The British soldiers got into position at the crossroads as far as the Barthelemy suburb. The ground provided good shelter from rifle fire, but was swept by howitzers and machine-guns. A section of artillery, placed to the left of the batallion, tried valiantly to counter the fire of the German artillery, but drew such a deluge of shells that it was forced to withdraw.

Here too, then, the position was becoming untenable. The batallion regrouped and started to retreat. The 2nd Royal Irish went down the rue Leon Save, apart from B Company which withdrew through a wood behind the hospital. The 4th Middlesex then retired in turn. The losses of the 4th Middlesex reaached 15 officers and 467 other ranks.

Following the British retreat to the cemetery, the Germans reconstituted their front, with a redeployment from the approach to Mons as far as the Bascule. They wanted to seize the crossroads and so cut the retreat of the British forces. They poured across fields and followed the chemin des Mourdreux.

Sergeant FITZPATRICK, who was Regimental Quarter-Master Sergeant, had been ordered by Lieutenant R.E.G. PHILIPPS, around 1230 hours to stay put and await orders. At that time, the regiment was at the Segard public-house (now a banking complex) where he had just been served with a beer. FITZPATRICK began to prepare to eat with his men. When he saw that his batallion was in trouble and that some men were starting to retreat, he got together 40 men, a mixture of cooks, batmen, storemen, drivers, etc. and manned the trenches on the other side of the crossroads. He impressed upon his men not to open fire until the enemy were less than 200 yards away.
When the elements of the 85th Infantry Regiment (on the right) and the 31st Infantry Regiment (on the left) appeared, they were received with sustained fire.

After two conventional mass attacks, the Germans changed their tactics. They attacked in penny-packets in loose order.

About 3 pm, Major SIMPSON (of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders) whose defences were to the right, arrived at the Bascule. He was astonished to find so few men at such an important point. He came back shortly with a dozen men. Sadly, Major SIMPSON was wounded, but was able to leave the scene on his horse.

During a lull, FITZPATRICK, accompanied by volunteers, fetched an abandoned and damaged machine-gun together with some boxes of ammunition. Sergeant REDMONT managed to repair the weapon, something that considerable assisted their defence. There were already 11 dead among the Irish and three among the Gordons.

The Germans bombarded the sector and the shells reached the houses. Some civilians who had taken shelter in the cellars were killed.

The Germans tried one more charge, but REDMONT’s machine- gun made ominous gaps in their ranks. The fighting moved towards the positions of the Gordon Highlanders and the Royal Scots. FITZPATRICK and the others who survived were able to get some rest.
Night fell at last. The losses were 15 dead and four gravely wounded. A memorial in the form of a Celtic cross was put up at this crossroads in 1923, being inaugurated on 11 November by Lord FRENCH, the Earl of Ypres, to commemorate the participation of the Irish unit and its glorious defence of this place.

Opposite this memorial, on the other side of the highway, was unveiled on 23 August 1986 a monument dedicated to the two battles of Mons. Initially in the castle park, not far from the belfry, this monument was put up in 1952, being inaugurated by Field-Marshal Lord Alexander of Tunis.

It bears the following inscription:

«Here the forces of the British Empire fought their first and last battle in the 14-18 war. On 23rd and 24th August 1914, the British Expeditionary Force commanded by Sir John FRENCH with supreme courage held the advance of overwhelmingly superior German Forces. On Armistice Day 1918, after 60 hours of heavy fighting, Canadian divisions entered Mons. British and Canadian Regiments have erected this tablet to the Glory of God and to Commemorate these events».
From the Bascule crossroads, go down in the direction of Mons, and almost 100 yards to the left, you will find the "Château Gendebien".