The Battle of Le Cateau – 26 August 1914

A hundred years ago today the 1st Battalion the Somerset Light Infantry fought at Le Cateau in one of the opening battles of the First World War. 7995 Private William John Newman of the 1st Battalion The Somerset Light Infantry was killed during the fighting.

This morning, Private Newman’s relatives gathered in the temporary exhibition gallery at The Museum of Somerset to donate his medals to the collection of the Somerset Military Museum.

William John Newman was born in Milton Clevedon. He later moved with his family to Batcombe where he worked as a farm labourer. At the outbreak of the First World War Private Newman was a regular army soldier in the 1st Battalion The Somerset Light Infantry. The battalion formed part of the British Expeditionary Force who deployed to France soon after war began.

The fighting at Le Cateau was intense. Over 60 members of the battalion were killed. Many more were wounded or taken prisoner as the battalion defended their positions against wave after wave of German attacks. Private Newman was killed in action during the fighting. He was 26 years old.

Private Newman is remembered on the Le Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial. The La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial commemorates 3,740 officers and men of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) who fell at the Battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne between the end of August and early October 1914 and have no known graves.

 

William John Newman

William John Newman

1914 Star awarded to 7995 Private Newman. This type of medal was issued to the officers and men of British forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August 1914 and midnight on 22/23 November 1914.

1914 Star awarded to 7995 Private Newman. This type of medal was issued to the officers and men of British forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August 1914 and midnight on 22/23 November 1914.

1914 Star, British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal awarded to 7995 Private William John Newman, Somerset Light Infantry.

1914 Star, British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal awarded to 7995 Private William John Newman, Somerset Light Infantry.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Battle of Le Cateau – 26 August 1914

  1. 4721 Lance Corporal Walter MOODY, 1st Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, was also killed in action at the battle of Le Cateau on 26 August 1914, aged 36. His grave is at the Porte-de-Paris Cemetery, Cambrai, and he is commemorated on the Charlton Mackrell parish war memorial in Somerset.

  2. About Private Newman : I was born in the village of Ligny en Cambrésis for years I researched what happened in my village at the battle of Le Cateau-26 august 1914.
    The 1st Somerset was part of the 11th Infantry Brigade,after fighting in the vicinity of “les carrières” (the quarries) south of Fontaine in the morning they retreated for covering the village of Ligny about 3p.m.The1st Somerset as the 1st East Lancs ultimately retired from Ligny .
    The losses were heavy and due to the retreat the K.i.a were left on the battlefield and unfortunately Ligny remained in German hands until its liberation by troops of the 37th British Division on 10 october 1918 so many dead could not have been buried by British and are commemorated at La Ferté sous Jouarre memorial

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s