David Plant was the son of David and Ann Plant of Gorsty Hill, Halesowen, and by 1914 was married to Annie of 15 Dudley Road. He was a pre-war regular soldier in the Royal Scots Fusiliers and probably still in the Reserve. He was called up in August 1914 to rejoin the 1st Battalion in the 9th Brigade of the British Expeditionary Force at Gosport. The Fusiliers crossed rapidly to France and landed at Le Havre on the 14th August. They advanced immediately to face the invading German forces at Mons in Belgium on the 23rd. They reached Jemappes to guard the western sector of the very broad Mons-Condé Canal and when the cavalry screen withdrew, they were among the first British infantry to meet the invader. The close formation of the German infantry presented the Fusiliers with an easy target and the enemy suffered so heavily that they were brought to a halt. Later German sources suggested that they were opposed by well equipped troops in large numbers. The British forces, however, were grossly outnumbered and were obliged to retire the next day. They prepared for retreat by attempting to destroy the great bridges over the canal. It took 90 minutes to blow up the Jemappes bridge just outside Mons and it was probably in the course of this attempt that David Plant was seriously wounded. He died of wounds on the 28th August, almost certainly in German hands, and was buried in the small Flenu Communal Cemetery (II A 13) just outside Mons. He was one of 11 soldiers buried on that day. Only 5 are named, all Fusiliers, 2 officers, 2 sergeants and one corporal. Sergeant David Plant was 29 years of age and is commemorated on the Halesowen Memorial.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH,High St,Halesowen,Dudley,West Midlands,B63 3BB,England, B63 3BB
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