The Ypres Salient - CWGC

Attacking against St Julien and Kitchener's Wood Brigadier-General Hull's 10th Brigade was 'called on to attempt the impossible. Without adequate artillery preparation Men of the Royal West Kents,front line trench near Ypres, April 1915and support, on ground unknown and unreconnoitred, they were sent to turn an enemy well provided with machine-guns out of a position which had ready-made cover in houses and a wood, and splendid artillery observation from higher ground behind it.'  ('Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1915' (Volume I), Brigadier-General J E Edmonds and Captain G C Gwynne, London, Macmillan, 1927, p 240).

The Brigade's highly visible advance had calamitous consequences and its destruction moved the British Official Historian to a poignant description of the aftermath of battle: 'A few men tried to crawl back into cover, but the majority of those in the leading lines never returned; mown down like corn, by machine-guns in enfilade, they remained lying dead in rows where they had fallen.' (Ibid, pp.241-242).

10th Brigade (4th Division) comprised: 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 2nd Seaforth Highlanders and 1st Royal Warwicks with 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in support. Casualties (killed, wounded or missing) for the action were: 73 officers and 2,346 other ranks.


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