The 115eme R.I. had fought well but lost heavily at Verdun in 1916. Brought to
the Champagne front in May 1917 they attacked the
heights “Le Casque” and “Le Teton” on the 20th of May as part of the
Nivelle offensives. The regiment suffered terrible losses.
The Month of June saw the regiment confined to barracks
as it was caught up in the “Collective indiscipline” (Mutiny) following the Nivelle
Sous Lieutenant George Picquet joined the regiment in that tumultuous month
and on the 21st of June
marched out with the regiment to occupy a sector in the Mont Haut and Mont
Regimental war diary:
14th of July--
Our artillery continues its bombardment on the enemy
positions. At 19:45 the 3eme Bataillon commences a raid on an enemy position. This
is a blind to draw attention from an attack in the 317eme R.I. sector to our
right. The Raid does not succeed; it is stopped by enemy machine gun fire.
The main attack is carried out by the 1ere Bataillon
(Lemaire) of the 115eme R.I. and the 4eme Bataillon of the 317eme R.I.
The attack succeeds superbly and the Battalions
capture 9 officers and 320 men.
The 1ere Bataillon has 11 dead and 41 wounded.
15th of July--
Day is calm, until 20:00 at which time the enemy
launch a violent counter attack on the positions taken the day before, on the
right of our battalion (3eme Bataillon) in the front line is caught in the
enemy barrage and requests a counter barrage. No Infantry action in that
sector. The Battalion "Lemaire" (1ere Bataillon) on the right flank
stops the German counter attack and inflicts heavy losses on the enemy.
1ere Bataillon looses 29 dead, 97 wounded and 49
16th of July--
The Battalion Lemaire is relieved by a battalion of
the 53eme R.I. and pulls back to the "Petit Loges"
17th of July--
Bataillon Lemaire takes up Quarters in Conde Sur
The 1st Battalion was cited at the order of
the IVeme Armee
“After having shown its value on the Teton in May of
1917 the 1ere Bataillon, under the tenacious and energetic leadership of
commandant Lemaire has proved itself again. In heavy fighting, along with the
4eme Bataillon of the 317eme R.I. it took a heavily defended, essential, enemy
position. It captured 200 prisoners. An audacious raid that destroyed enemy
positions 300 meters in front of their positions. Under heavy fire the next day
it fought back three enemy counter attacks. Pushed back by a fourth counter
attack it managed to rally and with reinforcements retake its prize and assuring
its objectives." The document above is a copy of the citation given to S. Lt Piquet (Numbered "30"). Usually the members of the unit that took part in an action cited recieved a copy of the citation.
Above: The Champagne battlefield to the East of Rheims showing the gains of the Nivelle offensive in April 1917. The 115eme R.I. lost heavily in continuing attacks in the region in May. It fought in the "Monts de Champagne" region until early 1918.
In November of 1916 the Regiment was still in the Mont
From the regimental war diary:
6th of November--
At 5:30 am the enemy started a violent bombardment after
which he attacked the positions Lorraine,Franklin and Lecomte. The
barrage of infantry fire (MG and rifle) was accurate enough to stop the enemy
in our wire. The 3eme Compagnie counter attacked all along its front. After 15
minutes of fighting the enemy troops fled in disorder falling under out fire
and artillery barrage as they went. The raid had consisted of the
"Stosstrupp" of 60 men and 120 men of the 2. Garde Grenadier
regiment. They suffered heavy losses and abandoned much material. A wounded prisoner
fell into out hands.
French losses 1 killed. 14 wounded.
The Citation for Piquet’s Croix de Guerre reads:
"Officer with a remarkable drive and exceptional
bravery. On the 6th of November during an enemy raid which was
accompanied by heavy artillery fire, initiated a counter attack that
contributed to beating back the enemy raid."
In April 1918 the Regiment was still in the Mont
The Regimental war diary :
15th of April--
Morning and afternoon calm. From 17:00 intermittent
bombardment on the (?) sector of the 124eme R.I. to our right. At 23:00 enemy
raid on the (Neighboring) 124eme R.I.
French losses: Sous-Lieut Picquet (3eme Cie) Wounded
(S. Lt. Georges Piquet was badly wounded and evacuated, the
regiments only casualty of the day.)
His citation reads
"Young officer full of drive and an established sense
of duty. Has always shown impressive displays of courage, decisiveness and
energy. Was seriously wounded on the 16th (?) of April while walking to an