Thanks to Mr Paul Greenwood, who wrote and gave us this texte
Like the 8th, 50th and 21st Divisions the 25th had suffered badly during the German March and April offensives, losing 7000 men in the process, and was sent to the Aisne sector to recuperate. It arrived some days after the other three.
The three Brigades making up the Division were the 7th, 74th and 75th and about the 15th of May it was ordered forward across the Vesle to be nearer the front line.
On May 26th the German attack was confirmed to take place on the 27th, and that evening the Divisional Brigades were moved up into close support of the 8th, 50th and 21st Divisions.
The events of May 27th cannot be described from a Divisional standpoint as the Brigades were allocated to, and placed under the command of the other Divisions in the line. Also there was a two mile gap between the right of the 74th Brigade and the flank of the French XIth Corps.
By 8 a.m. the 8th and 50th Divisions had more or less ceased to exist and the troops of the 25th Div. had no chance of plugging such a gap against the German advance. German aircraft harassed the troops all day, reporting their positions to the artillery further back. There was no gun of any kind behind the three Brigades to reply. Storm Troops, infiltrating, again caused utter confusion to any attempted defence.
By the morning of the 28th a depleted 7th Brigade was trying to hold high ground east of Prouilly, while south of Prouilly men of the Cheshire's were alongside a composite battalion made up of stragglers, trying to hold back the German advance. Further to the left, men of the 74th and 75th Brigades were on high ground north west of Montigny. By now the average strength of a battalion was down to 100 or less.
The first major attack on the 28th came at 4 a.m.. By 9 a.m. the 75th Brigade had been driven across the Vesle, its withdrawal covered by a heroic stand made by the 74th Brigade 11th Lancashire Fusiliers.
The 74th held its positions until evening, when the remnants were able to withdraw across the river.
That evening the 50th Division was pulled back and the 74th Brigade came under the command of the 8th Divisional Commander.
On 29th May another German attack had developed by 8 a.m., and again sections of the line were pushed back, while others attempted to conform to the withdrawal. French reinforcements were coming up, and that day the first elements of the 19th Division started to arrive round Chambrecy.
The 21st Division was relieved by the French 45th during the night.
30th May. About 9 a.m. the Germans advanced in strength against Romigny, and a composite battalion from the 50th Division joined the 74th Brigade, but they were forced back onto a line between Sarcy and Ville en Tardenois. By midday the Germans were in Romigny and the defensive flank was forced south west of Ville en Tardenois.
During the afternoon the 74th Brigade, conforming to the 19th British Division and the 30th French Regiment, took up position on the high ground west of Aubilly. This position was held.
31st May. The 74th Brigade drove back another German attack before the remnants moved back to west of Champlace, holding a shortened front.
June 1st. The few remaining men of the 74th Brigade were pulled back to reorganise and to act as reserves to the 19th Division. The Germans, attacking the Allied line around 4 p.m., drove back the French on the left, and a new line was set up from La Neuville to the southern end of the Bois d' Eclisse
June 2nd remained quiet and the following day gave time for stragglers to arrive and to be formed into composite battalions. The following days, too, gave some further respite, but on June 6th the Germans gained a temporary foothold on the Montagne de Bligny. They were driven back and a further attack on the 9th had no better result.
On June 9th orders arrived that, because of such severe casualties, the Division was to be broken up and its remaining Infantry units were used to strengthen other Divisions.
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