Start of the Battle of Loos
The Battle of Loos was part of a combined British (with Indian support) and French offensive against the German line in northern France. It was an attempt to break the stalemate and return to a mobile war. The battle started at dawn on 25 September 1915, with the first use of chlorine gas by the British.
In the months since the opposing armies on the Western Front had come to a stalemate, the soldiers had ‘dug in’ creating extensive networks of trenches. The land between the trenches became known as No Man’s Land, where much of the fighting took place. After Loos, the front lines changed very little, so there was no opportunity to recover the bodies of the dead. The memorial at Loos lists thousands of men whose bodies were never recovered or identified.
Back in London, the Richmond Herald noted that Farrow’s Bank, a well-known bank with a Richmond branch, had begun advertising in French to accommodate the large numbers of Belgian and French refugees who had fled the war. In the same edition, 25 September 1915, an article titled ‘Last of Famous Hotel’, recorded the sale of the contents of the Star & Garter hotel wine cellar. The hotel was in the process of converting into a rest home for injured soldiers.