Mons

On the 23rd of August 1914, fighting began for British troops around the Belgian town of Mons. The 2nd K.O.Y.L.I suffered heavy losses during fighting at Mons on 24 August, during the first major battle of the First World War. The Allied forces successfully held the Mons-Condé canal and managed to hold back the advancing German First Army.

IWM Q 70071 Royal Fusiliers at Mons 22 August 1914

IWM Q 70071 Royal Fusiliers at Mons 22 August 1914

After one day of fighting, the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F), made up of regular soldiers and reserves began a retreat alongside its French allies of almost 200 miles that would take it south to the River Marne, east of Paris. Read about the K.O.Y.L.I. experience at Mons here.

The town remained in German hands until the end of the war when Canadian troops were posted there. The town houses the Mons Communal Cemetery which contain the graves of soldiers from all over the world.