The battle of Neuve Chapelle was the first British-initiated offensive of the war and was prompted by French doubts about British commitment to the conflict.


Following a massive but short bombardment, General Haig's 1st Army attacked the village of Neuve Chapelle which was taken on the  first day.


However, von Falkenhayn's rapid movement of reserves and a  British shortage of ammunition prevented a breakthrough. Nevertheless the British had proved that they were truly in the war and from then onwards the destructive artillery barrage became standard practice for the battles to come.


British causualties were about 13,000,the German 14,000.


The battlefield tour takes two and a half hours, begins in Bethune and visits the Portugese cemetery and memorial, the Indian memorial, the le Touret memorial and follows the actions at Layes bridge and the Moated Grange. Our Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Book Westem Front - North tells the full story.