John Gaden lived with his parents, John and Florence Gaden, at 55 Olive Lane, Blackheath. He enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, probably in 1917, but was soon transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Berkshires The troops suffered severely in the first German offensive of March 1918 and were driven back nearly as far as Amiens. They recuperated on the Aisne only to receive the full force of the third German offensive. However, from August 1918 to the armistice they took part in the remarkable Advance to Victory. The German forces were driven back to, and through, the Hindenburg Line by early October. The Berkshires were involved in taking the next German defences, the Rouvray-Fresnes line, on the 7th October. The trenches were seized, many prisoners taken and the Germans left their lines in retreat. The cost in men was not high but included Private John Gaden who was killed in action on this day. He was 19 years of age and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial. He is also commemorated on the Blackheath and Halesowen Memorials.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH,High St,Halesowen,Dudley,West Midlands,B63 3BB,England, B63 3BB
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