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Name: Bernard Henry Husk

Date of death: 24th November 1917

Residence: 214 Barcombe Avenue, Streatham Hill

Regiment: London Regiment (London Scottish)

Rank: Private

Battalion: 1st/14th

Relations: son of Charles Henry and Alice Amelia. Husband of May Lydia Husk

Place of memorial: Cambrai Memorial, Louverval

 

Husk fought and died in the Battle of Cambrai in France in November 1917, the first time tanks were deployed as the major force of attack in a battle. It was an attack on a position where the Germans did not expect. The Allied armies would use tanks to break through German barbed wire and the infantry would follow. The attack began on November 20th, although by the 22nd they were forced to stop the advancement to rest the soldiers and plan further attack. By the time fighting resumed on the 23rd, the Germans were reorganised and took back much of the land that Husk’s regiment had won. This counter-attack is when Bernard Husk was killed.

 

Bernard Henry Husk died on the 24th of November, 1917 at the age of 32. His cause of death remains uncertain, however the War Diary of his regiment outline the events of that day, one of which he could have been killed in.

 

The Germans had been bombarding the support trench with heavy shells, with carnage coming down on the Hindenburg support trench and the old German front line, between Louverval Road and Canal Dunord, lasting an hour. Husk could have been injured or killed from the destruction from the attack.

 

Following this, the enemy attacked with bombing parties from the Hindenburg line to Tadpole Lane, as well as further parties coming from the Hindenburg line in the open to attack the trench the Allies were holding. Many parties including the 4th Londons were down from their blocks and cut off from the supply of bombs. They then withdrew across the CTB front line or across the open which led to many casualties.

 

He is remembered on the Cambrai memorial in France, which commemorates around 7,000 British and South African men who gave their lives at the battle of Cambrai.

 

By Sean and Rory in Year 12

 

Sources:

 

The London WW1 Memorial: www.londonwarmemorial.co.uk/search_results.php?limit=200&offset=0&sort=&a=East%20Sheen&f=First%20Name&s=Last%20Name&r=Rank&u=Unit&d=Date%20Of%20Death;#sthash.q3vIToeD.UeXdezmY.dpbs

 

www.firstworldwar.com/battles/cambrai.htm

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission: www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/79300/CAMBRAI%20MEMORIAL,%20LOUVERVAL

 

The National Archives: War Diary WO 95/2956/1