In the Spring of 1915 the British Expeditionary Force in France came under political pressure to do something to expel the the Germans from France, and the village of Neuve Chapelle was selected as the objective for this the first major British offensive of the war. Morale was extremely high, and great things were expected, even by the ordinary tommy. At Neuve Chapelle the British managed mainly through good luck to achieve surprise and local superiority, so that the first day of the battle, 10 March 1915 was one of considerable success. Over the following days however German resistance hardened and the hoped for breakthrough was not achieved.
One of the units chosen to spearhead the assualt was the Indian Corps with its mixture of Gurkha, Garwahli and British troops. Among its battalions was the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment. Along with their Indian comrades the Leicesters attacked the German position known as Port Arthur, near La Bombe crossroads.