Gaulle in the western part of the town of Arras. The cemetery is near the Citadel, approximately 2 kilometres due west of the railway station.

The French handed over Arras to Commonwealth forces in the spring of 1916 and the system of tunnels upon which the town is built were used and developed in preparation for the major offensive planned for April 1917. The Commonwealth section of the FAUBOURG D'AMIENS CEMETERY was begun in March 1916, behind the French military cemetery established earlier. It continued to be used by field ambulances and fighting units until November 1918. The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields and from two smaller cemeteries in the vicinity. The cemetery contains 2,651 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. In addition, there are 30 war graves of other nationalities, most of them German. During the Second World War, Arras was occupied by United Kingdom forces headquarters until the town was evacuated on 23 May 1940. Arras then remained in German hands until retaken by Commonwealth and Free French forces on 1 September 1944. The cemetery contains seven Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. The graves in the French military cemetery were removed after the First World War to other burial grounds and the land they had occupied was used for the construction of the Arras Memorial and Arras Flying Services Memorial. The ARRAS MEMORIAL commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. The most conspicuous events of this period were the Arras offensive of April-May 1917, and the German attack in the spring of 1918. Canadian and Australian servicemen killed in these operations are commemorated by memorials at Vimy and Villers-Bretonneux. A separate memorial remembers those killed in the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. The ARRAS FLYING SERVICES MEMORIAL commemorates nearly 1,000 airmen of the Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Royal Air Force, either by attachment from other arms of the forces of the Commonwealth or by original enlistment, who were killed on the whole Western Front and who have no known grave. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with sculpture by Sir William Reid Dick.

No. of Identified Casualties: 34738